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Training Camp

5 things to know from Day 9 of Browns training camp

Not long after he was named the Browns' starting quarterback, Robert Griffin III met with reporters Monday afternoon and spoke of maximizing his opportunity in Cleveland.

"Coach (Hue Jackson), he gave me an opportunity to come to Cleveland to help do what he plans to do here and that's turn this thing around and make it a consistent winner," he said.

"I think all the guys that he kept on the roster, all 90 guys that he kept are excited about that opportunity because there's a lot of guys that aren't playing football right now. The guys that are here, we're focused on what coach has in mind and it's what we all want. We all want to be winners and that's what we're working for."

Against that backdrop, Jackson, who stressed the Browns would make a decision after careful and thorough evaluation, outlined the decision to name Griffin the starter.

"I think it's important for our team, for the organization, our fans, everybody. I think you make a decision. You stick by it," he said after practice. "It's what I believe needed to happen. It's what our staff believed needed to happen. We're looking forward to him doing a great job here this year."

'Our team can rally around that'

Speaking of quarterbacks, Josh McCown handled the decision to name Robert Griffin III the starter with the grace and poise of the 14-year veteran that he is.

"Obviously as a competitor you want to play and you want to be the guy, but I understood kind of the direction we were going and so I'm excited for our team," said McCown, who started eight games last season for the Browns.

"I said this last time I talked that I've been on both ends of it and when the quarterback competitions, they drag out through training camp and stuff like that, and I don't know if you're any better off because then you have two guys that have had half reps so I think it's great that we know who it is moving forward. We're behind that guy and our team can rally around that."

McCown said he'll continue to help mentor Griffin in addition to the other quarterbacks on the roster in Austin Davis and Cody Kessler.

"No matter the circumstances, you try to help the person next to you as much as you can, help their journey in life whether it's outside of football or inside of football be better," McCown said.

"And that ultimately when you're on a team, and you get people that are doing that, then you have a chance to be successful."

Handle with care

After March ankle surgery, Browns cornerback Joe Haden made his return to the practice field on Monday afternoon. But Cleveland is going to be smart about reintegrating the Pro Bowler, easing him into individual drills and other workouts.

"We have a plan in place and we're just going to take our time. It's just great to have him back out there in a uniform and bouncing around," Jackson said.

Haden also made it clear he's primarily focused on playing in the season opener against the Eagles on Sept. 11 and, because of that, it's unclear if or how much time he'll see in the Browns four preseason games.

"I think they're doing a really good job of just taking their time. I think a lot of it is precaution just making sure that they're knowing there is no rush right now to get back," he said.

"But I'm trying to get back as soon as possible and whenever I'm ready at like full percent to be able to go, then they'll put me back in there."

Slimmed-down Danny Shelton talks more 'serious' approach

The Browns are set for Day 10 of training camp Tuesday, but second-year nose tackle Danny Shelton joked that it feels like it's been more than a month.

"I didn't realize it's only the second week. It feels like it's been five weeks already," he said, laughing, "but it's been awesome hanging out with these new guys, new staff, new facility. Everything's been awesome. I'm just excited to be out here playing."

Shelton, the 2015 first-round draft pick, is expected to play a key role on the Browns defense this season, especially after the loss of defensive end Desmond Bryant. In order to do so, Shelton lost about 35 pounds this past offseason in hopes of being a more-complete player.

"I feel a lot lighter. I feel a lot quicker. I'm able to have more fun again," he said. "I'm able to just be me."

Shelton, who's known for lighthearted approach to life, added he's trying to strike a balance between enjoying himself and dialing it when necessary.

"Just going off of last year's camp and this year's camp, it's been different for me in a sense of just taking on a new role and trying to be more focused and more serious about the game," he said. "I mean, I'm still out here trying to have fun and everything, but at the same time, I want big things to happen for the Browns."

From left to right

Rookie offensive lineman Spencer Drango has handled training camp with his head buried deep in the playbook and a workmanlike attitude. That approach has served him well as the first-year player from Baylor has seen first-team reps at right tackle.

But trust that the former All American is still learning the finer points of holding down the other side of the line after starring at left tackle in college.

"It's definitely a big learning curve going from the left to the right. Technique is a little bit different, but you just have to get better every day," said Drango, whom the Browns have asked to be versatile along the offensive line.

"Other than in the spring, I played two years at right tackle in high school. Everything else has been left so I just have to overcome those tendencies I have at left and put them on the right side."

After all, Drango said he prides himself as a technician. And "technique right now is a little lacking on the right," he said, "so I just have to keep working everyday to keep that up."​

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