Red Right 88

Life as a Cleveland Sports Fan

Archive for the category “Cleveland Browns”

5 Questions in 5 Days: Hoyer vs. Manziel – Part 2

browns training hoyer manziel 5Brian Hoyer or Johnny Manziel?

The answer to which of the two will be the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns is one that head coach Mike Pettine and offensive coordinator Kyle Shannahan simply have to get right if they are to be part of the regime that finally turns this franchise around.

Manziel is one of the most-dynamic college players we’ve seen in a long time. We watched his games last fall at Texas A&M and were consistently entertained. But at the same time we couldn’t help but worry that we wouldn’t be able to take watching him play 16 times a year for the Browns.

That all changed in May when the Browns selected Manziel in the first round of the NFL Draft. Now he’s part of Cleveland – for better or worse.

If Manziel can translate his college game to the NFL level he has the talent, competitiveness and presence to lead this team from the NFL wilderness back to a level we haven’t seen since the late 1980s.

The decision facing Pettine and Shanahan is not a question of if Manziel will be the starting quarterback, but a question of when. If this was Minnesota the answer would be a simple one. With a roster that includes Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel at quarterback, there is little reason for the Vikings to not turn the team over to rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Which brings us to Brian Hoyer.

Read more…

5 Questions in 5 Days: Hoyer vs. Manziel – Part 1

browns training camp quarterbacksIf there is one thing that Cleveland Browns fans are far too familiar with, it is quarterback competitions during training camp.

From Romeo Crennel flipping a coin to choose between Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson, to quarterback battles pitting Tim Couch vs. Kelly Holcomb, Brady Quinn vs. Anderson, and Brandon Weeden vs. Jason Campbell, Browns fans have seen more than their share of underwhelming bouts.

Now here we are in 2014 and the latest quarterback fight that is all the talk: Brian Hoyer vs. Johnny Manziel.

This competition is different than previous ones, however. In past years, we’ve seen the head coach mismanaged the process by constantly switching from quarterback to quarterback, never allowing either player to find a rhythm. Or else they were faced with having to choose a quarterback not based on who gave the team the best chance to win, but rather who was the least likely to screw things up.

While head coach Mike Pettine and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan can still mess this up if they make the wrong decision, or make the right decision at the wrong time, at least they are facing a decision that should have a positive outcome.

Read more…

5 Questions in 5 Days: What do Browns have in Mike Pettine?

browns training camp mike pettineAs the Cleveland Browns work their way through training camp, sorting out roster questions – like who the quarterback will be and so on – one of the biggest questions has flown a bit under the radar.

Namely, just what does the team have in head coach Mike Pettine?

The Browns certainly took a less-than-direct approach when it came to hiring Pettine – the ninth head coach hired under three different ownership groups since the Browns parted ways with Marty Schottenheimer after the 1988 season.

But just because former front officer members Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi bumbled their way through the hiring process doesn’t mean that Pettine is not the right man for the job.

Read more…

5 Questions in 5 Days: the Browns running game

browns training camp tateThe Cleveland Browns were historically bad when it came to running the football in 2013.

It what was arguably the worst performance in franchise history, the Browns were 27th in the NFL with just 86.4 rushing yards per game and rushed for a league-low four touchdowns. By comparison, the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, widely considered the worst team in NFL history, managed to rush for five touchdowns in an 0-14 season.

Willis McGahee “led” the Browns in rushing with 377 yards – the fewest rushing yards to lead the team since Ray Renfro’s 352 yards in 1953. (Although Renfro only ran the ball 60 times that season and averaged 5.9 yards per carry. McGahee? He averaged 2.7). Things were so bad that (too) many fans were excited about Edwin Baker, a seventh-round draft pick who was on three teams during the season, thinking he was the answer simply because he was better than what the Browns were trotting out for most of the season.

And while we know that the running game is supposed to not matter anymore in the NFL, six of the top 10 rushing teams last season made the playoffs.

Enter Ben Tate and Terrance West.

Read more…

5 Questions in 5 Days: Browns training camp battles

browns training camp westThe Cleveland Browns will spend the next six weeks fine tuning their roster as they prepare for the start of the 2014 NFL season on Sept. 7 in Pittsburgh against the Steelers.

The bulk of the roster appears to be pretty much set, but there are still some questions the team will be looking to answer in the upcoming weeks.

Along the offensive line, the Browns will be looking to find a guard tandem from among John Greco, rookie Joel Bitonio, Garrett Gilkey and Jason Pinkston (who has missed practice so far for undisclosed medical reasons). Greco and Bitonio appear to be the front runners and they both bring a nasty streak that will play well in the AFC North. The coaches also need to determine if Mitchell Schwartz really is the answer at right tackle, because if he is not, there are not a lot of good second options.

In the backfield, Ben Tate should win the starting slot at running back, with rookie Terrance West sure to see significant time as well. Who else makes the roster among the running backs comes down to a rather unremarkable grab bag that includes the likes of Dion Lewis and Edwin Baker, among others.

The uncertainty over Josh Gordon’s availability has the starting wide receiver positions in a state of flux, although slot receiver Andrew Hawkins has to be an improvement over what Davone Bess brought to the table last season.

And we’re not even ready to talk about the quarterback position (at least not for a couple of more days).

Read more…

From the editor’s notebook …

browns open training campThe Cleveland Browns had their first full day of training camp on Saturday, and with it came the annual hoopla of hope and optimism that this year will be different.

For a team that has made going either 4-12 or 5-11 each season into an art form, the Browns don’t have as many roster questions as one would expect heading into the 2014 NFL season. With a few exceptions, we pretty much know who will be on the roster; it is just a question in a few spots of who will be the starter and who take on a backup role.

But that doesn’t mean there are not questions that need answered, of course. The Browns once again have a new coaching staff, led by head coach Mike Pettine, which also means a new offense under coordinator Kyle Shanahan and a new defense under coordinator Jim O’Neil.

Read more…

16 observations on the Cleveland Browns 2014 schedule

Cleveland Browns Logo BadgeThe Cleveland Browns open training camp this week which means we are only 49 days away from the start of the 2014 NFL season.

The Browns will head into the season with a new coach, a new philosophy and (possibly) a new quarterback.

With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at the upcoming schedule with an observation or two about each team the Browns will face this year.

Week 1 at Pittsburgh: The last time the Browns opened the season on the road against the Steelers, they were led by a first-year, defensive-minded head coach. The result? A 51-0 beating of the Steelers to open the 1989 season.
Read more…

From the editor’s notebook …

luis suarez back sideLiverpool made it official on Friday, agreeing to a £75 million pound deal with Barcelona for striker Luis Suárez.

And so ends one of the more bizarre three years for a player and a club.

It’s hard to know how much Liverpool will miss Suárez, who is as talented as anyone playing the game when he wants to be. But the fact that the club no longer trust that Suárez won’t do something stupid on the pitch makes the move a necessary one. After his latest incident at the World Cup, it seems pretty clear that club officials decided they needed to do something while they could still get top value for Suárez. And it is not hard to think they felt a bit betrayed, as well, as the club has done nothing but support Suárez from the moment he arrived from Ajax in January 2011.

Read more…

Is Josh Gordon nearing the end of the line?

Josh Gordon, Ike TaylorThe news that Josh Gordon is once again in trouble with the law caught us by surprise – even though it should not have at this point.

When we first heard the reports that Gordon was stopped for speeding and arrested on DWI charges in Raleigh, we immediately thought the worse. We expected reports of radar readings of more than 100 mph and a blood-alcohol level off the charts. Then we read that he was going 50 mph in a 35-mph zone and was just a tick above the legal limit for alcohol in the state of North Carolina.

For a few seconds all we could think was that this kid just can’t catch a break. But the reality is that this is all his doing.

And now we’re worried that he is beyond help.

Read more…

Brian Hoyer in no rush for a new contract with Browns

brian hoyer contract talkThe Cleveland Browns have found themselves in a bit of a predicament when it comes to quarterback Brian Hoyer.

The team wants to sign Hoyer, who is entering the final year of his contract, to a new deal. That’s good. Even if Johnny Manziel lights it up during preseason and wins the starting quarterback job, it is in the Browns best interest to keep another viable starting quarterback on the roster.

And with today’s rookie contracts much more manageable, it is also financially feasible to do so, especially if the contracts signed by Matt Cassel (two years, $10 million) and Chad Henne (two years, $8 million) are starting points.

While the Browns are willing to deal, Hoyer may not be in quite such of a hurry.

Read more…

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.