BEREA - Coming off an impressive showing in a 35-10 preseason win over the Green Bay Packers, the Browns face some interesting decisions when player cuts are made to trim the roster to 53.
A host of young players stood out against the Packers. Coach Pat Shurmur is getting production from several draft choices, along with rookie free agents like linebackers Craig Robertson and L.J. Fort.
Normally the Browns look to claim players cut from other teams to fill out the bottom portion of their roster. This year some of the players they cut might be claimed by other teams.
"When it comes down to the pure 53-man roster, we have some decisions to be made," Shurmur said. "I'll keep private what those are. We've got more players at each position than we can keep. I think that goes without saying. That's one of those Captain Obvious comments. There are some tight, little battles in there that we have to sort out in the next three weeks."
With the dress rehearsal out of the way, the Browns could begin setting their sights on the opener Sept. 9 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Shurmur isn't ready to make that commitment yet.
"I don't feel like we're over the hump," Shurmur said. "I feel like we've got three work weeks left. There's a lot we need to get done. We have to get a lot better to be where we need to be."
COMING AND GOING: Some of the injured players were on the field for Friday's short practice, while a few others joined the injury list. Working out on stationary bikes were safety Usama Young, receiver Carlton Mitchell, tight end Benjamin Watson, linebacker D'Qwell Jackson and defensive end Juqua Parker. Parker is the only one of the five that played against the Packers. Not on the field were cornerback Dimitri Patterson, offensive tackle Oniel Cousins and linebacker Emmanuel Acho. Patterson injured an ankle in the preseason opener. Shurmur said that Cousins is sore. Returning to practice were tight end Jordan Cameron, receiver Travis Benjamin and defensive end Frostee Rucker.
MUCH BETTER: Rookie offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz graded out better than he did against the Lions a week earlier. "He made improvements," Shurmur said. "We were obviously able to run the ball more. We did it by design. I think he can be a fine run blocker. The pass rush was a little different scheme than we saw against the Lions. He saw different things, which was good, too."
MAKING PROGRESS: Rookie cornerback Trevin Wade is among the young players that have caught the attention of the coaching staff. He could play an important role early in the season if Joe Haden is suspended for reportedly failing a drug test. Wade was removed from the playing surface at Lambeau Field on a cart. He participated in practice Friday. "He's okay," Shurmur said. "He's sore."
OFF DAY: The players will be off today. They will return to practice Sunday for a 2-4:30 p.m. workout that is open to the public. The final practice open to the public will be Wednesday from 8:45-11:15 a.m.