Day 13 of Cleveland Browns training camp took place on Monday at St. John Fisher College, Pittsford, NY, in conjunction with the Buffalo Bills. This is the first of two practices the teams are holding with each other, prior to Thursday's preseason game back in Cleveland.
CLEVELAND BROWNS TRAINING CAMP REPORT - DAY 13 (8/17/15)
- No Fighting...Especially You, IK: At the beginning of practice, both head coaches -- Rex Ryan of the Bills and Mike Pettine of the Browns -- stood side-by-side as they talked to both teams, along with a word of warning: no fighting! According to Kevin Jones of Browns.com, Ryan had a little fun by singling out a certain someone for their actions with another team last week:
Pett and Rex just addressed both teams. Rex called out new linebacker IK Enemkpali: no fighting pic.twitter.com/zNIVX5nJvj— Kevin Jones (@Mr_KevinJones) August 17, 2015
The First Fight: Despite the warnings, you could have guaranteed that at least one confrontation between two players would have taken place. In this case, it seems like the Browns had legitimate beef.
According to ESPN's Mike Rodak, WR Marlon Moore was wearing a red, non-contact jersey as he is battling through a reported rib injury. During 11-on-11 drills, Bills LB Preston Brown "made contact with Moore," which infuriated the special teams ace and compelled him to take his helmet off and get into a bit of a scuffle, something that Mike Pettine wasn't very happy about after practice.
Browns' Defensive Backs Depleted: It was bad enough that CB Joe Haden, CB Pierre Desir, and CB Robert Nelson have been missing practice due to hamstring injuries. On Monday, a fourth cornerback was added to the list as nickel CB K'Waun Williams also sat out with an abdominal injury, and FS Tashaun Gipson continued to sit out with what is believed to be a calf injury. With five members of the Browns' secondary down, would CB Justin Gilbert be able to redeem himself from his "slightly-worse-than-flawless" performance against the Washington Redskins?
Gilbert Gets Annihilated: I promise you that I don't get any form of a high when it comes to trashing CB Justin Gilbert. It's very discouraging to see how little he's progressed, while other sophomore players (CB Pierre Desir and QB Johnny Manziel) have improved upon their craft. Things didn't get better for Gilbert in the first joint practice with the Bills. In fact, they got much, much worse. Take a look at a few of these and you'll see what the top story of practice was:
My unofficial tally of #Browns CB Justin Gilbert's practice from hell: Allowed 11 catches (4 in 1-on-1 drills, 1 in 7-on-7, six in 11-on-11)— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) August 17, 2015
I didn't see #Browns CB Justin Gilbert break up a pass. I think he gave up a catch every time he was targeted. Never seen such a rough day.— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) August 17, 2015
Facts are facts: Justin Gilbert has been beaten for two long touchdowns today. Bills throwing his way a ton— Kevin Jones (@Mr_KevinJones) August 17, 2015
Robert Woods post corner for a TD, beats Justin Gilbert. Cassel on the throw. This is getting comical with Gilbert— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) August 17, 2015
For a top ten pick, Justin Gilbert sure does get beat a lot in practice.— Matthew Fairburn (@MatthewFairburn) August 17, 2015
Whitner Takes Offense to Grossi: The media is reporting that the Browns' defensive backs were "toasted" by the Bills' receivers on Monday. While it does appear to be generally agreed upon by the media that the Browns' cornerbacks stood no chance in 1-on-1 drills, SS Donte Whitner took offense to Grossi implying that the defensive backs struggled the entire practice:
@TonyGrossi I didn't see 1 on 1's but in team and 7 on 7 the db's were not torched— DonteHitner (@DonteWhitner) August 17, 2015
Browns Shaky Offensively in 1-on-1 Drills: Usually, you don't think much of 1-on-1 drills during practice. However, it was a little unusual to hear that the Browns struggled so mightily in them on both defense and offense. According to Jason Gibbs of ESPN Cleveland, QB Josh McCown connected on just 4-of-15 throws during 1-on-1 drills. He also notes that two of those were on dropped passes by WR Terrelle Pryor after he had "made great moves to get open."
Cleveland's Defense Brings the Heat: Temperatures were in the 90s during practice, but the Browns' defense made sure they also brought their own dose of heat. Kevin Jones of Browns.com reports that "Buffalo was consistently pushed back and did not run the ball well during the joint practice session."
On the first play of 11-on-11s, NT Danny Shelton and OLB Paul Kruger reportedly burst through for a virtual sack on QB Tyrod Taylor (who is starting for the Bills this week). S Jordan Poyer, starting in place of the idle Gipson, sacked Taylor on a scramble. The Bills reportedly brought their own heat, too, as Cleveland had trouble containing DE Mario Williams:
#Bills DL Mario Williams got best of #Browns right side of OL. Sacks and run stops in backfield— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) August 17, 2015
Josh McCown Shaken Up, Stays In: At one point during practice, QB Josh McCown appeared to hurt his ankle and was limping a bit, but he continued through the rest of practice. According to ESPN Cleveland's Tony Grossi, the offense was a bit out-of-sync with regards to their expectations of the joint practice session. It sounds like some players may have anticipated a normal practice-like effort from both sides, whereas the Bills' defense was playing at game speed.
The two highlights of the day offensively were reported to be WR Travis Benjamin catching a deep pass for a touchdown during 7-on-7 drills, and then WR Taylor Gabriel hauling in a 44-yard reception during 11-on-11 drills.
- Injury Update: WR Dwayne Bowe and RB Duke Johnson continued to miss practice, but Mike Pettine says that Johnson is expected to return for the team's third preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Fortunately, the Browns escaped new injuries during Monday's joint session, but the same cannot be said for the Bills. Backup linebacker Ty Powell left with what is believed to be a torn ACL, and numerous other Bills players had to leave practice too.
- Brownies: Tuesday's practice against Buffalo will begin at 6:00 PM ET. ... WR Travis Benjamin, WR Josh Lenz, and WR Taylor Gabriel were said to be the top three receivers of the day. ... QB Johnny Manziel didn't have a noteworthy practice, although he did hit TE Rob Housler and WR Darius Jennings for touchdowns during the red zone portion of practice, per Andrew Gribble of Browns.com. ... TE E.J. Bibbs received some first-team reps during 7-on-7 drills. ... Mike Pettine told reporters that the team is pretty much set with WR Travis Benjamin at punt return, so his stock seems to be up right now.
Link Collection / Training Camp Sources
- Browns, Bills defenses take upper hand in joint practice (Grossi, ESPN Cleveland)
- 5 Browns defensive observations against the Bills (Jones, Browns.com)
5 observations of the Browns offense at Monday’s practice with Bills (Gribble, Browns.com)
- 5 observations from Bills' joint practices (Fairburn, Syracuse.com)
Cleveland Browns have Terry Talkin' (Pluto, Plain Dealer)