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Aug. 11, 2011: News, notes and observations from Browns training camp

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 11, 2011
Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack waits to snap the ball during practice at the NFL football team's training camp in Berea, Ohio Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Here's what you need to know about the 11th practice of Browns training camp:


  • Plan unveiled for preseason opener: Coach Pat Shurmur said he plans to play the starters for one quarter Saturday night in the preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers at Cleveland Browns Stadium. The second-string players will play for two quarters, and the others will enter the game in the fourth quarter, Shurmur said. "I want to see where we're at as a team," Shurmur said. "And my sense is we're gonna find that we've got a long way to go."  Shurmur said his plan to play the starters for one quarter in the first preseason game was not changed because of the NFL's lockout. In other woulds, he would normally do it that way. Shurmur also reminded the players that they'll be auditioning for roster spots. "I said, 'Make it as hard on us as (you) can (for us to) decide who the 53 guys are gonna be,'" Shurmur said. "So I hope after a performance against another team that we have a lot of guys show up and make plays. That's what we're looking for. There's gonna be a lot to see, a lot to evaluate and we'll take it all in on Sunday." In the timeline established by the league, teams are scheduled for a "possible roster reduction from 90 to 75 players" on Aug. 30. Rosters must be trimmed to 53 players on Sept. 3, according to the same timeline.

  • Injury updates: Wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (left foot), linebacker Chris Gocong (stinger), running back Montario Hardesty (torn ACL in his left knee last year) and defensive end Jabari Fletcher (sprained right knee) were sidelined today as the team practiced in shorts and shells. Free safety Usama Young was sidelined during practice after his hamstring tightened. Young had ice applied to his left leg after it flared up. Mike Adams took his place with the first-team defense. Meanwhile, rookie strong safety Eric Hagg fell on his knee, Shurmur said. Hagg watched team drills with his left knee wrapped after suffering the injury.

  • Back in action: Defensive end Jayme Mitchell (left knee), and offensive lineman Dominic Alford (back) returned to practice this morning after missing time the day before. Shurmur said Alford, who was carted off the field Wednesday, was limited today.

  • Practice highlights and lowlights: Rookie cornerback Buster Skrine broke up quarterback Seneca Wallace's pass to rookie wide receiver Greg Little during a one-on-one drill. Later in the drill, Little grabbed a pass from quarterback Colt McCoy, but Skrine simultaneously stripped the ball and came down with it. ... During an 11-on-11 session in the red zone,  McCoy connected with tight end Evan Moore in the back of the end zone. Strong safety T.J. Ward shut down the connection between Wallace and tight end Alex Smith, breaking up one pass and applying suffocating pressure on another that fell incomplete. Quarterback Jarrett Brown completed a 20-yard touchdown pass to undrafted rookie tight end Evan Frosch. Tight end Benjamin Watson caught a pass from McCoy in the back corner of the end zone, securing the ball even though Hagg got a hand on it. Undrafted rookie wide receiver L.J. Castile let a pass from Brown go right through his hands. ... In seven-on-seven drills, McCoy completed a 25-yard pass to running back Brandon Jackson. Skrine broke up a pass from Wallace to wide receiver Jordan Norwood. ... Linebacker Scott Fujita intercepted a pass from Wallace. ... In the final 11-on-11 session of practice, Watson made an impressive catch on a throw from McCoy, despite Skrine nearly breaking up another pass.

  • For more updates, check out my Twitter profile.

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