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Training Camp Story of the Day

Browns fans welcome start of training camp with a packed 1st practice

The sun had barely started to appear over the trees and homes of Berea, but the lines for fans to enter the practice fields behind the Browns headquarters had already begun to snake down Beech Street hours before the first practice of the season was set to begin.

Sunblock was applied, chants were yelled and excitement was evident when the gates finally opened for fans to witness the beginning of one of the most promising eras in recent Browns history.

As the opening horn blared, fans lucky enough to find a spot in the bleachers squeezed into the stands behind Field 3. Others packed the perimeter of the field and stood on their toes, desperate for a peek at some of the Browns stars who have brought a new level of excitement to Cleveland.

And in case any fans were wondering, yes, the players noticed.

"(There was) a lot more excitement," quarterback Baker Mayfield said. "There's more people that are excited to watch us play. It's good to have that energy, and it'll be vital for them to have that same energy later in camp when guys aren't as fresh and aren't running on adrenaline that much. It's great to see it."

Check out photos from the first day of Browns Camp by team photographer Matt Starkey

The loudest moments of practice came on a set of plays from Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. The veteran wide receiver made one of the smoothest catches of the day with a leaping sideline grab in front of the bleachers, sending the crowd into a frenzy.

With fans still buzzing from Beckham's catch, the three-time Pro Bowler made another slick grab on the next play in nearly the same spot, juggling and corralling a ball as his knees hit the grass a few inches away from the sideline.

But the smoothness of the play didn't matter. Fans clapped and cheered for each catch Beckham made, and they certainly approved of the one-handed grab from his best friend, Jarvis Landry, during individual drills at the beginning of practice, too.

"You can feel it," Beckham Jr. said. "You don't even have to hear. I'm a real empath, so I can feel the hunger and the want to win from these fans, and that's something we want to showcase and give to them."

That's what the fans wanted, and those who missed out will have plenty more opportunities to see it again. The Browns will host 14 more open practices until Week 1, and Freddie Kitchens wants to give fans as much training camp exposure as possible.

"We want as many (practices) as possible to be open because that's what our fans deserve," Kitchens said. "It's expensive to go to a football game. There's a lot of fans out there that can't afford to go to a game. So in saying that, they're still a part of this organization and what we're trying to do also. So any time we can give back to our fans, we'd like to do it."

All of the tickets for the Browns' remaining practices have been distributed, but a limited number of walk-ins will be accepted at each one.

The annual Orange & Brown Scrimmage will take place on August 3rd at FirstEnergy Stadium.Click for information and tickets.

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