The Cleveland Browns Rookie Camp got off to great weather and a bit of a media buzz as third-round draft pick Colt McCoy made his practice debut.
Without actually being at the camp to observe what happened, there's only so much to opine on, but for speculation purposes, the battle for the fourth quarterback spot got a spark with the arrival of Graham Harrell.
Harrell, from Texas Tech, was invited to the Browns Rookie Camp last year but was not offered a contract. He eventually signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Canadian Football League.
For Harrell to be invited back could say a lot about the organization's feelings on last year's No. 3 quarterback Brett Ratliff. Ratliff was brought in by head coach Eric Mangini from New York, but was unimpressive in his limited preseason appearances.
I speculated about Ratliff's future with the Browns in the wake of the offseason quarterback moves, including McCoy's arrival, here .
With Harrell in Rookie Camp, Ratliff has yet another reason to look over his shoulder. While Harrell didn't take any snaps in the CFL last year, according to the Roughriders 2009 stats on their Web site, the fact Mangini wants another look at him is interesting.
Mangini told reporters in an interview a few days ago he was not against keeping four quarterbacks on the roster this year, noting he did it one year with the Jets and that it happened one year while he was coaching under Bill Belichick in New England.
Jake Delhomme is the unquestioned starter going into the 2010 season. The Browns didn't give him a $7 million salary to have him ride the bench. Seneca Wallace is the number two due to his familiarity with team president Mike Holmgren's offensive schemes.
McCoy becomes the third quarterback just because of his draft slot and potential. So if the Browns are going to keep four quarterbacks, Harrell has this camp to convince Mangini he's grown enough in the last year to earn an invite to training camp in July.
Many draft pundits assumed Harrell would be drafted in the sixth or seventh round in 2009, but that didn't happen. Now he gets one more shot, ironically with the one team that gave him a shot last year.
There are 53 players at the Rookie Camp, 35 of whom were invited. The rest are the eight draft picks and 10 undrafted free agents who signed contracts with the Browns.
Minus the eight draft picks, don't expect any more than a handful of the invitees and free agents to make the cut after rookie camp.
Of those who do, they should seek out Joshua Cribbs, who came to the Browns as an undrafted free agent in 2007 and now is considered the best return man in the league, for advice.
You never know when the next Cribbs is going to walk into your rookie camp.