BEREA, Ohio-- The Cleveland Browns are less than a week into training camp and new head coach Hue Jackson has mixed reviews for his team.
The coach cut practice a little short on Monday as the team prepares for its Brown and Orange Scrimmage on Saturday at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. Jackson said Friday's evening training camp session will be a mock game with full pads and tackling while the guys won't be in pads for Saturday's event at Ohio State.
Also on Monday, we didn't hear much of Jackson's now-signature siren, which marks when players can tackle. It only sounded once and towards the end of practice.
"We weren't as sharp as I'd like for us to be. But then again, that's kind of expected when you go after it hard on the first day," Jackson said.
"I thought there were some good things. Obviously, I think that we don't turn the ball over. That's good on offense. But on defense, we need to get more turnovers, we need to get the ball out just a little bit more."
Jackson said he's evaluating a lot of players, especially when it comes to the field vying for a wide receiver spot. The coach said rookie Jordan Payton has a lot of catching up to do since he was still in school, while he knows what kind of player veterans like Andrew Hawkins are.
"I like the energy of our football team," Jackson said. "I give a lot of credit to our veteran players. I think they understand the process and they're trying to bring the young guys along each and every day."
"We're just going to keep stacking up good days, put our head down and keep grinding and keep becoming a gritty group."
As for the role of former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson, don't expect to see him at camp every day. Jackson said he invited Ochocinco as a guest so he could see what life as an NFL coach is really like.
"I think he found out this business is rough," Jackson said with a laugh.