The Cleveland Browns hosted the final day of mandatory minicamp on Thursday. How did the troops do at the final practice session before training camp kicks off in seven weeks? Find out below in our Day 3 minicamp recap.
CLEVELAND BROWNS - DAY 3 MINICAMP RECAP (6/6/13)
- Weeden is Feeling Good: Check out this quote from quarterback Brandon Weeden, following the conclusion of Thursday's session:
"I think we have a chance to be really good. I'm speaking about the whole team. Our defense is really adapting to what [coordinator Ray Horton] brought in and I think guys are flying around on that side of the ball, just like we are on our side."Weeden has every reason to feel good -- although Rob Chudzinski has not literally said, "Weeden is the starting quarterback," the writing is on the wall, and through every OTA and minicamp session this offseason, Weeden has taken every first-team rep.
Moved Indoors; Start the Kickathon: Due to rainy conditions in Cleveland on Thursday, practice was moved indoors. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, practice began with a kicking competition between Shayne Graham and Brandon Bogotay. I'm not sure how many kicks they each tried, but Bogotay "made all of his" while Graham only missed a 50-yarder.
Finding Roles for Everybody: Weeden was also busy praising his receivers on Thursday -- not just Greg Little and Josh Gordon, but newcomer Davone Bess and the sometimes overlooked Travis Benjamin. Benjamin has been getting great reviews from the media in camp, and Weeden shared the same sentiment:
"I'd say Travis [Benjamin] had at least as many catches if not more than anybody in camp. His route running is phenomenal, probably because he's so fast. Guys have to honor him running by them. He's been getting in and out of breaks so well."
"[Bess] brings consistency. If he's reading routes or doing certain things, he doesn't make many mistakes. He's a very solid player. He's a pro."
Lobbing it Up to the Big TE's: One of the things that Weeden has been credited for this offseason is utilizing the height of his tight ends in the end zone to pick on the smaller cornerbacks. With Jordan Cameron sidelined due to a hamstring injury, Gary Barnidge stepped up with another touchdown catch, showing why he could be a part of the offense this year in two-tight-end sets.
Spot for Smelley? Will there be a spot for Brad Smelley when the regular season comes? The odds might not be in his favor. The Plain Dealer reports that he has not been used at fullback at all this camp, just at tight end, where there are almost certainly three guys ahead of him on the depth chart already. Smelley did the best he could to help his cause on Thursday, though, by making a "one-handed 50-yard touchdown catch" on a pass thrown by Brian Hoyer. That had to be a nice-looking highlight, eh?
Offensive Guard Scorecard: We are probably over-analyzing the offensive guard swapping a bit, but oh well. John Greco was back with the first-teamers on Thursday at right guard, while Shawn Lauvao was at left guard. Jason Pinkston played left guard with the second team offense. Loosely keeping track, I'd say Greco has seen the most work with the first team, then Lauvao, and then Pinkston, although the latter two are neck-and-neck.
- Injury Report: The players held out on Thursday included RB Trent Richardson (shin), WR Jordan Norwood (hamstring), WR David Nelson (knee), TE Jordan Cameron (hamstring) OT Chris Faulk (knee), and S Jamoris Slaughter (knee). Chudzinski expects everyone but Faulk to be ready for the start of training camp.
- Brownies: CB Buster Skrine continued seeing more reps as a starting cornerback than CB Chris Owens. ... Great Fresh Brownies post by Steve Doerschuk today for his minicamp report, so go check it out.
Minicamp is officially over. Over the next seven weeks, our training camp preview will kick off, so stay tuned to DBN. For the previous minicamp reports, see below: