Cleveland Browns News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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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.
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Cleveland Browns Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / Cleveland Browns First Game 2013
Cleveland Browns Preseason Beginning 2013
Dec 30, 2012 Cleveland Browns 10 - 24 Pittsburgh Steelers Dec 23, 2012 Cleveland Browns 12 - 34 Denver Broncos Dec 16, 2012 Washington Redskins 38 - 21 Cleveland Browns Dec 9, 2012 Kansas City Chiefs 7 - 30 Cleveland Browns Nov 25, 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers 14 - 20 Cleveland Browns Nov 18, 2012 Cleveland Browns 20 - 23 Dallas Cowboys Nov 4, 2012 Baltimore Ravens 25 - 15 Cleveland Browns Oct 28, 2012 San Diego Chargers 6 - 7 Cleveland Browns Oct 21, 2012 Cleveland Browns 13 - 17 Indianapolis Colts Oct 14, 2012 Cincinnati Bengals 24 - 34 Cleveland Browns Oct 7, 2012 Cleveland Browns 27 - 41 New York Giants Sep 27, 2012 Cleveland Browns 16 - 23 Baltimore Ravens Sep 23, 2012 Buffalo Bills 24 - 14 Cleveland Browns Sep 16, 2012 Cleveland Browns 27 - 34 Cincinnati Bengals Sep 9, 2012 Philadelphia Eagles 17 - 16 Cleveland Browns Aug 30, 2012 Chicago Bears 28 - 20 Cleveland Browns Aug 24, 2012 Philadelphia Eagles 27 - 10 Cleveland Browns Aug 16, 2012 Cleveland Browns 35 - 10 Green Bay Packers
Cleveland Browns vs. St. Louis Rams Cleveland Browns vs. Detroit Lions Cleveland Browns vs. Indianapolis Colts
Aug 8, 2013 St. Louis Rams vs Cleveland Browns Aug 15, 2013 Detroit Lions vs Cleveland Browns Aug 24, 2013 Cleveland Browns vs Indianapolis Colts Aug 29, 2013 Cleveland Browns vs Chicago Bears Sep 8, 2013 Miami Dolphins vs Cleveland Browns Sep 15, 2013 Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens Sep 22, 2013 Cleveland Browns vs Minnesota Vikings Sep 29, 2013 Cincinnati Bengals vs Cleveland Browns Oct 3, 2013 Buffalo Bills vs Cleveland Browns Oct 13, 2013 Detroit Lions vs Cleveland Browns Oct 20, 2013 Cleveland Browns vs Green Bay Packers Oct 27, 2013 Cleveland Browns vs Kansas City Chiefs Nov 3, 2013 Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland Browns Nov 17, 2013 Cleveland Browns vs Cincinnati Bengals Nov 24, 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cleveland Browns Dec 1, 2013 Jacksonville Jaguars vs Cleveland Browns Dec 8, 2013 Cleveland Browns vs New England Patriots Dec 15, 2013 Chicago Bears vs Cleveland Browns Dec 22, 2013 Cleveland Browns vs New York Jets Dec 29, 2013 Cleveland Browns vs Pittsburgh Steelers