BEREA - Mitchell Schwartz's wake-up call to life in the NFL just keeps on ringing.
Every day the Browns rookie offensive tackle lines up against talented defensive end Jabaal Sheard. It's a task that can either tear down Schwartz's confidence or strengthen him internally.
"He's a great player," Schwartz said of Sheard after Monday's practice. "He has a little bit of everything. He has the speed and the quickness. He's good with his hands. He has some power to him.
The Associated Press
Cleveland Browns tackle Mitchell Schwartz looks to make a block during at training camp in Berea on Monday.
"He's a pretty complete player. Obviously, you can't prepare for one move against him because he does so many different things. He really tests you. It's great to have a guy like that to face every day. He's one of the better rushers in the league. You have to be prepared for everything."
Sheard, who had 8.5 sacks in his rookie season last year, went toe-to-toe with Schwartz in a goal line drill Monday. Later in a two-minute drill Sheard exhibited his speed in rushing off the edge.
Schwartz isn't backing down. He negated Sheard on a play in which Sheard reached up to deflect a pass by quarterback Brandon Weeden.
Coach Pat Shurmur is keeping a close watch on Schwartz, who was picked in the second round from the University of California. The offseason approach was for Schwartz to step in as the starter, but Shurmur is splitting reps at right tackle between Schwartz and Oniel Cousins.
"He (Schwartz) is very smart and he's very good with his technique," Shurmur said. "Of course, the better the player you go against in practice, the quicker you'll develop. Those matchups in there are good. A couple of times today we had guys wide open and Mitchell did a nice job of stopping the pass rush, and Jabaal just reached up and batted the ball. He'll benefit from playing against Jabaal."
Schwartz comes to the Browns with plenty of experience. He started all 51 of his career college games 35 at left tackle and 16 at right tackle.
Although the Browns needed a receiver in the second round, general manager Tom Heckert felt it was more important to strengthen right tackle, where a combination of Tony Pashos, Cousins and Artis Hicks played last season.
In Heckert's opinion, Schwartz was NFL ready. Now all he has to do is prove he's worthy of being a starter.
"I don't expect to come here and get the job handed to me," Schwartz said. "I know you have to work for it. I think it's probably a bad idea if you hand it to someone and the guy behind him is playing better. You want to put your best guys on the field. It's my job to prove I'm one of the best five linemen."
Schwartz couldn't have a better tutor than left tackle Joe Thomas, who's been a Pro Bowl representative in each of his five NFL seasons. Schwartz isn't shy about asking Thomas for advice.
"He's been to five Pro Bowls in five seasons. He could sit back and not work as hard as other people, but that's not true at all," Schwartz said. "He comes out every day and is working on something or another, whether it's his feet or his hands or some aspect of his game.
"He's always trying to get himself better. He's not sitting back on what he's done. I have a great resource there. I want to be able to use that. He's been good with that. He's not the surly vet that shrugs you away. He's seen it all and done it all."