The sweet sound of cracking pads filled the air on a sun-drenched Tuesday in Berea.
Yes, it's a sign we're one step closer to the season. The Browns were back in full pads for the first time heading into the 2021 season.
Asked if it's "fair to say the lights come on when the pads come on," RB Kareem Hunt smiled.
"I really don't like all of this two-hand touch stuff," Hunt said.
Here's what else happened at a fun, spirited practice at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus.
— As expected with the donning of pads, we were treated to as much 11-on-11 as we've seen yet in this training camp. WR KhaDarel Hodge made a couple of big plays early, catching a touchdown pass during a red zone period and hauling in a long pass after pulling off a nifty double move down the sidelines. Both plays ended with Hodge's teammates mimicking his trademark, guitar-strumming celebration.
— The Browns' remade defense had another really good day. They particularly shined during a seven-on-seven session midway through practice, forcing a handful of incompletions.
— LB Mack Wilson made the defensive play of the day when he came away with an interception during a red zone period, leaping in front of David Njoku and securing the catch as he fell to the ground. His teammates surrounded him in celebration as he ran with the ball the other way.
— DE Jadeveon Clowney was active and disruptive. This matches how defensive line coach Chris Kiffin described his impressions of Clowney a few days ago.
"All I know from Jadeveon is what I have seen in our mandatory minicamp and our first week, and he looks awesome," Kiffin said. "He looks healthy. He is in good spirits. He is attentive in meetings. Everything we have asked of him so far, he has done. I think he is very motivated and very excited. He has already said it, he feels really comfortable here around the locker room, the coaches and all of that. He is in a great spot, and we are excited to have him."
— It was certainly a physical day of work but it was a responsible one, too. Things can get heated during this time of year, but Browns coach Kevin Stefanski has made it clear to his players that extracurriculars won't be tolerated.
"It's football. It's emotional. But at the end of the day, you have to be smart," Stefanski said. "If you do that in a game you are going to get thrown out. I think the guys understand that we need to practice hard but we also have to take care of each other. We have talked about it and then we are just going to have to do it."
— The Browns are a little thin at safety these days. S Ronnie Harrison (hamstring), S Grant Delpit (rest day) and Sheldrick Redwine (ankle) were all sidelined Tuesday, leaving John Johnson III and Jovante Moffatt as the top options in the back end of the defense.
— Without Anthony Walker, who is sidelined for at least a week with a knee injury, the Browns deployed Jacob Phillips at middle linebacker with the first-team defense. Phillips started three games as a rookie last season, including an impressive performance in the regular season finale against Pittsburgh.
LB Elijah Lee, a special teams standout during the second half of 2020, worked at the position with the second group.
"Really working a lot of guys into a bunch of different positions," Stefanski said. "Where you may see someone playing at say the MIKE today, he will play the WILL tomorrow. That is the same with safeties and corners. Moving the guys around, it is all part of the natural progression as you get started in camp."
— LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah went through his first official practice with the Browns after getting activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier in the day. Owusu-Koramoah was limited to individual drills as the Browns put him through his own, personal ramp-up period.
Stefanski said Owusu-Koramoah's absence obviously wasn't ideal but stressed he's been on top of things via virtual meetings since landing on the reserve/COVID-19 list July 25.
"He has been definitely brought up to speed," Stefanski said. "I will tell you, it is kind of like last year when we finally got the guys, there is a difference between virtual and doing. He is similarly going to have to have a sense of urgency to pick things up. He understands what is at stake and the work that needs to be put into it. He will be just fine."
— The Browns will be back at it Wednesday at 2:25 p.m. before a day of rest slated for Thursday.