[url=http://www.thebrownsfootballauthentic.com/hats-authentic]Cleveland Browns Hats[/url] , NFL Preseason Week 1: Position Battles to Watch The Cleveland Browns take on the New York Giants on Thursday for their first game of the preseason, and for once, we don’t have to worry about who the No. 1 quarterback will be to start the regular season! That will allow us to turn our attention to other position battles. Here is a preview of what you should look for in the game from the Browns.Injury Report - Who's In, Who's Out?On offense, the following players are not expected to play:FB Danny Vitale (calf)TE Seth DeValve (quad)OL Kevin Zeitler (calf)OL Desmond Harrison (toe-PUP)On defense, the following players are not expected to play:DL Trevon Coley (ankle)DL Daniel Ekuale (calf)LB Justin Currie (concussion)Five Things to Look For1. Who Will Step Up at Receiver? A few months ago, the Browns’ receiver depth seemed to be shaping up pretty well with Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman, and Antonio Callaway. Flashforward to today, and Landry is the only player we are certain about.It is still entirely possible (and in my opinion, likely) that Gordon and Callaway will both see significant action this season as part of the team’s top three receivers. Gordon isn’t here right now, though [url=http://www.thebrownsfootballauthentic.com/hoodie-authentic]Cleveland Browns Womens Hoodie[/url] , and although Callaway made the trip to New York, it is uncertain whether the team will play him tonight. Personally, I think Callaway should play despite last Sunday’s issue. Here are the other candidates with a shot to make an impression, though:Rashard Higgins: Besides Landry, the third-year receiver has made the most noise in camp, although much of that production has come with Baker Mayfield under center against second-string defenses. Will the chemistry be there with Tyrod Taylor and against first-teamers?Jeff Janis: Packers fans often felt that Janis, a 6-3 speedster, was underrated and should have received more playing time.C.J. Board: In terms of receivers at the back end of the depth chart, Board has made the most noise, and a few preseason catches can boost one’s stock quickly.The other receivers on the roster include Damion Ratley, Da’Mari Scott, Derrick Willies, and Evan Berry.2. Joel Bitonio at Left Tackle: The switch to left tackle for Joel Bitonio has been seamless in practice so far [url=http://www.thebrownsfootballauthentic.com/customized-authentic]Womens Customized Cleveland Browns Jerseys[/url] , even going up against Myles Garrett. It’s hard to imagine Hue Jackson changing his mind at this point; it only makes sense for Austin Corbett to start as well, and the only way that is probably happening this year is if he is at left guard.Nonetheless, it will be great to evaluate just how sharp Bitonio plays the left tackle position. Will he look like an immediate stud? Will there be a few technical or schematic things that become apparent he needs to work on through the rest of training camp? Also, I expect Greg Robinson to get the reps as the second-team left tackle over Shon Coleman, who I think will be back at right tackle. Cleveland still needs to figure out their best fallback plan at left tackle, just in case something with Bitonio doesn’t work out there.3. The Linebacker Rotation: After the Browns traded WR Corey Coleman, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network noted that the Browns might not be done yet when it comes to trading a big-name player. The first name that pops into my head with that is Jamie Collins, with honorable mentions to Carl Nassib and Shon Coleman. Personally, I think Cleveland should definitely keep Collins and stay four-strong at the linebacker rotation, with Mychal Kendricks and Genard Avery being key rotational pieces. One of the things I want to see tonight is whether the Browns show any hint of not playing some of their linebackers 100% of the time. I know it’s only the preseason, but if Christian Kirksey and/or Joe Schobert are subbed out while the first-team defenses are still on the field, that will only be a positive sign to me. The Browns have already acknowledged this offseason the thought of keeping players fresher, and tonight might be the start of that.4. Utilization of Safeties and Cornerbacks: The strong safety position is the most up-in-the-air one in terms of playing time. I firmly believe that Gregg Williams wants to utilize both Derrick Kindred and Jabrill Peppers. Will they be on the field at the same time? Only one at a time? Who sees more reps — Kindred or Peppers? And how do their roles differ? We may only get to see a quarter of play from them [url=http://www.clevelandbrownsteamonline.com/baker-mayfield-jersey]Baker Mayfield Jersey Elite[/url] , but I’ll definitely be going back to review how they were each utilized.Sticking with the defensive backs, the second cornerback spot, opposite rookie Denzel Ward, remains up-for-grabs. It was originally thought to be a competition between T.J. Carrie and E.J. Gaines, but camp has gone like this: Carrie started and kept getting beat by the now-departed Corey Coleman, Gaines hasn’t made any headlines, and Terrance Mitchell came out of no where to replace Carrie in the starting lineup. There is still a long way to go before Week 1, though, so every preseason game counts for Mitchell, Carrie, and Gaines.5. Stopping Saquon Barkley: For awhile, many Browns fans had their hearts set on drafting RB Saquon Barkley. Instead, he went No. 2 overall to the New York Giants [url=http://www.clevelandbrownsteamonline.com/baker-mayfield-jersey]http://www.clevelandbrownsteamonline.com/baker-mayfield-jersey[/url] , giving Pat Shurmur an exciting weapon to work with, as you can see in the highlights below. Barkley will no doubt be featured with the Giants’ first-team offense this week, and I want to see how well Larry Ogunjobi on the inside and Emmanuel Ogbah on the outside combine to slow his debut. The Giants’ offensive line got a little boost this offseason with the signing of Nate Solder at left tackle and the drafting of left guard Will Hernandez at No. 24 overall.Game ThreadOur game thread on Dawgs By Nature will go live at 6:00 PM ET on Thursday, which is an hour before kickoff. Be sure to check in for the first preseason game of the year! Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said today’s decision to fire head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley is the best move for his franchise moving forward.“We did what we thought was best for the organization. I think we put the organization in a better place today than it was yesterday,” Haslam said.Haslam seemed to acknowledge that the reported power struggle between Jackson and Haley was a problem, saying, “We’re not going to put up with internal discord.”Browns G.M. John Dorsey offered similar thoughts on the decision to move on from Jackson and Haley.“What we’re trying to do is create the best environment moving forward, not only for the players but for the coaching staff,” Dorsey said.Haslam did defend the decision to bring Jackson back this season, rather than firing him at the same time he fired former G.M. Sashi Brown.“Hue was put in a pretty difficult situation his first two years with the talent we had. We thought he deserved another chance and unfortunately it didn’t work out the way we hoped it would,” Haslam said.Haslam also said firing people is always a difficult decision.“I personally spent a tremendous amount of time with Hue Jackson,” Haslam said. “This was not an easy decision. I know Todd a little less well because he hasn’t been here as long but Todd moved his family here so that was not an easy decision either.”That’s a difficult decision that Haslam has made a lot during his tenure as the Browns’ owner. He hopes the next coach he hires won’t have to be fired as quickly as so many of the previous coaches he’s hired.
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