Celebrities ran amok in Berea on Friday evening, as the Browns hosted day seven of training camp in front of fans, former star players, and national media members in town for Saturday’s Enshrinement Ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In addition to being the most star-studded practice, day seven might have been the most intense. The full-contact scrimmage gave us a small glimpse of what to expect come the regular season.
Head Coach Hue Jackson
- As a writer, I often view a head coach’s most important quotes to be his opening statement. The coach often reveals what’s on his mind, without any prompting from the media. I’ve talked about Jackson’s opening statements a lot this camp as a result. Thus far, today’s initial recap by Jackson might be the most positive. Jackson seems to think his team is growing and coming together. His team is certainly not perfect, but getting there.
“That was fun. The other day, the offense kind of got off to a fast start against the defense and had them on their heels, and then it flipped. Today, the defense got off to a fast start and kind of had the offense on their heels. For me, like I told our team, that’s the making of a good football team. If the offense is always dominating the defense or the defense is always dominating the offense, then we’ve got a problem. What I saw over the last couple of days was a team that’s beginning a team, guys that are competing extremely hard. We have got some guys that can make some plays on offense, defense and I believe on special teams. I just think we’ve got to keep growing. I just think we’ve got to keep working and pay attention to detail. We had too many misalignments and those types of things that we need to clean up. On defense, we have got to continue to tackle better and swarm the ball. We need to get more turnovers, but I thought it was a good effort by our guys.”
- Without a doubt, Corey Coleman has been the star of camp. That’s not to say Coleman will become the next Odell Beckham Jr. However, Jackson seems happy to gloat about picking the Baylor grad.
“He’s not doing anything that I’m surprised of. I said it before, that’s why we drafted him. He’s a tremendously talented young man. He’s got some growing to do so there are some things that he’s got to clean up and continue to get better at. He always finds a way to make a play. That’s what you’re looking for in a guy that has the opportunity to score the football like he does. Obviously, in order for him to catch those balls, there is some good protection going on, there is a good ball thrown and he is able to make some plays.
- Fans love Coleman, but the rookie is becoming a media darling, too. Eight of the 11 questions asked during Jackson’s presser were in regards to Coleman. Jackson loves his new wideout, but isn’t ready to christen him a superstar just yet.
“I don’t want to anoint this young man yet. It is way too soon. I’ll be the first to tell you that. Has he shown some very unquestionability? Yes he has. I want to give him that, but at the same, he knows there are some things I’m expecting him to get cleaned up here real fast in order to be the type of player I think he can be [...] He’s got to get lined up right. There is a lot on his plate that we do that he has got to learn how to handle the right way that, and I think he will. Again, it’s early for him.”
- Following a strong start, the running game took a big step back today. Jackson roasted the offense for failing to run the ball in practice.
“I didn’t like it. I’ll be the first to tell you I didn’t like it. I liked the second part of it. There were a couple of times that Crow (RB Isaiah Crowell) had some good runs. We have got to get our pads down. I think what it was is that our defense said, ‘Forget you, we’re not letting you run it today.’ That’s going to happen. We play in the AFC North. There are some really good defensive football teams. They’re not going to just let you walk out there and just walk up and down the field. We have got to become a gritty group up front. We have got to find a way to make the run game go, and we will. I feel very confident about that. I was happy with (defensive coordinator) Coach (Ray) Horton and the defensive staff and our defensive players by slowing the run game down. That’s a good thing.”
WR Corey Coleman
- As mentioned above, few have performed to the level of Corey Coleman this training camp. Coleman has stayed humble, thanking Robert Griffin III and Tramon Williams, though the rookie definitely feels like he has something to prove.
“To answer that, yes because I’m just really competitive. I like to win in everything I do. I wouldn’t have to say it has so much to do with the draft but just me coming in as a receiver, as a rookie, trying to prove myself and trying to earn a spot on this team.”
- Also, as a quick clip, Coleman feels his biggest area of improvement is the playbook.
“Really, I’d say as a rookie, and for all the rookies, the playbook. Some stuff is difficult but you just have to stay in that playbook and really focus and take pride in studying that thing because that can keep a lot of people from not playing.”
RB Isaiah Crowell
- Jackson didn’t mince words in his analysis of the running game’s performance today. Crowell spoke clearly, too.
“I feel like just everybody as an offense just has to come together and put them together. I feel the same way and I feel like we can do way better [...] Really, it was kind of frustrating out there today, but I know what our potential is. I know what we have been doing the past days and what we will do in the future. It’s just a lot of work to do, but our defense is a good defense. There are going to be ups and downs on offense and defense when we’re going against each other.”
CB Tramon Williams
- As one of the few veterans around from last year, Williams has a unique perspective. Williams spoke today about the differences between Jim O’Neil’s defense and Ray Horton’s scheme.
“First of all, the scheme is similar, but a lot different. A lot of different things, we do this year. The coach is very, very smart. Guys have been in this league, been defensive coordinators for a lot of different teams and pretty much have been in the top 10 everywhere he’s (defensive coordinator Ray Horton) been. He’s played the game. He’s played the game so he understands the players. Anything we like, we can go to him and tell him, and anything we don’t like, he won’t call it. For a player, that’s big. I think we just have a good chemistry among the coaches that we have.”
That’s all for tonight’s Clips and Quips. The Browns will be in Columbus tomorrow for the Orange & Brown Scrimmage — stay tuned to DBN for full coverage tomorrow.