Hard Knock Life: Browns camp – Day 3 news and notes

Joel Bitonio would like to avoid move to left tackle, but is willing

Daryl Ruiter
July 28, 2018 - 7:18 pm
Browns left guard Joel Bitonio (75) could be moved to left tackle

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan


Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Joel Bitonio is the ultimate team player.

Even if it means a move to left tackle.

“We have some options over there, so right now I don’t think it’s a thing where I have to volunteer for the spot,” Bitonio said. “If we get down the line and something needs to happen, we’ll see what happens there. But right now, it’s the first day of pads and I’m playing left guard.”

Shon Coleman, taken in the third round of the 2016 draft, is working with the starters in place of the retire Joe Thomas but the Browns aren’t sold on him just yet. With the team now practicing in pads the picture should be come clearer quickly.

With veteran Greg Robinson in concussion protocol rookie Austin Corbett is getting a deeper look after starting camp taking reps with the third-team offense at left tackle, he took some with the twos Saturday but at some point head coach Hue Jackson will have to take a deeper look at the position.

“Once I really get a feel for where Greg is – Shon is doing a good job – and I get a feel for when Desmond Harrison is coming back, then as a group we have got to make a decision how to continue to move forward,” Jackson said. “I know that Joel will do anything for the football team. Hopefully, we do not have to go to that, but if we do, we do. I feel like we have some guys, we just got to get them healthy and get them out there.”

They have a few weeks to decide if they need to kick Bitonio outside according to Jackson.

“A guy needs to go play in a real game against No. 1 starters,” Jackson said. “Hopefully, by that third preseason game if we were going to do that, he would need to go out there and play and do it. We will just get a feel for where we are. That is where we are today.”

Bitonio, who enters his fifth season at left guard, hopes to get as much time as possible if he does get moved to adjust.

“You want to get as many reps as possible,” Bitonio said. “Ideally if they were like, ‘Joel, you’re going to be our starting left tackle,’ I would want to take every rep there. But right now, that’s not the case and we’re kind of keeping me at left guard.”

Thomas, who retired after 10,363 consecutive snaps and 10 straight Pro Bowls at the position this offseason, doesn’t see Corbett as tackle material, which is just motivation for the 33rd pick in the draft.

“I've kind of my whole life just had to go and prove people wrong and so just starting as a walk-on, carrying that mentality through with me, it's something I'm used to and I obviously really respect his opinion, but now I'm here going through this training camp to figure out what I truly can do,” Corbett said.

That’s not to say that Corbett doesn’t respect Thomas’ input. He tried to soak in as much knowledge from the future Hall of Famer during spring OTAs.

“He obviously has a lot more experience in the NFL than I do and he's a walking Hall-of-Famer. To hear that and know he was out here in OTAs and got a lot of time with him and hear his feedback, but at the same time, I don't know what I can do in the NFL,” Corbett said. “I haven't played a down yet and so wherever I can end up, whatever the coaches ask me to do, that's what I'm going to do and try to be my best and I respect his opinion greatly and I enjoyed working with him as much as we did in OTAs. Now, training camp, it's time where I can find out what I can actually do here in the NFL.”

Orange & Brown scrimmage – Although the annual scrimmage won’t be held at FirstEnergy Stadium this year, Jackson plans to scrimmage during next Friday’s practice in Berea and it will have a similar format to previous scrimmages.

Dez’s tweet storm – Jackson claims he did not see Dez Bryant’s tweet storm directed at the Dallas Cowboys Friday night, but he heard about it.

“I hear people laughing about it, but I have not seen it,” Jackson said.

The Browns are interested in Bryant and Jackson was asked if the tweets might give him pause about adding the former Cowboys wideout.

“I would have to understand the context of what it was, where it came from and those type of things before I could make a comment,” Jackson said. “If it was something that I would need to address, I will. There is no question about that. That is not something that we do. Our players understand that, but he is not on our team. I don’t know why I am sitting here talking about Dez Bryant.”

Elder statesman – Ron Wolf, the former Packers executive and architect visited training camp Saturday. Wolf spent time visiting with his son, Browns assistant general manager Eliot as well as vice president of player personnel Alonzo Highsmith and general manager John Dorsey.

Puppy pound counter – 13 puppies from the Northeast Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) were adopted Saturday and a total of 37 the first 3 days of camp. Since the program’s launch in 2015, 260 puppies have been adopted.

Injury report – Did not practice: TE Devon Cajuste (concussion), DL Daniel Ekuale (calf), WR Jeff Janis (knee), WR Damion Ratley (hip), OL Greg Robinson (concussion), DL Chad Thomas (hernia-PUP), DL Trenton Thompson (illness-NFI), OL Desmond Harrison (toe-PUP) and DB Jabrill Peppers (groin-NFI)

No players left practice due to injury.

CB Denzel Ward was held out of team drills late in practice, but Jackson said he is fine. WR Jarvis Landry got stepped on but also is OK according to Jackson.

QB Drew Stanton and LB Mychal Kendricks rode bikes and worked with trainers but are not injured.  

Up next – Practice Sunday 3:00-5:55 p.m.