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Browns rookie minicamp: news, notes and observations from afternoon practice

By Nate Ulrich Published: May 11, 2012

The Browns held their second practice of rookie minicamp this afternoon. Here are some highlights from the second session:

Begging for mercy

Browns running backs coach Gary Brown didn’t want to relive the moment when Trent Richardson pushed him to the ground in March during Alabama’s pro day. Richardson used his hands to strike the blocking pad held by Brown, and Brown went flying backward and to the ground.

Before Brown put the running backs through a similar drill this afternoon, he looked at Richardson and said, “Please don’t knock me down.”

Richardson said Brown has heard plenty of wisecracks about the incident in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

“We try to put that behind us, but you know it’s going to come up every now and then,” Richardson said. “The whole coaching staff is still on him about that, and I’m still laughing at him and he is still making jokes about it.”

Notable adjustment

Quarterback Brandon Weeden threw the ball well during both practices today, but working under center is clearly a work in progress for him. Weeden fumbled two snaps during the afternoon practice.

Weeden spent the majority of the past two seasons playing out of the shotgun at Oklahoma State. Still, he said he’s comfortable with the change.

“I feel really comfortable under center,” Weeden said. “Every center is different. We’ve got [Garth] Gerhart -- he is a lefty. And we’ve got [Jarrod] Shaw -- he is a righty. That is a little bit different, but it’s just a feel thing, a comfort thing. When [starting center Alex] Mack gets here, and I start to take snaps from him, it’s going to be different. It’s getting comfortable. But I’ll be honest, I like being under center more because you can see what’s going on and you get the ball immediately. If I had to pick one of the two, not that I don’t like being in the shotgun, but I like being under center.”

Nice defense

Linebacker James-Michael Johnson, a fourth-round pick, and defensive back Johnson Bademosi, who signed as an undrafted free agent, broke up passes from Weeden during a session of 7-on-7.

Johnson played middle linebacker during the afternoon practice. He was stationed at weakside linebacker in the morning.

Unusual absence

Thirty-six of the 37 players expected to participate in the minicamp today took part in practice. Only Ohio State linebacker Andrew Sweat was missing.

Browns coach Pat Shurmur said Sweat has decided not to pursue a career in the NFL. Sweat was one of the 15 undrafted free agents whom the Browns signed.

Fitting in

Fifth-round pick Ryan Miller played left tackle on the offensive line. … As expected, second-round choice Mitchell Schwartz was at right tackle. … Defensive tackles John Hughes, a third-round pick, and Billy Winn, a sixth-round selection, swapped spots in the trenches. In the afternoon, Hughes played three-technique (lined up between the guard and the tackle), and Winn played one-technique (lined up between the center and the guard). In the morning, Hughes played one-technique, and Winn lined up in a three-technique.

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