With the many restricted free agents around the NFL inked to deals, Browns head coach Eric Mangini was asked if any progress has been made with the Browns' RFAs. To date, the only one to sign is LB Jason Trusnik.
Notable unsigned restricted free agents missing are LB D’Qwell Jackson, RB Jerome Harrison, FB Lawrence Vickers and LB Matt Roth. If they do no sign their tender, they will most likely not participate in the off-season program and the upcoming OTAs.
“This is new ground for all of us,” Mangini said. “Hopefully, they’re here, but if they’re not, then other guys will get an opportunity.”
Familiarity: Mangini said that the rookie minicamp is more for getting the rookies acclimated with the NFL, than with the evaluation process.
“You really can’t do a lot of evaluating other than on how quickly they pick up the information and are making the adjustments,” Mangini said. “This is so different for these guys from everything they’ve done in the past.”
The majority of the 53 players in camp were tryout players with only eight drafted players and 10 undrafted free agents being actually signed.
“Sometimes, you sign a guy that is here for a tryout and you don’t know when we will meet up with them again,” Mangini said. “It might be before training camp or during camp or at some point during the season.”
Mangini likes to find gems in the undrafted players and was asked if any caught his eye.
“It’s too early in the mining process,” Mangini said. “Wallace Wright was a tryout guy at New York who came in as a tryout guy. He stayed through OTAs and made the 53-man roster, then went back to the practice squad and back to the 53. He did a good job on special teams and now signed as a free agent with Jacksonville as a wide receiver.”
Mangini said he has made it a practice to not combine the rookies with the veterans on the first experience.
“I’ve always just brought rookies in because I want them to get comfortable with the building, the system and a combination of things.”
The rookie minicamp ends Sunday, but is not open to media.
Looking at Shawn Inside: Mangini said third-round pick OL Shawn Lauvao has done a nice job in his first experience with the Browns. He will be worked on the inside at guard and even center.
“He’s done a nice job,” Mangini said. “He’ll probably be on the inside. Again, his versatility will be important for him.”
Lauvao said he is just six to nine units from receiving his Master’s degree from Arizona State in interdisciplinary studies.
“The coaches have made it clear to me that I’m starting on the inside,” he said. “The biggest thing for me is to learn the playbook, make the team, get better and do whatever is necessary.”
Lauvao (6-3, 315) played left tackle in college, but is smaller in stature for the NFL.
“I use my leverage and have to be on point,” he said. “I’m more controlled and use my finesse.”
Mangini used the term ‘keeping the pocket clean’ when describing him on draft day.
“I help my teammates out and keep the quarterback off the ground.”
Cautious Cliff: After being one of the best interviews the day he was drafted, DL Clifton Geathers was very cautious and seemed nervous when meeting with reporters for the first time. He said when he was drafted that he thought he could be one of the best players in the NFL.
He was asked about his comment and sounded as though he had been told to downplay his comments.
“I haven’t played a down yet,” Geathers said. “I’m a football player. My confidence is very high.”
In his first practice, Geathers hit former Ohio State punter Jonathan Thoma and knocked him to the ground. Mangini scolded Geathers (6-7, 299) for hitting someone much smaller than him.
“The coach told me to go full speed and I leveled the punter.”