BEREA, Ohio -- For the second straight practice, the Cleveland Browns buckled up the shoulder pads, strapped on the helmets a little tighter and went through a fully-padded session with live-tackling drills on Day 4 of training camp at the team’s Berea headquarters.
Here are five observations from Sunday’s on-field work.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
Unlike the first day of 11-on-11 work in full pads, where the offense dominated the live-tackling drill by utilizing the running game, particularly because of Isaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson and Matthew Dayes, both sides of the ball had plays where they got the upper hand Sunday.
“I thought it was good work,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “Obviously, we don’t want the sacks. I want the defense to get more turnovers. I want the offense not to give up the sacks and take care of the ball better and all that.”
REPPING IT OUT
With the return of left guard Joel Bitonio and the signings of center JC Tretter and right guard Kevin Zeitler, the Browns had four of their five starting spots filled along the offensive line heading into training camp, but there remains an open position at right tackle.
Second-year professional Shon Coleman is in the competition for right tackle, but with 10-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas getting veteran days off to preserve him for the regular season, he has seen a lot of time on the other side of the line.
“He is getting enough,” Jackson said. “He can play. He has done a good job, him and Cam (Erving) both. Those guys have done a really good job, and we have to find out if one of those guys can play left tackle for the future, too. I think they both have demonstrated that they can do it, and right now, I feel good about them both.”
IMPROVISATION IS KEY
Although Jackson goes into every practice with a plan and a script for what plays will be run in what drills, sometimes, decisions are made to extend a period here or change a call there.
And according to Jackson, such improvisation happens “quite a bit” during the practices, especially when lining up against defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
“I just have paper in my hand,” Jackson said. “That doesn’t mean that is what is getting called off that script. When you go against Gregg, things change very quickly.”
RED ZONE SUCCESS
At times during Sunday’s practice, the Browns struggled to pass the ball. However, that was anything but the case during the red-zone drills, particularly when veteran quarterback Brock Osweiler was commanding the huddle.
Osweiler threw a pair of touchdown passes in the red zone, and Jackson wants that to become the norm when the Browns take the field for practices and games.
“We just have to keep working,” Jackson said. “We understand that it is just four days. We just have to keep working. I’m just trying not to make too big of where we are. We just have a lot of work to do as a football team. Having the live periods is really good for our football team right now because we see where we are.”
Safety Ed Reynolds figured to be in the mix for a starting spot in the Browns’ secondary, but he suffered an injury in Saturday’s practice, and a return to the field is a ways away.
“He is going to miss some significant time,” Jackson said. “Obviously, it is a knee issue. We will know more about it as we continue forward. He is going to be out for a little while.”
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