AFC North: MIles Austin.Jabaal Sheard
June, 11, 2014
By Pat McManamon | ESPN.com
Five takeaways from the first day of Cleveland Browns minicamp:
- Brian Hoyer had another one of those "he's ahead" days. He was quicker in his decisions and more decisive in reads. He simply looked ahead of Johnny Manziel at this point. Now this should still not be a surprise, but clearly Manziel has some work to do between now and training camp. As for Hoyer, Pettine assured the media gaggle that being in "Spartan Mode" on certain team drills does not mean he is losing ground because of fewer reps.Hoyer
- Rookie guard Joel Bitonio will miss the minicamp with what coach Mike Pettine called "an ankle injury." That's a setback, but for linemen a minicamp isn't vital. Bitonio should be full go for training camp in late July, per the team's coach.
- Wide receiver Anthony Armstrong had an excellent day, breaking past Buster Skrine for a deep throw from Manziel, and making several other catches. Armstrong's edge is he knows the system from playing for Kyle Shanahan in Washington. His disadvantage is he's 31, though Pettine called Armstrong "the ultimate professional." He's one of 14 wide receivers at the minicamp. Suspension worries, anyone?
- The Browns continue to say there is no injury issue, but Miles Austin continues to watch most of the offeason practices. It would be nice to pencil Austin in as the starter -- either opposite Josh Gordon or in place of Gordon when his suspension finally comes down -- but he's barely been on the field since he signed as a free agent.
- Jabaal Sheard discussed his role in the new defense, comparing it to the way Mario Williams was used last season in Buffalo. Williams moved around a lot, and spent most of his time rushing the passer. Seems Sheard will as well, as he emphasized he's more defensive end than linebacker these days. That doesn't seem to bother him much; at 270 pounds it's tough to stay with smaller, quicker players.