Twice in practice Friday night, Phil Taylor got into a scuffle with center Alex Mack. The first occurred in 11-on-11 drills. Taylor took a swing at Mack after the two were tangled during a play. Taylor hit the top of Mack’s helmet with his hand. The next time was in an offensive/defensive line double team drill. At the snap Taylor pushed his forearm into Mack’s neck and kept driving after the whistle. Mack of course wasn’t too thrilled with the move. When asked about the skirmish, the Browns’ defensive tackle said, “It’s just practice. Just practice.”
Maybe he was inspired by Michael Dean Perry, who visited camp today and spoke to the defensive line during practice. Perry was a second round draft pick of the Browns in 1988, and spent seven seasons in Cleveland. His 51.5 sacks are good for fourth in Browns history. He is also a five time Pro-Bowler.
Or maybe it was just par for the course for a somewhat strange practice all together.
Trent Richardson sat out practice out of the blue. Afterwards coach Chudzinski said Richardson was held out because he was kicked in the shin during Wednesday’s practice. The same shin that kept him out of mini-camp. He also said that it was part of the plan to keep rest Richardson. He could not say whether Trent would practice tomorrow, but assured the scrum that had today been a game Trent would have gone.
Jimmy Haslam, Joe Banner and Michael Lombardi were all out watching practice today, but the strangest sight was former team president Mike Holmgren walking out of the facility and onto the practice field. Holmgren was in town for the Hall of Fame festivities and decided to come up and visit the team.
During the first special teams segment, punter T.J. Conley launched a lame duck 15 yards down field and way into the crowd, nearly going over the fence.
Things started out slowly for the offense as well. Brandon Weeden had passes deflected at the line three times early on in practice. With no Trent Richardson or Monterio Hardesty practicing, the first carry of the night went to Dion Lewis. All of the running backs had opportunities however.
In fact, it may be a tad premature to fill out depth charts based on who gets what reps. The Browns are really working several players in with the first unit. Jason Pinkston was at right guard again with the first unit, while Shaun Lauvao took a turn at center with the second unit. John Greco was back at the right guard spot after snapping with the twos on Thursday.
The hurry up offensive drills didn’t go well if you were wearing a brown offense jersey. They were allowed to kick field goals for the practice, even though they ran out of time most drives. Brandon Bogotay made three of four kicks. Shayne Graham was given the night off to rest. He stood on the sidelines in a baseball hat.
Tashaun Gipson was back in team drills Friday, back came down on his leg awkwardly and came out of 7-on-7 drills. Chris Owens and Buster Skrine continue to flip-flop in practice, as do the defensive linemen. Billy Winn played left end for much of practice Friday, and Desmond Bryant was back at his right end spot. Rubin was given a rest for much of the team drills.
Following individual drills, the team got back together for 11-on-11 red zone drills. The offense was much better in the second half of practice. Weeden hit Greg Little twice for scores, Dion Lewis once and Davone Bess once but that throw would never have gotten off in a game as Weeden would have been hit by an outside rusher.
Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer also had nice plays in the red zone drills. Hoyer hit Norwood and Benjamin for scores. Campbell also hit Jordan Norwood.
– T.J. Ward did not practice again.
– Trevin Wade sat out with ‘tightness’.
– Brad Smelley sat out with a hamstring issue.
Rob Chudzinski said that Saturday’s practice at the stadium will be full pads, but will be a regular practice format, not a scrimmage like maybe has been the case because of the first preseason game being on Thursday night.