Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor gets his team lined up during an 11-on-11 team drill on Aug. 1, 2018.

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan

Hard Knock Life: Browns camp – day 6 news and notes

QBs RV gets upgrade, corner competition and situational football

August 2, 2018
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Daryl Ruiter-Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Baker Mayfield is a man of his word.

As promised, Mayfield upgraded the quarterback’s RV after confirming it was in the works on Monday.

The new camper was parked in the same spot as the previous one in the players lot Wednesday, in time for the sixth day of training camp.

“Most position groups do dinners, make the rookie pay for it, not here. Not the Cleveland Browns. I had to get an RV,” Mayfield said as HBO’s Hard Knocks cameras caught him lamenting his hazing courtesy of veteran quarterback Drew Stanton in a video posted on social media by the show.

Stanton mentioned to Mayfield about getting the RV in the spring. At first, Mayfield thought it was a joke.

“I asked him if he was serious and realized he was dead serious,” Mayfield said.

Nicknamed “the shark” by starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor, the RV is probably the only place HBO and NFL Films does not have access to during camp as they chronicle the Browns’ preparations for the upcoming season.

“Privacy in my home, my mobile home,” Mayfield said.

Hard Knocks premieres next Tuesday at 10 p.m. on HBO and the RV will remain off limits.   

Heads up – Linebacker Christian Kirksey, who has totaled 218 tackles combined the last 2 seasons and has 409 for his career, is a tackling machine, which is why the league’s new helmet rule for defenders has his attention.

“To my understanding, you can’t duck your head when you’re making a tackle, which is going to happen. It’s football, especially when it’s a fast-paced game,” Kirksey said. “Things happen in a matter of time. It’s unfortunate that the penalty is going to be called, but they’re just trying to make sure that people’s health is first and foremost and that we just eliminate some of the head injuries, concussions and things like that.”

One of Kirksey’s tackles from last season was on the highlight reel the league sent out to teams explaining the new rule. It wasn’t a penalty last year but will be this year, but Kirksey wasn’t sure he could’ve been able to do anything differently.

“That’s one of them questions that you really can’t answer. You don’t know,” Kirksey said. “It was in the heat of the moment. You know, you’re just trying to get a guy down and the tackle just kind of happened the way it did.”

Kirksey is a little concerned the league might be over-legislating hits that could be a result of instinct, such as tucking your head in advance of a collision that could lead to a penalty.

“Yeah, at times, but then again, they’re looking out for our well-being,” Kirksey said. “But at the same time, as a defensive player, in the back of your head, you’re like, ‘Well, if I make this tackle, am I have a possibility of getting kicked out of the game?’

“I think it’ll slow some players down, but at the same time, you’ve just kind of got to find a way to get through it. Especially being a linebacker when you have a lot of collisions and things like that, that happen so fast, you just hope you don’t get a call that can obviously hurt the team.”

Corner competition for Carrie – Cornerback TJ Carrie is feeling the heat of competition during camp.

“There are days where I’ve had a couple bad days and it’s like, ‘Man, our other corners are all making plays.’” Carrie said. “It can always put you on eggshells that if you’re not making plays days in and days out – our room is so talented that the way that I see it is, you don’t know what’s going to happen within that depth chart so you always have to bring your game, your ‘A’ game every day because we’re here to compete and if you’re not making plays, there’s a problem.”

Carrie signed a 4-year, $31 million deal this offseason and it was expected he’d start, but Wednesday he was with the second-team defense while Terrance Mitchell, another free agent addition this offseason, and fourth overall pick Denzel Ward were with the ones.

“I need to get better,” Carrie said. “That’s my [standard] every day that I come in here, whether it’s effort, whether it’s hustling, whether it’s picking up loose balls, where it’s strip attempts, whether it’s the number of PBUs or picks that I have.

“I haven’t had a dominant day yet, and that’s the [standard] that I look at myself at, and I hold myself very with the accountability that I should be able to go out there and shut down a whole side of the field.”

Two-minute drill – Situational football was a big focus during Wednesday’s practice, starting with a two-minute drill.

Neither Tyrod Taylor nor Baker Mayfield were able to lead a scoring drive during their drives – Taylor had a pass batted down in the end zone by Joe Schobert to end his series and Mayfield turned it over on downs after completing a pass on fourth-and-long but short of the line to gain. Drew Stanton was able to set up a simulated game-winning field goal made by kicker Ross Martin with the third-team offense.

“We have to execute better,” head coach Hue Jackson said. “We have to make some throws and catches and protect, those things. Whether it is before the half or at the end of the game, we have to be at our best. I am just glad that we got the process going. I want better execution from both sides of the ball, and I think that we will get there.”

Earlier in that drive a defender hit Stanton on the arm prompting offensive coordinator Todd Haley to remind the defense that QBs are off limits in practice.

“I do not think anything is ever intentional, but we just have to be a smart football team. We can’t get that close,” Jackson said. “If you think that you are getting close, just pull off and go the other way. We can’t take a chance of injuring any of our quarterbacks by doing things that are not good.”

Faces in the crowd – Former NFL head coach Dom Capers and former Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos safety Brian Dawkins, who’ll be enshrined this weekend into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, attended Wednesday practice.

Former New England Patriots and Browns linebacker Willie McGinest and former Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith were also on hand but as part of NFL Network’s training camp coverage live from Berea.

Puppy pound counter – The Browns are up to 61 adopted puppies after 12 more were adopted from the Northeast Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Wednesday. Since the program was launched in 2015, 284 puppies have found homes.

Cajuste returns – Tight end Devin Cajuste returned to practice Wednesday after suffering a concussion on July 26. He caught a pair of touchdowns from Stanton during team drills Wednesday.

Injury report – LB Genard Avery (groin), TE Seth DeValve (quad), DL Daniel Ekuale (calf), WR Jeff Janis (knee), DL Lenny Jones (concussion), OL Greg Robinson (concussion) and OL Desmond Harrison (toe-PUP).

RG Kevin Zeitler left practice with a calf injury.

Up next – Practice Thursday from 3:00-5:55 p.m.