One day after head coach Hue Jackson called out tight end David Njoku for allowing the defense to strip the ball from him twice, the rookie’s troubles continued on the first day the Browns were in pads.
A pass from rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer whistled through Njoku’s hands, too hot to handle. Another was clearly a drop. Njoku did finish the day better when he caught a pass from Kevin Hogan during 11-on-11, but as soon as practice ended he caught about 15 passes from the JUGS gun.
“Hold on to the freaking ball,” Jackson said after practice on July 28 following the two strips. “That has got to stop, and that will get stopped. We will get that corrected because we can’t turn the ball over.”
Njoku met with the media before practice July 29 and said Jackson’s criticism was right on point.
“He’s right,” Njoku said. “Obviously, they took me in the first round for a reason, to make plays, so I’ve just got to work that much harder in this practice this afternoon on holding onto it after every catch.
“Concerned? No, I’m not concerned. I’m just going to work that much harder, like I said, to hold onto the ball after every catch, tuck it and finish every play.”
Njoku during OTAs and minicamp looked he was ready to start in the season opener, but that has not been the case early in training camp. Still, Jackson isn’t panicking.
“He’s trying to work as hard as he can,” Jackson said. “We have to get through that phase. I’ve seen it before. There’s no question in mind he’ll come out the other side. I know it’s…
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