After the bombshell was dropped Friday morning that the Cleveland Browns were in the process of being sold by Randy Lerner, something else kind of got overshadowed -- the team was holding their first full-squad training camp session of the season.
Living up to our tradition, for every training camp session that I can't attend, I will try to compile a summary from all of the news outlets on what went down during practice. The reports were admittedly lighter than usual today, but that can probably be explained by the fact that some reporters were (understandably) focused on the Lerner story rather than watching practice. Practice began at 2:00 PM, but there was still a crowd of reporters around team president Mike Holmgren at that time.
TRAINING CAMP REPORT - DAY 1 [MEDIA ONLY] (7/27/12)
- Joe Haden Starts on Fire: The player of the day was cornerback Joe Haden, who led the charge of a defensive-dominated practice by having "at least five deflections or interceptions." According to Will Burge, that included just coming up short on a diving attempt at an interception in Brandon Weeden's first pass in 11-on-11 drills. Cornerback Dimitri Patterson was also credited as having blanker coverage. After practice, Haden tweeted, "I felt soooo good out there 2day!!!
#thisIsRYear! Lets go! #lockdown"
- Rubin and Moore Go Missing: There were two players notably missing from the first day of practice: defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin and tight end Evan Moore. Shurmur was asked about their status after practice, and he said, "They just didn’t practice today and there is going to be a couple of days before they are back out there." Shurmur reportedly was not in the mood to elaborate. Filling in for Rubin was defensive tackle Brian Schaefering, who sat out of the offseason practices after having hernia surgery.
- First-Team Snaps: Quarterback Brandon Weeden led the way with first-team snaps on Day 1 of training camp, and the top two receivers were Greg Little and Mohamed Massaquoi, as expected. Commenting on the team's quarterback situation, Shurmur said, "I’m going to tell you guys where the starter is at some point. I’ll tell you on my time." Gotcha, boss. CBS Sports noted that Weeden seemed to struggle with his timing on Day 1. Other than that, not much news on the quarterbacks was reported.
- Massaquoi Thrives, Cooper and Mitchell Struggle: Props to Will Burge of ESPN Cleveland, who had the most detail-oriented recap of training camp for Day 1, including some observations on the team's wide receivers. Mohamed Massaquoi was praised for his route-running ability and looking smooth in drills. Carlton Mitchell reportedly had to be helped line up properly by rookie Travis Benjamin, and also had to be coached up by Shurmur after a play. Josh Cooper was noted as having three drops in an ugly first practice for him. Yikes!
- Cousins in Front Early: Veteran offensive tackle Oniel Cousins was with the first-team offense at right tackle instead of rookie second-round pick Mitchell Schwartz. This wasn't a big surprise, but it is expected that Schwartz will rotate with Cousins in camp and eventually get the bulk of the first-team reps.
- Shurmur on the Defense/Offense:
"I thought the defense challenged very well today in practice. I thought we got come excellent work. You can tell initially, always in the first practice when you put shells on and helmets and you add the linemen in there, the passing game takes a day or two to look the way I want it to look, but I thought the defense challenged well and that’s a good thing."
- Brownies: While he didn't participate in practice, defensive tackle Phil Taylor was out on the field walking around, presumably as an observer, according to the OBR. ... Kicker Phil Dawson ended a special teams drill with a 57-yard field goal. ... S Eric Hagg and DL Frostee Rucker broke up passes. ... On Grossi's first look at WR Josh Gordon, he said, "Looks like a stallion. Not skinny." ... Camp opens to the public Saturday morning at 8:45 AM, and fans can arrive an hour early. ... It will be a helmets-only (meaning not full pads) practice. ... Click here for our primer on Cleveland Browns training camp. ... From the official team site, here is raw video footage from practice.
Link Collection / Training Camp Sources
- Eyes on Berea, 7/27/12 (Will Burge, ESPN Cleveland)
- Shurmur on Sale: "No distraction" (Fred Greetham, The OBR)
- Pat Shurmur press conference (ClevelandBrowns.com)
- Browns Rapid Reports (Marty Gitlin, CBS Sports)
- Notes from Berea, Day 1 (Andre Knott, WTAM)