By Eric Szczepinski

5th Edition, June 15th

Browns held there three day mandatory mini-camp this past week. At the end of Thursday’s practice players checked out and left town for their vacations. The team is now officially off until Training Camp begins the end of July. There will be many interesting storylines heading into camp this year. In the most vital offseason in recent Browns memory it appears the Browns may have finally hit a homerun. But only time will tell If Ray Farmer is the right GM to assemble a winning football team in Cleveland. Training Camp will begin in 6 weeks and all seems to be going uphill for the Browns.

The next 6 weeks are vital for rookies to learn and master the playbook coming into camp, but even more of importance for rookie sensation Quarterback Johnny Manziel. Head Coach Mike Pettine and Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan have been happy with the progress and how quickly Manziel has picked up the offense. But, Mike Pettine has made it clear Brian Hoyer is the starter heading into Training Camp, here’s what he said this week, “Brian is securely ahead of him right now. But we will compete, and we’ll decide. The issue for us as a staff will be finding the right time to name a starter. If you wait too late, then no one is ready for the opener. If you do it too soon, was it a true competition?” With Hoyer ahead, Manziel needs to put in the hardest work of anyone to learn and study NFL offenses and defenses. The areas Manziel needs to improve is looking off defenders, making quicker reads/progressions and adapting to the speed of the NFL game. The more preparation he has heading into camp the more realistic shot he has at catching up to the veteran, Brian Hoyer. Head Coach Mike Pettine also added these comments on Johnny Manziel, “Hoyer is ahead but I don’t think it’s insurmountable”. There will be a true competition between Johnny and Brian and Pettine has made it clear the best man will win. This battle alone makes this Training Camp the most relevant and exciting in Browns History. Hometown hero vs. National sensation rookie phenomenon. The battle is on. Who do you want to be your Quarterback Cleveland?

There were reports this week the Browns and Jabaal Sheard were in talks of a contract extension. It would be wise for the Browns to lock up Sheard who has played consistent in his first 3 NFL seasons. Mike Pettine raves about Sheard who had great comments on his young pass rusher, “We talk about the play like a Brown attributes and we want a guy that plays like his hair is on fire and if I had to pick one guy that fits that, matches it, the first name I would come up with is Jabaal.” A 10+ sack season is in the making for Sheard who could be the difference maker in Pettine’s attacking style defense. During OTA’s Sheard has lined up more at defensive end rather than outside linebacker. He is dropping into coverage less and more pass rushing which is his biggest strength. The role Sheard will play is similar to what Mario Williams is in Buffalo. Jabaal will a playmaker who wreaks havoc on opposing quarterbacks.

Jabaal Sheard sacks Kirk Cousins at First Engery Satdium in 2012.
Jabaal Sheard sacks Kirk Cousins at First Engery Satdium in 2012.

The only roster move to report on is on Thursday the Browns claimed TE Emmanuel Ogbuehi from Miami. Ogbuehi was waved last year during final cuts and was on the practice squad for Miami. He played his college ball at Georgia State.



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