November 26, 2014

Elyria
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Observations from Browns practice

BEREA – The Browns are in the dog days of camp. The players are tired, the coaches are sick of telling the players the same things and 15 players missed practice for the second straight day with injuries.

But the beat went on this morning, with 75 of the 90 players on the roster in full pads in front of a crowd of 2,029.

Here are some notes and observations:

Coach Pat Shurmur said the starters could play into the third quarter Thursday night in Green Bay in the second preseason game. They will play at least a half, and he will decide at halftime if they will get more work.

Shurmur said rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden won’t see any more time than the rest of the starters.

“It’s important not to mix up too many ones with the twos,” Shurmur said. “It gets sloppy sometimes.”

Shurmur and Eagles counterpart Andy Reid are treating this week as the “dress rehearsal” for the regular season rather than the normal third exhibition game. The Browns and Eagles play each other Aug. 24 and again Sept. 9 in the regular-season opener.

They are already familiar with each other. Shurmur coached under Reid for 10 years.

** The same 15 players missed practice for the second straight day: receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (concussion), cornerback Dimitri Patterson (ankle), running back Trent Richardson (arthroscopic knee surgery), defensive tackle Scott Paxson (knee), receiver Travis Benjamin, linebacker Scott Fujita, tight end Jordan Cameron (back), tight end Benjamin Watson, linebacker Chris Gocong (Achilles), linebacker D’Qwell Jackson (shoulder), defensive end Marcus Benard, defensive end Frostee Rucker, safety Usama Young, fullback Eddie Williams and defensive tackle Phil Taylor (torn pectoral).

Shurmur said there’s a chance a couple could return Tuesday and play Thursday.

** Undrafted rookie linebacker L.J. Fort is getting noticed. Fort (6-foot, 230 pounds) took Jackson’s spot with the first-team defense for the second straight day.

Fort, who went to Northern Iowa, intercepted Colt McCoy on the goal line late in practice. McCoy hurried when cornerback James Dockery was unblocked blitzing off the corner.

Shurmur said Fort played well in the preseason opener on defense and special teams.

** Special teamer Joshua Cribbs saw his most extensive action on offense, working as the No. 3 receiver. He said he expects to contribute in the kicking game and on offense, even though his first focus will be returning and covering kicks.

** Tight end Evan Moore told rookie receiver Josh Gordon to keep running his route after he cut one short. Gordon had the same issue Sunday and heard from the coaches.

** Moore also didn’t appreciate an overzealous tackle by safety T.J. Ward.

** Receiver Jordan Norwood made a couple of nice catches over the middle.

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