Archive for the ‘Cleveland Browns’ Category

Cleveland Browns 53-Man Roster Prediction: Training Camp Edition

Thursday, July 24th, 2014
Former college quarterback MarQueis Gray is poised to claim the Browns starting fullback job (Photo:

Former college quarterback MarQueis Gray is poised to claim the Browns starting fullback job (Photo: Staff Writer: Justin Higdon

In the days before training camp opens on Saturday, the Browns have already started rearranging the roster, waiving receivers Conner Vernon and Kenny Shaw, defensive back Royce Adams, running back Jourdan Brooks, and linebacker Brandon Magee,and adding linebackers Edgar Jones and Jamaal Westerman, and offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Abasi Salimu. Players added this late in the game generally have a tough time sticking, but both Jones and Westerman have played for Cleveland Head Coach Mike Pettine, and the team thought enough of McDonald to pick him up despite the fact that he isexpected to miss four to six weeks with a broken wrist. So I’m telling you there’s a chance. The Browns even have a couple of spots open in case they want to sign anyone else. Or maybe they’re just trying to get a head start on the next cut down date. Considering that bit of uncertainty, it going to be nearly impossible to correctly predict the final, 53-man roster, but that didn’t stop me from trying again. And like last time, my 53-man roster includes 54 names, because of the looming Josh Gordon suspension. (more…)

Quarterback Harassments – The Full Story

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Defensive lineman Desmond Bryant was the Browns’ most efficient pass rusher last season (Photo: Staff Writer: Justin Higdon

This past Saturday, veteran columnist Terry Pluto briefly discussed the Browns’ 2013 defensive struggles. Pluto pointed out a number of statistics that proved just how misleading Cleveland’s ninth place ranking in yards allowed really was. As anyone who watched could attest, the team’s primary struggles came on third down, leading to sustained drives, and eventually, a hell of a lot of points for the opposition. None of this is surprising or new, but another stat Pluto included in his column did get my attention. (more…)

Uncovering the Athletes: SPARQ Concepts and the Cleveland Browns

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Second-year defensive back Josh Aubrey (#37) possesses an impressive combination of speed and power (Photo: Staff Writer: Justin Higdon

Just before Independence Day, writer Chris Wesseling wrote about the Seattle Seahawks’ recent success with late round draft choices, and the team’s connection to Nike’s SPARQ rating for athletic ability. SPARQ stands for speed, power, agility, reaction and quickness, and its calculation for football uses numbers from several of the drills players run at the NFL Scouting Combine and their pro days. According to Wesseling’s research, Seahawks strength and conditioning coach Chris Carlisle helped develop the SPARQ formula, and SB Nation site has covered Seattle’s connection in great depth. Unfortunately, Nike no longer makes the SPARQ calculator available on its website, but there are still ways to approximate values based on information that is available. With this in mind, I’ve crunched some numbers to find out which young, late round or undrafted players currently on the Browns roster are the most impressive athletes, and could, in turn, emerge as contributors once the regular season starts. (more…)

Pettine’s Recipe on Offense will Borrow from the Champs

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Seattle’s success with Russell Wilson could ultimately help Johnny Manziel win Cleveland’s quarterback competition (Photo: USA TODAY Sports) Staff Writer: Justin Higdon

After an arrest for DWI in North Carolina, it is obvious that Josh Gordon is incapable of staying out of his own way. The NFL’s reigning leader in receiving yards was already facing a probable year-long ban for repeated violations of the league’s substance abuse policy, before Saturday’s news further frustrated his employers and fans. The Browns were hopeful that Gordon’s suspension might be reduced on appeal, but the 23-year old receiver’s most recent brush with the law is a laugh in the face of that hope, slamming the door on any chances of Gordon playing meaningful football this season, and maybe ever suiting up for Cleveland again. It’s an unfortunate story, written by one of the most (if not the most) naturally gifted athletes ever to suit up for the new Browns.

There is no question that the weekend DWI is extremely disappointing to the team’s coaching staff and front office, but the Browns have been preparing themselves for life without Gordon since about two weeks before news of a failed drug test first leaked on Day Two of the draft. There were no reactionary draft picks in rounds two through seven, but the organization did add veterans Earl Bennett (since released) and Miles Austin in an effort to bolster the receiving corps. There is no replacing Gordon, but there are ways to minimize the impact of his loss. In fact, the wheels have probably been in motion to reduce the importance of the number one receiver since the 2013 season ended. After all, despite Gordon’s gaudy statistics, The Browns finished their last campaign with 11 or more losses for the sixth year in a row. For all of the flash on paper, last year’s offensive formula under Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner was a failure on the field, so Jimmy Haslam hired a new team of chemists for the lab this season. First-year Head Coach Mike Pettine has brought in former Texans and Redskins coordinator Kyle Shanahan, and together they are borrowing a blueprint that should transform the Cleveland offense into something vastly different in 2014. (more…)

2014 Cleveland Browns Rookie Preview: Chris Kirksey

Friday, May 30th, 2014 Editor: Brendan Leister

As the NFL game changes and evolves, teams are constantly making an effort to become more innovative.  Offenses are playing at faster paces and employing multiple formations all while using the same personnel packages.  Adding to the stress that these tactics put on defenses, offenses are also finding skill players that can be moved around the formation and excel in the run game along with the pass game.  To combat this, defenses are forced to find versatile players that have the skills to play in space while also having the ability to be a force in the run game.  Finding these “jack-of-all-trades” types can be a challenge much of the time, but the Cleveland Browns seem to have found a player that fits the mold in linebacker Chris Kirksey. (more…)

Cleveland Browns 53-Man Roster Prediction: Memorial Day Weekend Edition

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

Trading a defensive lineman like Ahtyba Rubin could open a roster spot for the Browns this summer (Photo: Staff Writer: Justin Higdon

Browns players are breaking from OTAs for the holiday weekend, and things will pick back up Tuesday. But there is never a dull moment for this franchise, as we’ve already been treated to the national media pouting about being left off the rookie minicamp invite list, and of course, the phony baloney (or Vienna Sausage?) lawsuit against rookie QB Johnny Manziel. Fun times. Amid all of this excitement, I have been trying to predict who will make the team when the preseason ends – a futile, but fun exercise in clairvoyance. if I’m right, then I’m a genius. If I’m wrong? Well, it’s May, so get off my back. I started with the defense, since that figures to be the strength of Cleveland’s football team this year, and worked my way all the way down to long snapper. Oh, and I’ve predicted 54 names. Thank you, Josh Gordon. Here’s a look… (more…)

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