Fresh Takes from Training Camp

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Fresh Takes: Observations from the offense on Day 2 of joint practices with the Colts

Check out photos from the second day of joint practices with the Colts in Indianapolis by team photographer Matt Starkey

WESTFIELD, Ind. -- We’re cooling down after a hot day on the field between the Browns and Colts at the sprawling Grand Park Sports Campus.

Our focus for a second straight day is on the offense, which had another very good day against a solid Colts defense.

1. 2-minute drill once again a breeze

One week after blazing down the field for a touchdown to kick off their preseason opener, the Browns did it again Thursday during a 2-minute drill period. This time, they found the end zone in well under 2 minutes, too.

Just like the drive against the Redskins, Cleveland opened the series with an incompletion. From there, Baker Mayfield and the Browns’ deep receiving corps made it look easy. Mayfield fired back-to-back first down passes to Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins before going long to Jaelen Strong, who dove to make the over-the-shoulders catch just outside of the goal line.

A few seconds later, Mayfield fired a pass to a wide open Landry, who tossed the ball in the air to celebrate another fast-paced score.

“We know physically and mentally we’ve trained to be the best,” Higgins said. “We know if we play the game to our advantage, which is playing fast, then we can get a team off balance. So that’s what we do.”

2. There goes Chubb

The Browns’ first-team offense didn’t get much of a chance to work through their playbook during the following period. The reason, though, was very positive, as running back Nick Chubb burst through the line, made a cut and out-ran the rest of the Indianapolis defense for a 65-yard touchdown.

There’ve been a lot of moments like this throughout training camp. Simply put, Chubb has been one of Cleveland’s most consistent players on either side of the ball since the start of training camp.

Reminder: Chubb had 823 yards in the 10 games he started after Carlos Hyde was traded last season. Bigger things appear to be on the horizon for a player Freddie Kitchens hasn’t hesitated to praise over the past few weeks.

“This game is built on explosive plays, not turning the ball over,” Kitchens said. “So anytime you get an explosive play, everybody understands the significance of that moving forward in a game. That was an explosive play.

“He has one of the best jump cuts I have ever seen. I am not claiming I have seen every jump cut, I am sure I am going to offend somebody with that. He has a good jump cut in the hole. He has great body control, balance, all the characteristics and skill sets that good running backs have.”

3. Everything’s slowing down for Drew Forbes

For the second straight day, sixth-round rookie Drew Forbes received first-team snaps near the end of practice at right guard. He was the second-team option for the majority of the session behind veteran Eric Kush, but his rise up the ranks has been notable.

Forbes, a left tackle during his entire career at Southeast Missouri State, began training camp playing as many as four different positions. His workload became more focused as camp unfolded, giving him more and more snaps at the guard positions. 

Last week’s game against the Redskins appeared to be a turning point, as Forbes “flashed,” Kitchens said. That led to more opportunities, such as the ones he received during the two joint practice.

"I think he has gotten better, kept his head down when everything around him seemed to be falling apart, he kept his head down and just kept working,” Kitchens said. “Some of these guys come from small schools, they just got to play. He flashed in the game the other night so that earned him some more reps. He flashed yesterday, so that earned him some more reps. It is kind of like we are on a reward system around here I guess, like your little gas card thing."

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