By Tony Grossi | ESPNCleveland.com
Observations, notes, quotes and some facts on Day 8 of Browns training camp …
* Running back Trent Richardson took it on the shin again. Yes, that shin – the one that kept him out of OTAs and minicamp in June. Richardson took a kick to the shin in Thursday’s practice and was held out Friday.
Richardson said he was told he would be kept out of Saturday’s Family Night practice in FirstEnergy Stadium. Sunday is an off day, so he expects to be back on Monday.
“Ain’t no problem” Richardson said. “Just coach letting me get a little rest, saying I’ve been running a lot lately. I was kind of upset, fighting with coach a little bit for me to practice. He was just resting me. You know, it’s August. There ain’t nothing wrong. I’ll be back out here when he lets me back out here.”
Coach Rob Chudzinski and Richardson both said he would have played in a game.
“It’s part of the plan we have for him to continue to keep him healthy and get him ready for the season,” Chudzinski said.
Richardson did not play in any preseason games as a rookie because he was recovering from an arthroscopic cleanup procedure on a knee. He vows to play in the preseason opener against the St. Louis Rams on Thursday – and all other preseason games this summer.
“I’m playing all of ‘em,” Richardson said. “Every game this year. That’s my word and that’s my goal.”
* It was a veritable who’s who of visitors at practice on Friday, including – are you ready for this? – former club president Mike Holmgren.
Yes, the Big Show was a surprise visitor, donning black silk shirt, shorts and flip-flops. He didn’t care to be interviewed much, but told media he was in town to honor good friend Bill Parcells’ induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday night.
Holmgren chatted on the field with owner Jimmy Haslam, CEO Joe Banner and several other employees. Richardson, in particular, was ecstatic to see Holmgren.
“It (means) a lot when I see old Holmgren,” Richardson said. “He gave me a shot that nobody took on me. They jumped up one spot (from No. 4 to No. 3 to draft him in 2012). There’s a lot between me and him. There’s nothing but much love because he changed my life, changed my family life. That opportunity, I have to give him a lot of praise for that.”
Other notable visitors were CBS announcer Jim Nantz, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, and former Browns Michael Dean Perry, Eric Metcalf and Roman Oben. Also, NFL referee Ed Hochuli – he of the bouncing biceps – officiated the practice with a skeletal crew.
* I tried to talk Chudzinski into putting together a live team period to give fans something to look forward to at Family Night practice Saturday. But he would have none of it.
“We’re gonna treat it like a regular practice (with full pads),” the coach said. “The plan is the plan. We have some things we need to get installed and that’s the priority. We’ll get plenty of good work done. Our guys will be excited and fired up. The fans will get a good show.”
Gates open in FirstEnergy Stadium at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. Practice is from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. A fireworks and laser light show will follow.
* Nose tackle Phil Taylor and center Alex Mack had a brief shoving match in one-on-one blocking drills. Coaches and players broke it up before tempers overheated.
“It’s practice,” Taylor snorted, when asked about it. “Just practice.”
Chudzinski said, “It’s the middle of training camp. You get tired going against each other every day. They’ve had a good competition. That makes everybody better. Those two guys have been going at it. We’re hoping they’re going to be outstanding players for us.”
* With Shayne Graham getting a day of rest, Brandon Bogotay attempted all field goals after two-minute drills and made three of four. He missed wide left from 41 yards.
* Not practicing were running back Montario Hardesty (hamstring tendon), fullback Brad Smelley (hamstring), cornerback Trevin Wade (tightness) and receiver David Nelson (knee).
|Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com. |
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 46 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
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