The story that will get the most press is of course the altercation between Joe Haden and Head Coach Pat Shurmur that led to Haden’s removal from the field. In a drill, Haden apparently hit rookie receiver Travis Benjamin a little harder than the coach appreciated, especially since the team was just in shells for the session. I say apparently because I missed the hit, and frankly none of the media or fans around me made any kind of reaction to indicate that something over the line had occurred.
In fact, it wouldn’t have been out of the question for someone to have missed the disagreement between Coach Shurmur and Haden. Many in the media were buzzing after Haden went inside the facility not sure what had taken place exactly, wondering if it had something to do with the expected league suspension from Haden.
Following practice, Shurmur refused to discuss the incident. All he would say is that after 21 days of camp emotions can get the best of everyone, and that it is between the player and himself. He won’t discuss it further.
This is probably being blown out of proportion a bit. Everyone is on edge waiting for any kind of word on Haden’s situation, so anything that takes place with Joe is more likely to be thrown on the top of the page.
If yesterday was one of Brandon Weeden’s roughest days at camp, he certainly responded. Weeden was fantastic in practice today. The Browns ran a lot of red zone drills in 11 on 11 and 7 on 7 today, in no small part because it was the last day open to the public and touchdowns are exciting to watch whether they are in practice or a game.
Weeden hit on several scoring passes, including a pair to Josh Gordon who had a strong day at camp. He hit Gordon over the top on the first play in 11 on 11 drills which really set the tone for all of practice. Weeden also connected with Travis Benjamin, Greg Little and Alex Smith for touchdowns. Smith made a great play on the ball, spinning around to catch a ball behind him that was really humming.
There was also a nice play in which Weeden had to step up in the pocket and hit Mohamed Massaquoi over the middle for a first down.
Following practice, Shurmur remarked about Weeden’s day, and Weeden himself called it his best day at camp, with the caveat that “on film good days aren’t as good as you think, just like they aren’t as bad as you remember.”
The defense wasn’t without it’s moments. Buster Skrine made a good play on a deep ball in the end zone and broke up a pass intended for Benjamin. D’Qwell Jackson picked off a Colt McCoy pass.
I have to get back to Josh Gordon for a moment. The rookie picked a ball off his thigh in full stride while having to twist back towards the quarterback and kept right on going at full speed. It was an NFL catch. Something the Browns will need from the supplemental pick if he is going to live up to the spot they selected him in.
Speaking of draft picks, Billy Winn continued to get first team reps alongside Rubin at DT. Despite being picked in the sixth round, he may just find himself playing before third rounder John Hughes.
Pat Shurmur said again following practice that Trent Richardson is ahead of schedule, and may be ready to see the practice field starting next week. He couldn’t say yet if there was a chance Richardson might see time in the final preseason game.
The team will use a regular season type of practice and meeting schedule next week to prepare the team, especially the rookies, for what that will feel like.