BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – The Browns used Tuesday’s practice as their final tune-up for Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Saints.
While they spent a few periods doing a half-speed, walk-through installs, Hue Jackson had his team get in plenty of live 11-on-11 work.
Receiver Ricardo Louis was the star of the day making a pair of spectacular catches Tuesday.
The first came on a deep ball from Brock Osweiler that saw him haul it in with tight coverage and the other came one a 1-handed catch on a fade ball from Osweiler in the back corner of the end zone.
“He is making plays,” Jackson said. “Ball was in the air, and he has to go dominate the ball. He made some plays today.”
The sudden emergence of Louis is good news for the Browns, who are in dire need of finding production beyond just veteran Kenny Britt and sophomore wideout Corey Coleman.
Osweiler also threw 2-yard touchdown passes to tight end Seth DeValve and running back Duke Johnson on the 2 previous plays. Osweiler, named the preseason opener starter on Monday wasn’t perfect Tuesday. He was picked off by cornerback Darius Hillary on a throw intended for receiver Corey Coleman.
Cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun also had another interception, but of rookie QB DeShone Kizer who was looking for tight end J.P. Holtz.
Top TE – A few eyebrows were raised when the unofficial depth chart came out Monday and Randall Telfer was the No. 1 tight end listed.
“The way we use our tight ends, we could all be thrown in at any moment,” Telfer said prior to practice. “We all have something to offer. It is a pretty good tight end group. I am excited to see what we all do this year.”
Jackson cited Telfer’s ability to block, which is paramount in his offensive scheme, as one of the primary reasons for the designation but Tuesday Telfer drew ooh’s and ahh’s from the crowd when he caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Osweiler on the tips of his fingers.
Earlier in practice Telfer had his ankle examined by a trainer but he quickly returned to the field.
Looking Back in Time – Tight end David Njoku understands why the Browns traded back into the first round to pick him 29th overall.
They hope he’ll be their next dominating tight end.
With that in mind, Njoku has been doing some research – watching film of Browns Hall of Fame tight end Ozzie Newsome.
“After I got drafted here I started watching him,” Njoku said before practice. “He’s a big name here. He’s a beast. He was really explosive, a great athlete and I’m just trying to uphold that same legacy.”
Njoku isn’t the first rookie to dip into the team’s archive reels for inspiration.
Last week running back Matt Dayes, who was a seventh round selection and appears to be in line to make the team as the third back, said he studied film of Hall of Famer Jim Brown.
“Jim Brown is around a lot. I think that is motivation within itself,” Jackson said. “Everyone knows where Ozzie is and what Ozzie has done here. There have been some great players who have played here that have paved the way for these young men.
“It is always good for these guys to go back and know some of the guys who graced this field and what they meant to the National Football League. We do encourage it, and I’m excited that our guys do that.”
Everybody’s Up – Joe Haden, Joel Bitonio, Joe Thomas, John Greco, Jason McCourty, Austin Reiter, Kenny Britt, and Desmond Bryant spent the day working on the side again Tuesday but they are expected to play Thursday night.
“This was a rotation, and I probably could have did a little bit better job of making sure some of them were out there today because there is going to be a little down time tomorrow,” Jackson said. “Practice will definitely not be as physical tomorrow as it was today, but those guys will be out there playing. No question.”
Injury Report – TE David Njoku (back), DL Caleb Brantley (finger), DB Marcus Burley (face laceration), OL Gabe Ikard (concussion), DB Ed Reynolds II (knee) and DB Howard Wilson (knee-PUP).
Up Next – No practice Wednesday, preseason opener Thursday night vs. New Orleans at FirstEnergy Stadium.