BEREA: Mitchell Schwartz’s definition of a long-term goal might be a little different than most.
The Browns’ second-round draft choice from the University of California, the 37th-overall pick, is slated for a starting spot at right tackle this season. Last year’s starter, Tony Pashos, was released on March 12 after playing in 2011 with a foot injury that required tendon surgery.
When asked Saturday morning if he envisioned himself as a starter, Schwartz said, “It’s definitely a long-term goal for myself.”
That answer made it sound as if he wasn’t planning on being in the lineup on Sept. 9 against the Philadelphia Eagles. So it was revisited a few minutes later.
“That’s a three-month long-term goal, as opposed to my day-to-day goal,” Schwartz said. “I should have clarified that a little better.”
Draft analysts called Schwartz NFL-ready, but Browns coach Pat Shurmur isn’t ready to go that far.
“I don’t know about NFL-ready,” Shurmur said. “He’s very sound in his fundamentals. That will give him a chance to speed up the process to be an NFL player. He’s very detailed with his sets, he’s good with his hands. He understands what the defense is going to do with the way they’re aligned. Very sharp guy. You can tell he’s a guy who has detailed his work because it shows up in his play.”
Schwartz is looking forward to playing with Browns five-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas, a master technician.
“He makes it seem so effortless out there, he’s so smooth, he’s such a great athlete,” Schwartz said. “His feet are always in great position, his hands are always great. He does a lot of stuff where he mixes it up, doesn’t give the same look every time. It’s something I look forward to studying, maybe asking him what indicators against a certain player to do a certain set, a certain punch.”
Schwartz, 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds, is a massive man who looks the part. His hands are huge, and he wears size 18 shoes.
But he will feel some pressure in the next three months.
“Absolutely. You’d be crazy not to have a little bit of that anxiety,” he said. “It feeds you, helps you stay on your toes.”
About that tat
Linebacker James-Michael Johnson, a fourth-round pick from Nevada, has a tattoo on his upper right arm that says “King James” with a large crown below it. He said he’s prepared to get some grief from fans who despise Akron’s LeBron James.
“I know, maybe,” he said.
Asked to explain his hyphenated name, Johnson said his father’s name is Michael and his grandfather’s was James. To settle a choice between Michael Jr. and James Jr., they compromised.
“Most people call me JMJ,” he said.
Quote of the day
Shurmur, when asked what he would say about running back Trent Richardson’s physique: “Wow.”
“He’s a very powerful man, powerfully built,” Shurmur said. “Don’t let the 5-9½ fool you. He’s almost 230 pounds. That’s a lot of muscle packed into that body.”
Rookie linebacker Emmanuel Acho signed a four-year contract worth $2.178 million, Scout.com reported Friday night. The deal includes a signing bonus of $78,680, according to the report.
The Browns drafted Acho in the sixth round (No. 204 overall). The 6-foot-2, 238-pound Acho had a team-high 131 tackles, including 19 for loss and three sacks, starting 13 games at weakside linebacker for Texas in 2011.
The most vocal of the coaches was senior offensive assistant Nolan Cromwell, who could be heard above everyone. The former Rams safety obviously hasn’t lost his passion for the game.
Cromwell also came up with a new practice gadget to help players learn to catch passes in front of their bodies. The Browns have set up tall plastic PVC pipes filled with sand near the entrance to the locker room. As players head inside, offensive players are supposed to stop, stand behind one and field a couple balls.
Shurmur said today’s final practice will focus on the red zone. … Shurmur allowed quarterback Brandon Weeden to call his last two plays in Saturday afternoon’s session. The second went to receiver Travis Benjamin on the sideline for a first down. … Don’t count out Rod Windsor, who spent 14 games on the practice squad last season and was inactive for the final two, in the battle in training camp to play wide receiver. Windsor showed excellent hands snatching a short Weeden pass and pulled in a 45-yarder with Emanuel Davis defending.
Marla Ridenour can be reached at email@example.com. Read her blog at http://www.ohio.com/marla. Follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.