Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category

Preseason Week Two Notes: Pettine Can’t Put a Finger on the Starting Quarterback Situation

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
Johnny Manziel had a special signal for the Washington bench Monday (Photo: csnwashington.com)

Johnny Manziel had a special signal for the Washington bench Monday (Photo: csnwashington.com)

DraftBrowns.com Staff Writer: Justin Higdon
Game Two of the preseason was supposed to decide the Browns quarterback competition, but neither Brian Hoyer, nor rookie Johnny Manziel could convince Head Coach Mike Pettine to finalize his decision; and as of this posting, the Week One starter against Pittsburgh remains up in the air. The most noteworthy thing either quarterback did was when Manziel tossed a middle finger in the direction of the Washington bench, setting off a barrage of hot takes that scorched the internet all day Tuesday. The ashes are almost all swept up now, so here’s a look at what went right, what went wrong, and where a few players stand midway through the preseason. (more…)


Preseason Week One Notes: Manziel Closes the Gap but Browns Drop the Ball

Sunday, August 10th, 2014
Johnny Manziel made his NFL debut on Saturday night (Photo: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)

Johnny Manziel made his NFL debut on Saturday night (Photo: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)

DraftBrowns.com Staff Writer: Justin Higdon
In the most anticipated preseason game since they returned to the NFL with the 1999 Hall of Fame Game, the Cleveland Browns fell to the Detroit Lions in a very Browns-like fashion. Despite never finding the end zone, the Browns led 12-6 on four Billy Cundiff field goals, only to surrender a late touchdown pass from Lions’ third-stringer Kellen Moore. Cleveland’s own third-string quarterback, Tyler Thigpen, was picked off on a last ditch attempt to lead a comeback, and that was that. A familiar ending for an organization that has struggled to break .500 since the mid-‘90s. Luckily, preseason wins and losses don’t count, but there is no question this is a game several players would like to have back. Here’s a look at the highs and lows from last night, and what to look for heading into next Monday’s game against Washington. (more…)


What you see is what you get: Life with Brian Hoyer

Friday, August 8th, 2014
The Browns will start Brian Hoyer in Saturday's preseason opener (Photo: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports)

The Browns will start Brian Hoyer in Saturday’s preseason opener (Photo: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports)

DraftBrowns.com Contributor: Chad Dinkins

The excitement in Cleveland headed into Saturday’s game is centered on the quarterback battle between Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel. Hoyer is the steady journeyman who played well enough in limited action last season to jump start talks on a contract extension, and to be viewed as someone who could steady the ship while the Browns build from the interior out on both sides of the ball. Manziel’s draft hype created a line in the sand that pitted many fans on his side, while others gravitated toward Hoyer. There was no consensus on what Manziel’s NFL fortune would be, and many thought he would be a Jerry Jones gamble in the first round. But the Browns traded up to the 22nd pick to draft Manziel, who appears to be a very good fit for the Kyle Shanahan offense, and entered the rookie into a competition with the steady Hoyer, who had given some Browns fans a glimmer a hope last season.

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Ten Thoughts on the Browns First Preseason Depth Chart

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
2013 third round pick Leon McFadden is buried on the first depth chart of the preseason (Photo: USA TODAY Sports)

2013 third round pick Leon McFadden is buried on the first depth chart of the preseason (Photo: USA TODAY Sports)

DraftBrowns.com Staff Writer: Justin Higdon

The Cleveland Browns are once again under new leadership, and the team is full of new faces on the field and on the sidelines. When a team like this releases a depth chart a week and a half into training camp, before playing a single preseason game, it’s important to remember that few things are set in stone. But I am not here to insult anybody’s intelligence. Anyone who digs deep enough to read this site is aware that we shouldn’t read too much into the first depth chart of the year. Of course, football fans also know that carefully measured reactions are not much fun. So in the interest of broad speculation for the sake of entertainment, I have a few thoughts on a depth chart that sure to be forgotten by Sunday morning.

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Quarterback Harassments – The Full Story

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Defensive lineman Desmond Bryant was the Browns’ most efficient pass rusher last season (Photo: dawkpounddaily.com)

DraftBrowns.com Staff Writer: Justin Higdon

This past Saturday, veteran cleveland.com 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: startribune.com)

DraftBrowns.com Staff Writer: Justin Higdon

Just before Independence Day, NFL.com 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 FieldGulls.com 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…)






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