Skip to main content

OTAs & Minicamp

Observations from Browns 2019 minicamp, Day 1

Day 1 of minicamp is complete, and with it came the first practice of the full team on a mandatory basis. It's a nice little preview of what's to come, but there's so much more left to learn once the pads come on.

In the meantime, we gleaned enough information to collect five takeaways from Day 1, starting with the arrival of the ever-important No. 13.

1. The infinite possibilities of Odell Beckham Jr.

It's evident when you watch him go through drills, and especially when he runs his routes. His footwork is fantastic, his cuts are crisp and his leaping ability is kangaroo-like springy. His individual training did him well.

Odell Beckham Jr.'s first practice in front of the media was just a small sample of what's possible with he and Baker Mayfield. And it was the stuff of which dreams are made.

There isn't much T.J. Carrie -- or any defender -- could do in that situation.

The two's timing isn't perfect, but that's to be expected of new teammates and should improve with more reps together. In the meantime, Beckham used his incredible natural ability to correct throws that weren't perfect, and occasionally the two's individual talent shined in unison, like on that touchdown pass from inside the red zone.

Add in Jarvis Landry and two month's worth of practice and well...whew.

2. Sloppy play ruled the day

As was the case with the aforementioned timing issue, things just seemed to be a beat or two off during Tuesday's session, which was more intense than last week's OTAs. Simply, June made itself apparent.

Duke Johnson dropped a couple of passes, including one off his facemask, as he found his footing (he later bounced back to finish off a nice touchdown run through moderate traffic). Mayfield underthrew Beckham on a flag route along the sideline, where Greedy Williams dropped what should have been an easy interception. Other players dropped passes and missed assignments as well.

The heightened pace and increased media presence (packs of reporters shadowed Beckham around the fields) amplified the missed throws and dropped passes. It was prevalent throughout the practice. Even an assistant coach whiffed while trying to throw Beckham a pass during a position drill.

But again, it's June. There's plenty of work to be done. One incompletion isn't cause for concern.

3. Gimme the boot

Jamie Gillan had a nice afternoon punting, dropping a couple of punts inside the 5 with ideal bounces for downing. He also launched a few rockets into the stratosphere with his left foot, drawing soft "wow" reactions from media members.

Britton Colquitt is a veteran punter with an excellent knack for directional kicking (and spent most of his time Tuesday holding for kicks), while Gillan brings the big leg that provides the sky-high punts we saw Tuesday. It'll be interesting to see how Gillan, equipped with a knuckleball-style punt, pushes the veteran during camp. It definitely made for some entertaining kicks Tuesday.

Perhaps more importantly is the kicking competition between Greg Joseph and Austin Seibert. Each got a chance to hit a hurry-up field goal from considerable distance, and each put it through. Joseph scraped his against the inside of the left post, while Seibert jogged out and quickly drilled a 48-yarder with the help of a light breeze. Nothing but positives to report here as the Browns attempt to solidify their kicking situation.

4. Defense will shine in August

It's difficult to get a great read on how this defense will play, because without pads, they're naturally required to slow up near points of contact. Physical play can't flourish anywhere in these instances, and a couple of times, they'd have shined had the pads been on. This also extends to the offensive and defensive lines, a point we've already made.

But in the meantime, we can start to see how things might work. Mayfield was afforded time at least once to dance around before throwing a pass well after the famed "internal clock" would have expired. Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon don't get to do much other than basic hand fighting when rushing, but the secondary got plenty of work. Jermaine Whitehead is still running with the ones, and Williams stood out more Tuesday than he did in OTAs. Eric Murray also did a nice job of closing off any space for a receiver running to the back corner pylon, resulting in an incompletion.

Above all, the hunger and fire are there in this defense. Training camp is going to be heated.

5. Unheralded standouts

Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi, whose unlikely story got a fresh run on the media circuit in the last week or so, made a few nice grabs Tuesday. He caught a pass on the goal line and squeaked into the end zone early in the practice, then caught another red zone touchdown on the final play of practice, eliciting cheers of "SHEEHY!" from his teammates.

In between, he got reps at kick and punt returner as he continues to battle for the job with D'Ernest Johnson, Dontrell Hilliard and Antonio Callaway. His speed remains his strongest attribute, but his continued work at receiver is starting to pay off in small doses.

Tight end Stephen Carlson also made two really nice contested catches Tuesday, one coming in a one-on-one drill and another during a red zone period. Carlson's body type is much like fellow former Princeton Tiger Seth DeValve -- sometimes it's difficult to tell them entirely apart from afar -- and he worked well at finding space near the goal line in red zone drills. The tight end room is jam packed with talent -- David Njoku, Demetrius Harris, DeValve, Orson Charles, Pharaoh Brown and Carlson -- so it's going to be tough to make this roster. But mostly everyone is looking promising at the position.

Related Content