Cleveland Browns Training Camp Report - Day 15 (8/20/23)
1. Jared in the House: DBN’s Jared Mueller was a credentialed reporter in Berea this morning for the 10:45 AM practice session. It was originally scheduled for 2:00 PM, but they had moved it to the morning about a week ago. We’ll include some of Jared’s notes through the recap article, but remember to view his Twitter with live updates, and his article on what Jim Schwartz had to say before practice.
Always feels good to be back pic.twitter.com/PPkO0oyfSl— Jared Mueller (@JaredKMueller) August 20, 2023
2. The Jack Conklin Situation: It seemed like good news when OT Jack Conklin was returning to practice today after suffering a concussion in one of the joint practices with the Philadelphia Eagles last week.
However, Conklin walked back to the locker room midway through practice and did not return. It was reported that he now remains in the concussion protocol, presumably because he experienced symptoms during his attempt at returning to action. Hopefully, Conklin can get well-rested and ready for opening day in a couple of weeks — but the team does seem to have a stud in Dawand Jones waiting in the wings.
3. Longer Drives & Game Situations: Prior to practice, head coach Kevin Stefanski said that they would try doing longer drives to simulate game situations today, as well as some more timeout, red zone, and two-minute drills. Most starters will play 20-25 snaps against the Chiefs in the preseason finale.
4. Working on the Option: Jared noticed that the Browns seemed to be putting in a little extra work today with running the option, and Hayden Grove tweeted out a couple of early clips of that:
5. Who Do You Defend? The defense put the clamps on in some of the early drills, but when it came to the red zone, QB Deshaun Watson thrived with his weapons. It becomes increasingly difficult to defend TE David Njoku, who can get open up the seam:
And then Jared was up close to see this fade route dropped in the bucket to WR Amari Cooper for a touchdown, and CB Denzel Ward couldn’t do anything about it:
6. Dawand Jones at Left Tackle: Despite having an A+ camp at right tackle, Dawand Jones took some snaps at left tackle today. Jared thinks that the big man didn’t excel on the left side, though, tweeting, “Jones played some left tackle today and has not looked good. He was frustrated, and afterward he dropped his helmet.”
7. Jakeem Grant’s Utilization: Some of these roster spots at wide receiver will still be interesting to think about. You have Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Elijah Moore, and Cedric Tillman as the four locks. Then, David Bell is still consistent, Anthony Schwartz is trying to hang on, and Austin Watkins is loading up on good camp/preseason reps. You also have Jakeem Grant, who is starting to return the bulk of the kickoffs in practice, is looking shifty, and is making some nice plays with the second-team offense. Is that still enough to warrant a roster spot for him, or does the gig go to a guy like Demetric Felton instead?
Dobbs to Grant on what looks like a pivot route pic.twitter.com/jgSye2sTjX— Jared Mueller (@JaredKMueller) August 20, 2023
Just for kicks, here is a hilarious size comparison of Grant and Jones:
8. The Good and the Bad: When you see an outcome like this, it’s always hard to judge it. At the beginning of the clip, you see DE Myles Garrett jump, which means the offense has a free play. But in a practice setting like this, does the quarterback even know about the free play? The ball is aired out to the end zone, and CB Denzel Ward comes down with the interception — but it doesn’t count.
First team D gets the INT on second team O but Myles jumped pic.twitter.com/4E9GwW15cu— Jared Mueller (@JaredKMueller) August 20, 2023
9. Play of the Day: The Watson-to-Cooper connection continued to thrive as practice went on. Here is Watson with a beautiful deep ball down the right side to Cooper. Later on, during a bit of a chaotic scramble drill to buy time, Watson found Cooper for another touchdown in the left corner.
10. Brownies: OG Joel Bitonio had a veteran’s day off. ... Players out with injury included RB Jerome Ford, WR Jaelon Darden, WR Marquise Goodwin, TE Harrison Bryant, and CB Chris Westry. ... CB Tanner McCalister broke up a few passes. ... Today was also Superhero day at Browns camp for fans. ... WR Anthony Schwartz and CB Cameron Mitchell both left practice early with trainers. ... A total of 37 puppies have been adopted so far this year at the Browns Puppy Pound.
9. Up Next: The Browns are off on Monday, but will practice Tuesday at 1:25 PM.