By Tony Grossi | ESPNCleveland.com
Observations, notes, quotes and some facts on Day 12 of Browns training camp …
* Coach Rob Chudzinski made official what ESPN Cleveland reported a week ago – as part of their plan to preserve Trent Richardson for a healthy start to the regular season, the running back will not play in the preseason opener Thursday against the Rams.
Richardson, who reinjured the shin last week that he originally hurt in May, has practiced lightly all week. A source said that Richardson is a little frustrated with not playing but he “understands” the plan meticulously outlined by coaches to prepare him for a heavy load in the Norv Turner offense starting Sept. 8.
“He’d be ready to play tomorrow if it were regular season,” Chudzinski said. “It’s the preseason. We have a plan for that, making sure he gets reps as needed out here in practice and we build him to be ready for the beginning of the season.”
The coach said safety T.J. Ward (hamstring) will be held out, too, and would play if it were a real game. Also out for the game are guard Shawn Lauvao (ankle), cornerback Leon McFadden (groin) and all the other players who have missed practice time in the last week, including running back Montario Hardesty (hamstring tendon), receiver David Nelson (knee), and tackle Ryan Miller (concussion).
* Chudzinski said that Dion Lewis and Chris Ogbonnaya would serve as the first-team backs. Lewis will be the tailback and Ogbonnaya the fullback. Lewis probably also will get the first reps at kick returner. Brandon Jackson and Owen Marecic would be the second team backfield.
* Some mild rookie hazing took place in the morning when a few first-year players had their heads buzzed by team barbers Phil Taylor and Greg Little. No. 1 pick Barkevious Mingo was among the willing victims.
“I know we have some bad barbers in the locker room, based on some of the haircuts I saw,” said Chudzinski. “As long as it’s positive and guys embrace it, I’m all for that. I have no problem with it.”
Joe Haden said his “hazing” as a rookie in 2010 was a little more costly than a head of hair.
“When me and T.J. (Ward) came in, we had a bunch of older players like D-Bow (David Bowens) and they weren’t worried about that,” he said. “They just wanted us to take their pads in. I had to buy the whole defense iPads. I would have much rather have a chip off the side of my head.
“After I did that, they didn’t mess with me at all. I was good with them.”
* What does quarterback Brandon Weeden want to accomplish in his expected one quarter of work? “Just string together consecutive good plays, string together a couple good drives and just get the feel of the game,” he said. “It’s a little different than practice, so the emotions and adrenalin will be up. Put together a couple good drives, just manage the game, do the things I need to do to move the ball.”
* The Browns will wear brown jerseys Thursday night.
* The Browns announced they will pay tribute to Jim Brown at the Oct. 3 Thursday night game against the Buffalo Bills.
Brown, who boycotted the team’s induction into its Ring of Honor in 2010 because of a dispute with former President Mike Holmgren, rejoined the organization as special advisor on May 29. A future tribute to Brown was discussed at that time.
"We are absolutely thrilled to formally honor Jim Brown, the greatest running back in the history of the NFL,” owner Jimmy Haslam said in a statement. “Jim is synonymous with the Cleveland Browns. He has an undeniable place in our history and we look forward to celebrating him appropriately on Oct. 3."
In the statement, Brown said, “When Jimmy Haslam invited me to do this, I was flattered. That night will be about family, about joining together with the city, the region, and the greatest fans in all the NFL, in a celebration of the Cleveland Browns. I’m thrilled about the opportunity.”
|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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