Mini-Camp: Under the Radar

Rookie TE Kolo Kapanui (Wills/TheOBR.com)

Sure, you've read all about LeCharles Bentley. There are a bunch of columns on quarterbacks. But what about the items which flew under the radar this week? Brent Sobleski was at mini-camp all week and offers some insight on players and stories which weren't reported...

The LeCharles Bentley news stole the show in this past week's mini-camp. The quarterbacks and the team's off season additions receive the bulk of the attention. Plenty of other players on the roster had developing stories as well.

But there are eighty players on the roster, and there are many stories to tell. Here are a dozen items which seemingly flew under the radar this week:

* Top rookies, Beau Bell and Martin Rucker, struggled throughout mini-camp picking up their schemes. Bell, in particular, was slow making his defensive calls, but made up by diagnosing plays quickly post-snap. Rucker was chastised multiple times for not running the right route or missing blocking assignments.

* Linebacker Shantee Orr is impressing the coaching staff. A defensive end in college and an outside linebacker with experience in the 3-4 defense, the new acquisition has been moved inside to weakside linebacker to get a look. Orr will be able to provide depth at both positions during the season, and the staff is obviously trying to find ways to get the free agent acquisition on the field.

* Eric Wright was arguably the best player on the field throughout the mandatory mini-camp. The second year cornerback got his hands on plenty of balls and was a consistent presence in the secondary.

* Kolo Kapanui was signed as an undrafted free agent tight end prospect out of West Texas A&M. Yet, he spent most of his time during camp as the team's third-string fullback.

* Re-signing veteran lineman Seth McKinney was assumed by many to provide added competition or depth at right guard, a position in which he started a year ago. Instead, McKinney only received repetitions as the second team's center.

* Young undrafted acquisition Brian Schaefering has quickly climbed his way up the depth chart receiving the bulk of repetitions as a second team defensive end.

* Although he's already been placed on the Non-Football injury list, undrafted guard prospect Eric Young was present throughout mini-camp. The once highly touted guard prospect still has a slight limp, but the young lineman was there getting his mental reps at every single practice.

* Ken Dorsey is currently the Browns' most consistently accurate quarterback on the roster. Unfortunately for the team, the Miami product is entrenched as the third-string quarterback and his trait does not appear to be rubbing off on the team's first or second choice at the position.

* Brad Cieslak displayed why the Browns stashed the tight end on the practice squad last season. With limited repetitions given to both Winslow and Heiden, Cieslack showed very good athleticism and soft hands. Veteran Darnell Dinkins, meanwhile, struggled tremendously throughout mini-camp.

* Sixth round selection Ahtyba Rubin certainly looks the part of a nose tackle. The Iowa St. product is built like a fire hydrant with massive arms and an ample midsection. His recognition on reading keys was slow during his first camp, but he still drew plenty of double teams. Young veteran nose tackle Louis Leonard improved every single practice.

* Undrafted free agent WR Lance Leggett struggled throughout the entire camp. The rookie lacks natural receiving ability and really labored throughout drills. If he does not display more in next month's training camp, he is an easy choice as an early cut.

* Asked to add weight to help their transition to the 3-4 defense, last year's late round defensive end selections have done so accordingly. Melila Purcell is currently at 290 pounds while Chase Pittman has bulked up to 302 pounds.

* As a bonus point, we need to note the attitude displayed by the team during mini-camp. It is apparent this roster really seems to enjoy playing alongside one another and is having a lot of fun on the field. There is an attitude on this team that fans have not seen since the return of the franchise to the shores of Lake Erie.


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