CLEVELAND, Ohio — The learning curve from college football to the NFL has always been steep. But now it’s more challenging with the spread of, well, spread offenses across the college landscape.
Simplified schemes with calls and checks coming from the sideline means players are less prepared than ever when they arrive at the game’s highest level.
That’s part of why Senior Offensive Assistant Coach Al Saunders, tasked with developing the Browns’ young group of wideouts — including four they drafted a year ago — sounded optimistic about his charges on Thursday following the close of minicamp.
“We always talk about when you come into a new program, it’s like learning a new language,” he said. “Now most of them are totally fluent in the foreign language they learned, being the Cleveland Browns offense and they’ve adapted dramatically. They’re playing so much faster.”
The Browns didn’t draft a wide receiver this year and they lost their top receiver from a season ago in Terrelle Pryor. So the spotlight is squarely on the group of second year wide receivers. Corey Coleman is expected to pair with Kenny Britt at the top of the depth chart, but the No. 3 spot is wide open — and Coleman was barely on the field this offseason, dealing with yet another injury.
The hope around camp is that Ricardo Louis can fill that role. His versatility and ability to run after the catch could make him a dangerous weapon. He came to the Browns, though, from Auburn with a reputation for dropped passes. He caught just 98 passes in four seasons as a Tiger, but his penchant for big plays made him an enticing prospect.
Last season, Louis…
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