By Tony Grossi | ESPNCleveland.com
Observations, notes, quotes and some facts on Day 11 of Browns training camp …
* So who had Christian Yount in the contract extension lottery? The long snapper signed a five-year extension on Tuesday. He joins left guard John Greco as potential free agents signed up by the new Joe Banner regime.
The notable pending free agents whose contracts expire after this season are center Alex Mack, safety T.J. Ward, guard Shawn Lauvao and running back Montario Hardesty.
Yount rescued the Browns in the middle of 2011 when former Pro Bowler Ryan Pontbriand acquired the yips. Nobody could have imagined then that Yount would be the last man standing on a top five special teams unit that included kicker Phil Dawson, returner/gunner Josh Cribbs and punter Reggie Hodges.
“He’s proven that he’s a valuable part of the team,” said coach Rob Chudzinski. “You never know how valuable those guys are until you don’t have one that can get the snap back. I’ve been there before. We’re happy to have Christian as part of our organization for a long time. He’s earned it.”
In 21 games as the Browns’ long snapper, including all 16 last season, Yount hasn’t had a bad snap – one over the head or skimming the ground.
“But it’s one of those things where I hate talking about, hate seeing it happen to other guys,” Yount said. “Even if it’s on film, I kind of fast forward that one just because I don’t like that mental image going into my brain.”
Like most snappers, Yount is a perfectionist. He wouldn’t put a percentage on how many of his snaps generally have been perfect.
“At that position,” Chud said, “you have to be perfect.”
* Chudzinski said he would play his starters for “about a quarter” in the preseason opener Thursday against the Rams. He said some individuals on the first units will play longer. Second teamers will play through the first half, with some staying into the third quarter, he said. Third teamers and others will play the fourth quarter.
Chudzinski said he would hold off until Wednesday to name players who would not play, but here’s a guess. Probably out are: running backs Trent Richardson and Montario Hardesty, guard Lauvao, receiver Josh Gordon and safety T.J. Ward, among others.
Chudzinski did not offer much of an update on Lauvao, who was carted off with an ankle injury on Monday. He said Lauvao was still being evaluated. Sounds like an MRI.
* In a directional kicking period, punter Spencer Lanning angled the ball for the left sideline and sailed one into the spectator bleachers 10 yards off the mark.
* Jason Pinkston, who filled in for right guard Lauvao most of practice was excused early to attend a funeral.
* How fast is Josh Gordon? Last year Brandon Weeden said he could not overthrow the long-striding receiver in practice. Yesterday, it looked like it would happen in a one-on-one matchup with rookie cornerback Leon McFadden. But Gordon hit that extra gear and caught the nose of the ball with his fingertips.
|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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