Editor's note: Tony Grossi covers the Cleveland Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR.
Takeaways from team scrimmage on Day 7 of Browns training camp …
1. Oh, what a night: Rookie receiver Corey Coleman punctuated his impressive first week of camp with a scintillating night. He was, as coach Hue Jackson advertised, dynamic. The first-round pick caught passes launched by Robert Griffin III for 35 yards, beating K’Waun Williams; for 53, using a deft push-off of Tramon Williams at the very end; and for 41, on which he reached out beyond Justin Gilbert, snagged the ball and landed inches inside the boundary in the right corner of the end zone. (Replay probably would have nullified it as the ball appeared to hit the ground when he landed.) “I’ve seen some rookies come in and they don’t catch on that fast,” said Tramon Williams. “To see him doing what he’s doing, it’s been awesome.”
2. Staying humble: Equally impressive was Coleman’s post-scrimmage performance. He kept the night in perspective. “A good day of practice,” he said. “I think I did decent. Some plays I messed up on. Some plays I did good on.” Asked about the veteran-like push-off on Williams, Coleman said with a smile, “That was a push off? I didn’t see no flags. My job was to make the play on Tramon.”
3. Jackson tempering praise: Jackson constantly straddles the line of over-praising Coleman and keeping him grounded to strive for greatness. “He’s a fantastic player,” Jackson said, “but he’s still a young player. I need to see him do it against competition and that’s when we’ll say, ‘OK, maybe he’s arrived.’ He’s still got a ways to go, things to clean up. I don’t want to anoint this young man yet.” Asked what things need to be cleaned up, Jackson said. “He’s got to get lined up right. There’s a lot on his plate that we do that he’s got to learn how to handle, and he will.”
4. Griffin trending up: Griffin had a very good scrimmage. Tramon Williams said, “Some of the balls he threw today, the location he put them at, it was amazing. I went up to him after the one in the corner and said, ‘If you’re throwing the ball like that, you’re going to throw a lot of touchdowns this year.’” Coleman praised Griffin’s leadership. Jackson said he really liked the big plays, but the thing that impressed him most was Griffin “protecting the football. When will Jackson formally name Griffin his starting quarterback? The team travels to Columbus for a glorified walk-through on Saturday and has Sunday off. On Monday, the team begins preparations for the first preseason game Friday in Green Bay. I'd expect Jackson to announce Griffin as his starting QB early in the week.
5. Run woes: A day after top offensive assistant Pep Hamilton talked of having a tough, physical running game, that part of the offense struggled. Isaiah Crowell had a run of about 10 yards, but otherwise was stymied with nowhere to run. Crowell was stopped a couple times on goal-line runs before Griffin tossed a fade to tight end Connor Hamlett for a touchdown. “I didn’t like it,” Jackson said of the running game. “We have got to become a gritty group up front.” The first-team offensive line featured Garth Gerhart at center in place of injured Cam Erving (elbow) and rookie Spencer Drango at right tackle.
6. Observations: Directing the No. 2 offense, Josh McCown’s first series ended with a touch-sack and his second with an interception by Tramon Williams on the second play. McCown led a scoring drive on his third drive on a TD pass to rookie Ricardo Louis … No. 4 quarterback Austin Davis tossed a short TD to tight end J.P. Holtz, who snagged the ball with one hand … No. 3 quarterback Cody Kessler directed three series and had a few overthrown balls … Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews was on hand to see his son, Mike, play center with the No. 2 offense … Former St. Joseph High School and Michigan Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard was also in attendance ... The Browns said attendance for the scrimmage was 2,693.