Editor's note: Tony Grossi covers the Cleveland Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR.
More takeaways from Browns OTAs and interviews …
If anyone could offer insight into why Odell Beckham Jr. elected to miss nine of 10 voluntary OTA practices with his new team, it should be Browns receivers coach Adam Henry.
“We talk … all the time we talk. I’ve always talked to him,” Henry said.
Henry said it was “surreal” that the three are reunited in Cleveland … “like a storybook.”
But what is unreal is the fact that Landry has attended most of the OTA sessions – even though he has not practiced because of an undisclosed injury – while Beckham has remained absent from his new team.
On Thursday, Kitchens – for the first time -- expressed irritation with Beckham’s absence. He curtly said he has missed “a lot … the offense.”
But Henry, who knows the psychology of Beckham, and all his sensitivities, declined to stray from the “it’s voluntary” card.
“Are you disappointed that Odell has elected not to attend?” I asked Henry.
“I mean, it’s voluntary,” he responded. “You’d like him to be here, but again because of the rules it is voluntary.”
“Are you surprised he did not come more often?” Henry was asked by another media member.
“I mean, he’s been here a couple of days,” Henry answered. “He’ll be back. That’s one of the things that happens with the collective bargaining agreement.”
Frankly, those are lame answers to very reasonable questions, and they only add to the suspicion that there is more to Beckham’s absence than meets the eye.
Pushing each other: When Beckham does rejoin his new team – everyone expects him to attend the mandatory minicamp June 4-6 – Henry believes the reunion of Landry and Beckham will bring out the best in each other.
“Just in competition,” Henry said. “Every day, pushing each other. Just driving each other. They coach each other up. So it’s a form of peer pressure that’s very positive.”
One thing we definitely shouldn’t see is any hint of jealousy or tugging at Baker Mayfield to get the ball more.
“They’re like brothers,” Henry said. “They’re competitive, but they’re brothers. They’re going to try to make each other better. You’ll see at times at LSU, Odell’s blowing the top off [the defense] and Jarvis is underneath catching a touchdown and they’re pointing at each other, talking thank you while he’s going into the end zone. It’s one of those things.”
Henry also believes that Beckham will be fine playing in Cleveland, a much smaller media market than New York.
“I believe it’ll be great for him because the fans are tremendous here,” he said. “They’re receptive to him and they’re going to let him be him and accept him for who he is. I believe this is a great place for him.”
Myles to go: What might be different for Myles Garrett in his third season with the Browns?
Well, there’s a new defensive coordinator (Steve Wilks) and a new defensive line coach (Tosh Lupoi). Garrett also has a new complementary end in Olivier Vernon.
All of which may lead to Garrett lining up in different looks from his usual right end position.
Lupoi, who comes directly from Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama, said, “You’re going to see Myles standing up at times. You’re going to see his hand in the ground. He can play inside, he can play outside. He can play opposite the tight end, he can play on a tight end. Where we feel like we can get advantage is where we’re going to tailor our personnel. That’s Myles, and there are others on the defensive line, as well as the defense, that can give us an advantage.
“We want to attack in a lot of different ways and give the offense a lot of different looks so you can’t just locate a certain jersey number and locate a certain look and possibly slide your protection there and run opposite it.”