Even though Cleveland Browns training camp does not open to the public until Sunday morning, the players were officially on the practice field Saturday morning with the media in attendance, so camp is officially under way! A couple of injuries put a damper on things for Day 1, but there were still some other interesting nuggets to go over.
If you've never read our training camp recaps from the past, here is the deal with them: the notes in this report, along with most future reports, are a recap from various sources which will be linked to at the conclusion of the report.
TRAINING CAMP REPORT - DAY 1 [MEDIA ONLY] (7/30/11)
Steinbach's Knee: Earlier this morning, we reported that starting left guard Eric Steinbach was placed on the active/non-football injury list. It sounds like he has an issue with his left knee because it was wrapped as Steinbach did light running on the sideline. The Browns did re-sign offensive guard Billy Yates, but he cannot begin practicing until August 4. Offensive guard Pat Murray was with the first team unit in their place.
Massaquoi in an Ankle Cast: As soon as I heard that Brian Robiskie and Joshua Cribbs were the two receivers running with the first unit, I wondered, "where the heck is Mohamed Massaquoi?" As it turns out, Massaquoi must have injured his left ankle because it was in a cast/boot. After practice, Shurmur said they aren't sure when he suffered an injury, but that Massaquoi's and Steinbach's injuries aren't considered serious. Massaquoi is also on the active/non-football injury list.
Watson Leaves With Head Injury: I'm not sure if he suffered a concussion or not, but tight end Ben Watson had to leave the field after getting hit in the head while going after a low pass from Colt McCoy. He got up and was taken inside by trainers, with Pat Shurmur saying after practice that he thinks Watson took a knee to the head.
Fake Crowd Noise is Gone: At least for day one, the loud music that Eric Mangini had blaring in camp is gone. Most of the members of the media gave the impression that weren't disappointed to see the music go away.
Greg Little vs. Joe Haden: It sounded like the most exciting match-up on the first day was the two of these youngsters going at it. Rapid Reports says that despite blanket coverage from Haden on one play, Little was able to wrestle away a short pass from Colt McCoy. The OBR says he made another good catch over the middle from McCoy, although he also had a drop. The Browns' sideline reporter called Little, "a monster" with his size.
Carlton Mitchell's Hands: One player a lot of fans would love to see be successful this season is Carlton Mitchell, who has made a lot of fans from his Twitter postings. It makes sense that the media seemed to pay more attention to him. While the ABJ notes that he dropped one pass right at him, they also complimented him for showing nice hands. The official site says, "Offseason juggs machine purchase paid off @C_Mitch18 nice catches!"
Sheard Lined Up Against Thomas: No reports on how well the rookie defensive end did, but Jabaal Sheard had the honor of going up against All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas during practice. Phil Taylor is the team's only unsigned draft pick, so he was not in attendance.
First Team Offense (per ABJ):
QB Colt McCoy
RB Peyton Hillis, FB Owen Marecic
WR Brian Robiskie, WR Joshua Cribbs
TE Ben Watson
LT Joe Thomas, LG Pat Murray, C Alex Mack, RG Shawn Lauvao, RT Tony Pashos
Given who is in camp and healthy, no real surprises there. Remember, Steinbach, Massauoi, and Yates might normally be in that starting group. The fullback Owen Marecic was the only rookie in there.
First Team Defense (per ABJ):
DE Brian Sanford, DE Jabaal Sheard
DT Scott Paxson, Ahtyba Rubin
OLB Scott Fujita (S), MLB D'Qwell Jackson (M), OLB Chris Gocong (W)
CB Joe Haden, CB Sheldon Brown, SS T.J. Ward, FS Mike Adams
Without Phil Taylor in there, you can see how thin our defensive line is: who the [bleep] is Scott Paxson? Back in January, he signed a future/reserve contract with the Browns. He was an undrafted free agent back in 2006 and has been with the Packers, but mostly the Steelers, in a non-playing capacity. Usama Young can't play until August 4, and I'm assuming that's the case with Jayme Mitchell too, otherwise he'd be in there over Brian Sanford (he was in camp last year).
More on Usama Young: Per Cabot: "LB Scott Fujita said former Saints FS Usama Young is an exceptional athlete, awesome guy. Said he's ready for an increased role." Looks more and more like he'll be the starter. I wonder if Fujita vouched for him to the front office.
DQ Gets Back in on the Action: Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson didn't waste time getting his first interception in camp, picking off a pass from Colt McCoy in 7-on-7 team drills.
Backup Quarterbacks Do Well: Both of our third-string candidate quarterbacks made some nice tosses. Jarrett Brown connected on a deep pass to Joshua Cribbs, and according to Rapid Reports, UDFA Troy Weatherhead, "looks sharp and throws a tight spiral." Seneca Wallace also had a nice long completion to UDFA receiver L.J. Castile.
The Browns at the first day of training camp
(photo credit: Mary Kay Cabot on Twitter)
Saturday's Link Collection / Camp Sources
- Cleveland Browns Rapid Reports (Marty Gitlin, CBS Sports)
- Observations from Browns training camp (Akron Beacon Journal, Ulrich)
- Massaquoi, Steinbach hobbled as camp begins (Plain Dealer, Cabot)
- Shurmur embraces first practice as Browns coach (Plain Dealer, Grossi)
- Browns back on the field (The OBR, Greetham)