BEREA, Ohio— Fans preparing to see the Browns hitting in hard in Columbus may want to revamp their expectations.
Following Cleveland’s Training Camp practice on Monday, head coach Hue Jackson indicated that the team’s weekend plans may be a bit different than anticipated.
Though the team will still take to Columbus for a practice at Ohio Stadium from 3:00 to 5:30 on Saturday, it will scrimmage in Berea on Friday night from 6:00 to 8:30.
"I think everybody's talked about the scrimmage at Ohio State, right? Well, that's really a mock game for our football team,” Jackson said. “Friday night will be the night that we kind of get after it here within our facilities and go practice and really have a scrimmage-type setting.”
Jackson explained his plans further, indicating that there will be far more hitting on Friday than Saturday.
“We’ll do all the different situations, kickoff, kickoff return, how we come out of the locker room and prepare for a game, the pregame, all that,” Jackson said of Cleveland’s trip to Columbus. “Friday night we're going to scrimmage. We're going to put the ball down and play. It'd be like the siren's going the whole time.”
As they prepare for a hard-hitting weekend, the Browns have cut short practice on both Sunday and Monday, allowing the third and fourth team players to do most of the hitting during team periods.
Jackson seems to be of the belief that the older players don’t need to hit as much as the younger ones, which is why he’s keeping the starters away from the hitting at least to start camp.
"I have to have a pretty good feel for our football team,” Jackson said. I kind of know when we're at that point where it's getting a little too much, and then you back off a little bit.”
While Jackson has the final say on when to stop and when to go, he doesn’t make the decisions alone. He relies on an assortment of others to determine how much the Browns need to be hitting this early in camp.
“I have some very good advisers with our strength staff and our sports science staff who I trust and I feel really good about the information given to me,” Jackson said. “We're a collaborative group, work together and make sure our team stays as healthy as we can.”
Ochocinco: On the Go?
While the Browns were practicing on Monday, they were doing so without a familiar face on the sidelines.
Chad Johnson, who’d been helping the team as a guest of Jackson’s, left camp to attend to personal matters, but Jackson said he could very well be back soon.
“I'm not going to say he's done,” Jackson said. “He can possibly come back from time to time.”
While the Browns’ head coach thinks Johnson has been a nice asset, allowing the players to pick his brain, he doesn’t know whether or not the former receiver is ready to coach just yet.
“I think he found out this business is rough,” Jackson said. “There’s a lot of hours that we keep and I don't think Chad's used to that.”
For all of your Browns news and updates from Berea, follow Hayden Grove on Twitter: @H_Grove