BEREA, Ohio -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of the Cleveland Browns training camp:
Tuesday was a day for the defense, with offense struggling in major ways. Four passes were intercepted -- by Jordan Poyer, Justin Gilbert, Tashaun Gipson and Josh Aubrey. Only one really strong pass was completed, when Brian Hoyer dropped, threw on time and hit Miles Austin perfectly at the sideline. Pettine ended practice with an offense-defense competition in which the winners were rewarded with orange practice jerseys on Thursday. Doesn't seem like much, but it meant something to the players, who obviously love to compete. "We want to train our guys that it doesn't matter what goes on over the course of a game, we've got to make sure we can finish," Pettine said. "I think that's important to realize that it still comes down to playing at the end." Browns fans remember well that that did not happen last season.
It took four days, but Tuesday marked the first time that Pettine was not asked about one of the quarterbacks in his post practice media gaggle. It's amazing how despite the hype and hoopla over a player, eventually a training camp settles into a predictable pattern that has nothing to do with the hyped player.
Linebacker Eric Martin was probably as responsible as anyone for starting the tussles that "highlighted" practice. Martin threw Dion Lewis to the ground in a nine-on-nine run drill, then taunted the offense. Shortly after Ben Tate was throwing the ball at Ahtyba Rubin (the two made amends after practice). The nine-on-nine drill was a new one in practicing the run game. "If we can run the ball in that period, then we'll be able to run the ball against anybody," Pettine said.
Pettine had some high praise for defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin, saying he's as good anyone he's coached at defending the run. Rubin remains one of the team's most active and, along with Gipson, underrated players.
Martin Wallace has shown some ability backing up Joe Thomas at left tackle. He's active and nasty, both good offensive line traits. … Wednesday is a day off for the players, with no curfew Tuesday night and nothing required until 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Choose the state you feel Johnny Manziel may be photographed in at your own discretion. ... Inside linebacker Craig Robertson showed up on several defensive plays and on special teams; he and Chris Kirksey continue competing to start alongside Karlos Dansby ... Garrett Gilkey is getting a lot of reps at right guard with John Greco out, but this is what Pettine said about him: "He's been solid. It's still early. He's probably getting some more reps than maybe he would have." Greco, Phil Taylor and Billy Winn continue to miss time. Tight end Gary Barnidge returned to practice and said he was fine after the conditioning test, just dehydrated.