Fifteen days into training-camp practices, and the Cleveland Browns have the energy and intensity levels of the first time they stepped onto the field on July 25.
After a day off Friday following the 27-19, preseason-opening victory over the St. Louis Rams, the Browns have practiced for three straight days, and have remained hungry to improve.
“It’s been real, real upbeat, energetic,” veteran linebacker
Added defensive back
Groves gave credit for the team’s consistent level of intensity and energy in practice to coach Rob Chudzinski, who has continued to make it a point to let the players know “We’ve got a lot of work to do to get where we want to go.”
“Coach Chud did a great job of explaining it to us: ‘It’s a preseason game, guys. We haven’t won the Super Bowl. We haven’t crossed any major bridges. We’ve just won one preseason game. A win is a win in this league, but at the same time, we have to go back to work and get better for the next week against Detroit,’” Groves said.
“Today, you could have easily come in and seen us have a bad practice, but we came out, had a great practice, had a spirited practice. Guys fought through the heat. We kept fighting. We did a great job of pushing through and doing what we had to do.”
In addition to the head coach preaching consistency and dedication as ways to improve, both individually, and as a team, Groves and Gipson know the players have to be willing to push through physical fatigue, handle the increased temperatures and still get done the necessary work.
“It’s more mental because you have to push your body through it,” Groves said. “That’s the biggest thing. You never know what you can do until you push your body. Your mind always tells you, ‘Oh, I’m tired. It’s hot. I want to give in,’ but you have to control your mind. We push through it. We get through it. We pick each other up. If one guy’s down, I see D’Qwell (Jackson) cheering another guy on, or you’ll see me trying to pick another guy up, things like that. I think that’s what teams are built on, and we’ve done a great job with that this camp.”
Gipson added, “You’ve got a lot of guys who’s legs are starting to get heavy, starting to die down on them, so these days are without question important. It’s still a grind. We’re still out here, whether it’s auditioning for starting roles, it’s auditioning to make the squad or trying to get better and perfect your craft. We’ve all just got to grind through it. These are the days that make teams better.”
PROGRESSION AT WIDEOUT
Midway through training camp, second-year Browns wide receiver
“I’ve been pleased with the progress that he’s made,” Chudzinski said. “He’s really been battling through. He’s had tendonitis in his knee, so he’s been pushing through that, which I like seeing. He’s going in the right direction. He’s a developing player that’s learning what it takes and what he’s going to need to do to be successful in this league.”
The Browns were able to get wide receiver