Tyrod Taylor has always been a confident player, and his leadership has been key to putting last season's failures behind the Browns. And although Cleveland's relatively young — Taylor is one of the most experienced starters at eight years in the league — the quarterback has a win-now mentality.
"We need to win now," he said. "Whatever it takes to get that done, I'm all behind that."
Taylor organized and paid for most of the famed workout on the West Coast, and he felt like that would help build camaraderie between he and the wide receivers in attendance. It's all part of his plan to help turn the Browns, who were winless last season, into a contender in a short period of time. But, in Taylor's mind, that's the only attitude to have.
"That's the attitude every season. No one team is going to be the same each and every year. The goal for every player, every team, each and every year is to win a Super Bowl. Can't necessarily look two years ahead. We have to focus on this year and one game at a time."
— Taylor has always been known as a quarterback who takes care of the ball. He's thrown 51 touchdown passes in his career and just 18 interceptions. He knows when to throw the ball, where to place it and how to avoid costly turnovers.
The Browns led the league in turnovers last season, so Taylor should play a big part in fixing that troublespot. But as Taylor's career progresses, he's learning more about calculated risks, looking to take more shots and be more aggressive with the ball.
"I think you have to be smart in taking your risks," Taylor said. "As well as learning and being on the same page as the receivers. I've challenged myself this spring and this training camp to be more aggressive and learning guys as far as giving those guys 50/50 balls, allowing them to make plays. That comes with building chemistry with the guys."
— Although he was sidelined for the first four days of training camp with an injury, second-year safety Jabrill Peppers wasn't just sitting out of practice. Peppers was enthusiastic from the sidelines, and he was making sure to keep attaining mental reps while he couldn't practice. Now that Peppers has returned, he doesn't feel like he missed much thanks to those mental reps.
"Just have to keep the mind sharp," Peppers said. "The body does know the difference between a physical rep and a mental rep. I just stay as in-tune as I can be mentally. When I get out there, there are still going to be some things that I have got to clean up, but I would not have been as far along as I would if I was not be in-tune these last four practices."
— Another player sidelined with an injury for the first phase of camp was rookie defensive end Chad Thomas, who returned to practice Monday. Thomas' strength and size lured the Browns to snag him in the third round of the NFL Draft. Coach Hue Jackson is excited to see what he can do on the practice field: "I think that he can bring another element, from what we saw on tape when he was coming out," Jackson said. "He is big and strong. He can hold a point and rush. It gives us another one of those types of players.
— Third-year receiver Rashard Higgins cited Jarvis Landry as a mentor. Landry is considered one of the top wide receivers in the league, and his recent trade to Cleveland has Higgins scooping up any knowledge he can get. Higgins learned a lot from Andrew Hawkins when Higgins was a rookie in 2016, soaking in any advice offered. He's doing the same with Landry.
"(Landry)'s been to the Pro Bowls, he's had the touchdowns, he's got the yards," Higgins said. "He comes out here with a swagger about himself. That's what the game's about. That's how you make those plays. I feel like for my game, I need to have confidence. I need to have that swagger about myself."
— The Browns running backs continue to receive high praise, and rookie Nick Chubb has been turning heads throughout training camp. Jackson knows Chubb is having a good camp, but he also gives credit to who paves the way: "He had a good day. Somebody is blocking for him, too," Jackson said. "I think that the offensive line did some good things, as well."