After a day off on Friday, the Browns were back on Saturday, without pads, for a practice to close out the weekend.
Cleveland Browns Training Camp Report - Day 7 (8/22/20)
1. Nick Chubb Returns to Action: Last week, the big headline in practice came when RB Nick Chubb had to enter the concussion protocol due to being taken down by the neck unexpectedly in practice. On Saturday, he was cleared to return to practice, but would be limited on his first day back. Next week, it’s expected that he’ll be back to full gear, which is great news.
2. Myles Garrett vs. Jedrick Wills: Who remembers the glorious days of getting so excited for the first time Myles Garrett would line up against Joe Thomas in training camp? Now, the roles are reversed, with Garrett being the veteran star going up against a first-round rookie in Jedrick Wills. Prior to practice, Garrett said that he wants to test the rookie, but hopes he doesn’t get discouraged as he tries to learn the position:
#Browns DE Myles Garrett said he wants to introduce rookie LT Jedrick Wills to the NFL and what it's going to be, has seen him get discouraged at times vs. Olivier Vernon, don't allow a couple plays from keeping you from getting to where you want to go— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) August 22, 2020
Garrett also said that he would not take it easy on Wills just because he’s a rookie. Aside from that, Garrett said his hamstring injury came simply from running, which has never happened to him.
It’s unclear whether there was much to see of the actual Garrett vs. Wills match-up. All I saw from the media was that at the start of team drills, Garrett lined up at left defensive end, with Olivier Vernon at right defensive end.
3. Drill of the Day: Speaking of DE Myles Garrett, he makes for a good excuse to look at today’s drill of the day. This is a repeat drill that we highlighted last week, but we get a glimpse of Garrett in action at the top of your screen to start the clip:
#Browns Myles Garrett (hamstring) in a pass-rushing drill. Expected to do some in team drills. pic.twitter.com/praE6WlIeu— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) August 22, 2020
4. Not Like That: One of the biggest weaknesses that I’ve talked about with QB Baker Mayfield is that he didn’t roll out to his left last year. Facing pressure on a snap in practice, he moved to his left a bit, but threw a lobbing duck toward TE Austin Hooper that was picked off by LB B.J. Goodson:
B.J. Goodson hears the concerns about LB coverage. pic.twitter.com/gY5ttmcsLU— Jake Burns (@jake_burns18) August 22, 2020
Speaking of Browns linebackers, the latest injury news on LB Mack Wilson is slightly promising:
Also, quick Mack Wilson update. Team still waiting for swelling to go down on his hyperextended knee, per source, but surgery looking less likely at this point, which is an encouraging sign.— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) August 22, 2020
5. Secondary Notes: Not counting the starting cornerback positions, it’s worth noting that the rest of Cleveland’s secondary is relatively inexperienced (or new to the club). That would include CB M.J. Stewart at nickelback, and Sheldrick Redwine and Grant Delpit at the safety positions. Veteran Karl Joseph is still expected to be in one of those starting safety roles.
6. Run Game Looking Strong: Even if the passing game is looking shaky right now, Jake Burns of The OBR likes what he’s seeing out of the Browns’ new run blocking scheme. Burns adds that the Vikings’ offense took awhile to get the passing game in sync last season, but it’ll be great when it does.
While the passing game is inconsistent in camp thus far as timing needs worked out, the Browns offense is definitely looking smooth in their wide zone approach. It is going to be a problem for defenses with these two backs.— Jake Burns (@jake_burns18) August 22, 2020
7. Mayfield to Hooper Still Strong: It has been universal among reporters that one of the bright spots in the passing game this camp has been the connection between QB Baker Mayfield and TE Austin Hooper. Here is an example of a connection between the two. Hooper catches the ball well, and it sounds like Kevin Stefanski’s offense will be designed to create a lot of openings for Hooper:
.@AustinHooper18 might be the most lauded player at @Browns camp.— Marc Sessler (@MarcSessler) August 22, 2020
Eyewitnesses @JoshCribbs16 & @NathanZegura cite him daily on #BrownsLive. Early chemistry with @bakermayfield in a TE-happy offense. pic.twitter.com/clCGuWwDnl
Here is another one of Mayfield-to-Hooper, right up the seam:
get the defense flowing one way with the PA, bootleg the other way, hit the streaking tight end and profit pic.twitter.com/8LfY7ya0Ib— Jordan Zirm (@clevezirm) August 22, 2020
8. Catching Up on the Injuries: It’s been awhile since we’ve listed all of the players injured or sitting out of practice, so here was today’s full list from the team for reference:
WR KhaDarel Hodge (personal), CB Kevin Johnson (liver), DE Robert McCray (eye), TE David Njoku (wrist), DT Larry Ogunjobi (groin), WR Damion Ratley (groin), C JC Tretter (knee) and LB Mack Wilson (knee). C Casey Dunn (foot) and WR Donovan Peoples-Jones (heat) left today’s practice early.
9. Brownies: WR Rashard Higgins had a nice sideline snag during practice. ... WR Donovan Peoples-Jones left practice early due to heat-related issues. ... TE David Njoku missed practice with a wrist injury. ... Since the injury to LB Mack Wilson, it has been a rotation of LB Tae Davis and LB Jacob Phillips seeing some first-team reps. ... When DE Myles Garrett’s limited Day 7 reps were done, DE Porter Gustin was back with the first-team defense. ... Jake Trotter of ESPN believes that CB Terrance Mitchell is firmly the Browns’ No. 3 cornerback, behind CB Denzel Ward.
10. Next Up: Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt will talk to the media at 12:30 PM on Sunday. Practice will take place at 2:25 PM, and players will be back in pads. There will be some live tackling drills, but not a tackling period in team drills.