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Defense stands tall on day two of 'Camp Chud'

Posted Jul 26, 2013

BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns’ defensive backfield registered several interceptions and returned some of those turnovers for touchdowns in Friday’s practice.

BEREA, Ohio -- On day one of “Camp Chud,” the Cleveland Browns’ offense stood tall, and that did not sit well with the defense, particularly the secondary.

On day two, the secondary returned the favor -- and interceptions that would have gone for touchdowns.

“Everybody’s just moving around so fast,” four-year veteran defensive back Joe Haden said after Friday's practice. “Yesterday, the offense was getting the best of us. Today, we came out and had to step it up because they were a step ahead of us. We had a meeting like, ‘Come on man. We’ve got to step it up and get our hands on more balls.’ That’s what we came out here and tried to do.”

“I think the secondary made some really nice plays and really broke well on the ball on a couple of those,” coach Rob Chudzinski said of the interceptions. “We’ll see where we go from there on both sides of the ball. The past two days have been large installs for us, and we were working a lot of third-down situations. It was a third-and-long day, and we’ll just have to look at the tape, make the corrections off of it and move on.”

Haden had one of the Browns’ interceptions and returned it for a touchdown. While Haden acknowledged relying on instincts when it comes to collecting interceptions, he said the biggest emphasis has been on preventing long gains, not turnovers.

“(Defensive coordinator Ray Horton) puts a bigger emphasis on just making sure they don’t get the deep ball on us,” Haden said. “He doesn’t want anything over top of our heads. Right now, we can’t rush the quarterback, but he has so much faith in our front seven and the dudes coming off the edge that as long as we just keep everything in front of us, we’re going to have pressure get to the quarterbacks. They’re going to throw passes off their back legs.”

In addition to Haden, Chudzinski has seen good competition out of the secondary. Cornerbacks Chris Owens and Buster Skrine each batted away passes and collected interceptions, and second-year defensive back Johnson Bademosi has impressed in his transition from cornerback to safety.

“There were a couple nice plays by both of them today,” Chudzinski said of Owens and Skrine. “They’re really competitive guys. Those are guys that really take a lot of pride in their trade, what they’re doing, and focus on the things that you’re coaching them to do.

“I think (Bademosi’s) making progress on a day-to-day basis. It’s a matter of getting comfortable at the new position. It’s something that he’s never played before, so I think he’s progressing. Everybody’s going to have ups and downs, and everybody’s going to have good days and bad days, and good plays and bad plays, but the key is learning and that we’re progressing and going in the right direction.”

NELSON RETURNS

Wide receiver David Nelson, a free-agent signing of the Browns this past offseason, was able to return to the football field after missing the first practice while continuing to rehab from surgery to repair a torn knee ligament suffered in last year’s regular-season opener.

For Chudzinski, and fellow wide receiver Greg Little, Nelson’s return was a welcomed sight.

“He’s a big guy and he has good hands,” Chudzinski said. “He’s been productive, so he’s played. He has good experience, and we’ll just have to get him out there. He hasn’t been in the system, and he’s just been learning through meetings. Just getting out there and going through the route tree and stuff was good as a starting point.”

Little added, “He’s been working so hard to (get on the field), and I think it was a monkey off his back to have a sigh of relief to feel like he’s getting some work done football-wise, as he has been in the film room and off the field. I’m sure he’s just as excited as we all are to have him out there.”

TAYLOR MADE

For the second straight day, defensive lineman Phil Taylor was held out of practice with a calf strain, but Chudzinski expressed optimism with regard to Taylor’s return.

“I’m expecting him back in the next few days,” Chudzinski said. “He feels good, and he’s worked on the side and with the trainers. All the reports I’ve gotten are pretty positive.”