BEREA – Paul Kruger is a good big brother. He lets Dave hang out with him in the cafeteria and ask as many questions as he wants about training camp.
“We’re best friends. Even back home we live together,” Paul said. “So honestly, it’s real special having him here.
“Not only is it cool and fun, but it makes it easier to get through the day. Having your best friend there all the time makes it more enjoyable to work and makes it fun to be out here.”
Paul Kruger was the Browns’ top free-agent acquisition, signing a five-year, $40.5 million deal. Dave is an undrafted rookie out of Utah.
Paul is 6-foot-4, 270 pounds and plays outside linebacker. Dave is 6-5, 285 and plays defensive end.
“To be able to help him through the process is pretty special for me as an older brother,” Paul said. “It’s definitely something I was really hoping for and, man, I’m just glad the coaches had the faith and confidence in him to bring him out here. It’s definitely kinda like a dream-come-true type thing.”
Dave says Paul is generous with the tips, which is a big benefit for a rookie down the depth chart who might not receive the full attention of the coaches.
What’s been his best advice?
“Just to be as violent as possible, as far as with your hands. Explosive,” Dave said. “Straining your body is probably what stuck out to me.”Paul is 27 and Dave 23. Dave said they’ve been best friends for about 15 years, once he stopped being “immature and little.”
“We’ve pretty much been super close all our lives,” Dave said. “We’ve always been best friends.”
Dave doesn’t want to be separated in September.
“The No. 1 goal is obviously to make the team and then just being a standout, being a playmaker,” said Dave, who’s been rotating in with the third-team defense. “You see examples of undrafted guys not just making the team, but getting a second contract in the millions of dollars.
“Is it unlikely? Yes. Is it possible? Yes, it is. I’m going to do all that I can and use all my talents and abilities and try to make the team.”
Persistent rain in the morning and early afternoon Saturday caused coach Rob Chudzinski to move practice inside the field house. Space is extremely limited, so it was closed to the public. The Browns made the announcement at 1 p.m. to give the fans a few hours notice.
“I was hoping to get out,” Chudzinski said. “We had a lot of wetness on the field. So it was a combination of the forecast and the fields all being wet and not wanting to tear those up.”
The Browns were supposed to be in full pads on the third day of training camp, but Chudzinski went with only shoulder pads.
“For the first day of full pads, I didn’t want to be inside, on the turf,” he said. “We will be full pads (today).”
Defensive lineman Phil Taylor (calf) and tight end Kellen Davis (knee) practiced for the first time. They were limited to individual drills.
** Backup offensive tackle Oniel Cousins sprained an ankle Friday and is expected to miss a couple of weeks, Chudzinski said.
** Newly acquired fullback Brock Bolen didn’t practice with a calf injury.
Guard Jason Pinkston made the walk of shame.
After Pinkston jumped before the snap, Turner yanked him immediately and sent in rookie Caylin Hauptmann. Pinkston had no choice but to join his teammates watching from behind the play.
Chudzinski said the hook was so quick because avoiding false starts was a point of emphasis during that drill.
Pinkston has been working as the second-team left guard. He started the first 22 games of his career before suffering blood clots last season.
John Greco has been the starting left guard, and Shawn Lauvao the right guard.
Joe Haden was among the most popular Browns before serving a four-game suspension at the start of last season for violating the league’s policy against performance-enhancing drugs. He was asked if the fans treat him differently now.
“No, I mean, you know how Cleveland fans are,” he said. “At first, it was all bad. It was all bad.
“But then, I just chilled. That’s what it is. I messed up and when I came back, it was the same love. They just embraced me. I went out there and just had to do what I could do on the field. That’s the only way that you can get back.”
Rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo made a strong play in pass coverage, breaking up a deep out from quarterback Brian Hoyer to tight end Brad Smelley. Mingo’s shoulder pads include a high, thick neck pad.
** Receiver Jordan Norwood made a nice over-the-shoulder catch, then had a drop over the middle. He worked some with the first-team offense.
** Haden tweeted this after practice: “Jim brown pulled me 2 the side at practice and told me keep the great work! He’s watching! #blessed! #GOAT.”
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