JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Cleveland Browns took down the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday evening, 23-13, and while most of the starters didn't play, the team still impressed in their first outing of the year.
Here are the takeaways from the Browns first preseason game:
Standout play: First touchdown of the preseason
Wide receiver Davion Davis had a highlight reel catch in the end zone for the Browns first touchdown of the preseason.
On a deep pass from quarterback Kyle Lauletta, Davis leaped in the air and came down with the ball in the end zone in an impressive display of athleticism.
Watch the play below:
The star of training camp quickly became the star of the first preseason game. Donovan Peoples-Jones had the first target of the night, caught for a first down. He soon after had an impressive one-handed snag along the sidelines. Playing it safe and smart, Peoples-Jones' night ended relatively early, but there wasn't much more the team needed to see out of him Saturday.
D’Ernest Johnson had several good carries and a nice first down catch, which bodes well for him in his fight to make the 53-man roster.
The Browns got some fullback usage Saturday evening as well, seeing Andy Janovich get back-to-back receptions and Johnny Stanton pushing through for extra yardage and taking the field as lead blocker throughout the fourth quarter as well.
Ryan Switzer had a red zone touchdown reception from Lauletta.
But it was Demetric Felton who really stole the show in the first preseason game of the season. Heavily utilized throughout the game, Felton showed that he really can do it all. Four receptions for 44 yards and was solid in kick coverage on special teams and returned a kick for 10 yards.
It's just one preseason game but with his performance through training camp in consideration, if Felton keeps up his production there is little doubt he makes it through the final roster cuts.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski said that he would rotate between Cody Parkey and Chase McLaughlin throughout the night when it came to kicking opportunities to get a well-rounded look at both of them.
McLaughlin took the field first, making a 37-yard field goal to put Cleveland up 3-0.
Parkey took the field next, nailing a 34-yard field goal attempt and putting the Browns up 6-0. He took another 48-yard field goal attempt and doinked it off the upright and in for three more.
McLaughlin made both of his extra point attempts while Parkey did not take the field for a PAT.
Despite no Myles Garrett or Jadeveon Clowney, the Browns defensive line came out of the gate hot. The second team defensive line was able to collapse the pocket on Jaguars first snap, and Sheldon Day rushed in to sack Trevor Lawrence—a not-so-warm welcome into the NFL for the rookie quarterback.
Rookie Greg Newsome II was avoided the entire opening drive, covering well throughout the game when he was on the field, especially when considering he was going against veteran receiver Marvin Jones Jr. The cornerback even had an interception on Lawrence that wasn't called an interception (but we all saw it).
Porter Gustin, who has the ability to be a very valuable piece of the defensive rotation, had himself a sack heading into the second quarter.
Rookie Jeremiah Owusu-Koaramoah made his presence known on the field almost immediately. Owusu-Koramoah sacked Garnder Minshew and later in the second quarter nearly blocked a punt. The hybrid linebacker showed off his versatility Saturday, showcasing both his speed and ability to tackle. Once he was on the field, he stayed there—playing through the game and getting some much needed reps in after missing the first week of training camp on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Richard LeCounte III nearly had an interception of his own, making a bounding lunge at the ball and breaking up the pass, but unable to come down with it. But he had his moment just before the half, intercepting Minshew on a deep pass near the end zone.
On the side of the ball that struggled to field enough talent throughout the season last year, the Browns have drastically turned things around and loaded the roster with both raw and proven skill sets.
The following players left the game Saturday with injuries:
- LB Mack Wilson (shoulder)
- TE Stephen Carlson (knee)
- CB Kiondre Thomas (hamstring)
The Browns have two preseason games left on the schedule and more training camp practice sessions to get more clarity on the roster and more experience for some of the rookies and new Browns players.
But five players will have to be cut by Tuesday Aug. 17. Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry will have quite the task with a roster filled to the brim with talent, but that's an unfortunate reality of the business.
Here's the schedule for the remainder of Browns training camp:
- Sunday, Aug. 15 - No practice
- Monday, Aug. 16 - No practice
- Tuesday, Aug. 17 - 2:25 p.m. ET
- Wednesday, Aug. 18 - 2:25 p.m. ET
- Thursday, Aug. 19% - Closed practice
- Friday, Aug. 20% - Closed practice
- #Annual Cleveland Browns First and Ten Blood Drive
- % Joint practices with the NY Giants; to be featured on "Browns Live: Training Camp"
- *Gates open one hour prior to listed start time
- All practice dates and times are approximate/subject to change.All public practices are subject to weather conditions. Practices moved into the field house will be closed to the public due to space limitations.**
Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.