In Terry Pluto’s latest “Terry’s Talkin” he projects Jason Pinkston and John Greco as the Browns’ starters at guard heading into camp, leaving Shawn Lauvao the odd man out.
I sense this staff is not nearly as high on Shaun Lauvao as the previous staff. My guess is they would open with Jason Pinkston and John Greco at the guards, Lauvao on the bench. That assumes Pinkston remains healthy. He had a major scare with blood clots last season. These coaches believe Greco is a solid pro who did a good job filling in for Pinkston in 2012. They have some younger players such as seventh-rounder Garrett Gilkey as guard possibilities, but it’s hard to see how they would emerge as starters this season.
Lauvao started all 32 games for the Browns over the last two seasons, but has been widely considered the weak point of the line. Leading up to last April’s draft Alabama’s Chance Warmack seemed like a strong possibility for the Browns picking at six in April’s draft because of Lauvao’s struggles and the medical issues with Pinkston.
With Pinkston back and Greco slotted in on the other side of Alex Mack, the Browns will need to find a way to improve line play in 2013. Despite being ranked the 5th best offensive line in the NFL last year by Pro Football Focus, those who watched the Browns running game last year saw Richardson and Hardesty running into brick walls far too many times instead of open holes at the line.