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Cleveland Browns’ offensive line benefits from daily encounters with defensive front

Posted Jul 31, 2014

Early dominance of the Browns’ defense in camp is helping prepare the offense for the season.

You’ve heard plenty about how the Cleveland Browns’ defense has been dominating the first four practices of training camp.

You’ve probably wondered, “What does that say about the Browns’ offense?”

It’s easy to be a bit concerned, especially with a team that has perpetually been seeking an offensive spark.

But there is a positive side to discussion concerning the offense, and it involves the essence of camp practices.

When it comes to preparing for the season, the offense in general and the line in particular couldn’t do much better than to face a very deep and talented defensive front utilizing a wide variety of formations and blitzing on a daily basis. On any given play you could have a different number of linemen and linebackers … and defensive backs rushing the quarterback from all kinds of angles.

“They’re getting a lot of looks that they don’t typically see,” coach Mike Pettine, whose team returned to practice Thursday after an NFL-mandated day off on Wednesday, said of the offensive line. “We do some exotic things that probably very few other teams do in the league that really stresses the protection rules. There are going to be some pains early with the protection, but I think once they get used to it and see it, I always felt like going against what we do helps them prepare which most teams aren’t going to do as much.

“I’m a big fan of the ankle-weight theory. I’d rather practice be tougher physically, be tougher mentally than the game.”

ELSEWHERE AROUND THE NFL …

PITTSBURGH STEELERS wide receiver Antonio Brown is unhappy that his former teammate, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who is now in Denver, said that Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is a “far better leader” than the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger. “That was terrible,” Brown was quoted as saying in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “You don’t throw the quarterback under the bus, the guy who makes you what you are.”

DALLAS COWBOYS WIDE RECEIVER Dez Bryant can apparently count on a long career with his team. Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones was quoted as saying in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the club is “working hard” on a long-term deal with Bryant. “We’re totally committed to make Dez a Cowboy for life,” Jones said. “Our plans from Day One … figure a way to get Dez and Tyron extended.”

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford” on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com. We take your questions at 216-578-0850 and via Twitter @Browns_Daily.

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