The Browns were back at practice Wednesday after an off day yesterday. Before practice began, general Manager Michael Lombardi spoke to the media. Guys are competing and improving according to Lombardi. That about summed it up.
The Browns worked on red zone, two minute and one minute drills in full squad scrimmages. Brandon Weeden was inconsistent at best in the evening practice. He was missing top target Josh Gordon, who sat out of practice for the second time with patella tendonitis. Travis Benjamin received the majority of reps with the first team in Gordon’s absence. David Nelson also took snaps with the first team offense.
Weeden overthrew his receivers several times and had a sure interception dropped by Craig Robertson. Another pick was negated with a great pass break-up from Greg Little. Weeden targeted Little several times on the evening, including a pair of out routes to set up a field goal attempt in a one minute drill.
He did throw a deep strike to Travis Benjamin for a touchdown covering 40+ yards, but for every good throw there was at least one play where it seemed like Weeden was not on the same page with his receivers. Greg Little joked with a ball boy after a red zone drill ended in a field goal attempt that he was open on the last play.
“I’m like seven-eleven. I’m always open,” said Little. Joking or not, it seemed like Little was a bit frustrated on the day.
The running game continues to shine going to the right side. Trent Richardson had a couple of nice runs to that side, as did Dion Lewis bouncing to the outside. Lewis has a hesitation move like he is going to cut up field and then bursts to the outside. It was effective two or three times during the practice. Montario Hardesty was back in team drills. He has to feel pressure to be on the field and competing with the number of backs the Browns have in camp. Brandon Jackson also had a few nice runs.
– Weeden may have been inconsistent, but neither Campbell or Hoyer looked much better. Hoyer threw an interception and had a pair of touchdowns against the threes.
– The Browns ran one minute drills simulating the end of the half. The goal was to drive into field goal range and get points before the half ended. Both kickers had the opportunity to try field goals in these simulated drills. Neither really took advantage of the opportunity. Both Graham and Bogotay missed their first chances. Both made their second chances, with Graham plunking the upright and getting it to go through on his second.
– The hit of camp so far was defensive back Kent Richardson hitting wide receiver Tori Gurley over the middle. Gurley held on to the ball and both players popped up after the hit. There was a little helmet to helmet contact. It could have been a hit that would have drawn a flag in the regular season. When asked about the play Rob Chudzinski said he really didn’t have a good angle to see it. He would have to see the film.
– Leon McFadden had a very nice pass break-up on a Jason Campbell pass covering Jordan Norwood, but also was beaten deep.
– Updating some of the position battles, Buster Skrine and Chris Owens both played with the first unit. Johnson Bademosi started at the free safety spot as Tashaun Gipson sat out again with his injury. Chudzinski said Gipson was feeling better, but was still day-to-day.
– The first team defensive line had a pretty healthy rotation on Wednesday. Rubin, Taylor and Winn were the first group of three on the day, but Hughes, Kitchen and Sanford all worked with the first team as well. Desmond Bryant participated in individual drills, but was mostly held out of team drills.
Photo by Jon Cole Photography/WFNY