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Views from training camp: What we saw today at the Browns-Giants joint practice

Browns Giants joint session
Posted at 5:34 PM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 20:38:38-04

BEREA, Ohio — The Cleveland Browns and New York Giants held their first of two joint practices on Thursday at the CrossCountry Country Mortgage Campus training facility in Berea.

The practice was closed to fans but open to media, so here's a look at what went down during the joint session.

Calm, cool, mostly collected
Anytime you get two opposing teams on the same field, even in a joint practice, there's a chance for things to get a bit heated.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski said ahead of the practice session that they would keep a focus on respect to ensure nothing escalated between the two teams.

"They're our guests, and we want to make sure that we work hard and we compete against each other, but we're always going to be taking care of each other and making sure that it's a safe, controlled environment," Stefanski said.

Luckily for everyone, most of the practice remained peaceful. There was one moment that things got a bit chippy after Browns wide receiver JoJo Natson got knocked down with a lot of contact from Giants cornerback Rodarius Williams and defensive back Chris Johnson, but after a few words and looks were exchanged, practice continued as scheduled.

Competition in full effect
While it was just a practice session, going up against players on a different team brings a new kind of excitement when a big play is made, and that happened today.

From wide receiver Rashard Higgins' red carpet celebration after a touchdown to a rally around rookie cornerback Greg Newsome II after the practice-ending interception, the Browns found joy throughout the day and made it known.

Freddie Kitchens and Nick Chubb reunion
The former Browns head coach is back in Berea, now as a senior offensive assistant for the Giants.

Although his short tenure as a head coach in Cleveland was underwhelming, there's no bad blood between Kitchens and running back Nick Chubb, who still holds his former coach in high regard.

"That's my guy. He was my first NFL running backs coach of my career," Chubb said before practice Thursday. "Every day I stepped on the field and he said, 'Make today your best day,' and every time I get on the field I think about that."

Here are a few highlights from camp:

Linebackers Jacob Phillips and Sione Takitaki left practice early, according to Stefanski. Phillips suffered an elbow injury and Takitaki suffered a hamstring injury.

Other Browns players who worked out on the bikes or stayed on the sideline included Odell Beckham Jr., Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward, Anthony Schwartz and Jadeveon Clowney, among others.

Stefanski said there was still no update on defensive end Takkarist McKinley, who has been out an extended amount of time for a personal reason.

RELATED: Browns unable to provide time frame for return of Browns DE Takkarist McKinley

The Browns and Giants will have another practice session Friday, which will see fewer reps but more red zone work as the two teams prepare for their preseason matchup on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.

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