Thursday afternoon marked the 7th completed practice for the Browns so far in Training Camp. A lot has gone down in those 7 days, so lets just take a look back at some of the highlights.
All in all it has been a good start for the 1st overall pick in April’s draft. Tyrod is firmly the starter, but Mayfield has been opening some eyes this past week. Accuracy, velocity, and leadership are all on display. Funny, haven’t heard much about his height the last 7 days? Funny how that works.
Holy shit. A lot of Baker Mayfield action these past 10 or so days. Through that time, he has been everything the Browns could hope for. It is early, but he is flashing the traits that lead the Browns to draft him first overall. Unfortunately, with it only being camp we are limited to short social media highlight clips, so its hard to truly see how he is doing.
What I am seeing is a guy who is going to stand in the pocket and pick Defense’s apart. He’s got the quickness and mobility to move about the pocket, and create his own throwing lanes. His touch on deep balls appears to be a major strength. Those deep balls float into his receivers hands with great touch. Helps that he has some versatile weapons in the likes of Rashard Higgins, Seth Devalve, David Njoku, and countless runningbacks to mix-match.
By all accounts, he’s been working extremely hard on the field, off the field, and creating bonds with his teammates. According to those covering the team, Mayfield hadn’t thrown a recorded Interception in camp until Friday’s Orange and Browns Scrimmage. Tyrod is still firmly the starter, but Mayfield is doing his very best to challenge Tyrod. Baker has stated numerous times he never wants to have a backup mentality, so it is expected to see him go balls to the wall. It is a bit surprising to hear how well he is doing however.
A bit of a forgotten man coming into camp, Rashard has come in and flashed as a potential sleeper option on the Browns offense during the first week. Last season saw some mild production from Higgins. Nothing special, but he did have himself a few big games. When the rest of our bum receivers were dropping passes, Higgins stepped up to contribute. Also worthy to note his growth. He more than tripled his yardage output, doubled his touchdown total, and caught nearly four times as many passes in 2017 as he did in 2016.
Early in camp, Rashard has developed a strong connection with Baker Mayfield, as the two have hooked up on numerous highlight reel plays. Higgins was going to have to fight for a job this season, especially with the new crop of Wide Receiver talent the Browns brought in last season. He is on the fringe of the depth chart, but has developed into Mayfield’s favorite target so far in camp.
A couple of nice highlight clips there from Hollywood Higgins! Hopefully this will parlay into Preseason. I see the makings of a decent slot receiver. I am rooting for Rashard Hollywood Higgins to make the team.
There is a defense on the Browns as well, might as well show them some love. Denzel Ward came into Training Camp higher up the depth chart than originally expected, as the kid tore up Mini-Camp. So far Denzel has had a strong camp, by all accounts.
Denzel is impressing coaches, and teammates alike so far in 2018. The kid has the quickness to cover guys one on one, and he is reeking havoc at Browns camp. It’s great to see him getting reps with the first team. Right now, looks like Terrance Mitchell and Denzel have been the starting corners. Mitchell has made a whole bunch of plays, leading him to get that number 1 spot opposite Ward. Still, with T.J. Carrie, E.J. Gaines, and Brean Boddy-Calhoun available, we’ll likely see a combination of all of these DB’s.
Jarvis Landry. The dude has been a fucking highlight reel every single day of Browns practice thus far. When the Browns first acquired Landry my very first reaction was: “Oh no, he’ll hate it in Cleveland.” I was way wrong, the dude is quickly becoming the most vocal leader on the team. Yeah he runs his mouth about playoffs, but the dude puts in the work on the field. He’s a fantastic football player, who looks to be energized in a new situation. I can’t wait to see how Todd Haley utilizes Landry in the offense. You can send him deep up the sideline on go routes, he’s sure-handed enough to go across the middle, and he’s got the quickness to beat anyone with the ball in his hands. Hell, you can use Jarvis in the backfield. In the open field this dude makes DB’s miss.
Sigh. Late last week Hue Jackson made the announcement that Joel Bitonio would be moving from his Left Guard position to Left Tackle. It is a brand new position for Joel, and he stated that he preferred not to move just a few days earlier. In addition to that, the Browns stated he would be the last option. Sure enough, Friday saw Joel against Myles Garrett in practice.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but it is discouraging. I was looking to see if Austin Corbett could assume the role, but the Coaching Staff prefers he play Guard. I just don’t like having to place someone with no experience at a position like Left Tackle. If he doesn’t feel comfortable, than hit the waiver wire. The upcoming games will give the fans more of an idea of how he will do, its hard to gauge how well he did when you can barely contact your opponent in practice these days.
TRADE ALERT! Late last night, the Browns shipped Corey Coleman off to Buffalo for a 7th round pick in 2020. Weird that they are moving on so fast from Corey. While injuries, drops, and off-field have plagued Coleman, I thought for sure they’d give him a full training camp to earn a role. Nope. He’s gone. Traded for essentially nothing. A first round pick from two years ago. I am not sad about them losing Corey Coleman. He’s a small-ish receiver with blazing speed and suspect hands. Dime a dozen. The problem with Coleman is his worth ethic, and Football IQ.
Anyway, best of luck to Corey Coleman in Buffalo. I feel like the train has already left the station with this guy. No matter what he does in the future, he will always be remembered for this:
fuck you dude.
Big week ahead for the Browns. Tomorrow we will have the much anticipated premier of Hard Knocks. HBO’s documentary, chronicling the Browns 2018 Training Camp. With a cast of characters like the Browns, this season is bound to be pretty good. We may even get a juicy little nugget regarding the Coleman trade. He missed practice yesterday with a bum hammy, and then BAM. 9 PM hits and your traded. I am curious to see if something happened that lead to the Browns just throwing him at Buffalo.
Even better, we have ourselves a football game this week. Tune in on Thursday 8/8 to catch the Browns take on the New York Giants from MetLife Stadium. Baker Mayfield vs. Saquon Barkley. Can’t fucking wait.
Lets go Browns.