BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns spent hundreds of hours training, practicing, studying, and coaching during the team’s nine-week offseason program, six minicamp practices and 10 organized team activity sessions.
Now, after a six-week break, training camp is set to begin Thursday.
And according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner, the time has come to build on the foundation laid during the offseason.
“I think we built a good foundation,” Turner said. “I was impressed with the three days with the rookies. There was good recall. I thought they retained the stuff we did. Now, we’ve got to go to work. We have young players that I can be very good football players, but we just have a ton of work to do. We’re behind everyone else in our division because they’ve been together for a long time.
“There’s a lot of things we can’t control, but if we can get the practice time in, our guys can stay healthy, our guys can make the kind of progress they made during OTAs and minicamps, I think we can be ready to be a good offense when this season starts. We have a lot of work to do, and we have a lot of guys who have to get a lot better in terms of understanding what we’re doing. The better you get at what you’re doing, the faster you play. That’s what our goal is, to be playing at a real high rate of speed, a real high level when it starts.”
Playing at a higher rate of speed starts with quarterback
“I think he’s got more of a sense of urgency, and I think he’s playing faster,” Turner said of Weeden. “That comes with doing the same things over and over again, and that comes with having a little bit better understanding of what he’s doing.
“The way I’ve always looked at it, and the way (coach Rob Chudzinski) and I have always talked about it is everything we do in the offseason is to get ready to go to camp. I think Brandon and all our guys have done a good job preparing to go to camp.”
The Browns’ coaches spent the offseason program developing tight end
“We’re going to give Jordan an opportunity to be that guy,” Turner said. “Now, let’s put it in his hands. Everyone wants to project and say what these guys are going to be. The game is still played on the field. Guys compete in practice to get opportunities to play in the games, and then, we get to find out how they match up and what they do against pretty good competition.
“The running back position is a little bit unique. Those guys rely so much on their physical skills, natural ability. I think (Richardson) can overcome the time he missed. He’s sharp. The mental part wasn’t a problem. He’ll get reps. He’ll get his share of reps, and the best runners I’ve been around, they start off and stay within the system and they let their natural ability do a lot of damage. I think he’s capable of doing great things.”