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In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the category “NFL”

New season, same results as Browns fall to Eagles

The final result was one that many (most?) Cleveland Browns fans expected.

It was the journey to that result that was a surprise.

The Browns dropped the opening game of the 2012 NFL season to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, 17-16, the franchise’s 13th loss in 14 Week 1 games dating back to 1999.

Hit up The Cleveland Fan for the rest of the sorted tale.

(Photo courtesy of The Plain Dealer)

Browns vs. Eagles – Week 1

It’s finally here.

The Cleveland Browns open the 2012 NFL season today at home against Philadelphia, a team that the Browns saw just a few weeks ago in the preseason.

The baby Browns are set to begin what is sure to be another “interesting” season of football with 15 rookies and 11 second-year players on the roster. How quickly a majority of those players get up to speed and how well they play will go a long way toward determining if the Browns are finally on the right track.

For a full preview of today’s game, head over to The Cleveland Fan.

Cleveland forever.

(Photo courtesy of ClevelandBrowns.com)

What does the preseason really mean for the Browns?

Preseason friendlies (or exhibition games, if you will) are a strange beast in the National Football League. Especially when it comes to the Cleveland Browns.

Do poorly, and it’s a sign that the coaches and management are incompetent, every draft pick is a bust and all hope is lost. Win and, well, the other team obviously wasn’t trying and it’s a sign that the coaches and management are incompetent, every draft pick is a bust and all hope is lost.

There is really no middle ground (at least according to some fans).

So what to make of the Browns effort against Green Bay, a 35-10 win for the good guys?

Read more…

Sixteen truths about the upcoming season for the Browns

Coming off a 4-12 season and with multiple rookies taking over at key positions, 2012 could be shaping up to be a rough season for the Cleveland Browns.

Not helping matters is the fact that the Browns play in the AFC North Division – the National Football League’s Group of Death – which contributes to the Browns having the third most-difficult schedule heading in the season.

According to ESPN, of the 10 teams that had the toughest schedules in 2011, the New York Giants (fourth-hardest) made the playoffs. But of the 10 teams with the easiest schedules, eight of them advanced to the post-season.

Fear not, though, Browns fans. Here are 16 truths – one for each opponent – to help get you ready for the upcoming season.

Head over to The Cleveland Fan for the rest of the story.

(Photo by The Associated Press)

The worst-kept secret in the NFL

The Cleveland Browns made official on Monday what everyone has known since the night of April 27:

Brandon Weeden will be the starting quarterback this season.

“Brandon Weeden will start the Detroit game, and he’ll be our starter as we go forward here,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur told The Beacon Journal. “The No. 2 position will be determined based on how things play out here in training camp. Brandon’s the starter, and we’re moving forward. I think that’s the important thing. I’m not looking back. We’re committing and we’re rolling. We anticipate he’s gonna do a great job.

Read more…

Book it: Browns will not finish 1-15 in 2012

It has been open season on the Cleveland Browns ever since the end of the 2011 NFL Season.

It started with the team being criticized for not getting into an unwinnable bidding war with Washington to move up in the draft to select quarterback Robert Griffin III.

It moved to the NFL Draft, where the Browns were criticized for trading up one spot to select running back Trent Richardson and then “reaching” to draft quarterback Brandon Weeden.

It continued with the media-created “controversy” over what Jim Brown thinks of Richardson. And the cries that the Browns must do something immediately with Colt McCoy.

Read more…

Should the Browns Consider Josh Gordon?

Former Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon worked out for NFL teams on Tuesday in preparation for Thursday’s Supplemental Draft and by all accounts was impressive.

The question now becomes, how impressed were the Browns?

Find out at The Cleveland Fan.

Tribe’s Hagadone feeling a little punchy

Nick Hagadone? We won’t be seeing him for a while.

The Cleveland Indians placed the left-handed reliever on the Minor League disqualified list on Sunday after Hagadone reportedly suffered a self-inflicted injury to his pitching hand following Friday night’s game against Tampa Bay.

“We’re certainly disappointed with the reaction to it,” Tribe general manager Chris Antonetti said. “He was certainly very frustrated coming out of the game. We certainly would have wished he would have handled it a little differently.”

Well, as long as everyone is certain.

The Indians are working with Major League Baseball and the Players Association to determine what to do with Hagadone while he recovers from the injury, which could sideline him for some time, according to Antonetti. Oh, and Hagadone will not be paid while he is on the disqualified list.

Read more…

NFL upholds suspension of Fujita, three others

Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita was among four players notified Tuesday that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has upheld the player discipline that was imposed on the players for their involvement in New Orleans’ bounty program.

Fujita is suspended for three games, Will Smith four games, Anthony Hargrove eight games and Jonathan Vilma for the entire season. Goodell said he retains the right to reduce suspensions should new facts arise, and the each player still is free to meet with him to present his side of the story.
“Throughout this entire process, including your appeals, and despite repeated invitations and encouragement to do so, none of you has offered any evidence that would warrant reconsideration of your suspensions. Instead, you elected not to participate meaningfully in the appeal process…” Goodell wrote in a letter to the players, according to NFL.com.

Blame Homgrem or Shermen?

Welcome to Cleveland, John Hughes. Are you ready to start?

The Cleveland Browns better hope Hughes, the team’s third-round draft pick, is ready for his close-up because it looks like they will need him this fall after starting defensive tackle Phil Taylor injured a pectoral muscle while working out on Thursday.

Of course he did.

“We’re awaiting results of the MRI,” Peter Schaffer, Taylor’s agent, told The Plain Dealer. “He’s staying positive. He’s got a great attitude. He’ll either be 100 percent or come back 100 percent.

Obviously this is an indictment of the lax attitude installed in Berea by team president Mike Holmgren. Or the lack of preparation on coach Pat Shurmur’s part. Or a referendum on owner Randy Lerner’s lack of involvement. Or it could just be that injuries happen.

We’re pretty sure it’s one of those things.

Look, these things happen – just look at Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs and Tampa Bay’s Da’Quan Bowers, who both have suffered torn Achilles tendons.

As it turns out, it’s fortunate the Browns selected Hughes, even if the original plan was to have him provide depth as a rotational player. Now he’s going to need to step up and play big-boy minutes.

Let’s hope he’s up to the challenge.

***

While the Browns were once again bad against the rush last season, finishing 30th in the NFL giving up an average of 147.4 yards per game, turns out they were not historically bad.

Before the 2011 season, there were just 19 defenses in NFL history that gave up more than 5.0 yards per rush for an entire season. Last year, four teams gave up five yards or more each time the opposing team ran the ball – Oakland, Detroit, New Orleans and Tampa Bay.

As bad as the Browns were, they finished 19th in the league with an average of 4.4 yards per rush allowed.

Not sure what that means – after all, it’s not just how many yards you give up but when you give them up – but thought it was worth pointing out.

***

Major League Baseball is reportedly ready to make the ridiculous fake-to-third, throw-to-first pick off play that never works and is one of the things that makes baseball increasingly irritating.

According to The New York Times: The Playing Rules Committee has approved a proposal to make it a balk, with MLB executives and umpires in agreement. The players’ union vetoed the plan for this season to discuss it further. MLB is allowed to implement the change after a one-year wait — no telling whether that would happen if players strongly object. 

 Under the new wording, a pitcher could not fake to third unless he first stepped off the rubber. If he stayed on the rubber, it would be a balk.

Works for us.

***

Sunday is the end of the Premier League season and all 10 games will be shown live in some fashion on Fox’s family of networks and ESPN2.

FX’s live coverage of Sunderland’s match with Manchester United (who are tied for the top spot with Manchester City) will feature in-game highlights (shown in the corner of the screen) of all the goals scored in the other match’s of the day. (h/t EPL Talk)

(Photo by Getty Images)

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