The first burst of training camp is over.
The Cleveland Browns completed day five of training camp today under the hot sun in Berea, completing a five-day stretch before taking a mandatory day off tomorrow.
As per usual, Hue Jackson’s quotes come first, followed by the players, and today, the assistant coaches. Jackson’s press is here, Robert Griffin III’s quotes are here, and the rest of the player and coach transcripts are here.
- At times, Jackson can be an enigma. Yesterday, Jackson said: “When you don’t turn the ball over, that’s good on offense, but on defense, we need to get more turnovers.” Today?
“We’re just trying to still put it all together, but I think we’re a team that’s growing and getting better each and every day. I don’t like the turnovers. We had a couple costly ones in some drills. It’s good that the defense is getting them. The offense, we have to protect the ball a little better.”
By Jackson’s statements during camp, it sounds like both sides of the ball could be more consistent.
- The primary story of Jackson’s camp has been the physicality. So far, Jackson likes how his players have adapted.
“I said this would be a physical camp and it has been. I think our guys are getting better and getting the hang of it. There will be a time at some point where I think we’ve had enough of that, but I need to find out about our team and I’m finding out. I’m finding out some good things, and I’m finding out some things we need to improve.”
- Center Cameron Erving left practice early with a “ding” during a goal line drill, but Jackson said the second year lineman will be fine. The interesting part about Jackson’s quote? Jackson seems to be very high on Erving.
“He’s been doing outstanding. I’ve been very, very impressed with Cam. We have a group up front led by (OL) Joe (Thomas) that’s starting to really grow and start to have an identity of what it takes to play in the National Football League. I think we’ll keep growing and keep pushing. They’ll follow the lead of Joe and (OL) Joel Bitonio and Cam. We have a chance to be a good offensive line.”
- Quarterbacks are always a big part of training camp discussion, and this year’s edition has been no different. Fielding questions about RG3 and Josh McCown, Jackson dropped this insight into the Browns’ view of the situation, as it pertains to McCown. According to Jackson, McCown doesn’t have to mentor Cody Kessler and the young guys to make the team.
“In my honest opinion, that has nothing to do with him remaining on the team. That’ll be an organizational decision about all of our quarterbacks. At the same time, Josh McCown is very important to me. Just because here’s a guy with a lot of skins on the wall. He’s done a lot of great things in this league and understands it. I think we know how all of this goes. This is not just about who you like. It’s about what’s best for our organization. He’s done a tremendous job and what a good football player. I’m really grateful to have him here and be around him. I think all of the quarterbacks are, too, because he’s been outstanding.”
- After a one-on-one drill, Corey Coleman and Justin Gilbert had a small confrontation today. Coleman beat Gilbert to haul in a touchdown pass, leading to the exchanging of pleasantries, quickly broken up by Jackson.
“It’s competitiveness, you know. Again, one guy is trying to score, the other guy is trying to stop him from scoring so they kind of go after it. Again, I want it to all happen within the rules of the game. It did. It could always escalate, I’m being very honest with you. I never want to have anything escalate because we can’t tolerate that because that can’t happen on the field. That’s where the penalty flag comes out. Our guys have to learn to keep their poise and control their emotions. Things get hot sometimes. That’s just part of it, but you got to do it the right way because we don’t want it to cost our football team.”
Robert Griffin III
The presumed starter for the Browns, RG3 gave a long interview with the media today. Of his long list of quotes, the best of the bunch might have been his bit about Corey Coleman, perhaps the MVP of camp thus far.
“I know Corey. I was leaving Baylor when he was a recruit coming in and I went back to Baylor a bunch, so I know Corey really well. I know what he’s about. I know what drives him. The same with (WR) Josh (Gordon). It’s been fun, the experience of getting to know the rest of the receivers in the same exact way, what drives them, what they do well, what motivates them. Corey coming out and a couple other guys came out, as well, to work with me in the offseason. It builds trust. It builds camaraderie to know when he’s going to be coming out of his breaks. He made the effort to come out, to come workout when he could be off. He could be in the Bahamas or something, sipping on piña coladas or whatever he wanted to do. He came out to work.”
LB Barkevious Mingo
- One of the biggest questions defensive coordinator Ray Horton faced entering the offseason is where to position Mingo. From Mingo’s quote, it seems like he’ll be moving around a bit.
“Yeah, the way this defense is built, guys move around. We have linebackers on some plays that they’re playing corner. We have corners on some plays are playing inside linebacker. It’s just the way he built this defense and you never know where guys are going to line up and where they’re coming from.”
LB Nate Orchard
- Some players study film more than others, and Nate Orchard seems like the type to spend extra time in the film room. The second-year linebacker talked today about spending time looking at Horton’s Browns defense in 2013 and his schemes with the Titans.
“Yes, I definitely studied the Titans last year to get familiarized with the defense, especially during OTAs. I saw the success they’ve had on the outside, different opportunity just for different position groups. I feel like every position had a sack and that’s what he harps on. That’s what we’re excited for is for everyone to get these opportunities.”
LB Joe Schobert
- When the Browns drafted Schobert out of Wisconsin, many wondered where he would play. So far in training camp, the rookie has played mostly outside linebacker, saying his strongsuit is his versatility.
“In coverage, I can cover guys pretty well in open space. I can rush the passer. Having (strength and conditioning assistant/skills development) Joe Kim as one of the strength coaches is very helpful with that with his hand fighting that he does, with his karate background and definitely making strides in that area. Just getting more reps at it is what’s going to be important for me.”
ILB Coach Johnny Holland
- The linebacker position has quietly been a focus for the Browns in the offseason, as the club added Schobert and Scooby Wright, along with Demario Davis. Holland praised Davis as a “natural leader” and Wright as a “very hard worker,” but Holland’s quote about Christian Kirksey might be the most intriguing.
“Chris is blessed with a lot of athletic ability, for sure. Just what I’ve seen of Chris from last year, he didn’t get a lot of playing time, and they say he wasn’t as physical as what they like. I’d say Chris is a physical player. He’s got a lot of ability to come downhill and thump. He doesn’t shy away from contact. He can cover tight ends, running backs, a great athlete. He will be a great asset to our group and our defense.”
TE Coach Greg Seamon
- Since Gary Barnidge and Seth DeValve have sat out due to injury, tight end has not been a big position in camp. But the Browns plan to use two tight ends frequently, making the battle for the second spot a critical one.
“What we have at my position really is Gary and the kids. There are five or six of them and none of them have really played. Some haven’t played at all. We are giving everybody an opportunity to play different positions within the tight end group through camp here. It’ll play itself out as we go through the preseason. There are jobs available. I’m lucky in this regard, they’re all bright kids, they’re all hard workers and they all certainly have unique skills to themselves. Connor [Hamlett] is a long, tall, spidery guy with excellent hands. He’s very smart. We’ll see how it plays out. Right now, those jobs are available. What we’re attempting to do in practice is give everybody enough repetitions at all the various spots so that when we get to the games, they can go in and show what they can do. So far so good. I’m lucky to have a guy like Gary in the room as a veteran because he’s a great resource for those guys on his own experience because He wasn’t a star right away. He worked up through the system and then became a Pro Bowl talent. Connor is doing well.”
OLB Coach Ryan Slowik
- One of the most promising players at camp is Emmanuel Ogbah. The only problem is where to play him. Ogbah has seen most of his reps at defensive line, but Slowik values his skills at linebacker.
“Yes, everything he did in the spring is still part of his game and that’s kind of the beauty of having someone like that is the versatility they bring to your team. What he can do from a rush perspective, from a drop perspective, that will always be part of his game.”
That’s it for tonight’s edition of Clips and Quips. We receive a break tomorrow before the Browns resume camp on Thursday.
Speaking of, DBN will be making a radio appearance on Thursday, as I’ll be appearing on Fox Sports 1380 in Everett, Washington. Follow us on Twitter @DawgsByNature for information on how to listen.