Cleveland Browns Roster Battles To Watch


Sep 29, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer (6) passes under pressure from Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson (93) and Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Wallace Gilberry (95) during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Things are a-changing for the Cleveland Browns and their roster needs sorting out in the worst way from top to bottom.  What are some battles to watch?

Quarterback:  Brian Hoyer vs. Johnny Manziel

There is no debating which roster battle Cleveland Browns fans will be tracking throughout the 2014 off-season.  That is the showdown between veteran Brian Hoyer and much-hyped rookie Johnny Manziel.  Hoyer has the edge in experience and played well last season for Cleveland before tearing his ACL.  Manziel of course is considered the future of the team and by latest reports is taking the most practice reps.  The true results of this race won’t be decided likely until the preseason, and it should be fun to watch.

Running Back:  Ben Tate vs. Terrance West

Ben Tate was the first running back to get a new contract in free agency.  He feels he’s ready to become a starter in the NFL after spending years as a backup to Arian Foster.  Cleveland is giving him that shot, but not for free.  Given his injury history, the Browns decided to add some insurance with 3rd round pick Terrance West.  The small school phenom has a solid all-around game and the look of an every-down runner.  If Tate does not work hard or gets hurt, the rookie could swipe the top spot away from him.

Slot CB:  Buster Skrine vs. Pierre Desir

The addition of Justin Gilbert gives the Cleveland Browns defense a legitimate athlete who can become another shutdown corner opposite star Joe Haden.  That in turn leaves a competition to hold for the coveted slot corner position.  Buster Skrine, whom Gilbert will replace seems like the obvious choice but there could be another option looming in the background.  Pierre Desir, much like teammate West, comes out of a small school at Lindenwood but brings bigtime ability.  His size, athleticism and quickness allow him to matchup with receivers one-on-one.  The main issue for him is technique.  Skrine has the experience and talent of his own, but Desir will certainly give him a push if nothing else.