The Cavs came up short. The Indians are out of contention. Ladies and gentlemen, it is officially time once again to shift all of your attention to the Cleveland Browns, as training camp started today. There were two sessions scheduled for Day 1 -- this one covers the morning session. The notes in this report, along with most future reports, are a recap from various sources which will be linked to at the conclusion of the report.
TRAINING CAMP REPORT - DAY 1 [MORNING] (8/1/09)
- Not Taking Things Lightly: Eric Mangini isn't wasting any time with his training camps. Everyone is reporting that they were surprised to see a lot of contact during drills today. Tony Grossi of the Plain Dealer reported that there was more contact in Mangini's first practice than you'd see in a week's worth of Crennel's practices. If the Browns are to have more aggression and stamina during games, this is the only acceptable approach in my book.
- More Proof of Contact: One person stood out during practice, but for different reasons. Steve Heiden was the only player wearing a red shirt, and that is because the coaches wanted his contact to be limited since he is coming off of surgery.
- No Holdouts...Yet: As expected, Joshua Cribbs and Phil Dawson both showed up in camp. Cribbs previously stated he would attend practices, and with Parker Douglass being waived yesterday, it seemed like a sign that Dawson would take the field.
- The Injury Front: The only players on the sidelines were Braylon Edwards and Coye Francies. I still wonder what's up with Francies. Edwards was reportedly on the stationary bike and not limping. I was very pleased to hear that Robaire Smith was near a full-go right off the bat; that is great news for our defensive line. Ryan Tucker was also in practice and has chosen not to retire this season.
Quarterback Battle: Although Brady Quinn was the first quarterback to play, he and Derek Anderson received equal playing time. Mangini is calling this an "open competition". While it's only the first practice, the OBR had an interesting statement from their perspective on the practice:
If you’re scoring at home, the first practice went to Anderson. He looked sharp in the workout and hit rookie receiver Brian Robiskie on a crossing route for a touchdown and also Syndric Steptoe. However, he was intercepted by Mike Adams.Both quarterbacks reportedly did not go away from their strengths -- Anderson threw the ball deep, while Quinn stayed with the short routes.
- Bubble Watch: This is a new feature I'll try to incorporate in this year's previews, including tidbits on players that are "on the bubble" for a roster spot. First up is LB Beau Bell, who had a nice hit during the scrimmages, according to the OBR. The OBR also had perhaps a surprising note on S Nick Sorensen, stating that unlike other safeties from the practice, he was one of the few who wasn't getting burned.
- Starting Offensive Line: The starting offensive line consisted of Joe Thomas, Eric Steinbach, Hank Fraley, Floyd Womack, and John St. Clair. That should change gradually, with Alex Mack eventually taking over center and Ryan Tucker also being worked in.
Robiskie Signed and Producing: Right after being signed, Brian Robiskie got to work and had a very good first practice.
- Play of the Day: The play of the day might have belonged to WR Lance Leggett, a player that I showed some favoritism towards in my training camp previews. Despite the fact that Eric Wright interfered on the play, Leggett made a one-handed catch in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown.
Always Good to Hear: Direct from the OBR:
OLB Alex Hall made an impression early in training camp practice on Saturday. The second-year player gained the appreciation of players and coaches alike due to his ability to stay with RBs coming out of the backfield in team drills.Take this opportunity and run with it, Hall.
- Clear Skies: For those outside of Cleveland, if you weren't under a tree in the shade today, the sun was beating down nonstop this morning.
- Shaun Smith = Lazy: According to fans, it's not a good start to camp for DL Shaun Smith, who was told by the staff earlier in the offseason to "shape up or shut up". Smith reportedly looked out of shape, out of position, off balance, and didn't appear to have much intensity. Instead, he'll save the intensity for a greater cause, like punching another teammate in the face.
- New Drill for Dawson: This year, the goal posts are narrower on one of the practice fields. Dawson liked the challenge: "Make the slightest little mistake, and you're going to miss."
After practice, Mangini stated that the team had no interest in Michael Vick and that there were no updates on the status of Donte Stallworth.
Saturday's Link Collection / Camp Sources
- Training Camp Quick Hits (Orange and Brown Report, Adkins)
- Quarterback Battle: Game On (Orange and Brown Report, Greetham)
- Browns have one practice in the books (Cleveland Plain Dealer, Grossi)
- Camp off and running (ClevelandBrowns.com, Jackson)