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Hue Jackson, Browns approaching preseason practices vs. Tampa Bay as 'teaching moment'

The Browns will spend some extra time under the Florida sun during their buildup to the 2016 season, practicing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before their preseason game Aug. 26 at Raymond James Stadium.

So what's to be gained from a few sessions off the Gulf Coast?

Potentially a lot, says coach Hue Jackson.

"It is a tremendous opportunity to practice against another organization. We were going to play them in obviously in that third preseason game anyway, and I know (Buccaneers Head Coach) Dirk (Koetter). We decided to get together and practice for a couple of days," Jackson said last month when the subject was broached at a press conference during OTAs.

"It's another opportunity to evaluate our team in a different setting away from here and teach our guys how to go on the road and prepare and focus but also understand that we are in evaluation mode as we start to put our team totally together."

Indeed, Cleveland will play five of its first seven games on the road and three of its first four away from the confines of FirstEnergy Stadium (the Browns travel to Philadelphia on Sept. 11 and have back-to-back road games against Miami on Sept. 27 and Washington on Oct. 2).

So it makes sense why Jackson and the team's coaching staff are eager to see how the Browns — who struggled on the road last year — approach the task of playing in opposing venues.

"We are going to be on the road early this season," Jackson said. "I see it as another teaching moment for our football team."

It's also a chance, Jackson said, for the roster to measure itself against competition wearing different uniform.

The Browns took to the field to finish the three-day veterans' minicamp.

"It's always great to compete against somebody else other than a guy that you compete against each and every day. It gives us an opportunity to see a different team, a different color jersey, a different defensive scheme, a different offensive scheme and to prepare and also teach these men to go on the road and focus to do what we need to do," he said.

Details of the Browns' trip to Tampa will be released at a later date. It marks the second consecutive year the Browns hit the road to practice with another team, as they traveled to Rochester, N.Y., for two practices with the Bills before their game back in Cleveland last preseason.

Earlier today, the Browns announced details about their 2016 training camp schedule, which precedes the Tampa trip. Cleveland has 11 open practices in Berea and will participate in the Orange and Brown Scrimmage in Columbus on Aug. 6.

In case you're wondering, the average high in Tampa is a crisp 90 degrees in August, and that's before you factor in the Florida humidity, which can often be described as oppressive.

Asked if that helps with bolstering the team's conditioning, Jackson nodded and said, "Absolutely, it's the heat."

"We are going to go to Miami early in the year," he said, pointing to South Florida's hot and humid climate.

"There are a lot of benefits to doing this that will help our football team grow as we get ready to head into the season."​

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