1. Rookies get a taste of Cleveland in November … in May
The wind was whipping, the drizzle was falling and the grass at FirstEnergy Stadium was damp.
It was May 14, but it sure felt like Week 10 for Day 2 of Browns rookie minicamp. The practice, which capped Saturday's Fan Fest, was rain or shine, and coach Hue Jackson made good on it.
"You like to have all the elements if you can, whether it's rain and snow and whether it's hot," Jackson said. "You like to see guys perform in all those elements because we're going to face them all. That's another opportunity for us to prepare and get better."
A number of Cleveland's 14 draft picks, including first-round wide receiver Corey Coleman, hail from warm-weather cities and played at warm-weather colleges. Cleveland, of course, can be one of the coldest places in the league in December, and the weather on Lake Erie can be as unpredictable as it gets the further the team gets into the season.
Coleman, who experienced the opposite end of the temperature spectrum growing up in Dallas and playing at Baylor, embraced the unseasonable, but totally unsurprising temperatures.
"The weather felt great out here," Coleman said. "It wasn't super hot. I don't know how y'all felt, but I felt good."
When Jackson and associate head coach - offense Pep Hamilton made the rounds at a number of quarterbacks' pro days, they drew some headlines when Hamilton squirted water on the footballs to see how the player would react. There was no water bottle necessary Saturday, and third-round selection Cody Kessler had to find a way to connect with his four fellow rookie receivers.
More often than not, he was right on target.
"Cody has all the characteristics that we think he can handle any elements, any situation," Jackson said. "Obviously, he's just got to keep growing and keep getting better. He's playing in the National Football League."
2. Coleman concurs
Coleman wasn't surprised to hear his name included in a group of rookies Jackson said Friday needed to better conditioned.
The former Baylor star admitted he was "gassed" at Friday's practice but said he was already feeling more comfortable Saturday.
Over the past few months, Coleman has traveled from coast to coast for a variety of workouts, team visits, the NFL Combine, the NFL Draft, Cleveland, back home to Dallas and back to Cleveland again. He worked out in hotel weight rooms and did everything he could to stay in top form, but there's nothing like football shape.
"You come here right from getting drafted and you're thrown in the fire," Coleman said. "When I first got here, I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know how practice was going to be, no one knows. I know what to expect now and I'll be perfectly fine."
3. No rush to name a starting QB
Jackson said he simply hasn't seen enough from the Browns quarterbacks on the field to speculate about potential frontrunners or timetables for when he'd like to name a starter.
When it pertains to Kessler, Jackson said it was too soon say he won't compete to be the starter and too soon to say he will. With Robert Griffin III, Jackson stressed the Browns hadn't even begun OTAs.
"There is a lot that goes into that decision. It is not just a thought process. It is work. It is what people do," Jackson said. "I think all of the young men have done a good job of working. At some point in time, it will show itself. We are working that way. I think it is getting a little bit closer, but there are still some elements of playing quarterback for me and what I am looking for a quarterback to do that we still need to demonstrate, and I think guys are working to do that. I don't have a timeline.
"Obviously, we are going to do it way before we play. If we can do it after OTAs, great. If it has to be at another time, great, we will do it then, too. Whatever is best for us is what we will do."
4. Drango to compete at RT
Lauded for his versatility to play multiple spots on the offensive line, fifth-round pick Spencer Drango will initially compete for the Browns' opening at right tackle.
Drango, who was Coleman's teammate at Baylor, spent the majority of his first two practices on the right side of the line. Third-round pick Shon Coleman did not participate as he continues to recover from an injury he suffered near the end of his college career.
"I think he has to have a chance to compete there," Jackson said. "Obviously, the young man that played right tackle for us a year ago (Chiefs OL Mitchell Schwartz) is not here so there's [an opportunity] there. My whole job is putting guys in a position where I think they are going to have an opportunity to compete and maybe have a chance to play. He is a big, long guy who is one of the better pass protectors coming out of college. If he can grow in the area of run blocking and do what he has done as far as pass protection, you never know what could happen."
5. Jackson's final thought
The Browns have one more practice set for Sunday, but Saturday served as Jackson's final meeting with the media before rookie minicamp comes to a close.
What did he learn?
"These guys have really been eager to learn. They'll work. They take constructive criticism well. They don't run from it. They understand that there are things that they need to improve on," Jackson said. "It is a very talented group, which we knew heading in, but at the same time, you never really know until you see them do what you want them to do. I am excited about this class. This class is definitely a group that we can build with, a group that is going to help our football team get better in a lot of areas, but again, they still have some improving to do and they have to improve fast to contribute to our team."