BEREA — Coach Romeo Crennel walked away from his third training camp with a smile on his face.
“Overall, I thought the guys’ attitudes have been really good and they worked really hard,” Crennel said Thursday after the last practice of camp. “It’s encouraging when you see a day like today and they’re focused on what they have to do and then they execute it. So, you feel like you made some progress.”
The Browns practiced 27 times in 28 days. They had seven two-a-days.
“It’s definitely the longest I’ve ever been in,” said right tackle Kevin Shaffer, a
sixth-year veteran. “It was a month in the hotel. As far as intensity, it hasn’t been the hardest, but it hasn’t been the easiest. It’s in line with a lot of other ones.”
Crennel’s three camps haven’t been particularly hard-hitting, which may be a response to the Browns’ injury history. The pace of drills is brisk, but there also seems to be a fair amount of downtime between segments.
“(Crennel) likes to have a long camp, but he takes care of us,” Shaffer said. “There aren’t two-a-days every day, you’re not in pads every day. I like this schedule.”
As workers immediately began taking down the fixtures of camp — fences, tents, bleachers — Crennel thanked the fans, who filled the bleachers almost daily.
“The fans have been really good for this camp,” he said. “They’ve turned out and shown up and we appreciate that. Hopefully they’ll continue to support us throughout the rest of the year.”
Fullback Lawrence Vickers was held out of practice when a hamstring injury flared up. He won’t play Saturday night vs. the Broncos.
“Right now, he’s day to day,” Crennel said. “We’ll rest him this week and try to get him back healthy pretty quickly.”
Vickers is the only fullback expected to make the 53-man roster. Without him Thursday, rookie free agent Charles Ali was the lone fullback practicing. Tight end Darnell Dinkins also took reps at fullback.
Crennel said if Vickers missed a regular-season game, the game plan could change significantly.
“You have to use other personnel groups a little bit more. It just depends on your game plan,” he said. “If we’re going to use the fullback a lot, we have to adjust the game plan and use the tight ends more, or maybe multiple receivers more.
“There’s a major difference if it happens at the last minute. If you’ve got a little bit of time to prepare for it, you can make the adjustments you have to make.”
First in sight
Vision First, a partnership between the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute, the Browns and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to provide vision screening and eye exams for young kids, visited camp Wednesday.
After practice, Andra Davis, Braylon Edwards, Charlie Frye and kids at training camp received eye screenings to detect amblyopia, a condition in which the vision in one eye is much worse than the vision in the other.
Vision First visited 80 schools and examined more than 5,600 students during the 2006-07 school year. A bus travels to schools and tests kids in preschool, kindergarten and first grade. If glasses are deemed necessary, the Browns pick up the tab.
The Browns worked in the red zone extensively.
• Former fullback Tim Manoa watched practice.
• Joshua Cribbs’ former high school team, Dunbar in Washington, visited camp. The team is in town to play North Canton Hoover.
WHAT HAPPENED: Training camp ended with a two-hour practice in a sauna. When it was over the players and coaches signed a goal past pad to be auctioned off for charity.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Browns will fly to Denver today for a game Saturday night. When they return, practice will be closed to the public and they will intensify preparations for the opener vs. Pittsburgh.
THE QB DERBY: Charlie Frye, the default winner of the competition, led a two-minute drive that ended in an easy field goal. Brady Quinn followed with the second team and managed a field goal after a pass down the seam to tight end Ryan Krause.
SITTING OUT: Linebacker Mason Unck (knee), receiver Efrem Hill (shoulder), fullback J.R. Niklos (knee), guard Andrew Hoffman (shoulder) and safety Justin Sandy (knee) rode the stationary bikes.
SOUND OF THE TIMES: While the Browns practiced, a marching band played in the distance. It likely belonged to Berea High School or Baldwin-Wallace College.
CAMPER OF THE DAY: Coach Romeo Crennel told all the players to sign autographs for the fans. When it looked like a few were going to skip out, Crennel followed up and made sure they signed.
PLAY OF THE DAY: Frye completed a deep post to receiver Braylon Edwards on the first play of an 11-on-11 drill. Edwards got behind second-year cornerback DeMario Minter and Frye put the ball there for a touchdown.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Shorter than I think next year’s will be.” — Quinn, who held out for 11 days, when asked his impressions of his first training camp.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7136 or firstname.lastname@example.org.