WWBT About Rookies' Impact at DL, WR

WWBT About Rookies' Impact at DL, WR

Here is the latest insider info obtained by OBR's Lane Adkins on the Browns defensive line, defensive scheme, wide receivers and the team's free agency plan of action.

About the defensive line...

— Rookie defensive tackle Phil Taylor has made his way to the practice field. Taylor is a mountain of a man and has handled himself quite well. For such a big man, Taylor is quite nimble afoot and has the ability to not only command attention from the opposition, but fare well.

— Rookie defensive end Jabaal Sheard is quietly having a solid start to camp. Sheard's athleticism and raw quickness is evident and working against All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas. Sheard's game is gaining a look against one of the best in the game. Let's not forget, Sheard is a rookie and will take time to develop his overall game, but one thing is certain, he has the motor, which provides an enticing opportunity for this rookie to make some impact early.

About the defensive coverage scheme...

— The 2011 version of the Browns defense will undoubtedly consist of less movement and in-depth coverage responsibilities. The multiple variations of player responsibility in man, cover-two and cover-three has been greatly reduced. That should also lead to far less communication issues in the defensive backfield. To this point, the defensive backs love the new defensive system.

About the wide receivers...

— Rookie wide receiver Greg Little is having some inconsistent moments in camp. Just when it appears the rookie may be getting his footing, he suddenly slips. Little has caught some balls that a border on terrific, only to drop the easiest of passes. This inconsistency may be a result of sitting out the 2010 college season. If the issue pertains, Little's immediate impact, a much needed boost to a relatively average receiving corps, could be in jeopardy.

— The inability of the Browns wide receivers to gain separation remains a disappointment. Interestingly, the Browns defensive backs haven't fully pressed at the line consistently, but the result remains the same. A season ago the receivers had trouble gaining separation. The early stages of this year's camp look like a repeat from a season ago only with some different names and numbers on the field.

About free agency...

— When the free agent signing period was announced, the Browns aggressively pursued defensive back Usama Young, defensive end Jayme Mitchell and had pre-free agency trade discussions with the St. Louis Rams for offensive lineman John Greco.

While most observers believe the Browns must fortify the roster with upper-tier type talent, the Browns have pursued the relative unknown type talent in free agency to fill the roster.

The reasoning behind the lack of top-talent acquisition is the Browns believe they have players in place to develop, then they will supplement the roster with that major talent.

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