Cleveland Browns Training Camp Report - Day 12 (8/9/23)
1. Live in Berea: I made my way out to Berea this afternoon for my annual visit. For those who have followed my visits over the years, you'll recall that I tend to be more interested in the setup and fan experience at training camp as opposed to the action (or lack there of) on the field. Such was the case this year.
I filmed an updated Browns training camp tour video for 2023, which I hope will be ready to post by Thursday afternoon. Since the Browns don't practice tomorrow, it should make for good filler content.
2. Signage and Field Location: I expected the new Dawg logo to be plastered everywhere at camp. While the Dawg logo did welcome fans into the area, I was surprised that the outer gate coverings and rest of the logos still featured either the helmet or Brownie the Elf.
Don't let the lack of a line in my picture fool you. Gates opened at 1 pm, practice started at 2 pm, and I was entering camp at 2:06 pm. Cars were parked in yards along Pearl Street like I hadn't seen before, with the residents charging $10 or $15 a spot. Upon entering, the little Browns helmet on the map indicates which field the majority of practice is going to taking place on. That didn't end up quite being true, though, which is why I didn't capture hardly any plays on video.
3. Joe Thomas Hall of Fame Station: There were fewer life-sized bobbleheads at practice this year, with Hanford Dixon and Frank Minnifield being the one ones on display.
In previous years, nearly all of the tables and kids attractions were located behind the big bleachers. This year, the kids elements were removed from that area and relocated to the extra property that the Browns acquired last year. Having all of the kids stuff together in one area made sense and helped space things out better.
My favorite "new" thing behind the bleachers was the ode to Joe Thomas, who was just inducted into the Hall of Fame. At the bottom of the stand reads 10,363, representing the number of consecutive snaps he played during his career.
Among the other highlights:
-I picked up my free water bottle, which fans were taking advantage of left and right. It said it was only 80 degrees, but in the sun it felt hotter.
-Today was free Sugardale hot dog day! I probably could have had more, but I just consumed one and carried on.
-As for freebies, I didn't see any schedule posters for the second year in a row. I did manage to grab the second-to-last cinch bag from the University Hospitals table.
-Felix Wright was signing autographs during practice at the alumni station before giving way to Chomps for photo opportunities.
4. Lighter Practice: Practice was still long today, but it did seem a bit lighter than what I'd expect at this time of camp. It also was not a padded practice. Maybe that has to do with the fact that the Browns play the Washington Commanders in two days.
Before practice, head coach Kevin Stefanski said that the starters will play in that game, and that Deshaun Watson will play a series or two (he noted that all four quarterbacks will see action).
5. RB Depth: It has to be killing Jerome Ford knowing the opportunity he had, and now he'll be week to week with his hamstring injury. Here he was on the sideline:
6. Thornhill Reads It: During 11-on-11 drills, S Juan Thornhill read QB Deshaun Watson and picked off his pass down the field; stuff that you hope you wouldn't see out of Watson after how last year went:
7. Situational Football: From afar, I watched the Browns' offense try to operate a simulated game instance in which they were losing 24-21 with about 25 seconds left. Watson tried taking a deep shot down the right sideline, but it fell incomplete. Eventually, he hit WR Elijah Moore over the middle, who got down quickly so the offense could clock the ball with a few seconds left. K Cade York then hurried onto the field to kick a 44-yard field goal to tie it.
8. Strike to Njoku: The chemistry with TE David Njoku seems to be there this camp. In the clip below, you see Watson firing a touchdown to his tight end in a red zone drill.
9. Defensive Teamwork: I didn't think the clip would turn out good because I had 10x zoom mode on my phone, but the one clip I shot came out well enough, showing QB Josh Dobbs' pass being deflected by one defender and then intercepted by LB Jordan Kunaszyk.
10. Brownies: I saw a couple of nice hands catches by WR Anthony Schwrtz; if you were just going based on today, you wouldn't think he had hands issues. ... Zac Jackson of the Athletic noted that OL Nick Harris saw a rep at fullback. ... For camp chatter, I heard a couple fans talking about RB Ezekiel Elliot, with the other saying "we don't need him, we got Chubb." ... The Browns had staff workers around tight turns at camp who were encouraging fans to keep moving at those corners and not stop to cause a traffic jam. ... Stay tuned for my video tour of camp, hopefully coming on Thursday. ... Until then, the Puppy Pound!
11. Up Next: The Browns will host the Washington Commanders on Friday, August 11th.