The Browns concluded their fifth day of practice Monday in Berea, and from here on out, the intensity will only be growing.
Monday was the final padless practice for the Browns until Saturday. Practices on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, when the Browns head to FirstEnergy Stadium for the first time this season, will all feature pads and a bit more speed. An off-day on Thursday will be wedged in between.
The intensity might be a bit higher, but that's not to say the first five practices have been easy.
"You're out here for three hours every single day," head coach Kevin Stefanski said. "We are still smart about the rhythm of our camp."
The pads come on Tuesday, but here's what happened Monday.
- Both the defense and offense built some notable plays. DE Myles Garrett was one of the most noticeable players in team drills and was constantly reaching the backfield. He also went step-for-step with QB Baker Mayfield on one play when Mayfield had to scramble outside and was chased out of bounds for no gain. As both guys jogged back to their respective huddles, Mayfield playfully tossed the football at Garrett.
- With no padded practices so far, the defense hasn't had too many opportunities to showcase their plethora of new weapons on a realistic display, but two rookies did have two solid plays: Fourth-rounder DT Tommy Togiai broke through the offensive line and stuffed a run play in one sequence, while first-rounder CB Greg Newsome matched WR Jarvis Landry and gave him no shot of corralling a slightly overthrown ball. Both are in competitions for possible starting jobs and will be worth watching as the pads come on.
Check out photos from the fifth day of Browns Camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus
- The play of the day came from the offense. Mayfield hit a wide-open WR Rashard Higgins for a deep touchdown that drew a loud applause from fans packed in the bleachers. Two plays later, Mayfield hit WR KhaDarel Hodge down the sideline for another big pickup.
- The player of the day, however, was settled Monday morning. RB Nick Chubb officially signed a contract extension that sets his future in Cleveland through the 2024 season. As he ran through defenders for his first carry of the day in team drills, fans cheered and barked in approval to give Chubb a small moment of recognition.
"It means everything," Chubb said before the practice about planting roots with the franchise. "I love it here in Cleveland – I love this team, I love the coaches, I love the position that I'm in. I can't ask for anything better than where I'm at. Cleveland is where I want to be. I'm happy to be able to get that done so I can be here for even more years."
- The vibes around Berea after three practices that have included fans has been fun and refreshing, and no player has seemed to enjoy it more than Garrett. He's stopped to chat with fans at multiple points of every fan-inclusive practice so far and hasn't hesitated to walk down the sidelines to exchange greetings and friendly waves. One of the loudest moments of every practice has been when Garrett turns around and pumps up the crowd.
- Speaking of crowd noise, the Browns pumped some of that through their giant speaker Monday for the first time in training camp. They didn't have to worry about much crowd noise last year with limited fan capacities across the NFL, but Stefanski made it clear last week that the Browns must be prepared for the challenges of full stadiums this year.
"You're going to have to operate in those environments," he said Saturday. "We will devote a good portion of time to dealing with crowd noise, silent count and all of the things that go with that."
- On the special teams front, the Browns practiced punts from deep in their end zone at one point in practice. Third-year veteran Jamie Gillan hit a few booming punts that sent returners Ryan Switzer and JoJo Natson several steps backward. In a later session that featured punts from a JUGS machine rather than Gillan, Switzer and Natson were joined by D'Ernest Johnson, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Demetric Felton — all of the candidates in the running for return jobs.
- WR Anthony Schwartz, S Ronnie Harrison Jr., DE Takkarist McKinley and LB Tony Fields II were all absent from practice today. C JC Tretter missed practice due to an illness, and LB Anthony Walker Jr. left with a trainer.
- The Browns are back for the second of three consecutive practice days Tuesday. Practice starts at 2:25 p.m.