Why didn’t the Browns develop Travis Wilson more last year?Posted: May 31, 2007
Romeo, oh Romeo? You guys won, what 4 games? Why didn’t you have Travis Wilson out there instead of Grandpa Northcutt?
Here’s a great article on how Travis Wilson is doing this spring
Browns’ Wilson sets sights high
t sounds like a swell prize when the Browns’ brass says, “That third spot is up for grabs.”
Travis Wilson is in no-thanks mode, reaching two rungs higher.
“In my mind and in my heart,” the 2006 third-round draft pick said, “I compete for No. 1.”
WHO’S AHEAD OF HIM
Star-in-waiting Braylon Edwards and veteran Joe Jurevicius are the No. 1 and No. 2 receivers on the spring depth chart.
No. 3 can be key. On the 2002 playoff team, Quincy Morgan (964 yards), Kevin Johnson (703) and Dennis Northcutt (601) made a difference. Northcutt had a six-catch, 92-yard game going in the playoffs at Pittsburgh when he dropped a game-clinching floater.
Someone from among Wilson, third-year pro Joshua Cribbs and Tim Carter, a former Giant, figures to be the third man this autumn.
“That’s the way it looks right now on paper,” Wilson said, “but the way I treat every day, I’m going for the No. 1 spot.”
TWO CATCHES AS A ROOKIE
Talk about a jump over the Grand Canyon.
Wilson caught two passes as a rookie behind a top four of Edwards, Jurevicius, Northcutt and Cribbs. Coaches were in job-saving mode, not inclined to test rookies. The inside view was that Wilson needed to mature, show a better grasp of the offense and be sharper in practice.
“I have a whole year of maturity, of learning how to be a pro,” Wilson said after a spring practice. “I understand what it takes to be successful … hard work in the weight room and conditioning, a better understanding of the playbook.”
Wilson seems as self-confident as when he said he was the best receiver in the 2006 draft. He was picked after Santonio Holmes, Chad Jackson, Sinorice Moss, Greg Jennings and Devin Hester.
“What I said might have come out wrong to some,” Wilson said, “but I feel whatever you do in life, you should think you’re the best and make yourself better. That’s what makes the great people great.”
The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder says he has run the 40 in 4.4 flat. He has long arms, jumping ability and flexibility. One thing that caught scouts’ eyes was his knack for changing direction, a key to getting open.
He became a first-round prospect as an Oklahoma junior, then slipped as a senior amid a quarterback change and injuries. He was invisible as an NFL rookie.
DRAFT PICKS NEED TO HELP
One organizational goal coming off a 4-12 year is for the scouting and coaching departments to work together better to develop young players. A specific goal for 2007 is to get help from at least two of last year’s mid-level draft picks – Wilson, offensive lineman Isaac Sowells, cornerback Demario Minter and running back Jerome Harrison.
The most flattering snapshot of Wilson comes from late in his junior year at Oklahoma: Nine catches, 135 yards against Nebraska; three catches for first downs in the Big 12 title game against Colorado; seven catches, two TDs in the Orange Bowl against Southern Cal.
As an NFL rookie, he was stuck behind a guy on his way out (Northcutt) in a season going nowhere. Wouldn’t it have made sense to develop the kid?
“Of course, you’re gonna have that in your mind,” Wilson said, “but you’ve got to put your faith in the coaches.”
New Offensive Coordinator Rob Chudzinski is at last considering putting more faith in Wilson.