Wednesday Mini-Camp Report

Dave follows up today's great chat from camp with the first report on today's activities. Who pancaked Chaun Thompson? Who got into a scrap? And, of course, how goes the on-going QB competition. Get it right here, right now.

BEREA - One of the highlights on day two of Cleveland Browns' mini-camp was Qasim Mitchell's crushing hit on Chaun Thompson during goal line drills in Wednesday's morning session.

Mitchell lived up to his nickname, "Big Cakes", pancaking the rookie linebacker and clearing a path to the end zone for running back James Jackson.

It was a big blow that drew ooh's and ah's from the other players. It also came during no-pad workout where players were wearing just shorts and helmets.

"Qasim shouldn't have been doing that today," defensive tackle Gerard Warren said laughing. "You have to know the tempo of practice. But then, in goal line, it is a different level. You can't hold back."

Mitchell's intensity might have been a minor breach of etiquette for an early-summer workout with more than a month before training camp, but his teammates actually loved it. When the mammoth second-year offensive lineman returned to the sideline, veteran wide receiver Kevin Johnson met him with a big grin and a high five. Warren, meanwhile, feigned anger, shouting "you don't do that to a guy on my defense."

After missing all of last season with a rib and lunginjury, Mitchell is finally ready to show what he can do in the NFL. The un-drafted free agent from tiny North Carolina A&T is already the talk of the offseason, showing the power that has both players and coaches drooling about his potential at right guard.

In their excitement, coach Butch Davis and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians have referred to Mitchell as a bear-like 380-pounds. The un-drafted free agent from tiny North Carolina A&T is actually closer to 365, and hoping to cut 10 more pounds by the start of next month's training camp. He weighed in at 340 last year before he was placed on the injured list.

"Believe it or not, even with this extra weight, I'm still the same speed," said Mitchell. "They haven't timed me recently, but I run about a 5.1 (40-yard dash)."

Shaun O'Hara returns as the starter at right guard, but Mitchell's size, strength and potential have encouraged some discussion of using the mammoth young lineman as a sub in short-yardage situations.

According to several of his teammates, Mitchell is not far from challenging for a starting job.

"He is like a beast out of the abyss," said Warren. "Out of nowhere, you see this massive guy that they bring in as a free agent. The first thing we all said is, ‘man, this dude is big.' Then you see him play, and you realize he is going to be really good. Really good. When he gets those small techniques and fundamentals down and learns some tricks, he is going to be scary.

"He already has a nickname. We call him ‘Bone Crusher' a.k.a. ‘Big Cakes', because he makes those big pancake blocks."

QUARTERBACK BATTLE, DAY TWO ... While the players and coaches downplay the "quarterback controversy," the reality that Kelly Holcomb is being given the opportunity to challenge Tim Couch for his starting job continues to put their performance under the microscope.

After Holcomb shined Tuesday, it was Couch's turn to shine in Wednesday morning. Couch unloaded a perfectly thrown 70-yard touchdown bomb, that carried more than 50 yards in the air, during 7-on-7 drills.

Holcomb struggled all through the morning, forcing one pass into traffic that was intercepted by Michael Jameson. Andra Davis broke up another poor throw by Holcomb, nearly making the pick.

AND IN THIS CORNER ... Shaun O'Hara and Chad Ward's double team of a defenseless defensive lineman set off a baseball style bench clearing brawl. As the fight started to break up, Gerard Warren and running back Jamel White squared off in an obscenity-laced verbal exchange.

As they were being pulled away from each other, White shouted at Warren, "you know, we are supposed to be teammates."

Warren shot back, "I ain't your teammate."

On the practice field, there is always that division between offense and defense. Warren, however, is trying to make sure that division doesn't carry into the locker room this season. In his new leadership role, Warren wants to rebuild the bond in the Browns' locker room.

"In the past, those arguments used to go to the locker room," said Warren. "Now, what happens on the field stays on the field. On the field, we all may be Cleveland Browns, but there is a line between us that makes us offense and defense. So, there is still a little war going on within the family. But when we get to the locker room, it's all unity. We are all aiming for one common goal, and that is a Super Bowl."

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