Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur talks with wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (11) at the NFL football team's training camp in Berea, Ohio Sunday, July 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Here's what you need to know about the eighth practice of Browns training camp:
- Called out: Defensive end Marcus Benard returned to practice today after suffering a right knee injury Saturday during Family Day at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Perhaps the more surprising news about Benard stemmed from coach Pat Shurmur's post-practice news conference. "He's got a long way to go physically in terms of getting himself, in my opinion, in the kind of shape and condition he needs to be in to compete," Shurmur said. "So he's working through that. He's out there taking reps. But I think he'll agree, and he'll probably tell you he's gotta make some strides there." Benard said he gained weight in the offseason in an effort to convert from being a 3-4 linebacker to an every-down, 4-3 end. But he also acknowledged he could benefit from slimming down again. "I do see the wisdom," Benard said. "I'm a pass rusher, and speed and quickness (are) my attributes. Definitely being lighter always helps, so I can definitely be lighter and I can see myself feeling good."
- Injury updates: Wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, who's pictured to the left with Shurmur, continued to sit out. Shurmur revealed that Massaquoi injured a bone in his left foot, which has been covered with a cast throughout camp. Running back Montario Hardesty (torn left ACL last September) wore full pads again, but he did not participate in team drills. Hardesty worked with a trainer on the side, making cuts and running sprints. Linebacker Chris Gocong missed the second half of practice after suffering a stinger, Shurmur said. Defensive back Ramzee Robinson was sidelined with a groin injury, Shurmur said. Defensive end Jabari Fletcher (sprained knee) was not spotted on the field.
- Back in action: Cornerback Joe Haden returned to action after being held out of the past two practices with a tight hamstring. Wide receiver Jordan Norwood (hip flexor), tight end Jordan Cameron (hamstring) and linebacker Sidney Tarver (unknown) also came back to practice after missing time last week.
- Tough day: After an impressive showing at Family Day, rookie wide receiver Greg Little dropped several passes today. "He needs to be consistent and play well at a high level every day," Shurmur said. "But I wouldn't say the drops are increasing. I think at times he needs to catch it better."
- Practice highlights and lowlights: Tight end Alex Smith caught two touchdown passes, one each from Colt McCoy and Seneca Wallace, during a goal-line session of 11-on-11. ... Wallace hit running back Brandon Jackson with two passes of more than 20 yards along the sidelines. ... In two-minute drills, the first- and second-team offenses failed to score. McCoy's pass to wide receiver Brian Robiskie was broken up by cornerback Sheldon Brown near the end zone, and Wallace had a pass intercepted in the end zone by undrafted rookie defensive back James Dockery. ... Quarterback Jarrett Brown led the third-string offense to success, running for a 1-yard touchdown as time expired.