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OTAs & Minicamp

OTA Notebook: Deshaun Watson throws, Elijah Moore returns and other practice notes

Browns wrapped up their second week of OTAs 

OTAs 5.30

The Browns wrapped up the second week of OTAs, which are voluntary practices leading up to mandatory veteran minicamp in June. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

Here are some observations and notes from Thursday's OTA practice.

Deshaun Watson throws

QB Deshaun Watson continues to progress through his rehab process for his shoulder, and on Thursday, threw during a number of drills. He threw a mix of short, intermediate and deeper passes to guys like WR Elijah Moore, WR Cedric Tillman and rookie WR Jamari Thrash during the position group drill work.

Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey has been through a similar situation with QB Cam Newton with the Panthers in 2017 as Newton rehabbed from a shoulder injury, and they monitored the distance of his throws and how many throws he made in practice.

It's a similar process for Watson in this stage of his rehab. However, Dorsey said Watson continues to grow more comfortable, both in what he can do physically and in the mental aspect of the game.

"But you see him continue each day, ramping it up a little bit more and more," Dorsey said. "He threw the ball down the sideline, a vertical throw today, and that's one I hadn't seen from him a lot. We haven't pushed him to do it, so that was good to see. So, I think the more he grows and feels comfortable with it, the more you'll start seeing those things get ramped up more and more."

During the 11-on-11 walk through, Watson did not throw during the drill, but took the mental reps of the drill. He also did not throw during the 7-on-7 red zone drills and focused on the mental reps of the drills.

Dorsey said the way head coach Kevin Stefanski has structured the practices in the offseason program allows Watson to get necessary reps without solely being mental reps.

"So, I think it's a really good combination right now of him getting mental reps, him getting some of the live reps, 'live reps' that he can get in more of a jog through tempo," Dorsey said. "And then obviously the routes and the throwing when he can't get in on his throwing days."

Elijah Moore returns to OTAs

Moore returned to CrossCountry Mortgage Campus for the second week of OTAs beginning on May 28.

He caught some deep passes from Watson during drills and worked with wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea one-on-one on contested catches during a portion of Thursday's practice.

"This time of year, it is like coming back on the field again, seeing faces again, getting to know my new teammates," Moore said. "But it is good to be back out here and see the teammates and gel and learn them as well, and also getting back to work."

Moore sees a high level of potential with the receiving corps of himself, Amari Cooper and the addition of Jerry Jeudy, especially in the offensive system that Dorsey and Stefanski are installing.

"I just feel like it's going to be a lot more explosive," Moore said. "That's what comes to my mind when you have players like (Jeudy and Cooper). It's super exciting to line up alongside and with these guys, and I just think that having Dorsey, someone who's an extravagant guy like him, you look at him and you can just tell he loves football."

Check out the action from practice at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus as the Browns go through organized team activities

Practice notes

  • CB Denzel Ward put in extra work with cornerbacks coach Brandon Lynch off to the side for a portion of practice. They focused on mirroring the wide receiver in coverage.
  • QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson was out at practice with the other quarterbacks. He did not take live reps but practiced mental reps behind the other quarterbacks during the 11-on-11 walk through.
  • T Dawand Jones was once again participating in the drills of the 11-on-11 walk through.
  • The Browns' punt unit spent a portion of the practice working through punt return, with K Lucas Havrisik practicing his punts.
  • The Browns closed out Thursday's OTA with 7-on-7 red zone work. Winston threw a pass to RB Pierre Strong Jr. who turned and ran into the endzone. Winston also connected with WR David Bell on a pass in the end zone. However, the defense also had their share of moments, as LB Tony Fields II had a pass breakup of an intended pass from Winston to FB Giovanni Ricci.

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