Saturday, June 12, 2010
Browns Day 3 minicamp notes
By James Walker ESPN.com
BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns wrapped up their 2010 mandatory minicamp Saturday.
Here are some final notes and observations:
Quarterbacks Seneca Wallace (left) and Jake Delhomme were inconsistent during minicamp.
Everyone wants to talk about the quarterbacks, so let's get right to it. I thought the quarterback play was decent but inconsistent. There were days like Thursday when it appeared they didn't deserve to be on the field. But there were also days like Friday and Saturday when the group was solid. Veteran Jake Delhomme was clearly the best of the lot. Delhomme made some really nice throws that I haven't seen from a Browns quarterback during practice in a while. Backup Seneca Wallace made some plays with his feet but was also shaky at times. Third-round pick Colt McCoy looked like a rookie playing in his first minicamp and was mostly throwing to players who won't make the team. "I'm very happy with where I'm at, I will say that," Delhomme said. "I've spent a lot of time here before we even started OTAs, trying to learn it, because you want to get respect from your teammates. You want to be a leader, and the first way you do it is by knowing your stuff, knowing what you're doing and making the right calls."
Cleveland running back Peyton Hillis returned to the team Saturday but didn’t practice. He sat out of minicamp with an illness. Browns cornerback Eric Wright, who didn't participate in team drills Friday, returned to full practice on Saturday.
As a disclaimer, I usually like to point out that you can only tell so much from football in shorts, or "skirts," as Delhomme put it. But two rookies that stood out most in minicamp were tailback Montario Hardesty and receiver Carlton Mitchell. First, they look the part coming through the door. They both have great size and can move. Second, both rookies made plays when they had the opportunities. Hardesty, who sat out Saturday, ran the ball well and knew his assignments. Mitchell had nice bursts and showed surprisingly good footwork, for a rookie, to get open against coverage. "It takes different guys different time periods [to get ready to play]," Mitchell said. "After a while, the more you do things, as far as watching film, correcting your mistakes and going out and taking reps, you start to feel more relaxed."
Speaking of rookies, Browns cornerback and No. 7 overall pick Joe Haden reiterated Saturday that "it's real important" that he gets his contract done and arrives to training camp on time. First-rounders, and particularly players selected with a top-10 pick, are always in danger of arriving to training camp late. But Haden is expected to be an important part of the defense and doesn't want to fall behind.
Predicting the right side of the offensive line will be tough with the way Browns coach Eric Mangini is rotating players and positions. Right now, an educated guess is Floyd Womack and Tony Pashos will be the right guard and right tackle in Week 1, respectively. But this pairing has been used on the first- and second-teams throughout minicamp. Mangini also played Pashos at right guard and Womack at right tackle. Offensive linemen John St. Clair and rookie Shawn Lauvao were getting a look on the right side, as well. Mangini is a big believer in building depth and versatility on the offensive line. "What usually happens is those guys all play," Mangini said.
Wallace said he's looking forward to Cleveland's Wildcat package with Josh Cribbs. Having both on the field at the same time could be a dangerous change of pace to add to the offense. Cleveland was ranked last in total offense in 2009.
Mangini believes defensive lineman Shaun Rogers (leg), linebacker Eric Barton (neck surgery) and punter Dave Zastudil (knee) are all "on track" for training camp. The trio did not participate this week in minicamp.