Now healthy after missing much of the 2013 season, wide receiver Nate Burleson is ready to compete for the Browns.
BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns wide receiver Nate Burleson had been limited to classroom work for much of the offseason because he injured his surgically repaired left arm during a mini-camp workout.
But the cast protecting the injured arm, which he broke in a car accident last fall, came off and Burleson worked his way through individual drills through the Browns' mandatory mini-camp in Berea at the beginning of June. And his return came right in the nick of time.
"I'm doing good, feeling good," Burleson said. "I got to catch some balls, run around and play some football. It always makes me smile.
"I'm one of those guys that hates just sitting on the sideline. I've been trying to sneak reps in during practice. The head trainer, Joe (Sheehan), he's chasing me around, telling me not to do stuff, but I can appreciate it. I just like to talk. I like guys that play at a high level.
"I know how to get guys going, how to get under their skin, and I can't do that when I'm on the sideline. I'm kind of muzzling myself, but I was able to talk a little bit more because I caught some balls and was running around. I'm expecting a lot more when training camp comes around."
Since returning to the field, Burleson has been able to work with first-team players like running back Ben Tate and Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron, as well as quarterback Brian Hoyer, who is working his way back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
In addition to working with his new teammates, Burleson said he was especially glad to get back onto the field because it gives him a chance to practice the playbook he has been studying since the offseason program began nearly three months ago.
"We've put in a lot, and I think they did that purposely," Burleson said. "They wanted to overload us, see how much we could handle mentally, see how we respond to our classroom teaching and applying it on the field.
"The good thing is, we might not get everything, we might not digest every, single play, but with the break that we (had), coming back for training camp, most likely, everybody goes to hit the ground running. If they installed only half and gave us the rest of it in preseason, it's going to be tough. We might as well get the mistakes out, some of the errors, so we can tighten up the screws when the season starts."