Center Cameron Erving returned to practice Tuesday after missing 4 sessions due to a minor elbow injury and it was a tough day at the office.
Erving misfired on at least 3 shotgun snaps, 1 of which went over Robert Griffin III’s head, during Tuesday afternoon’s practice. The misfires from center did not go unnoticed by head coach Hue Jackson.
“I’m not going to coach quarterback-center exchange at times. You’re just going to fix it. It’ll get fixed. I’ve been through this dance before so we’ll get that squared away.”
Erving, who is spending 100 percent of his time at center during camp this year, sustained the elbow injury during a goal line 11-on-11 drill last Tuesday and having to sit out during camp was not part of the plan.
“I definitely don’t want to miss time especially at such a vital time as now but I would rather get healthy and make sure everything is fine on my end and be able to play during the season as opposed to right now,” Erving, who plans to play Friday night, said.
This year Erving has been able to focus solely on center compared to a year ago that saw him work at right tackle, right guard, left tackle and center during camp. He became a jack of all trades but master of none leading to criticism during the season when he struggled with blocking assignments.
“It has been awesome for me to just be able to focus on one position and to be able to go and play,” Erving said. “To [be able to] make corrections and learn from your mistakes and learn from what you did well. It’s been a total 180 from last year just being able to focus in on one thing. I can defiantly see growth and I can see a lot of progression.”
Now about those snaps.
Hall of Fame Address – Browns Hall of Fame receiver and Warren, Ohio native Paul Warfield addressed the team for about 10 minutes before they went to work Tuesday.
“He was outstanding,” Jackson said. “To have him address our football team, I think, is very important for guys to see. He’s a very humble man from humble beginnings who worked hard to accomplish the things that he did. Eight time Pro Bowler, two Super Bowl winning teams, inducted into the Hall of Fame – he’s out here on our field and he’s one of our guys.
“Any of those guys who are former Browns players that can give our players a little wisdom about what it is, what it takes, the hard work, the dedication, the grit, the grind to be the best that you can be, I’ll do it any day and every day.”
So, You’re Telling Me There’s A Chance – Jackson refused to rule out rookie receiver Corey Coleman, who has missed 3 straight practices due to a left hamstring injury, for Friday night’s preseason opener in Green Bay.
“No, I haven’t [ruled him out]. There’s a chance he can play,” Jackson said. “There’s still a chance. Probably, we’ll go up through [Wednesday] before I make a decision about that because he knows our offense, he knows what we’re doing. I think he’ll be fine, but again, I’m going to be very cautious with our players. Not just with him but with any of them that have whether it’s these soft tissue injuries, hamstrings, whatever all those things are, we’ll make sure that we always do the right thing and make sure that we get our guys ready to play.”
Right Tackle Shuffle – Austin Pasztor worked his second straight practice at right tackle with the first team offense Tuesday during 11-on-11. Alvin Bailey started off camp at the position before giving way to Spencer Drango, who is listed as the starter on the team’s first ‘unofficial’ depth chart, late last week.
“I’m just kind of mixing and matching the best that we can to find the five best guys,” Jackson said. “We’ll settle on somebody for this week. It could change next week. We’re just going to keep matching and finding out who is best to play for us. Once we figure that out, we’ll keep it that way.”
Mingo On The Move – Barkevious Mingo turned a few heads when he was spotted at inside linebacker during a few drills Tuesday. Mingo, selected sixth overall in 2013, has spent his first 3 years outside but has been unable to produce enough defensively to earn a regular starting job. He joins Pierre Desir, who moved from corner to safety, and 2016 second round pick Emmanuel Ogbah, who has been rotating at outside linebacker and defensive end, in Ray Horton;s defensive shuffle.
“We’re going to keep moving our players and giving them the chance to make our football team and be the best players that they can be,” Jackson said.
Full Strength – Tight end Gary Barnidge has fully recovered from sports hernia surgery that he underwent in June and is not limited. Barnidge returned to team 11-on-11 work Monday and came away from the practice confident that he’s back to where he was a year ago.
“I’m feeling great, feeling really good,” Barnidge said.
Roll Call – WR Andrew Hawkins (hamstring), WR Corey Coleman (hamstring), WR Josh Gordon (quadriceps), TE Seth DeValve (knee), CB Trey Caldwell (hamstring), FB Malcolm Johnson (concussion), DL Nile Lawrence-Stample (undisclosed) worked with trainers and did not practice.
RT Shon Coleman (heat) left practice early.
Up Next – Practice Wednesday 3:15-5:45 p.m. Gates open at 2:15.