Browns fans certainly aren’t complaining about the additions of Odell Beckham Jr. and Oilvier Vernon. But adding them came at a cost as the Browns gave up, among other things, former guard Kevin Zeitler.
Now, one week into training camp the void left by Zeitler is a festering concern for first year head coach Freddie Kitchens to sort out.
The latest development in the battle for starting right guard came Thursday, when Austin Corbett was back with the first team for a third time. Corbett started camp with the ones as well, but has been rotating in with Eric Kuch and Kyle Kails ever since. To this point none of them have impressed enough to pull ahead on the totem poll. There’s no reason to believe that trend won’t continue throughout camp despite offensive coordinator Todd Monken downplaying the situation.
“To say that we do not have an idea is a little bit of a stretch,” Monken said. “I would just say there is competition there like a lot of positions. Whether it is the backend of your roster or specific positions, I do not think we are any different than the rest of the NFL. Very rarely do you have 22 positions where you know exactly where your starters are.”
Still, Corbett’s inability to seize the starting job quickly remains one of the bigger concerns of training camp so far. Because the Browns used the 33rd overall pick on Corbett in the 2018 draft, the expectations on him are much higher than his competitors.
Despite primarily playing tackle in college, Cleveland slowly discovered last August that Corbett’s skillset made him better suited to be an interior offensive lineman. Whether or not he can be a starter though, clearly remains to be seen. The team’s four looming preseason games could provide the first real indication of who is the true front-runner at right guard.