Ravens vs. the Broncos
The value of Anquan Boldin
What do you make of the Dolphins?
Can the Browns come out and take care of business week one
Moving on after the departure of Reggie Bush
Browns leading by playing defense and running the ball [Read more...]
Ravens vs. the Broncos
While I think as Browns fans we all appreciated Tim Tebow stepping up and beating the Steelers 1 in the playoffs for the Denver Broncos, the continued, unending talk about him is pure silliness. Of course my own decision to talk about Tim Tebow is ironic given the first sentence, but I’ve embraced the catch-22. Despite my misgivings about talking about him at all, I can’t help but put my name in the chorus.
Last night I sent out a tweet that I’m sure a lot of people found trollish. I asked everyone who they thought was a better quarterback between Tim Tebow and Charlie Frye.
True or false? Charlie Frye is a better football player than Tim Tebow?
— Craig Lyndall (@WFNYCraig) June 10, 2013
- They might have beaten themselves, but whatever… [back]
We’ve all just had a lesson in how front offices turn over in an off-season. It feels like a relatively new lesson here in Cleveland. The Browns have decided not to renew some contracts of scouts that were in Berea under former General Manager Tom Heckert.
The timing of waiting until after the draft is apparently pretty commonplace. In Denver the Broncos let Keith Kidd depart after being there since 2009 with Josh McDaniels. That vacated a spot for Tom Heckert who has reportedly joined the organization as Director of Pro Personnel.
In Denver, that position means that Heckert will be underneath John Elway who is the executive vice president of football operations and also the general manager. There’s little doubt that wherever Heckert goes he will have plenty of influence with his resume. Still, it’s interesting how different organizations choose to organize and function.
It will also be a very different task in Denver than it was in Cleveland. Heckert will look to help make every second that’s left of Peyton Manning’s career successful while also helping to plan for the day that Manning can no longer play. It’s not exactly like dealing with Seneca Wallace, Colt McCoy, Eric Mangini and Pat Shurmur on the way to seeing the team sold out from under your five year plan.
The Super Bowl was a fascinating and superb game last night. I can’t imagine not being able to enjoy that event as a pure football fan. The play on the field was very reminiscent of the 1987 AFC Championship Game between the Cleveland Browns and the Denver Broncos, affectionately known as “The Fumble.”
Just like the Ravens did last night, the Broncos, behind a host of Browns turnovers various lapses in judgement, jumped all over the Browns from the start. On the Browns first possession, Webster Slaughter let a pass go through his hands and off his knee on a crossing route, right into the arms of Denver’s Freddie Gilbert. John Elway hit Ricky Nattiel for a TD pass and in the blink of an eye, the Browns trailed 7-0. On the next series, Kevin Mack, grinding for extra yards, was stripped of the ball with Denver recovering. The Browns thought they had the bleeding stopped, but a defensive holding penalty on third and goal, gave the Broncos first and goal at the one and Steve Sewell scored a touchdown to put the Browns in a 14-0 hole on the road in a hostile Mile High Stadium. [Read more...]
I’m not making excuses for the Browns, but I honestly didn’t expect them to be competitive this past Sunday against the Broncos. 1
This team was in trouble when T.J. Ward got hurt and when they decided to cut Dimitri Patterson. Add in all the extraneous chatter this week from the locker room about impending change, and no amount of “if” in those quotes could dissuade me from thinking this team was at least distracted and probably just finished with the year.
In a lot of ways, Shurmur might deserve some credit for at least one thing 2 this season, and that is that his team played hard almost to the end. And they might have too if not for the injuries and frustration in how they saw their three game winning streak ended by Kirk Cousins and the Redskins a week ago.
The Broncos are a playoff team fighting for the number one seed in the conference. The Browns are a 5-10 team several pieces short of contention. These were the facts going into the game, and they certainly haven’t changed.
Peyton Manning picked the Browns defense apart with his usual precision. He finished with 339 yards and three touchdowns. He picked on Sheldon Brown early and Buster Skrine late.
Cleveland’s offense had a few nice early drives, but were unable to punch the ball into the end zone. Brandon Weeden was 12-of-19 before getting knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury. Trent Richardson had 6 carries in the first half and just three in the second half as the Browns abandoned the run once they fell behind again. To add insult to injury, Richardson had to be helped off the field at the end of the game with a leg injury. [Read more...]
The Browns weren’t going to be favored this week regardless of the outcome last week against the Redskins. After a three game winning streak ends and with two tough games and a presumably lame duck coach, will the wheels come off? Will this team continue to play hard to the final whistle this season? We’ll know soon enough, but I want to know what you think right now. Will Peyton and the boys crush the Browns? If so, by how much? Do the Browns have one more trick up their sleeve this season? [Read more...]
Over the past two weeks (part 1 and part 2), my good friend and colleague Rick has posted updates on some historic NFL records being accomplished by the current trio of rookies on the Browns offense: QB Brandon Weeden, RB Trent Richardson and WR Josh Gordon.
In his initial post, I helped to provide some of the backbone research. Yes, I never gave enough credit to Rick for his research and his writing as well, but I did help a little bit. This week, since we haven’t provided an update yet, I thought I’d swing back into the picture to provide the latest update and give some more historical context to Weeden’s rookie season.
Of course, this hasn’t been a perfect season for the much-maligned 29-year-old rookie from Oklahoma State (by way of the New York Yankees). He’s been highly criticized in many ways and certainly didn’t have a good performance against the Redskins in the home finale on Sunday. But, based on my research, he’s still OK compared to other QBs that have started every game of their first NFL season. [Read more...]
For all the explosion that Trent Richardson was missing against the Eagles, he seemed to have in excess this week against the Bengals. Sure the numbers were great. Over 100 yards on the ground, over 35 receiving and a touchdown in either category, but it was what you can’t see in the box score which is most exciting. Trent Richardson made guys miss. He seemed quick to the edge. He was physical and domineering when he needed to be.
Somehow with all the violence, there is something much smoother about watching Richardson than the last hopeful Browns running back Peyton Hillis. When Hillis ran you sometimes held your breath wondering if he was going to get hurt or fumble the ball. Hillis was electric, don’t get me wrong, but it was so very unconventional watching a man of his size hurdle defenders.
It just doesn’t feel at all similar watching Trent Richardson, even at this early juncture in his career. It probably has a lot to do with him being drafted so high. Despite the Browns well-documented history drafting busts toward the top of the draft, it still feels much more comfortable to place expectations – even high ones – on a guy like Trent Richardson than it did on Peyton Hillis even after his extraordinary year. [Read more...]
Coming into this year’s draft, one obvious need for the Browns was defensively playmakers. After a few head-scratching moves in a row, the team might have finally worked on that need with the pick of ILB James-Michael Johnson in the late fourth round.
Johnson, a long-time durable starter from Nevada, who previously was on the strong side, was a two-time team captain and is rated as having above average range and take-on skills, according to ESPN. He is rated as the No. 122 player overall on ESPN’s Big Board, meaning the Browns actually weren’t too far off on this one based on initial expectations.
Last season, Johnson had 100 tackles, including seven for loss and two sacks. He has long arms with good upper strength (23 reps of 225 at the combine) with above average closing speed (he clocked in with a 4.6 40 time). He’s rated as being average at tackling, instincts and third-down capabilities. He’s likely going to be a backup to D’Qwell Jackson and an immediate contributor on special teams.
As a reminder, this was one of the picks acquired from the Denver Broncos yesterday. The Browns acquired the No. 87 pick (DT John Hughes) and this pick from Denver for the No. 67 selection (RB Ronnie Hillman).
The next pick for the Browns is the 25th selection in the fifth round, also previously acquired from Denver. We’ll see you in an hour or so folks, barring anything new.
[Related: Pick #100: Browns Select WR Travis Benjamin]
It all happened pretty fast, but it appears that the Browns have traded down from No. 67 in the third round. In return, the Browns received No. 87 in the third round and No. 120 in the fourth round from the Denver Broncos, according to multiple Twitter reports.
So far in the draft, Cleveland has brought in three offensive players, and possibly could have decided to move down after the New York Giants took WR Rueben Randle as the last pick in the second round. The team also likely will be targeting defensive playmakers soon, with an obvious need at cornerback.
We’ll keep you updated with all of the latest here shortly, as well as with the Browns’ eventual pick at No. 87.
(Source: Jeff Schudel on Twitter)
The Denver Broncos have signed former Browns CB/S Mike Adams according to reports, and by Adams himself via his twitter account-
“clev didnt offer a contract for me 2 stay, so now im a Bronco. I went hard every play 4 u clev! I will miss that locker room, and the fans!”
Adams reportedly had other visits scheduled, but Denver couldn’t let the veteran leave without a deal. Adams played 5 seasons for the Browns, playing in 76 games. He started 32 of those games, including all 16 last season. The versatile DB played the nickel back, corner back, free safety and strong safety in his time in Cleveland, as well as kick and punt coverage. Nicknamed ‘Pops’, he was a popular player in the Browns locker room.
I excitedly wrote up the Broncos choosing to franchise Matt Prater because there was a second team franchising their kicker. What I called a preliminary trend is now becoming a real-life actual trend.
According to Pro Football Talk the Jacksonville Jaguars have tagged Josh Scobee. The one-year tender for kickers is expected to be about $2.5 million.
The 29 year-old Scobee apparently has no intention of signing on for a one-year deal and will presumably trying to get a long-term resolution with the Jags. His career field goal percentage is 78.8% but he nailed 23 of 25 this past season for 92% including 5 of 6 from 50+ yards.
(I promise that if another team franchises a kicker, I won’t write a new headline about it.)
It was something of a punchline among other NFL fans that the Cleveland Browns decided to use their franchise tag on Phil Dawson… last year. This year, when they did it again many scoffed again because the Browns seemingly didn’t have any “real football players” worth franchising. Even as a Cleveland fans who loves Phil Dawson, I kind of get it even if the truth is the Browns were able to lock up any worthwhile free agents other than maybe Peyton Hillis. Additionally, a kicker of Phil Dawson’s age (37) is probably best served with one-year deals as he approaches Jamie Moyer status.
Now Adam Schefter reports via Twitter that the Broncos have tagged their kicker Matt Prater.Broncos will use their franchise tag today on kicker Matt Prater. Suddenly the Browns aren’t alone and we have a trend, albeit a small one.
Prater is 27 years old and hit 76% of his kicks in 2011 including 3 of 4 from 50+ yards. The key stat for Prater is game-winning kicks. He hit one from 37 yards in San Diego in overtime. He hit two the following week to carry the Broncos to a 35-32 victory over Minnesota. Finally he smacked a 51 yarder as Tebow “led the team back” against the Bears.
For all of Tebow’s heroics this season, they would have been for nothing if Prater hadn’t been there to put them away. Now he will be paid pretty handsomely much like Phil Dawson last year and again for this upcoming season.
[Related: "Watching Playoff Football........ Again"]
Today, Robert Griffin III talked to Dan Patrick. With the amount of rumor and speculation regarding the Browns and Griffin, I decided to check it out. Dan Patrick ended the interview by saying that he thinks Cleveland is most likely going to “go get” Griffin in the draft, but wisely Griffin stayed silent as Patrick only really feigned giving him a chance to respond to the statement. Mostly I thought Griffin came off very well in the interview. He shows a respectful confidence mostly. You get the sense that even though he won the Heisman, he still has a bit of a chip on his shoulder about playing second fiddle to Andrew Luck in all the draft talk. [Read more...]
ProFootballTalk tells us by way of Adam Schefter that Tim Tebow is making $250,000 per playoff win. Tebow gashed the Pittsburgh Steelers last night in Denver for 316 yards including a game-winning strike for 80 yards to Demaryius Thomas.
There was no report on what victories for the Broncos over the Steelers are worth to Cleveland Browns fans, but Mastercard might just be able to make a commercial about it.
Its January. The first weekend of NFL Playoff football is upon us. The weather is cold (well, seasonably warm here in Cleveland, but you catch my drift). There is excitement in the air in those cities where the teams have qualified to play in the postseason. The problem here in Cleveland is that once again, another January goes by where the Browns and their fans are watching from home.
Want a depressing stat? Ben Roethlisberger has 10 career playoff wins as QB of the Steelers since he was drafted in 2004 (five picks after the Browns took Kellen Winslow II – who needed Big Ben when we had Jeff Garcia coming in!). The Browns have only APPEARED in one playoff game since 1995. Naturally in that one, the Browns lost after blowing a 33-21 fourth quarter lead to Tommy Maddox and the Steelers.
The Denver Broncos are reportedly shopping Brandon Lloyd and are looking for something in the neighborhood of a 3rd to a 5th round draft choice to part with him. Of course it is / was only a matter of time before Browns fans got wind of this and started clamoring for him. I get it. The Browns don’t have anyone proven at the spot. While Browns fans might have a point, many have also taken it to ridiculous levels even requesting the services of aging guys like Lee Evans and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. The former has two catches for 45 yards with the Baltimore Ravens and the latter has yet to latch on anywhere. What does all of this mean with regard to the Browns and Brandon Lloyd?
Brandon Lloyd is 30 years old himself just like Lee Evans. It seems that Lloyd still has something left in the gas tank as he has 19 catches for 283 yards so far this season. He doesn’t have any TDs yet, but that probably has more to do with Denver’s struggles as a team more than anything he is doing differently since catching 11 touchdowns a year ago. But if he is so good and has so much left in the tank, why are the Broncos looking to move him? [Read more...]
The Browns thought they acquired Brodrick Bunkley who is/was a defensive lineman, and 2006 first round draft pick disappointment for the Philadelphia Eagles. The defensive lineman-starved Cleveland Browns thought they had added some depth and experience to a line that lacks in both categories. Then Monday, Bunkley’s mysterious absence was explained. In an act of apparent revenge for the Peyton Hillis deal, the Denver Broncos appropriated the 6-2 295 pounder.
It is an odd path to be sure. Usually defensive linemen have to play for the Browns before they end up in Denver like Gerard Warren, Courtney Brown, Ebenezer Ekuban and Michael Myers. [Read more...]
The Browns will begin next season with new voices leading all three phases of the game. Whoever is selected as OC will implement Pat Shurmur’s offense. Dick Jauron will bring his own set of calls and schemes to the defense, and Brad Seely will have to be replaced as special teams coach.
Sure, the Browns and other teams have swapped out coaching regimes and installed new systems in the offseason before. But this year could be especially challenging.
The elephant in the locker room for these NFL playoffs has been the potential labor strife headed our way. [Read more...]