Here’s the final bit of survey data from our Browns fan survey. It’s really a catch-all of the remaining preferences. First up is the Media.
Yesterday, I decided to poll Browns fans on a variety of topics. After collecting 421 responses, the voting is closed. Here are the first part of the results.
First things first, the Browns are sitting at four wins and nobody has any idea who is going to play QB just yet. So how’s the opinion registering on the current year?
The Current Year
Why not them? Why not now?
Decades ago, former NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle badly sought out and used a word that has become part of our regular vernacular – parity. He wanted it for his league. He needed it. Now, the late, great former commissioner would be loving that the NFL has turned into exactly what he wanted it to be. Anyone who doesn’t believe this to be true only needs to look at the current AFC Wild Card standings.
The top six teams in each conference get in. Right now the sixth spot is being held by the 5-4 New York Jets. This is a team that got destroyed 49-9 in Cincinnati three weeks ago and has traded wins and losses each week this season. Chasing them are five teams one game back at 4-5 heading into last night: Miami, Tennessee, Baltimore, San Diego, and Cleveland. Oakland and Pittsburgh are 3-6 and right there as well. That means 13 of the 16 AFC teams are within two games of a playoff spot. [Read more...]
- Is this one of the weirdest up and down Browns seasons in memory?
- How did the Browns come to play the QBs they’ve played so far this year?
- The nuance of talking about the running game issues without getting lost in the Trent Richardson debate
- Willis McGahee and just how ineffective he’s been for the Browns
- Davone Bess and how some people wanted to cut him just a week before
- The reactionary nature of Browns fans
- The hiring of Chud and comparing his handling of the Browns to Pat Shurmur
- Norv Turner and his influence on the quarterback decisions
- Ray Horton’s defense gaining traction
I would hope not, but I’m realistic to know that it does [impact play]. He’s a young guy. He’s not very experienced. He wasn’t the go-to guy as a young player, so this is all a new thing for him. I think when you add those things to it, it can affect him. Obviously, we’re doing our best to focus and let him understand that he’s our guy, and we want him to be as good as he can get.
— Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner on Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon. On the season, Gordon has 27 receptions for 450 yards and two touchdowns, but is coming off of his worst game of the year large in part to the abysmal play of quarterback Brandon Weeden. With the NFL trade deadline less than one week away, it can be reasonably estimated that rumors will continue to swirl and media folks will continue to ask the player how he feels at every given opportunity. ESPN’s Adam Schefter recently reported that multiple teams have called Berea to inquire about Gordon’s availibility. Browns CEO Joe Banner has stated that the team has no intentions of trading their best play-maker, but has not closed the door on the possibility of a deal if the right opportunity presents itself. “From what I’ve seen, I think he wants to be here,” said teammate Willis McGahee. “I’m hoping he wants to be here. When you hear you’re about to get traded, your spirits change a little bit. But the only thing I can tell him is that it’s a business and anybody is expendable. Just go out and do your job. Do what you do. Don’t let people see you all bent out of shape and things like that.”
(Source: Akron Beacon-Journal)
The Browns and the Panthers are the only teams in the NFL to be leading at half time of every game this season. The Panthers had a bye week 4, leaving the Browns as the only team in the league to lead in all six weeks at the end of the first half.
In those first halves the Browns have outscored their opponents on average 13 to 7. The Browns average of 13 first half points ranks them 10th in the league, ahead of New England, Seattle, and Kansas City.
Contrary to their first half success, the Browns rank 26th in the league in first quarter points, scoring only an average of 2.8 points in the opening quarter. It’s the second period where the Browns offense gets clicking. In the second quarter the Browns offense ranks third in the league behind Detroit and Denver with 10.2 points per second quarter.
Despite the offense coming into rhythm in the second frame, it drastically slows down coming out of half time. The Browns are 31st in the league in second half points, and 24th in the league in points against in the second half.
This past week both coordinators Norv Turner and Ray Horton downplayed the need for halftime adjustments for the team to succeed.
“In the second half, we did not do a good job converting third downs, particularly early,” said offensive coordinator Norv Turner. “We had two three-and-outs in the third quarter and they were able to keep the ball a long time. So people want to talk about halftime adjustments, you go into the second half, and all those things. We had limited plays in the third quarter. It wasn’t about adjustments, to me, it was about converting third downs.”
Ray Horton also chimed in with his response to the Lions’ second half adjustment of isolating linebacker Craig Robinson one on one with Reggie Bush.
“I heard a story about Detroit said they made a great halftime adjustment,” Horton said. “I guarantee you the last thing I told our guys was ‘empty.’ They hadn’t run any, and they’d run it all year long. So we were ready for empty. They threw, I want to say, four empty passes, and one of them was basically successful. One play hurt us.”
The Browns face a Packer’s team on Sunday that gives up the second most points in the league in the second half at 16.6 per game. Additionally the Pack rank fifth in second half points scored, averaging 14.2 a game.
Through five weeks the Browns are 3-2, tied for first place, and barking is prevalent along the shores of Lake Erie.
Sitting next to a Ravens fan on my flight last Sunday night after their win over the Dolphins, I kindly welcomed him along side us into first place — a position us Browns fans had been comfortably lounging in for the past three days. I couldn’t help but gloat. But as the portly, Flacco jersey wearing gentleman pointed out, “You’ve got to enjoy it while you can”.
Considering the new Browns have never been 3-2 through the first five weeks of the NFL season, and are sitting in the driver’s seat of the AFC North, albeit a crammed driver’s seat, you can be damn sure Cleveland is going to enjoy it. Since this is rarefied air for Browns fans many are acting shocked at the strong start, but is it really that surprising?
Entering the preseason there was plenty of excitement and optimism surrounding the team, as which is the case with most teams in July. The additions of Paul Kruger, Desmond Bryant, Barkevious Mingo, and defensive coordinator Ray Horton all seemed like valid reasons to think the Brownie’s D would be improved in 2013. On the other side of the ball the acquisition of Davone Bess as a third down target, Trent’s fantasy hype, and Norv Turner’s vertical passing offense even had us thinking the Weeden led offense would be able to put some points on the board. [Read more...]
It’s tough to stay positive when you’re losing. It’s even tougher to stay positive when you got sucked in thinking that it would be different this year, only to watch the same old Browns take the field in week 1. But it’s only been one week, and instead of sulking in the corner like the nerdy kid who continues to get cup checked by a group of bullying jocks, let’s dive into this week’s six pack of reasons to be excited for the Brownies visit to the defending Super Bowl champs.
There’s plenty of good film to look at.
Coaches love teaching opportunities and after last week’s total bummer that was week one, there are a plethora of them heading into week two. It’s not so much what Coach Chud and Weeden can learn from their own game last week that intrigues me, it’s the tape of Peyton Manning decimating the Ravens’ defense that could be the key to the Browns’ offense having success.
Manning gashed the new look Ravens’ D for 462 yards through the air, 7 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Anybody who thinks Weeden is capable of duplicating Manning’s performance probably has had a few more than a six pack, but the road map to success has been laid out by Manning and you better believe Chud, Norv, and Weeds were studying it closely all week long. [Read more...]
Welcome to “Keepin’ It Real (and sometimes funny),” our new weekly column highlighting relevant events in Cleveland sports, and how we might feel about them; the brainchild of the man behind Twitter’s @NotSCCleveland. We will take a dive in to the good, the bad and the downright head-scratching moments that have been the last week in Cleveland sports. Do enjoy, and please do not hesitate to provide feedback.
Attacking. Relentless. Those are the adjectives used throughout the offseason by the Browns’ new brass to describe their mentality on and off the field.
Aggressive. Determined. More adjectives promised to Browns fans in the months leading up to the 2013 football season.
On Sunday afternoon at FirstEnergy Stadium, the Browns had their first opportunity to showcase a new style of football in front of their fans and the rest of the NFL. By Sunday evening, fans were left questioning what was different from the awful version on display here over the last two seasons.
By now, we’ve read a lot about the Cleveland Browns disappointing offensive performance in Sunday afternoon’s opening 23-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Yet, the pure volume and disheartening report from the box score statistics tells an even more gruesome story. All the numbers below are via Pro-Football-Reference.com’s Play Index tool.
Overall, the Browns ran 72 plays on Sunday: 59 pass (6 sacks), 13 runs. The breakdown of plays by down is shown below:
First down plays (30): 20 pass, 10 rush.
Second down plays (24): 21 pass, 3 rush.
Third down plays (14): 14 pass.
Fourth down plays (4): 4 pass.
It’s pretty astounding that the Browns passed on 21 out of 24 second-down opportunities in a game where they were almost always down just one score. It’s perhaps because 17 of these 24 second-down plays had 8+ yards to go. Of those 21 pass attempts, two resulted in a sack and 14 resulted in a completion. At least the Browns managed to get 10 first downs on these plays, which is an OK number all things considered.
Brandon Weeden’s net yards per attempt (which factors in sacks and sack yards) in the game was 4.14. Among NFL teams in Week 1 so far, only Jacksonville (2.48) had worse. The NFL average is only 6.48. Last season, Weeden’s net yards per attempt was 5.84 and the NFL average was also a much higher 8.87.
Trent Richardson gained an average of 3.6 yards per carry. Last season, he also averaged exactly 3.6 yards per carry on his 17.8 attempts per game. This was a topic I featured in last week’s edition of The Diff. The average NFL rush play in Week 1 so far has gained only 3.43 yards per attempt. In 2012, that number was 4.26.
The Browns offense has been the fourth-least efficient in football in Week One so far, averaging just 4.0 yards per play from scrimmage. The three teams worse are Pittsburgh (3.7), Tennessee (3.6) and Jacksonville (2.5). The Browns averaged 5.0 yards per play last season and the NFL’s worst team was Arizona at 4.1.
Another year began for the Cleveland Browns as so many years have begun for the Cleveland Browns. It wasn’t a miserable nightmare game. It wasn’t a gut-punch that will last in any sort of misery memory bank. That bank is rich with much bigger and grandiose currency than what transpired yesterday in Cleveland against the Dolphins. Still, it’s not a great look for the latest ownership, front office and coaching staff that is looking to make their own new mark on the franchise.
The team did a wonderful job gold-plating the Cleveland Browns game-day experience. The staff was friendlier than I’ve ever seen them in my life. The Browns had plenty of personnel out in the streets to try and help head off any issues with the new small bag policy they are left to enforce. The music, replays, drum line and the surprise halftime show by The Presidents of the United States of America (POTUSA) were all really great. I’m not being even the slightest bit sarcastic. With apologies to Dustin Fox, I don’t think the Halloween theme being played on third down worked, but these things are fluid. As I’ve said all along, the in-game stuff should be the easy part. And if they didn’t know already, this new Browns organization just learned how difficult it is to build the team on the field.
It’s not all bad, of course. Desmond Bryant looks like a beast along with the rest of the defensive front. The safeties played well in their first game, I thought. [Read more...]
We certainly don’t spend a lot of time talking about fantasy football here at WFNY, but I found this ESPN post (insider) about undervalued QBs to be pretty interesting. Brandon Weeden comes in at number seven on their list behind RG3, Ryan Tannehill and Alex Smith among others. The post goes on to compare Weeden’s value to that of AFC North counterpart Andy Dalton.
Apparently Weeden’s average numbers for longer passes compared pretty favorably a year ago. Considering that this was the case in a Pat Shurmur offense that we can all agree didn’t aim to accentuate Weeden’s vertical potential, it give cause to think Weeden might truly be under-drafted in a lot of fantasy leagues this pre-season.
Of course, this probably won’t be the case if you’re in a fantasy league with Cleveland based fans. So, for you I’ll just say that ESPN also named Carson Palmer as an undervalued QB, so you can get a jump on your Cleveland based fantasy owners who will overdraft all the Cleveland Browns players.
In case you were wondering, this is where ESPN’s own fantasy site has Brandon Weeden ranked based on their point projections.
“I don’t even know what shin y’all are talking about,” said Trent Richardson to crack up the pool of media around him. He stopped well short of saying he would play in the team’s upcoming pre-season game, deferring to his coach, but said his hopes are tosuit up on Thursday night. The same was said by safety T.J. Ward who also missed action when the Browns defeated the Rams last week. Coach Chudzinski didn’t talk about Ward specifically, but indicated he’d have more information on the the playing time plans for the Browns’ number one running back Tuesday. When Richardson was asked if he thought the Browns were being too careful with him, he said he didn’t know how to answer that.
“I don’t know how you can be too careful with someone,” Richardson said.
The rest of the injury report Monday was mostly about guys coming back, including Jordan Norwood, Oniel Cousins and Chris Owens. Of course one familiar name was added back to the list of injured players. Montario Hardesty came up grabbing at his hand after trying to catch a high snap from center. The injury was reportedly to Hardesty’s thumb. Chud didn’t have much info on the thumb yet, but Hardesty’s frustration at having to leave the practice field was plain to see.
Here are the rest of the notes: [Read more...]
The Browns held their last practice open to the public before the preseason game against the Rams on Thursday. Practice changed from a day of installation to game planning for the Rams and making sure that all units were on the same page. The team practiced without contact in helmets and shorts.
As such, there was certainly less to observe and report.
The biggest takeaway from the session was in coach Rob Chudzinski’s comments following practice. When talking about his coordinators, Chudzinski said, “I think the biggest thing, and one of the things that is important to me, is having two coordinators calling the game that you have faith in. I can focus more on game management, whether that’s situational calls, whether that’s replay, whether it’s timeouts.”
If there were any lingering questions about who would be calling the plays on gamedays, they appear to be answered by his comments Tuesday. [Read more...]
CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora visited Berea for Cleveland Browns training camp this week and filed a lengthy article about his key notes on Friday night.
Earlier in the morning on Friday, LaCanfora’s colleague Pat Kirwan shared his thoughts on the Browns. His notable observations surrounded improvements being made by several defensive linemen and the remaining question mark at tight end.
Now, here are the main tidbits from LaCanfora’s latest:
- Brandon Weeden ”will be given every chance to show he can be the Browns’ quarterback and it’s his job to lose.” Yet, the writer doesn’t have much faith in his ability to hold that position for very long. He said he’d be “fairly stunned” if the team doesn’t address the position in next year’s draft.
- Along with offensive coordinator Norv Turner, the writer gave additional credit to emerging third-year wide receiver Greg Little. He’s been more of a consistent force than second-year man Josh Gordon, who isn’t expected to be included in every single set even after his return from a two-game suspension.
- Again, trade acquisition Davone Bess was described as “clearly the best receiving option for Weeden right now” and a “security blanket any developing quarterback would covet.” When Bess was first linked with Cleveland, I noted he’s one of just 10 NFL players with 50+ catches in each of the last five seasons.
- The writer said “he wouldn’t be surprised at all” if young kicker Brandon Bogotay beats out veteran Shayne Graham.The NFL’s trend toward younger kickers was noted as a reason why. It was previously noted that the Browns could carry two kickers. Bogotay, whose father grew up in Euclid, was a kickoff specialist at the University of Georgia and only had three field goal attempts while backing up current Vikings All-Pro kicker Blair Walsh.
- Defensive coordinator Ray Horton spoke highly of the Browns’ quick retooling. “It’s very refreshing,” he said, “because we have a bunch of football people down the hall who have all been different places, they know football, they know players and we can coach.” Instead of spending time on evaluations, Horton said this frees up time to focus on the contending teams in the AFC.
The Browns will begin their preseason schedule at 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at home against the St. Louis Rams. The team is hosting a Family Night tonight from 6:30-9 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium.
“Everything you do in the off season is to get ready to go to camp,” Turner said. “I think all of our guys—Brandon (Weeden), all our guys—have done a good job preparing to go to camp. I think we’ve built a good foundation, I was impressed the three days that the rookies and the quarterbacks were here that there was good recall. I thought they retained the stuff that we did, now we gotta go to work.”
Turner inherits an offense with a lot of youth at the skill positions, including first or second year starters at quarterback, running back, wide recevier and tight end. Between all these young players and installing a new offensive system, it would be easy to imagine camp being a nightmare for the offensive coordinator. Turner is aware of the question marks surrounding his offensive unit, and what it is going to take to be ready when the season opens.
While We’re Waiting is the daily morning link roundup that WFNY has been serving up for breakfast for the last several years. We hope you enjoy the following recent collection of yummy and nutritious Cleveland sports-related articles. Anything else to add? Email us at email@example.com.
Is another change of scenery enough for the All-Star center to turn his career around? “Andrew Bynum smiled and spoke confidently. That’s probably more than Bynum did last season with the Philadelphia 76ers, and for the Cleveland Cavaliers, it’s a pretty good start.” [Sam Amico/FOX Sports Ohio] [Read more...]
Training camp is just around the corner. Over the next couple of weeks we’ll take a look at some of the bigger storylines facing the Browns as they start preseason…
As an old offensive and defensive linemen, I would love to say that the biggest story of camp is who grabs the guard spots. Or maybe the defensive line rotation. But I’d be fooling myself.
The biggest question that the new Browns regime has to answer is about Brandon Weeden. Is he a quality starting quarterback in the NFL or not? That’s what it boils down to.
The Browns may have said that there will be some sort of competition, but the job will be Weeden’s to lose. He took the starter’s reps in mini-camp. Which was the right move. It was the first time Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner had the chance to coach Weeden. I believe that he would have to show in camp that he is absolutely not a starting QB to lose the job.
Weeden turns 30 in October. Second year or not, this will likely be Weeden’s last real chance to start in the NFL. I can’t imagine the Browns going with Jason Campbell this year and giving Weeden another shot next season. No, this is the year they make up their minds if they have the starter of the future in Weeden or if they need to address the issue next off-season. [Read more...]