Saying Cleveland is a breath of fresh air to wide receiver Dwayne Bowe might be the understatement of the summer.
On Day 2 of Browns training camp, Bowe and quarterback Josh McCown teamed up for several big throws down the field in what the veteran described as a budding breakthrough for the unit.
"It was my first time in nine years that the second day of camp has been this fluid," Bowe said. "So many guys made plays today. (McCown) and I are clicking right now."
Here's the catch to Bowe and his unflinching claims: His teammates are listening to the confident fuel he's feeding them.
"I'm showing guys different ways to practice, different ways to study, show them how to eat, how to work," Bowe said. "That's why you bring in an old vet like me to help the young guys out."
Last year, the Browns played in a system offense under Kyle Shanahan. Bowe also played in a system offense with Andy Reid and the Chiefs. Players were plugged into specific roles within the offense – and sometimes arguably jammed into those roles, instead of plugged.
Part of why the 30-year-old Bowe decided on signing with the Browns had to do with the fact that first-year offensive coordinator John DeFilippo wasn't bringing a rigid offensive system with him to Cleveland. "Flip," as he's called around the team facility, is building the offense around the strengths of players like Bowe and Taylor Gabriel, while also implementing successful running plays used last season.
"Instead of being stern and calling plays that don't work for that guy, he's putting everyone in position to make plays," Bowe said. "That's all you can ask for out of an OC."
"You need that big receiver that can make a contested catch," coach Mike Pettine said about Bowe's unique role within the offense. "He does an excellent job on the back-shoulder throws. He made one (yesterday). He does a real nice job getting his feet down. Obviously, he's shown why we brought him here."
At the end of his interview, Bowe harped on something new teammate Tramon Williams said earlier in the week: Team chemistry is real in Berea. Bowe says the younger guys in Cleveland bring so much energy to the locker room while the older guys are more humbled as the years unfold in their respective careers. It's a combination he saw a handful of times making the playoffs with the Chiefs.
Days like Friday may seem on the surface like mundane training camp days that ultimately get lost in the shuffle of dozens of other practices. But in Bowe's mind, it's training camp practices that have potential to become building blocks for football teams.
"I think this year," Bowe said, "we really have a chance."
Taking a look at the setup here in Berea for training camp.