BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – The Browns returned to work Wednesday following their first day off from camp on Tuesday.
Here’s a look at what players are saying:
– Linebacker Christian Kirksey praised rookie defensive end Myles Garrett.
“He’s a special player,” Kirksey said. “He doesn’t have that first-round arrogance of ‘Oh I have arrived.'”
Garrett is beginning to emerge in camp and show why he was selected first overall. On Monday he made 3 plays in the span of 5 snaps during a 2-minute drill, which he ended with a virtual sack of Brock Osweiler as time expired.
Garrett, who looks to Hall of Famer Bruce Smith as a mentor, will get an opportunity to show what he’s learned so far. Smith, who is in town for the Hall of Fame festivities in Canton this weekend, arrived Wednesday afternoon for practice
– Earlier this week left guard Joel Botinio said that new center JC Tretter possessed Alex Mack-like qualities when it came to intelligence and ability to call out correct protections. Tretter, who signed a 3-year deal this offseason as a free agent from Green Bay, is being counted on to stabilize the position that was ravaged by injuries a year ago following the departure of Mack to Atlanta in 2016.
“It is a huge part of the position,” Tretter said. “A lot of it is taking the onus off the rest of the guys. You need to come up there, and my job is to come up there and make sure everybody knows what they are doing, who they got. That way, they can play fast. If they are not up there trying to piece together the picture, if you can go up there and tell them what they are looking at, all of a sudden, they can just go up and play football. That is when you get a team playing fast and doing what they are supposed to be doing.”
Tretter hopes to shake his own injury history. Ankle and knee injuries caused him to miss the 2013 and 2014 seasons and another knee injury shortened his 2016 season in Green Bay. After four years in the league he’s missed two and a half seasons and has only started 10 games.
“I think it causes more problems if you start thinking about it too much,” Tretter said. “All of them have been freaky contact injuries where, no matter who was in that position, it’s going to happen. I think if you get stuck thinking about that or changing what you do, all it’s going to do is cause you to worry about it, you’re not going to play fast and that’s what you need to do out there so I haven’t changed my mentality at all.”
– Rookie safety Jabrill Peppers is trying to work his way up the depth chart in camp after starting off with the third-team defense.
“I worked for everything in my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Peppers said.
The Browns hope to use Peppers in a variety of ways defensively, on special teams as a returner and maybe even on offense.
“I take everything as a challenge to show that I’m not only physical enough, fit enough to handle it, but also, have the wits too,” Peppers said. “I just try to be as well rounded as much as I possibly can, be used in any kind of way, and that’s my goal.”
Peppers has received significant reps returning through 5 camp practices. Corey Coleman and even Joe Haden have joined him. Wednesday he described what makes a good returner.
“You’ve got to be able to judge the ball in any condition, wind, rain, snow,” Peppers said. “You have to have instincts. In this league, some corners would tilt one way and lean the other way. You have to be able to make the first guy miss, and I think the most important thing besides catching the ball is saving field position. Get to every ball, but if you really feel that you can’t get it or it would be an extremely tough catch, then you’ve got to be smart.”