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'Inside Training Camp Live' whispers: Jim Brown, Browns reunite

  • By NFL.com
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Football is back! We've got you covered from July 24 through August 5 with NFL Network's "Inside Training Camp Live" providing 12 hours of live coverage each day beginning at 10 a.m. ET. Every day we'll feature highlights from the show and our reporters in the field. Here's today's batch:

» The legendary Jim Brown -- he of the eight rushing titles and Any Given Sunday performance -- reunited with the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday. Who better to grill about the newfound excitement surrounding the team than Brown? Solomon Wilcots got the chance to ask the man whose No. 32 is retired in Cleveland what he thought about the hullabaloo.

» "Unbelievable," Brown said. "It's great to see all of those guys in the parking lot. I was driving by and said, 'Holy smokes.' This is like a regular-season game. The people are excited, and they excited because (of) the new guys in town, by the young players that they've brought in, and the quarterback that they have brought in to back up the quarterback. So there's an excitement about what action has been taking place. The coach and the general manager have given them something to look forward to by the personnel they have chosen."

» The Browns secondary is wearing boxing gloves in practice -- not so that they can throw down, but so they can prepare for the 2014 season as it pertains to defensive holding. "You've got to get guys out of that habit," Browns coach Mike Pettine said, per The Associated Press. "It's more the mentality that they know they have to be able to cover more with an open palm than grabbing and restricting, especially if the rule is going to be called as tightly as we're told it is."

» Maybe the Chicago Bears should take note of what the Browns are doing and hand out sets of boxing gloves. While some people don't mind when a fight breaks out in practice, the Bears certainly do. On Tuesday, Chicago suspended and fined Martellus Bennett for an unspecified amount of time after slamming teammate Kyle Fuller to the ground during Monday's practice. Later, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Bennett's agent, Kennard McGuire, said that he and his client have been in contact with Bears general manager Phil Emery. McGuire added that Bennett looks forward to rejoining his teammates.

» NFL Media's Amani Toomer felt that Fuller was just as culpable in the incident and should have received punishment for his part in the matter. As a former receiver, Toomer can no doubt empathize with Bennett being tossed like a rag doll.

» The Patriots have joined the Redskins for three training camp sessions this week. Needless to say, the joint practices are a huge draw for locals. NFL Media's Albert Breer was on the scene to report that people were already lining up six hours before the gates opened. Looks like a very close second to Green Bay's fanbase.

» Breer noted yesterday that the Darrelle Revis-DeSean Jackson matchup was more of a lopsided shutdown on Revis' part. Monday's final verdict: Revis Island is still fully functioning, as DJax was only able to catch one ball all day. Today doesn't seem to be going much better for the Redskins' offseason addition, either:

» Jay Gruden said yesterday that the joint practices provide his team with an "evaluation process" to see how his team stacks up. Breer noted before Tuesday's session that the dual workouts provide the Redskins' first-year coach a chance to "see his players live against another team. It's the frist time he saw some of his players tackling other guys to the ground."

» Bill Belichick, on the other hand, has over 10 years' worth of live situations in his tenure with the Pats. But, as he noted in a one-on-one talk with NFL Media's Mike Mayock, he can still learn a thing or two from a joint practice. The secret to a successful session? "I think that's the key is that the two teams have to be philosophically on the same page and be ready to work together," Belichick said.

» Tom Brady celebrated his 37th birthday over the weekend, and he's not slowing down. Breer reports that of all the quarterbacks out on the field in Richmond, Brady predictably stood head and shoulders above the competition. "Tom Brady still looks like he has it," Breer succinctly summed up, adding that the signal-caller lit up the Redskins defense in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. One thing to watch: with Rob Gronkowski back in Foxborough to avoid competitive situations in practice, Brady has been relying on the veteran presence of Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola as the receiving corps evolves.

» NFL Media’s Steve Mariucci said on ITC Primetime he was most impressed by the Patriots in the years they dealt with the most adversity. Mariucci cited the season Tom Brady went down with an injury yet the Patriots won 11 games with Matt Cassel taking snaps as well as last season, when the team started the season with 14 rookies on their 53-man roster.

» The New York Jets released their depth chart yesterday, and second-year QB Geno Smith got the nod as starter. Stationed in Cortland, New York, with the team, NFL Media's Kimberly Jones asked Smith the question on everyone's minds: Is it surreal that Michael Vick is listed as your backup?

"You know, I haven't thought of it like that," Smith said, "but now that you mention it, yeah. Mike's a guy who is unbelievable, unbelievable talent, has done so many great things in this league. And to have a guy like that who supports me and who is helping me get better, it is surreal. And my way to repay him is to go out there and play good on Sundays."

» The Browns also released their first official depth chart this morning, and two things stand out. One: Brian Hoyer has the edge over Johnny Manziel. While this doesn't exactly come as a surprise given coach Mike Pettine's stance heading into camp, it still amps up the debate to see the position ranking in black and white. Also noteworthy: Josh Gordon remains Cleveland's top wide receiver while he awaits the result of his appeals hearing.

» The wheel keeps turning in Berea, Ohio, despite any debate swirling around the Browns. Gary Barnidge, currently listed as Cleveland's No. 2 tight end, dazzles with a sick one-handed catch in practice:

» A new season of Hard Knocks -- this one following the Falcons -- is set to premiere on HBO tonight at 10 p.m. ET. In a teaser of the fun to come, Kroy Biermann and rookie Jack Matthews get physical.

» Bet NFL Media's Brian Baldinger wishes he could live this moment down. In a challenge to run up the hill that overlooks Saints training camp in White Sulpher Springs, West Virginia, Steve Wyche persevered -- while Baldinger struggled. If only his fellow reporters would let him forget it:

The latest Around The League Podcast makes sense of Andy Dalton's new contract and takes a look at the Giants' evolving backfield.

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