Monday, June 27, 2005

Browns Position Preview #1: Quarterback and Offensive Line

(Editor's note: This is my debut as a member of the All-Sports Ohio Network. Link here.)


8 Trent Dilfer

2004 (Seattle)52582543.133313
Career (11 years)110962620144055.217,03195105

When Trent Dilfer left Baltimore following the 2000 season, a year in which he helped them win the Super Bowl no less, everyone asked why the Ravens would give up on such a proven winner. Apparently, though, the decision to let Dilfer go wasn't made by current Browns GM Phil Savage (then with the Ravens). After four years as a backup in Seattle - a job that didn't give him much playing time due to the emergence of Matt Hasselbeck - Trent Dilfer is back in a starting role. The 1997 Pro Bowler is 53-43 in his 96 career starts.

12 Doug Johnson

2004 (Tennessee)2012650.06800
Career (5 years)251138421856.826001318

The brunt of Doug Johnson's NFL experience came in the 2003 season, where he made eight starts filling in for the injured Michael Vick. That year, he had 1655 yards passing, 8 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. Project that over 16 games, and that's not bad work for a backup. Last year, Johnson was the third stringer in Tennessee. Will the relative inexperience of the Browns' quarterbacks (only Dilfer and Johnson have seen NFL playing time), I predict that Johson will start the season as the second stringer. In time, though, don't be surprised if he gets bumped down the depth chart in favor of a progessing Charlie Frye.

9 Charlie Frye

2004 (U Akron)111134622063.62623188
Career (U Akron)4644143691363.611,0496432

A hometown kid (Willard, OH), Charlie Frye is said to be the real deal. Considered by some to be the best all-around quarterback at the combine this past year, Frye had 429 career rushing yards to go along with his 11,049 passing yards. This was good enough to make him #11 in the NCAA in career total offense. The rushing total would have been higher, too, had he not been made into more of a pocket passer his senior year to impress the scouts. It make take some time (rumor has it that Johnson was signed because Frye and Josh Harris looked shaky in early camps), but Charlie Frye has a chance to become the next hometown favorite at quarterback for the Browns.

5 Josh Harris

2004 (Baltimore/Cleveland)00000000
Career (1 year)00000000

Listed as an "athlete" in press releases of the Johnson signing, Josh Harris is just that. Harris had 7503 passing yards and 2473 rushing yards in his career at Bowling Green. In addition to quarterback, he played running back, kick returner, and punt returner as a freshman for the Falcons. Don't be surprised to see him add "reciever" to that list in the NFL. Interesting note: Josh is the son of Michael "ML" Harris, who spent 6 years with the Bengals.

Lang Campbell

2004 (William and Mary)141445529865.53988305
Career (William and Mary)??125849539.364945412

This year's "who dat?" special at quarterback, Lang Campbell comes in as an undrafted free agent. In his senior season, Campbell led his team to 11 wins and was given the Payton Award, Division I-AA football's highest honor. (Note: Campbell's career attempts/completions come from, and I'm not so sure that they're correct.)

Offensive Line

66 LJ Shelton LT

2004 (Arizona)129
Career (6 years)8277

LJ Shelton was Arizona's first round pick in the 1999 draft, and he went on to be a 6-year starter for the Cardinals. After being waived by Arizona, Shelton was signed by the Browns to replace the departing Ross Verba. Shelton is yet another MAC alum on this team; he is a graduate of Eastern Michigan.

63 Joe Andruzzi LG

2004 (New England)1616
Career (8 years)9576

When the first move of the Savage/Crennel era was to go out and sign free agent Joe Andruzzi, it was a sign that this new regime wasn't going to take the offensive line lightly. Not only is he a proven winner (three Super Bowl rings in New England), but he is just the kind of veteran class act that a young team needs. The hard working Andruzzi is heavily involved in community efforts including firefighters, muscular distrophy, and brain cancer research.

50 Jeff Faine C

2004 (Cleveland)1313
Career (2 years)2222

Jeff Faine is yet another controversial Butch Davis first round pick. Davis' offensive line coach never really seemed to like Faine, and that seemed to affect Faine's performance on the field. He appeared to be too concerned with helping out the guards, and often would let a linebacker run right through the spot he had just vacated. Even his tenacity and impressive work ethic from college seemed to slip away. When this year's first set of workouts came around, the press complained that Faine looked too skinny, and blamed it on his health-conscious diet. Still, Crennel thinks Faine is the man, and although I may be a bit biased, I think the coach is making the right choice.

60 Cosey Coleman RG

2004 (Tampa Bay)1616
Career (5 years)7163

Cosey Coleman was sign number 2 that the new Browns staff wasn't going to take the offensive line lightly. Everyone said that Cleveland needed a major improvement at guard. Along with Andruzzi, this former four year starter for the Buccaneers provides that improvement.

72 Ryan Tucker RT

2004 (Cleveland)77
Career (8 years)9668

A proven commodity when he came over from St. Louis in 2002, Ryan Tucker has been one of the lone bright spots of the "new Browns" offensive line. If Tucker can fully recover from last year's knee injury, Trent Dilfer et al. can spend their Saturday nights sleeping soundly, knowing that this line will do a fine job for them come Sunday afternoon.

70 Enoch DeMar G

2004 (Cleveland)1511
Career (2 years)2013

Enoch DeMar will be starting his third season with the Browns, after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2003. One of the line's super-subs in 2004, DeMar played in 15 games, starting 11 at left guard.

67 Melvin Fowler G/C

2004 (Cleveland)153
Career (3 years)3014

Highly regarded by his former line coach ("Melvin Fowler is a better center than Jeff Faine"), Melvin Fowler was the center of the future when he was taken in the third round of the 2002 draft. That bright future dimmed a bit when Jeff Faine was selected in the first round the following year. Perhaps most famous for having his jersey worn by Flavor Flav on The Surreal Life, Fowler is a versatile guard/center who should see decent backup time in this coming season.

78 Phil Bogle G/T

2004 (San Diego)00
Career (2 years)1513

A free agent signing at guard, Phil Bogle began his career in 2003 with San Diego. Injuries to the line that year allowed him to play in 15 games at right guard and right tackle, starting 13. Unfortunately for him, though, those injured players returned the next season, and following the first two games of 2004 (in which he was listed as inactive), he was released by the Chargers.

75 Javiar Collins T

2004 (Carolina/Cleveland)00
Career (4 years)114

Right tackle Javiar Collins spent time with Carolina and Cleveland in 2004, but did not see playing time with either team. His only game action came as a member of the Cowboys; in 2002 he played in 9 games and started 4 as injuries haunted the Dallas line.

68 Marcus Spears G/T

2004 (Houston)163
Career (11 years)10421

I believe the term "wily" was invented for guys like Marcus Spears. He is to an offensive line what a veteran utility infielder is to a baseball team. In his 11 year career, Spears has played everywhere on the line except center. Most of his time has been spent as a backup; 16 of his 21 career starts came with Kansas City in 2001.

62 Craig Osika C

2004 (Cleveland)00
Career (3 years)10

You can tell that Craig Osika football plays for the love of the game. He's spent the past two years bouncing up and down from Cleveland's practice squad. His only game appearance came in 2003 on special teams. It doesn't sound like much, but it's something that a lot of people would love to do just once.

71 Jonathan Dunn T

Virginia Tech stats unavailable

The Browns' 7th round pick this year, Jonathan Dunn became a starter at right tackle for the Hokies mid-way through his sophomore year.

65 Kirk Chambers T

2004 (Cleveland)60
Career (1 year)60

Cleveland's 6th round pick in 2004, Kirk Chambers played 6 games in his rookie year, mostly on special teams.

79 Lewis Dawson

2004 (Cleveland)00
Career (1 year)00

An undrafted rookie from the Citadel, Lewis Dawson spent 2004 on the Browns' practice squad.

68 Sterling Harris T

2004 (Cleveland)00
Career (1 year)00

Cleveland signed right tackle Sterling Harris as an undrafted free agent out of SMU. An early foot injury turned out to be season-ending, as he was placed on the Injured Reserve on September 1 of last year.

73 Greg Randall T

2004 (none)00
Career (4 years)5139

If it's an odd-numbered year, Greg Randall can expect to see good playing time. Randall started 16 games for New England in 2001 and for Houston in 2003. While with the Patriots in 2000 and 2002, he played in a combined 19 games with 7 starts. He was out of football last year after being released by St. Louis, but his track record shows that he should serve as at least a decent backup on any NFL team.

74 Clint Stickdorn T

2004 (U Cincinnati)1212
U Cincinnati career stats unavailable

Rounding out Cleveland's offensive line hopefuls is Clint Stickdorn, an undrafted free agent who played right tackle for the Cincinnati Bearcats.