After beginning practice under the sun and in front of fans, the Browns moved inside roughly 80 minutes into their workout Friday as thunderstorms briefly interrupted Day 8 of training camp.
Players wore pads for the second time in camp, so the intensity was high both outside and indoors. The Browns will likely have a higher frequency of padded practices moving forward as they prepare for the preseason.
"We will be in pads the next couple of days, starting to integrate that contact period and those types of things," head coach Kevin Stefanski said. "We are on track but recognize that we have a long way to go."
Here's what happened in Berea on Day 8:
– The defense appeared to have a slight edge in most team periods Friday, particularly on run plays. Most of the offense's rushes were stopped for short yards, and players still weren't allowed to tackle despite wearing pads. The biggest successful run play was from Nick Chubb during a carry that happened after the team moved inside. He dashed to his right after the handoff and appeared to make it through all levels of the defense untouched.
Check out photos of players and coaches working throughout camp
– The offense took a few deep shots Friday but wasn't able to connect on any big plays. One of the best throws came from Deshaun Watson and was delivered to Amari Cooper, who jumped to catch the ball in his chest and secure it for a first down. Watson and Cooper have had good chemistry throughout camp and have connected on a few plays each practice, save for the lone practice Cooper missed Tuesday with an ankle injury.
– CB Martin Emerson Jr. was the defender lined up across from Cooper when he made that catch. The third-round rookie has been off to a smooth start so far and always stands out a bit more than other corners because of his big 6-foot-2 frame. He said before practice, though, that Cooper has been the toughest receiver he's faced with the Browns.
"He makes me stay patient and not guess," Emerson said. "He's a real route-runner and a great player. It's fun, but it's a challenge, so I just step up to the plate."
– Rookie K Cade York went 5-for-6 in the field-goal period and had his first miss of training camp. He connected on 12 consecutive attempts before Friday, and his longest kick was good from 51 yards. York's lone miss was from 58 yards and appeared to sail just right of the uprights. Before that kick, he nailed a 51-yarder that hit the inside of the left upright. Myles Garrett was underneath the field goal post signaling whether the kicks went through.
– One more rookie who has had a nice camp so far? RB Jerome Ford. It's hard to fully evaluate running backs when the Browns have only had two padded practices, but Ford clearly has some elusiveness to his rushing style and can contribute as a pass-catcher, too. On one play Friday after the team moved indoors, he caught a short pass in the middle of the field and quickly bursted forward for a play that would've resulted in a nice gain.
– The chemistry of the defense has been evident whenever any of the defensive backs breaks up or intercepts a pass. Undrafted rookie CB Shaun Jolly was cheered by his defensive teammates on two occasions Friday after he intercepted a pass in a 1-on-1 drill against a receiver and again later when he deflected a pass. On the next play after Jolly's PBU, safety D'Anthony Bell snagged an interception, which sent the defense into a frenzy again.
– C Nick Harris walked off the practice field early with a trainer due to an eye injury and will be OK. WR Michael Woods II also did not practice due to a hamstring injury.
– WR David Bell (foot), P Corey Bojorquez (right foot), DT Sheldon Day (back), WR Anthony Schwartz (knee), LB Anthony Walker Jr. (groin), CB Denzel Ward (foot), WR Javon Wims (illness) all did not practice but are close to returning.
"Those guys are really close," Stefanski said. "I think in the next few days, we will get some of those guys back, but not today."