Browns rookie camp impressions

Posted by Vic Carucci on July 26, 2012 – 3:10 am

By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor

Here are some impressions from the Browns’ rookie training camp on Wednesday:

>>Josh Gordon is an impressive athlete. You are first struck by his 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame. But the guy isn’t simply large (and larger than all of the other rookie receivers). He looks to be an exceptional athlete. He moves with a great deal of fluidity and catches the ball with relative ease. Gordon’s hands not only appear to be dependable, but they’re also extremely large. A couple of people who shook hands with the second-round pick in the supplemental draft shared that his hand swallowed theirs. Having been out of football because of his suspension at and subsequent transfer from Baylor, the guy is understandably behind in his physical conditioning, although he has plenty of time to catch up before the Sept. 9 season-opener against Philadelphia.

>>Gordon told reporters he didn’t feel he was all that behind from a mental standpoint, given that it was his first on-field action with the Browns. Still, in some drills he was asked to stand to the side and watch, although it was clear he was eager to be on the field for every snap possible.

>>Travis Benjamin has clearly made significant strides since offseason workouts. The fourth-round choice from Miami consistently ran routes with greater precision than he demonstrated in rookie minicamp, full-squad minicamp, and OTA workouts. He also caught everything that came his way, and the speedster showed even greater explosiveness after getting the ball in his hands.

>>Brandon Weeden continued to look like the best thrower of the Browns’ quarterbacks. There was almost no comparison between the velocity and accuracy of his passes and those of the only veterans participating in the rookie camp: Colt McCoy, Seneca Wallace, and Thaddeus Lewis. That said, it was interesting that Pat Shurmur noted that McCoy, Wallace, and Lewis are throwing the ball better and showing improvement from last season simply because they better understand the offensive system.

>>It’s hardly a surprise that Shurmur fielded multiple questions about when he planned to officially name a starting quarterback. It’s even less of a surprise that the coach deftly sidestepped those questions, saying only that “earlier is better” for the decision to be made. But there truly is no rush. Shurmur and the rest of the Browns’ hierarchy would like to see Weeden perform in pads in training-camp practices. Quarterbacks are off-limits for contact during full-pads workouts, but the tempo of those sessions will be faster than what he has seen do date and his response should be somewhat revealing. It also would make sense, perhaps, to see him play a preseason game or two. In the meantime, the Browns could very easily hang onto the rest of their quarterbacks to make sure they are protected against the possibility of an injury to Weeden.

>>For the most part, it looks as if all of the Browns’ rookies have done a superb job of retaining what they learned during offseason drills and meetings. They kept mistakes (and yelling by coaches who aren’t afraid to make loud corrections) to a minimum. That is especially impressive considering that the playbooks they received when reporting for camp on Tuesday are about three inches thick and contain more than a 100 plays.

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET, for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford” on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com.

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/viccarucci


Posted in Carucci's Call | 5 Comments »


5 Responses to “Browns rookie camp impressions”

  1. By ClevelandPOWND on Jul 26, 2012 | Reply

    Good stuff Vic. Keep it coming. I’ll be glued to the blog for the rest of the season. Go Browns!

  2. By 1stAnubiis on Jul 26, 2012 | Reply

    Vic this is good stuff and I look forward to more of your observations and impressions. The train has left the station…Go Browns!

  3. By doomsday55 on Jul 26, 2012 | Reply

    Finally! Football training camp news. Great to hear about the rookie WRs, as well as Weeden. Some writer from Fox Sports predicted the Browns picking first next draft with a 1-15 record. With a better QB, OT, wide receiver corps, & a beast of a running back coming bringing new & tremendously more talent into the offense, I look forward to him eating his words.

    Although I was disappointed in the value of the Schwartz, Hughes, & Benjamin picks, I am VERY optimistic this team is closer than it’s been in a long time to competing in the AFC North.

  4. By dan tishman aka chevyman on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    The Value of Schwartz Hughes, and Benjamin looks to be huge to our team the value of where they were selected thus becomes immaterial! Go Browns!
    ps I’ll admit I am not happy with the fullback from last season and Hardesdy is yet to live up to expectations, but beyond that Heckert seems to be so far ahead of the other GM’s in his vision of player talent it’s almost like he has a cheat sheet! Especially in terms of chemistry and untapped ability! Go Browns!

  5. By Norm Chambers on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Just remember, you never find out how good these players are until they hit….
    That being said, it does look like a more talented team than in recent memory.
    I have been a Browns fan since the late 60’s. Having coaches football for several years, I would be optimistic about this team and the staff guiding them.
    The Browns are in a very tough division and the fans need to be patient. I would think 7-8 wins would be reasonable !!!!

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