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Buster Skrine out with a thumb injury

  • The biggest news of the day was on the medical front. Cornerback Buster Skrine injured his thumb, which might require a minor surgery. Head coach Mike Pettine expects Skrine to be ready for Pittsburgh by Week One, but this is still a blow to the Browns' secondary.
  • "I think if you were ranking guys at how good of a camp they've had he'd be right up there at the top," said Pettine. "He goes out every day, competes, smile on his face, loves to play. He's had his share of mistakes. I think the holding stuff has quieted down ever since coach Hafley and those guys put the gloves on them. I think he's a guy that's improved. He loves to compete, and he doesn't just want to hand the job over to Justin Gilbert. I don't think you can have enough corners in today's NFL, and Buster's a guy that's going to have an important role for us."
  • So in steps Justin Gilbert, who will start Monday night alongside Joe Haden. The rookie is excited and anxious (the good kind) to suit up for the first time as a professional.
  • "It's a like a dream come true," said Gilbert of starting. "Playing next to a great guy like that, I'm just going to try and equal up to him and hold down my side of the field. I know he's going to do that on his side."
  • Also on the injury front: wide receiver Josh Gordon returned to practice and will probably see action against the Redskins. Defensive end Desmond Bryant is dealing with a nagging wrist injury and was held out of practice and his status for Monday in uncertain.
  • It wasn't clear who was involved in a mid-practice fight between the defense and offense. But on Saturday, Pettine had seen enough. The whistles sounded and the entire team lined up on the sidelines to run sprints.
  • "I just thought it went a little too far," Pettine said to open up his press conference. "I understand and have spoken on fights before. That's going to happen sometimes. That's the price of doing business, but I thought we got out of the realm of being good teammates."
  • The Browns flipped their attitude, sharpening up. 
  • "The thing I was pleased about was how they responded after. I thought they were sharp. They were focused. They practiced how they should, but I just told them after that we don't need a traumatic event to kind of snap us back into place, that we need to be mature enough and professional enough to be able to handle tough circumstances and practice well."
  • Many in the media speculated the Browns signing of Rex Grossman was so that Johnny Manziel would have his own personal tutor. But the franchise and the quarterback's room don't see it that way, at all.
  • Brian Hoyer speaks highly of Grossman. As good of coaches as Kyle Shanahan and Dowell Loggains are, Grossman has played quarterback in the system for five straight years. The advice he can give Hoyer and the rest of the quarterbacks is a read and react situation right there in a practice setting.
  • "Even today, on a play I had back there I was like, 'On that play, have you ever come off and worried about a back side corner?' Then [Rex's] like, 'No, you know, it's not.' So to have a guy that's played the position in this system is huge for not just me, but the entire room because he can relate it from a playing level. I think there's a big difference between someone who's played in it and someone who's coaching it.
  • Found this interesting: Pettine will call Redskins head coach Jay Gruden soon to gage how he'll handle Monday's game.
  • "You usually try to reach out, just touch base to get a feel for substitutions and how things are going to be handled overall," said Pettine. He and Gruden have known each other for years.
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