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Browns enter 'critical' stretch of practices

Posted Aug 1, 2013

BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns had their third practice in full pads on Thursday in the middle of what Coach Rob Chudzinski referred to as a “critical” stretch of time for the team.

BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns have only four full-squad workouts remaining between now and the preseason home opener against the St. Louis Rams at FirstEnergy Stadium on Aug. 8, and coach Rob Chudzinski knows that the time for improvement is now.

Following Thursday’s fully-padded practice, Chudzinski referred to these final on-field workouts before the games begin as being “critical” to the development of the team.

“These four days, yesterday as well as the next few days, are really important for us, from developing a physical mindset,” Chudzinski said. “We’ve been in pads the last couple days. We’ll be in pads on Saturday as well. We’re really working to improve and develop that attitude. It’s a critical time for us.

“I was pleased with today’s work. We were much more efficient today, and I thought the execution was better. We’re eliminating and working hard to eliminate some of the pre-snap penalties that we’ve had in camp up to this point.”

Under the collective bargaining agreement, players have a mandatory off day following the first five days of practice. The Browns have had two straight days of practice after the players were given that mandatory off day Tuesday, and Chudzinski has focused his efforts on avoiding a letdown in effort or results.

“You get the first wave of five practices, and then, we have a little bit of a break,” Chudzinski said. “These four practices are where that lull hits. Everybody’s excited, usually, in that first five practices.

“Really, you can see guys start to separate themselves, getting in pads, trying to develop that toughness and see guys, how they’re going to react, really press and push them in situations where they’re going to be tired. You really get answers on guys at this time before we get into games.”

The Browns will be on the practice field Friday before heading to FirstEnergy Stadium for Family Night Saturday. Then, the players will get Sunday off before returning to the field Monday and Tuesday ahead of Thursday’s preseason game with the Rams.

“I like where we are,” Chudzinski said. “It’s hard to tell when you’re practicing against each other until you get into the preseason games. That gives you a little bit better gauge. I see progress in all areas, and I like where the guys’ minds are right now. We’re a hungry team. We improved from yesterday, and it’s a matter of consistency. We need to do that on every, single day, come out with that approach to get better and we will.”