5. Danny Shelton misses OTA’s:
On April 30th, 2015 I truly felt like my opinion mattered on this Earth, because with the #12 pick in the 2015 draft the Browns drafted my favorite player in the entire class: University of Washington NT Danny “Feastmode” Shelton. This was the perfect pick in my opinion, as the Brownies were last in run defense last year. The 340 pounder is expected to instantly curve that trend, but unfortunately we won’t see it during OTAs.
Shelton has not graduated school yet, where he is getting his degree in Anthropology. While this is a great achievement for Danny, it also means he is ineligible to participate in OTAs and therefore cannot be present for these 3 weeks of OTAs. I put this at #5 because it’s not a big deal most times, but for a team that will undoubtedly rely on they’re defense (especially the improvement of the run D) this is something to watch.
The secondary is easily top 3 in the league and the defense overall will likely be top 5 if the Run D catches up. Xavier Cooper is a monster and Nate Orchard and Hayes Pullard have impressed so far, among others. The impact of Shelton could be the linchpin. Danny is a smart kid who should keep up his workouts. However missing OTAs, as a rookie who will be relied on so “heavily” (no pun intended), will be a challenge. I think he’s up to the challenge.
4. Tashaun Gipson SKIPS OTAs: Pay That Man!
Please see my previous article. Enough said.
3. Browns will throw to the Backs this year!
Last year on any given Sunday you could hear a Browns fan anywhere screaming something to this effect: ” Throw the ball to the RB you [expletive]” “Holy [smokes Batman, or something a bit more colorful]”.
Yes, the defense is the focus of this team but we have a good run based foundation on offense. Now we can look forward to adding the pass catching dimension to our backfield. According to Nathan Zegura, the Browns are making a concentrated effort to get the RBs involved in the pass game this year.
Rookie RB Duke Johnson out of Miami is considered the best receiving threat of the bunch, but every back has been catching passes during OTAs. Even rookie FB Malcolm Johnson is getting a good review as a pass catching threat. He is being used as a Marcel Reece type, that OC John “Flip” DeFilippo had in Oakland last year. The run game is going to be a staple of this offense. There’s no mistaking that. But now that we have put an emphasis on throwing to the backs, our QB (whoever it is) has another option to move the chains.
With Duke, Hawk, and Gabriel on the roster, it will be hard for defenses to account for the quickness we can put on the field. It’s early but I expect guys with “good hands” to play a prevalent role in the backfield.