Chudzinski conducts 'learning camp'

Posted Apr 16, 2013

After his first minicamp practice, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski talked about the importance of learning during this camp.

The Cleveland Browns held the first practice of their three-day voluntary minicamp on Tuesday, and rather than looking for perfection, coach Rob Chudzinski wanted to see retention of the information his staff has given to the players over the first two weeks of the offseason program.

Tuesday’s work was the first for the coaches with the players on the field. Under the current collective bargaining agreement, coaches can only be in the classroom with players for the first two weeks of the offseason.

“With these three days, it’s important to understand this is a learning camp as much as it is, or more so than it is an evaluation camp or an assessment camp,” Chudzinski said. “This is our first chance to get out on the field with these guys and really teach them on the field what we want, for them to understand how we want to practice and bring those things together.

“It’s great to be out there, finally get a chance to get out with these guys and get out on the field. Just seeing these guys out here for the first day, I was impressed with the team. I thought the energy, I thought the effort, I thought the focus were all outstanding, and this is a hungry group. That’s something to work with, for sure.”

Chudzinski said the coaches have “thrown a lot” at the players in the two weeks’ worth of meetings, and that’s a challenge the players have embraced.

“We get the playbook with just a little bit of time before we head here, and it’s pretty much getting in the book and visualizing it,” quarterback Brandon Weeden said. “When you come out here, it’s a little bit different. It’s a little bit faster, and I thought we responded really well offensively. The guys took the information the coaches have thrown at us, and they’re throwing a lot at us, and it’s been outstanding. The guys have really done a good job up to this point.”

In addition to the scheme changes being implemented on both sides of the football, the new Browns players have been acclimating themselves to the team.

“I was surprised about how much everybody was on the same page,” said outside linebacker Paul Kruger, whom the Browns signed in the first 24 hours of free agency in March. “It went a lot more fluid than I thought for the first day. It’s pretty good stuff. We’re all getting familiar with each other. Just getting to know each other and getting familiar, it went really well.”


Browns offensive lineman Jason Pinkston missed most of the 2012 season because of a blood clot, but was medically cleared by the team’s doctors and will now begin the process of getting back in football shape.

“It’s good news for Jason,” Chudzinski said. “It’ll be incrementally getting him back where he can get on the field and start practicing again. That’ll take a little bit of time to do that.”

In addition to Pinkston, wide receiver David Nelson is still in the process of rehabbing a knee injury that cost him nearly all of 2012. Chudzinski said Nelson is expected to be ready for training camp.


With the Browns switching to a 3-4 defense under the direction of coordinator Ray Horton, Jabaal Sheard has undergone a position change from defensive end to outside linebacker. The Browns’ sack leader in each of the last two seasons has “picked things up really well,” according to Chudzinski.

“I know there was a number of 3-4 teams that looked at him when he was coming out of college, that were really interested in him,” Chudzinski said. “I’ve been impressed with him from a mental standpoint and what he’s been able to bring out to the field.”

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