But he’s not about to jinx it. The man has barely emerged from his Lake Erie cleansing. He knows nothing will really change until the victories come.
“We still have to play the game," he said. "We still have got a lot of work to do. It’s just fun to be around the guys and to watch them run around and work — watch things start to happen the way that they should offensively, defensively and with special teams. I have a really good staff. There are some good players out there and they’re working hard.”
Here are some things we learned on the first day of minicamp:
1. Peppers, Kindred are vying at SS
Peppers and incumbent strong safety Derrick Kindred alternated with the first team.
“It’s a good rotation,’’ Jackson said. “More so than anything, we have two very capable players that are playing that strong safety position. There’s competition throughout our football team and guys are going to have to earn what they get once we get to training camp. But it’s a good problem to have.
"Jabrill, I think, is going to have a sensational season. I really do. He’s working hard. He has been very vocal back there. But Derrick Kindred is not going to just give it away, so it is going to be fun to see.”
Kindred started 10 games at strong safety last year before landing on injured reserve with an injured wrist. Peppers started 13 game at free safety, but is now at his more natural spot.
2. Mayfield still with second team
As expected, Mayfield continued to work with the second-team offense behind Taylor and ahead of Drew Stanton. He’s also learning from Taylor’s work ethic.
“To see how Tyrod is every day in the building, you cannot make that happen,’’ Jackson said. “If you have guys on your team that can show a young player, especially at that position, what it takes to be a pro first — off of the field and all of the studying you have to do, and taking care of your body and to be a leader throughout, not just in the locker room but throughout the organization — I think is invaluable. I think what he is seeing is really going to help him, because he will look back on this time and really grow from it.”
Fellow first-round pick Denzel Ward continued to work with the ones.
3. Trio on the bike brigade
Minicamp opened with Jamie Collins, Mychal Kendricks and Antonio Callaway on the bikes. Collins underwent surgery last year to repair a torn MCL, Kendricks underwent a minor ankle procedure in March and Callaway has a groin injury. Jackson said they’ll all likely miss the whole three-day camp.
“Those guys are not totally where I want them to be at, or where our medical staff, I should say, wants them to be,’’ he said. “There’s no rush. We’re definitely going to have them back for training camp."
Earlier in the day, the Browns announced three surgeries: Third-round defensive end Chad Thomas underwent sports hernia surgery and punter Britton Colquitt had a knee procedure. Both should be back for camp. But 2017 fourth-round cornerback Howard Wilson underwent a second surgery on his torn patellar tendon and is expected to miss his second straight season. He suffered the injury on the first day of rookie minicamp last year.
In addition, fullback Danny Vitale tweaked a leg on a catch and left the field with his thigh wrapped.
4. OL Stephenson a no-show
Former Broncos offensive tackle Donald Stephenson, signed by the Browns as a free agent in March, was a no-show, and Jackson made it clear the Browns are fining him. Stephenson, 29, also missed the all of the voluntary OTAs.
“That will all come to an end here pretty soon,’’ Jackson said. “There are fines involved. There are all of those things that we will deal with. At this time, I only want to talk about the guys that are here and working and doing the things that they need to be doing right now.”
Stephenson signed a one-year deal worth $2.5 million, including $1 million guaranteed. The max fines for missing camp are as follows: 1st day — $14,070; 2nd day — $28,150; 3rd day — $42,215.
5. Ogbah on the field, other notes
Ogbah, coming off foot surgery last season, participated in 11-on-11s in minicamp.
“He’s done good,’’ Jackson said. “My goal is to get all of our players to training camp healthy and ready to go. And then, keep building this football team.”
In other depth chart notes, Jarvis Landry and Josh Gordon have been the starters in two-receiver sets, and Landry moves inside in three wide with Corey Coleman lining up opposite Gordon on the outside. … Austin Corbett took reps at left guard and right tackle Tuesday. … Sixth-round receiver Damion Ratley caught a nice sideline pass from Taylor in 7-on-7s.