By: Will Burge
The good, the bad, and the ugly – The wide receiver position had a little bit of everything today in training camp. First, Mohammad Massaquoi was good. He looked smooth in QB/WR drills and received quite a bit of praise for his routes and effort from Nolan Cromwell.
Then we have the bad. Fans seem to always ask about Carlton Mitchell and why he does not play. When the second team offense was doing walk-throughs, Mitchell needed to be helped to his proper spot by Travis Benjamin. Remember, Benjamin was just selected in this year’s draft while Mitchell has been on the team for three years. Immediately after, Pat Shurmur had to help Mitchell with his positioning for a minute and it halted the offensive practice.
Josh Cooper was ugly. Despite playing college ball with Brandon Weeden, Cooper is not assured a spot on this roster and his three drops today won’t help his cause. One was a diving attempt down field, but the ball did hit his hands and those are the types of catches that can be the difference between making a roster and being cut.
Defense leading the way – At this point in training camp the defense always looks better than the offense. Today, however, the defense looked like it was filled with All-Pros. Joe Haden nearly had a diving interception off of Brandon Weeden on the first play of 11 on 11 drills. He also had a diving deflection later against Mohammad Massaquoi.
On a fade route from Weeden to Greg Little, Dimitri Patterson had blanket coverage and broke up the pass with perfect positioning.
The newest member of the Browns’ defense, Frostee Rucker, beat his man off the line and as Weeden tried to throw a screen pass, he leaped into the air and batted the pass backwards. Eric Hagg also joined the party by deflecting one pass across the middle and breaking up a swing pass to Trent Richardson.
Both kinds of energy – Today was the start of training camp and there is always a quick pace and energy but it was heightened today. The defense was very vocal and boisterous and the coaches were moving at a frenetic pace.
Pat Shurmur, on the other hand, was very fiery in his post practice press conference. He refused to take questions about the reported sale of the Browns and told reporters he would name a starting QB “on my time.” It certainly must be tough and frustrating to have this type of news come out on the first day of camp.
|Will Burge covers the Browns for ESPNCleveland.com and hosts 3 Deep, Monday - Friday from 7pm-9pm.|
Follow Will on Twitter @WillBurge
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