On Friday, Day 1 Browns training camp kicked off. As we do every year, we will compile a summary of what happened before, during, and after each practice, based on notes from the local media and the team.
Cleveland Browns Training Camp Report - Day 1 (8/14/20)
1. A Different Version of Training Camp: It’s a different world in 2020, with no fans allowed to attend camp due to the pandemic. Media is still permitted to attend, and the Browns are also bringing fans a 2-hour show each day (Browns Live) to bring fans closer to the action. The show is hosted by Nathan Zegura and Josh Cribbs.
2. Emphasis on Team: We always look for new imagery or themes at Browns training camp, and that was visible via a big “TEAM” banner for players to see from the outside field every time they look up.
Today was a non-padded practice day (no live contact), but helmets, spiders, and shells were permitted, along with all customary practice activities.
3. JC Tretter Has Surgery, Opening Door for Nick Harris: Before practice, head coach Kevin Stefanski announced that starting C JC Tretter had minor knee surgery. He is expected to be ready for Week 1, but the news is a little concerning to hear. Usually, when you hear about these minor knee surgeries, they take place at the start of training camp, but that is when camp starts in the final week of July. This year, camp is starting mid-way through August.
It does open the door for rookie C Nick Harris to gain a lot of early reps with the first-team offense. However, Tretter is still expected to be the starter, and with three or four new linemen on the starting depth chart, it would’ve been nice to have the whole unit working together.
4. Myles Garrett Sits Out Day 1: Fresh off his new contract extension, DE Myles Garrett sat out the first day of training camp — although he was still out on the field. Garrett begins camp with a minor hamstring injury:
Myles Garrett (hamstring) on side today pic.twitter.com/k5CMxIRCtp— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) August 14, 2020
5. Faraway Media View: In the past, the media in attendance could walk right up to any field and get an up-close look at the field, drills, etc. This year, however, media appears to be designated to a certain area, which means they’ll have to deal with a lot of faraway camera shots depending on the field the team is practicing on.
If the players or position groups are working on the closer field, then the media can still feel close to the action, as you can see here, and in the next bullet point.
6. Drill of the Day: There’s nothing unique about this drill, as it’s just the linemen hitting the sled. What I’m looking at is the non-team stuff: there are no ropes up to separate fans, so the drill is starting right at the walking path where fans would normally be walking.
7. Play of the Day: I guess he’s feeling healthy! On the first day of camp, one of the highlights saw QB Baker Mayfield hit WR Jarvis Landry for a long touchdown, with S Andrew Sendejo in coverage.
Baker Mayfield unloaded a beautiful deep ball - 50+ yards - to the right to Jarvis Landry for a touchdown v S Andrew Sendejo #Browns— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) August 14, 2020
8. Long Snapping Nugget: Because of the pandemic, a few weeks ago, I mentioned that teams need to think about emergency COVID-related cases this season, and one of those things would be that the Browns should train a backup long snapper. According to Dan Labbe of Cleveland.com, the Browns had backup FB Johnny Stanton working on his long snaps.
Hey, you guys like emergency long snapper nuggets? Johnny Stanton was doing some post-practice work on it.— Dan Labbe (@dan_labbe) August 14, 2020
9. The Puppy Pound Live on, Virtually! I had pre-written that it was sad that fans couldn’t see the Puppy Pound this year, but the team is still doing it virtually for 2020! Today’s featured puppy was “Barker Mayfield III.”
10. Brownies: It’s a bit sad — we can’t talk about ticket registration or the other odds and ends of camp this year. ... The Browns are running a 50/50 raffle during training camp this year. ... Browns owner Jimmy Haslam was outside watching practice. ... Cribbs liked what he saw from WR JoJo Natson and WR Donovan Peoples-Jones as punt returners, as far as how they approach and field the punt. ... S Sheldrick Redwine had a couple of interceptions. ... At least in today’s practice, Alex Van Pelt was radioing the play calls in to the offense. ... TE Austin Hooper and TE David Njoku saw work together with the first-team offense.
11. Next Up: The Browns will be off on Saturday. They will resume practice on Sunday, again without pads, before beginning padded practices on Monday. Each practice day, Browns Live will air at 2:00 PM ET. Practice itself begins at 2:25 PM ET.