Afternoon Practice Report

Mike McLain brings the details from today's sparsely populated rookie training camp practice. With no draftees around to steal the spotlight, some previously injured veterans and undrafted free agents got to show their stuff...

BEREA - There wasn't much activity Tuesday as the Browns officially opened training camp Tuesday.

Rookies and a selected group of veterans were on the field for an afternoon session. None of the seven drafted players had signed as of early Tuesday evening.

Coach Butch Davis doesn't seem worried that none of the drafted players are on hand. That could change in a few days, especially for the lower-round picks.

"I've said it to this team for the better part of a month - we have some good position competition," Davis said. "For the first time we're going to cut some guys that are pretty good players. Anybody that misses much camp won't enhance their opportunity to make the team."

Minus the veterans and drafted players, the practice was attended by a little more than 30 players.

Quarterback Nate Hybl stood out in practice, throwing the ball well throughout the session. Hybl, a free agent from Oklahoma, was the only quarterback on the field.

"Nate threw the ball extremely well," Davis said. "Seven-on-seven and team drills were good. With the exception of a couple of drops, I don't know if he threw an incompletion."

Davis also talked about the showings of rookie free agent receivers C.J. Jones and Richard Alston.

Defensive end Courtney Brown was on the field but didn't participate in drills. Brown, who had microfracture surgery on his left knee, won't know if he'll be able to practice when veterans report Friday until he undergoes a physical on Thursday.

"He's anxious," Davis said. "He's been here religiously every day. He's probably as anxious as we are to see how much he can tolerate and what is his ability to go against other people.

"There's one bench mark, and that's raw power and strength. You get on the weights and see how strong you are. The other is functional strength. How well does that strength translate into taking on a block from Ryan Tucker, who weighs 335 pounds, and he's moving at you? There's still a hurdle he's going to have to climb over."

Two players were signed Tuesday - fullback Keala Keanaaina and receiver Brian Haugabrook. Keanaaina (6-3, 264) played for San Jose of the Arena Football League and led the league with 250 yards on 49 carries. Haugabrook (6-2, 200) played at Florida and spent time in San Francisco and Green Bay's camps.

FAST START: Offensive guard Qasim Mitchell and outside linebacker Ben Taylor were among the veterans on hand. Taylor ended last season on IR with a hamstring injury. Mitchell spent the season on IR with a punctured lung.

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