Karlos Dansby appears to be as advertised: Training Camp Notes 08.12.14


It wasn’t one of those really action-packed days at camp today. Not a ton of “oohs and ahs” in the crowd. Still, there were some things of note.

I love watching Karlos Dansby play linebacker…

There wasn’t a specific highlight or anything, but I’m enjoying watching first-year Brown Karlos Dansby play. He seems to always be in the right place at the right time. We’ll know soon if he’s still young, athletic and explosive enough to be a difference-maker for real, but everything I’ve read about this defense says that like G.I. Joe, “knowing is half the battle.” Dansby really seems to have that instinct to be in the right place and at the right time where he occasionally blasts into the backfield to get a runner behind the line of scrimmage. I don’t know if that’s just practice or whether that’s an advantage for real, but I’m looking forward to seeing him suit up this Monday against the Redskins to see.

Joe Haden provided one giant highlight…

Cornerback Joe Haden was late to cover over the middle. I think it was a Brian Hoyer connection with receiver Taylor Gabriel. (Gabriel has shown well in camp, by the way.) Gabriel caught the pass, which was a little bit high, and had it up over his head for a split second before he was going to secure it. Haden might have been late to cover, but not late to make a play. He flat out stole the ball in an amazingly athletic maneuver, skipping the hit entirely. It set the defensive sideline off completely. It’s one of those plays that you figure only a handful of corners in the league can make.

What long passes?

Wide receiver Josh Gordon was working on the bike today, and the Browns continue to await his fate on the suspension appeal, but it’s troubling how little the Browns can get vertical. No matter which quarterback is throwing to which receivers, the Browns aren’t generally successful challenging deep in the secondary. Even a couple of the Willie Snead receptions that have gone long, the passes were within the first ten yards or so with a bursting run thereafter.

Speaking of receivers, can you bet on these guys?

I’ve said it before alerady, but it’s terrifying to think that the Browns could be set to go into the season with some approximation of Miles Austin, Nate Burleson and Andrew Hawkins as their starting wide receivers. Pettine was asked which younger wide receivers have stuck out and the first three he named were Taylor Gabriel, Charles Johnson and Willie Snead. I am not down on those guys in particular, but it’s pretty scary to see their growing pains as younger players in camp and think that the Browns are “good” at receiver.

Running the ball again and again…

The receiver issues make it all that much more notable that the Browns are working as hard on the running game as I’ve ever seen since I’ve covered camp. It’s no accident that this team signed Ben Tate and drafted Joel Bitonio and Terrance West. That’s quarterback and receiver insurance.

Depth Chart shakeup…

It’s also notable that in this reception-starved offense, the Browns shifted MarQueis Gray into the pool of tight ends and now have only Ray Agnew as a fullback on the team. The pre-season box scores are mostly meaningless, but Gray was the leading receiver for the Browns against the Lions making two catches for 51 yards. He’s not your typical offensive weapon, but whatever he is, he’s currently considered a tight end. For the record, Pettine tried to de-emphasize the depth chart once again. It’s a league mandate that he doesn’t seem to have much time for.

One Browns media note on the pre-game front…

We don’t often cover media around here, but two recent WFNY Podcast guests are teaming up for Browns pre-game this season and I couldn’t be happier. Zac Jackson will be appearing on 92.3 the Fan on Browns Sundays with Anthony Lima and I think it will provide a really cool and different vibe to the pre-game radio experience. I find both of those guys entertaining (as you probably could tell from the podcasts) and can’t wait to hear how it sounds.

  • mgbode

    yep, WR is most definitely an area for concern. hopefully, we can figure out how to create space for them through play-action and pocket mobility so that they can in-turn create space for the runners. if not, it’s going to make everything tougher.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Great recap as always. Where can one see the depth chart?

  • Colin Hass-Hill

    Here’s the latest depth chart:

    Benjamin first at both KR and PR. I wouldn’t use OurLads right now. They don’t update very quickly.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Theirs has Grossman and says updated today, this has Thigpen…

  • Colin Hass-Hill

    This one is actually from yesterday, not today (top left says August 11). My mistake. However, Our Lads is still wrong as they list Gray at FB. I think that one I posted is correct sans the Thigpen-Grossman release and signing. I haven’t found seen the depth chart the Browns released today with Grossman.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    OK thanks!

  • Harv 21

    Per Terry Pluto today, Pettine didn’t even know Gray was changed to TE designation until told by media, So I’d take him at his word that the chart is not meaningful to him yet.

    In my mind the receiver situation is another reason to open with Hoyer. Farmer must be pouring over veteran receivers who may be late cuts elsewhere, but those guys won’t have the terminology down in the 10 days between final cuts and the opener, never mind any sort of chemistry with the QB. The Steelers defense crowding the box with their crowd roaring in Johnny’s first game at real speed and intensity? No thanks. Just no reason to make his initiation a certain failure.

  • CB Everett

    Initiation? Don’t you mean coronation?!

    Re: JFF possibly starting against the Steelers, I’m all for delayed gratification with the heir to the throne. Let him sit and watch. No need to throw him to Dick Lebeau and the Wolves (Garry, another band name to consider)