If you missed the morning report on Day 3 of Cleveland Browns training camp, then click here. In the evening session of Day 3, things turned around for one player in particular -- wide receiver Paul Hubbard. After looking like camp fodder over the first several practices, something set him on fire for the PM practice.
TRAINING CAMP REPORT - DAY 3 [EVENING] (8/3/09)
The Paul Hubbard Show: In total, Hubbard recorded five catches and two touchdowns. One of those touchdowns was a deep ball from QB Richard Bartel, a play in which Hubbard dodged the double coverage of S Nick Sorensen and CB Gerard Lawson. You might be thinking, "hey, does one good practice really garner that much attention for a player?" Well, in almost all of the media outlet reports for the evening, Hubbard was praised like you wouldn't believe.
Maria Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal went so far as to say that Hubbard might be looking to contend for the No. 2 receiver role. I wouldn't go that far, but if Hubbard can string together a few more practices like this, it raises the question of whether Mangini would choose a more consistent player like Lance Leggett, or a potential big-playmaker in Hubbard for a surprise roster spot. I'd still prefer the likes of Leggett.
- Steptoe Your Way Down: To contrast Hubbard's great practice was WR Syndric Steptoe, who reportedly dropped four passes in the evening session, with three of them occurring within close proximity of each other. According to the OBR Twitter feed, one of those drops was a perfect 35-yard corner pass from QB Brady Quinn.
- Extra Note on Hubbard: One thing to consider about Hubbard's excellent practice -- for the evening session, the team was not in pads. Just something to ponder about.
- Safety Updates At Last! This morning I begged for some updates on our starting safeties, and coincidentally, the positive reports came in for S Abram Elam. Elam had two interceptions; one on a failed trick play, and the other when he jumped in front of a Quinn pass intended for TE Aaron Walker.
Rough Evening for Quinn: Besides getting picked off by Elam, Quinn was also intercepted by LB Eric Barton. The early portion of the practice saw the quarterbacks working on fade routes to the corner of the end zone.
Wait...What? This one stood out from Steve Doerschuk's report regarding OG Eric Steinbach. I'll quote it entirely to best serve its purpose:
Something Joe Thomas said today caught me off guard. Big Joe said it would be strange playing without Eric Steinbach after they spent two seasons side by side, but he added, "Whoever ends up at left guard I’m sure will do very well." I had begun to think Steinbach was locking down the position. Maybe he is, but …
- Injury Updates: I'm pleased to report that CB Eric Wright returned to practice after leaving this morning's session. LB David Bowens was on the stationary bike for the night though. All other injured players reportedly retained their same status.
- Take a Seat: Doerschuk also reports that LB Leon Williams lit up RB James Davis big time during a live blocking drill.
- Not as Unpleasant as We Thought: The news regarding DL Shaun Smith seemed a little more upbeat today. He has lost some weight and is down to a reported 315 pounds and was having fun with his teammates earlier. On the OBR's Twitter feed, it was stated that he was giving C Hank Fraley a difficult time in blocking drills.
Tomorrow's practice is closed to the public. However, the media should be able to attend, so there should still be manageable report to put together here. Be sure to check out Abram Elam's blog post (check the links below) for his thoughts on which players are standing out in training camp thus far.
Sunday's Evening Link Collection / Camp Sources