BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Browns rookie defensive end Myles Garrett is on the mend.
Garrett is out of the walking boot, a big step towards returning to the field.
He walked through the locker room without it and then rode the stationary bike during the portion of practice open to reporters Wednesday, a sure sign his ailing ankle is getting better.
“Close, close,” head coach Hue Jackson, who declined to say that the No. 1 pick will be ready this week, said. “Let’s just see where he is but he’s getting there. There’s huge progress that’s been made so hopefully we’ll see where he is.”
Garrett suffered the high ankle sprain during practice when a teammate inadvertently stepped on his lower right leg on Sept. 6 and has missed the first 2 games of the season as a result.
Communication Breakdown – A breakdown in communication rather than the decision to play rookie safety Jabrill Peppers deep against the Ravens was the problem defensively in Sunday’s 24-10 loss.
With Peppers deeper, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Ravens QB Joe Flacco were able to take advantage of short, intermediate and underneath routes finding tight ends, running backs and slot receivers with plenty of space around them but no defenders.
“We were flying hitting, playing really physical, and the communication aspect of coverages and fronts and pass rush and just getting everybody on the same page, we’re going to work hard on that this week, and that’s going to be all cleaned up,” middle linebacker Joe Schobert said.
As the MIKE backer, Schobert is essentially the quarterback of the defensive unit and he admitted that he must improve.
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has placed Peppers deep the first 2 weeks to prevent big balls deep down the field over their heads, which Schobert said is no excuse for the breakdowns up front.
“They can still try to take their shots if they want with him back there, but obviously, we don’t want anything to go over our heads,” Schobert said. “Our goal is to make everything check down and rally to it and tackle it for a short gain in the pass game. So that’s kind of our philosophy and we need to be able to communicate so we can do that.”
Peppers, who said he’s never played that deep before on defense, understands where Willias is coming from. He also sees the results.
“How many deep balls have we given up?” Peppers said. “We haven’t really been tried deep, so that is the game plan right now. Until they change it, that is what the game plan is.”
Full Roster – The Browns filled the roster spot opened with receiver Corey Coleman landing on injured reserve Tuesday by signing defensive back Reggie Porter off of the Ravens’ practice squad Wednesday.
Porter is a rookie out of Utah who was originally signed by Indianapolis as an undrafted free agent. Porter spent the first 2 weeks of the season on Baltimore’s practice squad. He recorded 16 pass break-ups and two interceptions in 36 collegiate games.
Emergency QB – Receiver Ricardo Louis and running back Duke Johnson serve as Jackson’s emergency quarterbacks should DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan be forced out of game action, which they came within a play of last Sunday in Baltimore.
“We’ll be okay,” Jackson said. “We’ll be in the single wing, baby.”
Jackson has kept the No. 3 QB, Cody Kessler, inactive the first 2 weeks of the season and the migraine that Kizer suffered against the Ravens that forced him to miss 4 offensive series legitimized the question as to what the plan would be should Kizer and Hogan depart.
Injury Report – DNP: DE Myles Garrett (ankle), LB Jamie Collins (concussion), WR Sammie Coates (hamstring), LT Joe Thomas (knee/rest); LIMITED: DL T.Y. McGill (back); FULL: WR Kenny Britt (knee), TE Randall Telfer (knee), RG Kevin Zeitler (thumb)