By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor
Here are my five biggest takeaways from the sixth day of practice at Browns training camp:
>>Dion Lewis likes to run inside. It’s striking that, despite standing only 5-foot-9 and weighing 195 pounds (making him relatively small for the NFL), Dion Lewis constantly looks to cut inside on runs and after pass receptions. Defenders almost seem to be caught by surprise, assuming that Lewis’ preference would be to go outside, which he also does well. He continues to turn heads with is tremendous explosiveness and speed. It looks more and more like the Browns will have to find a role for Lewis in the backfield to complement Trent Richardson, especially in the red zone.
>>Phil Taylor on officials. The idea of having officials at practice is to help give players a sense of what they can expect during games and to develop the necessary discipline to help avoid penalties. They’re supposed to function as sort of an extension of the coaching staff. But for players, zebras will always be zebras. Just ask nose tackle Phil Taylor, who reminded one official standing within ear shot: “You don’t call false starts (on the offense), but you call off-sides (on the defense). It’s a defensive practice, too!”
>>What does Greg Little have in common with 7-Eleven? Little has had a strong camp. He isn’t simply catching most of the throws that come his way. He’s making numerous difficult receptions. Little also seems to be maturing as he enters his third season. He is consistently spending extra time after practice catching balls from the JUGGS machine. But Little can have his moments of frustration. After failing to have a pass thrown to him in a seven-on-seven red-zone drill, Little turned toward fans on the sideline and said, “I’m like 7-Eleven. I’m always open.” Not an original line, but he made his point.
>>“Opportunity Period.” Coach Rob Chudzinski wants to make sure his younger players have the best chance possible to demonstrate they can make the team. So at the end of practice, as the veteran and more established players go through stretching and/or running drills, the rookies and less established players run through additional plays in what Chudzinski calls an “opportunity period.”
>>Food classification. As he led players through their post-practice stretching, strength and conditioning coach Brad Roll made a point of reminding them of the difference between “athletic-performance” food and “comfort” food. “Comfort food is too much cheese, too much sauce, too much bun, too much fried,” Roll explained. The point: stay clear of the comfort stuff … especially with a weigh-in coming up in 14 days. Overweight players are fined.
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