“That is a good question,” Bitonio said. “I think (Head) Coach (Hue Jackson) is going to come back Wednesday and give us a definite answer. I am ready for both [tackle and guard], though. Whatever they put me at, I am ready to go and play some football finally.”
— Fred Greetham (@FredGreetham) September 3, 2018
Bitonio has spent his entire four year as the Browns left guard. He was moved to left tackle during training camp. The coaching staff decided ‘Plan Z’ to be the best option in replacing Joe Thomas at left tackle.
Now the coaching staff could be calling an audible. Bitonio may return to his old position of left guard. Jackson may start undrafted rookie Desmond Harrison at left tackle. An undrafted rookie might be the first player to start at left tackle. So why would Jackson decide to take this approach?
“He has improved,” Jackson said. “It gives you another option to look through to see who are the best five guys to put out there. I have seen a lot of good things over the last week and a half. My job is to make sure that we put the best players out there, period. Whatever position it is, that is what we are supposed to do. In those situations, that is what we are going to do.”
“I know he hasn’t played against the ones all the time,” Bitonio said. “When he’s been out there he’s made some good plays. We’re just making sure he has the right mindset and understands what he’s doing every play.”
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 3, 2018
If Bitonio goes back to left guard, it means rookie second round pick Austin Corbett is the odd man out. The former Nevada Wolfpack offensive linemen have worked well together on the left side of the rebuilding offensive line.
The Browns will not announce who will start at left tackle in the opener against Pittsburgh until later in the week, perhaps as early as Wednesday. Joel Bitonio played left tackle in preseason after spending his career at left guard, and said: "I'm… https://t.co/FExqQItkKX
— PatMcManamon (@PatMcManamon) September 3, 2018
A final decision may come on Wednesday when the Browns return to practice. No matter where Bitonio lines up, he’s confident in his game.
“I have done it for a long time,” Bitonio said. “Hopefully, it is like riding a bike. I am sure if I am playing left guard I will get enough reps in practice this week to be ready to go.
”He has been working at tackle. He has been working at guard,” Jackson said. I think that we will be fine. Whatever we decide to do is going to be what is best for the football team.”
No matter what position Bitonio starts at this season, there is one thing that matters to him.
“We gotta win some f***ing games before we start talking about playoffs” – Joel Bitonio #Browns
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) September 3, 2018
“We gotta win some (expletive) football games.”
Scott Piker is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Browns. So follow him on twitter @ScottPikerSport