Countdown to The Draft
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By: Will Burge
Three days to the top – When the Browns selected Josh Gordon in the second round of the supplemental draft, they did so with the idea that he would be a starting wide receiver in the NFL. Gordon is one step closer to realizing that goal. Today he took reps with the first team offense. He lined up on the outside with Mohammad Massaquoi opposite him and Greg Little in the slot.
During two minute drills, Brandon Weeden and the first team offense really struggled to find a rhythm but Weeden connected on a deep out route to Gordon that set up a field goal with seven seconds left on the clock.
Looking lighter and quicker – Montario Hardesty told the media today that he lost about 12 pounds in the offseason and worked hard at strengthening his knee. Hardesty has basically lost the last two seasons after having knee surgery but he looks like he is finally 100% healthy.
Hardesty is faster and cutting better than anyone has seen in Cleveland. In fact, Hardesty had the best day of practice on the offensive side of the ball. He has now strung together four very good practices and is determined to get back to where he was at Tennessee.
Working with the second team, Colt McCoy leaned heavily on Hardesty during two minute drills and he delivered. He had three gains of 10 or more yards to set up a field goal.
Making his case – Scott Fujita is facing a three game suspension to start the season and everyone wants to know who will fill that spot on defense. Today, rookie James Michael Johnson made quite a case for himself.
Johnson had two interceptions and was very impressive in goal line drills. He shed blockers quickly and attacked the offensive line. No running back scored while he was in the drill.
Things just got real – When the temperature heats up and the team is practicing in pads, things can get a little chippy on the field. We saw two “fights” today. First, Brad Smelley and linebacker Craig Robertson did some pushing and shoving after a play. Robertson slapped Smelley in the helmet but Brad took the high road and just walked back to the huddle.
Later, defensive lineman Emmanuel Stephens and Jason Pinkston got into it. Once again it was mostly pushing and shoving but Stephens did throw a punch to Pinkston’s helmet in that skirmish.
|Will Burge covers the Browns for ESPNCleveland.com and hosts 3 Deep, Monday - Friday from 7pm-9pm.|
Follow Will on Twitter @WillBurge
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