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Category Archives: Cleveland Browns Fans

Cleveland Browns – Bye Week

Cleveland Browns – Bye Week

The Bye Week Blues:  Cleveland Browns

Another midseason break and the Browns do not have a win to their name – just like the 2016 squad.  Despite not playing a contest this weekend, negative news continued to trickle out around Berea.  Both local and national media continue to pile on the orange and brown (and probably rightly so).  The train has gone off the rails (or further from the rails, depending on who you ask) and the dissension within the ranks is becoming more apparent.  Now, let’s take a look at some of the recent happenings for the team.

Trade that Didn’t Occur

A second and a third round selection for a backup quarterback (who is not named Steve Young)?  That was the apparent asking price for A.J. McCarron by the Cincinnati Bengals – and the Browns were inches from pulling the trigger on the deal.  There have been conflicting reports of who supported the swap and who didn’t, but I am glad the team did not approve the trade.  Honestly I don’t care who did what – but I am concerned that ONCE AGAIN the front office and the coaches appear to not be on the same page.  I am glad the team did not throw away a pair of selections for a mediocre signal caller, but more of the same for this franchise.

Josh Gordon Reinstatement

The second bit of news to hit the news is the suspension being lifted for troubled wide out Josh Gordon.  The Browns’ star had a tremendous campaign in 2013, but has largely been held out of games in his professional career – due to drug and other substance abuse infractions.  Personally, I anticipate he will not play a snap for the orange and brown (and a release might be granted in the near future).  Having said that, my expectations are low if he does appear in a contest for the Browns.  I understand he is only twenty-six years old, but all those games off will keep him ill-prepared for the rigors of the NFL.  Stay tuned, Browns fans.

Where We Go from Here?

The Browns are staring down the barrel of a defeated season with the coach stating that they have to play perfectly to win a game.  Other than that, all is well in Browns town.  I don’t know what the team is planning on doing for the rest of the season or this offseason, but I would just love to witness several wins (more than two is probably asking too much).  Avoiding an 0-16 season would be ideal.

Conclusion:  I’m not going to lie, these past three and a half seasons have taken a toll on me as a Browns’ fan and blogger.  They used to play poor football and would still win a few games – making those Sundays enjoyable.  Now, it’s sheer misery each and every week with this team.  I try not to pile on (like everyone else), but they are making it extremely difficult.  When will things finally improve?

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The New Guy – Gregg Williams

The New Guy – Gregg Williams

Gregg Williams Press Conference

The Browns have had a history of coaches with exemplary opening press conferences, only to be followed by disappointments on the field – leading to the coach being fired.  New defensive coordinator Gregg Williams recently had a tremendous opening conference; I understand this will mean little if the Browns start out 1 -10 next year but there were some solid takeaways from his time with the media.

Pulling Back the Curtain

Williams spoke about many parts of the job that his predecessors have not disclosed.  He mentioned (on several occasions) how others are willing to come in and steal an incumbent’s job on a daily basis – be it a player or coach.  Coach Williams also let us in to his psyche, that he is extremely organized (to the brink of O.C.D.) and each day is a brand new one.  By which, this means that evaluations will occur for players daily and no one is able to rest on past successes.  I believe his style of motivating will be a huge positive for this defense.  I anticipate a jump in performance, but there are many variables that can determine how large of rise from 2015.

Knowledge and Experience

The defensive coordinate mentioned all the stops that he has been to (in the NFL) over the past few decades.  He also referenced how he was able to turn our defensive units in as little as one year.  Personally, if Gregg can bring his usual tenacity his players play with – then he will have done his job.  No matter whether it was against the Tennessee Titans (in the early 2000s), the New Orleans Saints (in the late 2000s), or the Saint Louis/Los Angeles Rams (in the middle 2010s) it was always a long day against a Gregg Williams led defense.

Effort, Effort, Effort

There was a tremendous amount of references to players working hard each and every day for its entirety.  Fighting through pain or fatigue in the fourth quarter appears to be a foreign concept to the Cleveland Browns over the past few seasons.  Hopefully this mentality will be altered – as the coach noted that he wants all of his players to be in shape and ready to go in spring practices.  The Browns’ youth should surely help with this, as fresh legs late in contests appears to not be a problem.

Conclusion:  The ultra competitive coach sounds like a smart hire for the Cleveland Browns.  The defense (and the franchise as a whole) is in desperate need of an attitude adjustment; the Browns must be mean and nasty and not willing to put up with poor performances.  I am eager for the 2017 already but there are many more things that must occur prior to this.

 

 

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The Browns Win!!!

The Browns Win!!!

The Cleveland Browns Pulled out a Tough One

As expected, this was a close contest and came down to the last play of the game.  The special teams frankly got it done in the fourth quarter and survived a pair of Josh Lambo field goal attempts late in the contest.  I’m not going overboard, but I am extremely relieved that the team was finally able to pull out a win in this treacherous season.  What can be taken away from this victory?

A Little Bit of Each

The Browns’ offense was not stellar, but was gritty enough to move the football and (more importantly) put points on the scoreboard.  Likewise, the defense did not shut down the Chargers – however, they prevented the opponent from finding the end zone on a few occasions (which was the difference in the outcome).  Obviously, the special teams were good enough as well in this game.  The Browns got it done in all three phases in this matchup.  I would like to think that with improved talent, and complementary football – the Browns will win games with more regularity this season.

What this Means

If anyone has seen the video from the locker room after the victory, it is easy to see why this was a critical win.  The locker room got a bit tighter and the players showed their continued support for coach Hue Jackson.  I hope this is a turning point for the franchise, but we can not have this argument until they had their first victory of the season.  I am pulling for this being a rally cry for the changed culture which will improve with more talented athletes and wins.

Protection Remains Alarming

The Chargers sacked the Browns quarterbacks nine times, meanwhile the home squad did not put up a single sack on Saturday afternoon.  If the Browns ever want to be a consistent winner, they need to level the playing field in this department.  I believe they will bolster their pass rush in the draft, but the offense still has work to do.  The signal caller must get the ball out quickly, and the offensive line must hold up their end of the bargain.

Conclusion:  The Browns won a game and still maintained their overall first draft pick status – not a bad day for the Cleveland Browns organization.  I am eager for their building in the offseason, but clearly making the right choices (by personnel department) is what is important.

 

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2016 in Cleveland Browns Fans, NFL Season, Players

 

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Browns Vs. Chargers

San Diego at Cleveland 

Well the Browns will trot out on the field yet again this week.  However, they will be playing on a Saturday (and Christmas Eve).  I am fortunate there are other things going on except watching the putrid team.  Nonetheless, what is going on in this game?

Hunting the Browns

Rookie tight end Hunter Henry figures to have a solid outing against the Browns.  Philip Rivers should find the weapon multiple times, including in the red zone.  The Browns will not be able to limit the tight end.

The Running Back Spot

It will likely be Kenneth Farrow, but there’s a chance that Melvin Gordon could return from injury in this matchup.  At this point, it doesn’t really matter who is in the back field – he will be successful against the orange and brown.

Griffins Last Chance?

For some odd reason, Hue Jackson is sticking with Robert Griffin as his quarterback in this game.  The veteran has no business playing, as rookie Cody Kessler looks like an upgrade at this point. I do not have high hopes for the Browns’ offense.

Conclusion:  Outside of a mammoth outing by Isaiah Crowell and a turnover-filled day by the Chargers’ offense, there are few scenarios where I could witness a Browns victory.  The team will fall at home and will be one defeat from embarrassment.  If those idiots actually do put on a parade, then that would be a bigger embarrassment.  Go Browns!

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2016 in Cleveland Browns Fans, NFL Season

 

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Browns @ Dolphins – Week #3 Preview

Browns @ Dolphins – Week #3 Preview

The Browns are Taking their Talents…

On the road again, the Cleveland Browns head south to face another defeated franchise in the Miami Dolphins.  It will be a hot one, and there might not be a ton of great football to be played – but hopefully our annual road trip (for yours truly) will generate a Browns’ win.  There have been injuries to both teams already – who will be the guys to step up?

Offense:

Quarterback:  Another game and another quarterback for the Cleveland Browns.  Cody Kessler gets his trial by fire and has to look across at Cameron Wake, Mario Williams,  and Ndamukong Suh – not an enviable position.  The signal caller threw a touchdown on his first pass of the preseason, and then everything else has gone downhill since.  I anticipate Hue Jackson will pare down the playbook and limit the number of tosses (especially deep) in this contest.  Assuming he attempts quick screens and outs, I can envision a decent passing percentage.  However, I do not see any touchdowns or big plays by the quarterback.

Running Back:  One would imagine that both Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson would receive ample opportunities against the Dolphins’ defense.  Their game plan will more than likely feature “stacking the box” to try and take away the Browns’ running attack.  With two capable rushers at the helm, the Browns can opt for runs or pass attempts to either guy.  It will come down to scheming and how Jackson can outfox Adam Gase’s defense.  I expect Duke Johnson to get an expanded role, but Crowell will obviously not have another tremendous output.

Wide Receivers:  In following the theme of short, quick passes – the two beneficiaries of this should be Corey Coleman and Andrew Hawkins.  Hopefully they can get a larger guy (i.e. Terrelle Pryor or Gary Barnidge) on the edge that could block down field for a larger gain.  Many are concerned about the stunting of the growth of Coleman (as he is now paired with a rookie).  This is hard to argue against; he and all wide outs will underperform until a veteran returns under center.

Tight End:  A tight end is predominantly utilized as a safety valve for green signal callers.  Gary Barnidge should more than help this offense – provided Kessler dials up his target and complete passes. He made some key catches last week at home but I have no idea as to how he will fare in this contest.  The injury to Randall Telfair might allow another guy (Seth DeValve) to come in and play.  However, with all of their quarterbacks getting hurt, the coaching staff might employ the tight end as more of a blocker for maximum protection.

Offensive Line:  For all the complainers about Cameron Erving and his porous play – they will get their wish (for a while, at least), as the second year pro will be out of action.  I am confident in John Greco as his replacement but am unsure of Alvin Bailey at right guard.  One thing that Kessler can do to help himself – is to get the football out of his hand as quickly as possible.  The guys upfront have not been consistent blocking, so not leaning on them to propel this unit might not be a wise idea.

Defense:

Defensive Line:  The broken hand suffered by Carl Nassib really hurts the defensive line – the rookie was playing well which helped a few of his teammates.  In his absence, Xavier Cooper must step up and be a force on the edge.  He has been mediocre so far in 2016 – but could continue to improve in only his second season.  Speaking of which, Danny Shelton proved that he can actually be disruptive in the middle of the line.  I hope he can not only force action elsewhere, but move the point of attack behind the line of scrimmage.  The status of runner Arian Foster is not set in stone, so a hobbled runner or a backup should help the Browns’ run defense.

Outside Linebacker:  Emmanuel Ogbah was one of the pass rushers who was aided by Nassib’s early performances.  Without his services, the rookie linebacker will have to find another way to be a force on the outside.  Meanwhile, Joe Schobert took a step back last game and was hardly visible during the contest.  With Nate Orchard seeing regular playing time behind him, there’s a chance that he could surpass the rookie as the starter.  Regardless of who is out there, they must be fast on the edge and force everything to the middle of the field.

Inside Linebacker:  (Not surprisingly) the pair of veterans in the middle are doing a great job of showing the way for the younger guys.  Demario Davis and Chris Kirksey have not been brilliant, but stout enough against both the run and pass where they are warranting their playing time.  I would like to see them either notch a few sacks on Tannehill or even secure a huge interception.  A big play like that might be the difference in this contest.

Cornerbacks:  Outside of the rejuvenated Joe Haden, I am very fearful of Jamar Taylor and Tramon Williams going against Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, or Kenny Stills.  I hope that Taylor’s return to Miami will lead him to play inspired football and make some key plays – but that is admittedly wishful thinking.  Tannehill will likely hit at least two targets in the end zone in this contest and propel the offense to a solid afternoon.

Safeties:  Derrick Kindred is getting “there” and Jordan Poyer is trying to get “there”.  The rookie has been awful active in games and around the ball on multiple occasions.  I could see him jarring a football loose in this contest and turning the tide to Kessler and company.  Meanwhile, Poyer nearly had an interception last meeting.  He improved from week one, but must be better in his coverage than just a play or two each contest.

Special Teams:  Here is where the Browns really need to see tremendous improvement going forward.  They cannot get field goals (or extra points) blocked anymore, nor can they surrender longer returns.  In a conservative offensive game plan, will the Browns attempt a fourth and short situation or go for a longer field goal attempt?  Let’s hope coach Jackson makes the right call on Sunday.

Coaching:  As previously referenced, there will be a vanilla offense run by this group to move the football while not getting their third quarterback hurt in as many weeks.  I do not have high hopes for this unit, but perhaps the staff can silence the doubters.  The defense will be relied upon more than usual – so more aggressive play calls could be seen.

Prediction (My Record: 2 – 0):  I don’t know what to think about this team with all the injuries and young guys, so I’ll keep the
expectations at a minimum.  The Dolphins and Browns will compete in an ugly contest, with the home team coming out ahead by the score of 20 – 6.

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2016 in Cleveland Browns Fans, NFL Season, Players

 

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News for the Browns: The Latest from Berea

News for the Browns:  The Latest from Berea

Browns Before Camp

The time is finally here; Cleveland Browns’ training camp begins in just one week! Hopefully Hue Jackson can run a tight ship and put the team in the best shape possible prior to week one. The news will continue to ramp up in the near future, however for now we take a look into another blow for the club as well as facing a future Hall of Famer.

Desmond’s Injury

In a similar fate to what happened a few years ago to former Browns defensive lineman Phil Taylor, veteran Desmond Bryant injured his pectoral muscles lifting weights. This led to surgery to repair this injury, which is expected to shelf the lineman for all of 2016 – something the Browns could ill-afford. Guys like Armonty Bryant (after he serves his four-game suspension) and rookie Carl Nassib will have to step up and fill the void at defensive end. I would not be surprised if the team signs another veteran in the next few weeks that could play this position as well. Bryant’s contract with the Browns runs though this season; it will be interesting to see what happens for both sides in February.

Brady’s Opener

This is lesser of a Browns’ story, but it still impacts the franchise headquartered in Berea. Veteran signal caller Tom Brady has finally waived the white flag and has accepted his four-game suspension to begin the regular season. His team then faces the Browns in week five – which will be in Cleveland. Could Brady be rusty and make mistakes allowing the home team pull the upset? Surely, and the quarterback is not getting any younger as well. However, the Patriots have been great since the turn of the century so my faith in the Browns winning this contest is not extremely strong.

Conclusion: As the Republican National Convention leaves town, it’s time to get back to football. The only benefit to an injury this early is that the Browns have time to react and make roster moves to see who can help along the defensive line. Meanwhile, beating the Patriots is no easy chore – facing their quarterback with a chip on his shoulder will not be an advantage for the orange and brown.

 

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Cleveland is Titletown – Meaning for the Browns

Cleveland is Titletown – Meaning for the Browns

I Got that Championship Feeling

I understand this is a Cleveland Browns’ blog, but I am going to touch on another subject for this week’s post.  The Cleveland Cavaliers did what many (including myself at many points) thought they would not be able to do – win the NBA Championship.  It was monumental for the city and was a warm, joyful, incredible feeling that many possessed while walking down the streets.  One could feel the tension, frustration, and anger (of the past fifty-two years) simply melt away immediately. So Cleveland, where do we go from here?

Under Pressure

They say the first one is often the hardest – that could not have been any truer for the wine and gold this year.  All the scrutiny, all the bashing by media (national and local alike), and hearing daily talk about the greatness of the Golden State Warriors had to be maddening. Follow that up with an incredible run through the Eastern Conference, only to be told you had no business playing the champs in a series. This was a bunch of overcomers and truly epitomized Cleveland.

That said, the pressure to deliver a title to the city is all but gone (but we will still gladly accept multiple championships).  Thus, the Indians and Browns (and the Cavs again) will not be mocked nationally for not getting it done.  Losing in dramatic fashion will not come with “a name”.  Playing loose in sports is vital to success, the Cavs performed that way and it showed.  Not saying that this will ultimately lead to multiple titles – but I expect improved play by the other two franchises.

Positive Thinking

It’s been a part of us all, but it is finally time to shed the negativity each and every time it’s available.  The worst will not always happen.  People will not jinx this or that.  The team will not always find a way to lose.  I have never been more positive about a
Cleveland team than I was heading into game seven.  It was a different feeling, but it was genuine and I anticipate this to continue watching Cleveland teams.  I hope the exorcism of other fans’ psyche occurs as well.  The fact that the stupid jersey with all the quarterbacks’ names on it since 1999 will be retired should help with this positive mentality.

Conclusion:  The curse is broken, the streak is over, and Cleveland is king.  I love the city, the fans, the teams and everything else associated with northeast Ohio.  That parade was an incredible display of overall awesomeness by the city. There have been a lot of positive articles over the past few months about Hue Jackson and the Cleveland Browns.  It is time to take steps forward and fall in line with this city.

 

 

 
 

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