For the first time this preseason receivers Corey Coleman, Terrelle Pryor and Josh Gordon will be available, and possibly line-up together on the field.
Call them RG’s 3.
Coleman, the Browns’ first round pick – No. 15 overall, was having an outstanding camp before a hamstring injury slowed him down, Pryor has been spectacular in 2 preseason games catching 3 of 5 passes thrown his way for 109 yards – including a 50 yard touchdown last week against Atlanta – while Gordon will appear in a game of any kind for the first time since Dec. 21, 2014.
With potential trade conversation surrounding Gordon this week, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see him featured in a big way against the Buccaneers.
Regardless of Gordon’s fate, head coach Hue Jackson is going to get a glimpse of what he might have to play with come Week 5 when Gordon returns from his suspension on Oct. 9.
A year ago, the Browns had one of the most diminutive receiving corps with 3 of their most significant contributors at the position under 6 feet tall. The trio of Pryor, Gordon and Coleman tower over them by comparison giving Griffin 3 big targets to aim for while generating a curiosity and excitement offensively not seen in a long time.
Friday night’s dress rehearsal at Tampa Bay will hopefully answer many questions including:
– If center Cameron Erving plays, has his pass protection and shotgun snapping improved? Last week against the Falcons Erving chucked a ball 25 yards over Griffin’s head and he has had several snaps in camp and the first 2 preseason games that weren’t absolutely on the mark.
– Has Austin Pasztor secured the starting right tackle job or does Jackson need to revisit that position?
– Will Griffin continue to stay in the pocket and deliver footballs as calmly as he has in the first 2 preseason games? How much progress has he made getting beyond his first read and going through progressions? Griffin has gotten off to a solid start this preseason – 10-of-16 for 163 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception.
– Can the duo of Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson carry the load n the ground? Jackson entered camp wanting to be a run-first, ground and pound offense but will the weapons outside cause him to change that thinking and philosophy?
– Can the defense stop anybody? On the ground? Through the air? The Packers and Falcons combined to total 417 total yards with 145 coming on the ground in the first half against the first and second team defensive units while converting 10-of-19 on third down. Jackson already shook up the secondary by flipping Tramon Williams and Jamar Taylor, elevating Taylor to a starting slot last week. Will anyone show up on tape outside of rookies Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Nassib?. Nose tackle Danny Shelton has been virtually invisible with both defensive end spots next to him in flux.
– Will Patrick Murray continue to put distance between himself and Travis Coons for the kicking job?
Browns Probable Starters – OFFENSE: WR Josh Gordon, LT Joe Thomas, LG Joel Bitonio, C Cameron Erving, RG John Greco, RT Austin Pasztor, TE Gary Barnidge, WR Terrelle Pryor, QB Robert Griffin III, RB Isaiah Crowell, FB Malcolm Johnson
DEFENSE: DE John Hughes, NT Danny Shelton, DE Jamie Meder, OLB Paul Kruger, ILB Demario Davis, ILB Christian Kirksey, OLB Nate Orchard, CB Joe Haden, CB Jamar Taylor, FS Jordan Poyer, SS Ibraheim Campbell
Injury Report – OUT: CB K’Waun Williams (ankle/suspended), WR Ricardo Louis (hamstring), DL Nile Lawrence-Stample (shoulder), CB Trey Caldwell (hamstring); QUESTIONABLE: C Cameron Erving (ankle), TE Seth DeValve (hamstring)
Uniform – Brown jersey, white pants, brown socks
Kickoff – 8 p.m. Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, Florida
Radio/TV – 92.3 The Fan, 98.5 WNCX and the PNC Bank Cleveland Browns Radio Network; WOIO Cleveland 19 (CBS)