Browns Mailbag

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Browns Mailbag: Who's been impressing early in Training Camp?

It's a day of rest in Berea, and we're using the extra time to answer a mailbag full of questions.

We'll tackle four in today's edition of the Browns Mailbag.

Do you think A.J. Green the CB will line up against A.J. Green the WR? How is A.J. Green looking in the cornerbacks room? — Jeremy G., Columbus

Green has had a solid first week of training camp, and he'll need to continue stacking good days on top of each other while battling for a spot in a competitive and crowded room. That group, though, lost a key member this week when Kevin Johnson, who had been starting in the slot, went down with a lacerated liver. Green has been among the players working in the nickel, as defensive coordinator Joe Woods continues to look at a variety of options to complement outside CBs Denzel Ward, Greedy Williams and Terrance Mitchell.

"The nice part of having an 80-man roster is we have a bunch of guys that we are going to try in there," Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Thursday. "Even prior to this, we have been working a lot of guys in there. I think you will see a pretty good rotation of guys in there."

Everyone was asking during the draft how Jedrick Wills Jr. will transition from right to left tackle. What have we seen from him at camp and how has his transition been showing? — Frank T., Auglaze

There's been the expected mix of good and bad so far from the rookie left tackle. He's been thrown right into the fire and is primarily trying to slow down a healthy and recharged Olivier Vernon on most plays. Stefanski said Tuesday the biggest focus for Wills has been technique, something that's certainly been a big priority for him ever since he began his preparations for the 2020 NFL Draft.

"It's early," Stefanski said. "I think all of our rookies are working on technique. They are all working in the playbook and the scheme of what we are trying to get done, but I can assure you with Jed and with all of our rookies, our coaches are spending a lot of time with them. There is time on the practice field, there is time in the meeting room and there is time off to the side. We have to utilize our time, be efficient with what we do and make sure that we are getting it how we want it."

Check out photos from the sixth day of Browns Camp

How are the fullbacks and tight ends performing in camp and will the offense be improved enough to beat the better teams who have that veteran level of experience? — Rob M., Charleston, West Virginia

Both positions have been key fixtures in the offense, and the tight end group, in particular, has been especially productive in team and seven-on-seven drills. Austin Hooper and Baker Mayfield have a clear chemistry with each other, David Njoku has found plenty of opportunities in two tight-end sets, and rookie Harrison Bryant has been one of the most active pass-catchers with Case Keenum and the second-team offense.

As for the fullbacks, it's clear Stefanski loves to involve them in any way he can. Andy Janovich has shown off his soft hands on more than one occasion throughout the first week of practices. Running backs coach/run game coordinator Stump Mitchell has loved the new additions to his room.

"He is the eyes for the running backs," Mitchell said. "When you are talking about two backs, he is the eyes for that halfback, and also, those guys are good in pass protection if we needed to use them as a third-down back. It is just great to have the guy that we have."

Who is impressing in camp? Who are the front-runners to start at the two safety positions? CB front runners? DT? — Joe S., Lewis Center

This question has a lot of questions within it, so we'll tackle one at a time.

The easiest answer to the first part includes a number of the Browns' top playmakers. On defense, Ward has looked incredibly sharp and showed off his speed with a 95-yard pick-six during Thursday's practice. On offense, Odell Beckham Jr. and Kareem Hunt both look fresh and revived, especially compared to last year's training camp, when both were dealing with injuries.

Now, the safeties. Veterans Karl Joseph and Andrew Sendejo have been the main options on the days when Joseph practices. Rookie Grant Delpit has been filling in for Joseph on his off days. All three figure to play prominent roles on the defense.

The Browns are in good shape at the outside CB spots with Ward, Williams and Mitchell, who has had a very strong training camp. The biggest question now is at slot after Johnson's injury.

As for the DTs, the Browns have been able to see plenty of rookie Jordan Elliott, who is filling in for Larry Ogunjobi (groin) with the first-team defense. Eli Ankou and Daniel Ekuale have also been strong with the second unit.

"I am not just saying this, I have been more than pleased with Jordan from the time we drafted him until now," defensive line coach Chris Kiffin said. "We had those rookies for extra days starting training camp, and he just works his tail off. I said, 'Look we got a lot of time to get these reps in,' and he said, 'We can't waste any time right now.' He is always trying to get it in. He is asking the right questions. He is a guy that we are very excited about, and he is talented enough to get in there and play right away so he is definitely part of the plan."

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