Skip to main content

OTAs & Minicamp

Minicamp Notebook: Deshaun Watson throws in 7-on-7 drills

Amari Cooper was not present for the first day of minicamp

Minicamp Day 1

The Browns took to the practice fields at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus as a full team for the first time this offseason and kicked off the beginning of mandatory minicamp. These next three days will be the final time the Browns put in work on the field before training camp begins in July.

Here are some observations from the first day of minicamp.

Amari Cooper not in attendance

Veteran WR Amari Cooper did not report for the first day of mandatory minicamp. Cooper is in the final year of his contract and could become an unrestricted free agent in 2025.

Cooper has played an integral role in the Browns passing game since he was acquired in a trade in 2022. Last season, Cooper led the Browns with 1,250 receiving yards – the third-most by a Brown in a season. He also became the first Browns player to record back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski said that Cooper was "not excused" from practice.

"You really have to focus on the guys that are here in these situations," Stefanski said. "I understand that they do come up. I'll really leave all of that between Amari and Amari's agent, (Andrew Berry) and those types of conversations. But again, we focus on guys that are here. We'll get some good work in and really keep it at that."

Deshaun Watson throws in 7-on-7 drills

While QB Deshaun Watson throw some during OTAs to receivers during the offensive drills, he only took mental reps during the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.

That changed during the first day of minicamp, as Watson took live reps during the 7-on-7 drills. Watson threw completions to both WR Cedric Tillman and TE David Njoku during the that portion of practice. Watson also participated in the live reps of the red zone work.

"Everything's been going pretty smooth," Watson said. "Taking it one day at a time, not trying to get ahead of myself. I think I'm in the right position and I feel very, very comfortable."

Stefanski said he expects Watson to throw again on Thursday – the final day of minicamp – and for him to take Wednesday's practice off from live reps.

"The natural next step is throwing out there against the defense in 7-on-7, then you'll graduate to the team, and we can do team drills and those type of things," Stefanski said. "I thought he looked good, made good decisions. Again, you get mental reps when you're back there and then it's a little bit different when you're taking the snap from the center or in the shotgun or under center regardless. But I thought he did a nice job."

Cedric Tillman's reception reps

Throughout OTAs and the first day of mandatory minicamp, WR Cedric Tillman has taken a number of reps in the offensive drills, as well as the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. He caught passes from both Watson and QB Jameis Winston. During the first day of minicamp, Tillman also caught a couple of passes from Watson during the 7-on-7 work.

Tillman finished his rookie season with 21 receptions for 224 receiving yards, as well as one carry for eight yards. As he enters his second season with the Browns, he continues to show progress and what he can bring to the receiving corps.

"Year very excited about Ced," Stefanski said. "Guys come into the league in different stages of their maturation, whether it's as a person or as a player. I think Ced continues to get better physically. And I do think just the things that he does in our offense, he's one year more comfortable in everything we're doing. So, he's had a really nice offseason."

Other practice notes

  • WR Jerry Jeudy was inside the practice facility during the minicamp practice. Stefanski said he is "working through some things," but is here for minicamp.
  • T Jack Conklin was on the sideline of the practice fields in his jersey but was not participating in the drills with the offensive line. Conklin continues to recover from the season-ending knee injury he endured in Week 1 of the 2023 season. Stefanski said that he did not have a timetable on Conklin's return, but that he continues to progress in his rehab.
  • RB Nick Chubb also spent time on the sidelines with the running back room as they worked through individual drills. Chubb continues his rehab process from his season-ending knee injury that he sustained in Week 2 of the 2023 season.
  • QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson took a handful live reps in the offensive drills and the 7-on-7 drills. Thompson-Robinson recently returned to throwing, as during the final week of OTAs he threw for the first time open to media. Thompson-Robinson also took mental reps during certain drills.

Related Content