Thebegan Day 1 of their mandatory minicamp session on Tuesday. Most of the team has been going through OTA sessions over the past couple of weeks, but minicamp will be the team's final get-together until training camp in late-July. Our Day 1 minicamp report is below, derived from noteworthy news and nuggets from local media reports.
CLEVELAND BROWNS - DAY 1 MINICAMP RECAP (6/16/15)
- Johnny "Idiot Face" Manziel: One day after attending WWE Monday Night Raw and being called "Johnny Idiot Face" during a promo by a professional wrestler, Manziel was ready to show the media was progress he's ready to make on the football field. Unfortunately, it didn't go well at all for the second-year quarterback, who probably felt like a bit of an "idiot face" after dropping 3 shotgun snaps in 6 attempts:
#Browns QB Johnny Manziel dropped three shotgun snaps in same 11-on-11 period. Threw ball down in frustration after last one.— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) June 16, 2015
Josh McCown Leaves No Doubt: During last year's quarterback competition, the feeling was that it was always QB Brian Hoyer's job to lose, but he never really had a defining practice that solidified his starting role. If Day 1 of minicamp is any indication, McCown is by far locked in as the team's starting quarterback. I'm not sure whether we should view that as a positive for McCown or a negative for Manziel. McCown also had high praise for an offensive line that will be a little unsettled on the right side until the team figures out where to put rookie C Cameron Erving:
Josh McCown can't believe how smart Browns O-linemen are. Says this is best line he has played with in 13 years.— Steve Doerschuk (@sdoerschukREP) June 16, 2015
Exploiting Match-Up Problems: During some of the OTA sessions, we've heard that the Browns will be utilizing their personnel at more unique positions this year to keep teams guessing. As Kevin Jones of Browns.com described today, one example involves the slot receiver position, where anyone from running backs to wide receivers to tight ends are seeing action there.
Players who lined up as a slot receiver on Tuesday: Running back Isaiah Crowell, tight end Rob Housler and wide receivers Dwayne Bowe, Brian Hartline, Taylor Gabriel, Hawkins and Rodney Smith. Instead of running rigid, baseline formations, offensive coordinator John DeFilippo has displayed his creativity in June. Cleveland is running a matchup-style passing attack, and it’s looking like who plays where will be constantly in flux to throw off the opponent.
Mack Getting More Work In: For the first time since breaking his leg last year, C Alex Mack took part in some team drills. The team has every intention of having him ready for a full workload by the start of training camp. In the mean time, OL Ryan Seymour is still also seeing some work at center.
Shelton Makes His Debut: After missing all of OTAs because he was finishing his degree, first-round NT Danny Shelton was back and ready-to-go for OTAs. Someone asked a couple of weeks ago what Shelton was studying for his final course load, and we actually have the answer now:
#Browns NT Danny Shelton said finished bioanthropology, women's studies to graduate from Wash over weekend, which was very important to mom.— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) June 16, 2015
- Injury Notes: As discussed earlier today, FS Tashaun Gipson disappointed head coach Mike Pettine when he showed up to practice with a hamstring injury. NT Phil Taylor, DL Xavier Cooper, OLB Barkevious Mingo, CB Tramon Williams, and OL Cameron Erving also spent most of practice off to the side.
- Brownies: Per Browns.com, the first-team defensive line rotation right now includes Desmond Bryant, Randy Starks, and Ishmaa'ily Kitchen. ... S Jordan Poyer will get first-team work until FS Tashaun Gipson is ready. ... DL Armonty Bryant is getting some light work in, starting with 7-on-7 drills. ... While OLB Barkevious Mingo is out, OLB Scott Solomon is seeing some first-team reps. ... QB Josh McCown hit WR Andrew Hawkins on a couple of big plays. ... RB Duke Johnson is now under contract.
The Browns will be back on the practice field Wednesday for Day 2 of minicamp.