July 31, 2014

Elyria
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Browns update: Safeties T.J. Ward, Usama Young return; Mike Adams plans on being starter

BEREA – Monday was the day of the safety at Browns practice. T.J. Ward and Usama Young returned in limited roles, and Mike Adams boldly announced his intention to hold onto the starting job.

Ward and Young have been battling hamstring injuries for the last couple of weeks. Young hasn’t played in any preseason games, and Ward just the first one. They both did position drills Monday, and Ward took a limited number of repetitions in team drills while Young sat out.

Ward and Young opened camp as the expected starters, with Adams trying to hold off Young – a free-agent pickup from New Orleans. With Young out for so long, Adams may have solidified his starting role, at least for the beginning of the season.

“I think he is taking advantage of the extra reps that he has gotten,” Shurmur said. “He has played in there much like you would expect from a starter.”

Adams would be glad to hear that. He’s been primarily a backup throughout his career – 34 starts in 98 games – but has always stated his desire to be a full-time starter.

“I welcome all competition,” Adams said. “It’s hard to replace Mike Adams.

“My job is to make it hard for (the coaches).”

Other notes and observations from practice:

** Tight end Benjamin Watson (hamstring) didn’t practice or appear on the field. He had the leg wrapped Sunday at the end of practice.

** Linebacker Chris Gocong (neck stinger) and defensive tackle Travis Ivey (undisclosed) didn’t practice and worked with trainers.

** Left guard Eric Steinbach (back), running back Brandon Jackson (toe) and linebacker Titus Brown (hamstring) didn’t venture onto the field.

** Receivers Joshua Cribbs (hamstring) and Jordan Norwood (knee) returned to practice. Cribbs didn’t participate in team drills.

** Receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (foot) saw his reps increase in his second day back.

** Quarterback Colt McCoy hit rookie receiver Greg Little on a 50-yard touchdown pass behind two defenders. It was a great throw. Little took his time returning to the huddle, drawing some grief from coaches and teammates.

** Kicker Phil Dawson was good, by plenty, on field goals from 55 and 62 yards.