Buster Skrine had a pick and a big hit
The big story coming out of training camp today is obviously the injury of LB Chris Gocong. The injury occurred on a goal line 11-on-11 drill. Gocong was covering TE Jordon Cameron. Cameron and Gocong both went up for the ball, and when they came down Gocong was in immediate pain. It did not appear as if Gocong stepped on Cameron, but rather hurt himself on the way up.
He was on the field for several minutes before the trainers finally helped him to the cart and took him off the field.
The Browns will have an MRI performed on his right ankle/foot. The buzz around camp after practice was a possible achilles injury, and a serious one at that. Browns players certainly are hoping for the best, but fear the worst. Shurmur would call the injury unfortunate and “an unitended consequence of the game.”
Kaluka Maiava said that the loss of Gocong would definitely hurt the team- “He’s a great leader on the defense. A positive guy. The defense just works better with him in there.”
Maiava would be one of the players that would see more playing time if Gocong is out for an extended period. With the Fujita suspension, he and James-Michael Johnson could both be pressed into starter’s duty. Kaluka added he felt like he was in the best shape of his life, and has a good grasp of the playbook.
Veteran Scott Fujita said Johnson and fellow rookie LB Emmanuel Acho both have impressed him so far with their knowledge of the playbook, their preparedness and how the ask good questions about the system and the game.
MLB D’Qwell Jackson was visibly disappointed and said of the injury to Gocong “Every year it’s something different.” Of course, two years ago it was Jackson himself who suffered the season ending injury.
When asked about the possibility of looking outside the organization for help at LB if Gocong’s injury turns out to be serious, Shurmur said they would certainly take a look at those options.
It would be a good idea. The LB unit was thin already, depending on two rookies to contribute at least in the short term of Fujita’s suspension. Now, they could be forced to add a piece. Perhaps a move after roster cuts are finalized and a veteran becomes available.
The play of the day, and perhaps the hardest hit of camp to date belongs to Buster Skrine. Skrine came up from his CB position to blow up Oniel Cousins who was pulling on a sweep play. The crack of the hit echoed throughout the facility followed by screams and hoots from both the fans in the stands and the players watching on the sidelines. Sheldon Brown chased Skrine half way across the field to congratulate the 5’9″ 185 pound CB. Cousins is listed at 6’4″ and 315 pounds. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
There were several nice catches, one play in particular was a sideline route by Josh Gordon that Brandon Weeden threw the ball right on the money for. Speaking of Gordon, he made a catch in an 11-on-11 game situation drill and didn’t run through to the end zone. Pat Shurmur made sure to call that particular play out in his press conference as an example of a play that was made but not finished- “He’ll never do that again.”
Trent Richardson got several carries in 11-on-11 third and one situation drills. He ran to both sides for first downs. He also had a fumble which TJ Ward recovered and returned. To the delight of Joe Haden of course.
Second time I’ve been impressed with Mohamed Massaquoi. Working out of the slot agrees with him. Or maybe it’s Weeden. Maybe both. It doesn’t matter as long as he stays healthy (read: concussion free) I think he could have an impact on the offense that we haven’t seen from him in his young career.
The mood change of practice after the Gocong injury was stunning. While he was laying on the field several players dropped to a knee around him and prayed. Everyone was shaken by it. The team moved on from the goal line drill and started working on special teams. The crowd changed too. What was a somewhat boisterous practice (spurred on by the Skrine hit on Cousins) went quiet.
Travis Benjamin is fast to be sure, but he had a couple of drops. One was a deep ball from Colt McCoy (!) that was right on the money and Benjamin flat dropped it. Bert Reed also had a noticeable drop. Reed probably can’t afford to have many of these drops. These are the kind of plays that are remembered when roster decisions are being made.