BEREA, Ohio -- On Tuesday, the Cleveland Browns held practice for the fourth straight day at team headquarters in Berea, and have two more practices before the unofficial end to training camp on Thursday.
Tuesday’s practice was the fourth of six straight days of on-field work since returning to the field after last Thursday’s preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints.
Here are three takeaways from Tuesday’s practice in Berea:
BROWNS PLEASED WITH EFFORT
Although the players were only in shoulder pads, helmets and shorts for practice, there was plenty of physicality provided by both sides of the ball, and on at least three occasions, that passion spilled over into fights.
And while coach Hue Jackson does not condone fights, he likes seeing players compete at a high level.
“Another good practice,” Jackson said. “Took them out of the total pads, but our guys, sometimes, when we are not in total pads, it is like we are in pads. It was very competitive like normal. We got a lot of good work done.
“Guys keep working. I am proud of them. Give them a little treat tonight for a little while. They just have to be back at curfew. They understand they have to handle themselves the right way, and I am sure they will.”
ZEITLER SETS KEY EXAMPLE
The Browns were besieged by injuries and ineffectiveness on the offensive line during the 2016 season, and they sought to remedy that quickly at the start of the new NFL year back in March.
The Browns signed the top-rated guard in free agency, Kevin Zeitler, who in five years out of the University of Wisconsin, helped turn the Cincinnati Bengals into perennial playoff contenders out of the AFC North Division.
And through two-plus weeks of camp, Zeitler has been as advertised.
“We feel like he is everything we want in a football player, first and foremost, and then, I know what kind person and what kind of man he is,” Jackson said. “He works extremely hard, and I think he is one of the better right guards in the league, so we are fortunate to have him.
“He has done a great job here. I think he is going to help us this season tremendously. Him, JC (Tretter) and Joel (Bitonio) will be a really good trio playing inside in our offense and football team.”
WILLIAMS MOTIVATES DEFENSE
Last season, the Browns ranked near the bottom of the NFL in several statistical categories, most notably points, yards and rushing yards allowed. The Browns ranked 30th in points allowed (28.2), as well as 31st in yards (392.4) and rushing yards (142.7) per game.
On the field for the fourth-most plays (1,067) in the NFL during the 2016 season, the Browns allowed 22.8 first downs per game, and surrendered third-down conversions on 45.1 percent of their opponents’ attempts.
In order to reverse their fortunes defensively, they hired Gregg Williams to take over as coordinator, and according to Jackson, throughout camp, he has proven himself to be the right man for the job.
“What he is doing on defense is what you need,” Jackson said.
“It is an every-day thing. We are pushing and pulling, and the guys are responding. That is what you look for.”
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