The Cleveland Browns were back in pads Friday morning as they were preparing for their session Saturday afternoon at Cleveland Browns Stadium. There were a lot of training camp reports from the local media today, so I suggest you check the link collection at the end of this article. Let's get right into the recap of what went down.
TRAINING CAMP REPORT - DAY 7 (8/5/11)
Haden Sits Out of Practice: One of the first thing everyone noticed when practiced commenced was that cornerback Joe Haden was on the sidelines working with the trainers. After practice, Shurmur said that Haden was resting a tweaked hamstring from Thursday's practice. Hopefully he's ready to go for Saturday. We touched on this earlier, but Dimitri Patterson, who looks to be the new nickel back, saw playing time in Haden's absence.
Two Minute Drill Gets Defense Involved: One of the highlights of practice was reportedly the defense stopping the offense from scoring in the two-minute drill. Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer mentions that two defensive backs made big plays to stop the offense from getting in. On a third down, Patterson deflected a pass away from Greg Little, and on fourth down, safety T.J. Ward knocked away a pass in the end zone intended for tight end Ben Watson. Quarterback Colt McCoy was the one trying to lead the charge.
The Wildcat? R.I.P: After practice was over, receiver Joshua Cribbs said, "[Shurmur's] not a big fan of the wildcat, but he is a big fan of giving me the football." It was a nice thought, but not the type of thing Shurmur has in mind for the Browns' offense this year.
Don't Rule Out Creativity: Eliminating the Wildcat does not mean eliminating the element of surprise with Cribbs. One of the highlights of practice came when Cribbs (who was back in full pads, by the way) lined up behind Colt McCoy in the backfield. Per Tony Grossi, Cribbs took the pitch from McCoy, rolled out a little, and then fired a pass to receiver Brian Robiskie. The team plans on using Cribbs as a receiver a lot. Daniel Wolf of National Football Authority says that with Jordan Norwood still sidelined, Cribbs lined up in the slot and on the outside with the first-team offense.
An Emerging Candidate: Here is one we might not have seen coming: offensive tackle Branndon Braxton has been receiving a lot of reps at left tackle and right tackle as a backup. He also ran a little bit with the first-team offense at right tackle, taking advantage of Jason Pinkston being a rookie candidate, according to Grossi. Braxton was a prospect with the team last year, and it sounds like the coaching staff likes what they are seeing out of him.
Dawson Booting Them Through: It sounds like kicker Phil Dawson, who is sporting a shaved head, is already in midseason form. The OBR reports that he went 7-of-7 in team drills, with a long kick of 45 yards.
Other Options at Holder? I didn't realize that Dawson had some previous workouts with new punter Richmond McGee. McGee was the holder for Dawson's kicks in Friday's practice, and it sounds like things went smooth enough. Grossi says that the team's other options at holder include Seneca Wallace and...Jordan Norwood?
Fletcher Carted Off, Hardesty Limited: Undrafted free agent defensive end Jabari Fletcher was carted off the field with a right knee injury after fellow defensive lineman Ko Quaye fell on the back of his leg. Running back Montario Hardesty was limited and held out of contact drills again. Head coach Pat Shurmur says that it was the team's intentions all along to be ultra-conservative with Hardesty during camp.
Assessment of the Defensive Prospects: Do you want to know how defensive tackle Phil Taylor, defensive ends Marcus Benard and Jayme Mitchell, and safety Usama Young did during practice? Daniel Wolf focused on the players who practiced in full pads for the first time during Friday's practice, so check out what he had to say about each of those players.
Interesting Formation: On Daniel Wolf's Twitter account, he said the Browns ran a few plays in which the offensive line was set up like this: LT, LG, RG, C, RT, with the quarterback(s) under the center position with three linemen to his left.
Saturday's Family Fun Day at the Stadium: Head coach Pat Shurmur said what to expect:
"It’s going to be a practice format. We’ll try to structure it somewhat like a game, put the coaches on the side for some of the drills. It’s going to be at the stadium tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. That’ll be the structure. It will feel like a game in some periods and look like a practice in others. That’s what I intend to do."I will be in attendance and will have a report on it Saturday night.
- Brownies: With Haden out and Patterson in the starting lineup, it sounds like Buster Skrine saw time at nickel back instead of Coye Francies...cornerback James Dockery dropped a would-be interception from Seneca Wallace...safety Mike Adams stripped receiver Demetrius Williams of the football, but Williams got back on top of it, according to the ABJ...Brian Schaefering is officially a defensive tackle now, not a defensive end...QB Jarrett Brown continues to show off a cannon for an arm...running back Brandon Jackson saw a lot of reps Friday morning.
Friday's Link Collection / Camp Sources
- Cleveland Browns training camp report: a look at new players in pads (National Football Authority, Wolf)
- August 5 training camp photos (National Football Authority, Wolf)
- News, notes, and observations from Browns training camp (Akron Beacon Journal, Ulrich)
- Shurmur gets creative with Cribbs on offense (Plain Dealer, Grossi)
- Browns training camp log, Day 7 (Plain Dealer, Cabot)
- Browns move Usama Young into starting lineup (Plain Dealer, Cabot)
- Camp report: the inside men (The OBR, Greetham)
- Browns have one of the best LB groups in the NFL (Canton Repository, Doerschuk)
- Browns Rapid Reports (CBS Sports, Gitlin)
- Pat Shurmur's post-practice press conference transcript