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Officially the Worst – The Cleveland Browns

Officially the Worst – The Cleveland Browns

Finishing Dead Last

Congratulations Cleveland Browns, you did it!  They completed their horrific campaign not only ending with the worst record in all of the NFL (first time since 1999 in doing that), but also ending with the worst regular season record in franchise history.  It wasn’t easy, but the Browns managed to lose a contest that was easily winnable.  Let’s look at a few reasons why the Browns blew it.

Fumblerooski in the Fourth

Driving for the go ahead score in this contest (tied game with just over one minute to play), the Browns gave the ball to Isaiah Crowell inside the five yard line.  The running back coughed it up and the Steelers avoided a defeat.  It’s hard to fault the play call, as Crowell had a long gainer earlier in the contest and was doing exceptionally all game.  Nonetheless, the back put the ball on the ground and a game winning field goal never materialized.

First and Goal

In overtime, the Browns reached the two yard line following a facemask penalty on a pass play to Corey Coleman.  Instead of utilizing their workhorse to run for two yards (and win the game), the offense threw three passes and did not score a touchdown.  The end result was a missed block by Terrelle Pryor, a huge loss, and a field goal.  We all know what happened when the Steelers got the ball in overtime.

One Yard Away

Briean Boddy-Calhoun had a tough day in the cornerback position.  The rookie got torched a few times in this game (both in regulation and in overtime), but what hurt most was his costly mistake.  Boddy-Calhoun intercepted Landry Jones and retuned the football over sixty yards and was running it in for a touchdown.  Instead of getting tackled at the one yard line, the cornerback stretched the ball out for a touchdown – only to fumble it back to the opponent.  Instead of having a fourteen point lead, the Steelers would take advantage of the gift and score the game-tying touchdown.

Conclusion:  I have never been happier for a Browns season to conclude.  I cannot count how many times they got in their own way to avoid any sort of success.  At least they defeated one squad to avoid a winless season, but outside of that it was awful and embarrassing.  I hope the front office can make the right decisions and drastically improve over the next few months.

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Posted by on January 1, 2017 in NFL Season, Players

 

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Training Camp and What I Saw – Cleveland Browns

Training Camp and What I Saw – Cleveland Browns

Sight and Sounds from Training Camp

I recently traveled west to Berea and watched the Cleveland Browns training camp practice – for the first time in nine years. During that time frame, the franchise has gone though a number of changes; most notably the countless number of personnel. I would like to believe they are on the path towards greatness in 2016; however there is still a great deal of work that has to be done before success is accomplished. What happened during practice? I’ll fill you in below:

More “Team” Practicing

This relates to witnessing more eleven versus eleven on the football field – it should be fairly obvious, but the best way to get better is to simulate game situations. I understand positional group practicing is important (especially for technique tips and improvements), but going head to head is important. The fact that coach Jackson had multiple situations like this makes me feel a little better about this team’s chances this fall. Hopefully this translates to better learning and execution during games.

Larger Guys

I don’t know if I am getting smaller or if Browns players are getting bigger, but standing up close to a few guys – I have noticed that the Browns have quite a bit of large individuals. Josh Gordon, Terrelle Pryor, and Shon Coleman (to name a few) definitely have the physical abilities to play in the league – it is another story as to whether they can compete each and every play with their counter parts. 

Coaching is Present

In the midst of the day’s first eleven on eleven portion, head coach Hue Jackson (loudly) corrected Cody Kessler under center. While the athlete did not particularly like to hear this, it should set him up for expectations in the future. I believe Jackson can continue to mentor the young guys and work to instill the correct work habits, techniques, and mindset to become excellent football players.

Conclusion: Not surprisingly, the amount of contact was not abundantly clear during the Browns’ training camp I recently went to. However, the drills appear to help with tackling (using an inflatable wheel teaching to wrap up) and other vital skills that appear to be lost in today’s NFL. It’s still too early to make a final prediction for this season’s record – but this remains the optimistic season and Hue Jackson and company at least provide more faith than his last few predecessors.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2016 in NFL Season

 

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Rounds 1 – 3 for the Cleveland Browns – Analysis

Rounds 1 – 3 for the Cleveland Browns – Analysis

Early Draft Analysis 

Well the NFL Draft went down again this weekend, and the Browns were in the spotlight. While some knock all of their moves, some love their decisions. They traded down twice before actually making a selection; hopefully the guys in charge made the right moves. Let’s break down the first three rounds by the orange and brown.

Corey Coleman – Wide Receiver

I loved the position selected by the Browns in the first round, however I am not sold one hundred percent on the athlete. Coleman was the reigning Biletnikoff winner (as top collegiate wide out) – but his smaller frame worries me. I was hoping the team took a larger receiver like Laquon Treadwell; as their roster is currently full of short guys. I hope Coleman can high point the ball the way Odell Beckham Junior can. Quick hitters and bubble screens might be on display a fair amount to the former Baylor athlete. 

Emmanuel Ogbah – Defensive End / Outside Linebacker

It’s no secret that the Browns have swung and missed when drafting former Oklahoma State stars over the past few seasons. Despite the whiffs on Brandon Weeden and Justin Gilbert, the team chose their pass rusher in Emmanuel Ogbah. He excelled tremendously at finding opposing signal callers. However, the rest of his game (primarily run defense) remains a question. I hope he can be a three down defender, but that remains to be seen whether he can but it together.

Carl Nassib – Defensive End

A lot of stereotypes have been coming out about the former Penn State athlete. The lunch pail guy, who has a high motor, should be an improvement for the defense. I believe he can help more in the run game than Ogbah – hopefully both can meet up in the backfield on third down. The Browns decided that tough athletes who can be tenacious (and actually care about football) are of great value – and I am ok with that.

Shon Coleman – Offensive Tackle

A former leukemia patient, the Auburn lineman was reliable when starting for the past two seasons. He is definitely a resilient athlete and can hopefully compete for the starting right tackle position. Worst-case scenario is that he is in the mix for a rotational spot on this offensive line. I am extremely intrigued to see how this selection pans out.

Cody Kessler – Quarterback

After their final trade of the night, the Browns took a signal caller with the final selection of the third round of the draft.  It was Cody Kessler with the ninety third overall selection.  I don’t love the pick, but at least it was not Connor Cook.  He will be a developmental player no doubt – and I do not seeing him being the franchise quarterback for the Browns down the road.  Oh well, on to the final day of the draft.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2016 in NFL Draft, Players

 

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