By: Will Burge
Quarterbacks rotate – Brandon Weeden took the initial snaps of team drills with the starting offense but throughout practice he and Colt McCoy rotated. I would estimate Weeden took about 70% of the first team snaps but McCoy led the 1’s later in practice when the team did 11 on 11 drills for a second time.
After one series of leading the first team, however, Weeden stepped back in and played with the starters again.
Weeden going deep – One of the things everyone loved about Brandon Weeden coming out of Oklahoma State was that there is no question about his arm strength and he is not afraid to throw down field. He put those skills on display today every chance he could.
In QB and WR drills, Weeden threw a pass about 40 yards through the air to Carlton Mitchell. Mitchell made the catch but decided that wasn’t enough and ran the final 40 yards into the end zone screaming the entire way. Mitchell continues to look improved in camp but still needed some extra coaching on his blocking form. It is always something.
Ever since rookie-camp took place, Weeden has been looking to connect with Travis Benjamin on a deep streak down the sidelines. He finally got one. In 11 on 11 drills, Weeden hit Benjamin with a 45 yard bomb for a touchdown on the right sideline. The Browns are hoping they can replicate that many times over this season.
Defensive back youth movement – Everyone knows about Joe Haden and TJ Ward but some of the younger guys in the defensive secondary have made their presence felt. No one had a better practice, however, than second year corner James Dockery. He broke up four passes and intercepted Colt McCoy once.
Buster Skrine looked good again today as well. He broke up one of Weeden’s attempts to hit Benjamin on a deep streak down the sideline. Eric Hagg was on the receiving end of an interception when he jumped a comeback route that Brandon Weeden was trying to squeeze into Josh Cribbs.
A special teams surprise – The focus on third year running back Montario Hardesty has been running out of the backfield and whether or not he will make the roster. The decision whether or not to keep him around might end up hinging on special teams though.
Hardesty took reps on special teams coverage and with the kickoff return team as a blocker. He did not look comfortable and you could tell he has not had much time at that position. At this point, he needs to embrace any chance possible to make the roster.
|Will Burge covers the Browns for ESPNCleveland.com and hosts 3 Deep, Monday - Friday from 7pm-9pm.|
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