Cleveland Browns Training Camp Report - Day 15 (8/18/21)
1. Live in Berea: I didn’t think I would be able to get to Berea this year for Cleveland Browns training camp. As the final days of camp were rolling along, I hadn’t received any notice about being awarded tickets via the lottery system. I had even contacted someone from the Browns to ask if all tickets had been awarded already, and they said “yes.” That was last Friday. But on Saturday, I received an email that I was awarded my two tickets to the final practice session (open to the public), which was today. Yes!
I included a 28-minute video tour/recap of my experience at Browns training camp, which is at the top of this post. NOTE: The video just finished uploading, so YouTube may still be processing the HD version of the video. As of this post, the video was only available in the rather fuzzy 360p, but give it time! Feel free to indulge, but I’ll also talk about my experience a little.
The temporary entrance was indeed in the front of the headquarters, along the left side of the building. With respect to usage of space, it actually wasn’t a bad setup — and if the team stuck to using the two main fields always, I think it could work as a permanent entrance in the future if they wanted to go that route (although the Beech Street entrance offers far more nostalgia). Not walking the “neighborhood” route toward the Beech Street entrance left the experience like it was missing that little extra something — like watching the nearby houses sell Browns merchandise or host parking, or the orange and brown stripe down the middle of the street.
Also of note: it appears as though the team did end up purchasing, and have already demolished, most of the properties on Pearl Street along the facility. I noticed this late in my video and commented on it.
2. Getting Inside: We took the parking lot to get to the entrance. Practice was set to begin at 2:25 PM, and gates opened at 1:25 PM. I entered around 2:15 PM, and that worked out great because I still caught all of the festivities and action. The “BROWNS” sign was right near the front, and workers were also handing out a cooling towel with Browns branding on it.
After that were the bathrooms, followed by the food trucks, vertical jump, field goal kicking station, and other tables and photo opportunities. The Puppy Pound was behind the grandstand bleachers, and they were so freaking adorable. I always love freebies, so below is a picture of the things I got: a cooling towel, a smaller orange wash rag, and a Browns-themed water bottle.
3. Light Practice: As far as practice itself went, I predicted it would be a light practice again, and it was. We didn’t see many 11-on-11 team drills, and there was no contact in the drills. With the Browns set to host the Giants for back-to-back practice days on Thursday and Friday, they are saving their energy for that. Practice concluded at about 3:41 PM, which meant that practice was again less than 90 minutes.
4. Davion Davis Strikes Again: It is remarkable how WR Davion Davis has ascended from obscurity to training camp star in less than a week. In one of the few team drills, QB Case Keenum playaction faked and rolled to his left. He found Davis deep down the left sideline for a long touchdown, appearing to get ahead of S Jovante Moffatt for the score.
WR Davion Davis with another long touchdown grab, beating S Jovante Moffatt off of a playaction rollout to the left by Case Keenum.— Dawgs By Nature (@DawgsByNature) August 18, 2021
A couple players earlier, CB A.J. Green had a pass breakup on a softly thrown sideline pass by Keenum.
5. Delpit Hurt Again: After just having returned yesterday from a hamstring injury, FS Grant Delpit left practice today after re-aggravating the same hamstring. I didn’t see the injury, but reporters are noting that it was on “a deep ball to WR Davion Davis.” That makes me wonder if my earlier report on Davis’ long catch was the play it happened on; maybe Moffatt was coming late because Delpit was hurt (and I didn’t see it).
Haven’t seen #Browns Grant Delpit back out on the field since he walked in with a trainer about 20 minutes ago. Left after trying to cover Davis on a deep ball. Has been battling a hamstring— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) August 18, 2021
6. Punting Drills: I like seeing drills that I haven’t seen at previous training camp practices. That’s not to say they’ve never been done before; just not at sessions that I have personally attended.
The special teams units got some work today related to blocked punt opportunities. In one drill, P Jamie Gillan held the ball as if he was about to punt it, and then one rusher came off the edge (but the rest of the players were in formation, simulating their alignment) to try to get their hands up and block a would-be punt.
On the other side of the field, practices were practicing diving all out to block a punt that a player would throw into their chest area to simulate a punt. Large padding was on the field to prevent the players from taking big bumps on the dive.
7. Camp Chatter: Every year at training camp, I try to keep my ears open for camp chatter — things I hear from fans in the crowd around me. I didn’t hear as much as I have in past years, but there were still a few things I remembered:
- One guy to my right and a few rows down was the most vocal of anyone in the crowd. In particular, he would shout out loud for Callahan (referring to offensive line coach Bill Callahan) and JOK. It was also apparently his birthday.
- A group, including a few kids, left the bleachers for a few minutes, leaving one adult behind to watch the kid’s cooling towel and poster schedule. The adult tried to adjust the two items a bit, and didn’t realize a sharpie was inside them — so the sharpie rolled off the bench and into the abyss below, as he quietly put his hands in the air as if to say, “Shit!” I feel for the guy — I tightly guarded anything I was carrying from the top row of the bleachers.
- When one of the defensive lineman was faking like he was throwing passes during a drill, there was a kid who thought he was a quarterback.
- Someone said they’d rather see radio personality Ken Carman in person as opposed to the players.
8. Brownies, Part I: WR Davion Davis dropped a pass in 7-on-7 drills. ... DE Myles Garrett was sitting on a vehicle being driven by the grandstand half-way through practice, drawing the biggest eruption from the crowd. ... After practice, QB Baker Mayfield and WR Odell Beckham walked by the grandstand to wave to the fans. ... Players can only interact with fans from a distance, due to the pandemic. ... WR Anthony Schwartz made his debut in team drills. ... OG Michael Dunn sat out with a back injury. ... DE Jadeveon Clowey and CB Denzel Ward did not practice.
9. Brownies, Part II: After practice, autographed poster schedules were being handed out, but the people handing them out were targeting kids as the recipients, presumably as a substitute for not having the typical autograph session period. ... The drone was hovering over practice for its entirety. ... Head coach Kevin Stefanski was going around showing attention to all of the action, not just the offense. ... Despite rain threats in the morning, practice ended up being around 79 degrees and cloudy, although the sun would peek through occasionally. ... A total of 53 puppies were adopted at the Browns Puppy Pound at training camp this year.
10. Next Up: The Browns will practice on Thursday at 2:25 PM with the New York Giants. No more sessions of training camp are open to the public, but we should still have some media reports.