The bikes were empty. And that’s a great thing.
There are exactly zero Browns players on the exercise bikes as the first camp practice officially begins.
— Zac Jackson (@AkronJackson) July 27, 2017
Fans and Cleveland media have often called training camp “Tour de Berea” because of all the injured players on exercise bikes, even on the first day of camp.
But on Wednesday, Browns coach Hue Jackson remarked that the team was 100 percent healthy coming into training camp. He was proven right Thursday when all players showed up healthy and practicing and not on bikes.
This includes No. 1-overall pick Myles Garrett and second-year wide receiver Corey Coleman, who both were sidelined by injuries at the end of Organized Team Activities.
For a franchise that has seen its share of first-day calamities, by all accounts this was a smooth, drama-free opening to camp in Jackson’s second season.
Garrett made backup offensive linemen look foolish. Second-year quarterback Cody Kessler, not known for having a big arm, threw a 40-yard touchdown to free-agent addition Kenny Britt. There were no major injuries, aside from the expected hot summer day cramps. Jackson said the team is “a step better than a year ago.”
For some franchises, a smooth opening to training camp isn’t a big deal. For a Browns team in year two of a major rebuild, it’s a big deal.
Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, who is vying to prove he is the quarterback of the future, was even the last one on the field after practice going through the play sheet and directing invisible players. The work ethic is very much appreciated a mere two years after the antics of former first-round pick Johnny Manziel.
Of course, there is a long way to go before the start of the NFL regular season. But for these young Browns, a step forward at the start of camp is a big plus.