Cleveland Browns notebook
Moving On: Offensive coordinator Norv Turner spoke before practice and talked about getting the offense ready without RB Trent Richardson and a new quarterback in Brian Hoyer.
“My focus has been to get Brian ready to go start a game,” Turner said. “I’ve focused on what he does best and am trying to get him to go play at a high level against Minnesota.
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“Brian is excited about playing and showing what he can do.”
Turner was asked why Hoyer was selected over QB Jason Campbell and his response was similar to Rob Chudzinski’s on Wednesday.
“I just think for where we are offensively, he gives us the best chance,” Turner said. “Brian does a lot of good things, but I’m not going to tell Minnesota what we’re doing.”
Turner said a big positive was to have WR Josh Gordon back at practice.
“Everyone was excited to have Josh back at practice,” he said. “He made some big plays in the preseason and was a big part of what we’re doing, so that’s an addition.
“Our guys are looking for the opportunity,” Turner said. “They are focused on their job and doing what we can to (win). We’ve been awfully close the last two weeks. We’ve had opportunities to take the lead in the second half in both games.”
Turner was asked about his thoughts on the Richardson trade.
“I think my deep down reaction is I like Trent an awful lot,” he said. “For him, I think this will be a real positive thing for him. He is going to get an opportunity to really showcase his abilities. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I have a lot of faith in our leadership and in the people making the decisions. I think they have a plan for what they want to get done and where they want to go and I think it’s going to be good in the long run.”
Rubin Positive: DL Ahtyba Rubin (calf) said he is getting close to playing and is hoping to play against the Vikings.
“I’m doing everything possible to get back on the field,” Rubin said.
Rubin said the injured calf is the same one that kept him out of three games in 2012, it is in a different area. Horton is looking forward to getting Rubin back.
“(Rubin) will be a welcome addition to our defense.”
Rubin appeared to be taking part in all of the drills during the portion of practice open to the media.
OL Shawn Lauvao (ankle) was also participating in practice. All the players on the roster were practicing with the exception of QB Brandon Weeden (thumb) and LB Quentin Groves (ankle), who have both been ruled out for this week’s game.
Weeden is visiting a hand specialist Thursday according to a team spokesman.
Slowing AP: Ray Horton said RB Adrian Peterson is obviously, the focus of this week.
“He’s a phenomenal player,” Horton said. “He has a rare genetic makeup. He’s a premier running back in this league.”
Horton said he’s pleased with the way the Browns have stopped the run thus far.
“(The Vikings’) strength is the running game and our strength is the running game, so it will be a good challenge.”
Spit Attack: Horton wouldn’t confirm that DL Phil Taylor was spit on early in the Ravens game, but he did indicate that they talked to Taylor about how he handled the situation. Taylor said that RB Ray Rice spit on him.
“We know what happened, talked to Phil and moved on,” Horton said. “(That is) one of the most degrading things you can do to a man. All I know is what my player said to me.”
Third Down Woes: Horton said that he is not pleased with the Browns defense on third down.
“That’s the most disturbing statistic,” he said. “I am used to leading the league in third down defense.”
Happy with Mingo: Horton said he is excited about what LB Barkevious Mingo showed in his first game.
“I was very pleased very happy with everything,” Horton said. “I thought he was a fantastic boost to our defense.”
McGahee: RB Willis McGahee was in Cleveland and a Browns spokesman confirmed the Browns are planning to sign him. He said he was taking his physical in the morning.
“He was taking his physical,” spokesman Zac Gilbert said. “I’m not sure if he’ll practice today or not.”
McGahee was not on the field during the portion of practice open to the media and no announcement has been made by the team officially that he is signed.
After the trade of Richardson, the Browns were left with Bobby Rainey as the only running back listed on the depth chart. Chris Ogbonnaya, who most likely will take over as the featured back, is currently listed on the depth chart as a fullback.
McGahee had 167 carries for 731 yards last season with the Broncos, including four touchdowns. His average per carry was 4.4. He’ll be 32 on Oct. 21 said. “I’m not sure if we’ll see him at practice or not.”