BEREA – The first practice of the Pat Shurmur era is in the books.
The new Browns coach, who’s a head coach for the first time, began training camp Saturday morning with a two-hour session closed to the public. The players were in helmets, small shoulder pads (shells) and shorts.
“It’s fun because we’re back out here playing and coaching, and that’s what players and coaches do,” Shurmur said.
It wasn’t all smiles, as receiver Mohamed Massaquoi and left guard Eric Steinbach didn’t practice with leg injuries. Tight end Benjamin Watson left with an apparent concussion and walked slowly to the locker room with trainers. It looked like he took a knee to the back of the helmet on a low throw in traffic over the middle.
Massaquoi, the team’s No. 1 wideout, had his left foot and lower leg in a cast. Steinbach’s left knee was wrapped. They officially opened camp on the active/non-football injury list and can be activated anytime. Shurmur didn’t provide any details.
“Mo has a little foot deal and we’ll evaluate it as we go,” he said. “We want to make sure it’s just right.
“Steinbach has a little knee. They’re nothing we feel are serious.”
Massaquoi appeared healthy a few weeks ago at a players-only camp in Austin, Texas. He declined to speak to a reporter Saturday.
Quarterback Colt McCoy lined up under center with the starting offense and was joined by receivers Brian Robiskie and Joshua Cribbs, Watson, running back Peyton Hillis and rookie fullback Owen Marecic. The offensive line was: left tackle Joe Thomas, left guard Pat Murray (filling in for Steinbach), center Alex Mack, right guard Shawn Lauvao and right tackle Tony Pashos.
As the offense makes the transition to Shurmur’s West Coast scheme, the defense is switching to Dick Jauron’s 4-3.
The first-team ends were rookie Jabaal Sheard and Brian Sanford (Jayme Mitchell hadn’t officially signed) and the tackles were Ahtyba Rubin and Scott Paxson (rookie first-round pick Phil Taylor was still a holdout). Scott Fujita, D’Qwell Jackson and Chris Gocong were the linebackers. Joe Haden and Sheldon Brown (recovered from offseason surgery on his rotator cuff) were the cornerbacks, and T.J. Ward and Mike Adams the safeties.
Anyone who signed a free-agent deal after the lockout ended can’t practice until the league year starts Aug. 4. So kicker Phil Dawson, safety Usama Young, running back Brandon Jackson and tight end Evan Moore were among a group watching practice in baseball hats.
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