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Browns rookie OG-C Shawn Lauvao's versatility was an asset in a 33-start career at Arizona State, and it has helped him early in his professional career.
The 6-foot-2, 315-pound Lauvao, who started at three different spots on the offensive line for the Sun Devils, received work as the Browns' first-team right guard while also getting snaps as a backup center early in training camp.
In an interview with PFW on Friday, Lauvao, a third-round pick, said he was "grateful" for the opportunities he had been given early in camp.
"I'm more than willing to do what the coaches want me to do," he said.
That has included work at center, a position he did not play at Arizona State but one he may have to play in a pinch in the regular season. Lauvao credits Browns starting C Alex Mack and reserve Billy Yates for helping him adjust to his new position.
"It's been a good experience," Lauvao said of playing center. "It's really broadened my horizons." He added, "It's allowed me to really have an overall understanding of what's going on, and it's allowed me to play much better."
Browns head coach Eric Mangini, speaking to Cleveland reporters earlier in August, said that Lauvao's ability to show he can play multiple positions along the interior of the line will be important to him earning a spot on the active roster.
"If he can build on that versatility where he can play center and guard, that improves his chances of going to the game that much more each week, because one guy can really play three spots," Mangini said. "He can play center and both guards, and that's what you'd like from an interior offensive lineman, if they weren't starting, to have that flexibility."
Lauvao's first 17 collegiate starts came at right guard, but he moved to right tackle in the final four games of his '08 season. Then, as a senior, Lauvao, a team captain, started all 12 games at left tackle.
Playing multiple positions in college, Lauvao said, "allowed me to, in a sense, improve my game in different areas."
Sustained improvement will be necessary as Lauvao, 22, vies for the starting ORG spot with Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack, a 10-year veteran. Lauvao told PFW he's working to refine his technique.
"The biggest thing is just being consistent," Lauvao said.
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