BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski and his players have talked about a different energy and environment within the building and how those changes have affected the tempo of the first two practices in training camp.
Expect that energy level and intensity to increase when the players take the field late Saturday afternoon, because that will be the first practice they will have in full pads this season.
“We put the pads on, so we’ll get a chance to see all the guys pop,” Chudzinski said. “That’s where, from a tackling standpoint and the physical things, we’ll get a little more of a chance to evaluate some guys.”
Chudzinski said the team will not shy away from contact when the pads go on, but will limit the types of hits delivered in practice.
“We’re going to hit,” Chudzinski said. “We won’t be tackling to the ground, but that doesn’t mean nobody will be on the ground. We’ll hit, we’ll block. We’ll thud up and wrap up, so it will be good work for us. It’s about time to get the pads on.”
When asked which position group the addition of football pads will impact the most, Chudzinski quickly talked about the battle in the trenches among the offensive linemen and defensive front seven. According to Chudzinski, the fully-padded practices and preseason games are the best times to evaluate offensive and defensive linemen, as well as linebackers.
“The guys up front, they’ve been trying to block each other and trying to get off blocks and be careful,” Chudzinski said. “We’re working together to protect each other, and that’s the key when you don’t have the pads on. Now that we have the pads on, we still want to protect each other and be smart, but you can cut it loose and see the physicality and the finish is what you really get a chance to see, the guys that have that finish.”