On the second day of training camp Sunday morning, the fans got their first look at the Cleveland Browns. There wasn't a lot to report on with the team in helmets only, so I'd expect more on Monday when everyone puts the pads on. The first day of training camp was highlighted by injuries, and the second day was no different.
TRAINING CAMP REPORT - DAY 2 (7/31/11)
Cribbs Puts the Ice Bag On: Imagine arriving to training camp and seeing one of your favorite players, Joshua Cribbs, go at it in one-on-one drills the first half of practice, only to see him come out for the second half of practice with a big bag of ice strapped to his left knee. According to head coach Pat Shurmur, Cribbs' knee got a little stiff and the team decided to hold him out. Cribbs said he wants to make sure he's ready for the team's first preseason game.
Dropping Like Flies: Another player left with an injury -- receiver Carlton Mitchell. He walked off the field with a trainer and did not return, with Shurmur noting that he had some form of a shoulder injury. It's a good thing the Browns stocked up on UDFA receivers this camp, because with Mohamed Massaquoi, Cribbs, and Mitchell down, they are going to need them.
The August 4th Waiting: Another reason we're not hearing a lot about certain players is because they are waiting around on the sidelines. Per the new CBA rules, the free agents who were signed (who have accumulated experience already) have to wait until August 4. That includes linebacker Marcus Benard, but the ABJ reports that he has been following the defensive linemen around and watching them instead of the linebackers. This probably confirms Benard will make the transition to defensive end in the 4-3 alignment.
Little Moves Up: With the injuries at the receiver position, second-round pick Greg Little moved into the starting lineup along with Brian Robiskie. Says Little, "I think the fact that I played in the West Coast offense in college has helped me to be able to move up and work with the ones." I'm sure that helped, but it's the injuries to Massaquoi and Cribbs that have forced Little in there this early. Still, it's good to see that rookie draft picks aren't stuck in some holdout situation, except for defensive tackle Phil Taylor.
Focus on What Works First: Steve Doerschuk of the Canton Repository says that one of the things Colt McCoy has been working on over and over again is throwing short to medium passes to Peyton Hillis. Doerschuk believes McCoy is practicing something he knows will work first and will branch out as camp progresses.
Sheard Making Some Noise: The players aren't in pads yet, but that hasn't stopped second-round pick Jabaal Sheard from showing off his pass rushing skills early on in camp, per Rapid Reports:
DE Jabaal Sheard showed why he's considered the rookie who will make the biggest impact on the Browns. He overpowered TE Alex Smith on one play and beat OT Dominic Alford with quickness around right end on the next play.I think one of the things fans will be most interested in seeing this preseason is how well Sheard, Jayme Mitchell, and Benard do when it comes to rushing from the edge. Besides those three players, the team is still lacking some depth.
West Coast Offense Evident: CBS Sports says that it is evident that the Browns are running the West Coast Offense, with many of their passing plays being quick slants over the middle in stride. With that said, CBS says the team's receivers really aren't showing the quickness to get past guys. Without tackling allowed, I don't think you can judge that in camp.
Haggerty Making His Push: After having a great camp last year under one head coach, receiver Johnathan Haggerty is trying to do the same thing this year. Per Doerschuck, Haggerty caught a medium-level pass after beating rookie defensive back James Dockery. Haggerty broke to the left sideline for around an 80-yard completion. Big plays will stand out, and if he ends up being the only guy to show explosiveness in camp, there could end up being a roster spot for him.
Jackson Almost Has Another: Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson almost had another interception on a Colt McCoy pass in 11-on-11 drills. For some reason, I seem to recall Jackson having a lot of near-picks the past couple years in camp. Pat Shurmur assured the media that Jackson is "the guy" at middle linebacker for now.
Cameron Moves Up Too: Little wasn't the only rookie rolling with the ones: tight end Jordan Cameron was in there too when the team had two tight-end sets (Alex Smith played in one tight end situations). With Watson out and Evan Moore being one of the players having to wait until August 4, Cameron is getting some early reps to show off his skills. He took advantage of the opportunity. Doerschuk says Cameron beat safety Mike Adams on a deep out.
Early Confidence in Skrine: There aren't exactly a ton of options to go to at cornerback, so rookie Buster Skrine had a chance to play with the first-team defense in a couple of situations. With Cribbs sidelined, he and Joe Haden were the guys fielding kicks on special teams.
- Brownies: Speaking about tight end Ben Watson, Shurmur said he thinks he got a concussion and will be out for a little bit...cornerback Joe Haden almost had a nice interception from McCoy...offensive guard Eric Steinbach is still on the sidelines with a knee injury...Doerschuk says that defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin just kept owning offensive guard Pat Murray...running back Montario Hardesty didn't take much contact but has looked good and is catching the ball well...2,923 fans showed up for the first practice open to the public.
LB D'Qwell Jackson tries to break up a pass intended for TE Alex Smith. (photo credit: ClevelandBrowns.com)
WR Johnathan Haggerty showing off his elusiveness
(photo credit: ClevelandBrowns.com)
Sunday's Link Collection / Camp Sources
- Observations from Browns training camp (Akron Beacon Journal, Ulrich)
- Pat Shurmur press conference from Day 2 practice session
- Hey Taylor...don't be THAT guy (Canton Repository, Doerschuk)
- Browns Rapid Reports (CBS Sports, Gitlin)
- Cribbs hurts leg at practice, and other observations (Chronicle-Telegram, Petrak)
- Cribbs leaves practice with knee injury, will undergo tests (Plain Dealer, Cabot)
- More great photos at ClevelandBrowns.com