Browns defensive backs wearing boxing gloves to prepare for increased emphasis on holding


The NFL has instructed its officials to pay closer attention to defensive holding and illegal contact this season, a shift that many believe will lead to a flurry of flags in the early part of the season.

The Browns don’t want to make life any harder on themselves once the regular season rolls around, so they are working on ways to keep their defensive backs from grabbing hold of opposing receivers. Browns defensive backs are wearing boxing gloves during some drills at training camp so that they are unable to grab onto opponents and are therefore forced to come up with other ways to keep them from catching passes.

“You’ve got to get guys out of that habit,” coach Mike Pettine said, via “Instead of putting them in the full boxing gloves that I think would really slow their stride down, they’re more like sparring gloves … like a big mitten. The thumb can still come out. I just think it’s more the mentality that they know they have to be able to cover more with an open palm than grabbing and restricting, especially if the rule is going to be called as tightly as we’re told it is.”

Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett took offense to a referee’s suggestion that coaches would have to do different things in practice to prepare their players to play with the  shifted emphasis this season. Pettine and the Browns are going another way in hopes of forcing offenses to beat them without the help of self-inflicted wounds.

19 responses to “Browns defensive backs wearing boxing gloves to prepare for increased emphasis on holding

  1. I suggest they take the gloves off and work on catching Interceptions. It’s amazing how many interceptions the Browns DBs have dropped right in their hands the last 10 yrs.

    I get the concept behind it not sure it’s a great idea

  2. @brownsmakemecrazy

    Who cares if you don’t like the idea? If the Cleveland Browns wanted your opinion they’d ask for it.

  3. No, the browns would still be bad, and you would be making claims you said something different.

  4. @brownsmakemecrazy why do you even bother? Every post you decry the Browns, every chance you get. To use those now semi-famous words of Phil Savage, and in tue with your need to give love to Sammy Watkins (Who I wish they had drafted but they didnt)….Go Root for Buffalo.

    I am a homer, make no doubt. I love the Browns in spite of what they have done to this point. Every spring is indeed a season of new hope until it is dashed on the rocks on the breakwall in Cleveland harbor by the stadium.

    But I truly believe this is a new beginning. I was skeptical when they hired Pettine. I am no longer. He speaks clearly and intelligently. He is demanding a toughness we need here. Ray Farmer is THE MAN. I was overjoyed when Haslam sacked Lombardi and forced Banner out. Good riddance to bad management, Farmer looks to have hit a grand slam in the draft even if he didn’t take a receiver. Willie Snead will have to do…and looks like he just might.

    If they go 8-8 this year I will be very satisfied. I am not expecting the playoffs and an impending SuperBowl victory. I am a home but I am also a realist. But we have something here. Give this team a couple years under this new management team…THEN lets talk about playoffs!

  5. .
    The Browns roster has definitely been upgraded in recent years. If they get adequate play from the QB position, they should be competitive every week.

  6. Go browns? Your organization is hapless. Why does the coach just tell his defensive backs NOT to use their hands to hold.

    The only thing you have going for you is Brian hoyer

  7. This is a nice learning tool. I like it. Forward thinking by the coach. If Belichick would have done it the media would be calling him a genius right now.

  8. Seems like a total over reaction to a “possible” increase in holding calls. But hey, they can now fight in practice and nobody gets hurt.

  9. That’s a great idea and way to get the DB’s used to playing pass defense without holding.

    I’ve heard of some baseball coaches who have their infielders wear this hard mitt like thing that straps to their hand with Velcro on the back side and it’s like an inch thick. It doesn’t bend at all. It’s a very hard, dense foam type of material and it’s completely flat.

    When you strapped it on your hands and tried to field a ground ball, you HAD to watch it in and use your throwing hand at the SAME time the ball hit that hard, flat foam thing.

    Being that it was hard, the ball would bounce right off it. Some guys angled it like 45 degrees and the ground ball bounced off it and hit them in the face, the throat etc…

    You quickly learned to use both hands and watch the ball all the way in.

    This was our high school coach in the early 80’s that did this to us.

    It worked too.

    The idea in this article should work too for the NFL players.

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