July 29, 2014

Cleveland Browns to release QB Thaddeus Lewis

A Pro Football Talk report surfaced a few hours ago that the Browns will release Thaddeus Lewis. That report was confirmed by several members of the local media.

Lewis started one game for the Browns last year, starting against the Steelers in the final week of the season. He wasn’t awful, completing 22 of 32 passes for 204 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Lewis has been the third string QB for the last two seasons. The Browns have now gotten rid of two-thirds of their quarterback trio from last season.

The recent addition of Brian Hoyer made Lewis expendable in the eyes of the coaching staff. Hoyer, Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell are the quarterbacks currently on the roster.

[Related: Browns sign sixth round pick Jamoris Slaughter]

Raiders to work out former Browns QB Seneca Wallace

Adam Schefter is reporting (by way of PFT for us) that former Browns QB Seneca Wallace is going to work out for the Oakland Raiders. It just goes to show that there are at least nine lives available for anyone who can stand under center in the NFL. It also goes to show that the economics of football are changing just a bit.

Seneca Wallace was cut prior to the 2012 season in favor of Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy and Thaddeus Lewis. Wallace was set to make $2.4 million on the year and even with plenty of money to spare, it almost certainly was a part of the Browns’ decision to cut Wallace loose.

Fast-forward to this off-season where the Browns signed another journeyman veteran quarterback – Jason Campbell – with experience at a similar age as to what Wallace was when he originally signed with the Browns. Wallace signed that deal for three years and $9 million plus incentives. Campbell’s contract is two years and a mere $3.75 million with a reported $2.6 million in available incentives. And Campbell is a player with legitimate starting experience that Seneca Wallace never had.

Add in additional evidence like Kevin Kolb’s two-year deal for $6.1 million with a miniscule $1 million in guaranteed money, and it might be a full-blown trend at the league’s most important position.

[Related: NFL News: Browns sign WR David Nelson]

What do the Browns know about Brandon Weeden?

Weeden ScreamThe Cleveland Browns have been committal about being non-committal about their quarterback situation. From Rob Chudzinski to Michael Lombardi and yesterday Norv Turner the Browns have been steadfast in putting barely a single word on the record that leads anyone to believe that Weeden is first on the depth chart right this very second. Even if you’ve somehow found a way to infer that, it is only by default because that’s the way the season ended and there hasn’t been a roster move that easily leads everyone to speculation otherwise. The Browns claim to need to see more tape study, but it seems to me that a need for more tape study is all the sign of a lack of confidence that I need to see.

I am not saying anything about Brandon Weeden, personally. I think he had a pretty typical rookie year, statistically speaking. He definitely trailed many of his rookie brethren in terms of rookie performance too. I’m just characterizing the vibes I’m reading from the public comments thus far. And maybe it’s true that they need to see more tape. Maybe they will unleash those hours of footage of Shurmur-led practices and decide that Weeden is a guy they can mold and that under their new tutelage he’ll become a front line NFL starter. It just seems to me that the guy who plays the most important position on the team who also put 15 games of real NFL video into the universe this season is likely to have made enough of an impression on the team that they might be willing to say something that tips their hand that they like him. Of course that’s only true if they were given a positive impression.

To be fair, Norv Turner was somewhat complimentary of Weeden because he helped the Browns beat Turner’s Chargers this season. Then again, Weeden had a QB rating of 55.9 against the Chargers completing 11 of 27 passes for 129 yards in a 7-6 win. [Read more...]

Browns drop final game to Steelers and start off-season of change

The Browns and Steelers is usually a much-anticipated matchup, but this time it seemed as if the end of the game was the most intriguing part. With the end of the game comes the end of the charade that Pat Shurmur and GM Tom Heckert will keep their jobs. Gone is the last bit of the Mike Holmgren era, but more importantly the Randy Lerner era for all practical purposes.1 In the end, the Browns had a chance to tie it up in the fourth quarter but turnovers caught up with them as they dropped their final game 24-10. The Browns finish the season at 5-11.

Despite my looking ahead to the end, there were still decent enough reasons to watch. Thad Lewis was getting his first start and honestly, even if the team is bad, you only get 16 chances to watch them play meaningful football a year so most people like to try and make the most of it. It’s not exactly fighting for a playoff spot, but most Browns fans barely remember that feeling if they’ve even been alive long enough. So the Browns and Steelers went at it, neither having anything real to play for. [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. Lerner will own a small portion of the team for a while still, but it’s really over. []

Animated: James Harrison personal foul headshot on Thaddeus Lewis

In case you missed it and want to follow along as the NFL offices levy fines against the notorious James Harrison, here is his all-too-typical hit on Browns quarterback Thaddeus Lewis.

 

[Related: Cabot: Shurmur, Heckert “Expected To Be Fired” Following Pittsburgh Game]

Browns-Steelers Week 17 Open Thread

 

Thaddeus Lewis makes start number one. No Weeden, no McCoy, no Richardson, no Brown, etc. Phil’s a Pro Bowler! Shurmur and Heckert’s last dance. There’s no shortage of questions, and the Browns head into Heinz Field looking to give Pittsburgh a losing season and finish 6-10.

Get your commenting and Steeler hatred on below!

Related: Schefter, Mortensen: Browns’ Eyes on O’Brien, Kelly

While We’re Waiting… Browns GM and Coaching Possibilities, Tristan Thompson Player Profile, and OSU’s New Basketball Floor

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com. 

Leading off, with Pat Shurmur and Tom Heckert soon filling cardboard boxes with personal belongings, it’s time to start looking for new faces to fill their spots. [Read more...]

Browns fans are very familiar with ugly season-ending games

So who is the backup for the backup?

As Scott told us today, Thad Lewis, recently called up from the practice squad, got the first team reps today in Berea. That’s right. Not Brandon Weeden with a bum shoulder. Not Colt McCoy, also with a bum shoulder. Thaddeus Lewis. Just a reminder, Lewis is a 25-year-old from Duke with a much-heralded arm and some decent athletic ability. He’s been with the Browns since Pat Shurmur arrived having originally been with the Rams via undrafted free agency in 2010.

Although not the exact same scenario, this reminded me of another season-ending game against Pittsburgh when the Browns had no healthy quarterbacks left and signed Bruce Gradkowski to play. Obviously this is a bit different because Thad Lewis has been with the Browns, played with them in pre-season and has been in practice all year. Regardless, let’s take a trip down memory lane and remember what that final day of the NFL season was like. [Read more...]

Thaddeus Lewis taking first-team reps for Browns

Taddeus Lewis could go from playing with the practice squad to starting in an NFL game in just a week’s time. With shoulder injuries being sustained by both Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy, it was the recently added Lewis who is taking first-team snaps during practice heading into the Browns’ Week 17 tilt against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

On Christmas Eve, the Browns announced that they had placed wide recever Mohammed Massaquoi on the injured reserve while promoting Lewis from the practice squad. Lewis appeared in all four preseason games with the Browns, going 9-for-17 for 146 yards throught the air, adding an interception. He was inactive for the first five games this season before clearing waivers and being moved to the practice squad.

If Weeden and McCoy cannot go, it will be the recently added Josh Johnson who will be the back-up to Lewis.

“We would have to pare [the offense] way down,” Shumur said of Lewis potentially starting.

On the other side of the ball, the Browns will be going to battle with just three safeties on the roster in Eric Hagg, Tashaun Gipson and Ray Ventrone. TJ Ward and Usama Young have been placed on the injured reserve in consecutive weeks.

[Related: “Road Tested” still entertaining, still giving hope]

Browns place Mohamed Massaquoi on IR

Add Mohamed Massaquoi to the list of Cleveland Browns players that might have seen his last action as a member of the team. Mohamed Massaquoi is on injured reserve and the Browns signed Thaddeus Lewis from the practice squad Monday night.

According to the Browns’ news release, Massaquoi started five of nine games in which he appeared this season and caught 17 passes for 245 yards. For comparison’s sake, Josh Gordon has 46 and Greg Little has 50. With those kinds of numbers and difficulty remaining healthy it remains questionable as to how much interest Joe Banner and whichever general manager is working for the Browns, will have in the soon-to-be free agent.

If MoMass is truly done with the Browns it closes the chapter on one of the most disastrous second rounds quite possibly in NFL history. The Browns traded down a few times and ended up with three picks in the round. They selected Mohamed Massaquoi, Brian Robiskie, and David Veikune.

[Related: NFL Rumors: Banner to “clean house” as soon as season ends]

The Boots: C.J. Miles, Andrew Bynum Trade, Backup Quarterbacks, Preseason Browns Injuries

As I’ve been doing for years, The Boots are my way to assign Boot Up or Boot Downs to various items in the sports world. As a reminder, I got the nickname “Boot” from my older brothers when I was young, and thus, I continue to use this segment as my personal sports writing payback.

Boot Up: Addition of C.J. Miles — Yes, I like the move, but don’t read too much into it. The 25-year-old Miles has career averages of 8.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 51.2% true shooting in his seven-year career with the Utah Jazz. The free agent signing strikes me as a low-risk, high-reward move that can only help the Cavaliers at their weakest position: small forward. [Read more...]

Box Score: Browns 19, Lions 17

Whudda thunk it? Fourth-string QB Thaddeus Lewis led the Browns on two late scoring drives to give the good guys a preseason-opening 19-17 victory over the Detroit Lions in the Great Lakes Classic.

As Craig wrote already this evening, the starters were underwhelming early but the offense roared back in the second half with 16 of its points. Overall, Browns QBs besides Brandon Weeden finished 18-for-29 for 264 yards and a TD. All three posted QB ratings better than 100.

We’ll have plenty more this weekend and the coming week on what’s next for the team.

 

Scoring Summary

1st QuarterCLE – DET
1:00 Detroit LionsDET TD Keiland Williams rushed to the right for 5 yard gain (Jason Hansonmade PAT) 0 – 7
2nd QuarterCLE – DET
7:21 Cleveland BrownsCLE FG Phil Dawson kicked a 37-yard field goal 3 – 7
2:10 Detroit LionsDET TD Shaun Hill passed to Stefan Logan to the right for 3 yard gain (Jason Hanson made PAT) 3 – 14
3rd QuarterCLE – DET
8:12 Cleveland BrownsCLE TD Seneca Wallace passed to Brad Smelley to the right for 12 yard gain (Jeff Wolfert made PAT) 10 – 14
4th QuarterCLE – DET
10:25 Detroit LionsDET FG Derek Dimke kicked a 40-yard field goal 10 – 17
6:05 Cleveland BrownsCLE TD Adonis Thomas rushed to the left for 3 yard gain (2pt attempt failed,Adonis Thomas run up the middle) 16 – 17
0:28 Cleveland BrownsCLE FG Jeff Wolfert kicked a 45-yard field goal 19 – 17

Passing

Cleveland Browns Comp Att Yds Pct Y/A Sack YdsL TD Int Rating
Thaddeus Lewis(notes) 5 8 90 62.5 11.3 0 0 0 0 101.0
Colt McCoy(notes) 6 8 88 75.0 11.0 2 15 0 0 110.4
Seneca Wallace(notes) 7 13 86 53.8 6.6 0 0 1 0 100.2
Brandon Weeden(notes) 3 9 62 33.3 6.9 1 2 0 1 19.0
Detroit Lions Comp Att Yds Pct Y/A Sack YdsL TD Int Rating
Shaun Hill(notes) 8 12 83 66.7 6.9 0 0 1 0 114.2
Matthew Stafford(notes) 4 7 51 57.1 7.3 1 4 0 1 40.5
Kellen Moore(notes) 4 14 40 28.6 2.9 0 0 0 1 9.8

Rushing

Cleveland Browns Rush Yds Avg Lng TD FumL
Chris Ogbonnaya(notes) 7 27 3.9 12 0 0
Colt McCoy(notes) 1 20 20.0 20 0 0
Brandon Jackson(notes) 6 18 3.0 9 0 0
Thaddeus Lewis(notes) 3 17 5.7 14 0 0
Montario Hardesty(notes) 4 16 4.0 7 0 0
Jordan Norwood(notes) 1 14 14.0 14 0 0
Adonis Thomas(notes) 8 8 1.0 6 1 0
Detroit Lions Rush Yds Avg Lng TD FumL
Joique Bell(notes) 16 89 5.6 21 0 0
Keiland Williams(notes) 9 71 7.9 33 1 0
Kevin Smith(notes) 5 28 5.6 11 0 0
Stefan Logan(notes) 3 10 3.3 11 0 0

Receiving

Cleveland Browns Rec Yds Avg Lng TD FumL
Jordan Cameron(notes) 2 58 29.0 42 0 0
Travis Benjamin(notes) 2 46 23.0 34 0 0
Bert Reed(notes) 2 38 19.0 21 0 0
Carlton Mitchell(notes) 1 33 33.0 33 0 0
Evan Moore(notes) 2 31 15.5 16 0 0
Dan Gronkowski(notes) 2 27 13.5 19 0 0
Adonis Thomas(notes) 1 25 25.0 25 0 0
Josh Cooper(notes) 3 24 8.0 9 0 0
Mohamed Massaquoi(notes) 1 12 12.0 12 0 0
Brad Smelley(notes) 1 12 12.0 12 1 0
Brandon Jackson(notes) 1 11 11.0 11 0 0
Chris Ogbonnaya(notes) 1 5 5.0 5 0 0
Jordan Norwood(notes) 1 2 2.0 2 0 0
Rod Windsor(notes) 1 2 2.0 2 0 0
Detroit Lions Rec Yds Avg Lng TD FumL
Calvin Johnson(notes) 2 36 18.0 27 0 0
Maurice Stovall(notes) 2 35 17.5 27 0 0
Will Heller(notes) 2 28 14.0 21 0 0
Nate Hughes(notes) 2 22 11.0 16 0 0
Brandon Pettigrew(notes) 2 15 7.5 14 0 0
Dominique Curry(notes) 1 14 14.0 14 0 0
Patrick Edwards(notes) 1 10 10.0 10 0 0
Stefan Logan(notes) 2 7 3.5 4 1 0
Wallace Miles(notes) 1 4 4.0 4 0 0
Lance Long(notes) 1 3 3.0 3 0 0

Kicking

Cleveland Browns XPM XPA FGM FGA Lng Pct Pts
Jeff Wolfert(notes) 1 1 1 2 45 50.0 4
Phil Dawson(notes) 0 0 1 1 37 100.0 3
Detroit Lions XPM XPA FGM FGA Lng Pct Pts
Derek Dimke(notes) 0 0 1 1 40 100.0 3
Jason Hanson(notes) 2 2 0 1 0 0.0 2