August 26, 2014

What do you make of Brandon Weeden? – Cleveland Browns Roundtable

WFNY_roundtable

Craig: The takeaways from this week’s game seem to be setting the tone for the rest of the season. We’re going to continually look to define Brandon Weeden. On one side there will be those who seem to defend him out of hope, those that will bash him out of preemptive judgement, and those that continue to sit and watch and take it all in.

Where are you guys on Brandon Weeden at this point? Do you still have hope and expectations of Weeden that he can be the Browns quarterback? Have you given up on the guy and just wish the Browns could move on right now? Are you in the middle hoping that Weeden somehow proves to be a decent placeholder?

Andrew: Well, first things first, it’s been one game. I have to keep telling myself that, because every last fiber of my instinct is telling me that what we saw is reality. [Read more...]

I don’t feel like it, but let’s talk Browns

Brandon Weeden huddle 2People are always talking about the Browns, it seems. Usually I’m one of the ones talking the most, but I don’t really feel like it right now. So to prove it to you, I’ll talk Browns just enough to tell you why it’s kind of boring to me right now.

Brandon Weeden’s name has been in the news because nobody can predict the future. Really, that’s what it comes down to, right? Brandon Weeden is under contract for the upcoming season. He didn’t play well enough for the Browns to not consider alternatives at the quarterback position. The Browns don’t know how all the pieces will land between the draft and free agency, so they’re not in a position to make guarantees. Frankly, unless they have one of the top seven to ten quarterbacks in the league on their roster, they shouldn’t be making anyone any guarantees anyway. So, it is natural to not have much to talk about regarding Brandon Weeden. He might earn the job. He might not. Depends on how he plays and who he ends up competing against. So what is there to talk about? [Read more...]

Rams could have had RG3 and Richardson if they traded Bradford

The St. Louis Rams had their quarterback, that was there stance and they were sticking to it leading up to the 2012 draft. With Andrew Luck slated to go number one overall to the Colts, the Rams had options at number 2. Having drafted Sam Bradford first overall in 2010 draft, new Rams’ coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead wasted no time letting everyone know Sam Bradford would not be traded.

But what if they had put Bradford on the trading block and considered taking Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick? Well, SI.com’s Peter King told Erik Kuselias of NBC Sports that he believes they could have landed a high first round pick for the former number one overall in Bradford.

What team was interested enough to give up such a high pick for Bradford? You guessed it, the Cleveland Browns. NFL.com’s Chris Wesselling explains further.

The implication is that the Browns, holding the No. 4 pick and Bradford’s former play-caller in Pat Shurmur, were the team hot on his trail. Had the Rams been more open-minded on Griffin, they may have changed the course of the franchises in Cleveland and Washington as well as their own. As it is now, Fisher’s future is tied to Bradford’s performance after passing up a chance to draft the 2012 Rookie of the Year.

If the Rams had been willing to deal Bradford and the Browns had pulled the trigger on giving up the 4th pick for him, the Browns could have left the draft last April with Sam Bradford and an Alfred Morris or Doug Martin with their second first round pick.

It’s a lot of “ifs”, but one can help but wonder how different things would have been for Cleveland, if different at all.

Share your thoughts.

[Related: How the Browns could win a Joe Flacco negotiation]

NFL Rumor: Not landing Robert Griffin III could cost Heckert job

Tom Heckert let it be known that if he is not in Cleveland next season, it would not be his decision. Turns out that the decision could already be made as much as five months ago when the Browns failed to land Robert Griffin III in the most recent NFL Draft.

Citing sources, Mike Florio from Pro Football Talk states that if Heckert gets fired, the primary reason will be the failure of the Browns to trade up from No. 4 in the draft to No. 2 in the draft in order to get Griffin.

Former Browns president Mike Holmgren immediately blamed his inability to make the trade on a friendship between Washington’s Mike Shannahan and St. Louis’ Jeff Fisher.

“The Browns had the ability to get Griffin,” writes Florio. “They were the only team in the bidding with two 2012 first-round draft picks.  Plus, moving from No. 2 to No. 4 would have been worth much more to the Rams than dropping to No. 6.”

Griffin admitted later in the summer that he, based on the litany of assets, though he was going to be playing in Cleveland. The Browns, in turn, moved up one spot to land running back Trent Richardson, supplementing their quarterback position later in the first round by selecting the 29-year-old Brandon Weeden. The Browns are 5-9, staring at two tough contests to close out the season. The Redskins, riding a sure-fire Rookie of the Year candidate, are just a few weeks from being back in the playoffs.

[Related: Cleveland Browns Game 14: Winners and Losers]

Redskins vs. Browns – Open Thread

The Browns have a chance to extend the win streak to four.

This could be the last home game for Josh Cribbs as a member of the Browns.

RG3 sits for former Michigan State QB and rookie Kirk Cousins.

This could be hopeful Browns Pro Bowl Kicker Phil Dawson’s last home game as a member of the Browns as well.

Stay right here all day for updates and conversation in the comments!

Kirk Cousins to start in Cleveland instead of RGIII

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that reserve quarterback Kirk Cousins will start in place of injured Robert Griffin III on Sunday when the Redskins travel to Cleveland to face the Browns.

Griffin injured his right knee last Sunday in the waning minutes of the ‘Skins win against the Ravens. Earlier this week, it was revealed that Cousins would start, but the Redskins quickly played said report off as a verbal gaffe as the quarterback continued to practice.

Griffin, the odds on favorite for the 2012 NFL Rookie of the Year, has a passer rating of 104.2 after throwing for 2,902 yards and 18 touchdowns.

The Browns have won three consecutive games heading into Sunday and remain in the AFC postseason hunt after starting off 0-5 on the year.

 [Related: Redskins vs. Browns Reader’s Survey]

Pat Shurmur believes Browns are playing their best football

Cleveland head coach Pat Shurmur says his team is as ready to face Robert Griffin III as they’ve been all season-

“I think we’re as good as we’ve been to this point in the season. I think that’s fair to say. We’ve got our defensive tackles back. They’ve been playing quite a while now. Dimitri Patterson is back as the nickel player. He has a game under his belt after being back from injury. We’re dealing with all the bumps and bruises that everybody deals with, but that gives us the best opportunity I think to go out and have a successful game on defense.”

Winning three in a row and four of their last six certainly helps the team feel confident as well-

“Yeah, I think there’s some confidence that you develop when you find a way to finish games. It only helps you though, if you continue to go through the process and use that confidence to remember that there were plenty of mistakes in the game and we’re all striving to play a perfect game. You’ve got to keep working at it. I hope we continue to play better each week. As a coach, that’s what you want. Yeah, I’m hopeful.”

The Browns have had all 53 players practicing this week and the end of last. They have the usual bumps and bruises of any team, but are generally healthy and playing well together. No better time to take on three tough games.

[Related: Is this Josh Cribbs' last home game?]

WFNY Podcast – 2012-12-13 – Brendan Porath gives his D.C. Browns/’Skins perspective

Last night I caught up with former WFNY’er and current SBNation writer Brendan Porath. Brendan lives in the D.C. area and his entire in-laws are ginormous Redskins fans, so he follows them as closely as any non-fan. We talked about a lot of Browns stuff though. Here’s a shortlist of the stuff I can remember:

  • What’s it been like watching RG3 play locally knowing he was close to becoming a Cleveland Brown
  • At this point, can you even imagine and project what the Browns would be like this year with RG3?
  • Just how bad is the defense for Washington?
  • Is the Redskins’ offensive line and running back good or is it just Mike Shannahan?
  • The perspective of Kyle Shannahan and how it has changed since he became coordinator of RG3
  • Does it change your perspective of Browns offensive coordinators that had to work with, say, Charlie Frye?
  • “Road Tested” on the travel channel
  • Jimmy Haslam and getting to jump over an extremely low bar
  • Tom Heckert and Joe Banner

[Read more...]

NFL Report: RG3 practices but looks “gimpy”

As the Browns prepare to face the Redskins this weekend, they still are unsure of which quarterback will be behind center. RG3 sprained his knee this past weekend against the Ravens in a victory. The victory was completed with fellow rookie and backup Kirk Cousins operating the offense.

Now, ESPN is reporting that Robert Griffin III practiced today, but the results were mixed. RG3 looked normal stretching, but then appeared “gimpy” during throwing drills.

One thing that can be assumed by the Browns no matter who plays quarterback is that the running threat is decreased from what it was just a week ago. If Griffin plays, you have to assume he won’t be darting all over the field making plays with his feet and easily escaping pressure. Same rules apply if Kirk Cousins plays.

The Redskins are playing well right now anyway and for the Browns there’s no such thing as an “easy” game. Still, advantage Browns for now.

[Related: WFNY Podcast – 2012-12-11 – Craig and Jacob talk Browns, Tribe and the Elf on the Shelf]

Redskins’ Pierre Garcon says Kirk Cousins starting against Browns

In what may have been a major gaffe, Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon says that his team will have Kirk Cousins starting against the Cleveland Browns this Sunday.

“We have a little bit of a tougher task — we have Kirk [Cousins] starting,” Garcon said on ESPN’s SportsCenter. “We have to play well around Kirk so he doens’t feel like he has to save the team. We have to help him be as comfortable as possible.”

Washington’s typical starting quarterback Robert Griffin III was injured late in last Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens. Griffin underwent an MRI which revealed no structural damage to his knee, but has not been cleared to practice yet this week. Bram Weinstein attempted to save Garcon who may have let the cat out of the bag, at which point the receiver referred to his reserve quarterback as “the worst.”

Video of Garcon’s appearance (h/t Dan Steinberg):

[Related: No magic number of wins for Pat Shurmur’s future with the Browns]

Shanahan: RG3 “day-to-day” with mild knee sprain

Anyone who saw the film of Robert Griffin III’s leg wave through the air will be surprised to learn that he has not been ruled out for the game this weekend. In fact, coach Mike Shanahan ruled it a “mild” sprain when addressing the media today.

So there you have it. Robert Griffin III might still play this weekend in Cleveland. How much he’ll be affected by his knee injury will assuredly be a storyline. After seeing Kirk Cousins win the game over the weekend, there’s not necessarily a clear advantage for the Browns if he is out. Cousins is not the pedigree of RG3, but he played well and there’s very little tape or preparation time for the Browns to devote to the rookie out of Michigan State.

[Related: There’s probably no magic number of wins for Pat Shurmur’s Browns future]

RG3 injured, will have MRI sunday night

Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III was forced out of the game with a knee injury in the final minutes of Sunday’s win against the Baltimore Ravens. Griffin limped off the field to make way for fellow rookie Kirk Cousins who led the Redskins to the tying and winning scores.

Griffin didn’t believe the injury was much to worry about. “It didn’t feel like an ACL or anything like that,” said Griffin after the game. X-rays on the knee were negative and he will have an MRI Sunday night. Griffin tore the same ACL back in 2009 while at Baylor. For now, the team is calling it a sprain.

His status for the matchup with fellow rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden and the Browns next week is unknown.

[Related: Cleveland Browns beat up Kansas City Chiefs 30-7]

Richardson, Weeden in top five for rookie jersey sales

Dick’s Sporting Goods does the Jersey Report all season long indicating what jerseys are selling best nationwide. While Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning lead the overall list, the Browns are well-represented in the rookie list right now. Trent Richardson comes in at #3 maintaining the actual draft order of Andrew Luck, RG3 and himself. Luke Kuechly from the Carolina Panthers and Weeden round out the top five.

Most surprising fact? Brandon Weeden is allegedly trending upward. Maybe that doesn’t include data from after this past Sunday.

Other non-Browns related notes of interest include Rob Kronkowski out-pacing Tom Brady and Troy Polamalu leading all defensive players. Polamalu is also the only defensive player in the overall top ten.

(H/T to Garrett Downing – @gdowning14 on Twitter)

[ Related: Jimmy Haslam Hires His Replacement at Pilot Flying J]

Browns Find Themselves as Week 1 Losers in More Ways Than One

As Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison discussed the goings on of the first week of the NFL regular season, with the entire NBC Football Night in America staff awaiting the kickoff between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos, live from Whatever Corporation Field at Mile High, the two well-respected and suit-clad gentlemen offered up who their “winners” were as judged by the opening week’s festivities.

With Dan Patrick listening on, Dungy offered his winner: Dan Snyder, the always-spending owner of the Washington Redskins. Harrison would follow up with his nomination: The Atlanta Falcons.

Both winners were very deserving. The Redskins would drop 40 points on the New Orleans Saints, Super Bowl hopefuls amidst the chaos within the suspended coaching ranks, largely led by their rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. The Falcons would match the ‘Skins’ total by putting up 40 points on the Kansas City Chiefs, a team some pundits have picked to win the AFC West, largely led by their quarterback in Matt Ryan as well as their second-year wide receiver Julio Jones. Both “winners” very deserving, and both being dubbed as much large in part to the Cleveland Browns.

[Read more...]

Andrew Luck finally signs with the Colts

The wait is finally over now that Andrew Luck and his agent / uncle have had a chance to see what a real agent could get done for RG3. According to the Indy Star and Pro Football Talk, the deal is expected to be worth $22 million guaranteed.

The second year of rookie contracts under the new rules appears to finally (officially (really)) underway.

Now it is time for third pick Trent Richardson and 22nd overall pick Brandon Weeden to not only make progress, but get their deals with the Browns done.

[Related: RG3′s deal shows the way for the Browns and Trent Richardson]

NFL News: Robert Griffin III signs Redskins’ Deal; Richardson Next?

Second overall draft pick RGIII signed his deal with the Redskins this morning, becoming the first of the top picks to come to terms-

“…it’s a four-year, fully-guaranteed contract with no offset language. The contract has a value of $21,119,098, including a $13,799,344 signing bonus.

Per a source with knowledge of the deal, the base salaries are $390,000 in 2012, $1.34 million in 2013, $2.30 million in 2014, and $3.26 million in 2015.

The contract also includes, per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, an option for a fifth year. For the first 10 players taken in the draft, the team can retain the player for a fifth year at the transition tag number for his position. For Griffin, that means the average of the 10 highest-paid quarterbacks in 2015.”

This could easily be the first domino that starts a chain reaction of top ten picks signing, including the number three overall pick- Browns RB Trent Richardson.

[Related: RG3's deal shows the way for the Browns and Trent Richardson]

 

Robert Griffin III Thought he was Heading to Cleveland

Knowing that the second-overall draft pick belonged to a team well-committed to their own quarterback, Baylor’s Robert Griffin III said that he entered the pre-NFL Draft days assuming he would become a member of the Cleveland Browns.

Via Fox Sports Ohio’s Zac Jackson, Griffin did the not-so-difficult mental accounting to see who had the most assets at their disposal and assumed that’s where he would call home.

“Once I declared for the draft, Cleveland was the place I thought I would be because [the Browns] had the most firepower when it came to draft picks and tradeability,” Griffin said. “It didn’t turn out that way and I have no idea why it didn’t.”

As has been writ large, Griffin would ultimately be drafted by the Washington Redskins after Dan Snyder completed a deal with the St. Louis Rams, sending three first-round selections as compensation. ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi subsequently reported that the Baylor product lacked the ideal size for Mike Holmgren’s team which would later use a first-round draft pick on Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden.

[Related: No need to fear the NFL’s “All-22″ video revolution]

(Source: SBNation Cleveland)

Grossi: Flynn, Griffin III, Tannehill All Lacked Desired Traits

Citing concerns of size and similarities to current quarterback Colt McCoy, ESPNCleveland’s Tony Grossi reports that the Cleveland Browns never had any serious consideration for former free agent quarterback Matt Flynn.

“[The Browns] needed a strong and accurate arm,” writes Grossi. “And they needed maturity. Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck? Ideal fits, to be sure … but unobtainable. Manning didn’t want to play here and the Colts weren’t stupid enough to trade the No. 1 pick. Of the more realistic candidates, free agent Matt Flynn was no bigger than McCoy with a similarly popgun arm. He was never seriously considered.”

Following his record-setting performance to close out the 2011 NFL season, Flynn was thought to be a hot-button free agent before he signed a surprisingly small contract with the Seattle Seawhawks, netting him $10 million guaranteed over three seasons.

Grossi adds that Robert Griffin III’s size was also an issue as well as his penchant for running the ball instead of passing. Ryan Tannehill, another quarterback linked to the Browns in several pre-draft discussions, allegedly lacked the maturity and leadership skills the team desired. Griffin and Tannehill were subsequently drafted by the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins, respectively.

“So Brandon Weeden emerged as the best option,” Grossi stated. “Great arm. Great size. Great production. And the very thing that scared off every other team – he’s a 28-year-old rookie because of a failed five-year stint in professional baseball – actually became an attraction to the Browns.”

[Related: Pat Shurmur and the Burden of Proof]

Chad Ford likes Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (a lot)

Now that the NBA Draft lottery is complete we’re full steam ahead into draft talk. The Cavaliers might have a chance at Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and if they do, you can expect them to get a very good draft grade from Chad Ford if and when he issues that fateful letter. This is all in spite of the fact that Kidd-Gilchrist’s resume doesn’t appear to pop as much as you might think it should considering how highly touted he is out of Kentucky (Insider).

Winner. Leadership. Motor. Toughness. Intensity.1 They all pop when you see him on the court. He also is a terrific defender who can guard multiple positions. And while he struggled as a jump-shooter, he was a very effective scorer in transition and cutting to the basket. Scouts who love him also point out that he’s the youngest player in the draft. Oh, and a few old-timers say that MKG’s best pro comparison may be another versatile forward named Scottie Pippen.

Obviously everyone wants to get the next Michael Jordan in the draft, but as we all know you can do far far worse than finding another Scottie Pippen. Of course much like all our talk about Robert Griffin III, all this talk about Kidd-Gilchrist could be totally wasted if the Cavaliers can’t find a way to trade up. Most everyone I’ve seen has MKG off the boards by the time the Cavs are on the clock at number 4.

[Related: Chad Ford: Cavs Would Love To Trade Up To 2, Considering Lamb at #4]

___________________________________________________

Footnotes:

  1. Is it me or are these the things that cause a team to draft David Veikune in the Eric Mangini era? []

Robert Griffin III being referred to as “The Arm”

Losing out on the RG3 sweepstakes was enough of a smack to the face for Browns fans.  But now he is working out with the ‘Skins and reports of his performance are pretty good, it could hit home just a little bit more.1 If glowing reports weren’t enough, there’s this little anecdote coming out of Washington during OTAs.

Per Carpenter, members of the Redskins’ organization have nicknamed Griffin’s arm strength, simply, “The Arm.”

I think it might be time to just call it “The Nomenclature.” The city of Cleveland seems to own most of the negative “The” events. Even when another team tries to use it to refer to something good about one of their players it seems to reflect right back on Cleveland somehow.

We’ll see what happens when “The Arm” comes to Cleveland on December 16th, 2012.

[Related: Craig and Rick Make a Browns Bet]

 

___________________________________________________

Footnotes:

  1. Yes, the Browns got Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden, but even they can’t deny how badly they wanted Griffin after the fact. []