Cleveland Browns News
9-29-15: Johnny Football gave way to a healthy Josh McCown in week three, but the results weren’t as good as they were a week ago, as the Browns lost a tough 27-20 battle at home against the Oakland Raiders. McCown wasn’t the main reason for the loss, but he did take five sacks and under threw his receiver on a potential game-tying toss that got picked off. McCown still managed to pile on 341 passing yards and two scores, as Cleveland had a shot to steal the game late despite trailing 27-10 at one point in the final period. Browns fans called for Johnny Manziel for much of the game, but head coach Mike Pettine has already stood firmly behind McCown headed into week four. McCown and co. will try to right the ship on the road against the 1-2 San Diego Chargers.
9-22-15: Johnny Football paid off in the end, as Johnny Manziel fired in two touchdowns (one with under four minutes to go) to help the Cleveland Browns edge out the visiting Titans, 28-14. Manziel was only allowed to throw the ball 15 times as Cleveland visibly went with a conservative game plan, but the second-year passer was good for two 50+ yard touchdown bombs to Travis Benjamin. Benjamin was a total sensation in the win, as he added a third score via a punt return. While the offense and special teams did it’s job, the defense was even better, as the Browns forced Marcus Mariota into two fumbles and kept Tennessee out of the end-zone until the second half. The team remains undecided as to whether Manziel will stick as the starter, but whoever is under center should have a solid matchup when the Browns host the Oakland Raiders in week three.
9-15-15: Johnny Football hit the field a lot earlier than anyone probably expected, as Josh McCown exited the game with a concussion in the first quarter of Cleveland’s week one battle with the New York Jets. Johnny Manziel hit the field looking confident and quickly hit a 54-yard touchdown strike to a streaking Travis Benjamin. Manziel helped the Browns to a field goal before the half, as the Browns went into the break down just 14-10. It all went downhill from there, unfortunately, as Isaiah Crowell and the running game couldn’t find any room against a stout New York run defense. Manziel provided the initial spark but ultimately caved under the Jets’ constant pressure, as he took three sacks, tossed a pick and lost two fumbles. Manziel may get a chance to redeem himself come week two, as McCown could be forced to sit out when the Browns take on Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans.
9-8-15: Johnny Manziel is still the backup in Cleveland, but his return to practice after resting a sore throwing arm at least ensures he’ll be ready off the bench if Josh McCown falters to start the season. That’s definitely a real possibility headed into week one, as McCown leads a rather paltry Browns offense into New York to duke it out with Darrelle Revis and the Jets. Cleveland may be a little short-handed come week one, too, as rookie running back Duke Johnson still hasn’t made out of the league’s concussion protocol and is inching closer to being doubtful for the season opener. The Browns could definitely use Johnson when they head to New York in week one, but Isaiah Crowell will start the game either way and figures to get the bulk of the carries. The big test in week one will be for Cleveland’s run defense, which hopefully will have been improved greatly after drafting nose tackle Danny Shelton this summer.
9-1-15: Johnny Manziel was shutdown due to elbow soreness this week, effectively ending any quarterback controversy that had been brewing due to his improving play. That had all eyes on Josh McCown in week three, as the veteran passer tossed two touchdowns in a 31-7 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. McCown and the first team offense played deep into the third quarter to get into a groove, and it appears the strategy worked. Cleveland finally got a look at rookie rusher Duke Johnson, but the Miami product got a concussion after one rush for four yards. Originally hyped up as a potential starter, Johnson may not have a locked in role to start the regular season. If cleared to return in week four of preseason play, Johnson could try to make an impression with the rest of the Browns when they take on the Chicago Bears on Thursday night.
8-25-15: A quarterback controversy may or may not be brewing in Cleveland, as Josh McCown looked awful in the Browns’ second preseason game and backup Johnny Manziel showed even more growth. Cleveland fell to the Browns (11-10) in a low-scoring affair, but Manziel dazzled late with several solid scrambles and a nice 21-yard touchdown pass. McCown, on the other hand, looked rushed and uncomfortable against Buffalo’s first team offense and threw two picks before helping the Browns to a field goal before the break. While the passing game seems to be up in the air for the Browns at the moment, things seem to be picking up in the ground game. Terrance West led all rushers with 42 yards on 11 totes, while projected starter Isaiah Crowell had one impressive run and finished with 14 yards on five carries. Rookie Duke Johnson was supposed to be a big part of Cleveland’s rushing attack, but has missed a ton of time with a nagging hamstring issue. He’s expected to suit up for the Browns’ week three preseason affair, when they travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers.
8-18-15: Johnny Manziel was understandably the story of Cleveland’s first preseason game of the year, and the second-year passer didn’t disappoint. Manziel showed in spots he still has a good amount of work to do, but he did hit the highlight reel with a 12-yard touchdown run and also looked to be more in control of the offense than ever. Starting quarterback Josh McCown remains unthreatened, however, as he completed all five of his passes with a touchdown during his time on the field. Third string quarterback Connor Shaw didn’t fare as well, as he sustained a thumb injury that will likely require surgery. Thad Lewis had been competing for a roster spot and may now end up landing the third string gig. Terrelle Pryor sat out of the first preseason game due to a hamstring issue, but will eye Cleveland’s week two clash with the Buffalo Bills to make his Browns debut.
8-12-15: The Cleveland Browns are finding a lot out about themselves in camp, as second-year quarterback Johnny Manziel has dazzled in practices and a recent scrimmage. Manziel connected on 9-11 passes for two touchdowns in last Friday’s event and with a few more strong performances could start to think about stealing the starting job away from Josh McCown. Cleveland’s running back depth chart is very undecided, as Isaiah Crowell has yet to grab the bull by the horns and both Terrance West and rookie Duke Johnson have been slowed by nagging hamstring issues. The Browns running backs coach recently suggested that “no one” wants to win the starting job, which could light a fire under the entire backfield. The debate has even sparked interest in outside options and former Ravens running back Ray Rice has been mentioned in rumors. Browns fans will get a first look at Manziel and the rest of the offense come Thursday night, when Cleveland hosts the Washington Redskins in their 2015 preseason opener.
8-5-15: Finally some good news for the Cleveland Browns - both Johnny Manziel and Josh McCown have performed well early in camp, with Johnny Football producing “tangible evidence” of improvement when it comes to accuracy and knowledge of the playbook. Starter Josh McCown remains ahead of Manziel, but if the second-year passer can keep up this progress, he could push to start during preseason play. It hasn’t been all roses on offense, unfortunately, as rookie running back Duke Johnson has missed time due to a hamstring issue. Fellow running back Terrance West is also reportedly on “thin ice” and reportedly looks out of shape. Things could be improving within the receiving corps, however, as project Terrelle Pryor has impressed in spots and could even have “special plays” drawn up specifically for him. Cleveland looks as good as ever defensively, especially with a renewed focus on shutting down the run. The Browns probably won’t be getting any help from rookie corner Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, however, as the rook is expected to sit out his first NFL season after tearing his ACL last winter.
7-28-15: No one knows what to expect out of Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel in 2015. All we know for sure is that Cleveland doesn’t seem totally set on a starter for week one and that Johnny Football is taking his job seriously this season. Head coach Mike Pettine called Manziel the “clearcut” backup, but also wouldn’t commit fully to Josh McCown as his week one starter under center. Manziel has been working with supposed quarterback guru Jon Gruden recently, and that extra time on his craft could potentially give him a shot at competing for the starting gig. Cleveland remains optimistic about their offense, especially rookie runner Duke Johnson. The team admitted recently that they would prefer to keep him in a situational role as he learns on the job, however. That could put Isaiah Crowell back in the driver’s seat to start in the backfield in 2015.
7-22-15: Johnny Manziel isn’t the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, but when veterans hit training camp on July 29th, there’s no doubt all eyes will be on how he operates within the offense. The quarterback competition that doesn’t yet exist could dominate camp talk, but there is plenty to consider in Cleveland beyond what happens under center. New tight end Rob Housler is regarded as the ideal fit for what the Browns do on offense, but how he performs in training camp and preseason could better define his exact role. The same goes for rookie running back Duke Johnson, who should look to push Isaiah Crowell for the starting job. One of the oddest players to track in camp will be former Buckeye Terrelle Pryor, who will be trying to latch onto the final roster as a wide receiver. On the defensive side, rookie defensive tackle Danny Shelton will try to prove he should be locked in as a starter, while second-year cover man Justin Gilbert will try to show he’s not a bust.
5-4-15: It looks like the Johnny Manziel era lives on. The Cleveland Browns had been in constant rumors to move on from Manziel via a trade netting them Sam Bradford or Marcus Mariota, but the team ultimately decided to build around their young franchise passer, instead. It might end up being the right call, but even if Manziel still ends up being a bust the Browns at least have a better team beyond quarterback for it. We got to see that right away, as they landed stud interior defensive lineman Danny Shelton with their first pick in round one, and beefed up their offensive line depth with the insanely versatile Cameron Erving with their second. Cleveland kept it going from there, as they snagged pass rusher Nate Orchard in round two and may have upgraded at running back after adding the explosive Duke Johnson in round three. Defensive end Xavier Cooper rounds out the top impact players for the Browns, as he could pair with Shelton to fortify a leaky run defense. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu may not make an immediate impact due to health woes, but as a seventh round pick, he’s of the low risk variety and could end up being one of the top steals in the draft.
Round One - Pick 12: Danny Shelton, NT, Washington
Round One - Pick 19: Cameron Erving, OL, Florida State
Round Two - Pick 51: Nate Orchard, OLB, Utah
Round Three - Pick 77: Duke Johnson, RB, Miami
Round Three - Pick 96: Xavier Cooper, DE, Washington State
Round Four - Pick 115: Ibraheim Campbell, S, Northwestern
Round Four - Pick 123: Vince Mayle, WR, Washington State
Round Six - Pick 189: Charles Gaines, CB, Louisville
Round Six - Pick 195: Malcolm Johnson, TE, Mississippi State
Round Six - Pick 198: Randall Telfer, TE, USC
Round Seven - Pick 219: Hayes Pullard, ILB, USC
Round Seven - Pick 241: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon
Overall, the Browns opted not to “over-prioritize” the quarterback position, and instead drafted a full slate of helpful talent round make their entire roster better. Read on for the full list of new prospects:
4-9-15: A week after free agency begun, the Browns remain a mixed bag. The team brought in wide receivers Marlon Moore and Brian Hartline, but still remain an impact wideout away from shoring up a lethargic passing game. The passing game took another hit with the loss of star tight end Jordan Cameron, as well, who signed on with the Dolphins on a two-year pact. Cleveland did some patchwork on defense, however, as they added veteran run stuffer Randy Starks to the defensive line and potentially fixed any issues in their secondary by landing cornerback Tramon Williams on a three-year deal. Unless the Browns make some crazy moves in the 2015 NFL Draft, it looks like it’s going to be another year of running the football and leaning on stout defense.
3-9-15: The Browns are in an interesting spot heading into 2015. Johnny Manziel has checked himself into rehab, Josh Gordon is suspended for another year and Brian Hoyer is rumored to be close to landing a deal with the Texans. Pass rusher Jabaal Sheard is also on his way out the door, and with Josh McCown latching on for a three-year deal, second-year head coach Mike Pettine will have to find a way to make his way through the murky waters of NFL turnover. Cleveland still boasts a rock solid defense and has talent in the running game, but how they fare in 2015 may hinge on what they do in the draft and what Johnny Football can give them in his second season.
12-29-14: With both Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel injured, rookie Connor Shaw started under center on Sunday for the Browns, but only completed half of his passing attempts. Terrance West, who grew up in Baltimore, started at running back and ran for 94 yards and a touchdown. However, the Browns, who were without suspended Josh Gordon due to a violation of team rules, lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 20-10.
12-23-14: Both Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer suffered injuries in Cleveland’s 17-13 loss to theCarolina Panthers on Sunday. After Manziel started, a hamstring injury forced him out of the game near the end of the first half and ended his season. Hoyer filled in for the rest of the contest, and he scored the Browns’ only touchdown of the game on an 81-yard pass to Jordan Cameron.
12-17-14: The Browns continued their struggles late in the season, as Johnny Manziel struggled in his first NFL start. Unfortunately, the FirstEnergy Stadium crowd did not have much to cheer about as the Cincinnati Bengals won, 30-0. Before the contest, the Browns waived Billy Cundiff and signed Garrett Hartley, but the new kicker did not get a chance to score any points on Sunday.
12-9-14: Johnny Manziel is expected to start in place of the struggling Brian Hoyer on Sunday
against the Cincinnati Bengals. Once again, Hoyer was held out of the end zone as the Indianapolis Colts came back to beat the Browns. Cleveland scored two defensive touchdowns against Andrew Luck, but the Browns could not get the victory.
12-3-14: The Browns did not play well on Sunday in Buffalo, as they fell to the Bills, 26-10. Although Cleveland was the only team to score in the first half, Brian Hoyer was intercepted twice in the contest. Head coach Mike Pettine replaced Hoyer with Johnny Manziel, who scored a fourth-quarter touchdown on a 10-yard run.
11-26-14: Billy Cundiff’s 37-yard field goal as time expired gave the Browns their 26-24 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. Isaiah Crowell continued the team’s strong rushing attack, as Cleveland has scored more than one rushing touchdown per game this season. Josh Gordon came off his suspension for his first game of 2014 and caught eight passes for 120 yards.
11-19-14: Isaiah Crowell got the start at running back, but only rushed for 61 yards as Cleveland fell to the Houston Texans, 23-7. On Tuesday, the Browns waived running back Ben Tate, so Cleveland will be going with Crowell and Terrance West moving forward. In other roster news, Josh Gordon has also been reinstated from his suspension.
11-12-14: The Browns continued their terrific season with a 24-3 victory over the Bengals in Cincinnati on Thursday. Although Brian Hoyer did not score, Terrance West, Isaiah Crowell and Ben Tate each got into the end zone. With the win, Cleveland is alone at the top of the AFC North at 6-3. In addition, the Browns own their best nine-game start to a season in two decades.
11-5-14: The Browns moved to 5-3 on the season with their 22-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Cleveland scored in every quarter in the contest to get its fourth home win in five tries this season. Brian Hoyer threw for 300 yards and two touchdowns. Taylor Gabriel had 87 receiving yards on five receptions, including one of Hoyer’s touchdown passes.
10-29-14: After losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 7, the Browns bounced back to beat the Oakland Raiders on Sunday in Cleveland. Brian Hoyer threw for 275 yards and completed a four-yard touchdown to Andrew Hawkins early in the fourth quarter. The Browns’ easy schedule continues as they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9.
10-21-14: The Browns’ first four games of the season had very sm
all score differentials, but their last two have been the opposite. After Cleveland destroyed the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 6, the Browns were surprisingly no match for the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 7. Heading into Sunday’s game, the Jaguars had been winless this season.
10-14-14: Although Brian Hoyer completed only eight of his 17 passing attempts, he threw for 217 yards and a touchdown in the Browns’ 31-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Ben Tate scored two touchdowns as Cleveland destroyed Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, center Alex Mack was carted off the field with a lower leg injury in the second quarter.
10-8-14: The Browns were on the verge of falling to 1-3 on the season, but they pulled off the largest road comeback in NFL history in Tennessee on Sunday. Cleveland was down by as many as 25 points, but Brian Hoyer threw for 292 passing yards and three touchdowns as the Browns defeated the Titans, 29-28
10-1-14: Although the Browns were on bye in Week 4, there were many rumblings about the situation with their running backs. Ben Tate, who is recovering from a knee injury that has sidelined him since the second quarter of Week 1, is expected to return for Week 5 in Tennessee. Isaiah Crowell, who expects to back up Tate, and third-stringer Terrence West have carried the load in the meantime.
9-25-14: Terrence West and Isaiah Crowell ran for touchdowns, but the Browns could not get by the Baltimore Ravens. Brian Hoyer also threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Miles Austin, which put Cleveland ahead, 21-17. Unfortunately, the Browns could not score in the fourth quarter on Sunday, as the Ravens came back and won the game. Fortunately for Cleveland, tight end Jordan Cameron returned from his shoulder injury feeling fine, and he had one catch for 23 yards.
9-17-14: Mike Pettine won his first game as an NFL head coach when his Browns upset the New Orleans Saints, 26-24. Without Ben Tate and Jordan Cameron, Cleveland jumped out to a 10-point lead and even when the Saints took 17-16 and 24-23 leads, the Browns fought back and Billy Cundiff’s 29-yard field goal won the game. Johnny Manziel did not affect the result, but he made his regular-season debut.
9-10-14: The Browns continued their misfortune in season openers as they dropped their game in Pittsburgh, 30-27. Unfortunately, Ben Tate and Jordan Cameron both left the game due to injuries. Both are starters at their respective positions, so Cleveland hopes to have them back in Week 2 when the Browns host the New Orleans Saints.
9-4-14: Although the Browns will be starting Brian Hoyer on Sunday in Pittsburgh, the Steelers think that Johnny Manziel will still make an appearance in the game. Although Manziel’s end to the preseason was not so good, the Browns released Rex Grossman. Unfortunately for the Browns’ quarterbacks, Josh Gordon was officially suspended for one year.
8-26-14: On Wednesday, head coach Mike Pettine named Brian Hoyer his starting quarterback, but he hinted at a two-quarterback system. In Saturday’s loss to the St. Louis Rams, Hoyer and Johnny Manziel each completed 10 passes and scored one touchdown. They also were each sacked twice. Hoyer’s touchdown was in the air while Manziel’s came on the ground.
8-19-14: Although it is the preseason, the Browns have received a lot of coverage for their quarterback battle. Neither Brian Hoyer nor Johnny Manziel played well in Cleveland's loss to the Washington Redskins on Monday night, but head coach Mike Pettine is still evaluating whom he wants to start in Week 1. Manziel was late for a meeting, and he made an obscene gesture in his last game, so we will see if those transgressions have an effect on the depth chart.
8-14-14: All eyes were on Johnny Manziel as he and the Browns were in Detroit on Friday to take on the Lions. Brian Hoyer started over Manziel, but Cleveland did not score a touchdown in this game. Manziel looked strong as he completed seven of 11 pass attempts. Both quarterbacks will take first-team snaps this week, but no starter has been announced yet.
8-5-14: In the Browns’ scrimmage on Saturday, Johnny Manziel tallied 14 yards in the air and 18 yards on the ground. We will have to see if Manziel gets many reps with the first team this Saturday in the Browns’ preseason opener at Detroit. We will also have to see about Josh Gordon’s situation. He was suspended for the entire season after a failed drug test, but he returned to practice as his appeal hearing resumed on Monday.
7-30-14: Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer’s battle for the starting quarterback gig may not be as close as some had hoped. Despite performing solidly in camp, reports have surfaced that the Browns’ brass has grown “alarmed” by Manziels’ off the field persona, while the rookie passer has also supposedly “regressed” in practice due to not submerging himself in the team’s playbook. While Manziel could still make up the ground he’s lost during the preseason, Cleveland insiders are already predicting Hoyer will be under center come week one. The other big news in Cleveland surrounds star wide receiver Josh Gordon, who was thought to be lost for the year due to suspension but may have a shot at winning his appeal. Gordon’s defense is that his failed drug test was a result of second hand smoke. If he wins the appeal, Gordon could have his season long ban dramatically reduced.
7-15-14: Johnny Football has been the talk of the summer and we haven’t even gotten to training camp yet. Manziel’s trips to Vegas are what we’ve been hearing and seeing but everyone will know what he’s really all about when he dives into his competition with Brian Hoyer when camp opens on July 23rd. While Manziel has been a controversial topic since being drafted in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, he’s still far from being the disappointment star wide receiver Josh Gordon has been. Despite still waiting for league punishment for violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, Gordon got himself in further hot water by driving under the influence on July 5th. The breakout receiver from 2012 is now fully expected to be suspended for the entire 2014 season, while some fear his career may be over.
6-17-14: The Browns have officially inked first round pick Johnny Manziel to a four year contract. Rumored to be worth $8.3 million, 94% of the deal is guaranteed. The signing bonus for the former Heisman Trophy winner is $4.3 million. Manziel is arguably already the Browns most popular player and accounted for an increase in demand of Browns tickets after his selection.
6-5-14: The Browns have done a pretty good job of maintaining the circus that comes with selecting Johnny Manziel as their new franchise quarterback, but that doesn’t mean you don’t hear about him. Much was made about a Memorial Day Weekend trip to Las Vegas, while Manziel was also in the news due to a hoax lawsuit. On the bright side, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan had only good things to say about Manziel, suggesting he and Robert Griffin III are “very similar” and that Manziel can have the same type of rookie success RG3 had two years ago in Washington. Cleveland has also worked to get Manziel some extra weapons with star receiver Josh Gordon facing a year-long ban. The team brought in veteran receivers Miles Austin and Earl Bennett to help alleviate the loss a bit. Wide receiver Nate Burleson (broken arm) also added to the good news at receiver, as he’s expected to be ready for camp.
5-19-14: The Cleveland Browns had been a franchise in turmoil for as long as anyone could remember. Then owner Jimmy Haslam made major changes in the front office and let Ray Farmer take complete control over personnel decisions. After a solid showing in free agency, Farmer appeared to make Haslam look smart with a solid draft. Let’s break down his top picks and see how he and the Browns did in the 2014 NFL Draft:
Round 1. Pick 08 Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma St.
Round 1. Pick 22 Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Round 2. Pick 03 Joel Bitonio, OL, Nevada
Round 3. Pick 07 Christian Kirksey, LB, Iowa
Round 3. Pick 30 Terrance West, RB, Towson
Round 4. Pick 27 Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood
Cleveland really did a fine job on hitting on just about every major need. They probably should have taken a wide receiver early after hearing about wide receiver Josh Gordon’s looming suspension, but kudos to them for sticking to their draft plan, regardless.
That plan consisted of landing a stud corner to pair with Joe Haden, as well as getting a franchise passer. Justin Gilbert was easily the draft’s most physically gifted cornerback, potentially giving the Browns the league’s toughest secondary, just like that.
Then there was the selection of Johnny Manziel. Love it or hate it, it was a move that had to be made. Not only did the drafting of Manziel immediately sell thousands of Cleveland Browns tickets, but it also brought inspiration and hope. Whether or not it will work out remains to be determined, but for now it looks like the right call.
Cleveland made another fine pick with Nevada tackle Joel Bitonio in round two, which was an arguable steal considering his immense upside and how much they need another body for the o-line. Running back Terrance West was another excellent depth add, as newly signed free agent running back Ben Tate has a checkered injury history.
5-9-14: Heeeeere’s Johnny! Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel had to wait until the 22nd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft to hear his name called, but the Browns knew they had to have their guy and traded back with the Eagles to land him. Manziel is a polarizing figure and he’s not sure bet at the next level, but he’s the kind of high upside player that gives a franchise hope. That’s exactly what the Browns and their fans needed. While landing Manziel is the story of the first round and probably what ends up making their draft, Cleveland also should get credit for trading back with their first selection to land Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert. Easily the most talented corner in the draft, Gilbert will pair with lock down corner Joe Haden to give Cleveland one of the best secondaries in the game.
4-28-14: The Cleveland Browns have been a mess in the front office, but with Ray Farmer handed full control of the team, it does appear things might finally be headed in the right direction. Now that Cleveland might be on course, though, they actually need to get the right talent. Brian Hoyer is their only competent passer, so adding a franchise quarterback is crucial for future success. Holding two first round selections, it’s unlikely the Browns take a huge risk early, which means they should go after a quarterback with their second first round pick. That puts Derek Carr and Zach Mettenberger on the board for them later in round one, while likely makes their first pick Clemson’s Sammy Watkins (if he’s available). Cleveland traded away Trent Richardson last year, too, so they’ll also need to find a running back. Homegrown Ohio State masher Carlos Hyde makes a ton of sense.
4-18-14: The Cleveland Browns have started over with a new head coach and front office regime, and could possibly be starting a new quarterback under center as early as this preseason, as well. The road through August won’t exactly be easy, as the Cleveland Browns preseason schedule kicks off with a road game against Calvin Johnson and the Detroit Lions, followed by a second straight road test against the Washington Redskins on primetime television. Week three is where it’s at in preseason, though, where the Browns will welcome the St. Louis Rams to Cleveland. There we’ll get a good look at the likely starting quarterback for the 2014 season for the Browns, as well as the entire starting roster. The Browns will cap the 2014 preseason with one more home game in week four, as Marc Trestman’s Chicago Bears come into town.
4-7-14: It was an odd offseason for the Browns, who fired their head coach after one season and replaced him with Mike Pettine, and then cleaned house in their front office again shortly after, handing the keys to the team to Ray Farmer. Farmer quickly shed dead weight in failed quarterback Brandon Weeden, while spicing up the offense with former Texans running back Ben Tate and shifty slot man Andrew Hawkins. Cleveland also cut D’Qwell Jackson early in the offseason, but somehow found an upgrade in Karlos Dansby, while also finding a solid safety in Donte Whitner to replace the departed T.J. Ward. The Browns even transition tagged star center Alex Mack, leaving them with few gaping holes other than at quarterback heading into the 2014 NFL Draft.
3-21-14: Talk about turnover. Even before free agency got rolling, the Browns made waves, as they changed head coaches and even flipped things around in their front office. Ray Farmer is now calling the shots, and already seems to know the direction he wants the Browns to head in. Cleveland wasted no time cutting dead weight, handing underperforming quarterbacks Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell their walking papers, along with troubled slot receiver Davone Bess. On the bright side, Cleveland addressed their massive hole at running back with former Texan Ben Tate, while also filling a hole left by T.J. Ward going to Denver by signing hard-hitting safety Donte Whitner. The Browns also nabbed Karlos Dansby on the open market, who should prove to be a solid upgrade over D’Qwell Jackson, who the Browns released. As bad as things looked only a few weeks ago, the Browns do appear headed in the right direction with a very solid free agency showing.
12-31-13: Josh Gordon continued his stellar season, hauling in seven catches for over 80 yards, but the Browns just couldn’t get enough going in Pittsburgh, as the Steelers won, 20-7. Jason Campbell added a late touchdown but it wasn’t enough as the Browns closed 2013 at just 4-12.
12-24-13: The Browns had been having success with their explosive passing game over the last several weeks and were hoping to take advantage of rookie corner Dee Milliner in week 16. That never happened, as Jason Campbell took three sacks and tossed two picks in a tough 24-13 road loss to the New York Jets.
12-17-13: Jason Campbell and the Browns struggled early and needed some miscues from Jay Cutler to stay in this one. Unfortunately, Cutler rebounded from his mistakes to throw three touchdowns and steal the road win, 38-31. Campbell would connect with star wide receiver Josh Gordon with just over a minute to go, but it was too little, too late as Cleveland dropped to 4-10.
12-10-13: The Browns got burned on a late penalty and a 58-yard field goal couldn’t be true, as Cleveland blew an early 12-0 lead in New England, falling to the Patriots, 27-26. Jason Campbell nearly passed for 400 yards and Josh Gordon once again went off, but it wasn’t enough to top the Pats on the road.
12-3-13: Brandon Weeden was almost the hero. Instead, he’ll be looked at as the scapegoat. Weeden passed for a whopping 370 yards and three touchdowns, but had three horrible turnovers as Cleveland fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars at home, 32-28. Wide receiver Josh Gordon had an epic 10-catch, 261-yard and two touchdown effort wasted in the loss.
Josh Gordon had a day for the ages, catching a whopping 14 balls for over 200 receiving yards and a touchdown, but even that wasn’t enough for the Browns in a 27-11 home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jason Campbell left this one due to injury and Cleveland fans once again had to endure the inconsistency of quarterback Brandon Weeden in defeat.
11-19-13: Cleveland shocked the Bengals with an early 13-0 lead thanks to two Andy Dalton interceptions, but ultimately had struggles of their own on offense and special teams that contributed to a 41-20-loss on the road. The Browns saw the Bengals block two punts and return two turnovers for scores during a 31-0 run that gave Cincy the lead for good and ended with a 41-20 win.
11-5-13: The Cleveland Browns hadn’t beaten the Baltimore Ravens in 11 tries. That horrid streak came to an end in week nine. Jason Campbell was poised and controlled for the second straight week, as he hooked up with slot receiver Davone Bess for two scores and moved the ball enough late to help Cleveland pull off the huge upset over their division rivals with a 24-18 victory.
10-30-13: The Browns switched ineffective quarterback Brandon Weeden out for backup Jason Campbell and were supposed to have a rough outing on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs. Instead, they almost won. The Browns pulled out some trickery and scored on a flea-flicker to keep this one interesting but would inevitably fall in week eight, 23-17.
10-22-13: Brandon Weeden continued his steady decline on the road against the Green Bay Packers in week seven, as he barely completed over 40% of his passes and took three sacks in a 31-13 loss. Weeden was ineffective throughout, but was able to connect with tight end Jordan Cameron on a late touchdown, despite the game being out of reach. Willis McGahee and the Browns running game didn’t offer Weeden much help, however, as McGahee ran for just 39 yards on 11 carries as Cleveland dropped to 3-4 with it’s second straight loss.
10-15-13: Brandon Weeden took what was a decent game and a close contest and turned it into a horrible, lop-sided one. Despite being down just seven points late in the game, Weeden tossed possibly the most careless pass of all-time and watched on the sidelines as the Lions put on the finishing touches of a 31-17 road win. The loss was Cleveland’s first in the past four weeks and it dropped them to 3-3 and into a second place tie in the AFC North.
10-1-13: The Cleveland Browns live on. Despite many assuming the Browns were tanking for the 2014 NFL Draft, the team followed up the trading of would-be franchise running back Trent Richardson with an unlikely second straight win in week four. Cleveland dominate the visiting Cincinnati Bengals as stud corner Joe Haden kept elite receiver A.J. Green in check all game, allowing him to secure just seven of 15 targets for 51 yards. Cleveland’s defense was easily the star of this one, as they forced two turnovers, registered two sacks and held the Bengals to just six points. Reserve quarterback Brian Hoyer looked like a seasoned vet for the second week in a row, as he connected with Jordan Cameron for the pair’s fourth touchdown in two weeks en route to a convincing 17-6 home win.
9-18-13: The Browns and Ravens were expected to engage in a defensive battle and they did just that in week two, as neither team’s passing game could light up the field. Cleveland quarterback Brandon Weeden did enough early to help the Browns to a 6-0 lead, but couldn’t generate any points in the second half and exited due to injury. The Browns offense suffered on the ground, as well, as star running back Trent Richardson could only muster 3.2 yards per carry in the 14-6 loss in Baltimore. Next week, the Browns head to Minnesota to take on the Vikings.
9-10-13: The Miami Dolphins took it to the Cleveland Browns on the road in week one, forcing three interceptions out of second-year quarterback Brandon Weeden, while also silencing stud running back Trent Richardson. Ryan Tannehill improved his steady development under center for the Fins in this one, as he connected with Brian Hartline nine times (one for a score) in a 23-10 road win. Cleveland briefly held a 7-6 lead at the half off of a nice touchdown by emerging tight end Jordan Cameron, but was ultimately doomed by turnovers and inefficient play. The Browns head to Baltimore next week to take on the World Champion Ravens.
9-3-13: Cleveland Browns final roster cuts: OL Braxton Cave, WR Mike Edwards, TE Dan Gronkowski, DB Abdul Kanneh, RB Miquel Maysonet, WR David Nelson, DB Kent Richardson, P Colton Schmidt, LB Justin Cole, S Jamoris Slaughter, LB James-Michael Johnson, OL Aaron Adams, DB Akeem Auguste, RB Jamaine Cook, DL Hall Davis, WR Tori Gurley, WR Naaman Roosevelt, DL Brian Sanford, LB Justin Staples, K Shayne Graham, K Brandon Bogotay.
8-16-13:Brandon Weeden had a very nice game in week 2 of the preseason for the Browns at they defeated the Lions 24-6. Weeden completed 8 of 12 passes for 117 yards and two TDs, leading the Browns to a 17-0 lead. Both TDs were caught by Jordan Cameron. Josh Gordon caught 3 balls for a team-leading 72 receiving yards. Trent Richardson carried it 6 times for 33 yards. Next week the Browns head to Indy to take on Andrew Luck and the Colts.
8-11-13: The Browns beat the Rams 27-19 in their preseason opener. Brandon Weeden completed 10 of his 13 passes for 112 yards and a touch down while leading the team on two scoring drives. Travis Benjamin also returned a punt 91 yards for a TD.
7-10-13: No longer a laughing stock, the Browns are slowly progressing with the young talent they drafted on offense last season. The team will have to withstand a two-game suspension for explosive receiver Josh Gordon to start the year, but should otherwise be ready to compete behind Trent Richardson and a power running game. A transition to a more aggressive 3-4 scheme, with the likes of free agent acquisition Paul Kruger and rookie Barkevious Mingo could also help put the Browns back on the map.
6-12-13: The Cleveland Browns were an inconsistent bunch in 2012, but that’s to be expected with a rookie quarterback, wide receiver and tight end starting in your offense. However, the first year learning curve won’t be a viable excuse in 2013, as new head coach Rob Chudzinski tries to weed out the lesser talent and do something the Browns haven’t able to do consistently in years: win some football games. He brings Norv Turner’s vertical offense from San Diego to help get the job done, and will rely on second-year starting quarterback Brandon Weeden to take the next step. At the same time, he’ll probably be hoping running back Trent Richardson can evolve into the next Adrian Peterson and Josh Morgan can do his best Terrell Owens impression. Perhaps all of that happening in the same season is a bit of a stretch (and a little wishful thinking), but in the AFC North, where the Browns will face three playoff caliber teams twice a year, it has to be the aim.
2013 Browns Draft Overview:
Round 1, Pick 6: Barkevious Mingo, DE, Louisiana State
Round 3, Pick 6: Leon McFadden, CB, San Diego State
Round 6, Pick 7: Jamoris Slaughter, SS, Notre Dame
Round 7, Pick 11 (from Miami): Armonty Bryant, DE, East Central (Okla.)
Round 7, Pick 21(from Cincinnati through San Francisco): Garrett Gilkey, OT, Chadron State
12-4-12: Starting the season 0-5 didn’t help the Browns at all but since then they have a winning record at 4-3 with an impressive win over the Steelers two weeks ago. The Browns won’t make the playoff but have a bright future ahead of them with RB Trent Richardson. Richardson is on pace for over 1000 yards rushing and already has seven touchdowns. Coming off a win against the Raiders, the Browns next opponent will be the Kansas City Chiefs at home.