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Fresh Takes from Training Camp

Fresh Takes: News and notes from a rainy Day 11 of Browns Training Camp

The Browns moved training camp inside the fieldhouse Friday as thunderstorms moved through Berea, but the smaller confines didn't stop players and coaches from running a smooth 11th practice of training camp.

"I thought we got more done than I anticipated," Stefanski said. "That place got bigger all of a sudden. I do not know how that worked. The tempo was high. They were moving around. It helped that we had some goal line, some red zone and some backed up so we really were using that end of the end zone because there is a weight room on the other side. I really was pleased with what we were able to get done."

Practice was closed from the media, but there was still plenty of news and notes to digest from post-practice interviews.

1.Social justice meetings spark productive ideas

The Browns cut practice to one hour Thursday and spent the remainder of practice indoors to discuss how team members can use their platform to improve social justice issues in Northeast Ohio.

"It was a lot of good dialogue, but there's a lot of work left to be done," Stefanski said. "I think we'll keep at it."

Sheldrick Redwine is one of 11 players on the Browns' social justice leadership committee, which helped the team reach a decision to shorten practice Thursday. Redwine expressed frustration over the unequal treatment of Black Americans in society, and he believes the meeting provided players an opportunity to voice similar frustrations and brainstorm ideas of how changes can be made.

"We've had a lot of discussions about different plans," he said. "There have been repetitive attempts (in the country) to try and stop this and bring change. It seems like the way everything is structured is like resistance toward change. It's just about a consistent push on trying to make that change happen."

2. Donovan Peoples-Jones has caught Kevin Stefanski's eye

Peoples-Jones was one of the most notable players to slip to the late rounds in the 2020 draft. But so far in training camp, he's performed like anything but a sixth-round pick.

Peoples-Jones has been among the most impressive receivers from the group competing for roles behind Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry and has stood out in a variety of ways. He's caught deep balls, made leaping touchdown grabs in red zone drills and has looked comfortable as a special teams player.

And his new coach has certainly taken notice of his impressive camp.

"He's a versatile football player," he said. "Really, you can line him up anywhere, which is impressive for a young player, and he creates value in the return game."

Peoples-Jones was the top high school receiving recruit of the 2017 class, but he never flashed the gaudy numbers Michigan coaches had anticipated in his three seasons in Ann Arbor. His combine numbers were among the best of the 2020 draft class, however, and he's certainly shown his capabilities of using his 6-foot-2, 213-pound body to make contested catches.

If Peoples-Jones maintains his high level of work through camp, it won't be a surprise to see him take a considerable role in the receivers room this season.

3. Nick Harris continues solid camp with first team

Harris has taken first-team reps since Day 1 in place of JC Tretter, who underwent a knee procedure before team practices began. Harris, a 21-year-old fifth-round pick from Washington, has essentially been "thrown in the fire" in his first NFL training camp, but he's been remarkably solid so far and has put Stefanski at ease about the position's depth.

Tretter's return is still unknown, but if Harris is called to start in Week 1 and beyond, Stefanski is confident he'll do a serviceable job. He's given Harris praise throughout training camp, and that hasn't stopped after 11 days of team practices.

"I think we'll make those determinations on game week," Stefanski said. "But in the meantime, I think he's done a really nice job."

4. Injury updates

  • The following players did not practice Friday: LB Adrian Clayborn (groin), CB Kevin Johnson (liver), S Karl Joseph (foot), WR Jarvis Landry (hip), CB M.J. Stewart Jr. (hamstring), Tretter (knee), CB Greedy Williams (shoulder) and LB Mack Wilson (knee)
  • WR KhaDarel Hodge returned to practice Friday after missing time due to personal reasons. Stefanski said he's been impressed with Hodge's camp performance so far and was thrilled to have him back on the field. "It was great to see him," Stefanski said. "I really enjoy having him around. He does his job. He does not say much. He will do all the dirty work. He can line up outside and make plays. Really pleased with KhaDarel."
  • The Browns will look to go back outdoors for Saturday's practice, which is set to begin at 2:25 p.m.

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