BEREA, Ohio – Browns wide receiver Derrick Willies made a catch during a team drill Monday that captured the attention of the crowd. But during Tuesday’s Day 11 of training camp, Willies didn’t have many targets, and on some of the targets he did have, he couldn’t make a play on the ball.
Here are some moments evaluating how Willies looked Tuesday.
1. Acceleration downfield in catching drill
Willies (No. 84) didn’t perform well during team drills, but he did do well near the beginning of practice when receivers worked on position drills.
In the video below, Willies accelerated into his route well, and he tracked the ball downfield to make the catch.
2. Missed catch on a deep ball
Willies, who has had a solid camp overall, missed out on an opportunity during a play in 11 on 11s.
In the video below, Willies raced up field and as the ball was thrown, he couldn’t make a play on it. This play had good coverage, and perhaps the ball was thrown a bit too far ahead as well. But Willies still had a chance to make the catch.
3. Another missed opportunity
Willies was lined up outside on another play in 11 on 11s, and he couldn’t make a play in a situation similar to the play described above.
With cornerback Philip Gaines matched up against him, Willies ran down the field. As the ball sailed downfield, Willies couldn’t create enough separation to have a decent shot at snagging the ball.
Gaines deserves credit for good coverage, and Drew Stanton didn’t throw the best ball, either. But with Willies trying to make the team, these are plays where he wants to make more separation to give himself a chance at making the catch.
4. A good route and a solid catch
Though Willies had a rough day, he made a good catch near the end of practice.
In the video below, Willies ran a good route into open space. As he made a small cut and planted, he looked the ball in well to make the catch.
What We Learned
The Browns are deep at receiver, and Willies has been in the mix with some of the team’s top receivers in Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Jaelen Strong, Antonio Callaway and Rashard Higgins.
Callaway has more breakaway speed, and Higgins is a better route runner. Still, standing at 6-foot-4, Willies is one of the tallest receivers on the roster in addition to Strong, who is 6-2. Willies’ height helps him make tough catches, and his ability to track and high point the ball, and his contributions on special teams, will help him make his case with the coaches.