Yesterday we prepared you for Day 3, now we take a look at what actually occurred on Day 3 of Cleveland Browns Training Camp. Yesterday was the first day that pads could go on and hitting could occur. No tackling to the ground yet but physicality had return to the sport.
Head coach Mike Pettine has been quoted a number of times saying that when the pads go on he wants to hear it. He wants to hear pads popping. He wants to hear players hitting each other. He wants to hear how intense the team is. From all reports from those in attendance there wasn’t a lot of sound coming from practice. Not a lot of pads popping. Not a lot of players running into each other at full force. It is possible that this was by design but given Pettine’s comments it could be a concern that the intensity could not be heard.
Many notes from the receiving core that has been the biggest concern for fans this year. Starting with the star receiver from last year Josh Gordon:
We covered that Gordon made a big time hire in his legal case by hiring the lawyer that helped Seahawks corner R. Sherman beat his suspension. Could it be that the big concerns fans had about Gordon could be laid aside by winning the appeal? A receiving core of Gordon, a healthy Miles Austin and Andrew Hawkins, along with Jordan Cameron, could be special. Speaking of special, Hawkins is an amazing route runner:
Wow. Here is a write-up, with a video, of Hawkins showing great get off with the Bengals, and looking at why he may have been underused down there. The Browns also have a bevy of young receivers that could impact the game this upcoming season:
Could a percieved weakness be an actual strength for this team? A good to great receiving core added to the stable of backs and the dominate offensive line could mean big things for the Browns offense this year.
Speaking of the running backs and offensive line it seems as if they may be turning the corner:
Having a group of backs to run behind a line that is “blowing holes wide open” could quickly turn the Browns into a force in the AFC North. Obviously the game is different then practice but early signs are good for the run game. The note on Crowell is concerning but only one practice. He is our offensive Man of Mystery none the less.
The mental perspective of the game is so vitally important. Players must have the physical tools to compete but being able to put it all together in their head turns tools and talent into production. That is across the board in sports. It looks like Jordan Cameron’s confidence, as it should be, is through the roof:
A great sign as Cameron may get the bulk of the coverage if/when Gordon is off the field. Having that confidence and mental approach will help him overcome much of what is in front of him. The mental side of the sport is what separates players. It is likely what will keep Johnny Manziel on the bench while Brian Hoyer thrives. Hoyer’s time behind Tom Brady and others seems to have paid off big time from the mental aspect.
Speaking of the QB competition it seems like Hoyer has it sowed up. While Manziel will be able to make some amazing plays when things break down, it is his lack of understanding to make the simple plays that will hold him back. Ryan, someone you have seen a couple times here and is a great follow on Twitter, was at camp yesterday and the difference was clear:
He is right. Manziel needs time, likely a lot of it. Saying Hoyer looks good, but all in caps, could mean he looks great. For the Browns it will be important they continue to build up Manziel, he is the QB of the Future most likely, while still giving Hoyer all he needs to succeed.
Defensive Man of Mystery
We linked you to our piece on Crowell as our offensive Man of Mystery. We will have notes on our defensive Man of Mystery today as well. Pierre Desir, a personal favorite of this writer during the draft process, presents a unique skill and story that we hope will captivate you. So far so good in camp for Desir as well:
What are your thoughts on yesterday’s camp?