The Cleveland Browns held their first of three mandatory minicamp practices at the team’s Berea training facility on Tuesday morning, and for coach Rob Chudzinski, the first day was about getting the players in a rhythm, on and off the field.
“We’ll practice in the mornings then come back and watch and review the practice tape with the guys; then, do an install in the afternoon and have a walk-through,” Chudzinski said. “It’s a little bit different than a typical training-camp day. At this time of year, we are going to practice in the morning, come back with a walk-through in the afternoon and then, practice again in the morning. We will follow that schedule throughout the minicamp.”
The team used the nine weeks of organized team activities (OTAs) to install much of the offensive and defensive schemes, and entered this week’s minicamp with a focus on fine-tuning the plays already run and find out the strengths of each player.
“It’s basically a review,” Chudzinski said. “We covered first-, second-, and third-down situations today. We did a little bit of a move-the-ball situation, where guys were off on the side just to simulate a little bit more of a game-like situation. From a tempo standpoint, all of those things are the same as OTAs. We got some good work today. I am pleased with that and we will come back tomorrow and get some red zone and two-minute during practice.”
The practice schedule for minicamp will differ slightly from this year’s upcoming training camp, where Chudzinski said the team will typically practice in the afternoon.
“Just from different experiences, different places and working with different guys, every place is a little different in terms of the needs,” Chudzinski said of the training camp schedule. “Sometimes, the weather reflects it, so you have to be flexible from that stand point, but really, everything is geared towards being the best environment possible for the guys to be able to learn and pick things up.”
With the departure of Phil Dawson to the San Francisco 49ers through free agency, the Browns signed 14-year NFL veteran
According to Chudzinski, the competition will not wait for training camp.
“We’ve really been charting now and looking at every practice,” Chudzinski said. “It’s been close. It’s been back and forth. Obviously, you get into the preseason and those games will be a very important part of the process of the evaluation, but, it’s ongoing all the way through. When we are out here going through two-minute situations and looking at the guys who kick at the end of the game, we are simulating a lot of those situations for those guys to go through.”
“(Brandon’s) leg is stronger. With Shayne here, he’s a veteran guy who has been through a lot and been through a lot of games. Both of those guys have been kicking well.”
For what Chudzinski described as a “precautionary measure,” the Browns held running back
“We are just holding him,” Chudzinski said of Richardson. “He could have gone these next couple days if necessary, but we are just being real precautionary about it. We don’t want the muscle strain to get any worse.
“The key is that he needs to stay into it mentally and going through. He is getting mental reps and doing those types of things. He has really stayed into it. I think he is excited about this next season and his approach has been good.”