Cleveland Browns Training Camp Report - Day 4 (7/30/17)
1. Taking it Easy to an Extent: The story of the day is the approach that Hue Jackson is taking at this year’s camp with respect to resting players and the length of practice. Practices are not being taken lightly. In fact, earlier in the day, WR Kenny Britt said that the live tackling, anything goes drills he saw on Saturday “was the first he’s experienced in his nine-year career.” When the players are practicing, they’re going at it.
But the “day off” group was larger than its ever been, partially due to it being the second day of pads and tackling in a row. Here is a video clip that ESPN’s Pat McManamon took of all the resting players working out on the side.
That group included RB Isaiah Crowell, WR Corey Coleman, WR Kenny Britt, TE Randall Telfer, LT Joe Thomas, LG Joel Bitonio, OG John Greco, C Austin Reiter, CB Joe Haden, and CB Jason McCourty.
2. Defense Grabs the Advantage: You can see the excitement the Browns players have when the sirens hit:
Early on in team drills (which focused on two-minute drills), multiple reporters noted that the defense dominated with a bunch of sacks. Scott Petrak of the Chronicle-Telegram noted that QB Cody Kessler was sacked three times in his first series. It's worth remembering that several key offensive linemen were resting. With the first-team offense, Shon Coleman was at left tackle with Spencer Drango at left guard.
3. Duke Getting Work Done at WR: Before training camp started, Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer hinted that RB Duke Johnson could end up being the team’s slot receiver this year. While it’s unclear whether that would be a full-time role for him, the Browns are making sure he gets some work in at the position:
Duke Johnson continuing to work individual periods here and there with WRs. He's been a big part of Browns passing attack.— Andrew Gribble (@Andrew_Gribble) July 30, 2017
And then, when it came time for goal line drills late in practice, Johnson (with some credit to QB Brock Osweiler as well) caught two touchdown passes. Dan Labbe of Cleveland.com says that one of them was via a diving catch, followed by one that required a stiff arm to score. The media isn’t allowed to take video of those team drills, but it’s OK if the Browns post a clip, and they did so of Johnson’s diving catch with S Calvin Pryor in coverage:
4. More Red Zone / Goal Line Work: The Browns ended practice with red zone and goal line drills. As we already highlighted above, two of those goal line plays were touchdown passes from QB Brock Osweiler to RB Duke Johnson. Prior to the Johnson touchdowns, Osweiler also hit WR Rashard Higgins for a goal line touchdown, meaning he hit three in a row.
Practice just ended with red zone period. Kessler and Kizer each threw a TD pass. Osweiler three 3 consecutive TDs in goal line. #Browns— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) July 30, 2017
Per Andrew Gribble of Browns.com, QB Cody Kessler’s touchdown came on a 20-yard pass to WR Rannell Hall in a red zone drill. Gribble called it Kessler’s best pass of the day. Zac Jackson of The Athletic says that the touchdown for QB DeShone Kizer came on a “beautiful fade” to WR Jordan Payton.
5. Ice Tubs: Circling back to the first bullet point, practice ended early, and head coach Hue Jackson said that it was by design:
Hue says practices have been shorter because studies show many soft tissue injuries occur early in camp with too much running.— Zac Jackson (@AkronJackson) July 30, 2017
Another part of the thing to help reduce soft tissue issues? The Browns brought ice tubs onto the practice field, right next to the fans. The defense and offense took turns getting in, and the Browns captured two minutes of fun for your viewing pleasure:
6. Brownies, Part 1: Backup C Gabe Ikard has missed the past three practice sessions with a concussion. ... S Ed Reynold (knee) could be out awhile. ... New OL Kitt O’Brien made it to Berea and took part in practice. ... Some defensive notes include DE Nate Orchard swatting a pass away by QB DeShone Kizer, and OLB Jamie Collins staying in coverage 35 yards down the field. ... The team practiced on the “new” field in layout -- the one closest to the entrance -- judging by this video from when players were practicing.
7. Brownies, Part 2: As part of practicing defending the read option, DE Emmanuel Ogbah served as a quarterback for at least one snap of position drills. ... RB Matthew Dayes continues to receive praise from reporters and coaches. ... Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland says that QB DeShone Kizer “found TE David Njoku open in the end zone, but MLB Dominque Alexander closed that window fast and tipped the ball off Njoku’s breadbasket.” ... A total of 35 puppies have been adopted at the Browns Puppy Pound at training camp this year.
Here's your Day 4 unofficial #Browns QB numbers: Kessler 6/10 TD, Osweiler 7/14 3TDs, Kizer 6/13 TD, Hogan 2/5. A lot of red zone/goal line.— Jason Gibbs (@BGSUGibbs) July 30, 2017
Here are your unofficial #Browns QB numbers through 4 days: Kessler 19/30 63%, Osweiler 22/38 58%, Kizer 17/33 52%, Hogan 7/12 58%.— Jason Gibbs (@BGSUGibbs) July 30, 2017
8. Next Up: Practice continues Monday in Berea, from 3:00 PM to 5:30 PM. The team is not scheduled to be in pads.