BEREA, Ohio -- After having a six-week break between the end of mandatory minicamp and the start of training camp, teams are allowed to begin practicing two weeks before their first preseason game, meaning that every snap and every drill are opportunities to get better before taking the field on game day.
Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski enjoys the inherent challenges that come along with an accelerated timeline ahead of the first preseason game against the St. Louis Rams at FirstEnergy Stadium on Aug. 8.
“It’s right around the corner,” Chudzinski said. “It seems like time flies, and it’ll be here before you know it. We have a lot of work to do. I’ve been pleased with what we’ve gotten done in the last couple days, particularly, seeing the days where things didn’t look so (good) on one side of the ball and guys bouncing back, understanding, making the corrections, executing better on the field.
“That’s the process you’re looking for guys to go through as we’re getting toward our first game. We’ll continue to install things during the course of the next week, week-and-a-half, and then, we’ll get ready to go out and play.”
According to Chudzinski, one of the most important tasks is building cohesion among the offensive line, which he acknowledged as being difficult because of the “new system, new terminology.”
“It will take some time,” Chudzinski said. “Those guys, in my opinion and my experiences, are the toughest to coordinate all of those things and get that communication that you need. Those guys playing together, that’s what you want. That does take some time, but having (offensive line coach) George Warhop here, and he’s done a fantastic job, I think that’s really helped in that way. George is here, can translate and get them all on the same page.”
Like it did on Thursday, the offense looked like it was on the same page during Saturday’s practice.
On day one of “Camp Chud,” the offense moved at a fast pace and outpointed the defense in executing the plays, but coordinator Ray Horton’s defense returned the favor with several interceptions Friday night.
“I thought the offense, as a whole, had a lot better day,” Chudzinski said when comparing Friday and Saturday. “That’s one of the things you’d like to see happen on a day-to-day basis, that it’s not only one side of the ball that’s winning.
“You like to see it where it’s offense one day, defense the next and it’s a back-and-forth competition because at the end of the day, you need a balanced team. You have to be able to win games in this league in different ways. Sometimes, it’s going to be high-scoring. Sometimes, they’re going to be low-scoring. Sometimes, your defense is going to be dominating, or sometimes, they’re going to be struggling. Having a balanced team is key and it’s something we’ve talked a lot about to the guys.”