When the Browns return from summer break and buckle their chinstraps during the first practice of training camp July 26, several position battles for which the groundwork was laid in the spring will intensify.

Then another level will be reached once the players begin practicing in pads July 28.

On offense, intriguing competitions will be waged at left tackle, wide receiver and running back.

In a rare occurrence for this franchise, the only thing interesting about a quarterback derby is that one doesn’t exist.

More on that later, but let’s begin this review with a starting job that’s up for grabs.

Left tackle

After 10 organized team activity practices and two mandatory minicamp sessions, the Browns seemed to lack confidence about their search for the heir to future Hall of Fame left tackle Joe Thomas, who retired in March.

Shon Coleman took the vast majority of the first-team repetitions at left tackle in the spring, though he didn’t blow the coaches away.

As minicamp wrapped up June 14, offensive line coach Bob Wylie said Coleman has the requisite athleticism for the position, but he must improve his fundamentals.

Wylie explained Coleman had been late getting out of his stance last season, when he started every game at right tackle, and ultimately overcorrected. As a result, he formed a habit for committing false starts.

Wylie compared Coleman moving from tackle on the right side to the left, where the 2016 third-round draft pick played during his days at Auburn University, to a right-handed golfer swinging lefty. So, as the veteran assistant coach pointed out, Coleman’s footwork and hand techniques need work.

“We’ve got 83 days before we have to play the Pittsburgh Steelers [in the Sept. 9 regular-season opener],” Wylie said. “If we can’t get it done in 83 days, then it’s probably not going to get done.”

Five days after Wylie spoke, General Manager John Dorsey showed the Browns weren’t fully satisfied with their situation at left tackle by signing Greg Robinson, another Auburn product and a disappointment as the second overall pick of the 2014 draft. He has started 48 of the 52 regular-season games in which he has appeared. After the Los Angeles Rams traded him last summer to the Detroit Lions for a sixth-round pick, he started six games at left tackle until an ankle injury shut him down.

Coleman will need to hold off Robinson and rookie second-round pick Austin Corbett in camp to secure the job. Corbett spent most of the spring as the second-team left tackle, but he occasionally worked at right tackle and left guard, too. The Browns are still trying to determine his best position in the NFL. He played left tackle at Nevada, but he has admitted most of the teams in the league viewed him as an interior lineman during the buildup to April’s draft.

The Browns have also experimented with Joel Bitonio and Chris Hubbard at left tackle. However, those would be last-resort moves. Wylie considers Bitonio an elite left guard and would like to keep him there. The club has planned to start Hubbard at right tackle since it signed him to a five-year, $36.5 million deal as an unrestricted free agent in March.

One dark-horse candidate who’s been eliminated as a Week 1 starter is free-agent addition Donald Stephenson. He skipped OTAs and minicamp and will be suspended for the first two games of the season because he violated the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

Wylie said undrafted rookie Desmond Harrison “is probably the smoothest athlete” the Browns have among their left tackles, but the mental side of the game is an obstacle for him.

“The physical stuff, he’s fine,” Wylie said. “It’s learning how to play like a pro, learning how to see the defense, find your triggers. ... Desmond doesn’t know how to do that yet.”

Still, Harrison has a legitimate shot to earn a roster spot with a good camp and preseason.

Wide receiver

Josh Gordon and Jarvis Landry are the starters, but the third spot in the rotation is there for the taking.

Corey Coleman, the 15th overall pick in 2016, filled the role for most of the spring while rookie fourth-round choice Antonio Callaway sat out seven of the 12 practices with a groin injury suffered May 30 during the fifth session of OTAs.

The Browns put Coleman on notice by drafting Callaway, who’s expected to be healthy by the time camp begins. Callaway has several off-field red flags in his background, and it’s the reason he was available on the third day of the draft despite Dorsey considering him a first-round talent.

Coleman has failed to live up to his draft status thus far. He suffered a broken right hand in each of his first two NFL seasons and missed 13 games. In 19 games, he has 56 catches for 718 yards and five touchdowns. There have been issues off the field as well. He was investigated on an assault allegation last year before prosecutors declined to file charges, and he was sent home early from Houston for missing the team’s curfew on the eve of an October game.

The Browns aren’t hiding the fact that Coleman faces a make-or-break situation.

“He understands this is a big, big year in his career,” new Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley said as minicamp closed. “Year three is usually the make-or-break year of what kind of player you’re going to be. I have made that clear to him. He understands it, and he is working hard accordingly to try to be the best that he can be.”

Running back

The backfield, at least on paper, is stacked with Duke Johnson, free-agent pickup Carlos Hyde and rookie second-round pick Nick Chubb forming a three-headed monster. All of them spent time with the starters in spring practices.

Johnson, who signed a three-year, $15.6 million contract extension earlier this month, is the most prolific pass-catching back in the NFL, and the Browns want to continue to feature his receiving skills.

“Duke can probably do some things that the other can’t do,” new Browns running backs coach Freddie Kitchens said at the conclusion of minicamp. “He can probably do those things more efficient with more success. Ultimately, all three of those guys can run our running game, and then Duke can do a few more things in the passing game. Ultimately, it comes down to we feel like that’s a position of strength.”

Hyde and Chubb will vie for the rights to the bulk of the rushing attempts, and it could prove to be an ongoing competition. After all, the Browns are open to riding the hot hand.

“If they’re having success, why would you change?” Kitchens said. “It may be somebody different week to week.”

Quarterback

The sport’s most important position always requires monitoring in Cleveland, but there isn’t a genuine battle for the starting job because trade-acquisition Tyrod Taylor is in complete control. Taylor took all of the first-team reps in the spring and excelled.

So, barring injury or a shocking twist, Taylor will enter the season as the starter with rookie No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield backing him up.

Mayfield made strides during OTAs as he ascended from third on the depth chart to second, a sign veteran free-agent addition Drew Stanton wouldn’t keep the reigning Heisman Trophy winner on the bench in the event Taylor is injured.

When it comes to the starting job, though, the Browns have planned all along to enter the 2018 season with Taylor as the starter, thereby allowing Mayfield to watch and learn from the sideline. At this point, there’s no reason to expect them to deviate from the plan.

“[Mayfield] has a long way to go,” Haley said two weeks ago. “I would say it is clear that Tyrod is the leader of this team.”

Nate Ulrich can be reached at nulrich@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Browns blog at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.