Day 10 oftraining camp took place on Monday and I was in attendance for the second time this camp. I kept checking the weather forecast on Sunday, and it was calling for possible thunderstorms in the morning. The storms ended up holding off as practice commenced under partly cloudy skies.
For those who read my previous "trip to Berea" report, you might find this a little amusing: when I arrived at the same rapid station in the morning, I saw the same old racist dude walking away from the station on the sidewalk. Is that guy just creeping around the station or something? My full training camp report is below.
CLEVELAND BROWNS TRAINING CAMP REPORT - DAY 10 (8/10/15)
- Setting the Stage: I arrived at 8:35 AM and there was no line -- I was able to enter right away after having my bag checked. Practice was taking place on the left field closest to the field house again, so we headed on over there and found a spot next to the rising camera bay.
Speaking of which, to make lives easier for the CSC security guards, the Browns should really place some cones / caution tape around the camera bay, because the guard had to probably tell fans 100 times during practice that they could not stand in front of it. The guard also had to keep asking fans not to block the path of the vendor who was selling drinks.
- Coons Continues to Have the Edge: It's not just a flip of the coin that K Travis Coons is listed ahead of K Carey Spear on the depth chart, and that he was the kicker to receiver opportunities at 47- and 53-yards at the scrimmage. During today's practice, the Browns worked on a lot of special teams drills compared to other practices, and Coons seemed to be receiving more reps than Spear. The competition itself will probably come down to how each player performs in the preseason, but the injury to K Shaun Suisham in Pittsburgh will likely narrow the field of veteran kickers who are available.
- Montgomery Becoming a Hero: At the start of practice, running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery came over to shake the hands of the military personnel who were attending practice next to us. He also proceeded to walk down the sideline to greet the fans and shake some of their hands. He nodded to me, and for a second I thought about making a comment like, "keep it up, Montgomery, get those running backs in the shape they need to be."
One of those backs would be RB Terrance West, who was in full pads today and second in the running back rotation behind RB Isaiah Crowell. I'm still a bit irked by West's general demeanor, and that continued after practice when he responded to an ESPN Cleveland tweet that relayed a comment from Tony Grossi:
@ESPNCleveland lol. That's not how you spell my name. . It's TerrAnce lol. Now CarryOn— TWEST (@Terrancewest_28) August 10, 2015
- Defensive Backs Playing Tight: The defensive backs were playing some very tight coverage during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, which allowed the quarterbacks to challenge themselves in trying to fit the ball in to receivers. There were some nice pass break-ups by CB Tramon Williams (on a slant pass to WR Marlon Moore) and later by CB K'Waun Williams on a pass toward the sideline. CB Justin Gilbert also should have had an interception over the middle but dropped it. CB Joe Haden also joined in on the fun, again deflecting a pass away from Moore:
- McCown With the Plays of the Day: The cornerbacks continued to have tight coverage, but QB Josh McCown showed off why he's a much better deep ball thrower than QB Brian Hoyer ever was a year ago. The first notable play of the day came during 7-on-7 drills as WR Taylor Gabriel streaked up the right sideline. Despite CB Joe Haden being in his back pocket, Gabriel held on as he made a diving, over-the-shoulder catch.
Later on, McCown had time to throw in the pocket and spotted TE Gary Barnidge getting some separation deep over the middle of the field. FS Tashaun Gipson trailed in coverage and tried to make a play on the ball but came up short. You can see Barnidge's catch-and-run below:
- Up-and-Down Day for Housler: When the Browns released their depth chart on Sunday, I wasn't surprised to see TE Rob Housler listed as the No. 3 guy. He was supposedly seeing a lot of action during OTAs, but he's been practically invisible throughout camp. I saw him involved in a play for the first time during 7-on-7 drills, when he made this catch on a pass from QB Josh McCown over trailing OLB Paul Kruger:
- Gasp! GET UP! With only about ten minutes to go in practice, the Browns' final drill of the day saw the offense backed up in their own end zone trying to run plays against the defense. I heard a yell and then looked to see an offensive lineman on the left side of the line collapsing to the ground. I knew the first-team offense was in, so for about five seconds, I grimaced and was hoping to see LT Joe Thomas get up. The Plain Dealer happened to catch video of the incident and the aftermath:
As the Plain Dealer explains, while engaged in a battle with C Alex Mack, NT Danny Shelton rolled up on Thomas. Thomas was replaced by OT Michael Bowie for the remainder of the first-team reps as Thomas was escorted to the field house by a trainer. He did not have any noticable limp from what I could see. Post-practice, teammates have downplayed the injuries, but Thomas will undergo tests to be sure. I want to be optimistic, but you never know.
- Sound the Horn: A few plays later, WR Brian Hartline ran a route up the right sideline and QB Josh McCown targeted him. Hartline got tangled up with CB Tramon Williams, and the veteran receiver came up limping. The horn immediately sounded to end practice, as if to say, "we better not push our luck any further." Hartline rolled his ankle, but we don't know if it will keep him out of Tuesday's practice yet.
- Camp Chatter: (1) At the beginning of practice, and after running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery had done so, WR Brian Hartline walked up to the military standing near us and shook their hands, telling them "I appreciate what you do." As Hartline retreated, a fan yelled out, "Hey Hartline, I got your glass yesterday," referring to the Papa John's Browns glasses. Hartline responded, "Yeah, how many pizzas?" to which the fan laughed and responded, "just one."
(2) This one isn't camp chatter, but rather the "clicking" that spoke volumes. After Thomas was hurt, a couple of plays later, he was being escorted to the locker room. When all of the photographers in front of me saw this, they all rotated away from the action on the field and started taking shots of Thomas. That's the money shot of the day for your lede, so I don't blame them.
(3) I'd like to thank John Telich, (possibly Jeff Schudel), Nate Ulrich, and Scott Petrak for standing tall in front of the fans' view for nearly a half hour when much of the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills were taking place. Mary Kay Cabot also came over near the group but was the only one to kneel down. About 20 feet away from the reporters were two assistants with the Browns, and a couple of fans from another section kept yelling, "hey, can you guys get down, we're trying to watch!"
Eventually, those fans got the attention of the CSC security worker and asked him if he could tell them to move. The security worker looked over, saw who they were, and replied to the fan, "I can't tell them to move, they're coaches. They're staff, I'm not telling them what to do."
Personally, I don't understand why media and staff can't go in the space between the fields so they don't obstruct the view of fans. It's hard enough to "guess" where the best seat of the house is for any particular day of camp, and even if you do guess right, people often end up standing in your way.
(4) "Get Phil in there for two more reps," said a defensive coach at the end of practice as I saw NT Phil Taylor being rotated in to a few of the 11-on-11 series. Taylor was listed first on the depth chart on Sunday and is starting to slowly see his workload pick up again.
- Injury Update: Per Browns.com, the following Browns did not participate today: WR Dwayne Bowe (hamstring), DB Pierre Desir (hamstring), RB Shaun Draughn (hand), DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (knee), RB Duke Johnson Jr. (hamstring), OL Joe Madsen (concussion), RB Luke Lundy (concussion), OL Darrian Miller (knee), LB Barkevious Mingo (knee), DB Robert Nelson Jr. (hamstring), WR Terrelle Pryor (hamstring), DB De’Ante Saunders (calf), TE Randall Telfer (foot), DL Billy Winn (knee/ankle) and RB Glenn Winston (knee).
- Brownies: There were 3,347 fans who attended practice. ... Per Kevin Jones of Browns.com, DL Dylan Wynn saw some surprise first-team reps on Monday. ... Speaking of Jones, I saw him walk by twice and it looked like he could've used a cup of coffee ;) ... CB Justin Gilbert was first up to receive kickoff reps. ... John Greco was back with the first-team as the starting right guard. ... The Browns were working out of the Pistol formation with QB Johnny Manziel early in the day.
Newly-signed CB Joe Rankin picked off QB Johnny Manziel in just his second day of practice. ... Toward the end of practice, backed up in his own goal line, Manziel found his security blanket in WR Josh Lenz on a throw while rolling out to his right. ... During offensive-only drills at the start of practice, Cleveland worked in a fake handoff followed by an end around to WR Taylor Gabriel. ... The Browns' next practice is Tuesday at 9:30 AM in Berea (gates open at 8:30 AM). ... Papa John's will be giving out free pizza slices again on Tuesday morning in Berea. ... The Browns did a live look in on Monday.
In the final five seconds below, you can see another shot of McCown-to-Barnidge (I can also see myself in the background, to the left of the camera bay in the background).
Here, your Monday needs some more . DAY 10 HIGHLIGHTS. https://t.co/ox5DNEn4Hf— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 10, 2015
Link Collection / Training Camp Sources
Today's report was compiled by myself, and the videos are once again attributable to The OBR on Twitter. This was my final of two trips to Berea this year.