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Training Camp

7 things to know from Browns training camp eve

On the eve of training camp, the Browns held their conditioning test as they prepare to resume practice Friday afternoon.

As such, head coach Hue Jackson, executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown and chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta met with reporters and addressed the team's quarterback competition, the status of recently-reinstated Josh Gordon, the loss of defensive end Desmond Bryant and more.

Without further ado, here are seven things (and then some) we learned from Thursday's jam-packed day in Berea.

QB battle will 'show itself'

Jackson set a fluid timeline for which the Browns will name a starting quarterback, saying he hopes to have clarity at the position before Cleveland's first preseason game at Green Bay Aug. 12.

"It's going to show itself here pretty quickly," he said, "and it'll definitely be before we play our first preseason game."

After all, Jackson made it clear earlier this year the Browns have been focused on making the right decision when it comes to who leads Cleveland's offense this fall. Against that backdrop, neither he nor the coaching staff have been in a rush to anoint a starter — be it Josh McCown, Robert Griffin III, Austin Davis or Cody Kessler — without having proven as much on the field.

"I know everybody's looking at me to say, 'Here's the guy!'" Jackson said. "But I still want to get out there with our players because all of them have to earn a starting spot as we move forward."

Accountability key with Josh Gordon

After the league reinstated Josh Gordon on a conditional basis Monday, the Browns have welcomed the talented wide receiver back while making expectations clear.

"He's going to have to be accountable to what he needs to do first and foremost. We understand the league has expectations for him and we do too, and we shared those with him," Jackson said.

"And I truly believe he wants to make it right as well. You guys kind of know how I go about it, his slate's clean with me. I don't have a lot of history with Josh but his history is preceding him and I think he knows that. And I think the only way to deal with a player in that kind of situation is to hit the restart button for him and he has to go do it.

"Like I said, the league has said what their expectations are, we've said what our expectations are, we've laid it out and I think it's crystal clear what needs to happen moving forward."

Gordon, who was suspended for the 2015 season, reported to training camp Thursday and is expected to miss some time as he recovers from a quadriceps injury. He is suspended for the first four games of the season but can partake in team activities such as practice and meetings. 

"It's been a long time for a player who's on your roster to be away from the team, so to just get him back into structure and with his teammates in the building will be a healthy thing for him," Brown said.

"He, in earnest, wants to make the most of this opportunity and he knows his situation and so we're gonna get around him and give him that opportunity."

Corey Coleman ready for rookie debut

First-round draft pick Corey Coleman enters training camp in what Jackson described as tip-top shape and ready to compete to be the Browns' No. 1 wide receiver.

"He's a tremendous football talent and that's why we drafted him and I think he wants to be good," he said. "They say pressure busts pipes, I think Corey likes that, that's kind of the way he's built."

'Grave disappointment'

Brown said the Browns reacted with "grave disappointment" when running back Isaiah Crowell posted (and shortly thereafter deleted) a graphic image on his Instagram earlier this month.

"It was a huge mistake for him. We will have some discussions internally, handle it internally, but he's taken the steps that I think he should to make something very wrong into right and we'll use that as a teaching lesson for the entire team," Brown said.

Jackson, who said he understands if some fans can't forgive Crowell for the post, added neither he nor Brown "feel that's Crow's character and I truly believe he'll continue to work at making this right and that's very important."

"I truly believe this is not who Isaiah Crowell is. And I hope everybody gives him the opportunity to prove that moving forward."

'Next man up' to replace Desmond Bryant

Jackson said the Browns will employ a "next man up" mentality to replacing veteran defensive end Desmond Bryant, who underwent pectoral surgery earlier this month and will miss the 2016 season.

"I know that's kind of a cliche term but I think that's the way you have to approach this," he said.

Bryant, who spoke of leadership aspirations earlier this year, was poised to enter 2016 as an impact player on the Browns defense.

"It's very unfortunate that happened with Des, because I think he was on his way to having a great season, he had a great offseason … it's tough," Jackson said.

"But at the same time, we know injuries are going to happen, it won't be the last injury we have, knock on wood, hopefully we don't have too many. And one thing I will preach to our football team is truly about the next man up, the next guy that's gotta go has to go get it done." 

Joe Haden 'close' to a return

Jackson said cornerback Joe Haden is on the mend — and then some — following ankle surgery in March.

"He's champing at the bit, we've got to kind of put our arms around him and slow him down," he said, laughing.

"I think we've got a little ways to go, but he's close."

Haden is expected to be ready for the team's season opener against Philadelphia on Sept. 11.

Byner back, welcoming Chad Johnson

Jackson said former Browns running back Earnest Byner, who helped work with the team's running backs during offseason workouts, will continue to do so in training camp.

Jackson also confirmed former Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson will assist Al Saunders with the receivers in training camp.

"Obviously you guys know my relationship with Chad and Chad wants to try his hand at coaching. What better place to learn from Al Saunders, he's the best in the business. So we've afforded him the opportunity to be here and see if coaching is for him."

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