BEREA — Receiver Jarvis Landry hasn’t changed his mind. Coach Hue Jackson won’t alter his policy.
They will happily coexist anyway.
Landry, the No. 1 receiver, stood by his impassioned “Hard Knocks” speech that players shouldn’t take days off unless significantly injured.
“Nobody gets better on the sideline,” Landry said Monday. “The team doesn’t get better that way and you put stress on other guys. If you can practice, practice.”
Jackson appreciates the mentality and wants his players to have it. But he won’t budge from his stance of giving certain players days off to avoid soft-tissue injuries.
“He is learning about how we go about it,” Jackson said. “We want a tough football team, but we also have to be smart. We have to have all of these guys out here to become a good football team.”
Jackson suggested Landry was speaking only to the receivers, but Landry said his message was meant for the whole team. In his first year with the team, he wants fundamental changes after 1-15 and 0-16 seasons for the Browns.
“I think it’s going to allow us to create a mindset and a culture,” he said. “If we’re going to change the culture, that’s where it’s got to begin with. We can’t be having favors or taking days off or stuff like that. You gotta practice and put in the work to be great.”
Jackson wants to make it clear only a few players with injury histories are given scheduled days off. Defensive end Myles Garrett, center JC Tretter and running back Duke Johnson are among those who get special treatment.
Landry doesn’t want any days off but “totally understands” Jackson’s philosophy and knows he’s committed to winning. He’d just prefer to leave it up to the player.
“You know if you can go or if you can’t go. But if you can go, then go,” Landry said. “But as a coach, he has a bigger vision and he has a bigger plate, so he has to treat every guy the same but differently in some aspects and if guys need breaks, then they get them.
“But again, I think it comes down to the player, as a player loving what you do and nurturing your craft to say, ‘Thank you coach. I’m good.’”
A CHANGE AFOOT?
Jackson downplayed the development, but Greg Robinson took his first snaps at left tackle with the first-team offense. Joel Bitonio moved back to left guard, then was replaced by Austin Corbett with Robinson at left tackle.
Robinson was the No. 2 pick of the Rams in 2014 out of Auburn and signed as a free agent in June.
“Bitonio is still our starting left tackle,” Jackson said. “We just have to keep working combinations and things. It means nothing. It just means that every now and then I am going to stick Greg out there and make sure that Joel keeps playing some left guard.
“I told you guys, if we find an answer in-house, then great. If we do not, then I feel good about Joel being out there.”
Robinson played with the second team Thursday night against the Giants.
“I thought that he did some better things,” Jackson said. “He played with some urgency, understood the system better and did not give up pressures and did those things right.”
A WELCOME CHANGE
Bitonio has been part of a lot of Browns offenses that struggled in the preseason. So he appreciated the four-play, 66-yard touchdown drive on their second possession against the Giants. It took just 1:06 as the Browns went to a hurry-up offense.
“It’s awesome. You only get one or two series in the first couple games, so to get a touchdown makes things a lot better,” Bitonio said. “I remember last preseason I got a little banged up so I didn’t play as much, but the offense was taking awhile to get going. You’re like, ‘Are we ever going to get going?’
“You get that question now, it’s like, ‘We can do this. We scored in four plays!’ We want to keep improving on that, but it’s a good start for us.”
Rookie cornerback Denzel Ward, the No. 4 pick, stopped practicing with an ankle injury. He pulled up, was replaced and talked to the athletic trainer on the sideline. He didn’t get treatment but didn’t return to the field.
“He has a little bit of a sore ankle,” Jackson said. “We have pulled through it. He has been out there practicing, competing and doing some good things. He just has to keep pushing through.”
** Defensive tackle Caleb Brantley (ankle) didn’t practice.
** Right guard Kevin Zeitler (calf) is still out, but he joined the group of injured players working on the sideline with trainers, which is a good sign.
Jackson and Landry have been in communication with absent receiver Josh Gordon but didn’t provide an update on his status.
** Kicker Zane Gonzalez had a rough day in his battle with Ross Martin, including missing a 41-yard field goal wide right in a two-minute drill.
** The quarterbacks, receiver Rashard Higgins and coordinator Todd Haley had a competition after practice to see who could hit the crossbar with a pass from about 40 yards.