Browns Sunday Practice Notes and Quotes

  • The Browns may have 53-men on their roster, but that does not mean it's a finished product.
  • "I wouldn't read too much into where it stands right now," said Browns head coach Mike Pettine. "There are some guys who aren't here who potentially could come back. There are some guys who are here who won't be here. The roster situation right now is very fluid."
  • Following thumb surgery, Buster Skrine returned to practice on Sunday. When he originally went under the knife, there were some thought that Skrine might miss the Pittsburgh game, or at least miss a portion of practice. The Browns are thrilled with how quickly he's back.
  • Pettine indicated that both Skrine and Justin Gilbert will share the outside cornerback position opposite Joe Haden against the Steelers.
  • "To me, it's a package thing," said Pettine. "There are going to be times where we have all those guys out there. I think that we'll potentially look at Buster and Justin sharing. There are only two corners on the field kind of splitting that time job sharing much like Craig (Robertson) and (LB Chris) Kirksey will do… I think given him coming off an injury and Justin being a rookie, I don't know if we want to give either one of them the entire game outside."
  • Perhaps the biggest surprise when the 53-man roster came out was that it included undrafted free agent cornerback Robert Nelson. Affectionately nicknamed "Nelly," the Arizona State alum went about his business in training camp and when the time was right, made a big interception against the Bears in the final preseason contest.
  • "I think [Nelson] has a bright future in this league," said Pettine. "He was a guy nobody really looked at after the draft. We were very fortunate that (secondary coach) Jeff Hafley had a connection and that we were able to bring him here. I know he was very productive at Arizona State – made a lot of plays there. That continued when he got here. He just comes in here with some of these other rookies like a Gabriel and an (FB Ray) Agnew and the bigness of it never fazed him. He just went out and played. He was a guy who impressed us and we feel has the potential to be a starting NFL DB at some point."

An interesting fact not many people realize: Brian Hoyer was a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2012 season. New England shockingly cut their backup quarterback, and Hoyer went unclaimed for a few months. After some quarterback injuries, Pittsburgh picked up the veteran in the middle of the season, kept him active for two games and released him. * "As bitter as this rivalry is and being a Cleveland boy, I will always have a place in my heart for Pittsburgh because they gave me a job at a time when no one else would," said Hoyer. "You never know how it would've turned out. I couldn't be [happier] to be a Cleveland Brown but I think that there will always be a spot in my heart for those guys because they gave me a job when 31 other teams wouldn't. I always will be thankful for that but at the same time, I think I'm on the right side of this rivalry now." * Hoyer said in the preseason, the offense works on broad things. Now that the regular season has commenced, things are much more specific and tailored to opponents. * "You're going to be working on plays that you're going to be running in the game," said Hoyer. "You're not just working on concepts that are your core concepts. Now you can really zone in on the game plan and the preparation. Like I said, it was good to get back out here today. We did some stuff in preparation for Pittsburgh, but also did some stuff that we needed to work on for situational purposes. I think when you get to this point now you really get to zero in on a game plan, preparation, those types of things. I think that's only going to help us."

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