Stormy skies parted just in time for the Orange & Brown Scrimmage on Friday night.
What followed was an evening dominated by defense as the White Team defeated the Brown Team, 15-0, at FirstEnergy Stadium. The score, of course, didn't matter much.
"There was some spotty play on the field but again, it wasn't about who won, or anything like that," Browns coach Hue Jackson said.
"We're just competing and trying to do some things differently … we know we've got some work to do before Thursday night. It was good just to get in our stadium."
Here are some quick observations:
— The official count was two sacks, but rookie defensive end Myles Garrett would have doubled that figure in a truly live setting. "I'm going with whatever they call," Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick, said with a smile. "Coach said I had four. They blew two, so I'm just going to go with two." Garrett, who recently moved up to the first-team defense, was a force on the defensive line. Asked if he's ready for his preseason debut against the Saints Thursday he said: "You tell me."
— Jackson says linebacker Christian Kirksey is fine after going down early in the first quarter. Jackson said Kirksey — who led the team in tackles last season — could've gone back in had it been an actual game. "I shut that down real quickly," Jackson said.
— Safety Jabrill Peppers took reps with the first-team defense and made the most of his opportunity. "I saw him smack a couple of people today," Jackson said, adding that's what the Browns want the rookie from Michigan to do this fall. Peppers, who also looked sharp in his punt return duties, is poised to contribute in multiple ways this season.
— Toward the end of the game, rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer missed an open Duke Johnson Jr. over the middle on what would have been a touchdown. "For him to be that wide open, for me to miss is unacceptable," said Kizer, the former Notre Dame star whom the club drafted in the second round this past spring. "I'll go back and obviously check out the footwork on that play, check out the read, where my eyes are and make sure that we can make the correction going into tomorrow to continue to get better as much as we can."
— Brock Osweiler, who captained the White team, connected with receiver Jordan Leslie on several throws. Afterward, the former Texans starter praised his teammate. "Jordan's a playmaker, and it's not just tonight," Osweiler said, adding "He consistently does the right things." Leslie was on Cleveland's practice squad last season and is competing for a roster spot.
— On a trick play gone awry, undrafted free agent and rookie J.D. Harmon notched an interception, picking off wide receiver Corey Coleman on an end-around. "We didn't execute it. I probably felt the same way you did," Jackson said, laughing.
— Matt Dayes played a big role in both the run and pass games on Friday night, continuing what's been a strong camp for the rookie running back from N.C. State. Every day in practice he's made a play. Did it today, too," Jackson said. "He's got a legitimate opportunity here."
— Rookie kicker Zane Gonzalez knocked in a 39-yard field goal, his first in FirstEnergy Stadium. He followed with a second one from a shorter distance later in the half.
— Running back Isaiah Crowell broke loose for a 37-yard run in the third quarter. Crowell finished with 198 carries for 952 yards last season and is expected to build upon that campaign as Cleveland recommits itself to the run game.
— Quarterback Kevin Hogan had a pretty pass to second-year receiver Jordan Payton in the third quarter, connecting on a long throw over the middle in traffic. Payton was one of four receivers drafted in the 2016 Draft.