The Browns were off on Day 5 of training camp, but they returned to practice Wednesday for their first afternoon session open to the public of the year. The story of Day 6 was the continuing maturity of the offense, as both Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy performed well in red zone drills. The recap of what went down Wednesday afternoon is after the jump.
TRAINING CAMP REPORT - DAY 6 (8/1/12)
- Setting the Stage: The defense had the upper hand over the first several days of training camp, but on Wednesday, the media finally chalked up a victory for the offense. Red zone drills took center stage of the buzz, and that is a drill that is bound to make the offense look good because of the great field position they start with. Touchdowns make people happy, and that's exactly what the 2,774 fans in attendance got to witness.
- He Can Work With Anyone: Tight end Evan Moore was arguably one of the best offensive playmakers in camp last year, but he is still sidelined. In the mean time, second-year man Jordan Cameron continues to demonstrate that he is ready for the big time. He is getting first-team reps when the team runs double tight end sets, and he caught three touchdown passes during the red zone drills -- one each from Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy, and Seneca Wallace (note: one report said he caught two from Weeden, which could bump his total to four).
- Dropping Like Flies: The thinnest unit on Day 6 of training camp was the defensive line. With defensive tackles Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin already missing camp so far, defensive end Frostee Rucker did not participate in practice with an undisclosed injury. Shurmur said it was not anything serious, but he did not provide a timetable for his return. On top of that, Brian Schaefering suffered what the OBR believes to be a thigh injury during practice. He iced it on the sidelines and did not return. That means Jabaal Sheard was the only regular starting defensive lineman on the field.
- The Replacements: Pass-rushing specialist Marcus Benard filled in for Rucker on the first-team defense after not receiving many opportunities in previous practices; veteran Juqua Parker also had some reps. The fact that both of those guys saw action before Emmanuel Stephens cannot be a good sign for Stephens. At the defensive tackle positions, Scott Paxson, Billy Winn, John Hughes, and Kiante Tripp saw first-team reps. Tripp presumably saw reps since Schaefering missed some time.
- Tripp Gets Into a Scuffle: After getting into trouble this offseason, it is a bit surprising to hear about roster afterthought Kiante Tripp getting first-team reps at defensive tackle. How did he take advantage of it? By getting into a scuffle with center Alex Mack. According to a post over at the OBR, "Mack really stoned Tripp and got in his face a little and Tripp was not too happy about it." It doesn't sound like it escalated to anything too major, though, and when Rubin or Schaefering return, Tripp's 15 minutes of fame might be up.
- Cribbs Rushing the Punter: Daniel Wolf, formerly of Dawg Scooper and currently of National Football Authority, attended his first training camp session of the season and wrote a report on it here, with more of a focus on stuff the local media doesn't touch upon. One of those things was the fact that one of Joshua Cribbs' roles on special teams this year could be rushing the punter. It'll be interesting to see how often he actually gets used in that capacity, though, because obviously it would mean that he couldn't be on the receiving end of the punt, and I don't know if I trust a guy like Jordan Norwood back there yet.
- Colt McCoy Responds to Competition: Not that there is a competition, but Colt McCoy is not looking like a wounded animal in practice. He continues getting all of the second-team reps ahead of Seneca Wallace. Whether that is a ploy to try to make him trade-worthy remains to be seen, but I think it is a tell-tale sign: if Weeden gets injured, surely they aren't going to waste so many reps on a guy (McCoy) who might be traded somewhere.
Although Brandon Weeden threw several touchdown passes in red zone drills, so did McCoy. I already mentioned the one to Cameron, but he also had a nice hook-up with rookie fourth-round pick Travis Benjamin. Although he was intercepted in 7-on-7 drills by safety Usama Young, throughout the other portions of practice, McCoy connected with wide receiver Bert Reed, tight end Dan Gronkowski, and wide receiver Josh Gordon for touchdowns. After reading about all of this, I thought to myself, "man, it sure would have been fun to see all of these touchdowns at the practice I went to." Such is life.
- Brownies: It was another good day for WR Travis Benjamin, who made a couple of touchdown catches and is getting a fair amount of reps. ... P Reggie Hodges was said to be "punting like never missed a beat, and getting depth and great hang time consistently," per CBS Sports. ...LB Chris Gocong made jumped one of QB Brandon Weeden's passes near the end zone, but dropped it. ... WR Josh Gordon had a one-handed snag for a touchdown on a fade route that drew lots of cheers. ... Weeden threaded the needle in red zone drills on a pass to TE Ben Watson. ... TE Dan Gronkowski has been getting some favorable reviews from fans for his blocking and pass-catching abilities.
QB Colt McCoy has not looked dejected in training camp and had a solid practice on Wednesday. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE
Link Collection / Training Camp Sources
- Observations about Richardson, Little, Ward, and more from Aug. 1 (National Football Authority, Wolf)
- Camp news and notes: Wednesday (92.3 The Fan, Ruiter)
- Eyes on Berea, 8/1/12 (ESPN Cleveland, Burge)
- News, notes, observations from practice (Akron Beacon Journal, Ulrich)
- Browns QB McCoy much improved after last year's camp (Plain Dealer, Cabot)
- QB Colt McCoy focusing on personal improvement (Chronicle-Telegram, Petrak)
- McCoy still competing (The OBR, Greetham)
- Training camp notes from Aug. 1 practice (WTAM, Knott)