The Cleveland Browns headed to the University of Akron's InfoCision Stadium for the team's annual Family Day event, this year involving a scrimmage between the offense and the defense. This is the first Family Day event that I have not been able to attend in year's, so unfortunately, I'll only be able to do a wrap-up from the media reports.
CLEVELAND BROWNS TRAINING CAMP REPORT - DAY 7 (8/2/14)
- Beating the Weather: 20,673 fans showed up at the event; 25,000 tickets were made available for registration a couple of weeks ago. Practice was originally set to take place from 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM. However, with rain in the forecast, the Browns decided to start the scrimmage early -- around 11:10 AM -- and also finished practice around 12:30 PM. After practice, head coach Mike Pettine said that they got about 80 plays in, which was what they were targeting.
Defense Dominates: There were 12 series in total, and yet the defense actually scored more points than the offense. The defense scored two touchdowns, while the offense settled for three field goals from K Billy Cundiff. Some of the drives began at the 30-yard line, with the offense needing to travel the length of the field, while others were red zone drills that started 25 yards away.
Big Day for Jacobbi McDaniel: Between the lesser-known defensive linemen, DL Calvin Barnett was the guy getting the pre-camp publicity, but it has been DL Jacobbi McDaniel who has been making the headlines. I remember on Day 2 of training camp when we were close to the defensive linemen, my brother said he took note of one player -- McDaniel -- because he really seemed to be giving the individual drills all he had.
On Saturday, McDaniel was involved in two big plays. One was a red zone drill -- WR Miles Austin was reportedly wide open for a possible touchdown, but McDaniel stuck his arm in the air and deflected QB Brian Hoyer's pass, which was then intercepted by OLB Barkevious Mingo. Later on, ILB Craig Robertson made a diving interception on a pass thrown by QB Connor Shaw. Robertson fumbled the ball, but McDaniel scooped it up and ran it in for a touchdown.
Mingo on DL Jacobbi McDaniel, who had tipped pass, fumble return for TD: "The guy's going to be a stud. He's wreaking havoc on the line."— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) August 2, 2014
We've said all along that the Browns' defensive line is already seven players deep, but if McDaniel continues to light it up at camp, is there a chance he takes a roster spot away from one of those seven guys?
Not a Day to Remember for Shaw: Maybe I was a bit overconfident in believing that QB Connor Shaw could step in and be the team's No. 3 quarterback on opening day. His first pass of the scrimmage was tipped and then intercepted by ILB Zac Diles, who returned it for a touchdown. As mentioned in the previous bullet point, Shaw also had an interception to Robertson off of a tipped pass, which led to the other touchdown for the defense. Media reports say that Shaw only other pass was tipped as well. And then, there's this:
Wow! Connor Shaw has been awful at #Browns scrimmage.— Brian Dulik (@BrianDulik) August 2, 2014
Austin Remains the Security Blanket: Taking WR Josh Gordon out of the mix, as the days go on, it's becoming more evident that WR Miles Austin is being viewed as the team's No. 1 receiver. He's been a staple of consistency both in his route running and his ability to catch the ball, and he made some big snags on offense during the scrimmage. Meanwhile, the other veterans -- WR Nate Burleson, WR Anthony Armstrong, and WR Andrew Hawkins -- were non-factors.
Snead Steps Up, Johnson Misses a TD: Out of the young receivers, WR Willie Snead seems to be getting the most reps still. He ran a couple of plays with the first-team offense, too, which has to be a good sign for him. He caught an early pass from Hoyer, and then a 4th down pass from Manziel.
One receiver who couldn't feel as comfortable after the scrimmage was WR Charles Johnson. Trust me, I'd love for the guy to be a beast and live up to the hypes that has been given to him, but we just haven't seen it in camp yet. During one of the Browns' few good offensive drives of the scrimmage, Manziel fired a 4-yard dart to Johnson on a quick slant. It would have been a touchdown and was right on the money, but Johnson dropped it as a defender was closing in on him.
Can We Count This as a TD? The officials never gave the Browns' offense for a touchdown, but had this been a preseason or regular season game, QB Johnny Manziel would have had a nice touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone to TE Gary Barnidge. Here is the evidence for a drive that eventually led to nothing:
Kevin Jones of Browns.com, here's how the play to Barnidge unfolded: "inside the 10-yard-line with linebackers chasing after him, Manziel bootlegged hard to his right and flung a missile in-between two defenders, landing right in the hands of Barnidge.
Comparing the Two QBs: Although neither quarterback was able to lead a touchdown drive, both quarterbacks moved the ball at times. Hoyer was credited for his confidence in directing the offense -- things a veteran quarterback would do. Manziel made noise with his legs, whether it be running the ball via the read-option or throwing on the run. On the drive in which two touchdown passes were dropped, it was a 16-play drive. I can't wait for next Saturday, when we get to see both quarterbacks go up against a defense other than our own, so we can try to assess whether our defense is that good or whether our offense is that behind.
Safety Depth: The Browns were without FS Tashaun Gipson, who is resting a sprained knee. In Gipson's absence, Jordan Poyer filled in with the first-team defense, which is another strong indicator how his spot on the depth chart. Reports say that veteran Jim Leonhard was already getting some first-team reps as a nickel safety.
2nd Team Offensive Line: Our friend Dan Kadar of Mocking the Draft was at the scrimmage, and he listed which players were on the second-team offensive line: LT Paul McQuistan, LG Alex Parsons, C Jeremiah Warren, RG John Greco and RT Reid Fragel. Keep in mind that with OT Martin Wallace out, that could have effected the tackle situation for the second unit. Reports say that all of the centers after Alex Mack were giving pretty poor snaps.
Where is Cameron? The Browns had TE Jordan Cameron on the field to begin the scrimmage, but pulled him out after the first series. Mike Pettine said that Cameron banged his shoulder, but was removed for precautionary reasons.
Brownies: K Billy Cundiff made all three of his field-goal attempts, coming from 42, 53, and 28 yards. ... TE Jim Dray seemed to take TE Jordan Cameron's spot on the first-team offense after he left. ... OG John Greco and OG Garrett Gilkey continued to rotate snaps at right guard on the first-team offense. ... FB MarQueis Gray caught a 12-yard pass after QB Brian Hoyer rolled to his left and threw him the ball. ... CB Joe Haden had a good day in coverage. WR Josh Gordon was not at practice. ... The Browns are off on Sunday but will return to Berea for practice on Monday.
Link Collection / Training Camp Sources
- Manziel shows some razzle-dazzle (Cabot, Plain Dealer)
- Defenses outscores offense in team scrimmage (Grossi, ESPN Cleveland)
- Highlights from the team’s scrimmage at the University of Akron (Kadar, Akron Beacon Journal)
- 2014 Browns training camp snapshot: Day 7 (Ulrich, Akron Beacon Journal)
- Browns scrimmage opens the door for several players (Jones, Browns.com)
- Browns Camp Report: Day 7 (McManamon, ESPN)