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News » Cleveland Browns Inside Slant 2008-08-04


Cleveland Browns Inside Slant 2008-08-04


Cleveland Browns Inside Slant 2008-08-04
The Browns want to come out of this training camp knowing who their third receiver is while Joe Jurevicius recovers from knee surgery July 1, and so far the job belongs to Travis Wilson.


Wilson, a third-round draft choice from Oklahoma in 2006, emerged from spring practice and June minicamp as one of the most improved players on the Browns roster. That improvement has continued in training camp.

"The confidence he gained in OTAs and the minicamp has carried over here to the training camp," coach Romeo Crennel said. "I think he has more confidence in the routes he's running and knowing what he's doing. It shows up."

One day after being selected by the Browns, Wilson declared himself the best receiver in the 2006 draft. Then he held out briefly. He has had trouble shaking those two incidents until now.

As for being the best receiver in 2006, he has a ways to go to prove that. Santonio Holmes (52 catches with the Steelers last year) and Greg Jennings (53 catches with the Packers) were among the receivers drafted ahead of Wilson.

It took Wilson two years of frustration to figure out athletic ability wasn't enough to succeed in the NFL. He caught two passes as a rookie. Last year, he was inactive for every game. He was healthy, but was always one of eight players on the inactive list. He would talk about how every week he thought he would be playing in the next game. Somewhere around Dec. 1 he started to get the idea 2007 would be a lost season for him.

"As soon as last season ended, everyone else probably wanted to rest," Wilson said. "I wanted to get to where we are right now.

"The last two years have given me some motivation. I'm learning my plays inside and out and to believe in myself. Now I can play full speed and play football like I have since I was little. My biggest problem was I would run and not have a clear mind. Now I know the plays like the back of my hand."

Getting playing time this year still won't be easy. Braylon Edwards is ready to pick up where he left off last year, and Donte Stallworth is back practicing after missing the start of camp with a pulled hamstring.

Wilson's competition for the third spot was Kevin Kasper at the start of camp, but Kasper is nursing a hamstring injury and cannot practice. Wilson has excelled while Kasper has been sidelined.

Tim Carter was the third receiver last year. He caught eight passes and scored one touchdown. Jurevicius would likely be used more than Carter was. It is up to Wilson to prove to offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski he can be as reliable as Jurevicius.

"I faced a lot of great athletes in college who are in the pros now," Wilson said. "You can't make mistakes at this level. That was my biggest problem last year. The coaches didn't have confidence I would make plays consistently. Consistency and eliminating the mental errors is the biggest thing they want out of you."

No player was dogged by the coaches more than Wilson was last year. Looking back, Wilson said it meant the coaches still thought he could play; if they thought he was worthless they would have given up on him.

"Now is my time to show them they won't have to second-guess why they did that," Wilson said.

CAMP CALENDAR: Training camp for the Browns ends Aug. 16.


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Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: August 4, 2008

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