Minicamp can bring out the best in the rest

Posted by Bernie Kosar on May 9, 2012 – 2:13 pm

By Bernie Kosar, Special Contributor to ClevelandBrowns.com

Here are some highlights from my latest appearance on “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”:

The focus on the Browns’ minicamp this weekend will no doubt be on Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden.

They’ll do about a million interviews. They’ll be all that anyone wants to talk about.

But the players that you really need to pay attention to are the lower-round picks and the undrafted free agents. We’ve talked a lot through the offseason about how many gifted and talented football players there are out there. And you don’t necessarily find them within the first 10 picks of the draft or the first 22 picks of the draft.

What coaches, scouts, and front-office people are really asking themselves at that first minicamp is whether there is another Josh Cribbs out there? Or is there another Victor Cruz out there? Or is one of our sixth-round draft picks another Ahtyba Rubin? And there will be guys on the field trying to make that sort of a statement, trying to make an impression to see if they could earn a roster spot and contribute at that level.

It won’t just be lower-round choices or undrafted rookies. There will be a few guys in this minicamp who are just there on tryouts. They’ll come in without any publicity or recognition, and because they literally have  a few days or even one day to stick with the team, they’ll try and do things out there that make them stand out.

The incumbent players won’t be part of this minicamp, but when they do start practicing with the rookies, they’re going to be looking for what I looked for when I was a veteran player. Because there’s not a lot of head-banging and physical contact, it’s tough to get the truest reads of some of the players.

But you can see how hungry these guys are. You can see how much they want to be out there and what level of expectation they have for themselves.

You want to see the confidence of not only wanting to do well, but expecting to do well.

Be sure to catch Bernie Kosar’s regular appearances with Vic Carucci on “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford,” Monday through Friday, 6-7 p.m. ET, live on ESPN 850 WKNR and ClevelandBrowns.com


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