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Training Camp

5 things to know from Day 2 of Browns training camp

Storms once again pushed the Browns indoors on their second day of training camp. Even so, Saturday featured a feisty practice Hue Jackson described as a "spirited" session.

"We're just trying to stack good days on top of days," said Jackson, who met with reporters afterwards.

Without further ado, here's five things to know from Day Two of training camp.

Hitting and tackling returns Sunday

After nearly seven months, the Browns will put on full pads Sunday afternoon and start hitting each other, marking a long-awaited return to full-go football in Berea.

"I think we're going to bump into each other quite a bit," Jackson said. "It's just first day in pads, it's going to happen."

Most of all, Jackson said, it'll give the Browns a chance to focus on fundamentals.

"I said it a while back and I think our players understand. We've talked about it – in order to become a really good football team, we have to play football," he said.

"Football is blocking and tackling, and the only way you get better at those things is doing them … I think they understand that we're also trying to take care of each other. They know they need to improve their skill that way and we need to become a hardened football team, so we'll set on that march tomorrow."

Discovering an identity

Speaking of tackling, Jackson said the next few weeks will be key in the Browns establishing an identity.

"I'm looking for a team that's very relentless, that can go after each other. Because, again, as I told our players I have to find out who we really are, what's going to truly be our identity," he said.

"One thing we talked about last night is all the really good football teams in the National Football League, they have an identity and we don't want to wait to find out what our identity is. We've got to establish it now. And so you only establish that by grinding a little bit.

"So we need to be a gritty group, we've had two good days and I also recognize our players are getting a little tired because we're pushing them pretty good. They've got to come out and do it again, and that's my expectation is that they will do."

Potential for 'dynamic' offense

This isn't the first rodeo for veteran left tackle Joe Thomas, who enters his 10th training camp in Cleveland. As a result, the nine-time Pro Bowler has seen his fair share of highs and lows in Berea.

But on Saturday, Thomas spoke of how the Browns offense might have the potential to be a powerful one provided the right things fall into place.

"I think that we've got some of the core pieces that really did a lot better than our expectations were probably on offense last year and those guys are coming back," he said.

"That's what's really exciting. Gary (Barnidge) kind of had a breakout season and Duke (Johnson Jr.) played really well. He's only going to get better. (RB) Isaiah (Crowell) had a good season."

And with Jackson at the helm, it could mean good things this season.

"It's really exciting from an offensive standpoint to kind of pair Hue Jackson's offensive mind and his creativity with some of the weapons that we have coming back on offense," he said. "I think we have an opportunity to be pretty good on offense."

Jackson happy with depth at WR

From Andrew Hawkins to Corey Coleman, the Browns have 12 wide receivers on the roster after making it clear in the offseason that they wanted to bolster the position group.

As such, the unit should have plenty of competition in training camp and depth, which might have been an issue prior to the draft, now seems to be an emerging strength.  

"It's a fun problem to have right now, I like that. I'm glad you guys think that we do have some guys on our team right now, that's a good thing," Jackson said, laughing. "And we have a lot of different guys so that's fun and we'll be able to pick what we think will be the best group as we move forward."

Jackson, though, said it's too soon to determine a pecking order.

"It's so early, it's been two days and maybe some guys will continue to separate themselves from the pack so that it really shows itself," he said, "because there are a lot of talented guys in that group. But again, it's so early to make that conclusion."

Natural leaders

As he enters his first training camp with the Browns, Demario Davis has already earned a leadership role on a relatively young defense. Davis, who spent the past four years with the Jets (including three seasons as their starting middle linebacker), said it comes with the territory.

"I think the leadership role as a middle linebacker is always natural," he said.

But Davis also pointed to other leaders on the Browns defense such as linebacker Paul Kruger and cornerbacks Joe Haden and Tramon Williams. Kruger and Williams won Super Bowls before coming to Cleveland).

"I am always trying to defer to their experience, their guidance," Davis said.

"As far as structure, keeping everything together, it's always going to be on the middle linebacker. It's just like getting everybody lined up. It's his job, his responsibility.

"I have to embrace that role, but we have got a lot of guys, and it's going to take 11 guys with like minds, alpha-male mentality to put together a piece of the defense. That's our goal."

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