Berea—Eric Mangini welcomed 47 players on to the field Friday for the first time under his tutelage as coach of the Browns.
Two of them were second-round draft choice wide receivers Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi. Both are being counted upon to grow up quickly and make a contribution this season, particularly Robiskie.
He was called one of the most polished receivers to come out of the draft. Many feel it might be because his father, Terry, is an NFL wide receivers coach—currently with the Falcons.
"Some people might expect more of me because my Dad is a wide receivers coach," Robiskie said. "I think it helps me to pay more attention to the little things, the details."
Robiskie was rated by some draft gurus to be a little lower than what the Browns drafted him with the 36th pick.
"First and foremost, the Cleveland Browns answered that question," he said.
"With the quarterback change, that might have had an effect" he said. "That's in the past and doesn't matter now."
Robiskie said it's a dream come true for him to have been in the locker room as a ball boy for the Browns and now to have his locker right next to Braylon Edwards.
"Finally, to be in this situation is exciting," he said. "I'm excited to help this team and looking forward to making the transition and getting onto the field."
Robiskie said his father told him to remember what got him to Ohio State and now to the Browns.
"He told me to do what I had been doing to get me to this point."
Massaquoi is taking the weekend in and is hoping to learn all he can so he can make a contribution as a rookie, as well.
"I've got a chance to learn from the veterans," Massaquoi said. "I work very hard and pay attention to the little things."
Massaquoi said he's talked to Josh Cribbs and Edwards, among others.
"They told me to work hard and stay humble," he said. "I'm a guy who gives everything he has and give the best effort every time."
The group participating today included eight recently drafted players, 14 undrafted free agents, 20 free agents trying out and 5 players already on the roster. The players will practice on Friday and Saturday before going back to their college campuses.
All eight of the draft choices were in camp to go with the undrafted free agents. Those signed as UDFAs were: LB Marcus Benard (Jackson St.), DB Corey Boudreaux (San Diego St.), OL Brandon Braxton (Oklahoma), WR Brent Caseteel (Utah), OL Marlon Davis (Alabama), LB Jonathan Foster (Central St.), DL Adam Hoppel (Cincinnati), LB Phillip Hunt (Houston), TE Mike Massey (Michigan), DB Nathrain Ness (Arizona), WR Jordan Norwood (Penn State), DB Antonio Smith (Bowling Green), DB Jason Venson (Central Florida) and DB Bryan Williams (Akron).
Davis Ready: The Browns are hoping to find lightning in a bottle with sixth-round draft choice James Davis from Clemson. The highly heralded running back had a disappointing senior season after amassing over 3,000 yards in his first three seasons.
Davis went to the same high school as Jamal Lewis and hopes to emulate his NFL career.
"Right now, I just want to learn from (Jamal)," he said. "He's been in the NFL for a long time and I want to learn as much as a I can from him."
There was talk that he might've been better to come out after his junior year but Davis said he has no regrets about coming back for his senior year.
"For starters, I came back for my senior year to graduate," he said. "I knew the team would be good. I learned how to deal with adversity as the season didn't go as expected."
Davis said he is just six hours from graduating with a degree in sociology.
Davis was asked if the Browns got a steal with the pick.
"I would call myself a steal," he said. "But, I'm a hard worker and going to do what I can to contribute."
Harrell's Chance: Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell is in camp as a free agent tryout player after failing to be drafted last weekend.
"It's exciting to be here," Harrell said. "It's an opportunity for me to get to know the guys and the coaches and for them to get to know me."
Is Harrell (6-2, 215) discouraged for being reduced to tryout status after throwing for more touchdowns than any quarterback in college history?
"The spread offense can produce NFL players," he said. "I'm glad for the shot."
Harrell said he had a few opportunities for tryouts, but chose the Browns.
"I had a few options, but my coach said the quarterback coach in Cleveland was good," he said. "I'm glad to be here."
"We had very competitive, up-tempo practices," he said. "It will only help me to better.