The Cleveland Browns training camp has reached its midpoint.
On a muggy, sweltering Sunday, the Browns completed their ninth of a total of 17 training camp workouts in front of yet another enthusiastic crowd of fans. As they continue to get ready for what is sure to be a competitive setting in their first preseason game on August 12 in Jacksonville, players donned pads for the third time throughout camp.
There’s a lot to unpack from the Browns’ training camp over the offseason. Most of them revolve around the QB situation. In particular, Deshaun Watson’s off-field problems have generated a lot of discussion, but the players are doing everything they can to tune out the chatter and get ready for the 2022 season. Browns fans have also shown their support for Watson, which is a positive sign moving forward.
Here are a few of the most interesting surprises from training camp thus far.
Browns training camp surprises
3) Demetric Felton is turning heads
Demetric Felton was a very strong pick in Round 6 of the 2021 NFL Draft. He also had some flashes of brilliance last year, which is why he’s among the primary WR backups in head coach Kevin Stefanski’s initial depth chart.
That’s a bit of a surprise since Felton is technically a running back. Of course, the Browns also have Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, D’Ernest Johnson, and Jerome Ford on the roster. Felton has been moved to WR mainly because of the team’s crowded RB spot, so . That certainly doesn’t make him a horrible player. In fact, it underscores his versatility.
Another takeaway from today. After seeing him out there, Demetric Felton can easily make this roster as a slot WR, I personally believe would be the best move for the #Browns and for his career. pic.twitter.com/zZy2sa0xLD
— Zach D (@ZachNoah52) August 7, 2022
The vote of confidence for Felton as WR stems from how he has performed so far in camp. He has caught a lot of passes and has really impresed as a receiver. Although most of his catches in camp have been off screen plays, the Browns have given him a chance to demonstrate his potential as a receiver. That’s because they didn’t have Anthony Schwartz, David Bell, and Javon Wims at different points during camp.
Remember that as a rookie, Felton gained 181 yards on 18 catches with two touchdowns while gaining only 24 yards on the ground. He also gained 172 and 227 yards on kick and punt returns, respectively. Even though he wasn’t a top playmaker, he proved his worth each time he touched the ball.
So far, Felton has turned a lot of heads in training camp. Looking ahead, if he meets the coaches’ expectations, he may shock a lot of people in a good way.
2) Cade York looking like a good kicker
This season, Cade York could become a true fan favorite, provided he lives up to the hype. He did raise some eyebrows when the Browns picked him in the fourth round. The Browns wanted a sure-fire high-quality kicker, and by all indications, it seems they got one.
The Browns are tired of seeing tardy missed field goals and failed extra point attempts, so they really went all-in on York.
So far, the LSU alum has shown a great deal of confidence. He also seems to be exceeding expectations. In one of the prior training camp sessions, York even hit a 46-yarder during a mock “fire drill” that really lit up the crowd. He’s also hit a couple of targets beyond the half-field mark for good measure.
Cade York continues to impress at Browns training camp. Here is a make from 53. All of his kicks have room to spare! #Browns pic.twitter.com/Xg6JalYW55
— Lance Reisland (Coach Riz) (@LanceReisland) August 5, 2022
Keep in mind that the Browns have had a dreadful history of kicking over the previous few seasons. This is why some believed that selecting a kicker in the draft should be a priority unique to the team.
If York performs as well as advertised, that would already be a success. If he continues to exceed expectations, this would be a clear game-changer for the Browns.
1) They’re sticking to Watson like glue
On Monday morning, Judge Sue L. Robinson handed down Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension.
He can practice a few weeks before to his projected Week 7 comeback against the Baltimore Ravens. Additionally, the NFL permitted Watson to continue working out with the team during training camp and the preseason because his suspension wasn’t for a full year.
Outrage spread quickly across the country in the wake of the news. Social media, talk shows, and sports programs were ablaze with complaints over the entire procedure. Many believed Watson should be suspended for much more than six games.
Amidst all of these, Browns fans have continued to support the team and their new QB. Fans kept on walking up to him to ask for signatures. They kept cheering him on during the workouts.
Even his teammates, the coaching staff, and team ownership have continued to support Watson. That may be surprising to most of the league and most fans around the country. Still, in Berea, Ohio, they remain solidly behind their team and their star QB. Once Watson is cleared to play again, he would do well to repay their faith in him.