BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Sacks and touchdowns in the red zone highlighted the fourth practice of training camp.
Gregg Williams’ defense got after the quarterbacks during team 11-on-11 drills dropping QBs for sacks 6 times in the span of 11 plays.
“Obviously, we don’t want the sacks,” head coach Hue Jackson said of his offense. “I want the defense to get more turnovers. I want the offense not to give up the sacks and take care of the ball better.”
It should be noted that Joel Bitonio and Joe Thomas were not on the field Sunday when Cody Kessler was virtually sacked three times over a 4-snap stretch that also included a false start by tight end Seth DeValve. DeShone Kizer was bagged twice and Brock Osweiler once over 4 team 11-on-11 periods: siren, 2-minute drill, red zone and goal to go.
Ibraheim Campbell, Christian Kirksey, Cam Johnson, Desmond Bryant, Joe Schobert and Xavier Cooper tallied the sacks while Nate Orchard batted down a ball from Kizer. Schobert’s sack actually came before Kizer found receiver Jordan Leslie deep on a double move. Leslie celebrated the score but Jackson blew the play dead and said that Kizer was in the grass.
“We understand that it is just four days,” Jackson said. “We just have to keep working. I’m just trying not to make too big of where we are. We just have a lot of work to do as a football team.”
Osweiler ended the day with a hot hand in the red zone throwing 3 consecutive touchdown passes – 2 to running back Duke Johnson and the other to receiver Rashard Higgins – before misfiring on his final throw and the final whistle of the day blew.
Johnson figures to be even more of a multi-purpose weapon running and catching for Jackson this year.
“He is doing sensationally. We ask a lot of Duke,” Jackson said. “Duke is doing a lot of things for us. He is a terrific football player. Glad he is a part of our organization and team. He is very valuable to what we do.”
QB Derby – The quarterbacks aren’t exactly lighting it up early in camp.
Unofficially Kessler went 3-7 with a touchdown and 3 sacks and Kizer 5-10 with a touchdown and sack during the 4 team periods mentioned earlier. Osweiler had the best day statistically going 6-12 with 3 touchdowns and 2 sacks.
Although Kenny Britt and Corey Coleman weren’t on the field, Jackson still expects plays to be made.
“You still have to be able to put the ball in the end zone and find a way to get your offense executed,” Jackson said. “We will evaluate this tape just as hard as we would if those other guys were there.”
Early Surprise – Running back Matt Dayes, selected in the seventh round continues to turn heads early in camp.
Dayes scored during a goal-to-go drill late when he started left, spun right and pushed through three defenders to score late in practice.
“He has a chip on his shoulder,” Jackson said. “I don’t [feed into that]. I think the kid does. I think he is disappointed in that way that he didn’t get picked earlier, but he is demonstrating out here on the field the talent that he has. He has had a great camp so far.”
Saturday afternoon Dayes had a 25-yard burst up the middle that drew ohhs and ahhhs from the crowd.
Cold Tubs – A row of tubs and inflatable pools lined the east end of the practice fields Sunday for players to take a dip after practice.
It’s all part of the team’s strategy to prevent the rash of soft tissue injuries that have plagued the team in the past during camp
“There have been reports and data and all that stuff that three days of running like this, all of the sudden, that is when all the pulls and all the soft tissue injuries happen,” Jackson said. “Making them get in these ice tubs as a football team, hopefully, that will help with recovery better so that we can miss some of the soft tissue issues.”
As part of that program Jackson continues to limit practice time as well.
Sunday WRs Britt and Coleman, CBs Joe Haden and Jason McCourty, RB Isaiah Crowell, C Austin Reiter, LT Thomas, LG Bitonio, OL John Greco and TE Randall Telfer worked on the side.
Injury Report – Safety Ed Reynolds will miss “significant time” according to Jackson with the knee injury suffered Saturday. It is not a torn ACL according to the team but no timetable is set for his return.
Roster Move – The Browns signed OL Kitt O’Brien and waived OL Chris Barker with an injury designation. Barker was carted off during Saturday’s practice with a left Achilles injury. O’Brown, who spent 2 seasons with the Colts practice squad, played 2 years (2013-14) with the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League.
Up Next – Practice Monday 3-5:30 p.m.