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Cleveland Browns Training Camp Report: Day 3 - The Pads Go On

This is one of the few decent pictures I took. Next time I'll try to bring something besides a cell phone camera.
This is one of the few decent pictures I took. Next time I'll try to bring something besides a cell phone camera.

I was in attendance for Cleveland Browns training camp on the third day of action. It was my first time heading up to Berea to see training camp (I've only gone to the Family Fun Days at the stadium the past couple of years), so I admit that it was a bit difficult for me to know where to stand to get the best view of the action on the field. Nonetheless, today's edition contains some of the notes I took, as well as a collaboration from the rest of the local media.


      Legendary Browns QB Bernie Kosar waves to fans (photo credit:, John Reid)
  1. Kosar in the House: I picked the right day to go, because former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar was watching practice. I was hoping he'd come closer to the fans at one point, because I was itching to ask him if he would be calling the team's preseason games again this season. Listening to Kosar dissect the play of the quarterbacks is my favorite part of the preseason. He had a chat with Tony Grossi of the Plain Dealer and then went closer to the facility. He did point to acknowledge the fans when they were cheering for him at the end of practice. It was also kind of cool to see Grossi and Mary Kay Cabot in person. I'm easily impressed, if you can't tell.
  2. Cribbs Still Sidelined: I knew one of the most obvious players to recognize from a distance would be Joshua Cribbs, but I didn't see him most of the day. I finally spotted him when the special teams unit went out to practice, but he was just standing beside receiver Jordan Norwood, who was returning punts. Cribbs is expected to return at the end of this week.
  3. Fielding Punts: Kickoffs weren't practiced while I was there, only punts. Norwood was catching all of Reggie Hodges' booming punts, but the first time the coverage units were actually rushing, Norwood muffed the catch before quickly scooping the ball back up.
  4. Rookie Tight End Limps Off: One of the players who was targeted often in passing drills was tight end Jordan Cameron. While the passes were short, he seemed to make quick, efficient routes and caught the ball whenever he was targeted. I cringed a little when I saw him on the ground after trying to cover a punt. I hoped it was just a cramp, since he got up and only had a slight limp to his walk. Shurmur confirmed after practice that it was indeed just a cramp. Other than him, no one suffered injuries during the first full day of pads.
  5. No Problem Picking Out Matthews: Talk about a guy who stands out. I'm referring to UDFA wide receiver Chris Matthews. First off, he looked massive compared to the other players around him. In a few of his routes, using his body to shield defenders looked like it could be a strength. Second, he is wearing No. 17, making me think of former receiver Braylon Edwards, especially when he did have one of the few drops of the day in a one-on-one drill. Third, I noticed a guy with orange hair when his helmet was off, and it turned out to be Matthews.
  6. Robiskie Getting Open: With Mohamed Massaquoi, Cribbs, and Carlton Mitchell out, there was no doubt about it that Brian Robiskie was Colt McCoy's favorite receiver. Just as he has done in the past, Robiskie didn't burn defenders with speed. He appeared to be making some nice cuts though and was getting open consistently on short- to medium passes. Hardly any drops either, and I really didn't see too many flat-out drops from receivers during the day.
  7. Up and Down for Gettis: We might have our first highlight from an UDFA defensive back: Chris Gettis intercepted a pass from Colt McCoy when he jumped a medium route on the left sideline. I couldn't tell who the receiver was, but McCoy looked frustrated and gestured with his hand as Gettis made the pick. A little later, I think Gettis allowed someone to break open. That player was...
  8. ...WR Johnathan Haggerty: I can see why this guy is a training camp stud. He seemed to have the best explosiveness of the receivers on the field. On one play, he broke wide open on the right sideline. QB Jarrett Brown spotted him and fired the ball a bit behind him. Haggerty went to the ground to come back and catch the ball, and then got up and continued running. Gettis was the closest defender to come back and touch Haggerty, so I think he was in coverage. Haggerty almost had a nice diving catch in the end zone, but the ball rattled free as he came down to the ground.
  9. Laying the Wood: With this being my first training camp session in Berea, I was waiting to see if there were any "pops" on the first day of full pads contact. The first one came when running back Peyton Hillis plowed into rookie safety Eric Hagg, giving the seventh-round pick a seat on the ground. A little later, cornerback Buster Skrine wasn't afraid to make some contact with Jordan Norwood just after he caught a pass. It wasn't a huge collision, but you could hear it.
  10. Ward2011_medium
       Safety T.J. Ward after intercepting a pass from QB Seneca Wallace. (photo credit:, John Reid)

  11. Ward Intercepts Wallace: On a playaction pass, Seneca Wallace quickly threw a dumpoff pass that was intercepted by safety T.J. Ward. When I saw Wallace's pass, I was confused because it looked like he threw it right at an anticipating Ward.
  12. Other Receive Notes: Early on, I saw second-round pick Greg Little with a couple good catches. Just from seeing him play, I don't see his one year of off time being a significant detriment. He looked ready enough to step in just as good as the other receivers. Jordan Norwood continued to receive reps as the slot receiver, but I don't know if he'll be able to do anything special enough to overtake Massaquoi, Cribbs, Robiskie, and Little. Maybe a fifth receiver role.
  13. Crowd Cheers for Big Play: I was expected to see a lot of deep passes or long completions based on what I've read about training camp in the past. I only saw one long play, and while the crowd cheered, it was too far away for me to see who was in on it. Per the Plain Dealer, it was Colt McCoy throwing about a 45-yard pass to Demetrius Williams (update: ABJ says Ray Ventrone appeared to get beat; big surprise). Williams has some experience as a deep ball threat with Baltimore. I wouldn't rule him out if he continues showing a niche for beating defensive backs deep. Williams also added a nice diving catch over the middle on a pass from Seneca Wallace.
  14. Crowd Noise: Fun to hear some of the little kids talk football to each other. Among the quotes I heard:
    "Wallace could start," says one kid. Another kid replies, "uh, no, McCoy is starting."
    Another kid randomly says, "Jake Delhomme sucks," even though the quarterback isn't even in camp.
    "Welcome to the NFL rookie," says a few fans after Hillis' stick on Hagg.
    "Get your ass back over here," says the Browns' defensive line coach after a lineman ran a drill wrong and was forced to re-do it.
  15. Rubin Looking Fluid: The closest part of practice I saw was the defensive linemen doing individual drills. Of the group, Ahtyba Rubin looked the most polished both in terms of balance, power, and even quickness. Jabaal Sheard stumbled a little bit at times, but I think he was pressing.
  16. Hardesty Not Playing Much: I thought it was just me, but I kept looking around and didn't see running back Montario Hardesty. As it turns out, Shurmur limited his reps because, "We want him to get used to carrying pads before getting him in there for all the reps." Hillis looked anxious to initiate contact in running back drills. I kept thinking, "take it easy, big guy," since Hardesty is already resting and Brandon Jackson has to wait until August 4 to get some reps.
  17. Check Out Daniel Wolf's Stuff: Many of you already know who Daniel Wolf is. He now writes for National Football Authority and is attending Browns training camp. His recap of today's session has been posted here. He also had some pictures taken, which are here. Lastly, be sure to follow him all training camp on Twitter for live updates on the action.
  18. Focus on Third QB: I thought I took poor notes at camp, but to my surprise, I basically whipped out 15 of my own bullet points above (pats self on back) with supporting information elsewhere. Here's someone I didn't pay much attention to, but Wolf did: quarterback Jarrett Brown. Says Wolf: "I spent most of my time watching backup quarterback Jarrett Brown, who is a 6'3" and 225 pound developmental project for the Browns. He has a cannon for an arm and was easily able to air it out deep, or he could gun it hard to thread the needle. It will be fun to watch Brown's growth and progression in the West Coast offense."
    Grossi was impressed with Brown too. I paid more attention to McCoy and Wallace and wherever they went. McCoy looked a little slower on his reads, but I thought he made some good throws. Wallace was quicker on his reads and liked moving the pocket on rollouts, but he's basically the same Wallace we know from last year (which is fine).
  19. Brownies: Someone fumbled at one point and the defense was pumped about it, but I couldn't tell who lost the ball...of the unknown receivers, Rod Windsor probably had the most reps...I saw offensive guard John Greco signing autographs after practice up-close...didn't chat with him, but he was more than open to carrying conversations and answering questions from other fans...ABJ says that tight end Robert Royal was back, but just as a spectator.

Monday's Link Collection / Camp Sources