Tuesday was the first day of practice in Berea with the pads on. Here are three takeaways from the session for the Cleveland Browns.
We have heard plenty of reports from Berea but there’s often been one line that follows any good report about the Cleveland Browns — we need to see how it looks when the pads come on.
Practices in shorts are good to get some of the fundamentals down, but teams don’t really know what they have until the pads come on and the real hits start to be delivered.
For the Cleveland Browns, that happened on Tuesday as they had their first padded practice in their 2021 training camp. Here are three quick takeaways from the session.
3. Mack Wilson steps up
The Browns struggled with injuries throughout the 2020 season and unfortunately, it has started to show its head again in 2021. Ronnie Harrison was banged up as was linebacker Anthony Walker. While neither injury appeared to be serious, there has to be concern after the way things went last season.
If there was any good news on Tuesday in that regard, it was how Mack Wilson stepped up in the absence of Walker. On one drive, he picked off a pass thrown by Baker Mayfield intended for David Njoku and took it the other way for a defensive touchdown.
Last season, Wilson was a player who took a lot of criticism. While it was understandable due to his play, Wilson was also slowed down by a knee injury in camp and he never looked like himself.
On Tuesday, he showed signs of being the instinctive and quick player he was as a rookie. If that Mack Wilson comes to play every Sunday, it could be a huge plus for this defense.