REPORT DATES: July 24th (rookies), July 26th (veterans)
SITE: Cleveland Browns Training and Administrative Complex, Berea, OH
CAMP OBJECTIVES: The future will be now as the Browns prepare for the second year of the Pat Shurmur era, with the team's top three choices in this past draft all slated to become major contributors to a transitioning offense. Cleveland intends to sink or swim with overaged rookie Brandon Weeden at the quarterback position, and how the 28-year-old former baseball player fares in grasping the system will determine the eventual fates of deposed starter Colt McCoy and veteran backup Seneca Wallace, both of whom are prime candidates to be either traded or released. There's little debate or controversy over who will start at running back, with former Alabama star Trent Richardson locked into lead duties after being tabbed with the third overall pick in April, but there'll be a fierce competition between oft-injured Montario Hardesty and third-down specialist Brandon Jackson to be the primary understudy. Second- round selection Mitchell Schwartz also opens camp as a starter at right tackle, while keep an eye on wide receiver Josh Gordon, a raw but physically- gifted wide receiver whom the Browns took in the second round of this month's supplemental draft. If up to the challenge, the Baylor product could push for a significant role on an nondescript pass-catching corps. The greatest area of uncertainty on defense lies at tackle, where returning regular Phil Taylor is expected to miss a good portion of the regular season with an offseason pectorals tear. Career reserve Scott Paxson will get first crack to be the replacement, though rookie draft picks John Hughes (3rd Round, Cincinnati) and Billy Winn (6th Round, Boise State) could have a say in the matter.
PRESEASON SCHEDULE (All Times Eastern):
Aug. 10 - at Detroit, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16 - at Green Bay, 8 p.m. Aug. 24 - vs. Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 30 - vs. Chicago, 8 p.m.