BEREA, Ohio — Running back Kareem Hunt was the talk of the day after sitting out team drills on Friday and Saturday in a contract stand, and asking the Browns to trade him, which they have no plans of doing, sources tell cleveland.com .
Hunt participated in individual drills, and then stood far down on the sidelines talking to his good friend Nick Chubb while D’Ernest Johnson got some reps with the first team in a drill.
When it came time for the first set of 11-on-11s, Hunt took the second snap behind Chubb, and then went back in for the fourth and caught a screen pass from Deshaun Watson.
He also got the first three reps with the starters in their first two-minute drill of training camp, almost as if Chubb symbolically gave way to his buddy at the start of the drill.
Hunt was fined by the club for sitting out team periods on Friday and Saturday, and Kevin Stefanski made it clear that such conduct was against team rules.
“If our players are healthy, they practice,” he said.
After practice, Hunt ran sprints in the sweltering heat — a ‘feels-like’ temp of 98 — alongside Josh Rosen and Jacoby Brissett.
It remains to be seen where this is headed, but Hunt was all in on Sunday.
The first 2-minute drills
Day 10 of camp brought the first two-minute drills, always a crowd pleaser.
Only problem is, neither the first- or second-team offenses scored a touchdown. Both ended with Cade York field goals through the skinny uprights, one for 33 yards and the other for 35.
Jacoby Brissett and the second-team offense went first, working against the first-team defense. He overthrew Anthony Schwartz deep, but found Javon Wims deep down the right side. He also hit tight end Miller Forristall with a long ball to the left. After a spike, York came on for the game-tying kick with six seconds remaining and nailed it.
Deshaun Watson went second, working against the second-team defense. He hit Harrison Bryant on back-to-back passes, including a deep ball on the run. He overthrew Donovan Peoples-Jones in the end zone, and then a deep pass to Anthony Schwartz was broken up. He connected with Ja’Marcus Bradley before a throwaway to the back right on third down brought York out again with three seconds left. Once again, he made the game-tying kick as time expired.
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Third-teamer Josh Dobbs was the only one to get in the end zone. Taking over with 22 seconds left and his team trailing 28-22, Dobbs hit tight end Zaire Mitchell-Paden with a 30-yard TD pass in the end zone. Michael Harley caught the two-point pass. Mitchell-Paden had also punctuated Saturday’s practice with a TD in red zone drills, yelling “that’s how you end a practice!”
York, York, he’s our man
York was the camper of the day when he drilled a 45-yard field goal at the end of the practice to get the post-practice team meetings canceled.
His teammates mobbed him after the kick — there was some mild debate among observers about if he actually made it, but what the heck — and Wyatt Teller lifted him onto his shoulders.
“Anytime you put a young player in a competitive situation, it’s only going to help him going forward,” special teams coordinator Mike Priefer said. “The great thing about Cade is that he is very confident. A lot of kickers, you have to kind of baby them a little bit and pamper them a little bit. ‘Don’t hurt his psyche’ type thing.
“Cade is not like that at all. He’s only 21 years old, which is incredible. He’s very mature. He understands his craft. He is very smart. He is very confident. I think that is going to help here, especially in Cleveland.”
A ‘small little crack in the bone’
Rookie receiver David Bell acknowledged what Cleveland.com has been reporting, that he suffered a stress fracture in his foot, possibly during mandatory minicamp. But he’s happy to be back after being activated off PUP on Saturday.
“I am honestly not sure [how it happened],” he said. “I just woke up one day and it was aching a little bit so I went in there and had to get an X-ray. The X-ray did show what happened. We got a plan together to get me back as soon as possible. It was frustrating because I just wanted to be out there to show what I can do, but it is God’s plan and God’s timing. I am out here right now, and that is what I am looking forward to.”
Don’t call him just a returner
Pro Bowl returner Jakeem Grant, who stands only 5-6, has been beating the odds his entire career, and isn’t stopping anytime soon. He’s had an excellent camp and has been used a lot at receiver, especially with all the injuries at his position. He’s made the most of his chances, and expects to do more than return punts and kicks.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I always preach that I’m a receiver first before a returner. I’m going to continue to preach that message. I’m going to continue to work on that until I get that opportunity to have that breakout season.”
The following players sat out Sunday with injuries: DT Sheldon Day (back), CB Shaun Jolly (groin), LB Silas Kelly (hamstring), CB Denzel Ward (foot) and WR Michael Woods II (hamstring).
They said it
Kevin Stefanski, on the distractions of Hunt’s trade request and Deshaun Watson’s ordeal: “This is normal. This is normal guys. This is NFL football. I don’t even know.”
Jakeem Grant on his elusiveness strategy: “Be a jitterbug. Just don’t get hit. I always pride myself on you can’t hit what you can’t catch. If they can’t catch me, they can’t hit me.”
They did it
How’s this for all in? Hunt ran sprints after practice on a hot, humid day with a ‘feels-like’ temp of 98.
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