Fowler, despite being praised as a better center by outgoing coach Larry Zierlein in 2004, continued to play behind starter Jeff Faine during the 2005 pre-season. Fowler also appeared at left guard for starter Joe Andruzzi during the Browns contest against the Carolina Panthers.
In Nat Dorsey, the Browns gain a player who might be considered the offensive equivalent of Gerard Warren. Although drafted in the fourth round, Dorsey was considered to be high-second-round talent, but fell to the fourth round of the draft in 2004 because of concerns about his work ethic.
In 2004 Dorsey switched from the left to the right side due to an injury to the Vikings' Mike Rosenthal, and acquitted himself fairly well for Minnesota. At 6' 7" and 322 pounds, Dorsey has the size and athletic talent to be a top-line offensive tackle.
This summer, however, Dorsey got himself on the bad side of the Vikings coaching staff by showing up to training camp overweight. Getting a solid citizen like Fowler in return for the promising, but flawed, Dorsey proved to be very tempting to the Vikings.
The Browns will now try to see if Romeo Crennel and his coaching staff can push Dorsey to reach his potential. Dorsey, a player who left Georgia Tech early because his coaches tried to motivate him by not nominating him for the All-Conference squad, may prove a tough nut to crack.
At the same time, Dorsey is just 21 (he turns 22 next Friday) and could be a terrific pickup if the Browns coaching staff is successful.
After an off-season of making moves that seemed right out of Football 101, Phil Savage and the Browns have thrown us a curve. It will be fascinating to see how it works out.