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Training Camp Story of the Day

Harrison Bryant earns training camp honor after staying strong, keeping quiet

Harrison Bryant hasn't said much since he arrived in Berea for his first day of training camp.

With the exception of questions and conversations in team meetings and video calls, Bryant has kept quiet to teammates and coaches. Rookies aren't normally expected to speak up much in their first training camp in the NFL. Bryant has followed that unwritten rule.

"That's one of my foundational things," he said Tuesday in a video call with local reporters. "I just go in, put my head down and go to work."

Bryant, however, didn't need to talk to stand out in training camp. 

He let his play do the talking since his first day in Berea. He's made leaping grabs, absorbed big hits and caught just about everything thrown his way since his first rep in a Browns practice jersey. First team, second team, rain or shine — Bryant made highlight-reel plays.

That's why Bryant, a fourth-round rookie, was awarded the team's Maurice Bassett Award, which is voted by local reporters and is given annually to the Browns' top-performing rookie at training camp.

"It's nice for your work and stuff to be noticed," he said. "It's practice, and that was my goal — to just come out and show what I can do and do whatever I can to make the team and help the team win. I feel like I've done that so far."

Bryant was arguably one of the most impressive Browns players of training camp, period. He received several targets in each practice and seemed to build a quick rapport with quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Case Keenum. Whether it was a pass between the hash marks, by the sideline or in the red zone, Bryant caught the football.

He was always expected to receive some significant opportunities after he was drafted. Coach Kevin Stefanski has made the tight end position an integral part of the offensive playbook, and if Bryant could carry over his consistency from his college days at Florida Atlantic — where he became the first non-Power 5 conference player in history to win the John Mackey Award for best tight end in the nation — he could quickly expand his rookie role in the offense.

Within days of camp, Bryant was seeing more reps, making more receptions and turning more heads in his direction.

"He's a mature guy," guard Joel Bitonio said. "He comes in and handles his business, and from my perspective, every time the ball comes his way, he's making a play on it. He's just doing all the right things you want to see in a rookie."

Bryant, of course, won't change his work ethic even though the grueling, hot days of training camp are over. His catching abilities have made quite the first impression, but he said he's still improving his blocking abilities. At 6-foot-5 and 243 pounds, Bryant is a tad smaller than most starting NFL tight ends capable of making plays both with and without the football. 

Tight ends typically carry just as much responsibility as a blocker as they do a receiver, and Bryant wants to continue to improve that aspect of his game against Cleveland's top defensive ends and linebackers.

"It's challenging every day," Bryant said. "The biggest aspect is being willing because a lot of time, you're outmanned with the defensive ends in this league. The biggest thing is just will and picking up techniques that will help you stay in there and fight."

Bryant will play in his first professional game in less than two weeks when the Browns play the Baltimore Ravens. He's still competing with veterans Austin Hooper and David Njoku for regular season snaps, but Bryant has proven so far that he can make the most of any role he's given with the Browns.

No matter what's expected of him in Week 1, Bryant's head will be down and his mouth will be shut. 

"I've just came in, worked and kept to myself," he said. "Whenever I get my opportunities, I'm just going to go out and produce."

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