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5 things to know from Browns' final joint practice vs. Buccaneers


Check it down

Robert Griffin III admitted Wednesday he can't always predict Hue Jackson's reactions to the throws he completes in practice. Sometimes there's a yell. Other times, measured silence.

"You can throw a check down and Coach will just go berserk. You throw an 80-yard bomb, and he's just like, 'Next play guys. Next play,'" Griffin said. "It's just all about understanding the process."

One throw in particular excited Jackson during the team's second joint practice with the Buccaneers, and it didn't exactly contain any highlight-reel moments. Instead, it was Griffin completing a pass to tight end Randall Telfer in a red-zone drill during the second half of practice. What Jackson enjoyed was Griffin going through his progressions and making the kind of read necessary to succeed in the NFL.

Deep balls down the sidelines make for some fun moments, but the Browns offense will need to move the chains in so many more ways throughout the season.

"We play progression football," Jackson said. "At the end of the day, we're not a team that just flips the ball up anywhere. There is a reason we do what we do on every play, and as long as our quarterbacks are progressing, I get very excited because you can always call another play. If you give the ball to the other team, you can't call another play. We have to continue to stress taking care of the ball in scoring zone situations if we're going to be a winning offense."

The band's back together

The last two practices have given Griffin a look at the full arsenal of receivers he'll have at his disposal starting Week 5 against the Patriots. Friday's preseason game could serve as the official sneak preview of a Browns offense that hopes to score the ball with regularity.

Corey Coleman, Andrew Hawkins and Josh Gordon all returned to practice in full capacity Tuesday, and the hope is Coleman, Hawkins, Terrelle Pryor and the other Browns receivers will keep the offense humming while Gordon serves a four-game suspension to start the season.

"We just have to make sure we click," Griffin said. "When we're out there on the field, make sure everybody is in the right spots, running the right routes and we're getting the ball to the guys that the coverage dictates. Like I said, you can't look at it on an individual by individual basis. It's all about the team, and all those guys know that we're about winning and about winning Browns football.

Greco feeling good

After his first couple of practices, John Greco approached Jackson and made him a promise. The veteran offensive guard began training camp on the sidelines with a hamstring injury and, upon his return, didn't play up to the standard he's developed throughout his career.

Entering his ninth NFL season, Greco wanted to assure his new coach he could count on him to figure it out.

"I said, 'hey, I'll knock the rust off as soon as I can,'" Greco said after Wednesday's practice. "Luckily for me he had some patience with me.

The patience paid off, as Greco knocked the rust off shortly thereafter and put together a solid effort in last week's game against the Falcons. Now, he's entrenched on a stabilized right side of Cleveland's offensive line next to new starting right tackle Austin Pasztor.

"There's always things I can do better," Greco said. "As I get older, there's differences in my game now where I'm able to play smarter. I've seen pretty much everything a defense can do. These younger guys are quick, they're fast, they're strong so I have to rely on technique."

The Browns and Buccaneers had their second practice together on Wednesday.

Not backing down

The chain reaction of defensive back Jamar Taylor's rise to the first-team defense has been a different workload for veteran Tramon Williams.

Williams, who started all 15 games he played last season, has primarily worked with the second-team defense at outside cornerback since Taylor moved into the first-team rotation. In nickel situations, Williams has received work with the first team in the slot.

Williams doesn't view the competition as over. There's still plenty to evaluate in the coming days and weeks.

"From what I've heard, I'm not going to say it's gone," Williams said. "I've been in the league 10 going on 11 years now … I definitely want to be out there but all you can do is what you can control and they want to give a different guy a look then that's what they want to do. I just have to go about my business and not be frustrated with the situation and just keep doing what I'm doing."

Friday's plan

Jackson said he'd need to evaluate the team's overall health before deciding on a specific playing time plan for Friday's preseason game against the Buccaneers. Still, it's expected the Browns' first-team offense and defense will get their longest look yet.

"Normally in general, we play a little longer," Jackson said. "We still have a couple days. I'd like to see them play longer because everybody says the third game might be the last time that the starters play. I don't know that for sure. I haven't made that decision, but we'll continue to work at it and get our team ready to go Friday."

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