Cleveland's 2009 Mini-Camp Starters
In mini-camps this week, we got our first glimpse of potentially the starting lineup for the 2009 Cleveland Browns. Take this all with a grain of salt though since its way, way too early to predict what players could step up and take over a position.
Also, rookies will most likely never be on the first string in mini-camp, so by the time the season rolls around, that could also be a contributing factor.
On offense, at starting QB is Brady Quinn who Mangini said this week had a slight edge over Anderson. To most Browns fans this is no big surprise, but merely confirmation to what we've been speculating.
At RB it appears that Jerome Harrison is no longer being overlooked as a solid starting back. His flashes of greatness last year and desire to work is finally starting to pay dividends.
Lawrence Vickers at Fullback and Braylon Edwards as the No.1 Receiver shouldn't be a shock to anyone as they two of the franchise's brightest. Apparently David Patten is making his mark at the No.2 receiver slot. Obviously there's a lot of time left, and with Furrey, Massaquoi, and Robiskie in the wings, this is definitely anyone's game.
A big surprise to me (although not undeserving) has been Martin Rucker starting at Tight End. Rucker was picked by Savage to be Winslow's inevitable replacement someday, as he has a lot of the same physical skills and traits. This is not to say Heiden and Royal won't see considerable playing time, as they are better blockers on the line.
The area I've most looked forward to seeing is how the offensive line is shaping up. Mangini currently has Thomas and Steinbach on the left side where they played great together last year, Hank Fraley in the middle at center over the rookie Alex Mack, and Tucker and Womack on the right side. John St. Clair and Rex Hadnot are noticeably absent.
On the defensive side, we have Coleman (not surprisingly) at RDE, Rogers in the middle at DT, and CJ Mosley at LDE. Corey Williams is still rehabbing, and is expected by most to be the starter on the left side when he returns.
My biggest surprise was to see Alex Hall in the OLB position across from Kamerion Wimbley. Hall has the talent and physical prowess to become a solid out, and apparently he's stepped up in the mini-camp so far. Rookie Veikune is also a season starting possibility at OLB. At inside line backer the pair of Jackson & Barton should hold down the middle for years.
The secondary is set up the only way it can be with Wright and McDonald repeating at the corners. With newly acquired Elam teaming with Brodney Pool in the safety position.
As I said, anything could change by gameday, but at least we get to see an early preview of Mangini's lineups.
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