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Fresh Takes from Training Camp

Fresh Takes: Observations from Day 4 of Browns Training Camp

The Browns are hitting their stride, notching their third practice in as many days, and we are, too.

Here's what we saw on Day 4 of Training Camp in Berea.

1. Passing game bounces back

Monday wasn't great for the Browns' passing game. On top of the rainy, sloppy conditions that made things tough on just about everybody trying to run routes and catch passes, there simply wasn't much sustained success.

Before Tuesday's practice, Stefanski made it clear the elements weren't a good enough of an excuse.

"I think it was rainy, but I do not want to use that as an excuse. We are an outdoor football team," Stefanski said. "Receivers by definition receive. We are going to throw plenty of balls to our running backs in our tight ends so there is a standard that we expect. That is something that they work really hard on. That is a pre-practice drill, a post-practice drill, they get a lot of work during the practice itself and I should mention you know we put a huge emphasis with our defense. We want these tip balls and overthrows to turn into turnovers."

Tuesday, both from a weather and execution perspective, was much better.

Under sunny skies and temperate conditions, the Browns' offense found its best success through the air, particularly on throws to the tight ends. Austin Hooper and Baker Mayfield connected on a number of throws throughout the afternoon, and Harrison Bryant continued to provide a consistent play-making threat with Case Keenum and the second-team offense.

In Minnesota last season, Stefanski dialed up plays for tight ends as much as anybody. And while he couldn't confirm he would look for the same usage in Cleveland this season, he did acknowledge the group will play a vital role in what the offense hopes to accomplish.

"I will tell you, we want to be multiple," Stefanski said. "The tight end room, the wide receiver room, the running back room, we want to use all. There will be some games that call for one person over the other, but that will be dictated really by the game."

It wasn't just the tight ends Tuesday, as Mayfield connected on a number of sharp throws to Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, who was back after sitting out Monday's practice, during seven-on-seven drills.

The running game, led by Kareem Hunt, was sharp, too. D’Ernest Johnson, working with the second-team offense, had a long run near the end of practice.

And it wasn't all offense, as the defense got its hands on the ball a few times, too. Denzel Ward intercepted a deep throw intended for Beckham while Terrance Mitchell made a pass breakup near the sidelines that hyped up his fellow teammates enough to mob him after the play.

Such is the flow of training camp. We'll see how both sides of the ball respond Wednesday when the Browns go through their fourth practice in as many days.

2. Another tough injury

Browns LB Mack Wilson left practice Tuesday with a knee injury and is undergoing evaluation on its severity.
Wilson went down midway through the practice during a seven-on-seven drill. He was helped off the field by Browns trainers and eventually carted into the facility.
Wilson, a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, emerged as a key starter for the Browns during his rookie season. He stepped in for an injured Christian Kirksey beginning in Week 3 and finished the season with 14 starts, 77 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble.

3. Play of the Day

By far the biggest gainer of the day came during the middle of the practice with the second-team offense.
Keenum faked a handoff, avoided pressure from rookie LB Jacob Phillips and launched a deep ball to J’Mon Moore, who stretched his hands out to make what appeared to be the longest catch of camp thus far.
Moore spent the end of last season on the Browns' practice squad. A former fourth-round pick with the Packers, he has appeared in 12 games with two catches for 15 yards during his NFL career.

4. Here and There

  • After sitting out Monday's practice, Landry and S Karl Joseph were back on the field and participated in most periods. Both players are recovering from serious injuries that required surgery.
  • DT Larry Ogunjobi (groin) did not practice. That meant an increase in opportunities for rookie Jordan Elliott, who played alongside Sheldon Richardson with the first-team defense throughout the practice. "He is big, athletic defensive tackle," defensive line coach Chris Kiffin said before Tuesday's practice. "He can move. He has great short-area quickness. Those are the things you look for in the draft, and our guys did a phenomenal job of identifying him as a guy that would fit in our system and also as a guy that is hungry to be great."
  • DE Myles Garrett (hamstring) and WR Damion Ratley (groin) remained sidelined.

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