Training Camp

5 observations from Day 10 of Cleveland Browns training camp

In an interview with reporters after practice, offensive lineman John Greco said it best: The Dog Days of training camp are here.

Despite the monotony, the Browns responded with a solid practice on Monday.

1)    *Joe Thomas walks off with injury*

Late in practice during an 11-on-11 drill, the eight-time Pro Bowler hit the turf while being rolled up in a pile. Because Thomas has played in 128 straight games and has played in all 7,917 snaps of his NFL career, seeing No. 73 limp off the field had some holding their breath.

Browns coach Mike Pettine said he didn't believe the injury was serious but will know more after Thomas is evaluated.

If Thomas is unable to practice in coming days or play in Thursday's preseason opener against Washington, expect to see an extra helping of Cameron Erving and former Seattle Seahawk Michael Bowie at left tackle.

2)    *Scott Solomon continues to gain momentum *

The Browns released their first depth chart of the season late Monday night, and there sat the 26-year-old linebacker in a starting spot opposite Paul Kruger. In nine months, Solomon went from unemployed to possibly becoming a key element in fixing the Browns' run defense.

On Monday, the 6-foot-3, 260-pounder was everywhere during the team's inside running drill. Coaches have glowed about how Solomon uses his lower body to generate power, often tossing offensive linemen to the side and thwarting the ball carrier.

"Good players rise up to where they should be," Kruger said. "He's on track for a lot of success. The guy only has one speed and it's frustrating for the offense. You need those competitive, intense guys on your defense. That's Scott."

3)    *John Greco still firmly the starting right guard*

Training camp is more than halfway done, and Greco has been with the first team for almost every snap. There's a reason Pro Football Focus ranked Greco as the 13th best guard in the entire league, and the Browns love the way he carries himself on a daily basis.

"I think we had good competition out there today," Greco said. "Today and especially tomorrow when the game is in the horizon, but we are still inter-squad 11-on-11's. Browns versus Browns. Just trying to get our work done before we hit someone with another logo on the helmet."

The Browns gave Greco some work at center Sunday, and Pettine said that could continue as Cleveland crafts what its contingency offensive line will look like in case of injury.

4)    *Undrafted DL Dylan Wynn gets some first-team reps *

The terms high-motor and intensity are as cliché as it gets in football – but they are traits Wynn has brought to the defensive line. Cracking the first team at possibly the most crowded position on the roster is a big moment in training camp for Wynn. He's starting to get noticed.

Defensive line coach Anthony Weaver said he was stunned Wynn went undrafted out of Oregon State and Cleveland pounced the minute the draft ended. At 6-foot-2, 283 pounds, Wynn is the lightest member of the defensive line and it's working to his favor. He's able to fit his body into small gaps in the offensive line to create penetration and force the quarterback into errant throws.

Also remember, Wynn was a player the Browns tinkered with as a blocking fullback in a goal line drill. Pettine said he likes to keep a crossover player who could help out the offense in short yardage situations.

5)    *Other news and notes*

  • With more veteran receivers across the board, Andrew Hawkins has been used as more of a gadget player. He's taken tosses out of the backfield and seen a few reverse plays come his way. Expect the Browns to keep using him creatively.
  • Justin Gilbert had one of the most athletic interceptions in all of training camp. Quarterback Connor Shaw tried to fit in a pass near the sidelines, and Gilbert hung in the air like he was dunking a basketball to secure the pick. Pettine said Gilbert could possibly return some kicks in the preseason.
  • Rookie safety Ibraheim Campbell has been nicknamed "IC," and the coaches love saying his name.
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