BEREA - Rookie cornerback Buster Skrine has caught the attention of Browns coach Pat Shurmur.
Skrine, a fifth-round choice from Tennessee-Chattanooga, has split time with Dimitri Patterson as the third cornerback. In Thursday's practice he and fellow rookie Greg Little went at it several times.
"Buster competes. He's a scrappy guy," Shurmur said. "You see him flash. Neither one is intimidated by the other. It's been good."
The Associated Press
Cleveland Browns defensive back Buster Skrine catches the ball during training camp on Thursday in Berea.
Skrine's draft stock was probably hurt by the level of competition he faced in college. A lack of prototypical size (5-9, 185 pounds) didn't help his cause either.
What Skrine has going for him is outstanding speed. He appears to have the aggressive mentality that's needed for the position.
"I never downed myself because of my size because as long as I play with my technique, and I play with a big heart, I'll be straight."
Although plenty could change in coming weeks, Skrine appears to have a good chance of making the final roster. Joe Haden and Sheldon Brown are locked in as the starters. Right now there doesn't appear to be anyone pushing Skrine or Patterson in the backup roles.
IT'S MY MONEY: Running back Peyton Hillis had a unique way of working to correct his fumbling problems during the offseason. Hillis, who fumbled eight times, challenged kids living near his offseason home to try to take the ball away from him.
"I'd always carry the ball with me everywhere. I told the kids if they could knock it out I'd give them some money," Hillis said. "The kids really enjoyed that."
None of the kids was able to collect money.
LIGHT DAY: Shurmur made it easy on the players Thursday by having them practice in shells instead of full pads.
"We had three days in a row in pads," Shurmur said. "The idea of today's practice and we have to do this during the season there's a learning curve to be able to get your work in with just helmets and shell pads. We did a 9-on-7 drill and quite a bit of team work."
The new collective bargaining agreement limits the number of times teams can practice in full pads to 14 for the season. They can practice once a week in pads for the first 11 weeks, followed by three more times in the final five weeks.
DOUBLE DUTY: Like most punters, Richmond McGee is handling the holding chores for kicker Phil Dawson. McGee was signed last week after Reggie Hodges suffered a season-ending Achilles' injury.
McGee has looked inconsistent in camp, although Shurmur disagrees.
"What you're looking for is a punter that can kick the ball down the field that can be covered," Shurmur said. "You don't want shanks. When you're kicking it right you don't want balls to go to the left."
INJURY REPORT: Receiver Mohamed Massaquoi remains in a boot after having a cast removed earlier this week. The plan is for him to switch to a shoe next week.
Running back Montario Hardesty (knee) is still a sideline observer.
Linebacker Chris Gocong (stinger) was out. Offensive lineman Dominic Alford (back) was limited. Defensive back Eric Haag injured a knee during red-zone drills.
CAMPING OUT: Quarterback Colt McCoy appears to be more comfortable each day in the offense. He hit Little on a crossing route. Little then sprinted up the left sideline. The two are developing chemistry McCoy's best pass was to tight end Ben Watson in a seam between defenders T.J. Ward and Skrine. Watson made the catch and spun away from the two There will be no practice today as the Browns prepare for a preseason game Saturday at home against the Green Bay Packers. The Browns will be off Sunday. The next practice open to the public will be Monday from 8:45-11:15 a.m.