Reporting Daryl Ruiter
Updated 8/22/2012 6:03 p.m.
BEREA (92.3 The Fan) - The Cleveland Browns put the wraps on another training camp Wednesday morning and quarterback Brandon Weeden ended it in style.
Weeden was sharp and arguably had his best practice to date.
“I would say so, yeah,” Weeden said. “I think today, it just happened we ran a lot of plays I really enjoy running, and plays that I’m comfortable with. But on the flip side, we had guys that ran great routes and were in areas where I could throw the ball firmly and let them make a play.
“I felt like I had a pretty good day but, like I tell you guys all the time, I say it’s good, but I haven’t seen the tape. It’s never as good, and never as bad as you think it is. Overall it was probably my best day of camp, if I had to say without seeing the tape.”
Much of the focus of 11 on 11 and 7 on 7 work was red zone offense – a perfect choice for the final practice open to the public.
Fans got to see a lot of touchdown throws from Weeden, who hit Josh Gordon and Greg Little for a couple of scores while also connecting with Travis Benjamin and Alex Smith for 6.
“I think my confidence as far as what we do has come a long way,” Weeden said. “It’s not 100 percent all the time, it’s not perfect all the time, but I think it’s not going to be in this league either. So overall, I think when I came in and we were calling plays, my head was spinning so fast I couldn’t even see what was going on in front of me, to where we’re at now.
“I feel I know what everyone’s doing, I know protections, I know how everything’s going to unfold, it makes it a heck of a lot easier to function.”
Weeden also made a sharp throw to Mohamed Massaquoi over the middle for a first down.
Weeden feels that he’s finally getting the hang of the system and it’s starting to show on the field.
“I’m not where I need to be, but I’m still making steps in the right direction,” Weeden said. “I think there’s just a comfort level playing quarterback, especially in this system in this league. And so I think it takes some time. I wasn’t stressing out over it, it was going to happen, I was going to continue to learn. But I think moving forward in the right direction.
“I feel pretty good with where I’m at day 21.”
On The Mend: Running back Trent Richardson is on target to be ready for the season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles Shurmur said Wednesday.
“I would like to think he is ahead of rehab,” Shurmur said. “He’s progressing very well, so we’ll see.
“He’ll be out here soon.”
The Browns are hoping to get Richardson back on the practice field sometime next week to at least run.
Shurmur would not go as far as to speculate whether or not Richardson could play in the preseason finale next Thursday against Chicago.
“I can’t say that at this point,” Shurmur said. “I don’t know that.”
Richardson has not been seen or heard from since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Aug. 9 but has been working hard behind the scenes to get back.
“I think he had to pay rent in the training room,” Weeden joked. “He’s lived in there, which is good. That’s a part of being a professional but he’s busting his tail in there to get ready. He seems to be doing great and he’s very optimistic that he’ll be back sooner rather than later.”
Home Free: The end of camp means no more nights in a hotel for the players – and they can’t wait to be free.
“I can’t wait to get to my bed,” linebacker D’Qwell Jackson joked. “Camp is camp, but for whatever reason mentally, when you break camp, just to be in your own bed and drink your own water, it gets you going for the season.”
Quarterback Brandon Weeden echoed Jackson’s sentiments.
“Man, I am more than ready,” Weeden said. “I think as I’m 28, married, and you’re staying in the hotel with bed check at 11. So if I do want to go to bed at 10, I can’t even go to bed because I’m going to get woken up after an hour of sleep. So I’m not going to miss that. But I think it’s just part of the fun of training camp. But I’m definitely looking forward to being in my own place.”
The players will spend Wednesday night at the team hotel before being allowed to return home Thursday.
Thank You: The Browns had record crowds during camp and the support didn’t go unnoticed by Shurmur or the players.
Shurmur ended practice early so the entire team could go sign autographs.
“We have a very passionate group of fans that come out every single day,” Shurmur said. “For the fans to be here to inspire the players, I think is just outstanding. I’ve been a couple of places, and for practices, you don’t get nearly the turnout that we do here.”
The Browns drew 37,136 fans during 14 open sessions to the public. The 2,653 average per session was an increase of 1,047 fans per practice from a year ago.
19,412 fans attended Family Night at Cleveland Browns Stadium on August 8, up from 12,354 at the same event in 2011.
Calling It A Career: Former Browns guard Eric Steinbach has decided to retire after attempting a comeback with the Miami Dolphins.
“I really enjoyed playing alongside Eric,” Browns pro bowl left tackle Joe Thomas said in a statement. “He had 4 great seasons here as a starter. Eric had an outstanding career and I wish him and his family nothing but the best as he moves on to the next chapter in his life.”
Steinbach missed only 3 games in his first 8 NFL seasons with Cincinnati and the Browns before a back injury sidelined him for the 2011 season – his last in Cleveland.
Injuries: A total of 13 players missed practice Wednesday morning.
RB Chris Ogbonnaya (undisclosed), TE Ben Watson (undisclosed), DB Antwuan Reed (undisclosed), CB Dimitri Patterson (right ankle), S Ray Ventrone (right hamstring), S Usama Young (reported hamstring), RB Trent Richardson (left knee scope), DT Scott Paxson (right knee), OL Oniel Cousins (general soreness), LB Scott Fujita (general soreness), LB Emmanuel Acho (general soreness), DT Phil Taylor (pectoral surgery)and LB Chris Gocong (torn right Achilles tendon) did not practice
Up Next: The Browns will host the Philadelphia Eagles Friday night at Cleveland browns Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30.