Cleveland Browns 2010 Preview: Training Camp Underdogs
Everyone loves the underdog, right?
Well in the case of the Cleveland Browns, they are and have been the underdogs almost every year since 1999.
One playoff game appearance and only two winning seasons in 11 seasons.
The biggest problem that Browns Backers would agree on is that constant front office and coaching changes have hurt the team.
Players can't get their playbooks straight and either leave for free agency or get cut or traded by the new regime.
Now it looks like the front office will be set for a while with both President Mike Holmgren and general Mmnager Tom Heckert running the team.
Now it is time for the roster to take shape.
The following (in no particular order) are several underdogs on the Browns' roster who just might make this team in 2010 and could possibly even make an impact in situational roles too.
Clifton Geathers, Defensive End
Geather (No. 95 in the picture) is a monster of a man at 6'7" and 299 pounds, who was drafted by a team that is getting old quick on the defensive line.
Coming from South Carolina where he had 73 total tackles, five sacks, and two forced fumbles in three years—many of those numbers mostly came during his sophomore and junior years since he hardly played his freshman year.
Geathers is in the perfect position to make some contributions in his rookie season especially since the Browns will be light on the line since Pro Bowler Shaun Rogers may still get a suspension for his gun charge.
A great fit and high potential to produce in year one for Geathers.
Chris Chancellor, Cornerback
Chancellor was an undrafted free agent pickup and his chances of making the Browns' roster are better than most.
The Browns drafted one cornerback, two safeties, and traded for a veteran cornerback to help rebuild their porous secondary.
Chancellor can sneak in and get one of the last spots in the secondary's depth chart if he can impress.
An older and more mature rookie at 23, Chancellor finished his career at Clemson with 157 total tackles, one forced fumble, and nine interceptions.
Projected as a fourth or fifth rounder, the Browns may have gotten a steal of a player for the future with Chancellor.
James Davis, Running Back
Remember one year ago, the local Cleveland press was going crazy for 2009 late round draft pick James Davis?
Fast-forward to today, and the Cleveland media is doing the same thing but instead it is for 2010 second round pick, running back Montario Hardesty.
Sadly, Davis got injured in his rookie season and missed the majority of it, but he is stronger and put on more muscle mass (he is running at 218 pounds right now) to earn a spot on the roster and get a good share of reps in a very deep and crowded backfield.
Look for Davis to surprise and have a good training camp and preseason to make the roster for the 2010 season and give the Browns another threat out of the backfield.
He even changed his jersey number from 28 to 21 for the 2010 season to give himself the feel like this is a fresh start for him.
(Davis is the player who kept fellow Clemson running back C.J. Spiller riding the bench as his backup for two season and that's says something, right?)
Evan Moore, Tight End
Moore was a waiver-wire pickup mid-2009 season and he stepped in to help an injury-riddled tight end group.
He only had 12 catches for 158 yards in 2009, but the undrafted free agent and former wide receiver out of Stanford is a very big target at 6'6" and 247 pounds for new quarterback Jake Delhomme and Moore could be the future at tight end for the Browns.
Now that veteran tight end Benjamin Watson is the incumbent starter, he can teach Moore the ropes and mentor him to become his eventual successor.
Joel Reinders, Offensive Tackle
If you do not know who Reinders is by now, here is the short version of the story.
The Browns invited him to rookie minicamp after watching film of him on YouTube, then decided to sign the 6'7" and 320 pounder to an undrafted free agent contract.
Now he will be mentored by veteran right tackle Tony Pashos to become his eventual successor since Pashos is not getting any younger.
Reinders played for the small college of Waterloo.
Kwaku Danso, Defensive Tackle
Danso is another story you should be familiar with.
He has only played football for three years, he is a 28-year-old rookie from Africa, and he too is a beast of a man at 6'5" and 336 pounds.
Danso will benefit from Rogers' pending suspension as well since there is no real backup to starter Ahtyba Rubin, plus the Browns were considering switching Roger over to be a defensive end in 2010 anyway.
Danso may be older, but his body is fresher than most other defensive lineman who are his age and have been in the NFL for several years already.
Johnathan Haggerty, Wide Receiver
Haggerty is another undrafted free agent who went to school at Southwestern Oklahoma State.
Press from organized team activities and mandatory minicamp report that Haggerty is learning and adapting quickly, but with a very young group of receivers ahead of him and already competing for a roster spot—making the final cut will be tough to accomplish.
Peyton Hillis, Fullback/Halfback
Hillis came to the Browns as part of the Brady Quinn trade.
He is part running back and part fullback and part tight end.
Hillis can block with the best blockers in the NFL, run like a possessed person out of the backfield with the ball running over and through defenders, and he has soft hands and can catch passes either out of the backfield or slot.
A very versatile player and that is exactly with head coach Eric Mangini likes in his players.
He may not have a big statistical year in 2010, but look for Hillis to be at various spots and positions on the field and helping out by being a team player and doing the little things that often go overlooked when you do not have the ball in your hands.
Brian Robiskie, Wide Receiver
Robiskie has a ton of pressure on his shoulders in year two of his career since he managed only seven catches for 106 yards last year.
He is a front-runner to be a starter opposite fellow 2009 second rounder Mohamed Massaquoi, but he is still an underdog until he proves he can be the possession receiver the Browns wanted when the drafted the "most polished receiver in the entire 2009 draft class."
He may not be on the fringe of not making this roster, but his uphill battle is still a big one in 2010.
Was Somebody Left Off This List?
If you think there is another Browns player who is currently on the roster that is an underdog and may make the final roster in 2010, then please comment below.