Can David Njoku Avoid the Sophomore Slump in 2018?

Cleveland Browns Tight End has struggled in 2018 Training Camp

David Njoku
Source: Scott Piker

David Njoku had a very solid rookie season for the Cleveland Browns in 2017. The tight end played in all 16 games. Njoku caught 32 passes for 386 yards and four touchdowns. Factor in the poor quarterback play, it’s a good rookie season for the former Miami Hurricane.

So can the second year tight end avoid the dreaded sophomore slump? After the first days of training camp, the answer has been no due to dropped passes. Day four on Sunday was a really bad day for Njoku because of multiple dropped passes. The good thing is there is plenty of practices to return to form.

“It is practice. That is why we are here at training camp – to get better every single day,” Njoku said. “I feel I am getting better, along with the other tight ends. I feel like they are also getting better. It is great progress. We are working really hard.”

“I have talked to him. He needs to know that I have confidence in him,” head coach Hue Jackson said. “I know the kind of player that he can be, but there is so much work that he has to do to be what I think he wants to be. In order to do that, every day you have got to be focused, determined and disciplined. He has to work at that every day, and I think that he did today.”

Now that Njoku has a year on NFL football under his belt, what has improved since training camp last year?

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“I would say everything – blocking, route-running, catching and everything,” Njoku said. “Just a year of getting coaches by NFL coaches, it is a lot more specific details that you have to do. In college, you can just run around and be an athlete, but in the NFL, everyone is a professional so it is different.”

Njoku has to be consistent in year two. The opportunity to be a factor in Todd Haley’s offense is there. Njoku has to catch the football. It doesn’t matter if it’s a deep wide open throw or a pass thrown into tight windows.

“It depends really where the ball is and where the defender is,” Njoku said. “For the most part, we try to focus on every single ball and secure every single ball.”

The Browns hope the early drops go away once game action kicks off next week.

Scott Piker is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Browns.


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