By Dan Williams @Dan_Wi11iams on June 14, 2014
The 2014 Cleveland Browns have numerous new faces on the roster. When a new coaching staff enters the picture, old and new teammates start from scratch and vie to start the season as the No. 1 player on the depth chart. Here are five players who are climbing up the Cleveland Browns' depth chart during OTAs.
Sheard is a player who has experience starting, but his known position is still up in the air. He has said that he's been lining up along the defensive line more than he's done in the past. While the line isn't new territory for Sheard, he will be fighting for a starting position in the rotation at either DE or OLB. His ability to get to the QB has helped him throughout OTAs.
Last year was Mingo's rooking season, and while he saw plenty of action, he was never able to establish himself on the defense. Now with a new coaching staff, Mingo has had the ability to display just why he was selected by the Browns in the first round of the 2013 draft. After Quentin Grove's release, Mingo now has the ability to take over a starting spot, especially if Sheard finds himself along the defensive line.
When OTAs began, Johnny Manziel was notably the third-string QB behind Brian Hoyer and Tyler Thigpen. It was also widely reported that Manziel would be treated as a backup quarterback. Now, Manziel has risen to second-string, but the coaching staff has claimed to be fully behind Hoyer as the starter. But if we've learned anything from the Browns, it's that nothing will happen until we get to Week 1.
When the Browns drafted cornerback Justin Gilbert with their first overall choice, it was thought that he would be battling for the starting position opposite Joe Haden. However, fourth-round selection Pierre Desir has been displaying the type of play it takes to be a mainstay in the NFL. Now the battle has come down to Desir and Gilbert, both of whom have shown they can play up to the NFL's speed.
Newly signed Ben Tate has claimed that he's not worried about anyone competing with him to be the starting running back for the Browns; however, Terrance West said that he's gunning for Tate's spot in the backfield. West has impressed the coaching staff with his work ethic and running style. He's mentioned that Cleveland has plans for him this year and that the Browns fully expect him to be a big part of the offense.
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