CLEVELAND — The countdown is officially on for the return of Browns football.
The team announced Thursday it will open its 2012 training camp July 28 at its Berea headquarters, giving fans their first look at rookies Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden in uniform.
The 8:45-11:15 a.m. practice will be the first of 16 that are open to the public, including the Browns’ annual Family Night at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Aug. 8. Admission to each session is free.
Second-year coach Pat Shurmur put his stamp on the itinerary by scheduling 12 practices in full pads, compared with just three sessions in shells (smaller shoulder pads) and one in only helmets.
The new collective bargaining agreement, signed last year, prohibits two-a-day practices – the second session is a non-contact walkthrough — so Shurmur has to maximize the hitting when he’s allowed to put the players in pads.
The rookies have yet to practice in full pads, because the organized team activities and minicamps are non-contact.
Browns players will have six off days during training camp, which runs from July 28-Aug. 22. They occur on July 31, Aug. 5, Aug. 9, Aug. 11, Aug. 15 and Aug. 18 — with two serving as travel days before preseason games in Detroit (Aug. 10) and Green Bay (Aug. 16).
This marks the 18th straight season Cleveland is holding training camp at its permanent practice facility at 76 Lou Groza Blvd.
The Browns have camped at home each year since returning to the NFL as an expansion team in 1999, continuing a tradition they began in 1992 before then-owner Art Modell moved the original franchise to Baltimore.
Parking for each practice session will be available on the campus of Baldwin-Wallace College, near the intersection of Bagley Road and Beech Street. Fans must enter the facility through the residential gate on Beech Street, which is also where all concession and souvenir stands are set up.
In the event of inclement weather, practices will be moved inside the fieldhouse and closed to the public. Updated information will be available on the camp hotline at 877-6BROWNS and on the team’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Contact Brian Dulik at email@example.com.
July 28 8:45-11:15 a.m.
July 29 8:45-11:15 a.m.
July 30 8:45-11:15 a.m.
Aug. 1 2-4:30 p.m.
Aug. 2 8:45-11:15 a.m.
Aug. 3 8:45-11:15 a.m.
Aug. 4 8:45-11:15 a.m.
Aug. 6 2-4:30 p.m.
Aug. 7 8:45-11:15 a.m.
Aug. 8* 7-8:30 p.m.
Aug. 10** 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 12 2-4:30 p.m.
Aug. 13 8:45-11:15 a.m.
Aug. 14 8:45-11:15 a.m.
Aug. 16*** 8 p.m.
Aug. 19 2-4:30 p.m.
Aug. 21 8:45-11:15 a.m.
Aug. 22 8:45-11:15 a.m.
* — Family Night at Cleveland Browns Stadium
** — Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions preseason game
*** — Cleveland Browns at Green Bay Packers preseason game