July 24, 2014

Cleveland Browns Training Camp Report: 8/13/12

Injuries continue to be the big story coming out of Berea. No, there weren’t any new ones Monday morning, but the fifteen players who sat out practice on Sunday were all still out for Monday’s practice as well.

Don’t expect to hear any updates from the Browns until they absolutely have to give one either.

Missing from the first team defense are D’Qwell Jackson, Scott Fujita, Chris Gocong, Phil Taylor, Frostee Rucker and Usama Young. That is if Young will even be a starter at this point. Throw in Patterson, Benard and Paxson from further down the depth chart as well.

Here is a little perspective on what that means. During practice the senior players- the starters and most experienced at each position lead the rest of the group through drills. Today at the LB drills, the first reps were being taken by Kaluka Maiava. In 11 on 11 drills, Maiava was joined by James-Michael Johnson and LJ Fort. (Fort by the way had a new fan at practice today. Someone pulled the old duck tape and sharpie marker trick with a Hillis jersey.)

The plus side to the small injuries is that young players get plenty of reps in practice. The downside, well is obvious. This team is trying to get ready for the season. They are treating this second preseason game as the dress rehearsal because of the Eagles game scheduling fiasco. (For the record, Pat Shurmur said today that he thinks everyone is making the situation with Philadelphia to be more of a big deal than it needs to be.)

The players and coaches agree though, the next man up has to perform when given the opportunity.

TJ Ward was asked about stepping up his leadership, especially with all the linebackers out. He said that there needs to be more communication when the younger guys are in there, but added “Regardless of who is out there, I have to step up as a leader.” Ward is right in that he, like Haden are being counted on more than ever this season on that defense. If the Browns are going to build a winning defense Ward, Haden and Sheard will need to be part of that group.

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It was an up and down day for the pass catchers. With Watson and Jordan Cameron out, the reps were split between Alex Smith, Evan Moore and Dan Gronkowski. Smith made a couple of nice plays, including a leaping catch of a Brandon Weeden pass. The same could not be said of Jermaine Saffold, who had the drops today.

Jordan Norwood made a couple catches in 7 on 7 drills, but Josh Cooper may have had the best day of any receiver. That is an interesting battle. It would be tough to see the Browns carrying both Norwood and Cooper on the active roster during the season. Cooper has probably earned at least a practice squad spot by now.

Pat Shurmur seemed to be more vocal with the group today. My opinion anyway.

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Travis Benjamin missed practice again with what Shurmur continues to call ‘game soreness’. Fujita was out with the same. You would expect Fujita to have the right to sit out some time with his age and experience. It seems strange that Benjamin isn’t on the field at all with just soreness.

Shurmur said that any player that practices tomorrow could play against the Packers on Thursday. Tomorrow’s practice is just shorts and helmets, and you would expect any player who is truly hurt would participate. Especially if they have to in order to play on Thursday.

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The team worked on short yardage passing today. They simulated 3rd and 5 in some 11 on 11 work. It didn’t go well for the first team offense to be honest. Or the second team for that matter.

Monterio Hardesty had a couple of nice runs for first downs, including one over the left side on third and one.

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There was a lengthy conversation between several media members and the Browns about twitter and social media policies. The Browns said that of the players in camp, 65 have a twitter account. They called them ‘active’ if they used it 2 or 3 times a week. Shurmur is not a fan of the players using the social media platforms, and would prefer that they keep it about personal things and not team related at all.

Personally, I didn’t get the line of questioning. If you aren’t following the players, how can you be doing all you can to cover the team?

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Shurmur confirmed that the starters will play the first half. He said they will evaluate things at the half and determine if the ones will play anymore. (Don’t bet on it.) When asked if it would make sense for Weeden to play a little more, say with the twos, he said he didn’t want to mix the ones and twos. He said it could get sloppy.

Which sounds like the perfect word to describe the MASH unit on defense right now. Sloppy. Especially against the run.

  • cmm13

    “The team worked on short yardage passing today. They simulated 3rd and 5 in some 11 on 11 work. It didn’t go well for the first team offense to be honest. Or the second team for that matter.”
    …does this scare anyone else for the simple fact that the first team offense was basically playing our 2nd and 3rd team defense due to all the injuires?

  • Dee P

    Yes it does. I guess the only silver lining would be to explain why it didn’t go well. Was the defense flat out stopping them, or was the offense shooting themselves in the foot with false starts, dropped passes, etc….meaning the plays were working, guys were open, but didn’t execute.

    Either way though, not very encouraging.

  • maxfnmloans

    I’m getting the feeling my yard is going to look fantastic by Thanksgiving

  • DontbringLBJback

    We have to hope and assume that they’ll bring some additional LB’s and DB’s in once teams make their final cuts… there really won’t be any quality guys available until then. Sadly, I didn’t see ANYTHING out of JMJ against Detroit, and I don’t remember even seeing Acho on the field. As far as DB’s, Shrine can’t cover MegaTron, but neither can anyone else. Double coverage seemed to hold him in check though. All in all, we’re gonna need some help… more than just depth, we’re gonna need a couple of actual play makers.

  • mgbode

    who are you hoping gets cut that you will see as an improvement? and, I assume you aren’t meaning to find play-makers off roster cuts, right?

  • SDA

    I just keep telling myself we are on the right track. I hope we are on the right track. Please let us be on the right track. Maybe I should stock up on Glenlevet

  • TSR3000

    The last one.

  • DontbringLBJback

    I have no idea who is going to get cut, but I think we can hope that there will be a few quality guys that don’t make some of the better teams out there… I don’t know for sure… but like I said, we have to hope. If our opening day starters are D. Jackson, Maiava, and JMJ, that will not be too good. One way or another, we need some help.

  • porckchopexpress

    Wow optimist. I’m going to be ready for the Home and Garden tour by Columbus Day.

  • cmm13

    As long as its not a blend of course.

  • Big Z

    Is there any correlation between Hardesty always having a “couple of nice runs” in practice and the Browns’ ABYSMAL run defense? Hmmm…

  • mgbode

    if we are starting someone who got cut by another team in week1, then we are in worse shape than I ever realized.
    DQ didn’t play (Jacobs was bad) and JMJ is a rookie (and hopefully will play better as preseason moves along).

  • SDA

    If the Browns don’t turn it around soon I may have to join AA

  • mgbode

    for instance, maybe we claim Ronnie Cameron, DT from the Bears off waivers. sounds nice.

    then, you look at the Bears roster and realize that he was their 9th DT (or 5th string guy).

    sure, maybe they made a mistake and surely he could be better than one of our bottom DTs. but, to claim that he could be a starter is folly.

  • Mike E

    nice Swingers reference!