Countdown to The Draft
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By: Will Burge
Keeping the rep without the reps – Thaddeus Lewis is the forgotten quarterback on the Browns’ depth chart. He is usually either entering a preseason game as the fans are changing the station or the butt of a joke on sports talk radio. Pat Shurmur, however, has a very different idea of what Lewis can do and how he approaches the game.
When asked by our own Michael Reghi if Lewis could help determine how the roster shapes up at quarterback Shurmur responded, “Because of what’s going on with our quarterback situation he hasn’t gotten many reps, and then he went out in the game against Detroit…executed well and played quarterback well. I think there is value in that I really do. There is something to Thad that is worth developing.”
Lewis has quietly had a solid camp. He played for a year under Pat Shurmur in St. Louis and outside of Brandon Weeden many feel he is the safest QB on the roster.
Run Gordon, run! – Josh Gordon’s development throughout training camp and the preseason has been like a roller coaster. Gordon showed signs of growth between game one and two of the preseason but fans wanted more out of him. Today he put his skills on display.
Gordon, who said last week he wanted to be more aggressive on the field, caught two streak routes down the sideline from Brandon Weeden. One was for a touchdown and the other was an acrobatic catch for about 35 yards. Pat Shurmur spoke after practice about how he needs to improve some aspects of his route running but feels he is coming along well and there is definitely no concern over his speed or physical ability.
Missing practice and making the team – Browns rookie defensive tackle John Hughes missed practice today after sitting out the last portion of practice yesterday. The defense is not extremely thin on the line and cannot afford another serious injury.
Chris Ogbonnaya is on the fringe of making the Browns’ roster and needs all the reps he can take. Today, during second string two-minute drills, he caught a pass in the flat from Colt McCoy. As he ran out of bounds Kaluka Maiava ran into D’Qwell Jackson and he fell on Ogbonnaya’s legs. Chris rolled around on the turf in pain and then tried to shake it off before finally going into the facility with trainers.
Another player who has spent a good portion of camp on the bikes is Carlton Mitchell. Pat Shurmur basically said after practice today that he needs to show the coaching staff in the last two games why he should make the roster. Shumur also added that he will receive plenty of reps to prove himself.
Making plays, making plays – Davis Sims, the second year safety out of Iowa State, continues to make big time plays. He is tied for the NFL lead with two preseason interceptions and he had two more in practice today. He picked off Brandon Weeden in 7 on 7 drills and then had a pick 6 against Seneca Wallace a few series later.
|Will Burge covers the Browns for ESPNCleveland.com and hosts 3 Deep, Monday - Friday from 7pm-9pm.|
Follow Will on Twitter @WillBurge
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