Monday, August 6, 2007

Browns Beat - August 6th

Not much of great note coming out of Browns training camp this weekend, but here's a rundown of some assorted stuff that the team sent out on the wire.

The news with the biggest impact is the moving of former left tackle (and big 2006 free agent signing) Kevin Shaffer over to right tackle. Shaffer is not too pleased with the move, to be sure, but there's nothing he can really do about it as his contract makes him essentially uncuttable and untradeable under the salary cap rules.

With LeCharles Bentley still a long shot to make it back before midseason, the opening day Browns line is likely to look like this:

LT Joe Thomas
LG Eric Steinbach
C Hank Fraley
RG Seth McKinney
RT Kevin Shaffer

Talent-wise, that's a solid unit. The bad news is that of those players, only Fraley started a single game at that position for the Browns last year. O-Line play requires a huge amount of pre-snap and post-snap communication among the linemen, so it's likely that this group will probably underachieve this season, particularly in pass protection.

The other Browns buzz that's popping up a lot lately is that apparently Jamal Lewis has been looking pretty good in practice. That's not earth-shattering news and I'll temper my enthusiasm by noting that happy talk is always abundant in the preseason, even for terrible teams, but it's certainly better than the alternative. Lewis was once one of the top physical talents in the NFL, and in theory he should still be in his physical prime, so we Browns fans will keep our fingers crossed on this one.

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