Kevin Stefanski didn't quite know how his team would respond after Friday's day of rest, but he left the field Saturday pleasantly surprised.
On a balmy day in Berea, the Browns gave the kind of effort the head coach could appreciate. His words leading up to the practice were heeded.
"That day off, a lot of times guys can be sluggish," Stefanski said. "We reminded them of that and they came out here and by and large it was pretty good. A lot of situational things that we hit. We were testing them physically out here on a nice warm day, but mentally as well."
Here's what else we saw.
1. Big plays for both sides
This was a balanced day from a big play standpoint.
From an offensive perspective, the running game was boosted by the return of Nick Chubb, who was participating in his first practice since suffering a concussion Monday. This was the final step for Chubb in the concussion protocol, and his presence provided a welcome sight for an offense that will be utilizing his skills on a regular basis. Even when the play was stopped and the whistle was blown, Chubb would finish off his runs by sprinting to the end of the field.
"Good to see 24 out there," Stefanski said. "The kids just works."
The passing game continued to click whenever Baker Mayfield looked Austin Hooper’s way. After a number of short connections between the two, Mayfield had the defense completely fooled when he rolled out to his right and fired a deep ball to a wide-open Hooper on the opposite side of the field for a long touchdown.
Defensively, the starters produced two big interceptions and a handful of sacks. Linebacker B.J. Goodson showed off his athleticism when he picked off a wayward heave that came as a result of pressure from the defensive line. Terrance Mitchell also had an interception while fellow defensive back M.J. Stewart picked up a sack on a blitz. In his first team drills of camp, Myles Garrett certainly made his presence felt.
"Good to see the big man out there," Stefanski said. "He's making our offense work with how we was rushing the passer."
Check out photos from the seventh day of Browns Camp
2. But who won the day?
Stefanski was asked if he and his coaching staff look at a practice and declare a winner upon reviewing the film.
His explanation was a good one. In simple terms, the answer is a resounding no.
"We're teaching systems and I want our guys and our coaches to teach techniques, fundamentals. They're not scheming against each other. There are certain plays our offense runs that they wouldn't run in a normal week against this style of defense, and visa versa.
"Now, that doesn't mean you don't compete. That doesn't mean in a one-on-one drill or any drill for that matter that you're not trying to win that rep and win that part. But we don't sit up there and keep score. That's for the games."
3. Here and There
- WR KhaDarel Hodge (personal), CB Kevin Johnson (liver), DE Robert McCray (eye), TE David Njoku (wrist), DT Larry Ogunjobi (groin), WR Damion Ratley (groin). C JC Tretter (knee) and LB Mack Wilson (knee) did not practice. C Casey Dunn (foot) and WR Donovan Peoples-Jones (heat) left midway through the practice.
- The Browns did not wear full pads Saturday but will Sunday. Stefanski said the team would go through live-tackling drills but won't have live-tackling periods.