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Cleveland Browns News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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3/6/14: There have been a lot of jokes in recent weeks about the state of the Browns organization. A lot. The team fired head coach Rob Chudzinski after just one year. Waited a month to find a replacement. Let go of their GM and President. And also tried to trade for 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. Now they are dealing with roster players and released linebacker D'Qwell Jackson. Jackson has a lot of interest in the league, including Denver, Tennessee and Arizona. There may be more cuts coming as the Browns seem to try to be remaking the entire franchise.
2/27/14: The Browns front office is in the news again, but this time it is not necessarily for making questionable personnel decisions or blowing up their brain trust. Reports came out last week that the Browns tried to trade from 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. Apparently, the process had gotten somewhat far along before being dashed. Harbaugh is a successful and driven head coach, and is certainly more accomplished than new Browns head coach Mike Pettine. Pettine, for his sake, said that if anything had transpired that it means nothing. After all, he is the head coach now and will run the team.
2/20/13: Proving that just about anything is possible with the Browns these days, owner Jimmy Haslam fired CEO Joe Banner and GM Mike Lombardi last week. In the meantime, he promoted assistant GM Ray Farmer to the GM position. Farmer turned down the Dolphins job a few weeks ago, so he may have known this was coming. If so, then he must have felt the Dolphins are more dysfunctional than the Browns, which really says something about the Dolphins. The team fired head coach Rob Chudzinski after only one year and is now on their third head coach since Haslam bought the team a couple years ago. For comparison, the Steelers have had three head coaches over the past 45 years.
2/13/14: The Browns announced that they have hired Kyle Shannahan as the new offensive coordinator. That may or may not have been met with a collective sigh among the Browns faithful. Sure, he likely had his last job as OC of Washington because his father was the head coach. And last year was a complete dud. But look at his previous work, including OC of the Texans and RG3's first year - and there should be some hope. To be fair, the Browns have hit the reset button (again), but this time it could work out well.
2/6/14: New head coach Mike Pettine may not have been the first choice by many fans, but is their new head coach. Pettine seems to understand the dynamics going on in Cleveland, and perhaps that is why he was hired. There are many well-qualified candidates that would not want to be part of the rebuilding process, especially with the seemingly unstable state of management of the organization. But the Browns have a decent roster with a few playmakers, like WR Josh Gordon. They also have Indy's first round pick, so they can rebuild sooner than later. It is an interesting situation, but Pettine can be a hero if he turns it around.
1/30/14: Cleveland has a new head coach. If that sounds familiar, well, it should. That has been a headline four times in the past five years. This time around, it is Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Pettine, reportedly, would have withdrawn from consideration for the position if the search had gone on much longer - it took nearly four weeks and the Browns were the last team to hire a new head coach. He takes over a team that has a high draft pick and is in need of a starting quarterback. The Browns have a great wide receiver in Josh Gordon, and may even decide to bookend him with Sammy Watkins in the draft.
1/23/14: There has been some troubling behavior from Browns' wide receiver Devon Bess. If isolated, the incidents seem minor, but may show a pattern of a bigger problem when taken together. In the span of a few days, Bess tweeted a photo of himself with what appears to be marijuana. Then he had a run-in at a South Florida airport. Last, he was involved in a situation at a hotel in South Florida that required police intervention. The events seem similar to the downward spiral of former Lions wide receiver Titus Young, who was found to have mental issues. Here is hoping Bess can get the help he needs and resume his NFL career.
1/16/14: The Browns have a lot of issues. While many may argue that most of the problems start at the top (and there certainly is an argument to be made for that), they will have to address the quarterback position this offseason. Cleveland has spent three draft picks in the first and second round on quarterbacks over the last seven years: Brady Quinn, Colt McCoy, and Brandon Wheeden. None of those came anywhere near working out. Their best QB in that time was actually Brian Hoyer this season, and he started out as the third-stringer. There is a lot of talk now that the Browns should grab Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel in the first round - and at least that makes them relevant for a while.
1/9/14: Cleveland really has to get this head coach hiring right. Both Bill O'Brien (Houston) and Lovie Smith (Tampa Bay) are off the board. Denver OC Adam Gace has turned down any interviewing until the Broncos are out of the playoffs. There also seems to be an air of dysfunctionality with the organization as several players (and coaches) have criticized team management for firing Rob Chudzinski after only one year. Many people believe that Patriots OC Josh McDaniels is the favorite, considering his relationship with GM Mike Lombardi. Whoever gets the job should at least be given a few years to establish the team.
1/2/14: Word leaked out last Saturday that head coach Rob Chudzinsky could be fired after the season ended. That turned out to be true, as the Brown relieved Coach Chud after only one season. Several players, including left tackle Joe Thomas and wide receiver Josh Morgan, were shocked by the firing. The brass is saying they want to find the right guy, but that could be difficult considering they just hired Chud and a slew of assistants and are now resetting the program. More than anything, they need a franchise QB. They pick fourth in the draft, so expect that pick to be a field general.
12/26/13: Cleveland, as everyone knows, will not make the playoffs this season. They fell to 4-11 last Sunday by losing to the New York Jets. Despite the mounting losses, the team is actually one of the few that are on the rise. Wide receiver Josh Gordon has had an outstanding season and should be considered among the elite in the league. The team needs a consistent and stable quarterback situation to advance to the next level. The good news is that there are several quality QBs in the draft next year and Cleveland will have a high draft pick. If they can secure the QB spot, then this team is ready to grow.
12/19/13: The Browns dropped another game last Sunday - allowing the Chicago Bears to rally in the fourth quarter and losing 37-31. The loss drops their record to 4-10 on the season, but they may be the best 4-10 team in the league. They are playing teams close and look like the type of team that is ready to make a leap when they can have a consistent QB. Jason Campbell got the call again, and threw for 273 yards and a score. Josh Gordon's record-setting run came to an end with just 67 yards receiving, though he did have a TD. The Browns penultimate game of the season is at the New York Jets (6-8) this Sunday.
12/12/13: This was a tough loss for the Cleveland Browns. The Browns completely shut down the New England offense in the first half last Sunday, but allowed the Pats to rally for a 27-26 win. QB Jason Campbell was cleared to start and played very well. He threw for nearly 400 yards and three touchdowns. WR Josh Gordon set a record for the most yards in a four game span, this time going for 151 yards and a score. Gordon may be the best receiver not named Calvin Johnson this season and is on an absolute tear. Cleveland (4-9) hosts the Bears this Sunday.
12/5/13: Another week, another lost QB. The Browns fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars 32-28 last Sunday, which was bad enough, But they also lost another starting quarterback (Brandon Wheeden) to injury. It now seems that playing QB for the Browns is just an invitation to get hurt. The Browns hope that Josh Campbell can come back for this week's game against New England (9-3). If not, then they will start their fourth QB of the year. Lost in all of this was Josh Gordon's huge game, with 261 yards receiving and a touchdown, his second week in a row going over 200 yards.
11/28/13: No matter how many times the Browns try to get rid of Brandon Wheedon he keeps coming back. This time may be for the rest of the season as starting QB Jason Campbell sustained a head injury in the 27-11 loss to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday. Wheedon did air it out with over 200 yards passing and a TD in under two quarters of work. Wide receiver Josh Brown had a monster day with 237 yards receiving and a touchdown. The Browns are now 4-7 but do host the 2-9 Jags this coming Sunday.
11/21/13: Cleveland was a trendy pick against the Bengals last Sunday, but like many trends, it could not last. Despite throwing for almost 250 yards and one touchdown, QB Jason Campbell could not figure out the Bengals' defense and tossed up three interceptions as the Bengals easily won 41-20. The Browns defense was not terrible, despite the score. They limited Bengals' QB Andy Dalton to just 93 yards passing and did have two interceptions of their own. The loss was the Browns sixth of the year and may have taken them out of playoff contention. Cleveland has another divisional matchup this Sunday against the Steelers.
11/14/13: While no one is arguing that Cleveland is an elite team at this point, they are much better than many people expected. The team has gotten good quarterback play out of the two men they did not intend to play - Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell. Hoyer is out for the remainder of the season but Campbell is showing that he can still be a starter in the NFL after being jettisoned by both Washington and Oakland in recent years. The Browns are 4-5 and in second place in the AFC North. They have a big divisional game at Cincinnati (6-4) this Sunday.
11/7/13: Cleveland has discovered that their first choice for quarterback this season, Brandon Wheedon, was the one they should have left on the bench all along. Jason Campbell started his second straight game for the Browns and led them to a 24-18 win over Baltimore - ending an 11 game skid against the Ravens. Campbell threw three touchdown, two to Devon Bess, in the victory. Cleveland is now alone in second place in the AFC North at 4-5 and has a shot at the playoffs. Enjoy the win, Cleveland, and we'll see you in two weeks as you enjoy your bye.
10/31/13: The Browns gave the Kansas City Chiefs their toughest test of the season but could not put up enough points to knock off the NFL's only undefeated team - losing 23-17. Jason Campbell drew the starting job and was much better than Brandon Wheedon has been all season - essentially ending Wheedon's tenure in Cleveland barring injury. Campbell threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns, while Josh Gordon put up 132 yards receiving and a touchdown in the loss and Jordin Cameron had 81 yards catching. Cleveland hosts Baltimore this Sunday in a big divisional battle.
10/24/13: A couple months ago, experts were raving about how good Brandon Wheeden looked in the preseason. Then he struggled in the regular season, got hurt, and watched while Brian Hoyer took the team for a couple of wins. With Hoyer hurt, and Wheeden back under center, the team has regressed. The Browns lost 31-13 to the Packers last Sunday and were never in the game. Green Bay's defense suffocated Wheeden, limiting him to 149 yards passing and one TD. The Browns ignored their best weapon, Josh Gordon - he had only two catches for 29 yards. It would seem the team would be better if they included him in the game. Cleveland is 3-4 and heads to Kansas City (7-0) this Sunday.
10/17/13: The magic that Brian Hoyer brought to the Browns is officially gone as Brandon Wheeden is the starting QB again and that brought yet another loss under his leadership. Cleveland hosted the Detroit Lions last Sunday. After taking a 17-7 lead to halftime, the Browns allowed 24 unanswered points and could not score anything for themselves. Even with his poor play, it does not look like the coaching staff will put in backup Jason Campbell. The Browns are now 3-3 on the season and a game behind the Bengals in the AFC North. Cleveland heads up to Green Bay (3-2) this Sunday.
10/10/13: If there was a city that could be knocked out of the baseball playoffs on one night then lose a primetime Thursday night game the next day, one would have to nominate Cleveland. Fortunately for Clevelanders that did not happen (they won the football game). The Browns battled back from a 17-3 deficit to defeat the Buffalo Bills 37-24. The Browns had a pick six and returned a punt for a touchdown. Cleveland now sits at 3-2 on the season and in first place in the AFC North. Nothing could be perfect in Cleveland, though. QB Brian Hoyer was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Cleveland has 10 days to prepare for the visiting Lions this Sunday.
10/3/13: The Browns somehow got better after trading their best player (Trent Richardson to the Colts) and starting an inexperienced QB in Brian Hoyer. The team is 2-0 since the trade and looks competitive. Last Sunday, the Browns beat division rival Cincinnati 17-6 to claim a portion of the AFC North lead. Hoyer was 25 of 38 attempts passing for 269 yards and two touchdowns. TE Jordan Cameron is having a great season and now has five touchdowns on the season. The Browns have a short week as they host the Buffalo Bills (2-2) in the Thursday Night Game.
9/26/13: Cleveland spoiled a lot of survivor pools this past weekend. A lot. Just a few days after trading their star running back, Trent Richardson, to the Indianapolis Colts, and with starting QB Brandon Wheedon on the sideline with a thumb injury, and with starting previously third string quarterback Brian Hoyer, and being on the road, the Browns upset the Vikings 31-27. No one saw this one coming, and maybe it was a one-time deal, but it was an impressive victory from a team that many had left for dead after the Richardson trade. Not much time to celebrate though, the Browns (1-2), return home to face the Bengals (2-1).
9/19/13: The Browns fell to 0-2 in Week 2, losing to the Baltimore Ravens on the road 14-6. Running back Trent Richardson did get the ball a little bit more in Week 2 than in Week 1 against the Dolphins, but the Browns still need more balance on offense. Actually, the Browns need more offense, period. The team traded Richardson to the Colts for a 2014 first round pick. QB Brandon Wheeden hurt his hand in the game and may not play in Week 3. The starter has yet to be announced. The Browns will get their best receiver back as Jerome Simpson returns from a two game suspension. Greg Little will not start. The Browns travel to Minnesota (0-2) for Sunday's game.
9/12/13: Cleveland opened its season with a 23-10 loss that may have demoralized the Browns' faithful. Cleveland opened up the game running Trent Richardson often and effectively, then just stopped. They decided to let QB Brandon Wheedon try to win the game rather than their best offensive player. The result was a lot of quick offensive series that benefited Miami. Once Miami built up a multiple score lead, Richardson was not heard from again. Hopefully the new coaching staff in Cleveland learned from their mistake and will use that lesson learned this Sunday when the Browns visit the Baltimore Ravens (0-1).
9/4/13: After all these years, there is still something new in the NFL. The Browns made their cuts to get to the 53 man limit over the weekend - and they had no kickers on the roster at that time. The team terminated the contract of Shayne Graham and waived Brandon Bogatay. Perhaps this is a bold new strategy from new head coach Rob Chudzinsky. Or, more likely, the team will bring in someone else before the season starts. Kickalicious looked pretty good in his camp with the Lions, so maybe he can be the new guy in Cleveland.
8/29/13: The Browns are hoping to sneak up on teams this year. After finishing 5-11 last season and replacing their coaching staff, people are beginning to believe that the Browns could be a legitimate team this time around. One player many have their eye on is tight end Cameron Jordan. Jordan has not done much in his young career, but new offensive coordinator Norv Turner is terrific at getting the most out of the position. Playing alongside wide receiver Josh Gordon and running back Trent Richardson could make this a respectable offense that pushes for respect around the league.
8/22/13: Second year QB Brandon Wheedon has been very impressive so far in camp and preseason games. Wheedon is battling with veteran Jason Campbell for the starting QB position, and is displaying poise, good decisions, and great throws to keep the job. Norv Turner is the new offensive coordinator in Cleveland, and he has a wonderful history of developing quarterbacks. If this pace keeps up, then Cleveland may really have a strong offense this year and surprise a lot of folks who expect Baltimore, Cincinnati, or Pittsburgh to win the AFC North or get a wildcard spot in the playoffs.
8/15/13: The Browns selected Trent Richardson in the first round of the 2012 draft and he was immediately named the starter. Most people know Richardson as a star running back for the Alabama Crimson tide team that won a national championship. They also think that he is injury prone. But Richardson actually put up great numbers last season. He had well over 1,000 yards rushing and double digit touchdowns. He still has some lingering injuries, but Browns' fans can expect more of the same this season. Also, WR Josh Gordon continues to impress, meaning Cleveland may have a pretty good offense this season.
8/8/13: Judging wide receiver Josh Gordon is difficult. The Browns took him in the supplemental draft in 2012, thereby sacrificing a fifth round pick in 2013. It turned out to be a good move as Gordon led the team in receptions and yards in his rookie season. Going into year two, Gordon is tough to handicap. Much of his stats came in a three game stretch - so there is no way to forecast a full season. However, if QB Brandon Wheedon continues to improve, if Trent Richardson can stay healthy, and if the offensive line can gel - then this could be a breakout year for Gordon.
8/1/13: There was a scary sight on the Cleveland Browns' training camp field on Saturday, as offensive lineman Ryan Miller was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital by ambulance. The team asked reporters not to take pictures as players gathered around the fallen player. The good news is that Miller has a concussion and is resting in a hospital for a short time. There is concern that he has a neck injury, but that is not known at this point. He will be held out of practices and games until he is cleared by an independent doctor. Thank goodness it was not paralysis as some early reports suggested.
7/25/13: The Cleveland Browns have taken their time getting their draft picks under contract. Going into Saturday, they only had two of their five picks under contract. However, on Saturday, they signed two picks, including third round pick Leon Mcfadden - a cornerback out of San Diego State University. McFadden is expected to compete for the starting job with Chris Owens (accross from Joe Haden). That means that the team only has to sign their first round pick, linebacker Barkevious Mingo. Mingo was the sixth overall pick and the contract is held up by the offset language.
7/18/13: Another week and more bad news for this snakebitten franchise. Federal investigators are progressing in their investigation on Flying J Truck Stop fraudulent billing practices, and some people claim that Jimmy Haslam (owner of both the Flying J and the Browns) knew and endorsed the scheme. In other words, he may face federal indictment. While awful for the team and their fans, the Steelers and Titans must be breathing a sigh of relief. Haslam was a part owner of the Steelers before buying the Browns, and actually had his sites originally set on buying the Tennessee Titans.
7/11/13: Browns fans are not used to good news, so there is no way to determine how they may react to the news that running back Trent Richardson is on schedule to return for training camp. Richardson injured his leg last year and there have been reports that he would not return on schedule. He has begun his running program in Florida and is on track to report to camp on July 24. Richardson has talent, but also has a history of injuries. The Browns, therefore, may limit his work in training camp and preseason to keep him healthy for when they really need him.
7/4/13: The Browns made a bit of a shock at the draft by taking Barkavious Mingo from LSU rather than Jarvis Jones. Jones went to the rival Steelers, who were thrilled to get him. Many felt that Jones is the better player, and Jones himself thought that he would go to Cleveland. However, Mingo is an athletic wonder who may have more longterm upside than Jones. His former teammates rave about his skills and how he was the motor that made the LSU defense run. If he does pan out, then it may be the first good news for the team in years.
6/27/13: It has been said many time that "God hates Cleveland" and their stadium is the "Factory of Sadness". And there is a lot of evidence to back up those claims. But the most intriguing thing about the Browns is how things happen to them. Jimmy Haslem is the new owner of the team. He claimed to be an avowed Steelers fan (uh-oh). His company, the Flying J Truck Stop group is under federal investigation for scamming customers out of discounts. Now comes testimony from a Flying J manager that senior management knew of the rebate fraud. There is no one more senior at the company than Haslem.
6/20/13: The Browns are going to start the season without number two wide receiver Josh Gordon. Gordon was suspended for testing positive for a banned substance. He claims with was codeine in cough syrup for strep throat. In any case, the Browns need to find a temporary replacement and that looks like it will be Devon Bess. Bess spent the last few years in Miami where he never really shone. He is fast, and he can spread the field, he just needs to be able to catch the ball when he gets his chances, as he was plagued with many dropped balls in the past.
6/13/13: Browns' wide receiver Josh Gordon was suspended for two games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. But unlike others that have been caught with weed or performance enhancing drugs, Gordon claims that it was codeine in strep throat medicine that got him the suspension. The league is clear that codeine is a banned substance, but only suspended him two games instead of the maximum four games in light of the circumstances. Incidentally, the strep throat and medication were in February, which would have been the offseason for Gordon and the Cleveland Browns as they missed the playoffs.
6/6/13: The Browns brought back their greatest player after a multi-year hiatus. Jim Brown, who was one of the greatest football players ever, has rejoined the team, which is under new management. He thanked the new organization and commented that the people that did not want him around were not around any more. Brown also claims to have a special bond with the City of Cleveland. Since the team is perpetually rebuilding, it is good that they have one icon to connect with fans and the community - and he wants to be there as an ambassador.
5/30/13: The Browns may be one of the dark horse teams in the NFL this season. The Bengals are pretty strong, and should be competitive. The Steelers have gotten old fast, and seem to be fading as they try to find ways to keep their core players together. No one really knows what to expect from Baltimore as they had a lot of turnover in the offseason. The Browns have quietly improved each year, and may be able to make the leap to the playoffs this time around. They do need better play from the QB position, which has been in flux for about a decade.
5/23/13: The Browns intensified their QB competition this week. As of now, they have Brandon Wheedon, Jason Campbell, Thadeous Lewis, and Brian Hoyer on the roster - if you can call that a competition. Wheedon is the incumbent and should get the nod - though Campbell may push him in training camp. Lewis was with the Rams a couple years ago, and there were calls to replace Sam Bradford with him (as if the Rams would throw away $50 million for a third stringer on a bad team). Hoyer's signing is interesting. He may be a camp arm, but may be able to nab the third QB spot.
5/16/13: Cleveland's new GM Mike Lombardi got an opportunity to sit in front of the media and answer questions about his team and the direction they are going in. There is a lot of speculation in Cleveland, particularly since Lombardi traded away two 2013 draft picks for 2014 selections. Many people think they are just disregarding this coming season for the future. Lombardi disputes that notion, but stress that the team is evaluating everyone, particularly QB Brandon Wheeden, because they are looking for long term success. At this point, any success would be reason to celebrate in Cleveland.
5/9/13: New Cleveland head coach Rob Chudzinsky will not commit to Brandon Wheeden as the opening day starting quarterback, which must make Wheeden feel like every other Browns' QB since probably Bernie Kosar. Former Washington and Oakland starter Jason Campbell is on the roster at number 2 right now, but feels he should be the starter. So far, it looks like Campbell will get the chance to compete for the job. Campbell was last a starter in 2011 when he started the season 4-2 with the Raiders. He then got hurt, so Oakland traded for Carson Palmer and Campbell was pretty much done.
5/2/13: There was a lot of speculation about where LSU outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo would go. Many teams liked him, but there was no consensus on where he would land. The Browns took him with the sixth overall pick to end any more speculation. The Browns also did some trading, and took higher picks for next draft. This was new general manager Mike Lombardi's first draft with the Browns, so maybe he feels they are a year or two away. In any case, with a name like Barkevious Mingo, the new Brown will fit in well with the Dawg Pound.
4/25/13: While the talk about the Browns should focus on the draft, they are a bit distracted with this whole IRS and FBI investigation into owner Jimmy Haslem's primary business – the Pilot Flying J Truck Stops. Allegedly, Pilot Flying J kept millions of dollars in rebates that were due to customers – generally major fleet and trucking lines. Haslem, of course, denied that he has done anything wrong. The NFL, for its part, says that they have no intention (right now) of removing Haslem from ownership. Haslem bought the Browns last year, so this cannot be a good way to kick things off with a fan base trying to get to know the new owner.
4/18/13: Many people joke that God hates Cleveland. Maybe that is true, and maybe not - that is not for this essay. But new Browns owner Jimmy Haslem is already having trouble with the IRS. Haslem is the CEO of Pilot Flying J, known mostly for their truck stops. It seems that some groups believe that Pilot Flying J owes substantial discounts. Haslem does not want this to reflect on the Browns. He claims that he does not know why the IRS is involved, but in any case, they are involved. Here's hoping that it does not affect the team (though some may wonder if anyone would notice if it did).
4/11/13: The new regime has their first real chance to make over the Browns with this draft. Speculation is running rampant that the Browns will select a QB to compete with Brandon Wheeden, who is entering his second year at age 29. Who that lucky young man may be is a mystery, but someone with a strong arm like E.J. Manual or Matt Glennon may be the one. Whoever it is will have a new toy in wide receiver David Nelson. Nelson was signed to a one year deal. He is a quality receiver, particularly in the slot, but tore his ACL last season.
4/4/13: Cleveland has not had stability at the quarterback position for what seems like 30 years when Bernie Kosar came out. Many will remember they drafted Colt McCoy out of the University of Texas in the 2010 draft in the third round. He was rushed into service due to injuries. Last year they drafted Brandon Wheeden and he immediately became the starter as a 28 year old rookie. Now they signed Jason Campbell to be Wheeden's backup, creating a log jam of average talent at the position. The Browns traded McCoy this week to San Francisco for a 5th and 7th round pick.
3/28/13: Trent Richardson, the Browns starting running back and first round pick last April, is being sued by two women who claim he assaulted them. The story goes that they were invited to Richardson's house after a Browns' (rare) victory on December 6. Not long afterward, Richardson asked them to leave because they 'disrespected' him and his home. As the women left, Richardson allegedly banged on the hood of their car and caused $1,500 in damage. The complaint then alleges that he urged his girlfriend to attack the two women. Who knows how much of this is true or not, but surely will be a headache for Richardson.
3/21/13: Cleveland was one of the more active teams in free agency. The team needed to change a lot of their front seven defensively to match new defensive coordinator Ray Horton's 3-4 scheme. Signing linebacker Paul Kruger (Baltimore) and defensive lineman Desmond Bryant (Oakland) should help - assuming they are just entering their peak seasons. The Browns need those and others to play at extremely high levels because they have a lot invested in reshaping the defense to win games in the brutal AFC North Division. It will be interesting to see what the team does in the draft. They may go after another QB early to eventually unseed Brandon Wheedon.
3/14/13: Cleveland landed one of the top free agents in this year's crop, and hurt a division rival at the same time. Paul Krueger, the defensive end who was so key to the Ravens' Super Bowl run, signed a five year, $41 million contract with the Browns just hours after the opening of free agency. Krueger was coveted by several teams, and will likely play outside linebacker in new defensive coordinator Ray Horton's 3-4 scheme. Expect more moves out of the Browns in the next few weeks, as they have the most cap flexibility in the league this year.
3/7/13: Cleveland is quietly building a pretty solid team. True, they really have never solved the quarterback issue. A few years after drafting Colt McCoy in an early round, then giving up on him, they drafted 28 year old Brandon Wheeden. Wheeden was serviceable last year as a rookie, but most do not believe he is a long term solution. The Browns have the number 6 pick in the draft. However they probably will not use that pick for quarterback, and may try to get a pass rusher or cornerback with their first pick - or they could always trade down.
2/28/13: New Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski is facing the same problems his predecessors have faced for years - who will be the starting quarterback next season. Brandon Wheedon is the incumbent, and Coach Chud had some nice things to say about the first year pro, but not enough to commit to Wheeden as the starter. Previously, the Browns have burned up early round picks on quarterbacks such as Colt McCoy and Brady Quinn. The team has not had a real starter since unknown Derek Anderson had the one special year in the mid-2000's (then fell back to earth).
2/14/13: New Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is returning to his position as the CEO of Pilot Flying J truck stops. Haslam purchased the team for $1 billion from Randy Lerner in August and wanted to be part of the brain trust that restored the Browns to their former glory (presumably from the 50's and 60's). But, Haslam said that he missed his true love, running the family truck stops, even though he hired former PepsiCo president John Compton to be the CEO. The team claims that this decision will have no impact on their NFL operations, but truth is that it is unknown how much input he was providing in the first place.
2/7/13: It is no secret that the Browns need a quarterback. After drafting, then bailing on Colt McCoy, then drafting 28 year old Brandon Wheeden, and presumably bailing on him too - the team will probably look to free agency. The new offensive coordinator is Norv Turner. While many people do not consider Turner to be a particularly good head coach, he is well respected as an offensive guru. San Francisco backup Alex Smith praised Turner, leading to speculation that he may be the next Browns QB. But the 49ers would have to release Smith, and they may not be in a hurry to get rid of an experienced guy as a backup.
1/31/13: Browns new defensive coordinator Ray Horton confirmed that the Browns would be switching to a 3-4 defense this year. Horton architected and orchestrated the Arizona Cardinals defense for the past few years, and they were among the better defensive units in the league. The Cardinals undoing, of course, was the lack of any sort of talent in the quarterback position. Moving from a 4-3 to a 3-4 is difficult and requires different personnel, at least requiring the Browns to acquire versatile linebackers to play the scheme through the draft or free agency. Could Manti Te'o find a home in Cleveland?
1/24/13: To no one's surprise, the Cleveland Browns have re-orchistrated their coaching staff. The Browns hired Rob Chudzinski as head coach last week and have added Norv Turner as the offensive coordinator. Turner is known for being a great offensive coordinator, though his head coaching record is very spotty. As of now, Brandon Weeden is still the starting QB, but that could all change at the draft. There are not many top tier QBs available in this year's selection, but it would not be a big surprise if the Browns landed Geno Smith or EJ Manual. with their first selection.
1/17/13: While Jacksonville will not be bringing favorite son Tim Tebow home (which would at least sell tickets), and the 49ers famously passed on local boy Aaron Rodgers (in favor of Alex Smith) in the 2005 draft, at least one team seems to be showing love is own. The Browns hired Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski as their latest head coach. Coach Chud grew up in Toledo as a Browns fan, and seems excited about re-energizing a team that has lost 11 or more games for the past five seasons. Chudzinski is best known for developing Cam Newton over the past two seasons into an All-Pro talent.
1/10/13: Cleveland is still looking for the replacement for fired coach Pat Shurmur. The team was said to be close to signing Chip Kelly from the University of Oregon, but that deal fell through and Kelly is returning to the Ducks. The Browns have scheduled an interview with Mark Trestman, head coach of the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. Trestman has a long history as an assistant in the NFL and has led the Alouettes since 2008. Also under consideration may be Cincinnati Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden - the younger brother of former Tampay Bay and Oakland coach Jon Gruden.
1/3/13: Not that it was any surprise, but Cleveland failed to make the playoffs this season. They finished their season at division rival Pittsburgh, who also failed to make the postseason - therefore it was a meaningless game between teams with bitter fan bases. The Browns lost 24-10 behind third string quarterback Thaddeus Lewis. Lewis threw from 200 yards and a TD, instantly making him better than every QB in Arizona. Head Coach Pat Shurmer was fired the day following the game, and the Browns are rumored to want Nick Saban, though that may be a step down from his current job at Alabama.
12/27/12: The Browns have not been contenders all year, but a late season resurgance had people thinking the team was on the rise. However, losses to Washington last week and a 34-12 burial at the hands of the Broncos have many rethinking again. Cleveland allowed six sacks, all in the second half, one of which knocked starting QB Brandon Wheeden out of the game. The Browns could only muster a pair of field goals and a late touchdown, and are headed for a high pick in next year's draft. Cleveland visits the Steelers in the final game of the season for both teams.
12/20/12: The Browns' playoff hopes ended weeks ago, but the team has played quality football of late. Many expected the Browns to upset the Washington Redskins last Sunday, particularly since RG3 was out with an injury. But backup QB Kirk Cousins had a monster game in his first career start, throwing for 329 yards and two TDs. Cleveland was shut down on the ground, as rookie running back Trent Richards was held to just 28 yards on 11 carries. But the Browns' fans should take hope in the recent surge, and may be competitive next season. The Browns visit the Broncos this coming Sunday.
12/13/12: Cleveland notched their fifth win of the season by defeating the lowly Kansas City Chiefs 30-7 last Sunday. Beating KC is not much of an accomplishment this year, its been done 9 times, but Cleveland looked like an improving team. Rookie running back Trent Richardson scored two goal line touchdowns, and kick returner Travis Benjamin scored on a 93 yard return in the second quarter. The Browns defense gave up an 80 yard touchdown run to Jamaal Charles on the first play from scrimmage, but completely shut out the Chiefs for the next 59:48. The Browns now host the Redskins who are searching for a playoff birth, though the status of RG3 is unknown at this time.
12/6/12: Cleveland made a West Coast trip in a game that featured two 3 win teams. The Browns prevailed 20-17 over the Oakland Raiders and snapped a 12 game road losing streak dating back to early last season. Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden had a monster game, throwing for 364 yards and a touchdown. The Browns actually moved the ball pretty effectively, showing that the team does have some offensive prowess. Cleveland returns home this week to host the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are coming off of an emotional victory over Carolina, following the Jovan Belcher tragedy.
The Browns have spent a majority of their OTAs trying to find a replacement at defensive tackle for the injured Phil Taylor. Taylor, who was injured lifting weights in May, had surgery to repair his torn chest muscle and is expected to miss the beginning of the 2012 season. The Browns selected John Hughes out of Cincinnati in the third round and Billy Winn from Boise State in the sixth round of this year's draft. Cleveland hopes one of the rookies will shine during offseason workouts and at least hold down the middle of the defensive line until Taylor is able to return.
Named after famous coach Paul Brown who pioneered the No Huddle Offense among other now-common offensive strategies, the Cleveland Browns joined the NFL in 1950. After a hiatus from 1996-1999, the Browns returned to the field and, according to a 2006 Bizjournal.com study, the most loyal fanbase in the NFL. Head coach Eric Mangini will be looking to give back to fans this year so get your Cleveland Browns tickets before it's too late!
Cleveland Browns Tickets - The Players
There isn't much to say aside from the name Peyton Hillis. Colt McCoy had hype but I lost respect for him when he sat out of the National Championship for a sprained shoulder. Josh Cribbs could have a big year and is a good receiver but unless they get a QB who can play he won't do much good. The defense is also atrocious. They won't do well but the real question is who will finish last in their division, the Bengals or the Browns? Their new coach Pat Shurmur is taking over so maybe he has some insight as to how to bring this team into contention with the Ravens or the Steelers which is probably an impossible task.
Cleveland Browns Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / Cleveland Browns First Game 2013
Cleveland Browns Preseason Beginning 2013
Dec 15, 2013 Chicago Bears 38 - 31 Cleveland Browns Dec 8, 2013 Cleveland Browns 26 - 27 New England Patriots Dec 1, 2013 Jacksonville Jaguars 32 - 28 Cleveland Browns Nov 24, 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers 27 - 11 Cleveland Browns Nov 17, 2013 Cleveland Browns 20 - 41 Cincinnati Bengals Nov 3, 2013 Baltimore Ravens 18 - 24 Cleveland Browns Oct 27, 2013 Cleveland Browns 17 - 23 Kansas City Chiefs Oct 13, 2013 Detroit Lions 31 - 17 Cleveland Browns Sep 29, 2013 Cincinnati Bengals 6 - 17 Cleveland Browns Sep 22, 2013 Cleveland Browns 31 - 27 Minnesota Vikings Sep 15, 2013 Cleveland Browns 6 - 14 Baltimore Ravens Sep 8, 2013 Miami Dolphins 23 - 10 Cleveland Browns Aug 24, 2013 Preseason: Cleveland Browns 6 - 27 Indianapolis Colts Aug 8, 2013 Preseason: St. Louis Rams 19 - 27 Cleveland Browns