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In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the category “Cleveland Browns”

Browns quarterbacks what we expected them to be

manziel-mccownjpg1432812159794It was not a night for the offensive highlight reel when the Cleveland Browns took on the Buffalo Bills at FirstEnergy Stadium on Thursday.

But it was a night that showed the Browns’ quarterbacks are exactly what we expected them to be.

A week after looking like the quarterback that threw for 1,829 yards, 13 touchdowns and just one interception while starting 13 games for Chicago in 2013, Josh McCown turned into the Tampa Bay-version that went 1-10 for the Buccaneers last season, while completing just 56 percent of his passes, throwing 14 interceptions and taking 36 sacks.

But Johnny Manziel did not look much better.

To get the full scoop, check out our latest post at Dawg Pound Daily.

Browns vs. Bills: 5 things to watch for

hoyer or manzielThe Cleveland Browns host the Buffalo Bills tonight in the second preseason friendly of the season.

The Browns had 20 players miss practice on Tuesday against Buffalo and 17 of those 20 were out because of injuries. The injuries, combined with the Browns having a nine-day break until their next preseason friendly, on Aug. 29 against Tampa Bay, has head coach Mike Pettine scrambling a bit to come up with an appropriate plan for tonight’s game.

“We feel like we are close to getting some of our guys back, and also with the long break to Tampa, that is kind of a nice luxury to have,” Pettine said. “We will get some of our guys back. We feel we will be much better off headed into that [game], assuming we can get through Thursday night pretty clean.

“I think what we would like to do is time it up for Tampa that we can have as many of our ones and key backups out there and get some quality work then. We are looking to get some solid work done Thursday night.”

While tonight’s game may not be as important as next week’s traditional “dress rehearsal,” there are several storylines to follow as the Browns continue preparing for the opening of the 2015 NFL season.

To see what we’re looking for out of the Browns, check out our latest at Dawg Pound Daily.

Can the Browns score enough in 2015 to win?

hi-res-5ea13f739316c2a2ee086943d5b2425f_crop_northThe Cleveland Browns will play what many consider one of the toughest schedules in the NFL this fall.

According to CBSSports.com, the Browns will face the ninth-hardest schedules as they take on the NFC West and AFC West, whose teams combined for a record of 138-116-2 last season. Of course, with 14 common opponents, everyone in the AFC North is in the same boat, with Pittsburgh (No. 1) and Cincinnati (No. 2) topping the rankings, and Baltimore coming in two spots behind the Browns at No. 11.

Much can change between now and when the Browns take the field this fall, of course, as teams deal with injuries, dissension and the ups-and-downs that come with the typical NFL season. At this time last season, many experts expected the Browns to struggle against New Orleans and Atlanta, but Cleveland ultimately went 3-1 against the NFC South.

So what do the Browns have to do on offense this fall? Find out in our latest post at Dawg Pound Daily.

Barkevous Mingo battling injuries, misconceptions

mingo sacks luck

It seems like on every NFL team there is one player that simply can’t catch a break when it comes to injuries.

We’ve seen it before here in Cleveland, most notably with Courtney Brown, the team’s first-round selection in the 2000 NFL Draft. (Has it really been that long?)

Brown only started a full 16 games his rookie season before injuries limited him to just 29 games over his final four seasons in Cleveland. No one ever questioned Brown’s work ethic or attitude, he just simply could not stay healthy enough to become a productive player.

Which brings us to the present and linebacker Barkevious Mingo and our latest post at Dawg Pound Daily.

 

Thumbs up, thumbs down on Browns first preseason game

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The Cleveland Browns made it through the opening preseason friendly of the 2015 season without sustaining any injuries, which is the most important part, and did a few things right during a loss to the Washington Redskins.

But they also showed that there still is a lot of work to do before they take the field on Sept. 13 for the season-opening game agains the New York Jets.

Even if head coach Mike Pettine doesn’t necessarily agree. (Although he probably does, he just didn’t feel the need to make it public.)

“Overall, I think it’s a start that we’ll be pleased with when we watch the tape. I’ll reserve final judgement until then, but I thought we did some good things,” Pettine said. “I was pleased we didn’t have our first penalty, I think, it was early in the fourth quarter, ended up with three for the game. Also, it just a credit to some of the guys that got extended [reps] because the injuries we have. (We had some) good coaching moments that come out of it, and hopefully, we can gain some momentum from this moving forward.”

Let’s take a look at what worked, and what didn’t, on Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium in our latest post at Dawg Pound Daily.

Cleveland Browns Top 10 passing games of all-time

brian sipe browns

With the Cleveland Browns set to embark on the first of four preseason friendlies in preparation for the 2015 NFL season, the annual quarterback conundrum surrounds the team.

Josh McCown is the starter, Johnny Manziel is the backup. And if that doesn’t fill Browns fans with joy and enthusiasm, is it a familiar feeling as the team has been searching for a quarterback since Nov. 8, 1993.

The team’s continuing struggles to fill what many consider the most important position on the team is baffling, especially when you consider the franchise’s history.

Otto Graham set the unbeatable gold standard for quarterback play, taking the Browns to 10 title games (and winning seven) during his 10-year career. Frank Ryan led the Browns to their last NFL title in 1964, Bill Nelsen went to the playoffs three times in his four years as the starter, Brian Sipe posted some memorable days along the lakefront, and Bernie Kosar passed the Browns to three AFC Championship Games.

In that spirit, here are the Top 10 passing games in franchise history, as ranked by Jonathan Knight’s 2013 book, The Browns Bible. Knight chose the games based on the highest passer rating posted by the quarterback, as long as they had a minimum of 15 pass attempts in the game. (Which is why Ryan’s game in the season finale of 1964 did not make the list.)

The full top 10 is available in our latest post at Dawg Pound Daily.

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.

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