BEREA, Ohio - WR Vince Mayle was sidelined for the minicamp with a broken thumb. Mike Pettine he will have surgery on the thumb after the minicamp and expects him to be ready to go for training camp.
“I’m not going to catch,” Mayle said. “I’m not going to grab anything. I’m just going to run my routes. Everything’s all right. It’s just a little sore. I broke my thumb a while back, so it’s still getting healthy again.”
Mayle (6–2, 225) was a fourth-round draft pick of the Browns. He was the only wide receiver selected.
Profootballfocus.com listed Mayle as having 19 dropped passes last year, which led the nation. He also had 163 targets.
Mayle’s injury and dropped passes might have been the reason he was dropped to the fourth-round.
“A humbling experience, it’s something that just let me know that there’s something wrong with my game, something I need to improve,” Mayle said after he was drafted. “That’s how I feel.”
Kicking it: The Browns struggled in the kicking game last year and ended up releasing K Billy Cundiff late in the season. They signed K Garrett Hartley to a two-year contract, but Hartley wasn’t viewed as the long- term answer after being released by the Saints last year.
The Browns had three kickers in the rookie camp in K Carey Spear from Vanderbilt, K Travis Coons from Washington and K Marvin Klossfrom South Florida. Spear and Coons are listed as first year players. Kloss is in camp on a tryout basis.
Spear was in the Eagles training camp in 2014 and is a Mayfield High School graduate.
Coons was with the Titans as an undrafted free agent rookie last season but was released when K Ryan Succop was signed as a free agent.
Gipson needs catching up: S Tashaun Gipson, who has missed the voluntary OTA sessions to day as he hasn’t signed his restricted free agent contract.
O’Neil said he’s been in contact with Gipson.
“I try to stay out of the contract stuff because there’s a fine line coaches can cross,” O’Neil said. “Everything right now is voluntary. The secondary is the one area that can make a big jump from year one to year two because how complex we are back there.
“Gip’s going to have some catching up to do, when he does come back.”
O’Neil optimistic on Gilbert: O’Neil said he’s encouraged about DB Justin Gilbert and expects him to make major improvements in his second year.
“It was good to see he took a step in the right direction and reached out to Joe Haden,” O’Neil said. “He’s been very attentive, more engaged. If I had a crystal ball, but I’m excited to get into OTA’s and see how he’s grown.
“It’s a tough position but I would expect Justin to make a jump in his second year,” he said. “He flashes the talent.I’m not cautiously (optimistic), I’m optimistic. I have confidence in the coaches that think he’ll show major improvement.”
QB Camp: Despite having 77 players in rookie minicamp, only one QB is roster in QB Connor Shaw. “Connor has been Connor,” Pettine said. “Quietly, he has good command of the huddle not a very verbal leader, but has been a well prepared leader and it’s showed up well.”
Shaw spent most of the 2014 season on the practice squad, but started the season finale against the Ravens.