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What about the receivers?

May 8, 2010 - Mike McLain

The new Browns management team has aggressively attacked problem areas in the offseason, but there's still a noticable absence of attention being paid to the corps of receivers.

No receivers have been signed since the start of free agency in early March and only one was among the eight draft choice -- sixth-round pick Carlton Mitchell of South Florida. Mitchell is a developmental player that cna't be expected to play a major role as a rookie.

So ponder this fans -- Mohamed Massaquoi and ? as the starting receivers. At this time there's no one else to pencil in opposite Massaquoi, who had a decent rookie season with 34 receptions.

Joshua Cribbs is mentioned every season, but when is the plug going to be pulled on that failed experiment? For as great an athlete as he is, Cribbs isn't a naturtal receiver.

Brian Robiskie had a terrible rookie season, which makes him a longshot candidate to earn a starting job. Players have been known to make major leaps from their rookie to second season, but it would be asking a lot of Robiskie to go from seven receptions last season to starting status.

Mike Furrey might be the best candidate, bur he's a free agent without a job. Furrey finished last season at safety to help that depleted group.

There isn't much left to pick from in the free-agent pool, unless the Browns want to roll the dice on Terrell Owens for one season. Buffalo did that last year, and it turned out horribly.

Owens has clearly lost a step. Plus, he remains a headache that coach Eric Mangini doesn't need as he tries to secure employment beyond next season.

Can you see Owens having to run a lap during training camp after making a mistake? I can't either.

Until the Browns add legitimate receivers to the roster, opponents will load the box to stop the run without respecting the aerial game. They'll then wait for quarterback Jake Delhomme to throw an interception, which he threw 18 of in 11 games last season for the Caroline Panthers.

General manager Tom Heckert has generally done a fine job in a short time on the job, but he better start paying attention to the receivers. Not the one on the roster but the ones he needs to add to the mix.




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