The New York Giants and Cleveland Browns held their first of two joint practices Thursday afternoon. Here are a few takeaways.
Good work, without fights
There were five — yes, five — fights Thursday at joint practices between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans. A brawl ended a joint practice between the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Rams.
Giants coach Joe Judge and Browns coach Kevin Stefanski didn’t want any of that nonsense between their teams. Leadership groups from each team met before practice, and things ran smoothly.
“I spoke to our players, Kevin spoke to his players, we’re both giving the message that we’re here to work together,” Judge said before Thursday’s practice. “We don’t have to get on a plane and fly cross-country to come get in a fist fight. We’re out here to play football against a good team and improve what we’re doing as a team.”
“We had our fights already for camp,” said safety Logan Ryan. “Joe made it clear we’re not going to be doing that. They have a really good head coach, and they have a really good system, and scheme and good players over there. They’re really professional, so it was just work. We talked before, a couple of the leaders on both sides. I just don’t even think the intensity was even close to that level to get to that. It was good work.”
“I actually expected it to be a little bit more chippier than it was. Guys respect each other, we know we’re trying to get work, we’re being smart,” Evan Engram said. “It’s camp so obviously we’re grinding, but we’re also protecting each other. It was good camaraderie between the lines today.”
Who worked and who didn’t
Saquon Barkley did not do any team drills. Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney worked on the side. Veteran center Jonotthan Harrison and wide receiver Austin Mack returned to practice. Starting left guard Shane Lemieux took reps during 11-on-11 drills, first time he has done so since injuring his knee at the beginning of training camp. John Ross, Kyle Rudolph, Elerson Smith, Aaron Robinson and Montre Hartage all worked on the side.
Some practice notes
I wasn’t there. I’m not going to pretend to have knowledge of what happened that I don’t have. You guys can read Twitter and practice reports from media in attendance just as well as I can. Here, though, are a couple of quotes from players about the work.
“This is a good measuring stick for us coming out here and competing against a formidable foe. AFC North opponent, tough, big, hard-nosed, want to run the ball, so I definitely think it’s a good measuring stick to come out here and compete against these guys, and then put it all together on Sunday, absolutely.”
“I always say we could be better, but it was just good to get out here to compete against some other guys. Definitely higher intensity. Felt like more was on the line going into this. It’s like a little mini game, getting live reps. I thought we did some things well. We’ve definitely got to get back to the hotel and look at the film and clean up the things that we need to clean up.”
“It was great. It was great. I’ve been part of a few joint practices in my career. I think they’re great, different stimulus, taking the show on the road, dealing with different pressures and stuff like that. (They’re) kind of like the road games, so you’ve got to bring your own energy. I think we did a good job today. We won some, we lost some, but it’s practice, you learn from it. Nobody was perfect today on both sides. Come back tomorrow and make the adjustments.”
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski:
“Got some good work in there with the Giants. Really thought it was competitive. The guys understood that we are here to get some work done. I thought on both sides, we did that. Really good situational periods for specials teams, for offense and for defense ... I thought it was really good competition on both sides. I was on the far field there with our offense versus their defense, but I was trying to peek over between plays. I thought it was really competitive work. To be able to finish in a two-minute drive I think is a big deal because in these games you can’t predict if you are going to get a two-minute drive. It was good, solid work.”
- Austin Hooper makes a catch against Jabrill Peppers. PHIL MASTURZO via Imagn Content Services, LLC
- James Bradberry in tight coverage of Jarvis Landry. PHIL MASTURZO via Imagn Content Services, LLC
- Rashard Higgins with a touchdown catch. Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
- Oshane Ximines rushes Baker Mayfield. Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
- Demetric Felton of Cleveland carries the ball as Madre Harper closes in. Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
- Raymond Johnson of the Giants works against Cleveland’s Jordan Franks. Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
- David Njoku with a one-handed grab against Jabrill Peppers. Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
- Joe Judge watches the action. Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
- Saquon Barkley Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
- Kenny Golladay catching a pass. Golladay worked on the side Thursday. Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images
- Joe Judge and Cleveland coach Kevin Stefanski. Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images
- Will Hernandez and Nick Gates double team Sheldon Day of Cleveland. Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images
- GM Dave Gettleman watches the action. Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images