Berea, Ohio--Danny Shelton is getting good reviews so far.
After a less than stellar rookie season, Shelton is off to a pretty good start in his sophomore season. Currently, Shelton ranks first in the league with 13 run stops among defensive tackles with a 18.1 run stop percentage according to profootballfocus.com. His overall run defense grade is 82.4, which ranks fifth. Shelton had 36 tackles in 15 games as a rookie in 2015 after being the 12th overall player selected in the 2015 NFL Draft. He has 16 tackles through three games, overall, which is fourth on the team. Shelton had eight tackles against the Ravens in Week 2.
Shelton returned this off-season dedicating himself to have a better year.
“I feel like I’m more focused this season," Shelton said. "I have more determination to produce for the team. That's going to be my mindset for the season, just continue to improve and continue to do my job for the team."
One of the areas Shelton (6-2, 335) concentrated on was getting his weight down. He dropped 30 pounds from playing his rookie season at 365 pounds. Shelton was asked if he credits his weight loss with his better play, but he said it's more than that.
“Really just being tired of losing and wanting to have a better looking record for the team, the city and the fans," Shelton said. "Just feeling like we have to continue to keep fighting.”
Defensive coordinator Ray Horton says he sees the progress in Shelton becoming the disrupting force the Browns are looking for.
“At his position because he is closest to the ball, he can kind of help himself," Horton said last week. "He can make his own hay, if you will. We have been on him to take that next step being recognized as a consistent day in and down in and down out disruptive force in there. He is starting to.
"I keep saying that he is in probably his [18th] start – I don’t know if he started every game last year for us – but he has to really just take that next step of ‘I can play in this league. I know that now. Now, I just have to show the rest of the league and be a very consistent player.’ He has taken steps that way to and he is working very hard to do everything that we ask him to do.”
Shelton said despite his good start, he's not ready to celebrate.
"Not really going to see anything from me as far as like acting super happy about this until we start winning games," he said. "Because that's my mindset, we have to win and we're expecting to win. Until we get that job done, it's going to be just days of just grinding."
With injuries to the front seven and changes in personnel, Shelton said it's all about working as a unit.
“Yeah, it is just really understanding how the NFL is, really understanding the situation that players are going to leave and players are going to come in," Shelton said. "You just have to continue to do your job. Being a young team, I know they are definitely feeling that. I don’t want to say it is stress, but at the same time, we are trying to work together and continue to communicate so we can grow as a young team.”
Campbell Back: DB Ibraheim Campbell returned to practice on a limited basis after missing last week's game with a hamstring injury. QB Robert Griffin III (shoulder), QB Josh McCown (shoulder), OL Cameron Erving (chest/lung), WR Corey Coleman (hand) and DB Tramon Williams (shoulder) were on the stationary bikes. DL Carl Nassib (hand) and LB Nate Orchard (ankle) were not seen on the field. RB Isaiah Crowell (knee), DB Joe Haden (groin) and DL Stephen Paea (back) were on the injury report Wednesday, but were practicing.
No Reunion for RG3: This week was supposed to be the week that QB Robert Griffin III returned to take on his former team, but the injury to his shoulder has sidelined him for at least eight weeks, if not longer. Redskins coach Jay Gruden was asked how disappointed that things didn't work out for Griffin III in Washington.
“Disappointed," Gruden said. "I got the job here, he was our quarterback. We worked extremely hard to get him ready to be our quarterback. Unfortunately, the first year he had the injury to his ankle and that opened the door for (Redskins QB) Kirk (Cousins) and (Redskins QB) Colt (McCoy) to play, and they played well at times.
"Then he came back and we tried to make him the starter the second year and he had the concussion in the preseason and then we decided to make a change and go with Kirk, based on all the information that we had in preseason, practices and OTAs and training camp," Gruden said. "He is a good kid. He really wants to be great. It just unfortunately didn’t work out here. We had to make a decision at the time that was best for our football team, and that is what we went with Kirk. It was a hard deal because I know the fans loved Robert for what he accomplished in his rookie year, but unfortunately, it just did not work out in the longer term.”
Bailey Out?: OL Alvin Bailey was not on the practice field during the open media part of practice. He was scheduled for a court date, but ESPN.com reported it was postponed until Oct. 6 Jackson was vague about whether Bailey would start on Sunday when asked.
If Bailey is suspended or declared inactive, OL John Greco could move back to right guard and newly signed C Austin Reiter could get his first start at center and said he feels he's ready to go after signing with the Browns from the Redskins practice squad. Other options would be to keep Greco at center with OL Cameron Erving (chest/lung) still out and put rookie OL Spencer Drango at right guard or right tackle and have OL Austin Pasztor move inside.