Throughout his first NFL training camp, Browns wide receiver Jordan Payton will regularly chronicle his thoughts and insights in a recurring journal on ClevelandBrowns.com. These are Payton's original thoughts relayed to senior writer Andrew Gribble in periodic interviews before and after practice.
Ever since I finished my college career, I've heard about the speed of the NFL game, how it's different than anything you've experienced in the past. Everyone talked about it at the Combine and during my first few months with the Browns. It's natural to kind of shrug it off but let me tell you: it's lived up to the hype.
It's just a fast game. You have to remember your plays and you've got to hear the coaching.That's definitely a big shock but you kind of expect it whether you wanted to believe it or not, these are professionals. Some of these guys, like Tramon Williams, have been doing this for 10 years.
If I had one word to describe a Hue Jackson practice, it'd be "intense." Even at the practices without pads, it's a battle. Every rep, you've got to play fast and physical and you finish. Every rep is so important. You have to play it like it's your last. That's something coming from college you're not used to but coming from UCLA I do have a good background. My coach, Jim Mora Jr., spent a lot of time in the league and he'd preach those things, but it's still not at the same level. This is just at the highest level it could be and it's definitely fun.
That's what makes the morning walkthroughs so important. Hours before we're on the field for practice, we're installing plays and formations that we'll execute at a fast pace in front of all the fans. It's all about learning, being able to learn every play and what you're supposed to do what happens when this happens. Just all the what if's.
My training camp experience so far has been amazing and unbelievable. I've never before seen something like thousands of fans watching a training camp practice. It just shows how passionate the fans are about the Browns and about all of us and how excited they are for this upcoming season. That's what you do it for, that's what you play for. You play for your family, you play for your fans, you play for this organization. It's just amazing.
The one thing that's crazy is you see them at 9 o'clock at night outside waiting for autographs. I love it. I'm not used to it and that's a good thing. Everything I see is just 'wow, that's unbelievable.'