In the NFL, minicamps and most OTAs are setup for the offense to look good and the defense to just start to get their footing. Without the ability to be physical, defenses are at a huge disadvantage in these types of settings.
That is why, after one day of Cleveland Browns minicamp, the media are raving about what they saw from QB Deshaun Watson and a number of the talented pass catchers on the team. For those who have seen minicamp up close and personal for the last few decades, Watson’s performance was still something different.
The Browns defense won’t really have a chance to show how good they are until training camp and preseason. Like it or not, physicality is minimized throughout the NFL until facing off with players from opposing teams. That is why the mental aspects of defense are so important at this point in the offseason.
A small note from former Ohio State Buckeyes star Tyvis Powell gives us a glimpse into the work safety Grant Delpit is doing this year to get ready:
One of the most interesting things that happened at today was actually after practice, I was leaving and I ran into Delpit and he was already checking the film trying to see how he can get better. I’m expecting a big season from him. Dude wants to be great and I respect that ✊— Tyvis Powell (@1Tyvis) June 6, 2023
With months to go until the season actually starts, we only have what is seen in Berea to go on. For Delpit, losing his rookie season due to injury and being paired with John Johnson III have slowed his growth.
Even more so, Joe Woods’ defense minimized the talent of most of the team’s defenders.
With Jim Schwartz at the helm and Juan Thornhill beside him, Delpit will play more split safety than strong safety. He and Thornhill will cover sides of the field with different responsibilities depending on the coverage called.
Delpit also enters the final season of his contract. With GM Andrew Berry giving out lucrative deals all around the team, it is possible that the LSU safety will be auditioning for the rest of the NFL this season. A win-win for the team and player if he has a great year, Cleveland gets a great safety and Delpit sets himself up for a big contract, with the Browns or somewhere else.
A small detail pointed out by Powell but one we might point back to after the season as a precursor to Delpit’s breakout.