The story of the day is the contract termination of defensive back Gary Baxter, which we reported earlier this afternoon. Baxter had not participated in a training camp session for over a week and recently had knee surgery to remove loose cartilage from one of his surgically repaired knee.
Baxter had become an inspiring figure for this Cleveland Browns team. While terminating the contract frees up a spot on the roster, he could ultimately return to the team if the latest procedure is successful.
Following the practice session, the Orange and Brown Report learned the team is believed to be talking to one or two player representatives, in advance of what may be an upcoming roster move for the team. The move(s) are believed to be directed at the defensive backfield.
The Practice Session
Today's practice session was conducted at a slow pace, with limited team drills and a close focus on particulars. The line drills (which are always interesting to view) were not conducted. Rather, the defensive linemen worked with the blocking dummies, while the offensive linemen simulated blocking drills/assignments amongst other members of their unit.
The wide receivers worked in receiving drills with two of the quarterbacks, while the running backs and tight ends spent time catching passes from a third QB in the sessions.
There was minimal activity in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, but there are still of things the OBR has noted in the recent past, which are starting to come to fruition on the field:
- WR Steve Sanders lined-up as the #3 receiver with the starting offense on numerous occasions in drills today. Sanders is viewed a larger wide receiver and could fit well into the mold of a possession receiver. After gaining some momentum is practice sessions last week, and faring adequately in the pre-season opener, Sanders is getting more meaningful reps.
- WR Travis Wilson spent time as the #3 and #4 receiver in drills today. Wilson caught a couple balls in the session, and also heard about sealing off the cornerback better in a route.
- WR Syndric Steptoe saw limited opportunities as the #3 receiver, but was utilized as the #4 and #5 in drills. Steptoe currently is the backup punt return specialist.
- KR/WR Josh Cribbs saw a little more action in the receiving game and fared well.
- Backup QB Brady Quinn wasn't as sharp in the session as he had been in recent days. Twice during drills, Quinn threw the ball high over the middle, and one errant toss tipped off the hands of RB Jerome Harrison and was nearly intercepted. The second was high on a crossing route, which almost led to WR Efram Hill having his head forcibly removed. Later in sessions, Quinn threw behind an open Harrison on a crossing route with plenty of daylight in front of the RB.
Quotes of Note
"I want to be part of the team and bring something positive. I think we can be good, I really think we can be." --- NT Shaun Rogers
"It felt good to be out there hitting someone else, we just didn't get enough of a chance to do it" --- NT/DE Shaun Smith (on the Thursday night pre-season opener).
"One of things I need to do when I am fatigued is to run crisper routes. I could have been faster late in the game." --- Rookie TE Martin Rucker.
The Walking Wounded
- TE Kellen Winslow (hamstring) and FB Lawrence Vickers (hamstring) returned to the practice field on Saturday. Winslow participated in drills, while Vickers participated in individual drills and sat out much of the team activities.
- OG Seth McKinney (ankle) worked out on an adjacent field the team was not utilizing on this day. McKinney noted he was close to returning.
- WR Kevin Kasper (hamstring) was not at the practice session.
- TE Steve Heiden (knee) lined up and participated in drills, while wearing a large knee brace. WR Travis Wilson (hip) participated in all drills and noted he was doing fine following the session.
- WR Braylon Edwards landed awkwardly on his left ankle during 7-on-7 drills, causing the WR to sit out a portion of the practice. While taking a break from the session, Edwards went to the end of the field and drove back the water cart for the players. Edwards returned and practiced later in the session. At the end of the session, Edwards suffered a cut to his right heel.