BEREA, Ohio — Running back Kareem Hunt was the talk of the day after enduring team practice at a contract stand Friday and Saturday and asking the Browns to trade him, which they don’t plan to do, sources tell cleveland.com.
Hunt would engage in individual practice and then stand far down on the touchline and talk to good pal Nick Chubb while D’Ernest Johnson got some reps with the first team in a practice.
When it came time for the opening set of 11-on-11, Hunt snapped the second behind Chubb, then backtracked for the fourth and caught a screen pass from Deshaun Watson.
He also managed the first three reps with the starters in their first two-minute drill of training camp, almost as if Chubb symbolically gave way to his buddy at the beginning of the drill.
Hunt was fined by the club for missing team periods on Friday and Saturday and Kevin Stefanski made it clear that such behavior was against team rules.
“When our players are healthy, they train,” he said.
After practice, Hunt ran sprints alongside Josh Rosen and Jacoby Brissett in the sweltering heat – a felt temperature of 98.
It remains to be seen where this goes, but Hunt was all in on Sunday.
The first 2-minute exercises
Day 10 of the camp brought the first two-minute exercises, always a crowd puller.
The only problem is that neither the first nor the second team’s attacks scored a touchdown. Both ended with field goals from Cade York through the thin posts, one for 33 yards and the other for 35 yards.
Jacoby Brissett and the second-team offense went first and worked against the first-team defense. He brought down Anthony Schwartz deep but found Javon Wims deep down on the right. He also hit tight end Miller Forristall with a long ball to the left. After a spike, York got the decisive kick with six seconds to go and hit it.
Deshaun Watson finished second, working against the second-team defense. He hit Harrison Bryant on consecutive passes, including a deep ball on the run. He brought down Donovan Peoples-Jones in the end zone, and then a deep pass to Anthony Schwartz was aborted. He linked up with Ja’Marcus Bradley before a throwaway to the right back on the third down retrieved York by three seconds. Once again he made the playful kick when time was up.
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Third team player Josh Dobbs was the only one to get into the end zone. With 22 seconds left, Dobbs took over his team, 28-22 behind, and hit the tight end of Zaire Mitchell-Paden with a 30-yard TD pass in the end zone. Michael Harley caught the two-point pass. Mitchell-Paden had also interrupted Saturday’s practice with a TD on red-zone drills, yelling, “That’s how you end a workout!”
York, York, he’s our man
York was the camper of the day as he drilled a 45-yard field goal at the end of practice to cancel the team’s post-practice meetings.
His teammates mobbed him after the kick – there was slight debate among observers as to whether he actually made it, but what the heck – and Wyatt Teller lifted him onto his shoulders.
“Any time you put a young player in a competitive situation, it just helps them progress,” said Special Teams coordinator Mike Priefer. “The great thing about Cade is that he’s very confident. Lots of kickers, you have to stroke them a bit and spoil them a bit. ‘Doesn’t hurt his psyche’.
“Cade’s not like that at all. He’s only 21 years old, which is incredible. He is very mature. He knows his trade. He’s very smart. He’s very confident. I think that will help here, especially in Cleveland.”
A “little crack in the bone”
Rookie wide receiver David Bell confirmed what Cleveland.com has reported that he sustained a stress fracture in his foot, possibly during mandatory minicamp. But he is happy to be back after being activated by PUP on Saturday.
“I’m honestly not sure [how it happened],” he said. “I woke up one day and it was hurting a bit, so I went in and had to have an X-ray. The x-ray showed what had happened. We made a plan together to get me back as soon as possible. It was frustrating because I just wanted to be out there to show what I can do, but it’s God’s plan and God’s timing. I’m out here now and I’m looking forward to it.”
Don’t just call him a returnee
Pro Bowl returnee Jakeem Grant, down 5-6, has beaten by all odds his entire career and isn’t stopping anytime soon. He had excellent stock and was used a lot at receiver, especially with all the injuries at his position. He made the most of his chances and expects to do more than return punts and kicks.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I always preach that I am a receiver first before I come back. I will continue to preach this message. I’ll keep working on it until I get the opportunity to have that breakout season.”
The following players were sidelined Sunday with injuries: DT Sheldon Day (back), CB Shaun Jolly (groin), LB Silas Kelly (hamstring), CB Denzel Ward (foot) and WR Michael Woods II (hamstring).
You said so
Kevin Stefanski on the distractions of Hunt’s trade request and Deshaun Watson’s ordeal: “This is normal. That’s normal guys. This is NFL football. As far as I know.”
Jakeem Grant on his dodge strategy: “Be a jitterbug. Just don’t get hit. I’m always proud that you can’t hit what you can’t catch. If they can’t catch me, they can’t hit me.”
You did it
How’s that for everything? Hunt ran 98 sprints after training on a hot, muggy day with a perceived temperature.
The Browns liked to surprise them with high schoolers wearing jerseys after practice.
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