October 24, 2014

Elyria
Hazy sunshine
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Camp update: Randy Lerner, good crowd watch practice

BEREA – Owner Randy Lerner watched a large portion of training camp practice this morning, a day after announcing he was in negotiations to sell the team to Tennessee businessman Jimmy Haslam III.

Lerner stood with president Mike Holmgren on the sideline and talked to coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert. Lerner walked back into team headquarters during practice, saying hello to a few reporters but not stopping to talk.

Forbes reported Lerner will get $920 million in the sale, though he was seeking $1 billion.

“We haven’t talked about really anything beyond being informed of what’s going to happen,” Shurmur said. “Now it’s a process. He was out here watching practice, really nothing more to it than that.”

Other news and observations from practice:

Defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin didn’t practice for the second straight day, and the Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot reported he had surgery six weeks ago to repair a slight pelvic tear. Shurmur wouldn’t confirm the report but said he expects Rubin back “real soon.”

Rubin ran sprints from sideline to sideline during practice.

** Tight end Evan Moore opened camp on the non-football injury list, but Shurmur expects him back quickly. Shurmur wouldn’t specify the injury but said Moore suffered it while training for camp.

** Defensive tackle Phil Taylor (torn pectoral) and fullback Eddie Williams joined Rubin on the active/physically unable to perform list. They can be activated at anytime, although Taylor will miss a significant chunk of the regular season.

** The Browns practiced in front of fans for the first time this year, and 2,937 watched, eclipsing any crowd from last year. The fans were almost disappointed.

Thunderstorms hit Berea in the early morning, causing the team to delay the opening of the gates from 7:45 to 8:30 for the 8:45 practice. But the rain stopped and Shurmur didn’t want to let down the fans by moving practice indoors.

** The defense got the better of the offense for a second straight day. Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden is getting the bulk of the repetitions with the starters but hasn’t looked sharp. He was nearly intercepted by safety T.J. Ward on an ill-advised deep pass thrown while rolling to his left.

** Linebacker Scott Fujita remains optimistic his three-game suspension will be overturned in the courts and is preparing as if he’ll play Week 1. Shurmur said the team is preparing under the assumption it will be without him.

** Rookie right tackle Mitchell Schwartz lined up with the first-team offense after Oniel Cousins filled the spot Friday. Shurmur said he expects Schwartz, a second-round pick, to be the starter.

** With Taylor and Rubin out, veterans Scott Paxson and Brian Schaefering were with the starters. Eric Hagg continued to be the starting free safety ahead of Usama Young.

** Greg Little and Mohamed Massaquoi were the starting receivers.

** Cornerback Joe Haden said Massaquoi stepped on his big toe, causing some discomfort. Haden repeatedly flexed his left foot but continued to practice.

** Rookie receiver Josh Gordon had a deep ball from Weeden go off his hands in the end zone. Shurmur called him a quick learner.

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