Browns Camp Notes: Isaiah Crowell Handles Crowd, First Day In Pads With Ease

Other than a few good pops from defenders, Browns running back Isaiah Crowell had no idea what to expect Sunday as the team practiced for the first time in front of fans.

Crowell, who angered fans and law enforcement by posting artwork of a police officer getting his throat slashed following the shooting deaths of African-American men in Minnesota and Louisiana, made the most of his day on as well as off the field.

On the field, Crowell didn’t shy away from contact as he lowered his shoulder going up the middle on several runs during team 11-on-11 work. Following practice Crowell signed hundreds of autographs for fans and took pictures following practice.

“I feel like I can shake it off and move on,” Crowell said on Thursday before camp began. “My main focus is football and trying to be the best I can be for my teammates and coaches. I understand what’s going on. I’m being accountable for my mistakes and I apologize.”

The practice field was his sanctuary and the reaction of fans has weighed on his mind, but head coach Hue Jackson doesn’t believe Crowell’s concern led to a strong day.

“I would hope that’s not why,” Jackson said after practice. “I think he’s turned it up because he is a really good football player. He has some really unquestionable ability. I saw this in the spring.”

The crowd treated Crowell well. There were no boos or any heckling from the fans and he was one of the last players to leave the field after signing autographs.

No Air Raid – Jackson’s siren went off unannounced twice Sunday signaling live tackling 11-on-11 drills where anything goes.

“They don’t know when they’re coming,” Jackson said. “They just can show up at any time. That’s what the siren’s for. And again, I thought they responded well and I thought they were excited about it, I think there was an enthusiasm about it and I think they understand the purpose of it now.”

The first drill featured all runs and the second featured a mixture of run and pass that saw Robert Griffin III throw it 9 times and Josh McCown attempt just 4 passes.
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“I know it’s a little bit different than maybe what they’ve been accustomed to, but I think it’s what it’s truly going take for us to have a really good football team,” Jackson said.

Taylor Made Opportunity – Cornerback Jamar Taylor who has had a strong couple of days in the secondary, has been taking advantage of first team reps at nickel.

“He’s competing every day and I think he’s tenacious, he’s tough, he’s sudden, he’s fast,” Jackson said. “So we have another good player to put back there in the mix for our football team.”

Taylor, a former 2013 second round pick, was acquired by the Browns from Miami on April 30 to allow the Dolphins to move up 27 spots in round 7. Labeled a bust, Taylor seems to be enjoying the change of scenery.

“He’s very talented,” Jackson said. “Sometimes guys get drafted in places where maybe the environment’s just not right for them, so he’s getting another opportunity and I think he’s let the past go and I think he’s walked in and said, ‘Hey, I want a job.’”

Play of the Day – Terrelle Pryor brought fans to their feet with a diving catch on a deep ball from RG3 during the team’s second 11-on-11 session Sunday afternoon.

Griffin dropped back and heaved a 45-50-yard strike downfield while Pryor maneuvered inside Taylor before laying out to make the grab inside the 10. Pryor jumped to his feet and spiked the football in celebration causing fans to roar even more.

“I think he’s done an outstanding job,” Jackson said. “We’ve moved him from one side of receiver to another side so again, he’s in another transition. He’s handled it extremely well. I’m very proud of what he’s doing.”
Browns receiver Terrelle Pryor makes a sideline catch during drills Sunday afternoon at Training Camp. / (Photo by Daryl Ruiter CBS Cleveland)

Browns receiver Terrelle Pryor makes a sideline catch during drills Sunday afternoon at Training Camp. / (Photo by Daryl Ruiter CBS Cleveland)

Taking Control – Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam have taken over former team president Alec Scheiner’s role in overseeing the business operations of the franchise. Scheiner officially resigned and left the club on March 31 and they have no plans to replace him.

“Dee and I have now positioned our businesses in Tennessee where we are here a great deal more,” Jimmy Haslam said Sunday. “The business side will report to the two of us. We’ve kind of divided things up. It’s been educational and good for us. We’ve needed to learn more about that side of the business and I think have. We have no plans to do anything different any time soon.”

Finally Open – After the first two days were washed out by mother nature, the Browns were finally able to practice in front of the fans.

“I really appreciate our fans hanging in there with the weather and sticking around and coming out,” Jackson said. “It’s exciting to see them all…They bring great energy for our football team. When it gets a little tough, we can kind of look to the sideline and pick yourself up a little bit.”

The team said that 2,236 came through the gates.

Quote of the Day – “When I first walked in the door, I told Danny he could change the way we play defense himself just by buying in, getting himself in great condition and playing with a hot motor.” – Defensive line coach Robert Nunn

Injury Report – WR Josh Gordon (quadriceps), CB Joe Haden (ankle), RG John Greco (knee), OL Conor Boffelli (knee/ankle), TE Seth DeValve (knee), LB Jackson Jeffcoat (hamstring) did not practice.

CB Trey Caldwell (hamstring), DL Dylan Wynn (ankle) and FB Malcolm Johnson (concussion) left practice early due to injury.

Up Next – Practice Monday 3:00-5:30 p.m.

More from Daryl Ruiter | 92.3 The Fan
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