Back On The Field and Back In The Game

Mini-camp begins today and Bernie's Insiders is on the scene.

As the sun glistened down on the practice fields at the Browns training facility in Berea, all eyes were focused on the new draft selections, the free agent acquisitions, and of course linebacker Jamir Miller.

Miller, rumored to have been on the trading block on the days leading up to the draft, was in uniform participating in drills.

"This is voluntary (this weekends mini-camp) this should say a mouthful," Miller said after practice. "Finally seeing that we have a chance to win, I'm can't jump ship now."

"I never considered not being here, I am a leader on this team, I owe it to the guys that I play with and the guys they drafted to be here."

Mini-camp, rookie camp, whatever it is called these days, it is a time to bring the players to town and get them working in the system. Of the 89 players under contract, 88 of them participated in today's mini-camp.

Tight-end Ricky Dudley is getting married this weekend and was excused from the mini-camp.

For a rookie, a veteran that may be fighting for a roster spot, or an established player, mini-camp is the first of a drawn out process, one that will run through the final week in August.

Signings: The team today announce the signing of place-kicker Phil Dawson on a new four-year contract. Terms of the deal were undisclosed. Running back Jamal White agreed to terms on a one-year deal and quarterback Kelly Holcomb extended his contract with the team through the 2004 season.

On The Field: One practice session is not nearly enough to get a grasp, much less an idea of who can do what and how well.

JJ Johnson, acquired from the Miami Dolphins is mainly being worked at fullback.

Linebacker Earl Holmes saw limited action during day one of mini-camp.

Tight-end Mark Campbell made a nice diving catch of a Tim Couch in the deep seam in 11-on-11 drills.

Offensive tackle Ross Verba and defensive end Courtney Brown were involved in the best offensive/defensive matchups of the afternoon. This one goes down as a draw on day one.

Butch Davis told the assembled media that linebacker Andra Davis had an interception in practice and knows how to get into position.

Returning From Injury: Offensive lineman Tre' Johnson, defensive end Courtney Brown, cornerback Lewis Sanders, and safety Michael Jameson were on the practice field participating in positional and 11-on-11 drills.

Quick Thoughts: Second round draft choice, wide receiver Andre Davis appears to have excellent quickness, very good speed, and runs good routes.

UDFA defensive end Michael Josiah from Louisville is extremely quick with a feel for the action. He has the look of an outside linebacker. 

It may only be mini-camp, running back Jamal White shows great burst and vision. Did we tell you that he no longer looks like a small running back or scat-back.


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