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Aug. 16, 2011: News, notes and observations from Browns training camp

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 16, 2011
Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren, left, talks with former Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel, center, and former Michigan head football coach Lloyd Carr at Cleveland Browns NFL football training camp in Berea, Ohio on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

Here's what you need to know about the 13th practice of Browns training camp:

  • Invasion of the VIPs: Former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, former Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant and former Green Bay Packers General Manager Ron Wolf attended practice and mingled with President Mike Holmgren and other members of the Browns' brass. Browns coach Pat Shurmur said he enjoyed talking to Tressel and Carr. "We had a lot of celebrities here today," Shurmur said. ... "It was fun. I enjoyed visiting with Lloyd Carr and Jim Tressel, guys that I've admired in coaching. Actually, Lloyd tried to recruit me out of high school (when he was an assistant coach at Michigan). It was good to see them. I'm glad they came out and enjoyed practice."

  • Browns quarterback Colt McCoy talks about reaching out to Brett Favre: McCoy said he sought advice from Favre in the offseason because he wasn't allowed to communicate with his coaches during the NFL's lockout. Favre has played in the West Coast offense for about 20 years. "You can't be around your coaches, so I just found a way to get a hold of Brett," McCoy said. "I was able to spend a couple of days with him down in Mississippi. He's an outstanding guy. We had a blast, and I learned a lot. So I was thankful for him being open to me even coming down there. That was the first time we met, and it was a lot of fun." McCoy said he and Favre worked out together at a high school in Hattiesburg, Miss. When McCoy called Favre to propose a get together, Favre welcomed him with open arms. "He was great," McCoy said. "He said, 'Yeah, come down tonight.' That didn't happen. We kind of worked on some dates. I flew down there, he picked me up from the airport, I was there for a couple days and we had fun."

  • Injury updates: The following players sat out during practice: linebackers Scott Fujita (bruised thigh), Chris Gocong (stinger), tight end Benjamin Watson (hamstring), free safety Usama Young (hamstring), defensive tackle Brian Schaefering (right foot), wide receiver Carlton Mitchell (finger surgery), strong safety Eric Hagg (left knee surgery) and defensive end Jabari Fletcher (right knee). Wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi didn't practice, either. Massaquoi has been sidelined with an injured bone in his left foot since training camp started, but is no longer wearing a boot or a cast and Shurmur said he has been running in a pool to rehabilitate.

  • Back in action: Strong safety T.J. Ward (tooth), defensive tackle Travis Ivey (unspecified) and cornerback Coye Francies (lower back) returned to practice after sitting out Monday. Running back Montario Hardesty, who tore the ACL in his left knee in September 2010, participated in practice for the second consecutive day after being held out of team drills for the past two weeks.

  • Practice highlights and lowlights: In one-on-one passing drills, cornerbacks Ramzee Robinson and Sheldon Brown broke up passes. ... In a 7-on-7 action, cornerback Joe Haden intercepted a pass from McCoy to rookie wide receiver Greg Little. ... During the next play, Ward nearly picked off McCoy's pass over the middle. ... McCoy, though, rebounded with an impressive completion to tight end Alex Smith down the seam. ... Hardesty slipped and fell to the ground after he caught a pass, but he bounced up. ... Wide receiver Josh Cribbs dived to catch a pass from McCoy  near the sideline while Haden was covering him. ... Little dropped a pass from McCoy while he was wide open. ... Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson swatted a pass from McCoy out of the air. ... Quarterback Seneca Wallace completed a deep pass to undrafted wide receiver Juan Nunez. ... In 11-on-11 sessions, wide receiver Brian Robiskie had a great block on the perimeter against Francies, allowing running back Peyton Hillis to break free for a big gain. ... Undrafted rookie cornerback James Dockery and Francies broke up a deep pass from Wallace to wide receiver Demetrius Williams. ... Safety Brett Johnson shut down another pass from Wallace to Williams. ... Linebacker Steve Octavien grabbed Nunez by the shoulder pads and slammed him to the ground.

  • For more updates, check out my Twitter profile.


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