CLEVELAND — The Browns suited up for their first padded practice at training camp Monday.
The Browns and the agent for offensive lineman Jason Pinkston released a joint statement on Monday, stating the former University of Pittsburgh lineman has not been medically cleared for practice. They did not offer any insight as to what has kept Pinkston from getting on the field. In October of 2012, Pinkston was hospitalized with blood blots in his lungs. He returned in 2013 from the condition, only to be sidelined with a high ankle sprain.
A very strong crowd was on hand at Monday’s practice despite the iffy weather conditions overnight. The Browns gambled the weather would hold and the field was in great shape. It meant for some entertaining practice as the offense, with Brian Hoyer at the helm made more progress. Hoyer holds the edge over rookie Johnny Manziel.
Pro Bowl lineman Joe Thomas had these thoughts on the two QBs. “I think they’re both doing a great job competing. I think they’re both going about it the right way. It seems like, so far, both guys have done a good job preparing themselves. It’ll be fun to see how it plays out, but definitely it seems like it’s an open competition.”
Another competition that will get much attention in camp is for starting cornerback on the other side of the field from Joe Haden. Coach Mike Pettine weighed in on the battle between Justin Gilbert and veteran Buster Skrine.
“It’s still early. We’re going to keep rotating them. I think they both came out and have been solid from Day 1. As I said with the other positions, we’ll put more weight on the live work. When we get to a scrimmage, when we get to a preseason game, those will carry more weight than the practice reps.”
Though it was the first day in pads, coach Pettine stressed he wanted to see (and hear) an initial “Thud,” but did not want players tackled to the ground. That will happen Thursday and also this Saturday in the family day event at Akron’s InfoCision Stadium.
After three practices, the Browns have drawn over 10,000 fans to Berea. According to a recent update from the team, there are just two practices remaining that are not all sold out. The team also said there have been fans from 34 different states who have attended some of the first three days of drills.
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