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Fresh Takes from Training Camp

Fresh Takes: On-Field Observations from Day 5 of Training Camp

The third straight day in pads was another solid one for the Browns defense, which got its hands on plenty of passes and generated some consistent pass rush.

Here's what else we saw from Day 5 in Berea.

1. Browns go heavy on red zone work

Working from the back fields, the Browns devoted a number of periods to their red zone offense and defense. On this day, the defense had the upper hand, particularly on snaps between the first-team offense and defense.

Whether it was runs or passes, Browns defenders were quick to swallow up ball-carriers or make the windows too tight for Baker Mayfield to connect with his receivers. Veteran cornerback Terrance Mitchell had a big day and nicely defended multiple passes thrown in his direction.

The best moment from the offense came near the end of the practice, when Mayfield rolled to his right and fired a 1-yard touchdown pass to rookie Donovan Peoples-Jones. He also connected with Rashard Higgins on a touchdown during seven-on-seven drills that began near the goal line.

Earlier in the day, Stefanski said he agreed, to an extent, with the common notion that defenses tend to be ahead of offenses at this stage of training camp, especially when the offense is installing a brand new playbook.

"That is generally the case and I think all of us, going for years, that is always something that you hear being said," Stefanski said. "The only thing I would add to that is, we are really teaching systems on either side, so our coaches are not scheming against each other. I want our guys to compete every play, obviously, and take every rep, and try to win their one on one, but at the end of the day, we are truly teaching on either side and not trying to determine who is winning practice."

Check out photos from the fifth day of Browns Camp

2. DBs, LBs getting hands on the ball

As mentioned above, the Browns defense made it difficult on the offense even on plays where they appeared to be beat. On multiple plays, whether it was the first- or second-team units, Browns defenders broke up passes at the last second that otherwise would have been first down or scoring completions.

Mitchell broke up what looked to be a touchdown pass to David Njoku at the last second. LB B.J. Goodson knocked down a ball that was headed right toward Austin Hooper for a touchdown. Veteran Andrew Sendejo intercepted a deep pass near the end of practice.

That's the kind of activity Stefanski said he likes to see from his back seven.

"To talk about takeaways, it is definitely a huge emphasis of our defense," Stefanski said. "I think by and large, the guys are doing a very good job of ball searching and getting their hands on balls. That is what we preach.

"Offensively, you have to learn from every interception. You have to learn from every fumble. All interceptions are not created equal. I think there were some opportunities yesterday that we can definitely learn from. That is what we are doing here at training camp."

3. Rookie pass-catchers making most of opportunities

Harrison Bryant has piled up receptions since the start of training camp, and it continued Wednesday with another productive day. During one seven-on-seven period, Bryant was on the receiving end of back-to-back touchdown throws.

Tight ends coach Drew Petzing, in a Wednesday interview on "Browns Live: Training Camp" said Bryant has a "natural feel for the game."

"He's soaking it up," Petzing said. "He's one of the hardest workers I've been around in terms of really wanting to do it the way it's being coached and spending extra time in the playbook. All the things you saw on his college tape and throughout his career are definitely showing up here on the field.

Peoples-Jones has made his presence felt beyond Wednesday's late touchdown catch. He's routinely found openings and hauled in passes when given the opportunity.

4. Here and There

  • WR Jarvis Landry and S Karl Joseph were back on the sidelines Wednesday after practicing Tuesday. Both players are going through respective ramp-up plans to get them ready for the 2020 season after undergoing recent surgery.
  • The Browns wore full pads for a third consecutive practice. They'll be back on the field Thursday before receiving an off day Friday.

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