Cleveland Browns Training Camp: Day 4 recap

Jul 31, 2016; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III calls out a play during practice at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility in Berea, OH. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 31, 2016; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III calls out a play during practice at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility in Berea, OH. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cleveland Browns hit the field Monday for their second day of training camp in pads, completing yet another spirited practice.

For the Cleveland Browns, the month of August is most often a month filled with energy and optimism. This year, the buzz once again occupies Berea’s training camp facility.

As the calendar turns to August, the Browns are on track to improve in 2016. There have only been four days of camp so far, but each practice session has reinforced why this time, the excitement is legitimate. Like the previous three, Monday’s practice was vigorous, and unlike the first two, very physical as well.

It is evident that head coach Hue Jackson‘s objective is clear, and that he is pleased with the progress the team has made toward this aspiration. Jackson’s hope is for his players to “keep grinding and keep becoming a gritty group,” as he stated in his post practice press conference.

While this may be a unique style of coaching Browns fans are not accustomed to, it is a welcome sight. The physicality early on in training camp is evidence of just how tough this team is becoming, and what their true identity will be.

In the midst of this, the veteran players deserve a great deal of credit. Players who have been with the Browns the last few seasons have not been exposed to this style of play, yet have still adapted remarkably well and have embraced their roles. For the second consecutive press conference, Jackson praised his veteran players, and their open-minded perspective of their possible roles.

At some point, the Browns expect to back off, as they won’t wear pads in every day of training camp. Every practice is a balance, as the coaching staff must make sure their players develop the toughness necessary to complete a full NFL season, while still keeping them healthy and relatively fresh.

As for Monday’s practice, Jackson wasn’t completely pleased. The team simply “wasn’t as sharp” as they came off of their first full contact session of the season. This was to be expected, and what was more important was the fact that the Browns still brought inextinguishable energy and passion to the practice field.

Based on the first few days of camp, it appears that Robert Griffin III is in line to become the starting quarterback. Jackson noted Griffin’s progress, and praised the young quarterback for his dedication to learning a new offense while simultaneously trying to enhance his physical abilities.

According to the offensive-minded Jackson, all of the offense will be installed within the first six days of training camp, before fine tuning the rest of the way. Knowing this, Griffin, who is presumably the starting quarterback, has a lot to learn in these few days. It is promising to hear from Jackson that Griffin is handling this challenging task effectively.

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The same goes for all of the players, competing aggressively up and down the roster. “It’s competition everywhere,” Jackson told the media. It is safe to assume that this competition is especially relevant for three position groups: the wide receivers, secondary and offensive line. A lot of jobs are up for grabs, and every player has been given an opportunity to make a positive impression.

Even so, the unity of the Browns remains on display. At the end of the day, each of these players who are competing for roster spots are also trying to make each other better. Through competition, their objectives remain constant. As Jackson put it, “everybody comes out with the same mindset, to try to get better.” It’s that simple for the players at this point, and based on what the Browns have seen so far, there are numerous sources of encouragement.

The new sirens are one of the many staples this new regime has placed on training camp. When the siren goes off, practice intensifies. As several Browns players have told the media, “it’s game time.” This aspect of camp is yet another indication of the energy that consumes Berea.

Though it all comes to fruition in August 12’s preseason opener in Green Bay, Cleveland will first put their players to the test in Saturday afternoon’s Orange and Brown scrimmage. According to Jackson, the purpose of this is to have a “mock game”, more from the preparation standpoint than the actual physically taxing nature of an NFL game. This game will be a further indication to the staff how they would like to construct this roster to best maximize their chances of winning.

Another notable aspect of Monday were the roster transactions the team made prior to practice. The Browns signed a pair of free agents, signing defensive lineman Jason Neill and offensive lineman Cory Tucker.

Next: Browns make a pair of roster moves

Training camp continues tomorrow, once again running from 3:00 PM to 5:30 PM. Tickets are still available, and can be found here.  The full schedule for Browns training camp, including the Orange and Brown scrimmage, can be found here.