RUNNING BACK AUDITIONS - Former Notre Dame, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles running back Autry Denson was in Berea today. Butch Davis said the Browns will take look at a few different free agent running backs today.
DOWN AGAIN - James Jackson had the wind knocked out of him when he was hit by Kalvin Pearson. The oft-injured running back spent several minutes on the turf before finally walking off under his own power. Butch Davis admitted that Pearson's hit may have been a bit overzealous, but it showed an aggressive quality he likes in the rookie free-agent defensive back.
Jackson is fine. X-rays were negative.
ROOKIES END STRONG - Butch Davis was extremely pleased with the effort of the 35 rookies and free agents who participated in the first three days of camp.
"I hope today is indicative of the way all of training camp will go," said Davis. "In just the span of three practices, the emphasis that our football team made on getting better ... If (the veterans) can take the same approach that these young guys did, this could be a very productive camp."
According to Davis, the highlight of the session was the encouraging work of the young offensive lineman during an inside-run drill.
"It was probably as good of an inside run as we had at any time, with veterans or anybody, last year," said Davis. "We blocked extremely well. We had some guys on the offensive line who did an excellent job. Melvin Fowler and Qasim Mitchell, Brad Bedell, Conrad Dean and those guys did a very, very nice job against some pretty talented defensive linemen.
They were going against some guys like Tyrone Rogers and guys who played and started and were productive for us last year. I think that was very encouraging."
BIG PLAYS - Frisman Jackson turned in the play of the day with a diving, one-handed grab over the middle during a 5-on-7 drill. "He made the quarterback look good. He's an athletic guy. His background was at quarterback in college (at Western Illinois). He's made the transition (to wide receiver) and he's only been there for a short amount of time. He's smart, he has good hands and he's a good athlete."
Unfortunately, Jackson later came under attack by offensive coordinator Bruce Arians for missing a block that allowed Michael Jameson to drop James Jackson for a loss during 11-on-11 drills.
Dimitrius Breedlove is another rookie receiver who had some highs and lows on Thursday. Breedlove made a nice adjustment to catch a deep throw from Josh Booty. Breedlove beat Lewis Sanders down the sideline, then came back to make a leaping catch over Sanders when the ball was underthrown.
Breedlove broke into the open deep over the middle on the final play of the morning practice, but watched a perfectly placed throw by Kevin Thompson float, untouched between his hands and fall incomplete.
SCREEN PROBLEMS - For three straight years the Browns have struggled to execute a simple screen pass. Those problems surfaced again Monday when Calvin Spears intercepted a pass when Chris Sanders failed to make a sliding catch in an 11-on-11 drill. The ball caromed off Sanders' hands and shoulder pad, right to Spears.
FOWLER AT GUARD - Melvin Fowler will open camp at guard, then rotate to center at some point during the weekend. Davis said they had not decided if Fowler will rotate positions every day or every two days. Fowler could end up getting more reps at guard than center, allowing him to become more comfortable in the position.
ALL VETERANS EXPECTED - Butch Davis is expecting all of the veterans to report on time Friday, including linebacker Jamir Miller, who is hoping to cash in on his Pro Bowl season by renegotiating his contract.
"There is no indication that anybody will (not report)," said Davis. "We haven't heard anything about wives delivering babies, airplanes, there are no major weather storms, nobody has called to say I'm running late."