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Cleveland Browns RBs will all get chance to impress with starters

It was one of the bigger unknowns coming into Day 1 of Cleveland Browns Training Camp: Who would get the first carry during the team scrimmage portion?

On Thursday, it happened to be Terrance West, but coach Mike Pettine said not to take too much stock in repetitions just yet.

"You will see all those guys taking reps with the ones," Pettine said. "All those groups will get mixed."

Pettine revealed offensive coordinator John DeFilippo prefers certain play calls with certain running backs, tagging their names in play calls. Some of those special plays Thursday were for rookie Duke Johnson Jr.

Often used as the player sent in motion by the quarterback, Johnson Jr. lined up at both slot receiver and fullback, forcing the Browns defense to make on-the-fly adjustments. Browns general manager Ray Farmer has described Johnson Jr. as short, not small. At 5-foot-9 and 210 pounds, the rookie already has shown he's not scared to run into the pack.

After a fumble and drop early in individual drills, second-year running back Isaiah Crowell rebounded nicely, ripping off some quality runs against the defense. One of the weaknesses Crowell showed during his rookie season was fumbling on three separate occasions.

"If we want to get to where we want to be, we have to protect the football and we have to take it away from people," Pettine said. "That is going to be emphasized every day in practice. Those types of self-inflicted wounds are hard to swallow."

And then there's West, who led the Browns with 673 rushing yards last season – with 194 of those yards coming in road games at Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Built like a workhorse (5-foot-10, 225 pounds), the second-year product from Towson has some of the shiftiest feet on the team.

"It was clear to see our guys were in shape and they got in their books over the summer," Pettine said. "I will reserve final judgment until I watch the film as always. My first impression was that it was a good start."

The running back competition also includes Shaun Draughn, Glenn Winston and Luke Lundy. The coaching staff's evaluations will truly take focus Saturday when the Browns strap on the pads for the first time.

Friday: Check out at 10 a.m. to see a live look-in to Browns training camp.

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