BEREA-- Two of the biggest defensive players in camp are rookie defensive linemen Kwaku Danso and Cliff Geathers.
Danso is listed at 6-5 and 336 pounds, while Geathers is a mere 6-7 and 300 pounds. Geathers was drafted in the sixth-round from South Carolina, while Danso is an undrafted free agent from East Carolina and a native of Kumasi, Ghana.
Even though he’s a rookie, Danso is 28 years old, while Geathers is just 22. Mangini wouldn’t dismiss Danso because of his age.
“I like his size and intelligence,” Eric Mangini said of Danso. “Defensive linemen are really hard to evaluate at this time of year. You really try to spend time evaluating at this time, but it’s when they put on the pads, we will be able to see what they can do.”
Mangini likes the raw physical size of Geathers, but knows he has to learn the nuances of the NFL game.
“He’s a big, big man and has long arms,” Mangini said. “He has to focus on that and train his body to stay low to get the leverage.”
Geathers took a few swings at offensive linemen in Thursday afternoon’s practice and Mangini wasn’t pleased with his actions.
“It’s not compelling,” he said. “We’re going to shut that down. A guy could break his hand or get injure someone. There are enough times in practice or games to hit. I’ve talked to the players and it’s very important to keep their emotions in check.”
Special Nick: DB Nick Sorenson is entering his 10th NFL season and has yet to start an NFL game. Sorenson has made a career on special teams.
Mangini said there’s no secret why he keeps showing up on the roster.
“He’s outstanding on special teams,” he said. “There are a lot of guys who have never started a game like Larry Izzo, who have played well.”
Robaire on Izzo: Everyone has a take on Cavs superstar LeBron James and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and the Cavs’ interest in teaming the two together next year.
Former Michigan State star and Flint, Mi. resident Robaire Smith was asked his thoughts.
“Bring the King and Izz together,” Smith said after practice. “I think (Izzo) has great rapport with his players. He will do a great job (if he comes to the Cavs).”