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Cleveland Browns defensive linemen Jadeveon Clowney (90) participates in an exercise during an NFL soccer practice at the team’s training facility on Thursday, June 17, 2021 in Berea, Ohio. (AP photo / David Dermer)

BEREA (AP) – Jadeveon Clowney broke out of his three-point stance, twirled around a couple of tackle dummies, and celebrated first place in an exercise by sticking his index finger in the air and screaming loudly.

Either way, he’s happy, healthy, and hungry with the Cleveland Browns.

And for the first time in his pro career, Clowney has a teammate who is his reflection, a defensive lineman who shares many of his insane skills – all-pro Myles Garrett, another number 1 overall.

Cleveland has a terrifying new tandem on the front lines.

“My two little friends?” Quarterback Baker Mayfield said when asked about the prospect of facing the Browns’ brooding bookends. “I wouldn’t say it would be very fun to play against them.”

Fun seemed to be the theme for Clowney, who stood out during the three-day Cleveland mini-camp that ended Thursday with boisterous practice in the fields behind the team’s training complex.

There were eyes and camera lenses trained on Clowney, who in April signed a one-year $ 8 million free agent contract with the Browns, his third team in three years after stints in Seattle and Tennessee after a five-year stint in Houston .

This week was Clowney’s first time working with Garrett, a 6-foot-5, 275-pound specimen that he considers athletic equals.

“It’s funny,” said Clowney after his first training session with Garrett. “I haven’t met a lot of guys like that in the National Football League. It took me eight years to come here to find one, at least in defense. “

Clowney looks fully recovered after injuring his left knee – he played for the Titans in just eight games in 2020 – and underwent surgery in December. He skipped the team’s voluntary workouts to train on his own.

“I have proven to myself that I feel good after the knee injury” he said. “I’ve been training extremely hard this off-season so I already had a sense of where I’m from. I wouldn’t have come if I wasn’t healthy.

“I felt great when I walked in. I feel great now. Hopefully I can continue in this next phase and continue to be strong and faster and prepare for the training camp. “

With Garrett and Clowney star attractions for the past three days, there has been a constant buzz around Cleveland’s Defensive Line group, which has been reworked with several new players including Takk McKinley (free agency), Andrew Billings (back from COVID-19 opt. ). -out) and rookie draft pick Tommy Togiai.

The head-to-head battles included some lively trash talks, and Clowney seemed to love every second of it.

“The thing about me, man, I like to have fun, no matter what team I’m on or where I’m going.” said Clowney. “I’m an excited guy. I know it’s a job, but I’m trying to say it’s football first. I always enjoy playing soccer. It’s not really a job.

“We have the best job in the world. Why don’t you put a smile on your face when you walk around out there and they pay you for it and I would play for free? “

The Browns believe Clowney is a perfect match for Garrett, who had 12 sacks last season but only 2 1/2 after contracting COVID-19 and struggling with his breathing for the last five games.

With Clowney and Garrett getting out of hand, the attackers must devise blocking schemes to slow them down in order to protect their quarterbacks. It’s also likely that Brown’s defensive coordinator Joe Woods will put his two stars on the same side, forcing the teams to make some tough decisions.

Clowney, who hasn’t pocketed a sack with the Titans and has only had three in the past two seasons, doesn’t mind taking on tackle, but he knows what he’s best at.

“I enjoy moving, but I enjoy moving forward” he said. “You get this?”

NOTES: WR Odell Beckham Jr. was only doing conditioning work Thursday and the team said this was part of his recovery plan when he returned from knee surgery in November. Beckham looked great earlier this week and appears ahead of schedule. … Woods rejected the idea that he was on that “Ejection seat” after the defense of Cleveland was overtaken by free agent signings and the draft. “It’s the NFL, I’ve been on the hot seat for 30 years. Because every year you get contracts, but you keep your job based on the performance of your player, your position or your unit. … This is a Show-Me game, this is the NFL and I have to produce it. “ … New Brown’s LB Anthony Walker Jr. changed his jersey number from 54 to 4.

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