Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Joe Haden shows off his coverage skills

Joe+Haden+Cleveland+Browns+v+Miami+Dolphins+qJtuun2SoOblEver wonder what it is like to play cornerback in the National Football League?

In the NFL Network’s latest Fan Pass video, Cleveland Browns’ cornerback Joe Haden shares some of the tricks and techniques he uses to defend  a wide receiver, the routes he runs to pick off passes and anticipate quarterback reads:

To learn more, check out our latest post at Dawg Pound Daily.

Talking ourselves out of, and back into, Josh McCown

NFL: Preseason-Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville JaguarsEver since the Cleveland Browns signed Josh McCown to be the team’s starting quarterback, we’ve done what every true and loyal Browns fan has done since Nov. 8, 1993*.

We’ve justified that this time the team finally got it right at one of the most-important positions on the field.

Starting with Vinny Testaverde, and rolling along through Mark Rypien, Eric Zeier, Spergon Wynn, Jake Delhomme, Charlie Frye and Brady Quinn, just to name a few, we’ve turned talking ourselves into just about anyone the Browns have lined up behind center into an art form.

But now, after reading Bill Barnwell’s annual All-Bad Contract Team at Grantland, doubts are staring to creep in after seeing the team’s starting quarterback: Josh McCown.

Head on over to Dawg Pound Daily to find the rest of the story.

Mike Pettine talks, but is anyone listening?

mike pettine no panicCleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine held a press conference on Monday to go over the state of the team as he prepares for the start of training camp on Thursday in Berea.

Judging from some of the reactions we’ve read and heard to Pettine’s comments, we’re left wondering if anyone was actually listening to what the second-year head coach was actually saying.

Two points stood out to us in particular, the first being the media-manufactured rift that supposedly has formed between Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer.

The second point concerns the team’s quarterbacks.

To find out the rest of the story, visit our post at Dawg Pound Daily.

Q&A with the Toronto Browns Backers

toronto browns backersThe Browns Backers Worldwide is considered to be one of the largest organized fan clubs in all of professional sports with members and clubs established throughout the world.

The organization exists as a non-profit group to actively support and positively promote the Cleveland Browns.

Today, in the latest of a series focusing on the best fans in the NFL, we talk with Bryan Loberg, president of the Toronto Browns Backers, one of seven clubs in Canada. You can follow the group on Twitter @TOBrownsBackers and on Facebook at Toronto Browns Backers.

Loberg was kind enough to join us for a virtual Q&A on the club and what it is like to be a Browns fan in the Great White North in our latest post at Dawg Pound Daily.

Paul Kruger quietly going about being a team leader

paul-kruger-mike-glennon-nfl-tampa-bay-buccaneers-cleveland-browns1There are plenty of subplots surrounding the defense of the Cleveland Browns heading into the 2015 NFL season.

Can the new additions along the defensive line finally help the Browns stop the run? Can the defensive secondary, one of the league’s top units, be even better this year? Will fans start to understand that Barkevious Mingo’s role has changed, and that may not be a bad thing?

One name you never really hear mentioned much, however, is that of outside linebacker Paul Kruger, who is entering his third season with the Browns.

To see how Kruger has transformed into a quiet leader on the defense, check out our latest post at Dawg Pound Daily.

5 things Browns must do to have success in 2015

browns beat tampa 1The numbers are a bit staggering when you take a look at them.

Heading into the 2015 NFL season, the Cleveland Browns have had:

  • Only two winning seasons since returning to the NFL in 1999 – and none since 2007.
  • No more than three wins in the AFC North Division since the NFL went to the current division alignment in 2002.
  • Only two playoff appearances since 1989 and no playoff wins since 1994.
  • Double-digit losses in a season six times in the past seven years, and 10 times in the past 12 seasons.
  • More players suspended by the NFL since 1999 than playoff wins.

But that is all old news and we’re trying hard to get past the history and look to the future as it relates to the Browns.

To that end, check out our latest post at Dawg Pound Daily to learn five things the Browns simply must do this fall if they want to build on last season’s 7-9 finish and find success.

Q&A with The Royal Perth Browns Backers

royal perthThe Browns Backers Worldwide is considered to be one of the largest organized fan clubs in all of professional sports with members and clubs established throughout the world.

The organization exists as a non-profit group to actively support and positively promote the Cleveland Browns.

Today, in the first of a series focusing on the best fans in the NFL, we talk with Bruce Millinger, president of The Royal Perth Browns Backers of Western Australia, one of two clubs in that country. Millinger was kind enough to join us for a virtual Q&A on the club and what it is like to be a Browns fan almost 12,000 miles away from the shores of Lake Erie.

Check out the full interview over at Dawg Pound Daily.

Is Johnny Manziel really a bad backup QB?

johnny manziel starterIf there is any fanbase in the NFL that is intimately familiar with backup quarterbacks, it is those of the Cleveland Browns.

The Browns have not had a quarterback make 16 starts in a season since Tim Couch in 2001 – and he was the first one to do it since Bernie Kosar in 1991.

The problem is not confined to Cleveland, or course, as 54 different quarterbacks started games in 2014, but with the Browns being at the forefront of the multiple-quarterback movement, it does on added importance around these parts.

Which brings us to second-year quarterback Johnny Manziel, who was ranked next-to-last among backup quarterbacks by NFL.com.

To see what it all means, check out our post at Dawg Pound Daily.

Time for Browns defense to earn its money

browns run defenseThe Cleveland Browns will spend 54 percent of their payroll on the defensive side of the ball this year, the only team in the NFL that will spend more than half of its cap space trying to stop the other team from moving the ball, according to Sports Illustrated.

The Browns have a league-high $82.1 million currently invested in a defense that finished last season ninth in the NFL in points allowed at 21.1 per game, tied for 10th by allowing opposing offenses to convert on just 38 percent of third-down attempts, was second in interceptions with 21, was eighth in pass yards allowed per game at 224.5, and was tops in the league in allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete just 57.1 percent of their pass attempts.

Of course, that same defense was last in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game, 27th in yards per carry, and 28th in runs of 20-plus yards. Opposing teams ran the ball 500 times on the Browns last year, and on 87 of those rushes they gained eight yards or more.

If the Browns are going to have any success in 2015, it is time for the defense to start earning those paychecks. We take a deeper look in our latest post at Dawg Pound Daily.

Browns defensive depth chart: PFF fair or not?

Following their first non-double-digit-loss season in seven years, the Cleveland Browns will be looking to its defense to improve in one critical area if they want to build on the 7-9 finish of 2014.

We’re talking, of course, about the run defense.

Last season, the Browns were last in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game, 27th in yards per carry, and 28th in runs of 20-plus yards by opposing ball carriers. The Browns were the favorite opponent of running backs across the league, as teams ran the ball 500 times on the Browns with 87 of those rushes gaining eight yards or more.

Pro Football Focus examined the defensive depth chart for the Browns, ranking each player in one of seven categories: Elite, High Quality, Good, Average, Below Average, Poor, Not Enough Info, Rookie and Rookie Undrafted Free Agent.

According to their rankings, the Browns’ defense is solid, but still has some work to do. Seven presumed starters earn a ranking of good or better, while three of the remaining four are just average or worse.

We take a look at each position group, see how PFF ranked the players, and determine if the ranking is fair or not in our latest post at Dawg Pound Daily.

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