You can't mention what happened Saturday morning without talking about the injury to linebacker Chris Gocong. We reported on it earlier in the day, and it has since been confirmed that Gocong did indeed rupture his Achilles' tendon; he will have season-ending surgery within the next week. As sad as it is to lose Gocong, the team has to move on -- the full Day 9 recap from training camp is after the jump.
TRAINING CAMP REPORT - DAY 9 (8/4/12)
- Filling in for Gocong: After LB Chris Gocong left with an injury, Kaluka Maiava and undrafted free agent L.J. Fort rotated in his place with the first-team defense, according to ESPN Cleveland. Based on the depth chart in camp so far, the players to watch as potential replacements in the starting lineup include Maiava, Fort, James-Michael Johnson, and Craig Robertson.
- Buster Skrine Blows Up Cousins: Remember a couple of weeks ago when RB Trent Richardson paid a compliment to right tackle Oniel Cousins via his teammates? Well, now I'm sure the only thing Cousins' teammates will be doing is ragging on him. According to reports, the biggest hit of camp came Saturday morning when CB Buster Skrine, who is about 185 pounds, "blew up" the 315-pound Oniel Cousins on a sweeping run play. The hit reportedly got the crowd and the defense all riled up. While camp was "buzzing" after this play, reports indicate that the atmosphere went flat after Gocong's injury.
- Benjamin Drops a Bomb: We've seen a ton of positive reports about WR Travis Benjamin over the first eight days of camp, but not we have our first low-light for the rookie. QB Colt McCoy dropped back and threw a bomb down the field to a wide open Benjamin. Those in attendance say that it was a perfect throw, but that Benjamin just dropped it. What was Tony Grossi's reaction to the drop on Twitter? "Second Benjamin drop of McCoy today. Rookie wall?"
- Mental Error for Gordon: Although it was a great practice for WR Josh Gordon (a few athletic grabs and touchdowns), he made a mental mistake in 11-on-11 drills: after catching a pass, Gordon kind of stopped running I guess. After practice, Pat Shurmur promised that the rookie will learn his lesson: "You saw a receiver (rookie Josh Gordon) catch a ball and stop running when he could have had a touchdown," said Shurmur. "You'll never see that again."
- Two-Minute Drills: From what I can gather, here is what happened during Saturday's two-minute drills: (1) QB Brandon Weeden's first attempt ended when LB Scott Fujita tipped a pass, allowing DE Jabaal Sheard to pick it off. (2) QB Brandon Weeden's second attempt ended with a touchdown pass to WR Josh Gordon. (3) QB Colt McCoy set the second-team offense up with a 37-yard field goal by backup punter Spencer Lanning.
- Watson Out, Paxson Back: After missing Friday's practice, DT Scott Paxson returned to action. TE Ben Watson sat out on Saturday with an undisclosed injury. Everyone else remained the same on the injury report.
- Haden at Record-Pace: After not having any interceptions during the regular season last year, CB Joe Haden is trying to log training camp interceptions at a record pace. Read the article by the Plain Dealer's Tom Reed in the links below. He said Haden jumped over FB Brad Smelley for an interception on Saturday, and then detailed how the third-year cornerback has adjusted his game in 2012:
With the help of defensive backs coach Tim Hauck, he's adjusted his coverage when playing off a receiver at the line. It's allowing Haden to get a better read on the receiver's routes and the ball flight, he said. He worked extensively on the technique during phases of spring practices when bump-and-run coverage is prohibited. Haden has had about 10 interceptions during the first seven days of training camp.
- Brownies: WR Josh Cooper has quietly been making some nice catches, including a nice diving 25-yard catch over the middle from QB Brandon Weeden. ... CB James Dockery had an interception. ... There were 3,236 fans at practice, which continues to blow away attendance numbers from the past several years. ... New owner Jimmy Haslam III spent the first part of practice with Mike Holmgren, but the second half of practice talking closely with head coach Pat Shurmur. ... Weeden completed about 19/26 of his passes during drills, per ESPN Cleveland. ... The players are off on Sunday, with their next practice being Monday from 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM.
Link Collection / Training Camp Sources
- Haden certain he can pick up the pace on picks (Plain Dealer, Reed)
- Cleveland Browns training camp report, 8/4/12 (Waiting For Next Year, Rick)
- Eyes on Berea, 8/4/12 (ESPN Cleveland, Fontana)
- Camp news and notes, Saturday (92.3 The Fan, Ruiter)
- Training camp snapshot, August 4 (Akron Beacon Journal, Ulrich)