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Top 10: Best of Browns Rookie Minicamp Day 2

May 09, 2015 -- 3:12pm

By Jason Gibbs |



BEREA — Saturday in Berea featured Day 2 of the Browns' Rookie Minicamp. So, when looking at the top 10 takeaways from the day, we start with four items that have nothing to do with rookies, of course.

1.   Josh McCown – Browns Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo: “Things with Josh haven’t changed. He’s the exact same person, the exact same player, he seems like he hasn’t aged a bit in terms of his arm strength or his athleticism. Josh has been the total guy we thought he was going to be. He’s taken command of this offense and he’s taken command of the room. The guys respect him and he’s done some good things on tape so far and we’re pleased with Josh’s progress.”

2.   Johnny Manziel – Browns Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo: “Johnny’s been great, I mean he’s been fantastic. ... Before he stepped foot back in this building is his business. All I know is Johnny the football player and he’s been awesome. He’s been working hard, you know very hard with myself and (QB coach Kevin O’Connell) and doing what we want him to do on the field.”

3.   Johnny Manziel – Browns Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo on his takeaways of Manziel after watching his seven quarters from last season: “First of all I think he has fairly good arm strength. I think he gets the ball out of his hand fast. I think Johnny has a lot of traits that good quarterbacks in this league have and it’s just a matter of getting better at them.”

4.   Johnny Manziel – Browns Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo on if Manziel ends up being the guy, would DeFilippo be developing Johnny based off of what he did at Texas A&M: “Johnny’s game is a little un-orthodox. He likes to escape the pocket. He does a lot of impromptu stuff and the thing Johnny’s doing right now is he’s improving his game of being an NFL quarterback and he’s making great strides in doing that. So I’m the last guy, the last guy that’s going to take Johnny Manziel’s athleticism away from him. I will not do that. I refuse to do that. I told Terrell Pryor the same thing. That’s part of your game. Now we need to refine the other part to make you the complete quarterback.”

5.   The return of the return game in 2015? – Get excited Browns fans, it looks like the days of just fair catching every punt or taking a knee on every kick-off might be finally going away. This team has options. Special Teams Coach Chris Tabor told the media that rookie Duke Johnson is working out at kick-returner and is the developmental stages at punt-returner, Justin Gilbert is going to get opportunities as a kick-returner and Travis Benjamin will be focusing more on punt returning this season. Don’t count out sixth round pick Charles Gaines from Louisville as another guy who could make an impact in the return game as well per Tabor.

6.   Danny Shelton – Browns Defensive Coordinator Jim O’Neil: “He’s a guy that’s going to command four hands on him or two bodies on him and when you have that you keep linebackers clean over the top. And the thing he doesn’t get credit enough for is that he’s not going to have great sack production but he’s going to push the pocket and get the quarterback off his spot and that’s going to open things up for the rest of our pass rushers and that’s what we really needed in the pass game.”

7.   Cameron Erving – Erving lined up at left tackle in day two of rookie minicamp and, frankly, looked like a man among boys. Yes he’s got things to work on. Yes the Browns don’t know where to line him up yet. But he man-handled a number of defensive-linemen today. His toughest competition? Nate Orchard. Those two had some FANTASTIC battles in o-line/d-line drills.

8.   Nate Orchard – Browns Defensive Coordinator Jim O’Neil: “He’s dynamic against the pass, he knows how to get to the quarterback. I can’t tell you how many times George DeLeone (assistant offensive line coach) and Andy Moeller (offensive line coach) walked into my office and told me he (Orchard) ruined offensive line evals throughout the draft for tackles in the Pac-12.”

8a.   On a side note I’ll tell you that he might be the most fun player to talk to of all the rookies. His personality is second to none. Browns fans are really going to like this kid.

9.   Xavier Cooper – Browns Defensive Coordinator Jim O’Neil: “We see him as what we call a ‘big end’ or a d-tackle. I see him as an explosive guy off the line of scrimmage that can get into the backfield and be disruptive. His first-step quickness is unbelievable. I think if you ask me or if you ask Weave (defensive line coach Anthony Weaver), our D-line coach, we thought he had probably the best first step of interior linemen in the draft. We had him ranked, as a coaching staff, very high. We were shocked that he was there and the bottom of the third round. We were pretty excited when the trade happened in the draft and we went to go get him.”

9a.   Side note part 2: Xavier Cooper joins me this Tuesday for five good minutes on Hey Tony (8a-9a on ESPN 1540 KNR2).

10.   Vince Mayle – Friday brought us a surprise when new WR Vince Mayle announced to us he had been practicing with a broken thumb. On Saturday Mayle was wearing a red jersey and running routes only. After practice Browns Head Coach Mike Pettine had this to say about Mayle’s injury: “I don’t know exactly what he did to treat it, whether they thought it could heal without surgery. I know it bothered him some at the Combine. Like I said, we were going to just let him come out here and see how it was, and if he experienced any discomfort, then we would just go ahead and let him get through the camp, not throw to him. Then, let him go ahead and get it fixed right after. We expect him back full for training camp.”

Never a dull moment, Browns fans. 'Till next time!




Inside The Numbers: Johnson, Gaines, and Telfer

May 02, 2015 -- 11:21pm

By Jason Gibbs |



2 – Conference awards in his time at Mississippi State: All-SEC Freshman Team in 2011 and second-team All-SEC after his junior year as voted on by the league’s coaches.

4 – Fourth leading receiver for MSU in 2014. Tallied 28 catches for 380 yards and three touchdowns.

6 – Career high for receptions in a game (vs. Alabama in 2013).

22.5 – Average yards per catch in his career at MSU.

61.5% - Johnson’s junior season. Caught 8-of-13 passes thrown to him on third down, converting seven of those grabs into first downs.

79 – Catches for Johnson during his career at Mississippi State. 68 of those came in his final two years on campus.

1,148 – Total yards receiving for Johnson at MSU. The tight end also added 10 touchdowns in his college career.



2 – Gaines was suspended twice during his freshman season including a five-game suspension that happened at the end of the season.

3 – Played three seasons at Louisville, the first season on offense (WR) and the last two on defense at CB.

4.4 – Gaines time in the 40-yard dash.

7 – Interceptions for Gaines in his two seasons playing CB.

9 – Broke up nine passes in 2014 to lead the Cardinals.

23 – After earning the starting job at CB, Gaines started 23 straight at the position for Louisville.



2 – Two-time All-Pac-12 honorable mention (Senior and Freshman seasons)

3 – Blocked field goals in his career playing on the Trojan special teams, an area where Telfer has the ability to excel on this Browns team.

10.0 – Yards per catch for Telfer in his career.

12 - Career touchdowns for the Trojans.

34 – Career starts at USC.

65 – Career catches at USC.





Browns 4th Round Pick Mayle on Browns QBs: I am excited to work with anybody

May 02, 2015 -- 8:31pm

By ESPN Cleveland Staff |



On his skills and what he brings to the Browns:

“I bring a bigger, physical wide receiver who has speed. I’m willing to play special teams for as long as I have to. I am just a physical competitor who loves to win and hates losing.”

On if he knows much about the Browns’ WR situation:

“I know a little bit of it. I know that they were looking for a wide out because of how many times they visited with me and their interest.”

On Washington State’s offense and how often he was thrown to each game:

“I probably get targeted about 15 times a game. We throw the ball pretty much every play. Our run game is quick screens to the outside. That is part of our run game. [We ran] a lot of vertical routes and a lot of underneath routes. We have pretty much everything in our offense.”

On his path from basketball player to football player at Washington State:

“I started off at a community college playing basketball, and one of my high school coaches told me that ‘you would be a better wide out than you would be a point guard,’ and I took that and listened to it and ran with it, and I ended up at Washington State.”

On some scouting reports questioning his hands and his thoughts on his ability to catch the ball:

“Honestly, I just believe the scouting reports are wrong. Who wouldn’t? The lack of focus catches I have been having, I like to get up field and run right away. There are just catches where I want to catch the ball so fast that I take off running right already.”

On his pre-draft meetings with the Browns:

“I met with Ray Farmer at the Senior Bowl and I met with him at the Combine. I spoke with (wide receivers coach) Joker Philips while I was in junior college when he was at Kentucky. I was considering going there. I met with them again at a visit. I met with Ray Farmer and everyone at the visit.”

On if he has visited the facility in Berea:

“Yes, I have.”

On if he knew that the Browns did not draft a receiver last year or this year until him:

“I did find out a little bit before. I saw it on Twitter a little bit before their pick and then my phone started ringing.”

On if he knows the Browns quarterbacks are and his thoughts on them:

“I know Johnny Manziel and I think it is Josh McCown. I am just excited. It doesn’t matter who the quarterback was. I am excited to work with anybody.”

On why he thinks he was a fourth-round pick, despite his impressive size and production:

“A humbling experience, it’s something that just let me know that there’s something wrong with my game, something I need to improve. That’s how I feel.” 

On what the Browns are getting in Mayle’s teammate DL Xavier Cooper:

“He’s one of the best athletes that I’ve ever seen at that size. We raced each other in the summer practices. At the get-off, he’s there with me and eventually it’s my longer speed. He’s just great with his hands. He’s great in the locker room. He’s a great person to be around. Me and him have been talking to each other throughout this experience and keeping each other up. He’s a great teammate.”

On if there was a mutual Browns scout that serves as a main contact with Mayle and Cooper:

“No, I do not know.”

On Browns DL Danny Shelton, having played him at Washington State:

“I did catch a quick screen against Washington, and he’s one of the people that [tackled me]. I know he’s a heavy body.”





Inside The Numbers: Campbell and Mayle

May 02, 2015 -- 8:22pm

By Jason Gibbs |




2 – 2nd team All-Big Ten Selection as voted on by the league coaches.

3 – Campbell’s three older brothers all played college football (Cornell, Georgetown and Bloomsburg).

4 – Four time Academic All-Big Ten. Campbell is majoring in economics.

4 – Campbell tied for the Big Ten lead this past season with four forced fumbles despite missing four games due to injury.

11 – Tied for third in Northwestern history with 11 career interceptions.

45 – Career starts for Northwestern in his four year career.

100 – Led NU in tackles his freshman year with 100. The tackle numbers fell after his freshman year, dropping to 89 during his second year, 73 his third season and 54 his final season (he did miss four games to injury this past season).

Photo/USA Today


2 – Recorded two 250 yard receiving games in 2014. The only player in the country to achieve that.

2 – Played Division One college football for only two years. Mayle played in 25 games, starting 12 of them.

5 – The lowest number of catches Mayle had in a game this past season.

7 – Seven career 100-yard games in his two-year career at WSU.

14 – Scored 14 touchdowns in 25 games in his Washington State career.

106 – Receptions in the 2014 season which tied a Pac-12 record and set a WSU single season record.

148 – Career catches at Washington State, good for seventh-most in WSU history.

2,022 – Career receiving yards while at Washington State.





Inside the Numbers: Xavier Cooper

May 02, 2015 -- 12:34am

By Jason Gibbs |


Photo/USA Today Sports

ESPN Cleveland goes Inside the Numbers on Xavier Cooper:

1 – Washington State defensive lineman of the year award (2014 season).

1 – One touchdown in his college career on defense; a 29-yard fumble return for a TD.

2 – Two-time winner as WSU’s Strongest Man (2012 and 2013).

13 – Sacks recorded by Cooper in his three year career at Washington State. He finished second on the team this past season with five sacks.

31.5 – Career tackles for a loss at Washington State.

121 – Total tackles in three years at WSU.




Inside the Numbers: Duke Johnson

May 02, 2015 -- 12:29am

By Jason Gibbs |



ESPN Cleveland goes Inside the Numbers on Duke Johnson:

1 – Was ranked as the number one running back in the country coming out of high school. His teammate in high school and college was OT Ereck Flowers who was selected ninth by the Giants in Thursday’s first round.

5 – Number of games Johnson missed his sophomore year at Miami after suffering a season-ending ankle injury eight games into the season. Those were the only games he missed in three years with the Hurricanes.

6.7 – Yards per carry average in college.

26 – Rushing touchdowns for Johnson in his three-year career at Miami.

69 – Total passes caught by Johnson in three years at the “U”.

249 – Career high for most rushing yards in a game this past season against Virginia Tech.

892 – Kick return yards his freshman season at Miami, a UM single season record. Added two touchdowns on returns as well that season.

3,519 – Total yards rushing at Miami which ranks him number one all-time in school history.




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