Receiver competition heats up

Posted by Vic Carucci on July 31, 2012 – 9:23 pm

By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor

You’ve got questions and comments that you submit to the Browns’ official Facebook and Twitter pages. Here’s what I have to say about what you have to say:

ANDREW – Hey, Vic, with the new receivers that have been added this offseason, how do you think the final roster will look? I think Carlton Mitchell and Jordan Norwood could both be left out of the 53 man roster. Go Browns!

That’s entirely possible, Andrew.

Josh Gordon and Travis Benjamin have performed exceptionally well through the early part of camp. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say they have been the Browns’ best two receivers to date.

Gordon already has established himself as the Browns’ most physically gifted pass-catcher. His combination of exceptional size, strength, and athleticism is mostly unmatched by any other receiver on the team. All he needs is to continue to work his way into football shape, having been out of the game for more than a year because of his suspension at and subsequent transfer from Baylor, and learn the Browns’ offense. Even when he doesn’t know exactly where he needs to go on a certain play, he is still able to do enough to get open and make a catch.

Benjamin has been a standout since camp began. He is using his remarkable speed to his fullest advantage, and is catching the ball well.

Josh Cooper also continues to make his presence felt as someone who consistently gets open and catches the ball well.

Therefore, in the course of making room on the depth chart for Gordon and Benjamin (and possibly Cooper) after Greg Little and Mohamed Massaquoi, you are going to be forced to make some difficult decisions elsewhere within the receiving group. And, yes, that would figure to make players such as Mitchell and, perhaps, Norwood somewhat vulnerable.

EVAN – Will Trent Richardson be the next Adrian Peterson?

If he achieves that level of success, Evan, that would be amazing.

I don’t, however, necessarily see an exact comparison between the two. Richardson’s body type and skill set are a little bit different than Peterson’s. Although Richardson is solidly built and, like Peterson, incorporates plenty of power in his game, he is more of a compact runner. And he uses that low center of gravity to the fullest extent, whereas Peterson runs a little bit taller.

I also see Richardson as relying a bit more on his elusiveness to get through the first wave of defenders. Like Peterson, he can shift into that higher gear in the open field.

I can easily envision Richardson having tremendous production. Will it equal or even surpass what Peterson has done through a sterling pro career?

Let’s let the guy play some actual NFL games before we go there … but I’m expecting him to equal the lofty expectations that go with a third overall pick.

DREW – With a prospective sale of the Browns being reported in the media, I am worried about a new owner coming in and possibly “blowing things up” again – i.e., new front office, new coaches, new personnel. We have to stick with Holmgren, with Shurmur, with Weeden, etc., and give them a legitimate chance to win (at a minimum another three years at least). What do we know about Mr. Haslam (the prospective buyer) that may escalate or alleviate these concerns?

Drew, I don’t know enough about Mr. Haslam to even offer a guess at what his approach would be regarding possible changes.

Generally speaking, it isn’t unusual for a new owner to revamp parts or most of the team’s structure, on and off the field. A new owner is likely to have specific ideas about how he wants to run a franchise, and it could very well differ from those of the regime in place. It is also common for a new owner to bring in his “own people” in key leadership roles.

But there is nothing that says that the people already in the building couldn’t adapt to whatever changes the new owner might want to make in terms of how the team is run.

The next owner would be taking over a very healthy franchise from a football standpoint, and, from what I understand, a business standpoint as well. With the additions of rookies who look to have dynamic play-making ability (Brandon Weeden, Trent Richardson, Gordon, and Benjamin) and a solid right tackle (Mitchell Schwartz), the timing could be ideal for a new owner to end up with a club that could be strong for years to come.

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Posted in Carucci's Call | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Receiver competition heats up”

  1. By 1stAnubiis on Jul 31, 2012 | Reply

    Vic so you think Norwood and Mitchell are vunerable. At this point it looks more like Mitchell since his not at practice to an injury but I has Norwood shown any regression from his performance from last year. He seems to be the same type of WR as Cooper but faster. Do you feel Coopers familiarity will get him a spot ahead of Norwood?

  2. By Timothy Shaw on Aug 1, 2012 | Reply

    As I have mentioned before, I am very high on Josh Cooper because of living in Texas and seeing him in the Big 12. He is feerless , precise and will CATCH THE BALL!

  3. By Doug Pattison on Aug 1, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Vic! Listening 2 the show today (July 31), I’m not sure that these McCoy supporters were watching the same games that I was last year. As I’ve said in previous tweets, I’m not a Weeden or a McCoy fan, I’m a Cleveland Browns fan. I’m in favour of anybody we can win with. (This reminds me 2 much of the Flutie-Johnson contraversy 4 the Bills in the late 90′s – a QB contraversy of this magnitude is never a good thing & only serves to divide the team. Fortunately both McCoy & Weeden seem 2 be above this!) Anyhoo, I think the problems last year were half & half. The receivers couldn’t get separation & McCoy wasn’t accurate enough 2 help them 2 get that separation. I thought that the big thing about McCoy was that while his arm strength wasn’t the greatest, he was at least supposed 2 be accurate. One of the points made was that Weeden plays in the allegedly defensively weaker Big 12. Well correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t OSU & Texas play in the same conference, so I’m not sure how this is a point 4 or against either QB! Anyhoo, just a few random thoughts. Go Browns!!! P.S. I agree with Peter King. I think we should do our best 2 try & keep both players.

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