The Browns held their 13th full-squad practice of training camp today. Below is a glance at what happened.
Storylines: Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon defended his work ethic and said he doesn’t expect the patellar tendinitis in his right knee to be an issue this season. Gordon touched on those topics while addressing the media for the first time since July 22, when he apologized to the organization, his teammates and fans for the two-game suspension he’ll serve at the beginning of the regular season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. Last year, ex-Browns coach Pat Shurmur and former offensive coordinator Brad Childress publicly acknowledged that Gordon, at times, lacked the level of hustle and focus they wanted during practices. But as Gordon’s rookie season progressed, he improved in those areas. Then in June, Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bedard watched Gordon during the team’s mandatory minicamp and was not impressed with his effort. “There's no question Josh Gordon is the most talented WR the Browns have and there's a lot to like there, but I'm not a fan,” Bedard wrote on Twitter. “Maybe I'm spoiled from covering GB & NE, but I'm used to seeing all-out hustle and urgency. Gordon lacks that. Loafs a lot. IMO [in my opinion], Gordon won't reach his full potential until he gets it. Greg Little might not be as talented, but he has urgency and fun.” Bedard also did a radio interview with 92.3 The Fan to discuss his less-than-flattering opinions about Gordon’s work ethic. Gordon said he was not aware of the criticism, but he responded to it. “From loafing, I mean certain people see different things when they look at me run or look at me move,” Gordon said. “It might look slow ‘cause I’m a little bit larger to play at my position. So it might be a little bit deceptive, hard to look at it. It looks like, compared to everybody else, a little bit shorter strides, shorter movements, but I go out here 100 percent every day I come out here.” Gordon said his coaches are fine with the way he practices. “They seem pretty happy,” Gordon said. “They make it not just known for me but as for the team as well. We just want a sense of urgency out there for everybody to go out there and feel like we have something to play for and go as hard as we can no matter what.” Gordon missed one-and-a-half practices during camp as he dealt with patellar tendinitis, but he has been back since Aug. 1 and played Thursday in the preseason opener against the St. Louis Rams. “Tendinitis, it's something that always happens just playing sports, just running around playing sports a whole lot,” Gordon said. “It's pretty much from a heavy workload, just moving a lot off the right foot, planting and stuff like that. But really, it’s nothing more than just maintenance work, just stretching, taking care of it when I need to, just ice and stuff. Nothing more than what I can handle though.” Gordon said he dealt with it last season, too. “[It was] not really as bad, no, but definitely fought through it,” Gordon said. “So it wasn't a big deal for me.” … Browns cornerback Joe Haden intercepted two passes thrown by quarterback Brandon Weeden in team drills during today’s practice. Haden revealed how Weeden tries to learn from the miscues. “Weeden comes to me every time I get an interception,” Haden said. “He’ll come right up to me and ask me, ‘Joe, what did you see? What could I do differently? What did you see in the route?’” Haden intercepted Weeden on a deep pass to Gordon and on an out route to wide receiver Davone Bess.
Position battles: Running back Trent Richardson (shin) and strong safety T.J. Ward (hamstring) returned to team drills after sitting out Thursday against the Rams, but they were limited. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said he would wait to decide whether to play Richardson in the second preseason game Thursday against the Detroit Lions. With Richardson and Ward still taking a lighter workload than usual, running back Dion Lewis and strong safety Johnson Bademosi received significant practice time with the starters. Strong safety Josh Aubrey also took some reps with the first unit. … With Chris Owens (strained foot) sidelined, cornerback Buster Skrine practiced opposite Haden with the first-team defense. … Kickers Shayne Graham and Brandon Bogotay each missed a 45-yard field goal in warm-ups. In two-minute drills, Graham’s 55-yard attempt deflected off the right upright and missed, and Bogotay missed a 46-yard try wide left.
Highlights: In the final two plays of a red-zone drill, Chudzinski created a friendly competition between the offense and defense by saying “loser’s eating peanut butter sandwiches” for dinner. Weeden then appeared to complete a 3-yard touchdown pass to Lewis over the middle as inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson tackled him at the goal line. But Chudzinski ruled the play dead because he thought inside linebacker Craig Robertson reached Weeden in time for a would-be sack. The next play, second-string quarterback Jason Campbell threw a pass toward wide receiver Josh Cooper in the back corner of the end zone, but undrafted rookie cornerback Abdul Kanneh intercepted the pass. In other words, the offense was left with the peanut butter. … In the same red-zone session, Weeden completed consecutive touchdown passes to Little. … Third-string quarterback Brian Hoyer connected with Cooper in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. … Nose tackle Phil Taylor batted down a pass from Weeden near the line of scrimmage. … Weeden ended a two-minute drill with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Lewis over the middle. … Hoyer ended another two-minute drill with a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Travis Benjamin in the back corner of the end zone.
Injuries: Wide receiver Jordan Norwood suffered a hamstring injury against the Rams and is day-to-day, Chudzinski said. In addition to Norwood, the following players did not practice today: Owens (foot), cornerback Leon McFadden (groin), running back Montario Hardesty (hamstring tendon), right guard Shawn Lauvao (left ankle), wide receiver David Nelson (knee), fullback Brock Bolen (calf), tight end Brad Smelley (hamstring) and offensive linemen Ryan Miller (concussion), Chris Faulk (knee) and Oniel Cousins (ankle). … Undrafted rookie defensive end Dave Kruger returned to practice after suffering a concussion earlier in the week. … Defensive end Hall Davis had his left hamstring wrapped during practice.
Sunday’s schedule: Practice from 4-6:30 p.m. For updates, call 877-627-6967.