Byrd now flying high for Browns
CLEVELAND – It’s not often a receiver with one career catch shows up on his first day with a new team and is met by a large group of media representatives.
That might happen only in the Browns’ locker room, which is void of big-play receivers now that Josh Gordon has been suspended for an entire year. LaRon Byrd, who was awarded to the Browns off waivers from Dallas on Sunday, had such an audience after practice Monday.
Byrd looks the part at 6-4 and 220 pounds, but a lack of playing time in two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals means he’ll likely be buried on the depth chart. He plans to do everything in his power to convince coaches to trust his talents.
“Hopefully, I get it (the offense) by the end of this week,” Byrd said. “I want to get on the field. I want to contribute to this team. I don’t want to just be a guy on the roster. This is my job. I have to pick it up as fast as I can, so the coaches are probably going to be tired of me by the end of this week. I have to get it.”
Byrd was in the Cowboys’ camp this season. He caught seven passes for 103 yards and one touchdown in the preseason.
DECISION TIME: Having 12 defensive backs and four running backs on the roster will make for some interesting decisions when Pettine turns in the 46-player roster on game days.
“We have some options with it,” Pettine said. “It will depend on how the week will play out. The person it ends up taxing on is (special teams coach) Chris Tabor because those are the positions that are affected the most.”
REVOLVING CAPTAINS: The Browns won’t have permanent captains, but instead will select captains each week. The picks will be made on the recommendations of a leadership council.
“Those guys really act as the captains on a daily basis,” Pettine said.
Pettine kept the names of those on the leadership council a secret.
INJURY REPORT: Pettine is confident that cornerbacks Joe Haden (foot) and Buster Skrine (thumb) will be available to play Sunday. Skrine, who had surgery, is wearing a large protective device. Defensive end Desmond Bryant (wrist) is in the day-to-day category.
IN THE BACK: Pettine assigned lockers on a random basis, electing to not group players at the same position together. No coach has used the random approach since Eric Mangini.
No one is sure why rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel has the locker at the back of the room and next to the equipment room. The thinking is that it might be a convenient spot for Manziel to slip out the back door.
LOGISTICAL PROBLEMS: Byrd was the only player of the four claimed off waivers Sunday to practice Monday. The others – running back Glenn Winston, offensive lineman Caylin Hauptmann and offensive lineman Ryan Seymour – hadn’t arrived in time for practice.
ROSTER MOVES: Offensive lineman Karim Barton and offensive lineman Martin Wallace were signed to the practice squad. Nine of the 10 spots on the squad have been filled.