By Dan Williams @Dan_Wi11iams on June 1, 2014
Organized Team Activities typically do not provide much insight into a team's season outlook, but for the Cleveland Browns OTAs have been anything but quiet. The Browns have been in the headlines regularly since activities began, so here are five things we've learned from the Browns' OTAs in Berea, Ohio.
This offseason, the Browns signed veterans Nate Burleson, Karlos Dansby, Paul McQuistan and Donte Whitner to help guide the younger Browns' up-and-comers. Luckily for Cleveland, the newly signed free agents are all capable of being top contributors for a Browns team going through yet another transition year. These free agents, along with Joe Thomas and Ahtyba Rubin, will serve as extensions of coaches on the field.
Browns' new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is looking to bring the same approach to Cleveland that allowed Alfred Morris to break out in his rookie season of 2012. Running backs Ben Tate, Terrance West and Dion Lewis will be called upon to carry the offense as Cleveland attempts to establish the running game throughout the season, which is something the Browns were unable to do last season.
When the Browns drafted Johnny Manziel last month, they made it known that he would have to earn the backup role in Cleveland. When OTAs kicked off, Manziel was taking reps with the third team behind Brian Hoyer and Tyler Thigpen, but he has since assumed the second-team snaps. While he's moved up during OTAs, Manziel will need to continue to put in the work if he wants to keep the role and push Hoyer to start.
After his breakout season in 2013, Josh Gordon's future looked to be extremely bright in Cleveland. When it was announced that Gordon had tested positive for illegal substances once again, his season was brought into question. With a potential suspension looming, Gordon was recently pulled over for speeding but made news after one of his passengers was caught with marijuana. The Browns have indicated that they're backing the troubled young star.
Manziel was one of the most documented draftees coming out of college, so it's no surprise that he will be under the microscope throughout his first year in Cleveland and beyond. NFL fans had their first taste of Manziel controversy when he partied in Las Vegas during his first break in OTAs. Although Manziel says he will continue to live life the way he wants, he should lay low during his rookie season to avoid more negative attention.
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