BEREA—It’s probably not the start Pat Shurmur wanted.
When news broke that Randy Lerner was in negotiations to sell the Browns, it obviously overshadowed the start of the Browns training camp.
The first full team practice took place from 2 to 4 pm, but most of the focus in Berea was about the potential sale of the Browns from Lerner to Tennessee businessman Jimmy Haslam.
“It’s obviously, big news, but I have nothing to add,” Shurmur said. “When the news broke my concern was for the coaching staff and the players. I informed them.”
Shurmur said the news will not affect the team or the coaching staff in readying for the upcoming season.
“It will not be a distraction,” Shurmur said. “Our goals moving forward have not changed.”
Shurmur said he sees the improvement already in this year’s team.
“We are a much better team, better group and we’re all functioning better,” he said. “At this time of the year our focus is on getting the team ready to play. We expect a much improved football team.”
Phil Dawson, who has been with the Browns since the team re-launched in 1999, has a lot of respect for the Lerner family.
“It all started with Mr. (Al) Lerner,” Dawson said. “He was a tremendous man. He had the respect of the locker room. Randy came along and followed.”
Dawson says he doesn’t know much more than anyone else, but doesn’t think it will affect the players.
“I don’t know any more than that, but Randy has the right to sell the team,” he said. “It won’t affect us as players.”
Little/Gordon Duo: Some observations between WR Greg Little (6-2, 220) and rookie WR Josh Gordon (6-3, 225) are very similar and Shurmur was asked if the two could be on the field together or if they played the same position.
“It’s a very real possibility that both will be on the field together.”
The Browns drafted Little in the second-round in 2011 and he led the team in catches with 61, while Gordon was drafted recently in the second-round of the 2012 NFL Supplemental Draft.
Moore, Rubin Out: TE Evan Moore and DL Ahtyba Rubin sat out practice for undisclosed reasons. Shurmur was asked about those missing.
“They weren’t out there,” Shurmur said curtly. “I’m not going to go into who was or wasn’t out there.”
Shurmur said Moore might miss a couple of days.
Shurmur was asked if all the players passed their fitness tests prior to camp.
“A couple struggled, but they all passed.”
Tripp Sighting: DL Kiante Tripp, who was charged with burglary in the off-season was practicing.
Taylor Sighting: DL Phil Taylor was on the field walking around with his 98 jersey on but not taking part in practice. Taylor injured his pectoral muscle during the off-season program and is supposed to be sidelined for up to 8 to 10 regular season games.
Holmgren Motorcycle Rally: Team president Mike Holmgren will host his 2nd Annual motorcycle rally on Saturday. The event will start at 2 pm at South East Harley-Davidson in Aurora and end up at the training complex in Berea at about 3:30 pm.
Blood Drive: The Browns are hosting their 12th Annual Browns Dr. Charles Drew Blood Drive benefiting the American Red Cross. The drive will be at six sites in Northeast Ohio, including the Berea Rec Center at 451 Front St. in Berea.