The Cleveland Browns will hold their mandatory minicamp on Thursday. The session will last three days and is a good indicator of where players stand heading into training camp.
Here are five questions that need to be answered:
1. Who will show up?
Analysis: The Browns have several restricted free agents that are still unhappy with their contracts. Safety Abram Elam, kicker Phil Dawson and linebackers D'Qwell Jackson and Matt Roth have skipped offseason workouts in hopes of getting multi-year extensions. The backfield of Lawrence Vickers and Jerome Harrison, also restricted free agents, have missed some practice time for the same reason. It will be interesting to see if all -- or some -- show up from this group.
2. Can a young secondary defend?
Analysis: With Elam not around, the Browns practiced with 2010 draft picks T.J. Ward and Larry Asante with the first team. Although very risky, Browns head coach Eric Mangini hasn’t ruled out starting two rookie safeties next season. First-round pick Joe Haden also has been in the cornerback rotation. Will a young secondary step up and play well this week?
3. How will QB Jake Delhomme perform?
Analysis: The Browns are quietly optimistic that Delhomme is primed for a bounce-back year. The coaching staff has been impressed with his veteran presence and professionalism. A good, consistent performance in minicamp for Delhomme will silence some doubters before the intensity picks up in training camp.
4. Who will step up at WR?
Analysis: Delhomme’s targets have been much-maligned this offseason. Cleveland’s wide receivers are young and inexperienced. But minicamp is the perfect time for someone to come of age. Can an unproven player like Brian Robiskie put the clamps on a starting job this week? Stay tuned.
5. What’s the RB rotation?
Analysis: Harrison, the incumbent starter, missed a majority of offseason workouts in a contract dispute, which gave rookie second-round pick Montario Hardesty a chance to work with the starters. So far the coaching staff has been impressed with Hardesty. This is expected to be a tandem in Cleveland, but it will be interesting to who gets the most of the reps in minicamp.