Reporting Daryl Ruiter
DETROIT (92.3 The Fan) - Two weeks into training camp, the Browns have had enough.
Hitting each other that is.
While the pushing and shoving has been minimal, coach Pat Shurmur has noticed the tension building within the team.
“This is the time of training camp fights break out, guys are tired of practicing against one another,” Shurmur said. “And so two weeks into this thing, it’s time for us to see what we’ve got against another opponent.”
Shurmur gets his first look at his young team Friday night in Detroit as the Browns will square off with the Lions at Ford Field in the battle for the barge – also known as the Great Lakes Classic.
“It’s always big playing that first preseason game because you go 14, 15 days of practicing and hitting yourself and hitting your own guys,” left tackle Joe Thomas said. “So that first game against a different color jersey is always a lot of fun.”
Fun might be the last word to come out of the Browns locker room after they take on a Lions team hungry to prove that they weren’t just a 1 hit wonder in 2011.
Detroit finished last season 10-6 and are coming off of their first playoff season since 1999.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns last season but defending anything thrown by someone else not named Brandon Weeden is appealing to cornerback Dimitri Patterson.
“Anytime you can see another color other than your own it’s a beautiful thing,” Patterson said. “The preseason is a time where you want to get back into the flow of the game. The game is different from practice.
“It’s one of those things where you want to get in game condition – that game atmosphere, and just play with a game mentality and that pace.”
With star corner Joe Haden potentially facing a 4-game suspension for reportedly failing a drug test, Patterson might need to prepare to himself to see the field more.
As for the starters, Shurmur is expected to play them for the first quarter before turning the game over the second team in the second quarter and the reserves in the second half.
Despite the rotating lineups on both sides of the ball, Shurmur is expecting a premium effort.
“Because nobody’s going to play the whole game, what you want is to go in and be generally efficient,” Shurmur said. “You don’t want penalties, you want to get lined up right not to many men in the huddle. You want to see the quarterback be able to call the play, execute.
“The same thing on defense; get lined up properly, defeat the blocks, address the gaps, and tackle the ball carrier. And then when they drop back to pass, I want to see some pass rush.”
It’s the first of 4 live auditions for players who are on the bubble.
Entering camp, 44 of the final 53 rosters spots are pretty much spoken for leaving a grand total of 9 jobs up for grabs.
Offense: WR Greg Little, LT Joe Thomas, LG Jason Pinkston, C Alex Mack, RG Shawn Lauvao, RT Mitchell Schwartz, TE Jordan Camereon, WR Mohamed Massaquoi, QB Brandon Weeden, FB Owen Marecic, RB Montario Hardesty
Defense: LE Jabaal Sheard, DT Ahtyba Rubin, DT John Hughes, RE Frostee Rucker, SLB Scott Fujita, MLB D’Qwell Jackson, WLB Kaluka Maiava, LCB Joe Haden, RCB Sheldon Brown, FS Eric Hagg, SS T.J. Ward
Special Teams: K Phil Dawson, P/H Reggie Hodges, KR/PR Josh Cribbs, LS Christian Yount
Offense: WR Nate Burleson, TE Brandon Pettigrew, LT Jeff Backus, LG Rob Sims, C Dominic Raiola, RG Stephen Peterman, RT Gosder Cherilus, TE Tony Scheffler, WR Calvin Johnson, QB Matthew Stafford, RB Kevin Smith
Defense: LE Cliff Avril, DT Corey Williams, DT Ndomukong Suh, RE Kyle Vanden Bosch, OLB Justin Durant, MLB Stephen Tulloch, OLB DeAndre Levy, LCB Chris Houston, RCB Alphonso Smith, FS Louis Delmas, SS Amari Speevey
Special Teams: K Jason Hanson, P/H Ben Grahm, KR/PR Stefan Logan, LS Don Muhlbach