Browns are prepared for their Hard Knocks camp closeup

News and notes for the team’s 19th annual golf outing

Daryl Ruiter
May 21, 2018 - 1:15 pm
Members of the organization pose for a group photo at the 19th annual Cleveland Browns Foundation Golf Outing on May 21, 2018

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan

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Rocky River, OH (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Browns are ready for the TV takeover in Berea this summer.

The cameras and microphones for HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ will be everywhere capturing training camp for the 5-part series that begins airing Aug. 7th at 10 p.m.

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor isn’t an avid viewer of the Emmy Award-winning series, but he sees it as more of an opportunity rather than a problem with the show coming to town.

“It’s an opportunity for us as a team to come together,” Taylor said. “That’s what I look at training camp as, of course, going out there and competing, but it’s another opportunity for us to come together. As far as the cameras and stuff being there, the focus for me is that it doesn’t take away from preparation for the guys daily. But I don’t think that’s going to be the case, I think guys are excited about having them around, but it’s not anything that’s going to take our focus away from the actual games.

“So as long as guys can keep focused and go to work every day with the right mindset, that we’re getting ready for a season, then I think it’ll be a good thing. It’ll be able to showcase the talent that we have on the team, see personalities that people may not see. I’m looking forward to it.”

Defensive end Myles Garrett hasn’t watched the show before, but defensive coordinator Gregg Williams showed the team a clip last year of him in 2016 when the Los Angeles Rams were featured.

If you’re looking for Garrett to put on a show for the cameras, he’s not interested.

“I’m not going to change anything,” Garrett said. “Whether it’s my voice or how I talk, who I am, there’s just going to get all of that. If they don’t like it well, too bad.”

Left guard Joel Bitonio has already reached out to a few of his friends in the league to get the low-down on what to expect.

"From what I've heard, I know a few guys who have done it before and they said the cameras are there, but they're not really that intrusive,” Bitonio said. “So I'm excited. I enjoy watching the show. It wasn't my first choice, like, 'Hey, let's be on Hard Knocks.' But it's going to happen, and it'll be interesting to see. It's HBO, so if I cuss or something like that, we'll be OK, so I don't have to filter myself too bad. It'll be fun to kind of see what they pick and what really happens in real life 'cause you never really know are these for show. So it'll be interesting to see."

Inside info – Garrett knew how the top of the Draft would play out a day before teams began going on the clock.

“I predicted the first 5 picks. You can ask my dad,” Garrett said.

“The Day before I had a little discussion with my family, like I knew who was going to be coming to us.”

Garrett was watching on April 26, and as he put it “was paying close attention.”

 “I was glad to see they made some great picks,” Garrett said. “I’m not going to say anyone they would’ve picked would be non-beneficial, but I feel like these guys can come in and have an immediate impact right away.”

Just don’t look for Garrett to join the mock Draft mob in 2019.

“I’m not an expert,” Garrett said. “Guys feel like they know everything, I just got lucky. It’s kinda like blackjack, if you’re feeling lucky you might as well hit on that 12.”

Bitonio on guard – With OTAs set to begin on Tuesday, Joel Bitonio plans on remaining at left guard.

For the first time in 11 years, the Browns enter a season not knowing who their left tackle is following the retirement of Joe Thomas. Austin Corbett, selected 33rd overall, and Shon Coleman are expected to compete for the starting job.

"I'm not sure where it is on their plan,” Bitonio said. “I know every game I've ever gone out to I've played left guard. Every practice I've played left guard. I don't think I've taken a snap at another position since I've been here. So left guard is my home right now.”

While Bitonio isn’t crazy about the idea of changing positions, he’d at least give left tackle a try, assuming he’s asked, or it would come to that.

I'm a team guy, though. Anything they need I'm willing to give a try, but I think right now the plan is to find a guy to play left tackle, and I'm going to stick right at left guard."

Cleansing – Hue Jackson is ready for his Lake Erie plunge on June 1.

“I truly believe it’s a cleansing,” Jackson said. “It’s a turning of the page of the past 2 years. It’s been tough, let’s just be honest, but I think brighter days are ahead so why not jump in, go into that water, come out a little bit different and feeling good about where we’re headed.”

Jackson has pledged $100 towards his foundation for each team employee that jumps in with him. He hoped to raise $15,000 with the event, which will be private. 

“I’m not recruiting anymore,” Jackson said. “Whoever wants to go, go. I made the statement. I’m happy and excited that there’s a lot [of people] in the organization that want to go with me because they truly believe they’re a part of it. And they are part of what we’re trying to accomplish, and I appreciate that.”

Injury updates – With OTAs starting up Jackson expects to have most of his players coming off of injury available or close to returning.

“We’re very close to having full participation but there’s a couple of guys were still going to monitor and ease them back into it as we go,” Jackson said.

Howard Wilson, a 2017 fourth-round pick out of Houston that suffered a season-ending knee injury, is close to returning according to Jackson.

Cornerback Denzel Ward and receiver Antonio Callaway, who suffered minor injuries during rookie minicamp earlier this month “should be fine,” Jackson said.

Emmanuel Ogbah (broken foot) and Jamie Collins (torn MCL) are also on schedule to return. Collins played golf Monday, so that's a great sign.