BEREA, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Mike Woods II has made quite the first impression at training camp, but his rise has been paused due to a hamstring injury.
Woods, selected in the sixth round out of Oklahoma this year, did not practice Friday.
Earlier this week Stefanski was asked what has surprised him about Woods, who seemed to be making plays on a daily basis during practice.
“I do not know that anything has surprised me. He has played football on the big stage in college,” Stefanski said. “He has done a nice job from the standpoint of being assignment sound, which is not always the thing that you will see from young players. I have been impressed by that aspect of it, and then as [pass game coordinator/wide receivers] coach [Chad] O’Shea says, ‘Get open, and catch the ball,’ and he has done that.”
Amari Cooper’s ankle injury on Monday only cost him one practice.
Rookie David Bell, out with a foot injury suffered in the June minicamp, and Anthony Schwartz, who suffered a strained knee during the first week of camp, could be close to returning according to Stefanski.
“Those guys are really close,” Stefanski said. “I think in the next few days we will get some of those guys back, but not today.”
Washed out – Afternoon thunderstorms forced the Browns to close practice to fans midway through the session.
Once inside the Casey Coleman Field House, Stefanski did not like his team’s focus, so he quickly halted practice and let them know it in a huddle.
Whatever Stefanski said worked because when practice resumed, so did the focus.
Eye OK – Center Nick Harris left Friday’s practice with a trainer drawing concern from fans, but he is fine.
Harris got poked in the eye the team said and is not injured.
Shortly after Harris’ departure, Ethan Pocic fumbled a snap exchange with Deshaun Watson, reinforcing the importance of live reps.
Green deal – A.J. Green has been hard to miss during camp because of the volume of plays he continues to make in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work, but there’s always a possibility we in the media make more of a player standing out in camp than the coaches do.
So, we posed that question to Stefanski about Green – are we making too much of a big deal or is the praise justified?
“I do not know what you are making of him,” Stefanski said drawing laughter from reporters. “He is having a good camp. He is a good football player, and I think he has showed that when he got opportunities last season in games. He has shown up on special teams throughout his career. He is another guy in the natural progression of being a third-year player and seeing if he can take that next step.”
He’s human, sort of – Rookie kicker Cade York finally missed a field goal in training camp.
After making his first 17 tries in team 11-on-11 work, York pushed a 59-yard attempt wide right.
Prior to the miss, York banked a 53-yard field goal off the top of the left upright and through. That’s not a typo – York hit the top of the left upright (just under the red flag) from 53 yards away.
Crazy train – Right guard Wyatt Teller has learned a lot from Browns offensive line coach Bill Callahan, who has helped mold him into a Pro Bowler.
“Still crazy, but one of my favorite guys,” Teller said. “Bill is an absolute great coach. He’ll let you know when you did something wrong, but he’s going to applaud you when you do something right. I’m thankful for that because some coaches can be so focused on the perfection of it that they just stay on it, but he builds you back up, and I’m thankful for it.”
So what makes Callahan the conductor of the crazy train?
“What’s crazy is, is he’s this little guy that will get in your face. You’re 6-foot-5, 315 pounds. Not a lot of people will pick a fight with you, but I swear, he’ll come out there and slap you right in the face,” Teller said. “He’s not afraid of anybody, and I’m thankful for that. He’s had great players under him. You can talk to any of his past players, and they respect him.”
Roster move – The Browns signed cornerback Lavert Hill and waived cornerback Reggie Robinson II with an injury designation.
Hill is a first-year player that originally signed with the Kansas Chiefs as an undrafted free agent in 2020. The Michigan product spent the majority of his rookie season on the Chiefs’ practice squad and later served stints on the Philadelphia Eagles’ (2020), Arizona Cardinals’ (2021) and the San Francisco 49ers’ (2021) practice squads before joining the Browns.
Puppy pound counter – Five puppies were adopted Wednesday bringing this year’s camp total to 30. Since the program’s launch in 2015, 655 puppies from the Northeast Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) have been adopted by Browns fans at training camp practices.
Roll call – WR David Bell (foot), DT Sheldon Day (back), WR Anthony Schwartz (knee), LB Anthony Walker Jr. (groin), CB Denzel Ward (foot), WR Javon Wims (illness) and WR Michael Woods (hamstring).
Defensive end Myles Garrett and receiver Jakeem Grant also did not practice and worked on the side. Both players were given the day off.
Up next – Practice Saturday afternoon at 2. Gates open for fans at 1.