Day Two of Training Camp is taking on a much different tone. After getting players on the field Friday, in a take-it-easy session where players started to get re-acclimated, the Saturday morning practice was much more eventful. Looking to get a little different perspective of the practice session, I undertook an adventure into sitting in the front row of the stands to observe the session.
Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski made his presence felt early in the practice session. Loudly, Chudzinski barked instruction specifically at Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson during passing drills, as the pair were consistently off-target, both making what could be described only as ill-advised throws.
Underthrown balls, overthrown tosses, and passes leading receivers too far... inconsistency was was the tone early in this practice session.
As the practice session progressed into scrimmage drills, Anderson continued to struggle, while Frye and Dorsey picked up the pace considerably, with Frye being the clear-cut winner during the morning practice session. Frye excelled in the scrimmage setting and started to get timing with the receivers. He threw crisp, tight passes to multiple receivers. This is only one practice session, but he looked very comfortable and confident running the offense.
The Browns' offense showed little signs of life during the scrimmage drills. While multiple players were involved in the passing game during drills. Notable players were tight-end Kellen Winslow, running back Jerome Harrison, and wide receivers Tim Carter and Joe Jurevicius. A Carter grab of a Frye pass easily was the best offensive note of the day.
The team's wide receivers garnered a considerable amount of attention during the overcast morning practice, with receivers coach Wes Chandler and Chudzinski leading the vocal coaching barrage.
Chudzinski implored wide receivers Travis Wilson and Maurice Mann about the use and placement of their hands while coming off the line of scrimmage and through the reception of the ball. Obviously, the offensive coordinator is setting the tone of detail and intensity early in camp.
Chandler, a stickler for detail during the off-season training activities and mini-camp, kicked it up a notch in passing drills. On numerous occasions, Chandler was reassuring when a route was run correctly, and was vocal when a receiver did not perform as expected. One area of the receiving game where Chandler is paying close attention is precision route running. As things ramped up on Day 2, the coach referred to planting and cutting no less than four times.
Much can be said about the fanfare of being a high first round draft selection. With offensive lineman Joe Thomas, it is simply what you see is what you get. For the Browns, this is a very good thing.
When inserted at left tackle during the practice session, Thomas appeared comfortable. He gets into position very quickly and his hands are very quick for a player of his stature. What makes Thomas such a great prospect is his athleticism, desire, and understanding of the game. Not all players have this special mental make-up.
As Thomas moved in at left tackle, Kevin Shaffer (who also got reps there) moved to the right tackle position. Surprisingly, at first glance, the offensive line did not appear to suffer from any disarray when the change was made. If there is a noticeable difference with the offense in the early sessions, it is within the scope of coaching and athleticism. Throughout the line, the players are much more athletic as a unit and are expected to provide the ability to pull much more often than in seasons past.
It is early in training camp, but to this eye, the roster consists of improved talent that seems to have a strong desire to end the losing ways of this organization.