BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns continued their 2011 training camp with a full-padded practice on Friday.
Here are several observations:
This was the best practice Cleveland had this week. It was crisp with a lot of contact. The pace is gradually picking up with the Browns about a week into training camp. Head coach Pat Shurmur focused on a lot on instructing at the start but is now beginning to push the pace of practices.
Friday marked the first full-contact activity for rookie defensive tackle Phil Taylor. He had a great practice and usually got the better of Browns guard Shawn Lauvao in team drills. Taylor is hard to move and also showed the ability to get up field. It's early, but Taylor looks the part.
The Browns are working several receivers in the slot this week, including Josh Cribbs, Jordan Norwood and rookie Greg Little. All three bring something different to the position. But the Browns are trying to get a feel for what type of slot receiver they want in their new West Coast offense.
Backup offensive tackle Brandon Braxton is showing flashes. He has good size and gets good leverage and position in pass protection. Braxton is pushing veteran Tony Pashos, the projected starter, through the first week of camp.
On the injury front, No. 1 corner Joe Haden had stiffness in his hamstring and sat out Friday. Rookie defensive lineman Jabari Fletcher also suffered a sprained knee and was carted off the field. Running back Montario Hardesty (knee) dressed but didn't participate in contact drills. Shurmur said the team believes Hardesty will be ready when needed following last year's ACL tear.