BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – The Browns put of the pads for the first time Sunday morning.
Coach Pat Shurmur called it his favorite non-gameday event of the year.
Shurmur focused on 3rd and long, the running game and play action during the team’s 11 on 11 drills.
“Obviously, I focused on Trent (Richardson),” Shurmur said. “Trent hits it up in there pretty good. I thought he did a good job. I thought the other running backs flashed a little bit. I thought Montario (Hardesty) had a couple good runs, Brandon Jackson and Chris Ogbonnaya.”
Richardson showed why he has the potential to be lethal.
His size speed, strength and agility were on full display as he made several cutbacks during bursts up the middle.
“It felt good out here in pads, everybody getting their sea legs back and getting back into the groove of hitting, and good contact,” Richardson said. “It felt good. I love contact, and football’s a contact sport so if you don’t love contact, you’re in the wrong sport.”
Hardesty was equally as impressive. He looks lean and mean – and is healthy.
“He looks healthy and fresh right now,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “So I think that’s helping him flash.
“That’s as quick as I’ve seen [him]. That was as good as I’ve seen Montario look.”
Now he just needs to stay that way.
Weight Watchers: Add Josh Cribbs and Trent Richardson to the growing number of Browns who hit the gym and shed a few pounds this offseason.
Cribbs said Saturday that he lost 12 pounds while Richardson slimmed down by 5.
In Shurmur’s eyes, the weight loss is a good thing.
“I try to inspire them to do a lot of things, but I think it will help him [Cribbs],” Shurmur said. “As you become a player on the back nine of your career, I think it really helps you to not carry extra weight, that’s just my opinion, if you’re a skill player so I think I expressed that to him.”
Greg Little dropped 14, Mohamed Massaquoi trimmed about 15 and Montario Hardesty also shed a few lbs before camp as well.
Barks From The Pound: As is the usual for Browns camp, oohs, ahhs, barks and cheers were a plenty but there were also a few jeers.
Tight end Alex Smith dropped a pass in coverage during 7-on-7 and a fan yelled “the NFL will stand for ‘Not For Long’ if you keep dropping those.”
Newcomer Josh Gordon showed his size, speed and hands as he made several nice catches Sunday. Following a catch up the seam a fan yelled, “great catch Josh, now stay off the weed.”
As Brandon Weeden, Richardson, Hardesty, Gordon and Travis Benjamin continued to get love from the crowd, defensive end Frostee Rucker heard enough. He turned and yelled to the fans, “you can cheer for the defense too.”
After the next 2 snaps, Bronx cheers reigned down from the bleachers that lined the field for the D.
Packed House: A standing room only crowd of 4,200 fans packed the Browns training facility Sunday.
The Browns say that it was the largest crowd since the team started tracking attendance in 2005. The previous record was 3,673 during the first open session of the 2010 season.
Filling In: With defensive tackles Ahtyba Rubin and Phil Taylor out with injuries, veterans Scott Paxson and Brian Schaefering continue to get first team reps up front in their place.
Shurmur hasn’t forgotten about his two rookies John Hughes and Billy Winn. Both lined up with the second team defense against the first team offense.
“I think Hughes and Winn are a little bit quicker,” Shurmur said. “Those two guys were playing side-by-side today in the second unit against the ones. We did that on purpose. It was one-O against the two-D in that last scrimmage so by design we put those two guys in there so they could play and that’s one of the things I’m curious about when I go in there [to review tape], but I think they did a pretty decent job.”
Still Out: Defensive tackles Ahtyba Rubin & Phil Taylor, tight end Evan Moore, fullback Eddie Williams and receiver Carlton Mitchell did not practice Sunday.
Rookie cornerback Trevin Wade returned to practice after sitting out Saturday.
Up Next: The Browns will practice Monday morning at 8:45. They will be in full pads again. Gates open at 7:45.