The Browns kick off another training camp in Berea today. Practices open to the public will be held from 4:00 to 6:30. Gates will open an hour before practice is scheduled to start. The first day for the team in full pads will be on Saturday. Remember, inclement weather could force the team indoors, which would close practice to the public. Check ClevelandBrowns.com or call 877-6BROWNS for updated practice information.
If you plan to go watch the practices, here are a few things you might want to pay attention to.
1) Don’t get too excited about anything that happens on the offensive and defensive lines until Saturday when the teams put the pads on. Playing the line in shorts and t-shirts just doesn’t make a ton of sense. A player’s footwork can be watched, especially the offensive tackles on outside speed rushes. Watch rookie Barkevious Mingo whenever he goes against Joe Thomas if you want to get a good sense for how fast Mingo is or isn’t. Mitchell Schwartz had some struggles in camp last year against Jabaal Sheard’s speed rush. Obviously Schwartz improved as the year progressed. Once the pads go on it will be interesting to see the two lines go at it. They should be the units of strength for the Browns.
2) Speaking of Mingo and Sheard, if you want an early indication on how their transition is going from defensive end to linebacker, I would pay attention to their feet. Are they always moving? Do they seem to hesitate at all getting to where they are supposed to be?
3) Weeden’s accuracy and consistency. Watching the 7 on 7 drills are probably the most fun for fans. Last year at camp Brandon Weeden had days where he looked fantastic, and then there were days that he just couldn’t connect at all with his receivers. Weeden spent time throwing to Greg Little and Josh Cooper in Oklahoma over the summer, so you would hope that there would be a good connection, especially with Little from the start. This being Weeden’s second year it would be fair to expect a more consistent camp, even with the new system. This offense is supposed to play to his strengths. He should look more comfortable.
4) The big position battles on the defensive side are in the secondary. Watch to see how Buster Skrine, Leon McFadden, Chris Owens and Trevin Wade do in one on one coverage. Are they staying with the receiver? Do they have to recover frequently downfield? How much cushion do they need to give at the line of scrimmage? Also, watch the free safeties Johnson Bademosi and Tashaun Gipson. Can they cover the tight end?
5) Keep an eye on defensive coordinator Ray Horton. It’s a safe bet that wherever he is spending time giving individual instruction that is a player or position in a bit of flux.
Fans will notice several changes at camp this year, including a visit from Chef Rocco Whalen’s food truck! Here are some highlights from the team.
– Handicap-accessible parking has moved from the Berea Recreation Center lot to the grounds of the Berea training facility. Parking and entry for those with a proper handicap tag will be available near the Browns training facility entrance at 76 Lou Groza Boulevard.
– The official radio partners of the Cleveland Browns, ESPN 850 WKNR & 92.3 “The Fan” WKRK, will be broadcasting live each day.
– Fan parking will be limited in the Baldwin-Wallace lots on July 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 due to the 2013 National Senior Games.
– Associate sponsor Cleveland Clinic will be on-site hosting a number of health and wellness interactive activities throughout camp, including “Mini-Training Camp” with small stations set up similar to the drills and activities at NFL practices. The activity will be available during select team practices, and both adults and kids can participate.
– In partnership with the American Red Cross, the Annual Cleveland Browns Blood Drive will take place on July 27, at 14 sites simultaneously throughout Northeast Ohio. Registered donors will get a commemorative T-shirt, have the chance to win Browns memorabilia, and will receive two upper level tickets to a 2013 Browns preseason home game in August (while supplies last).
– ShortRib 1, celebrity Chef Rocco Whalen’s local food truck, will be on site daily for all fans to enjoy at camp. On select days, The Orange Trük will also be on-hand. Both food trucks will allow fans to purchase gourmet food throughout practice.
– On Monday, July 29, and Monday, Aug. 5, the Browns will offer a lemonade stand to raise funds for a local charity.
– The Cleveland Browns Back to School Campaign, in support of Shoes and Clothes for Kids, will kick off on Aug. 6 to help kids prepare for the school year.
– On Aug. 13, the Play 60 movement will be celebrated to promote kids becoming more active.
– The Cleveland Foodbank will be on site on select days to share information and engage kids for an upcoming school collaboration with the Browns.
Training camp practices open to the public:
Thurs., July 25…………. 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Fri., July 26……………… 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Sat., July 27…………….. 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Sun., July 28……………. 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Mon., July 29…………… 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Tues., July 30…………… NO PRACTICE
Wed., July 31…………… 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 1………….. 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 2………………. 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 3……………… Family Night at FirstEnergy Stadium – 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 4…………….. NO PRACTICE
Mon., Aug. 5……………. 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Tues., Aug. 6……………. 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Wed., Aug. 7……………. PRACTICE CLOSED TO GENERAL PUBLIC
Thurs., Aug. 8………….. Browns vs. St. Louis – 8:00 p.m.