BEREA— Eric Mangini said that fullback Lawrence Vickers has returned for the final OTA practice. As did running back Jerome Harrison, Vickers signed a waiver to participate.
“This is Lawrence’s first day back and it’s good to have him back out there,” Mangini said.
Vickers is a restricted free agent and has missed all of the voluntary OTA practices until Monday.
Mangini said he doesn’t expect a lot of change in Vickers’ role from last year. The Browns were very successful running the ball in their final four games in which they won all four. Included in the streak, was Harrison’s 286 yard record-breaking performance against the Chiefs, in which Vickers was a catalyst.
“I thought he played really well at the end of last season,” Mangini said. “He was a big part of why we were able to run the ball so effectively late in the year.”
Besides the return of Vickers, Mangini said there was nothing new on the remaining restricted free agents, including linebackers D’Qwell Jackson, Matt Roth and safety Abe Elam. All three have missed all of the OTA practices.
Mangini did say the coaching staff was trying to keep the players abreast of what the team is doing.
“We’re trying to get them information to keep them current.”
OTAs End, Minicamp Next: Monday ends the Browns OTAs, with a mandatory minicamp coming up at the end of the week, Thursday June 10 through Sat. June 12.
Mangini explained the difference.
“It is an extension, but it’s accelerated,” he said. “In OTAs, you go three days a week. In a mandatory minicamp, you have the same base to build off but it’s happening much faster. It’s nice from a coaching perspective because you have time to put it in.”
Colt Update: QB Colt McCoy is doing everything he’s been asked of by the coaching staff and Mangini said he’s pleased with his progress.
“He’s not getting a lot of reps, but he’s doing a good job of picking things up,” Mangini said.
Mangini said that McCoy has been burning up the phone lines with offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
“He’s relentless,” Mangini said. “Brian’s at home and he gets a call. Brian’s driving somewhere and he gets a call. Brian’s probably talking to Colt more than his wife.”
Bike Brigade: Mangini said the players who have been sitting out OTAs will most likely sit out the minicamp, as well. Those include P Dave Zastudil and DL Shaun Rogers.
“The guys sitting out are still sitting out in terms of rehab,” Mangini said. “They’re probably not going to participate during the minicamp. They participate in all of the meetings. After that, we leave it up to the doctors with the goal of having them ready for training camp.
Cribbs Change Roles?: Mangini was asked if WR/KR Josh Cribbs might be taken off of the coverage teams.
“That’s a tough question because he’s so valuable there,” Mangini said. “With a guy like him he can make a game-changing play and that’s what you like about him. I think he’s continuing to improve as a receiver and it’s just trying to find the best way to utilize him.”
Mangini said one possibility would be to not have Cribbs cover punts and kickoffs early in games.
“We’ve done it in the past when a guy comes in and covers later in the game.”