WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — After two lights days of work to kick off the week at The Greenbrier, the Browns strapped on their helmets and upped the intensity on their third day of training camp.
The work was still on the lighter side — there was only just one team period — which was no surprise given the Browns have an extra week of camp to prepare for the season. Head coach Kevin Stefanski, however, said the Browns will ramp up the speed throughout the week as the team prepares for padded practices on Friday and Saturday.
"We'll start adding some situations and will start going against each other at a slower pace until we have the pads on," he said. "A lot of this is just getting the tolerance from a muscle standpoint and getting ready for a 17-plus game season. We want to make sure we're ramping up appropriately."
Here were the other noteworthy bits from a sunny day in West Virginia.
-The Browns' only team drill was an 11-on-11 period where the offense was working on hurry-up plays. The drill appeared to be a notch below a full-speed drill and the defense wasn't attacking balls while in the air, but the setting still offered some notable nuggets.
-One of them was about CB Denzel Ward, who continued to see snaps from the slot again. It's a position Ward hasn't played much of in the NFL, but defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz appears ready to continue working him in the inside as he attempts to mold a versatile cornerback room capable of matching up well against all speeds and body sizes of opposing receiver rooms. CB Greg Newsome II was the primary slot player last year and still figures to see a large share of practice snaps in that position as camp progresses.
-WR Amari Cooper didn't participate in practice and was off to the side due to a minor tweak suffered Sunday in a light practice. Head coach Kevin Stefanski wasn't concerned about Cooper and believes he'll return soon.
Check out photos of the team during the first day of Training Camp
-With Cooper sidelined, QB Deshaun Watson threw multiple passes in the 11-on-11 period to Elijah Moore, whose smooth route-running and soft hands were on display even in individual and group periods. One of the more notable plays of the practice was when Moore took an end-around handoff from Watson.
-Rookie WR Cedric Tillman made an impressive catch on a pass that looked a bit off target in the passing period before team drills began. He re-adjusted to the ball by angling his body to the right after initially shuffling left and secured the catch.
-Tillman's size also makes him stand out in the huddle. At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, he is the biggest receiver on the roster.
-Rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson didn't participate much in team drills, which was similar to how the Browns were managing him in spring practices. Thompson-Robinson, however, continued to take mental reps behind the huddle to simulate his reads. Watson, Joshua Dobbs and Kellen Mond all took the lion's share of practice reps during team drills.
-Practice started with a field goal session for K Cade York, who (unofficially) converted on all of his attempts, including a 51-yard field goal to end the session.
-Practice ended with a punting session — although punts were simulated through the JUGS machine. Returners included Jaelon Darden, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Demetric Felton Jr.