This wasn't how Bill Callahan drew it up.
The veteran offensive line coach anticipated having one rookie, Jedrick Wills Jr., breaking into a new position on his first-team offensive line. Just before camp got underway, though, Callahan learned he'd be working with a second rookie, Nick Harris, who would be filling in while veteran C JC Tretter recovered from knee surgery.
Callahan, though, has been impressed with Harris' "confidence" and "poise" while facing an unexpected situation after a truly unexpected offseason.
"His development has been interesting, just because of the fact that he was not expected to come in and run the show," Callahan said Saturday. "He has been impressive in the sense that he can communicate all of the various sequences of communications along the line, whether it is the point system or the call system. He can get us in and out of the protection calls that we need to make. That aspect for a young center has been really impressive.
"So far, we are really pleased, but until you get him matched up against teams like Baltimore and obviously Cincinnati, you just do not know. He has just come in there with a really good confidence about himself and nice poise, and that is refreshing for a young player."
It remains unclear if the Browns will need Harris for their season opener against the Ravens. With 15 days to go, Tretter has yet to practice.
In the event Harris is needed, he'll have prepared himself in a way that left his teammates and coaches impressed.
"Center is a position that you are really making a lot of calls and you are running the show," coach Kevin Stefanski said. "We are fortunate to have JC, a veteran who has seen a lot, and then you have a young kid in there who has not. To his credit, he has every day gotten better at understanding the defensive looks that he is going to see."