Browns’ head coach Pat Shurmur seemed relieved before he caught himself. The Browns had undrafted free agent Jabari Fletcher go down during linemen drills when another lineman rolled over the back of his legs. The reports after practice were that it was a knee sprain. Obviously the coach didn’t mean anything against Fletcher, but lately it seems like a victory for the Browns to get through a practice without multiples of injuries.
Josh Cribbs was on the field and active. Carlton Mitchell was on the field. Montario Hardesty was in pads, but was still limited. The story with him is that the Browns will continue to control his reps to try and limit the risk of setbacks. The Browns are clear to say that there haven’t been any new injuries with Hardesty. Still just nursing the knee injury he suffered in the pre-season a year ago.
Other than that, rookie tight end Jordan Cameron was without pads along with Joe Haden and Jordan Norwood. It didn’t sound like any of them had a serious injury. Joe Haden, in particular, didn’t seem to be too concerned as he joked with teammates and cheered when the Browns offense had to call a timeout. It would be hard to imagine anyone who smiles more than Joe Haden. You will also be happy to know that Jordan Cameron was healthy enough to carry Ben Watson’s gear to the locker room for him like a good rookie.
A New Sleeper… Last season, I picked Peyton Hillis well in advance of his success as my pick for sleeper performer. Even I had no idea just how much Hillis would end up contributing. This year, I am going to go to the well one more time. I am picking a running back again too. Undrafted runner Armond Smith from Union College is my pick for this year. I sure hope between special teams and running back the team can find a spot for him.
Even when the Browns are running drills that require two hand touch, he is almost impossible to catch. At 5 foot 9 inches, he turns on a dime and he is fast enough to get separation after that. He could easily become the Browns’ very own Danny Woodhead or Darren Sproles. In fact, he could become all the things that I ever envisioned Jerome Harrison being able to do on a consistent basis. I wonder if he can pick up the blitz? Anyway, it doesn’t mean much now, but look at his highlight video from college.
Other notes… Mike Holmgren was on hand watching practice and talked to the Browns Backers after practice to much applause. Not that it will surprise you, but nobody spends more time signing autographs than Colt McCoy. He does so diligently with a smile on his face. There might be questions about him as a player on the field going into this season, but there isn’t a person who questions his ability to deal with all the “other stuff” that goes along with being a starting NFL quarterback. Saturday is Browns Family Fun Day. It goes from 2:00 – 4:30 PM. Coach Shurmur indicates that it will be a practice format, that will include some game-like scrimmaging.