BEREA, OH - MAY 12: Head coach Pat Shurmur of the Cleveland Browns during the second day of minicamp at Cleveland Browns training facility on May 12, 2012 in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Day 2 of Cleveland Browns rookie minicamp continued on Saturday with two more sessions -- one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. The story of minicamp so far seems to be everyone getting giddy about quarterback Brandon Weeden. He has been the featured quarterback since only rookies are at the minicamp, but who will be the guy once all of the veterans start attending as well? The recap of the Saturday sessions is after the jump.
An Early Leg Up? It's probably way too early to try to judge a player by their positional drills, but who cares, it's just minicamp. Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal stated that linebacker James Michael-Johnson, a fourth-rounder, looked smoother and quicker in positional drills than sixth-round linebacker Emmanuel Acho.
Quick Learner Under Center: Quarterback Brandon Weeden had a little bit of difficulty taking snaps from under center on Friday, fumbling a couple of snaps. Things were reportedly better on Saturday morning, with only one fumbled snap taking place.
Impact from a Non-Player? One of the things I've learned from reading the media reports this weekend? Nolan Cromwell, who is the team's new senior assistant on offense, is getting noticed. A former safety of the Rams, Cromwell's voice could be heard loudly during drills, according to Ridenour. The ABJ also notes something new that Cromwell instituted:
The Browns have set up tall plastic poles filled with sand near the entrance to the locker room. As players head inside, those on offense are supposed to stop and catch a few passes. The poles, designed to help catch in front of the body, were Cromwell’s idea.
Not Such a Rookie: One of the players at camp is wide receiver Rod Windsor. If his name sounds familiar, he was in training camp and on the Browns' practice squad last season. He's still considered a rookie, at least for the purposes of rookie minicamp. Ridenous states that Windsor has been a standout receiver among the rookies during the minicamp sessions.
Standout Plays from Weeden: Dennis Manoloff, who seems to have taken Tony Grossi's place at the Plain Dealer (not literally, but in reference to him being paired up with Mary Kay Cabot), talked about a couple of good plays that Brandon Weeden had during practice:
Weeden rolled to his left and threw a strike across his body to tight end Joseph Halahuni, who was moving right to left 20 yards downfield. Everything about the play was crisp. Nolan Cromwell, Browns senior assistant/offense, yelled, "Nice throw, Weeds!"
Then Weeden dropped back and fired one of his trademark fastballs toward Benjamin on the right sideline. Benjamin turned and the ball was there. He extended the arms to make the catch at chest level and did a nice job of getting the second foot inbounds. Cornerback Antwuan Reed walked away shaking his head because he had good coverage; the throw was just too good.
- Using Benjamin's Speed: Manoloff notes that, as another sign of how the Browns' coaching staff is intrigued by Benjamin's speed, they called several plays in which he ran the wide receiver reverse as a decoy. That is something we've seen Joshua Cribbs do in the past with this offense.
- Smelley and Richardson Again: Reading about the tandem of Brad Smelley and Trent Richardson together continues to make me wonder: would the coaching staff have any problem ditching Owen Marecic?
The Browns will have one more rookie minicamp session on Sunday. Here are your sources for Saturday's minicamp reports:
- Browns rookie minicamp - Saturday morning session (Ridenour, Akron Beacon Journal)
- Browns rookie minicamp - Saturday afternoon session (Ridenour, Akron Beacon Journal)
- Travis Benjamin eager to display fleet feet in minicamp (Manoloff, Plain Dealer)
- Browns hoping free agent Cooper can fill the slot (Doerschuk, Canton Repository)