- Hue Jackson liked what he saw throughout the Browns’ nearly two months’ worth of offseason workouts, and it was enough for him to comfortably cut off the final day of the on-field portion of this week’s minicamp.
Cleveland’s players will be in Berea on Thursday for meetings but won’t be on the practice field. The next time they’ll set foot on the grass will be training camp, which is slated for the end of July.
“I feel good about where we are,” Jackson said after Wednesday’s practice. “I feel good about everything that we have done up until this point. But obviously, it has nothing to do yet, but we got a start. That is all you can ask for. Our guys have done that. Now, they have got to get away from here and train like a son of a gun to get themselves ready to go when we come back for training camp, for a chance to earn a right to be on this football team. There are a lot of good football players out there. We are going to have some tough decisions as we go through training camp, that is a part of it. But at the same time, I like the makeup of the team. There is talent at a lot of different positions. That talent has got to play well every week to give us a chance to win.”
- RB Duke Johnson Jr. (hamstring) and FB Danny Vitale (undisclosed) were added to the group of non-participating Browns on Wednesday. Jackson indicated neither of the injuries were considered serious.
LB Jamie Collins Sr. (knee), WR Antonio Callaway (groin), LB Mychal Kendricks (ankle), DE Chad Thomas (groin) and P Britton Colquitt (knee) did not participate in the on-field portion of minicamp but are all expected to return during training camp.
- Jackson said he did not anticipate any significant changes to the Browns’ offensive line by the start of training camp.
As such, the competition to replace future Hall of Fame left tackle Joe Thomas will resume in late July. Throughout the offseason workout program, Shon Coleman, who was Cleveland’s starting right tackle last season, has worked with the first-team offense while second-round pick Austin Corbett and undrafted free agent Desmond Harrison have worked behind him. Corbett has also received reps at left guard and right tackle. Chris Hubbard, whom the Browns signed to play right tackle, received a look at left tackle Tuesday. Veteran guard Joel Bitonio has also played a few snaps at the position.
“We have to put the best five guys out there,” Jackson said. “We have a very tough schedule. We are going to play some tremendous rushers. It is my job to make sure that we have the right people in the right places. I think that we have the right people, just have got to make sure everybody is in the right place.”
The Browns take to the practice fields on day two of veteran minicamp.
- Former No. 1 pick Myles Garrett admitted he felt much more comfortable going through the Browns’ offseason workout program this year than he did as a rookie. Garrett, who dealt with an ankle injury in his final year at Texas A&M and went through a whirlwind process leading up to the draft, battled through some minor injuries during last year’s program and ultimately missed five games because of a high ankle sprain and a concussion.
Garrett, who boasts a chiseled physique and whose workout stories have become a bit of folklore, vowed to be in better shape for his second season. He feels he’s on the right path entering his summer break.
“Whether it is just being able to go harder for longer or whether it is going and doing laps after with the coaches, knowing that it takes more and more to put strain on me,” he said. “The schedule is a lot easier, I will tell you that. Rushing, the game is a lot slower. It is coming a lot easier. Knowing that and facing the guys, you know the tempo. You know how many steps it takes at this level to get to where you want to go. Things have definitely slowed down for me and us as a defense.”
- Behind the scenes in Berea, Jackson said he and his coaching staff have already started examining film of the team’s first three opponents in 2018. Of course, that includes the rival Steelers, who come to FirstEnergy Stadium for the season opener for a second straight year.
“You have to. You cannot leave this building as a staff, not knowing who the opening game is,” Jackson said. “We do. We are very familiar. Obviously, that is one of or rivals and a division team. So yes, we have seen a little bit of Pittsburgh.”
The Browns follow the opener with a trip to New Orleans and a Thursday night game back at home against the New York Jets.