The Browns have just a couple more practices remaining before final roster cuts are due.
Cleveland Browns Training Camp Report - Day 16 (9/2/20)
1. Roster Cuts Coming Soon: The Browns must name their 53-man roster by this Saturday. I don’t want to push missing the deadline (I might already be cutting it close), so I plan to publish my final 53-man roster projection on Thursday.
Here are some things that head coach Kevin Stefanski said prior to Wednesday’s practice about roster cuts:
On how his philosophy for roster cuts matches with Berry’s philosophy, particularly as it relates to set numbers for each position groups:
“I think Andrew does a great job of seeing this thing and having a global view of it. I do not there are any hard-fast number rules on you have to keep X number of players [at a position]. That is why I really believe that every position you just keep the best football players.”
On if it will be difficult to make roster decisions at WR, given the competition during training camp:
“I hope [decisions on every position] are all difficult. I really do. I think as you look at our roster in total, there are some really good football players and there are some tough decisions to be made. I think Andrew is going to do a great job. We have had those discussions. We pushed back on each other and challenged each other, but I think Andrew will make some really good, informed decisions with a lot of help from the coaches and the personnel group.”
2. Return Duties: Prior to practice, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer spoke with the media about all the areas he’s responsible for. Without preseason games, it makes it tough to evaluate a lot of the players he’d like to see in live game situations.
With respect to the kick and punt return duties, Priefer said there are four players competing for the jobs: WR JoJo Natson, WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, RB Dontrell Hilliard, and RB D’Ernest Johnson. Those are pretty much the names who we thought would be competing back when we did our special teams preview last month. Priefer has always talked up Natson’s ability to make people miss, though, so it’ll be interesting to see if he pushes for him to make the roster:
#Browns ST coordinator Mike Priefer said JoJo Natson is going to make first guy miss more than not, that's the exciting thing about him, done nice job in both return phases. Added Natson, Donovan Peoples-Jones, D'Ernest Johnson, Dontrell Hilliard competing for the 2 return jobs.— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) September 2, 2020
A fun story about Natson — he saw videos on social media of P Jamie Gillan punting to no one in July, so he texted the punter and met up to field his punts.
#Browns returner/wide receiver and University of Akron product JoJo Natson said he saw IG videos of Jamie Gillan punting by himself, so he texted Gillan, they trained together in NE Ohio for 3-4 days in early July. Natson said Gillan works out like he's a running back or WR.— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) September 2, 2020
3. Backup Punter: Besides kicking in the stadium this past Sunday, it was revealed that the specialists also went to FirstEnergy Stadium the week before to get some practice reps in. K Austin Seibert acknowledged that he has also been practicing his punts this offseason and is ready to perform double duty if something were to happen to P Jamie Gillan during a game.
4. Drill of the Day: Why don’t we just make it an all-special teams day? Here are the Browns’ punt returners fielding punts:
5. Nice Set-Up: This isn’t training camp related, but come on, this is a pretty fun idea by Buffalo Wild Wings:
6. Brownies: Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski and GM Andrew Berry have spent a lot of time talking about roster cuts, which are coming up soon. ... DE Myles Garrett was “no worse for wear” a day after his return to practice. ... WR Jarvis Landry and S Karl Joseph got the day off from practice. ... The Haslam Sports Group launched a Diversity and Opportunity Fellowship.
7. Next Up: The Browns will practice on Thursday at 2:25 PM, and then one more practice at 7:00 PM at the stadium before making cuts over the weekend.