The South practices for Senior Bowl week concluded on Thursday with the Cleveland Browns’ coaching staff in charge. The game will take place on Saturday, for which we will have an open thread for. Here is a recap of what went down on Day 3 of practices. You can read our Day 1 report here and our Day 2 report here.
Hue Jackson vs. Gregg Williams
On Saturday, Browns head coach Hue Jackson and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will be on the same side as they battle John Fox’s North team. On the final day of practice, though, Jackson and Williams relished the opportunity for their South offense and South defense to compete against each other.
Williams spoke about that type of competitiveness during his introductory press conference. He thought he’d have to wait until training camp to get it started, but the Senior Bowl offered a tempting platform too.
“You see it be contagious with the players. That’s what we want. We want the players to see that we are never going to apologize for competing. I don’t know whether you can print this or not, but we’re going to shit talk, we’re going to get after it and we want them to know there’s hard things about daily practice, but when we can make it fun, let’s make it fun. Then when they start talking more than we’re talking, Hue and I can back up and let them go. But they have to have an example first, and we’re going to try to do that as much as we can.”
You can read about some of the shit talking that took place between Jackson and Williams over at the Akron Beacon Journal. Cleveland.com captured some of the friendly banter:
Williams also talked about how he was hired to be a “motor” coach, and that he’s going to work with LB Jamie Collins on that (in response to criticisms that he did not give maximum effort on some plays). He’s going to be hardest on the top guys like Collins, because he wants to make sure an example is set for the rest of the locker room.
Williams is still sticking with his unconventional approach that he won’t evaluate college tape on players he’s been able to see in person:
Browns DC Gregg Williams said on NFLN that if he's coached a player at the Senior Bowl, he won't watch their college tape in evaluation. Odd— Dan Kadar (@MockingTheDraft) January 26, 2017
Good thing for the #Browns the defensive coordinators don't do the drafting then. https://t.co/r70wOSKdmj— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) January 26, 2017
The Final Say on Practice Pace
Even though both the Browns and the Bears were criticized by some scouts and media due to the practice pace for the three days, it sounds like Cleveland was the lesser or two evils:
As much criticism the Browns staff has taken for South practices, these North sessions from the Bears are worse.— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) January 26, 2017
Ridson also noted that the Browns’ practice was cut 45 minutes short on Thursday.
#Vandy's Will Holden & #OneTroy's Antonio Garcia drive #Mocs Keionta Davis into the #Browns DL coach #SeniorBowl pic.twitter.com/yaHam6fwNH— DLineVids (@DLineVids) January 27, 2017
After polling various NFL personnel about who they thought Cleveland would take at No. 1 overall, it was near-unanimous that it would be DE Myles Garrett, according to Jeff Ridson of the USA Today. Ridson did say that one personnel member from a fellow AFC North team thought the club would take QB Mitch Trubisky. Neither player was involved with the Senior Bowl.
Here are some Twitter highlights for players who were at the Senior Bowl:
Cooper Kupp is making himself a lot of at the #SeniorBowl pic.twitter.com/9uY5kmNzIF— Jared Tokarz (@NFLDraftInsider) January 26, 2017
Fred Ross beats Ezra Robinson to the corner and Davis Webb drops a dime for the beautiful TD on the final play of South practice #SeniorBowl pic.twitter.com/hIqlgIY23K— Draft Analyst (@DraftAnalyst1) January 26, 2017
Nobody has made more money so far this week than Temple LB Haason Reddick. Been absolutely phenominal in all phases #seniorbowl— Mike Margittai NFL (@DraftMaverick) January 26, 2017
OK, if you want to talk about someone who must be insane (in a good way), it is Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst. He compiled notes on every play for each day of the Senior Bowl. How is that even possible with so many players to look at?
If we’re just looking for players who Pauline thought stood out on Thursday, then he liked what he saw from:
- RB Corey Clement
- WR Zay Jones
- WR Fred Ross
- TE Jonnu Smith
- DT Montravius Adams
- DB Rasul Douglas
- DB John Johnson
Talking about Adams, Pauline said:
Adams was completely dominant and looked like a man amongst boys today. He was unstoppable and bull-rushed opponents off the line as they attempted in vain to block him. He regularly collapsed the pocket and was an overwhelming force. Adams also flashed athleticism and made plays down the line.
Emptying out the notebook, we have Day 3 recaps from NFL.com and Pro Football Focus. WR Cooper Kupp was a common winner among all the media outlets, as was LB Haason Reddick. The thing is that because those players stood out to everyone, the Browns don’t necessarily have an edge over another team with respect to them being a “gem.”
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com had this to say about two of the South quarterbacks:
Tennessee's Joshua Dobbs and Cal's Davis Webb. Both bring athleticism and the ability to spin the ball really well. They've been a little inconsistent here in Mobile. They're developmental players. The teams that draft them will be hoping they can ascend up the depth chart.
Because Hue Jackson got an up close look at both players, did he see enough to possibly want them with a mid-round pick as an upgrade to Cody Kessler when it comes to a longer-term developmental quarterback?
Let us know of any players who intrigued you this week by their Senior Bowl performances!