Cleveland Browns fans in Columbus enjoyed a chance to see the team up close today, as Ohio Stadium hosted the Orange & Brown Scrimmage on Saturday.
By all accounts, the simulated intrasquad scrimmage went well. The offense seemed to click and Terrelle Pryor shone bright on his former home field.
As per usual, Hue Jackson’s quotes come first, followed by thoughts from the players. Jackson’s presser can be found here, the transcripts from the player interviews are here.
Head Coach Hue Jackson
- The Browns have made an effort to appeal to Columbus fans in the last few years, especially with this scrimmage. Jackson likes the idea of this scrimmage, and loved the fans, calling the atmosphere “unbelievable.”
“I think it was really good for our guys to have an opportunity to come here to Ohio State. What a great environment and more so than that. More so than that, what a tremendous turnout by our fans. That says a lot about the following of the Browns. I know we have tremendous fans, but I never knew they traveled all over the place. That’s really great [...] I thought it was important for our team to really get ready for next Friday. We had a hard night last night, and we came back today. I wanted to prepare them for what to expect next week as far as being on the road, understanding how we go through our process preparing for a game and getting ready for it. I thought they handled that part of it well.”
- *Quarterback competition alert* Jackson seems almost ready to name a starter.
“Oh, I’m close. Very close. We’ll know here pretty soon exactly what we’re doing. I’m going to go back and talk to the people that I trust and that I spend a lot of time with making these kind of decisions, and we’ll move forward.”
- Jackson praised Robert Griffin III, the presumed starter, once again today. As Jackson noted, RG3 performed well today.
“I think I’ve said everything every day that everyone is seeing him get better and better every day. I’m not surprised. We try to create the right environment for him to be all he can be, and he’s working extremely hard because this is something he really wants to do. Obviously, we still have work to do, but I think he’s done a great job thus far. There are still some ladders to climb, and we’re going to keep climbing them.”
- As mentioned above, Pryor enjoyed a great day at the ‘Shoe. Jackson praised the quarterback-turned-wideout, and told an interesting story about him.
“He’s done a tremendous job. There are a lot of guys that I can say that about, but he’s definitely one. He has taken this opportunity and he is trying to make the most of it. Remember I drafted him with (late Raiders Owner) Al Davis when he came out to Oakland. He couldn’t do any football for six weeks, and he wanted to be a quarterback. That is what really believed he was. I’ll never forget last year when he was with me in Cincinnati for a little while and wanted to be a quarterback. I didn’t have enough confidence to ask him to change positions at that time, and that’s why we let him go to be honest with you because I felt like he needed to make a decision about what he needed to do. He has a close friend of mine named Craig Austin. I said tell him that maybe he needs to play receiver and do it full time. He made that decision, and he has never looked back. I think we see the fruit of his hard work. That’s what it is. He’s worked extremely hard and that’s what you see.”
- One of the surprises of camp has been the fine play of Spencer Drango. Draftniks originally projected Drango as a guard, but the rookie has been thriving at right tackle in camp, as Jackson said.
“He’s working at it. He’s one of our young players who I’m excited about. I think he has a bright future here, but as I said to all of you guys, we’re still going to continue to search and find the best five linemen up there for our football team. I think the key to our football team will be our lines, offensively and defensively. If we can continue to improve and get better, then we’ll have a chance to be where we want to be.”
A few other quick hits: Corey Coleman did not play today for precautionary reasons due to a “little hamstring issue” and Cameron Erving will be back “very soon.”
QB Robert Griffin III
- Just like Jackson, RG3 called the scrimmage “cool,” and praised Coleman and Pryor. RG3 did not reveal much during his press conference, but he did have this interesting quote.
“Yeah, I don’t think it’s really about my mindset or mentality. It’s really about just what our offense is running. It’s to give everyone confidence. When you know what you’re doing, you can play confidently. When you know what to expect and you know where to go with the ball and what Coach and how he wants to play the game, how we want to play the game, it’s easy to go out and execute. That’s just getting a better understanding of what Coach is expecting, what he wants and why is he calling that play, why is he calling that play and then you can master the system. You can go out and lead drives. It’s been really fun to just work with everybody through this whole process.”
WR Terrelle Pryor
- Pryor’s sweet homecoming provided the main storyline for the Browns today. The wide receiver caught a lengthy touchdown pass to end the scrimmage, highlighting just how hard he’s worked to transition to quarterback.
“It’s just putting my head down and grinding and watching other people do great things, watching the greats do it, watching film on greats, watching film on (WR) Josh Gordon and how he handles his business on the field. I like watching great talent. Guys like that, like Josh, like (former NFL WR) Randy Moss. Guys like that, I like to put a little stuff in my basket, take it and use it to do what I can do and try to counter it someway. Me and Josh are the same size, like Randy, so it’s a little different than watching AB (Steelers WR Antonio Brown) and stuff, but there is stuff you can use off of him. I’m just trying to put a little different stuff in the bag and try whatever works for me, just try to be the best I can be.”
On a side note, Pryor threw a pass today, too, foreshadowing another small element Pryor brings to the table.
That’s it for today’s Clips and Quips. The Browns have tomorrow off before returning to practice on Monday afternoon. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your weekend!