Cleveland Browns cornerback Sheldon Brown (24) talks with teammate Usama Young during practice at NFL football training camp in Berea, Ohio, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Here's what you need to know about the ninth practice of Browns training camp:
- Position battle update: Usama Young has been playing free safety with the first-team defense, but Mike Adams also got some reps today with the first unit. "We're looking for Usama to emerge and be our starter, and Mike's doing a good job of competing there," coach Pat Shurmur said. "I think that's what you want. We want to play the best guy. I think that's what you're seeing at that position." The 6-foot, 200-pound Young, a Kent State University product, recently signed with the Browns as an unrestricted free agent. Per new rules in the new collective bargaining agreement, Young and other recently signed veteran players weren't allowed to participate in practice until the start of the new league year this past Thursday. "He's fighting through it," Shurmur said of Young. "Obviously, he missed some time, and I think it takes those guys a little bit to get used to their pads, but I think he's doing a nice job. I think he's a little bit cleaner with his reads. He's a little tighter in coverage. I thought he was good today fitting the runs in the 9-on-7 period, so he's doing well." Young, who's pictured to the far left with cornerback Sheldon Brown, said he realizes Adams won't give up a chance to become a starter without a fight. "I never thought I wasn't getting pushed," said Young, who spent the past four seasons with the New Orleans Saints. "Once I got here, I knew I was getting pushed. You've gotta have that competition to take your game to the next level."
- Injury updates: The following players were sidelined today: linebacker Chris Gocong (stinger), wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (foot), running back Montario Hardesty (torn ACL in his left knee last year), defensive back Ramzee Robinson (groin) and defensive linemen Kyle Anderson (ankle) and Jabari Fletcher (sprained knee). Shurmur said he expects Gocong, who suffered his injury Monday, to be ready for the Browns' preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers on Saturday. "Yeah. We're hopeful that he will be (ready)," Shurmur said. "I don't have any indication that he won't at this point."
- Practice highlights and lowlights: Rookie wide receiver Greg Little dropped four passes Monday, but he rebounded today by catching everything thrown his way. ... In 11-on-11, red-zone drills, quarterback Colt McCoy hit wide receiver Brian Robiskie with a touchdown pass while Brown was covering. Tight end Alex Smith also dived in the end zone to grab a pass from McCoy. Quarterback Seneca Wallace threw a pass between the coverage of rookies Buster Skrine and James Dockery, connecting with wide receiver Carlton Mitchell in the end zone. After being picked off by rookie safety Eric Hagg, Wallace found wide receiver Josh Cribbs in the end zone with a shovel pass. Tight end Evan Moore caught a touchdown pass from McCoy and later grabbed another touchdown pass from Wallace in a 7-on-7 session. ... In other 7-on-7 action, cornerback Joe Haden broke up a pass from McCoy that was intended for Mitchell. ... Brown picked off a pass from McCoy in 7-on-7. ... Earlier, Brown recorded an interception in one-on-one drills. ... In an 11-on-11 session, Haden broke up another pass from McCoy that was headed for Mitchell. ... Undrafted rookie defensive back Darian Hagan nearly picked off Wallace in 11-on-11, but he couldn't hang onto the ball. ... During 11-on-11, defensive end Derreck Robinson batted down a pass from Wallace near the line of scrimmage. ... Branndon Braxton rotated with Tony Pashos at right tackle with the first-team offensive line.