BEREA, Ohio -- As the temperatures on the Cleveland Browns’ practice fields heated up during the early part of the week, so has the competition at training camp.
And that competition is exactly what first-year Browns coach Rob Chudzinski hopes to see out of his team going forward, especially after Tuesday’s mandatory off day for the players, who were in full pads during their on-field work Wednesday.
“It was good to get back on the field after the day off,” Chudzinski said. “These four days are going to be critical for us. In terms of our development, these are key times. The competition is heating up at a different number of positions. We are really looking for our execution to improve as we go.
“Today was a lot warmer than it’s been. Structurally, from a practice standpoint, we wanted to put them in some situations where they were out there for more plays in a row, so we had a two-minute drill. During team period, we had them moving the ball. We had them seven or eight plays at a time; more like drives that they’re going to be having to execute in the games.”
With the increased competition for roster spots and playing time, Chudzinski wants his players to be smart in contact situations.
“We definitely want to see the hitting and the contact,” Chudzinski said. “For the most part in the box close to the line of scrimmage, particularly in the run situation, sometimes, things are going to happen. There is a fine line. We have to be smart about that. We want to make sure that we get all of our guys to the game.”
The Browns will get in two more practices this week before heading to FirstEnergy Stadium for Family Night Saturday. Chudzinski expects to see more competition from the players, but said it will resemble “a normal practice” ahead of next Thursday’s preseason home opener against the St. Louis Rams.
“We will have some situations, work some and move-the-ball periods that we do,” Chudzinski said. “With our install and how tight it is in terms of the number of days before the game, we have to get some things done more so than opening up for a scrimmage-type situation. In reality, we are going to be playing on Thursday. That is not a lot of time between now and Thursday.”
During a two-and-a-half hour training camp practice, quarterbacks take hundreds of snaps and throw hundreds of passes, whether it be in one-on-one, skeleton or full-team drills. All of those plays are run because coaches are pushing the players to see what they can handle and execute on a consistent basis.
“We are asking them to do things, asking them to throw certain throws and put them in certain situations we want to see them in and see how they react to those,” Chudzinski said. “Sometimes, you see an incompletion and it may not just be the quarterback; it could be the route, it could be pretty much anything. It’s hard to assess that until you get in and watch the film and go through it that way.”
Browns running back