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Cleveland Browns Training Camp Report: Day 5 - Dial Up the Trick Plays

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Day 5 of Cleveland Browns training camp took place on Tuesday after the team had their first break on Monday. Although the team signed two more running backs on Monday, another one went down on Tuesday, this time at the fullback position.


  1. Malcolm Johnson Exits: Half-way through practice, FB Malcolm Johnson walked off the field with a trainer. Head coach Mike Pettine did not know what was wrong with him after practice, but it was later ruled that he suffered a shoulder injury. We should know more on Wednesday regarding his timetable for a return, but it means another potentially valuable member of the Browns' backfield is going to miss reps. The other fullback contender at this point would seem to be tight end E.J. Bibbs, who has changed numbers from No. 49 to No. 88.

  2. Trick Plays for Pryor: The plays that everybody talked about on Tuesday involved WR Terrelle Pryor, who threw his first two passes of camp on trick plays.

    The first trick play came when the defense wasn't on the field. QB Johnny Manziel gave the ball to Pryor on an end-around, who when threw the ball in the corner of the end zone to WR Dwayne Bowe. The second trick play was more legitimate since it was during an 11-on-11 drill. QB Josh McCown gave the ball to Pryor on an end-around, who then threw the ball deep down field to WR Travis Benjamin. The throw was said to have been a wobbling duck, and the only reason that CB Pierre Desir didn't make a play on it was because he slipped and fell. Benjamin camped under the ball and caught it for a touchdown. Sadly, no one must have captured the play well enough on their phone, although Kevin Jones of tried his best to splice something together: It wasn't all fun and games for Pryor, though, as he tweaked his hamstring during a special teams drill and had a bag of ice on it at the end of practice. Pryor doesn't think it's too serious and hopes he can play in this week's scrimmage in Columbus.

  3. Shelton the Real Deal: Browns GM Ray Farmer desperately needs a solid first-round pick on his track record, and it sounds like he might have finally gotten one right in NT Danny Shelton. Shelton has been physically impressive over the first few days of camp. Rather than just being a big-looking guy, he's been a big-looking guy who makes his presence known to the opposition: Also, here is a shot of Shelton being too much for backup OL Karim Barton to handle (side note: Barton has been blown up a few times this camp):
  4. A Peek at the Offensive Line: If things have been going hot for NT Danny Shelton, they haven't been so hot for the team's other first-round pick, OL Cameron Erving. The Browns continue using Erving at right guard with the second-team offense. He isn't struggling in camp by any means, but his primary competition right now is RG John Greco, and there haven't been any signs of a change coming with the first-team offensive line. My projection right now is that Erving starts the season as a backup, but would be the first player to enter the game is an injury should occur.

    Here is what offensive line coach Andy Moeller said about Greco after practice:
    "Last year, John did a great job for us. John really exceeded my expectations a year ago. He has played well this fall. He is a competitive guy. He is a veteran. He knows how to play. He is smart. John is obviously an important guy, and I like the way he has played so far."
    Moeller also talked about OL Michael Bowie, who has lost 40 pounds since February. Moeller praised his effort to get in shape, but also noted that he needs to be more consistent. The language Moeller used didn't seem to indicate that Bowie is any form of a threat to Mitchell Schwartz' starting job this camp.

  5. Red Zone Drills: I am jealous of the fans who picked Tuesday to visit training camp. Not only did the Browns use the field closest to the front entrance (which is by far the closest view for fans) to practice on, the team primarily worked on drills near the red zone. Drills that focus on a niche are much funner to watch.

  6. McCown's Strong Day Ends With Defense On Top: QB Josh McCown had another strong day of practice, finding TE Gary Barnidge and WR Brian Hartline for touchdowns in the red zone drills. Just as Kevin Jones of noted that McCown had not thrown a single interception in 11-on-11 drills since camp began, the "unthinkable" happened.

    The competition to end practice saw the offense at the 4 yard line trying to get into the end zone. Per Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer, OLB Paul Kruger tipped McCown's pass at the line and CB Tramon Williams made a diving interception to secure the camouflage jerseys for the defense on Wednesday.

  7. Desir Continues to Start: It was CB Joe Haden's turn for an off day, and for the second practice in a row, CB Pierre Desir was with the first-team defense instead of CB Justin Gilbert. In other cornerback news, rookie CB Charles Gaines saw some work with the first-team defense as the nickel corner for part of practice. Later in practice, CB K'Waun Williams was back to his normal spot. We're not sure if something was wrong with Williams or if the coaches were just mixing up the reps.

  8. The Difference a Year Makes: A year ago, the scramble below with QB Johnny Manziel probably would have been the highlight of the day and shown on every sports network. Now, it's merely a footnote highlight...and that's probably a good thing for the direction this team is trying to take. Speaking of media, ESPN's Bob Holtzman was live in Berea on Tuesday and had some good things to say about what he saw.

  9. Injury Update: Head coach Mike Pettine confirmed that DL Billy Winn does not have a high ankle sprain, which is a good sign for his return. Besides all of the running back injuries, the only new injury to report was CB Robert Nelson (hamstring).

  10. Brownies: There were 2,905 fans who attended practice. ... Besides CB Joe Haden, the other two defenders who got the day off were DL Desmond Bryant and ILB Karlos Dansby. ... Actress Valerie Bertinelli was a guest at training camp. ... The Browns have opened up more tickets to training camp practices and this week's scrimmage.

    QB Johnny Manziel finally took some reps with the first-team offense, but they were all handoffs. ... The Browns' two new running backs are going through the basics. ... The four players contending for the punt return job are WR Travis Benjamin (favorite), WR Taylor Gabriel, WR Shane Wynn, and CB Tramon Williams. ... Day 6 of practice is scheduled for 9:30 AM on Wednesday (gates open at 8:30 AM), and Papa John's will be there giving away free slices of pizza to fans.

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