Fresh Takes from Training Camp

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Fresh Takes: Training Camp Observations - Day 8

The temperatures are rising, and the Browns continue to log good days of work at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus.

After a second day of rest, the Browns went through their first of three consecutive practices. It was another good one, pads and all, and it featured plenty of 11-on-11 periods.

Here's what happened at Cleveland's eighth practice of 2021 Training Camp.

— The player who has been the talk of camp didn't give people any reason to stop talking about him. That, of course, would be WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, who was on the receiving end of one of the longest completions of the day. He caught an over-the-shoulder dime from Baker Mayfield despite his defender getting flagged for holding. With Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. getting eased back into action, Peoples-Jones has more than made the most of his opportunities. 

"I feel like if you stay ready, you do not have to get ready," Peoples-Jones said. "Just continue to be myself."

Check out photos from the eighth day of Browns Camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus

— Peoples-Jones has dominated the discourse surrounding the wide receivers but KhaDarel Hodge has been similarly strong through the first eight days. He caught another long pass Friday and has consistently made plays when the ball comes his way.

Hodge, it should be remembered, is an excellent special teams player, too, and he's certainly continued to solidify that reputation during those periods at camp.

— TE David Njoku was on the receiving end of a long completion from Mayfield early in the practice. Asked about Njoku last week, tight ends coach Drew Petzing had nothing but good things to say about the fifth-year veteran.

"He has been great," Petzing said. "The funny thing is I know there has been a lot of noise on the outside, my experience with him really from the day I got here has been very positive. In terms of the way the kid works, he prepares and the product he puts on the field, it has been awesome. He is a lot of fun to be around and a lot of fun to coach."

— One more highlight from Friday's practice: CB Brian Allen stepped in front of a pass on the sidelines and ran it back for a touchdown. Allen was added to the roster shortly before the Browns' playoff win over the Steelers.

— Speaking of the secondary, the Browns were still down a few players, including S Grant Delpit (rest), S Sheldrick Redwine (ankle) and S Ronnie Harrison (hamstring). CB Troy Hill was dressed but wasn't active in team drills. That provided an opportunity for M.J. Stewart to get some good reps with the first defense as the nickel. Stewart, who made some huge plays for Cleveland's defense last season, has also helped out at safety while a number of the players are sidelined.

— DE Takkarist McKinley (personal) hasn't been at practice since Day 3, but coach Kevin Stefanski expects him back. WR Anthony Schwartz (hamstring) continued to be sidelined.

— Whenever the opportunity presents itself — typically special teams periods — Mayfield and Beckham can be found on the opposite field throwing together. Needless to say, they're not just killing time.

"Every rep matters for us," Mayfield said earlier in camp. "But then just the terminology and speaking outside the building, not just about football, that goes such a long way when it comes to chemistry and that trust factor. We have made huge strides, and I know he feels the same way."

— The Browns still have another practice to knock out before Sunday's Orange and Brown Practice, but Stefanski provided a sneak preview of what fans can expect at FirstEnergy Stadium.

"We will have a nice two-hour long practice where guys are competing against each other," Stefanski said. "We will do some red zone work. We will do some two-minute work. We will see some situational ball."

— The Browns are back at it Saturday at 2:25 p.m. at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus.

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