The latest Building the Browns episode is out, “Rookie Minicamp,” and it’s the perfect way to get to know the newest Cleveland Browns.
Well, it’s not live football, but it’s close enough for the pandemically deprived – the latest episode of “Building the Browns” is out and it does not disappoint. Called “Rookie Minicamp,” it’s an inside look at the first online gathering of the Cleveland Browns 22 NFL newbies, drafted and undrafted.
And for some of the Browns’ major pickups (Alabama tackle Jedrick Wills, LSU safety Grant Delpit, LSU linebacker Jacob Phillips, FAU tight end Harrison Bryant and Michigan receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones), BtB also gives a quick look at their combine interviews, along with clips of that life-changing moment in their living room surrounded by family when they found out they were going to be a Brown.
“I’m not crying, my eyes are just sweating.”
This BtB is the perfect way to get to know the new faces on the team. There’s plenty to learn about them, but here are several entertaining takeaways that caught my eye.
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These are all directly from the episode – don’t read further until you watch the show!!!
Plenty of gems in this BtB, but my five favorites are:
1) Joe Thomas on Jedrick Wills: “He loves playing tackle, he loves kicking a…”
During the part where legendary Browns left tackle Joe Thomas is breaking down some of Jedrick Wills’ college film with him on a Zoom call, you see Thomas’ face light up as a shot of Wills’ celebrating an effective run block comes on the screen.
During the play, Wills helps break open a run despite the team being way down on the scoreboard, then he celebrates with a move as impressive as his block. First a full left leg kick in the air as both arms mime a slam dunk between his outstretched thighs, followed by a series of huge helmet nods that say, “Yes, yes, I saw it, too!”
Joe Thomas squeals like a kid who just got double their allowance and says Wills is “going to be a great fit for the Cleveland Browns” because “he loves playing tackle, he loves kicking ass!“
“I’m not pumping my fist in the air, my arm was asleep and I’m waking it.”
2) Grant Delpit trying to get Jacob Phillips to turn his phone the right way.
Brilliant on defense, so-so on Zoom calls, Phillips’ phone is the only vertical screen on the call and it’s funny to watch Delpit try and get him to make it right. He keeps yelling, “Turn your phone sideways!” like he’s talking to his 90-year old auntie. “Gotta teach this dude everything, bro.”
“I’m not pointing at a defensive leader on my screen, my finger’s just stretching.”
3) Harrison Bryant’s handmade bench-press and poker chips
If you’re wondering if FAU tight end Harrison Bryant is ready to work hard despite the quarantine, check out the garage-gym bench-press he’s rigged up out of two-by-fours and cement buckets. Safe? Have no fear, he’s “put a lot of weight on it.” Hell yeah!
At one point during Bryant’s combine interview, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski asks how he learned the Senior Bowl playbook so quickly. Bryant says he did it with the help of poker chips. Huh?
Apparently, he worked with quarterbacks coach Jordan Palmer, who taught him to mark poker chips with X’s and O’s and use them on the table in front of you to help learn all the plays. Brilliant!
“My mind’s not blown, my brain’s just widening.”
4) Donovan Peoples-Jones took his draft call shirtless
You never know when you’re going to get the phone call of a lifetime, but Michigan wide receiver Peoples-Jones got HIS on the way to the shower.
It’s such a real moment, him telling the camera “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” and Browns Senior VP Peter John-Batiste finally asking, “Gonna put a shirt on?” Donovan’s genuine smile in that moment shows who he is, the same as a flash of anger or embarrassment would have.
“I’m not smiling ear to ear, my teeth are just breathing.”
5) Pass game coordinator and wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea’s presentation
No nonsense leadership from O’Shea, whose persona is like if a pirate captain retired and became a biker. He breaks down the job of an NFL receiver into three basic parts: Get open, catch the ball, block in the run game. And who gives closing advice that’s a BtB showstopper: Say less, do more. Just shut the f… up and work.
“My jaw’s not dropping, my mouth’s just taking a breather.”
From the front office to the football field, it appears the theme of the 2020 Cleveland Browns boils down to one simple idea: Talk less, work more.
This BtB episode is proof that these talented and unique rookies are on board with that.
“My blood’s not pumping, my heart’s just...” Nah, it’s pumping, and I believe that’s burnt orange and seal brown blood it’s circulating through my football veins. Thanks for 22 minutes of that, BtB. It’s not live football, but it’s a good sign we’re getting close.
What were your favorite takeaways?