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5 things to know from Day 2 of Browns minicamp: 'I think we’re heading in the right direction​'

Posted Jun 14, 2017

Hue Jackson talks Myles Garrett injury, QB competition

1. Browns rookie defensive end and No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick Myles Garrett suffered a foot injury late in Wednesday's practice while rushing the quarterback. Head coach Hue Jackson said he’s unsure of the nature of the injury or what specifically happened on the play.

“That’s part of the game. Obviously, I don’t want to see any of our players kicked, hurt, any of that. Hopefully things will be fine,” he said. “We don’t want to lose any player, especially not one of our really good players. Hopefully things will be OK. I think they will be.”

Garrett, who was able to walk off the field, is expected to play a significant role next season after totaling 31 sacks in three years at Texas A&M.

2. With their final practice of offseason workouts set for Thursday, Jackson offered something of a state-of-the-team as the Browns prepare for summer break.

“I think we’re heading in the right direction. I'm really excited about what we’re creating on defense,” he said, “but as the years go by here, we want to have an established quarterback … that’s the problem we’ve got to solve.”

Indeed, Jackson’s mind was on his signal-callers as the Browns try and establish a long-term answer at the position after Cody Kessler, Brock Osweiler and DeShone Kizer split reps with the first-team offense.

“We don’t want to have this question where you guys are saying, ‘who’s the quarterback’ every year, so that is a problem we have to solve,” he said.

“I feel good about our offensive line. I think we have some young emerging players at receiver. I think we have some young dynamic tight ends that we have to continue to grow. The pass catcher, we have to get (WR) Corey (Coleman) out there and keep him healthy so that we can be what we can be on offense. We have two dynamic runners (RBs), so I like our runners. Special teams wise, I think we have a real good punter, long snapper and kicker and I think there are some core guys that are returning to our football team.

“Are we close to where I thought we would be? Yes. For me, I have to continue to solve the quarterback issue, because I think that is where it starts. I think everywhere else we are really growing. Not that we are not growing at quarterback, just having a guy. Having a guy and saying, ‘This is the guy’ and ‘this guy can run our organization, run our team and play at a high level and help us win’ and I think that is always going to be the question all of you will have until we solve it, so I get that. Outside of that, I think our team is heading in the right direction.”

3. Speaking of Kizer, Jackson said the rookie exclusively took reps with the first-team offense in an effort to evaluate the former Notre Dame standout as much as possible.

Kizer, whom the Browns tapped in the second round this past spring, was particularly introspective with reporters earlier in the day. That quality, Jackson said, can only help the 21-year-old in the long run.

“I’ve always told the quarterbacks, this league will bring you to your knees. Probably should start down there every day, so you’ve got to have that, that characteristic that you just mentioned,” he said. “It’s a tough league and things don’t always go your way all of the time. You just got to keep working through it. That’s good to hear that he has that. I’ve always felt that about him, it’s good to know that you guys have noticed that.”

Kizer is competing with Kessler, Osweiler and Kevin Hogan to be the team's starter. Jackson made clear that he's in no rush to make that decision, saying he'll do so once there's an appropriate amount of information.

4. Left guard Joel Bitonio said he feels “really good” about his ongoing recovery from foot surgery one day after participating in individual drills for the first time in eight months.

Bitonio, who injured his foot early in the season, wouldn’t put a specific label on his current stage of rehabilitation, but was optimistic about his role at training camp.

“It was awesome to be out there and I felt really good, both strong and we’re getting there,” Bitonio said. “I feel really good and they are obviously letting me do some stuff, so it is a good step and we are still five-six weeks away from camp, so I think we are moving in the right direction.”

5. Jackson said Shon Coleman and Cameron Erving are competing for the right tackle job but he won’t truly know more until the pads come on in training camp.

“I think we have some good candidates. I think Shon Coleman has done an outstanding job. I think Cam is battling. I think those guys are doing well,” he said.

“Somebody is going to really assert themselves here when the pads come on because that is when we will find out more, but I think both of them have done some good things. I think they are growing, getting better every day. The fun part about them both, they have the versatility to play on the left side, too. In the group, between those two guys and I am sure some others will surface, too, I think we have some candidates that can get the job done.”

Erving, a first-round pick in 2015, started 13 games last season mostly at center. Coleman, a third-round pick in 2016, played in seven games last season after an injury limited him in last year’s OTAs and minicamp.

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