This Sunday the Cleveland Browns take on the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Despite both teams being out of the playoffs, many young men will be fighting for their livelihood on Sunday. The Browns have a tremendous amount of players who may or may not be around in 2013. Here’s a look at some players who I think have something to prove still.
As one of the youngest teams in the NFL, Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner look to disassemble. Only the strong will survive. That’s why it is imperative for one last time to show what you bring to the table. A player like Buster Skrine is a prime example who is trying to keep his NFL dreams alive. Skrine has been what I like to call, “crispy chicken deluxed” for most of the season. Skrine was beat by many wide receivers in the past fifteen games. His chances dwindle away game by game. Would a strong showing Sunday help his chances?
How about Shawn Lauvao? Every fan I talk to has the Browns in serious need of help at the offensive guard position. Lauvao has stayed healthy all season and has done a decent job on the right side. Is it enough though to earn him a job next year?
Who could forget about the energetic Kaluka Maiava? I have always liked the former fourth round pick. Unfortunately, he is just not starter material. Is there anything that Maiava could do so that he could be running out of the tunnel next year in Cleveland Browns Stadium?
Perhaps the biggest name is Montario Hardesty. To give him credit though, Hardesty has ran hard when given the opportunity this year. On 51 attempts, Hardesty has 234 yards and a touchdown. The former second round pick averages over four and half yards per carry. Would a monster game against the Steelers’ tough defense up Hardesty chances for 2013? We will soon see.
Lets hope that the Owen Marecic plan is over. Not even a four touchdown, 200 yard day would save Marecic from the depths of being cut next year. The Browns were better off moving him to linebacker when they had the chance. Or better yet, why isn’t Lawrence Vickers a Brown still?
There are two players I wish we would have got to see more this season; Josh Cooper and Jordan Cameron. While Cooper should get an opportunity in this final game, Cameron most likely will not. Cameron has been out with a concussion and has not practiced all week. Cooper has Wes Welker type potential if given the opportunity.
The nucleus is there for this young team. Now, it’s just a matter of weeding out the average players by making smart decisions in the draft and free agency. The final game of the season will give one last snap shot to the powers that be.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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