A new sense of excitement was in the air Thursday as the Cleveland Browns opened the gates to fans in Berea, officially beginning their 2018 training camp. Practices take place in the afternoon all camp long, with player interview sessions taking place earlier in the day.
The way our training camp reports work is this: for any practices that we cannot attend (such at today), I read through all of the local media members’ tweets and recaps from the day, and I create one cumulative recap of what all of the topics of the day were.
Cleveland Browns Training Camp Report - Day 1 (7/26/18)
1. Hard Knocks’ Presence: If you come to training camp this year, you will be met with a disclaimer sign that upon entering the facility, you understand that you could be taped and appear in footage on the show (likely as a fan in the background of the action).
Beyond that, fans will certainly notice the extra crew members in their Hard Knocks attire, and a boom mike hovering over players’ heads to capture audio. The players have to play it a bit cool at times, but you know that the crew being there has to be something they are subconsciously thinking about.
Zac Jackson of The Athletic said, “Whoever said ‘you won’t even notice the Hard Knocks cameras’ was flat out lying — they’re everywhere.”
2. Fan Experience Upgrades: There have been several key changes made to training camp from a fan’s perspective this year.
- According to Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 the Fan, the Browns have “a new video camera system to film practice,” which means the large orange lifts are now gone. That will be useful for fans who used to stand in certain areas, but were told they had to clear a perimeter around the lift for safety reasons.
- Additionally, the VIP Grandstand Tent has been moved to an end zone near the indoor facility. That allowed the team to install even more bleachers alongside the field in that area.
- Lastly, these awesome life-size bobbleheads are available for fans to pose and take pictures with. They include Joe Thomas, Bernie Kosar, Otto Graham, and Lou Groza.
3. Family on Three! OK, let’s get into practice itself, shall we? The team gathered for a huddle after stretching, ending with “Family on Three!” Perhaps the most amusing part of the clip is the fact that WR Jarvis Landry goes up to fourth-string QB Brogan Roback, and the two seem to have a special handshake together.
4. No Matter Where it Goes: We always like to point out certain drills that are unique during training camp. After all, if you’ve ever been to training camp, you’ll know that there is actually very little 11-on-11 action to speak of — most of the work involves position drills. This drill shows the running backs working on their hands as their coach intentionally shuffles the ball any which spot from close range.
What about Duke Johnson’s hands? Much like training camp last year, the early word is that Johnson was seeing a lot of work with the actual receivers.
5. Turn and Bang, There it is: Browns fans have seen many quarterbacks come and go, so there is a greater appreciation for something even as simple of a pass hitting a receiver in his hands right out of a break, like QB Tyrod Taylor did to WR Jarvis Landry here:
Speaking of Landry, the team’s No. 1 receiver (since WR Josh Gordon did not report) is definitely looking to make headlines in Cleveland. Since our record is 0-0, you have to smile, laugh, and be intrigued all at the same time by this quote that Landry made to Sports Illustrated:
Jarvis Landry is confident in this year's Browns offense. pic.twitter.com/c2KirOAiH5— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) July 26, 2018
6. QB Depth Chart: It is only Day 1, but the quarterback depth chart was like this in practice: 1) Tyrod Taylor, 2) Baker Mayfield, 3) Drew Stanton. Mayfield was getting rave reviews for his first day of practice, first hitting WR Antonio Callaway in stride for this long bomb:
When 11-on-11 drills began, Mayfield found WR Rashard Higgins for a long touchdown pass, per those in attendance.
7. Offensive Line Reps: As expected, camp started with Shon Coleman receiving first-team reps at left tackle. The bigger questions were about where Austin Corbett and Greg Robinson lined up. Robinson was the second-team left tackle, while Corbett was next to him as the second-team left guard. Corbett did see some work at left tackle late, but with the third-team offense.
8. The Big Wheel: Well this one is definitely a new drill, with players engaging wheels being thrown at them. Do any of our users in the comments section want to explain what the purpose of this drill is? Hat tip to Lane Adkins of The OBR cracking a joke that each one represents the losses of Hue Jackson’s club a year ago.
9. It Doesn’t Count, But Still: The Browns’ defense was offsides, giving QB Tyrod Taylor a free shot downfield, but CB Denzel Ward intercepted the pass. Sure, it doesn’t count, but you still appreciate the rookie (who was running with the first-team defense) making a play on Day 1:
#Browns QB Tyrod Taylor took a shot downfield after defense was called for offside and rookie CB Denzel Ward picked off pass intended for WR Jarvis Landry.— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) July 26, 2018
10. Another Role for BBC? Interesting to note, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out who the Browns’ backup free safety might be this year after Damarious Randall. Per DBN’s Michael Hoag, who was part of the media in Berea today, CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun worked as a second-team safety. The other second-team defensive backs were S Montrel Meander, CB E.J. Gaines, and CB Terrance Mitchell.
11. Top Secret RV: Well this is fun!
Browns quarterbacks Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield have acquired an RV and parked it here on the premises for training camp so they can have a top secret clubhouse. Only QBs allowed inside for now and no name yet. They won’t tell me what goes on inside.— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) July 26, 2018
12. Injury Bug: Cleveland saw rookie WR Damion Ratley get carted off the field late in practice with a hip injury. TE Devon Cajuste walked into the fieldhouse with trainers at the end of practice and was later reported to have a concussion. Other players who exited practice early were DL Caleb Brantley (cramps), DL Daniel Ekuale (calf), and WR Derrick Willies (cramps).
13. Brownies, Part I: Former Titans head coach Mike Mularkey was a guest at training camp, visiting with GM John Dorsey. ... CB T.J. Carrie was one of the starting cornerbacks on Day 1. ... The two defensive tackles with the first-team defense were DT Trevon Coley and DT Jamie Meder. ... WR Corey Coleman did drop one long pass, but was getting a lot of work in the short passing game. ... The banner on Cleveland’s fieldhouse this year reads “Welcome to the Hardland of America.” ... Fans were breaking out in chants of players names, one by one, as they came on to the practice field. ... QB Baker Mayfield stayed after practice to sign plenty of autographs:
Mayfield stayed after practice to sign. pic.twitter.com/Kt9quPo7J1— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) July 26, 2018
14. Brownies, Part II: Although LB Mychael Kendricks and LB Jamie Collins participated in drills, they sat out of 11-on-11s. ... The benefactor of that was rookie LB Genard Avery, who then got some run with the first-team defense. ... The Puppy Pound is back for another year, and 11 puppies were adopted on Day 1. ... In other transaction news, DT Trenton Thompson begins camp on the PUP list with an illness, while FB Marquez Williams was placed on the Did Not Report list, thus opening yet another roster spot. ... Practice had great weather and sunshine before the rain clouds and high winds commenced after practice.
15. Next Up: Practice continues Friday in Berea, from 3:00 PM to 5:55 PM.