CLEVELAND, Ohio – In this week’s version of our Browns mail bag, I answer questions about Kareem Hunt and more. Most questions have been submitted by our Football Insiders subscribers, who receive daily text messages on their phones with news, insights and more. If you want to try it free for two weeks, send us an SMS at 216-208-3965.
Hi Mary Kay: I’m a big fan of the Browns as well as a fan of Kareem Hunt. I was extremely excited when we signed it and I expect great things from it this year. However, I am tired of his past, especially after the mess of Josh Gordon that we have been dealing with for years. Do you think he’s on his last chance with the Browns? If he’s still wrong, do you see the Browns or some other team give him a fourth and a fifth chance? – Scott B of Columbus, OH-IO
Hey, Scott: I think Hunt knows he has very little room for error. I also know that they are extremely pleased with his behavior and his progress since he stopped traffic in January for speeding, in which he was found with a small amount of marijuana in the car. I think it is particularly difficult for Hunt to stay straight and narrow here in Cleveland, where he is surrounded by family and friends who have not been good influences.
But he’s working hard to overcome that and be the citizen the Browns want. I think any new indiscretion will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. If this is a minor incident, it may not be a break-up. If he shows in the next few months that he’s staying on track, the Browns will likely start talking about expansion. If the Browns separate from him, I can see another team give him a chance.
Hey, Mary Kay: This week, it was mentioned that fans are unlikely to be allowed into training camp. And you journalists? A word on this? – Kevin, Saint-Louis
Hey, Kevin: I believe some journalists will be allowed into the camp, but the NFL and NFLPA are still working on these issues. Players can only have certain “levels” of people interacting with them, and it is unclear how this will affect journalists who watch the practice. I’m sure some of the interviews will still be conducted virtually to minimize exposure. We will all have to adapt to this new way of doing business. Hopefully everything will be back to normal by next season for everyone involved.
Hey, Mary Kay: Will Baker Mayfield host another small group pitching session for Browns players despite the NFLPA’s recommendation? – 216
Hey, 216: I think Mayfield will meet with some of his teammates by the time he arrives at camp on July 24. Hunt said he plans to join, and it was after NFLPA medical director Thom Mayer urged players not to train together. Kevin Stefanski said he would speak to the players and remind them to follow medical advice and practice social isolation and other safety measures if they met.
We know Mayer’s warning didn’t stop Tom Brady from practicing in a Tampa high school with a dozen of his new Bucs teammates despite the fact that two players have already tested positive for Covid-19. If players in this session last week contract the virus, it could have an impact on the decision of Browns players and others.
Hey, Mary Kay: I appreciate your work and I read almost everything you publish all year long. You wondered about the defense response to the Browns’ new offense. Do you think the stuffing of racing in general and the racing blitz in particular would be disruptive? Come on Browns! – Christopher Wolfe, Oxford, Ohio
Hey, Christopher: Thanks for reading and watching! I think the excellent defense against running, including the blitz, helps slow these prolific action-oriented programs on the West Coast, but the beauty of the offensive is that there is always an option if the defense takes away something.
A game in progress can easily be transformed into a game of mirror passes and vice versa. It’s the offense that keeps going because of the defenders who bite during the race, and it opens up so much for the players. I’m sure the defensive coaches will find ways to defend the scheme led by Stefanski, Gary Kubiak and Kyle Shanahan, but with enough weapons and a precise quarterback it’s just hard to stop.
Hey, Mary Kay: Will Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry play in preseason games this year? – Dave, Bay Village, Ohio
Hey Dave: I highly doubt it. First, there may be only two pre-season games instead of four, and Stefanski will need to use these games to help make roster decisions and also determine if Alex Van Pelt should call the games. Second, Beckham basically said he never wanted to play in another preseason game after suffering an ankle injury in Cleveland in 2017 in what he said was a cheap shot from Briean Boddy- Calhoun. Beckham suffered a broken ankle at the end of the season that year which required surgery, which he goes back to pre-season. As for Landry, he probably won’t be 100% ready until September, so I think they will save him for the opening game in Baltimore.
New Browns masks for sale: Here’s where you can buy Cleveland Browns themed face covers for coronavirus protection for adults and youth, including a single mask ($ 14.99) and a pack of 3 ($ 24.99) . All profits from the NFL are donated to the CDC Foundation.
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