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Browns begin voluntary minicamp


Pettine was pleased with day one of minicamp

As he promised in a sit down interview, Browns coach Mike Pettine held an up-tempo, high energy voluntary workout at Tuesday's pre-draft minicamp.

Players were rotating at a swift pace from drill to drill. Pettine himself was quite mobile, spending his time on both the offensive and the defensive side of the ball. April 29th was a date he circled once he was hired in January.

"It was special, and I thought the guys responded," Pettine said in a press conference after the workout. "I thought coaching wise we did a real good job with the organization part of it. And the players were great. Great effort, flew around."

Pettine praised quarterback Brian Hoyer, who participated in all of the minicamp except the team drills – for precautionary reasons with bodies flying around his knee. Hoyer is seven months removed from ACL surgery.

"As we said, he's ahead of schedule, and I think he proved that today," said Pettine.  

"I felt really good, which was no surprise to me," said Hoyer, who told there has not been an offseason for him in 2014. "It's been good the past three weeks to sit in the room with Kyle [Shanahan] and [quarterbacks coach] Dowell Loggains, and see how they teach things… It's been a great offense no matter where Kyle has been."

Wide receiver Josh Gordon was also the recipient of an endorsement from Coach Pettine. The 23-year-old has been training for this pivotal offseason in more ways than one.

"Credit to Josh. He's been here, he's worked hard," said Pettine. "He's really gotten after it in the meeting room and on the field as well. He's got a lot to learn. It's a new system. He's been very open to coaching, to hard coaching. I think that will show up in the fall in his play."

Other observations from day one of minicamp

  • Jim O'Neil is more hands on than most defensive coordinators I've seen. He was out in the trenches with his defensive lineman during a walkthrough, coaching concepts to his players. You could sense the enthusiasm from O'Neill.
  • Wide receiver Travis Benjamin, as expected, did not participate in minicamp. The 24-year-old tore his ACL last October against the Chiefs. Coach Pettine indicated Benjamin will likely be held out until training camp. He did however take part in some training exercises off to the side of the field.
  • One thing about Karlos Dansby stood out: his height. Dansby checks in at 6-foot-3, and looks every inch of it. It's not a quirk that the Auburn product has 15 career interceptions. Throwing over the middle will not be a stress-free task for Cleveland opponents in 2014.
  • It's hard to come up with the right term to describe new receiver Andrew Hawkins. Fast, quick or agile don't give him justice. His feet are moving so fast, at times it looks like he's flying. Hawkins could thrive at deep option routes where he can shake defenders.
  • Practice was scheduled to end at 1:27 pm. It ended at 1:27 pm. Mike Pettine runs a tight ship.
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