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OTAs & Minicamp

3 things to watch during Browns OTAs

The Browns will kick off three weeks of OTAs before mandatory veteran minicamp begins in June

PRe OTAs 5.20

The Browns officially begin their organized team activities this week as the first of three weeks of light practices. It's also the first time in the offseason that the Browns can all be together on the field and work.

Attendance for OTAs is still voluntary for the next three weeks until the beginning of mandatory veteran minicamp set for June 11-13. There can be a total of 10 days of OTAs, where no live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

So, as the Browns head into this next phase of the offseason, let's take a look at a few key elements to pay attention to as the Browns continue preparation for the 2024 season.

A look at Ken Dorsey's style of offense

After the Browns brought in Ken Dorsey as the new offensive coordinator in February, he and coach Kevin Stefanski have been rebuilding the Browns' offense. As they have done so, the Browns also added key offensive players to their roster in the trade for WR Jerry Jeudy, as well as more depth in the run game with RB Nyheim Hines, RB D'Onta Foreman and FB Giovanni Ricci.

When the regular season begins in September, the Browns will be healthier and have key offensive players back as they anticipate the returns of QB Deshaun Watson, RB Nick Chubb, T Jack Conklin, T Dawand Jones and T Jedrick Wills Jr.

Even without live contact, OTAs can provide the first look at the offense with the additions to the different position groups on the offensive side of the ball, as well as Dorsey and Stefanski use the different skillsets among their pass catchers and ball handlers.

Check out action of all the Browns rookies and second year players from the practice fields at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus

More reps for the rookies

While the 2024 draft class completed rookie minicamp less than two weeks ago, OTAs are another opportunity to see how they assimilate in with the rest of the roster. During OTAs, the draft class will have a chance to meet and work alongside the veterans in the locker room and their position groups as they put their knowledge of the system to use.

One rookie in particular who can find added value in OTAs is G Zak Zinter as he continues to return from a leg injury that ended his 2023 season. Zinter said during rookie minicamp that he would participate in all of the OTAs.

He said that his workouts during rookie minicamp were the most that he's done on the field since the injury and went through his rehab process. Yet, Zinter said he felt comfortable going through the different drills with the offensive line.

Building on defensive success

The 2024 season will be the second season under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, after a successful first season in his defensive scheme where the Browns led the league in total defense and passing defense. They limited teams to an average of 270.2 total year per game and 164.7 passing yards per game. They also led the NFL in third down percentage at 29.1 percent.

With the return of key defensive players after the Browns re-signed DE Za'Darius Smith, DT Shelby Harris, DT Maurice Hurst II and S Rodney McLeod Jr., as well as additions of DT Quinton Jefferson, CB Tony Brown, CB Justin Hardee Sr., LB Devin Bush and LB Jordan Hicks, the Browns have the pieces to run it back with a dominant defense once again.

The Browns can use OTAs to establish a dominant defensive front seven and secondary for the 2024 season. The next three weeks will provide an early look at how the new additions fit into Schwartz's defensive scheme, pair next to their established core defensive linemen and re-build their linebacker room.

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