The Cleveland Browns, like everyone else, are in the process of settling down into their annual training camp routine. When they do, however, they will have some interesting dynamics to work through, some new personalities on the field in a serious setting for the first time, and a prolonged period of time, that will test a novice coaching crew’s ability to keep it all glued together.
And they’ll also have a player who’s still trying to get himself traded, which is always fun. While Duke Johnson, the veteran running back, has yet to go out and buy some mustache dye, he did recently hire Drew Rosenhaus with an eye toward him helping to facilitate movement on a trade opening.
I assume you already know by now what second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield said regarding Johnson back during minicamp when he was asked about the running back’s trade request. The young passer’s comments did reportedly generate some buzz among the veterans in the locker room who wanted to take a different approach.
One of them was sixth-year wide receiver Jarvis Landry, who went out of his way following his quarterback’s remarks to let it be known that the Browns players were behind Johnson regardless of the outcome. That they understood what he was doing and why, and that they would be behind him whether he is still their teammate or not.
Landry recently spoke about it again as we get close to training camp, asked about Johnson and whether or not it will be a distraction while he was attending a charity even that he was hosting, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
“It will not be a distraction”, he said. “Our focus is pretty clear. We want to win a championship and the guys that are here, that’s going to help us do that. We start on Thursday. Let’s get it done”. As of now, Johnson is one of the guys who will be there.
Landry, who was acquired last March by the Browns via trade after he was given the franchise tag by the Miami Dolphins, had an average season last year, but has much higher expectations for himself and the offense in 2019.
He missed most of the offseason with an undisclosed assortment of injuries, calling it a “full body” issue, but he began running routes again within the past few weeks, including in the build-up to Mayfield’s wedding.
He said that a number of skill-position players gathered for the week leading up to that to bond and to practice, before attending the wedding, and added that it had great on- and off-field benefits for the team to go through that experience.
There is no indication that Johnson was a part of that experience.