Mother Nature threw another wrench in the Browns’ plans on Wednesday, as lightning, rain, and humidity wreaked havoc on Day 11 of Browns’ training camp.
The Browns seemed to have a solid day of practice, according to media reports, though Terrelle Pryor left early due to a minor calf aggravation.
Head coach Hue Jackson ruled out wideouts Andrew Hawkins and Corey Coleman due to hamstring issues that have kept the two out of practice the last few days. On the plus side, that might give the club a chance to look at the wideouts deeper on the depth chart. More on that below.
As per usual, Jackson’s comments appear first, followed by the players’ thoughts. Jackson’s full presser is here, the player transcripts are here.
- After lightning moved practice indoors, Jackson felt cramped inside. But the quick changes in venue might have helped the team, in Jackson’s estimation.
“It just didn’t feel right. The ball kept hitting the net. It was loud. You hear all these different voices and everything. I’m like, ‘Oh, my gosh. Can we go back outside?’ (laughter) I thought we needed to get back outside, which was good. Again, I kind of like that sometimes when things are not going as well – it wasn’t the practice; it was just us being inside – and having to switch and all of a sudden refocus and go do it again because that’s just the way football is sometimes. Sometimes, it’s just not there and you have to go find it. Our guys, it was muddy and water puddles and wet balls and the whole nine yards so I kind of like it like that when it’s hard because football is hard.”
- As mentioned above, the Browns have several wideouts sidelined due to injury. Fortunately, all of the issues are minor.
“Hawk definitely won’t play and Corey won’t play either. Those guys, we’re going to make sure that they’re exactly where they need to be. I think Terrelle will be fine. He was practicing and I made a decision to take him out. He wanted to stay out there. My job is to make sure that our players are OK, but I think he’ll be fine, till the doctors tell me so will I really know. We’re going to put a team out there that’s going to go out there and play hard and execute our offense and defense and special teams.”
- Some in the media, Tony Grossi in particular, have criticized Isaiah Crowell for dropping passes out of the backfield. Jackson agreed the critiques are justified.
“Anybody who is dropping a pass – Isaiah or receivers, tight ends, anybody – we need to get that better. Our goal is to keep the ball off the ground and catch every ball that’s thrown and be very accurate with the ball. I hope that it’s the elements. We have to learn how to catch a wet ball and how to throw a wet ball because that’s just part of it, too. It’s something that I have to make sure as a team that we take care of. We don’t want to drop any balls. All of our players need to continue to get better catching the ball.”
- Browns’ journeyman defensive lineman Nick Hayden received words of praise from Jackson today. Jackson recalled Hayden’s time in Cincinnati.
“I remember he was a fierce competitor. He liked to play the game. He was tough. He worked hard, and he was one of our final cuts. I kind of knew who he was when he came to work out so I kind of had a memory of what he did when he was there. That guy has worked extremely hard, and I think football is very important to him.”
- Before calling Seth DeValve a “tremendous athlete if he’s healthy,” Jackson talked about tight end Connor Hamlett. The youngster still has a ways to go, but Jackson seems to like him.
“Obviously, he’s made some plays. He’s made some plays catching the ball. He’s very accountable, knows what to do. I also think that he knows he needs to continue to get better. He’s a big tall guy so he has to block some of these strong smaller guys at times. That’s an area he has to continue to get better at. He’s working at it, and I give him a lot of credit for his tenacity and how he stays after it so he has a chance. Again, we need to see a lot of these things show up versus an opponent as we move forward.”
- Jackson spoke about another young player, Jordan Poyer, today during his presser. Poyer has earned time with the first team at safety, as Jackson affirmed.
“He’s a returning player. He has had some good moments here, but the consistency of every guy back there needs to improve. I’ve told them all that. Our goal is to make sure nobody catches the ball. That’s his job. He’s the center fielder back there. If the ball is thrown down the middle, he has got to be back there to make a play and has got to make great tackles. That’s what we’re asking everybody on defense to do. We have an expectation. We’ve got to get our guys up to that level. Not that they’re not, but again, we’ve done certain things out there in practice, but we’ll find out a little bit more about our guys come Friday.”
- As a final note, Jackson did not divulge any information about playing time during Friday’s scrimmage against Green Bay, though weather will not have an impact, Jackson says.
TE Seth DeValve
- Suffering a hamstring injury in mini-camp, DeValve has watched from the sidelines during training camp, taking it all in. The Princeton grad has prepared mentally, but the rest of camp will be a grind physically. In an ideal world, DeValve wants to be a physical, but also versatile, type of player.
“I’m very much a hybrid TE-WR in my own mind, one who is able to block and is big enough and strong enough to block but really my training up to this point in my career and what I feel I’m best at is route running. That being said, I can be used in different areas to create different mismatch opportunities. Really being strong and fast and mobile for my size is what I feel I bring to the table.”
DL Nick Hayden
- Calling himself “relentless,” Hayden talked about his experience as a defensive tackle in a 4-3. In the Browns’ new system, Hayden projects as a 3-4 defensive end. Hayden doesn’t see the transition as a problem.
“This is something new for me and it’s been great. As an older veteran, it’s always fun to learn something new as the years go on so it’s been great learning it so far. Guys have been great and helpful. It’s been fun [...] It’s pretty much the same. It’s a lot more, maybe more two-gapping in a 3-4 then a 4-3. There are more gaps secured in a 4-3, but it’s pretty much the same carry over. More read technique in a 3-4 I would have to say, but mostly everything is just football.”
- The Browns’ rookie out of Oklahoma State has flipped positions several times this training camp, switching between defensive line and linebacker. According to Ogbah, he’ll play both spots on Friday.
“I spend most of my time with the D-line, but I still look at the outside linebacker plays and all that. I still go through it [...] It’s definitely challenging because you have to know a bunch of plays. You have to know different positons. I actually like that. It makes me more flexible. I’ll be able to do whatever the coaches ask me to do.”
S Jordan Poyer
- Viewed as a starter at safety following the departure of Tashaun Gipson and Donte Whitner, Poyer has enjoyed a nice camp. That doesn’t mean he’s taking a starting job for granted.
“Obviously, the situation being in right now, I want to take hold of it and grasp it and do everything possible I can with it. That being said, I’ve been preparing like a starter. It’s earned. It’s not given. I definitely want to earn that position.”
That’s it for today, folks. The Browns have tomorrow off before playing against the Packers on Friday. Stay tuned to DBN for more coverage of the Browns’ training camp.