BEREA, Ohio--It was a great start. Quarterback Robert Griffin III hooked up on the second play of the scrimmage on a long pass play down the sideline to Corey Coleman. Before the night was through, the former Baylor stars hooked up on on three pass plays of 35-,53- and 41 yards unofficially, including a touchdown.
Hue Jackson liked the big play ability of the offense in the first scrimmage situation.
“Outstanding," he said. "I keep saying and you guys keep watching Robert (Griffin III) get better and better and better right before your eyes. He’s no different than any other player I’m coaching. There’s an expectation that I have for that position and how they play. There’s an expectation for the line, defense or offense. Our guys have to meet that expectation, and I think he’s trying. That’s all you can ask for. He’ll keep growing and going after it, and good things are going to happen."
He also likes what he saw of Coleman.
“Yeah, well that’s what he does," Jackson said. "He’s not doing anything that I’m surprised of. I said it before, that’s why we drafted him. He’s a tremendously talented young man. He’s got some growing to do so there are some things that he’s got to clean up and continue to get better at. He always finds a way to make a play.
"That’s what you’re looking for in a guy that has the opportunity to score the football like he does," he said. "Obviously, in order for him to catch those balls, there is some good protection going on, there is a good ball thrown and he is able to make some plays. He’s just got to continue to do that. That’s something that we’re counting on, but at the same time, there is a whole lot that goes into that.”
Griffin III bounced his first pass to Duke Johnson, Jr. but then unofficially completed his next six passes, not counting goal line situations. Griffin III threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Coleman and a five-yarded to tight end Connor Hamlett.
Jackson was impressed with Griffin III's deep passes, but most of all that Griffin III didn't turn the ball over.
“I think (the deep throws were) good, but I think the most important thing, Robert is protecting the football," he said. "That’s what’s going to give us the best chance to win games. I’m loving the big plays, and that’s what quarterbacks do in the National Football League, but what you have to do to be a winning quarterback is win. On top of that in order to win, you have got to be able to take care of the football. He’s done a good job with that. If we can do that, run the football and then make explosive plays like I think we can, then I think we’ve got a chance to be a decent offensive football team.”
Although Jackson likes what he's seen in Coleman, he said he still has room to grow.
“I don’t know that he does something spectacular that separates himself, but he’s just very, very talented," he said. "He can make contested catches. He has the ability to adjust to the ball in the air. He has the ability to make plays down the field. That’s what he did. He’s a fantastic player. I think we all recognize that, but again, he’s still a young player. We’re doing it in practice. I need to see him do it against competition and that’s when we’ll say, ‘OK, maybe he’s arrived,’ but he’s got a ways to go.
“Yeah, he knows how to score the football," he continued. "He knows how to get from here to there very fast and get the ball in the end zone. He’s proven that, but he’s got some things to clean up. Again, I don’t want to anoint this young man yet. It is way too soon. I’ll be the first to tell you that. Has he shown some very unquestionability? Yes he has. I want to give him that, but at the same, he knows there are some things I’m expecting him to get cleaned up here real fast in order to be the type of player I think he can be.”
Despite Jackson trying to keep Coleman humble, the rookie downplayed his production in the scrimmage when asked if it was his best practice.
“I really can’t say," he said. "If I don’t have a good practice, I have a bad day. I try to come in here, know what I have to do and practice on a level that I know I can practice on. Really just show the coaches that I can come in and play as a rookie.
"I think I did decent," Coleman said. "But there were some plays I messed up on and some plays that I did good on."
Coleman credited Griffin III with his development.
“Robert helps everybody out," he said. "He’s a great leader on this team. Even when I don’t know what to do sometimes, he helps me out getting plays. Really, he has the toughest job on offense, and he’s done a great job preparing himself and his mind to get the task done.”
Tramon's Pick: CB Tramon Williams intercepted a pass by QB Josh McCown to start McCown's second series. McCown completed a pass to WR Ranell Hall to start his drive, but then had a pass tipped. He threw another to Hall for 13 yards before getting sacked by LB Christian Kirksey.
Sitting Out: Not participating in the scrimmage were: TE Seth Devalve (hamstring), TE Randall Telfer (hamstring), DB Trey Caldwell (hamstring), WR Andrew Hawkins (hamstring), OL Kyle Rose (leg), WR Josh Gordon (quad), DB Joe Haden (ankle) and OL Cameron Erving (elbow). WR Taylor Gabriel (heat) and WR Marlon Moore (heat) were back practicing after leaving practice Thursday due to heat. FB Malcolm Johnson (concussion) is still in the concussion protocol. DL John Hughes (personal) missed his second day of practice.
Moves:The Browns signed DL Kenton Adeyemi and pllaced OL Michael Bowie on reserve/retired. FB Patrick Skov, who was waived/injured, went unclaimed and reverted to the Browns’ injured reserve list.
O-H-I-O: The Browns will travel to Columbus for the Orange and Brown scrimmage from 3-5:30 pm Saturday at Ohio Stadium before taking Sunday off.