Thank you Colt McCoy. Thank you for showing that given adequate reps in practice you are at least a #3 quarterback in this league. It makes one decision in Berea a lot easier. No, Colt wasn’t going to be cut, but the Browns can rest easy letting go of Brett Ratliff. Other decisions will not be as easy.
Here are my guesses at who stays and who goes.
QBs: Delhomme, Wallace and McCoy. Delhomme’s job coming into camp was to limit turnovers (at least interceptions) and run the offense efficiently. He was successful in that aspect and then some. Here’s hoping that when the regular season rolls around he keeps that poise and efficiency. Wallace proved to be a very capable back-up. He will see time regardless of Delhomme’s success.
Cut: Brett Ratliff. If he isn’t picked up by another team, there is a chance he could see the practice squad.
RBs: Harrison, Hillis, Davis, Vickers, Hardesty. Here’s where it gets a little dicey. If Hardesty’s injury is serious it would not surprise me to see another name added to this list. For the record I had Davis making the team prior to Hardesty’s injury. With Harrison’s FA status next season, and the Browns’ reluctance to hand him the starting job or a contract extension, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him bolt after this year. Letting Davis get picked up by another team would be foolish.
Cut: Chris Jennings. Unless that knee of Hardesty’s puts him on IR or the PUP list. He would be another practice squad candidate if he made it through waivers.
OL: Lauvao, Mack, Pashos, St. Clair, Steinbach, Thomas, Womack, Kooistra. The Browns did well in drafting Lauvao. The only spots left in doubt are RT and back-up center. Womack and Pashos both probably moved ahead of St. Clair on the depth chart, but that still won’t be enough to send the big man packing. The Browns will likely look hard at anyone with center experience that is cut the next few days. That could send Kooistra to the practice squad.
Cut: Paul Faniaka, Pat Murray, Billy Yates, Joel Reinders. The Lauvao at center experiment last night probably sealed Faniaka’s fate. Reinders’ own performance was his undoing.
WRs: Cribbs, Massaquoi, Mitchell, Robiskie, Stuckey. I think the Browns keep Haggerty as well, but he probably goes to the DL. Engram is the wildcard here.
Cut: Jake Allen, Bobby Engram, Syndric Steptoe. Of all the spots I’m probably wrong on, Steptoe is the most glaring. I ask you however, what about Steptoe can’t you get from the players above? Plus the Browns have shown they are quite willing to move a TE out wide.
TEs: Moore, Smith, Watson. Wait a minute, that means…
Cut: Robert Royal. Yep. The Browns have never liked his hands. Yes, he is the best blocking TE on the squad. But Vickers and Hillis could fill that role on occasion, and Ben Watson has been around the league long enough to know some tricks. Evan Moore and Alex Smith both can line up wide and help the WR corps. Like I said, these are my picks. I’m probably wrong. Sue me.
DL: Adams, Coleman, Geathers, Mosley, Rogers, Rubin, Schaefering, Smith. The Browns need to rotate in as many guys as possible along that front to keep them fresh. I think Titus Adams and Brian Schaefering made real progress this off-season.
Cut: Travis Ivey, Swanson Miller, Derrick Robinson, Brian Sanford, Kwaku Danso. Robinson was one of my last guys cut. I think he makes the practice squad easily.
LBs: Barton, Benard, Bowens, Costanzo, Fujita, Gocong, Jackson, Roth, Maiava. Tough group to make cuts. I think I could be wrong on two or three of these easily.
Cut: Titus Brown, Jason Trusnik, David Veikune. I only think one of the kick coverage specialists gets a roster spot this year, meaning a battle between Trusnik, Costanzo and Sorensen. Even before Nick’s concussion he was on shaky ground because he is the worst of the group at his natural position (safety). Would I be surprised if trusnik made the team? No, but I would be a little surprised if he made it over Costanzo.
DBs: Adams, Asante, Brown, Elam, Haden, McDonald, Smith, Ward, Wright. A lot of youth here. A lot of potential. This group needs to grow as the season progresses and I believe they will. DeAngelo Smith gets the 53rd spot on my card. Congrats.
Cut: Chris Chancellor, Coye Francies, Nick Sorensen. Coye had a decent showing in the final preseason game. It is probably too little too late.
ST: Dawson, Hodges, Pontbriand. Can’t forget everyone’s favorite longsnapper!