How About Those Browns?!

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I can’t even really describe what I have been watching these past four weeks.  All I know, is that finally, after years of suffering, the Cleveland Browns are showing signs of progress.  It hasn’t been pretty by any means but, it is October 11th, and the Browns are still very much in the thick of it.  At the end of the day, this all a Browns fan can really ask.  After Sunday’s miraculous overtime victory, the Browns improved to 2-2-1 on the season.  There is hope.  There is also quite a bit of frustration, as they should really be 5-0.

Week 1, The Browns played to an ugly, 21-21 tie with divisional rivals, Pittsburgh.  Tyrod Taylor looked beyond pedestrian in this one.  Taylor finished with a measly 15 completions, 197 yards and 1 touchdown.  He did the bulk of his damage on the ground, as he rushed for 77 yards and  1 touchdown, on 8 attempts. Josh Gordon caught his last ever Browns touchdown as time expired, to tie the game at 21.

Despite generating 6 turnovers, the Browns weren’t able to break the tie in overtime, and the Steelers whiffed on their chances as well.  In the pouring rain, the Browns had tied.

Despite not losing for the first time in over a year, the Browns still entered week 2 with a bitter taste in their mouth.  I was expecting the doors to be blown off courtesy of Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn Jr, and countless other weapons. I was dead wrong.  The Browns not only showed up, but they carried the play for the majority of the game.

Once again, the Cleveland Browns came up short.  Having gotten off to a 12-3 lead in the third quarter, the wheels fell off.  Right now, you can count on the Browns to blow a two possession lead the very second they get one.   Multiple missed field goals by Zane Gonzalez lead to the Browns dropping a heart-breaker, 21-18.

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Tyrod had a better performance in Week 2, but still left so much to be desired.  Taylor finished 22-30, 246 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. He didn’t cost the Browns the game, but as the Quarterback, he didn’t go out and win it either.  The Browns remained winless at, 0-1-1.

The following week, the Browns season was on the brink already.  Sure they were only 0-1-1, but they desperately needed to get a win.  They needed to end the worst losing streak in team history.  The New York Jets came into Cleveland, riding the chosen one, Sam Darnold.  Again, Tyrod Taylor was miserable.  The Jets had absolutely zero respect for his ability to read the defense, step into the pocket, and fire it to an open receiver down field.  The Jets blitzed on almost every obvious passing situation.  They were shutting the Browns rushing attack down, save for one big Tyrod run, and a few Carlos Hyde runs for first downs.  With just under 5 minutes to play in the 2nd Quarter, Tyrod Taylor was taken to locker-room to be evaluated for concussion.  The Browns were down 14-0, and reeling.

Enter, 6.

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Right from the get-go, The Browns looked like a totally different team.  Suddenly, the Browns were marching. They were able to muster up a field goal drive to end the first half, cutting the score to 14-3.  The Jets got the ball to start the half, but sensational Rookie Corner, Denzel Ward forced the Jets, Robby Anderson to fumble deep inside Jets territory.  Ward ran the ball deep down inside the Jets 10 yard line.

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The Browns would have to settle for a field goal, making it 14-6 Jets in the 3rd.  Sporting a stout, playoff caliber defense, the Jets would be forced to punt again on the ensuing possession.  Mayfield responded, leading a  7 play 69 yard touchdown drive, when Carlos Hyde rumbled in from the 1 yard line.  How did the Browns get to the 1 you ask?

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Holy shit!  The Browns don’t make plays like this.  Jarvis Landry displayed some fantastic concentration and hands to haul in Mayfield’s frozen rope. Down 8 points, Baker had the stadium buzzing.  Carlos Hyde capped off the drive with a 1 yard touchdown run, to make it 14-12 New York.  Surely the Cleveland Browns will botch the 2 point conversiton.  A sack, fumble, interception, penalty, or drop will surely be the outcome.

Wrong.

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And the game was tied!  Similar to the Landry catch, the Cleveland Browns do not execute plays like this.  Especially in a live game.  Yet Jarvis Landry tossed a beautiful left handed throw to Mayfield in the endzone.  Darnold and the Jets did not waiver, as Sam lead a 12-play 65 yard field goal drive to make it 17-14, J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets.

Never fear, 6 is here.  Not flinching one bit, Mayfield 15-play, 65 yard touchdown drive.  Carlos Hyde rumbled into the endzone for his second score of the game, and the Browns chopped 6:52 off the clock.

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The following possessions saw Darnold through interceptions to Joe Schoebert and Terrance Mitchell, which iced the game for the Browns. Off the schneid at long last.  The worst year of football finally came to an end.  While Tyrod was knocked out of this game with injury, everybody knew it was going to be Mayfield the rest of the way.  He finished the game 17 of 23, 201 yards, and no touchdowns or interceptions.  Not bad for a half of play.  The Browns were feeling good about themselves heading out to Oakland the following week.

Feeling good alright!  Those 1-1-1 Cleveland Browns!  Oakland sucked the good feelings about the Jets win out of me.  I don’t want to talk too much about this game, I would just get pissed off.  The Browns won this game.  Period.  They won it.  Carlos Hyde got that fucking first down, you know it, I know it, and that sackless fucker Walt Anderson knows it too.

Baker Mayfield played fairly well in this one finishing, 21-41, 295 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.  He also fumbled twice, but still the Browns had the ball with under 2 minutes to play, only needing a first down to ice the game.  On 3rd and 2 from the Browns 19 yard line, Carlos Hyde powered his way to the 21 yard line.   He made it to the marker, not past it.  The officials measured it and the ball was a pube hair past the marker for a first down.  For absolutely no reason whatsoever, the booth reviewed the spot.  Not a single replay showed the ball not making it to the sticks, where they originally marked it.  The officials decided to move it back a full yard out of nowhere.  This forced the Browns to punt, and from there they would give up their 8 point lead, and eventually lose in overtime.  Fuck Walt Anderson.

That brings us to this past Sunday.  The Baltimore Ravens came into Cleveland riding high, after dismantling Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers.  The Browns were coming off a brutal loss, one in which they should have won.  For the first time in what seems like 20 years, the Browns proved me wrong.  Coming in, the thought was they would get their teeth kicked in by John Brown, Michael Crabtree, and Captain Elite Joe Flacco.   Not to mention, Baltimore has an insane track record against rookie QB’s.

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Since 2008 the Ravens are a whopping 15-5 against Rookie Quarterbacks, and 7-0 against Browns rookies.  The Ravens are always no joke on defense, but their offense is so Jekyll and Hyde.  This leaves you never knowing if you’ll get blown out, or play them close.

Early on, things looked like they could get hairy, as Baker threw a pick on the Browns first possession.

Tough one here.  This wasn’t a poor read, or forcing it into coverage, but it was miscommunication.  Mayfield was expecting Rashard Higgins to continue his route across the middle (a deep 10 yard in-route).  Higgins broke his route off and continued straight up the seam of the field.  Baker threw it expecting the crossing route, and it was picked off easily.

With great field position after the takeaway, Justin Tucker nailed a hit a 44 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Ravens, after the Browns dug in to force a three and out.  The remainder of the half saw the teams trade three-and-outs.  In the Second Quarter, Flacco and the Ravens managed to drive inside the Browns 10.   Sensational Rookie Corner, Denzel Ward picked an arrant Flacco pass, for his third interception in 4 weeks.  This kid has been everything you would ask from a number 1 Corner, and then some.

Wouldn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, as both teams punted twice a piece in the following 4 possessions.  Finally, with under two minutes to play, Baker Mayfield began to march the Browns in their 2-minute offense.  Two big gains from David Njoku of 19 and 24 yards had the Browns with 1st and 10 from the Baltimore 19 yard line.  Mayfield stood in the pocket and fired a 19 yard touchdown pass to Rashard Higgins to make it 6-3 Browns.  Of course new Kicker, Greg Joseph drilled the extra-point off the upright.

This gave the Ravens some time to march down the field, and potentially tie the game before the half ended.  Flacco managed to march the birds 45 yards on 7 plays to set up a Tucker attempt to tie the game.

Denzel Ward making a big time fucking play to keep the Browns in the lead.  This guy has done nothing but make play after play.  He just gets the ball, doesn’t matter how.  What a fantastic pick.  All the Browns fans bitching like school girls because they passed up on Bradley Chubb.  Gimmie the lock-down corner who has a nose for the football every single time.

The second half was a complete snoozefest.  The Browns managed to add a field goal to make it, 9-3 in the third quarter.  The Ravens countered with two field goals to tie the game.  As per usual, the Browns were unable to put away a team they were beating fairly soundly.

For the 3rd time in 5 games the Browns were playing an Overtime Period.   It continued much like the second half did, with each team exchanging punts and three-and-outs.  Finally with just over 2 minutes left to play in the stalemate, the Browns got the ball back at their own 16.  On the very first play of the drive, Todd Haley called one of the worst play’s I have ever seen.   A jet sweep to Rod fucking Streater.

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It was an 11 yard loss, and they were staring a 2nd and 21 from their own five yard line.  A 13 yard scramble by Mayfield helped gain a huge chunk of that loss back.  Then the magic happened.  On 3rd and 8 Baker Mayfield scrambled in the pocket, and found Derrick Willies at the first down marker, Willies slipped the defender covering him, and was off to the races.  He was finally brought down inside Raven territory.  It was a 39 yard catch and run, leading the Browns to 1st and 10 from the Baltimore 43.

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Two Duke Johnson runs later brought the ball to the Baltimore 19, with 6 seconds remaining in overtime.  The Browns took their final timeout, and we prayed.

Well I’ll be, the Cleveland Browns won on Sunday.  Can’t even describe the feeling of relief that was felt after this win.  The Jets win can be be spun as, “well it’s the Jets”.  This one is a quality win against a quality team.  I could give two fucks if it was ugly, pretty, or sexy.  All wins are sexy.  So now your 2-2-1 Cleveland Browns matching up against the 3-2 L.A. Chargers.    A winnable game by all means.

Will the Browns continue to win, and contend for the playoffs?  Probably not.  That doesn’t mean I don’t think they can, but I just feel like they are still a bit too young.  With the roster as it stands, they should have 5-7 wins by the time the time this year will be all said and done.  Could more be on the table?  Absolutely.  Could less be on the table?  Absolutely. In the meantime, we are getting some wins, and we are getting positive Quarterback play. No disrespect to Tyrod Taylor, but he was fucking dreadful. If Baker can continue to play at high level, and cut down on the turnovers, than we are in some serious business. But for now, let’s ride our top 5 defense to the gates of Hell.

For now enjoy whatever wins come from this season, because the schedule is fucking brutal Who knows, maybe they’ll catch fire with Six at the wheel?

Let’s go Browns!! October 11th, and they’re in the thick of it. Enjoy it while it lasts.

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Where the Browns Stand Through 2 Weeks of Preseason.

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On August 9th, the Browns traveled down to East Rutherford, New Jersey to take on the New York Giants to open up their preseason.  It was a night where the two worst teams from 2017-2018 squared off to see who sucks less.  In the end it was the Browns who outlasted the Giants with a final score of 20-10.  It was nice to win a Football game, but it means next to nothing.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Browns throw the ball, catch it, run for yards after the catch, and score.  Sounds simple, but its true.   Everything looked much more crisp, which is all we can really ask for.

On the first play from scrimmage Saquon Barkley bounced outside the tackles to gash the Browns for 39 yards.  What a wonderful start!    Rough first play for Denzel Ward on the outside there.  Instead of setting the Edge to prevent Barkley from bouncing outside, he gets sucked in, and Barkley has free space out on the boundary.  Thankfully, Eli Manning looked absolutely woeful on this night.  There were a few  passes he threw to absolutely no one.  Now, Odell Beckham did not play, but he still looked like garbage.  After Barkley’s run the Browns held the Giants to a field goal.  3-0 Giants after their first offensive possession.

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The Browns first play from Scrimmage went almost as well as the Giants.  Showing 5 wide right off the hop, Tyrod Taylor hit Jarvis Landry for a 25 yard gain.  Problem is, jawing between Janoris Jenkins and Landry ended up with a 15 yard penalty on the Browns.  Landry must’ve said something to have warranted the flag, otherwise it was just two competitors jawing.  Keep the fucking flags in your pockets, Stripes.  The Browns were unable to move the ball any further on their opening possession, and were forced to punt.

The Giants weren’t any more successful in moving the ball, as they made the switch to Davis Webb at Quarterback.  Davis Webb is so fucking bad I was offended by the fact I was forced to watch him.  The G-Men did absolutely nothing in his time at the helm.  Webb finished 9-20 for 70 yards, no TD’s, and no INT’s.  Meanwhile, in Tyrod’s second series, the Browns started to go No-Huddle. Taylor found some chemistry with Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins hitting him on a quick 6 yard pass, and on the next very next play, he found Higgins again, this time for a solid 21 yard gain.

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That bitch Eli Apple got absolutely worked by Higgins on this one, and the Giants defense was on its heels.  Continuing with the no-huddle on the next play, Taylor hit David Njoku up the seam in stride, Chief made a few miss galloping his way to six.

This is how David Njoku needs to be used.  Straight up the seam exposing a weak match-up.  That Linebacker acting as a human turnstile stood no shot.  This created a small window between the trailing linebacker and Safety playing deep.  Taylor lofted it beautifully into Chief’s hands, who took over from there.

After that possession Tyrod Taylor’s night was done.  He finished 5 for 5, 99 yards, and a touchdown.  Taylor finished the evening with a perfect 158.3 passer rating.  Not a bad start for the bridge guy!

Enter Baker Mayfield. With the score 7-3 at the start of the second Mayfield went 3 and out on his first drive.  Two Nick Chubb runs netted a total of 0 yards, and Mayfield threw an incomplete pass.  It was Mayfield’s second drive where things got going.

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His first completed pass was a beautiful 26 yard, back shoulder completion to Hollywood Higgins.

After a crappy run, an incomplete pass, and a holding call on Spencer Drango, Mayfield hit CJ Board on 3rd and 18 to extend the drive.  Terrible video, but Baker does a fantastic job of climbing the pocket, surveying his reads, and firing it to a wide open target.  While its only preseason, that conversion was nice to see.  But, he still wasn’t done.  On 3rd and 6 from the Giants 27, Mayfield stood in the pocket, scrambled to his left to find an open target, and finally took off for the first down marker.  Mayfield got 7 yards and moved the chains again.

Three plays later, Mayfield and the Browns were looking at a 4th and 2 from the Giants 13, Mayfield got 5 yards on what looked like a designed QB keeper, and an easy first down.  Two plays later Baker fired a 10 yard strike to David Njoku for 6 points.

Exceptional pocket awareness from Baker, who had to move on from his first and second read to find Chief Njoku in the back of the endzone.  Baker put that ball where only the athletic monster that is David Njoku could get it.

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The Browns would go into halftime with a solid 13-3 lead.  Much of the second half was garbage time, but a few key players for both teams continued to see time.  Mayfield played early into the fourth quarter:

After the Giants scored to cut the Browns lead to 3, Mayfield and Antonio Callaway connected on a big 3rd and 7 completion for 24 yards.  Again, Mayfield uses his legs to buy some time outside the pocket.  He threw an absolute rocket on the run putting it low and toward the sideline, and  Antonio Callaway laid out beautifully to haul in the pass along the sideline.  While the Browns did not score on this drive, it was nice to see them pick up a few 3rd and long conversions on this night.

Finally, two drives later Baker hit Antonio Callaway on a short 5 yard slant, Callaway broke a tackle, and he was off to the races.

The game was over at this point with the Browns holding on to their 10 point lead for the rest of the fourth quarter.  Mayfield was done  for the evening with quite an impressive stat line:

It was nice to see the Browns win a game, even though its only Preseason.  Sadly this is no indicator of how the regular season will play out.  They went 4-0 last year in the preseason as we all are well aware.  BUT, these guys need to learn how to win somehow, so if they’re keeping score; win the fucking game.

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The following Friday saw the Buffalo Bills come into FirstEnergy Stadium for the Browns second Preseason tilt.  We saw the Browns sling it all over the joint against the Giants, both Tyrod and Baker.  This past week saw Todd Haley mix up the game-plan to incorporate a heavy dose of Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb.  Week 1 the Browns Offensive Line was absolutely manhandled in the running game.  They amassed only 50 yards on 1.8 yards a rush attempt.  This week went much different.

The Browns flexed their muscle early going on a 9 play Touchdown on their first possession.  Carlos Hyde broke free for a 26 yard rush, and 9 yard rush on consecutive plays.  Haley mixed in some Duke Johnson, and intermediate Tyrod Taylor passing.  Finally the drive ended with a Carlos Hyde touchdown, his first in the Preseason.

The rest of the first half was a defensive stand still.  Neither team could move the ball a lick, and Buffalo even lost a Quarterback in the Process:

Myles Garrett was a force all night knocking out AJ McCarron on this pass rush, and using his speed off the ball to cause another sack:

With McCarron coming out of the game, Rookie Josh Allen came into the game.  He promptly lead a 15 play, 80 yard touchdown drive, culminating in a Rod Streater Touchdown catch.

Allen would lead another Field Goal Drive to end the half, making 10-7 Bills.  Up until this point the Browns were dominating, however stupid penalties along with missed opportunities on defense allowed Buffalo to surge ahead.

The second half continued to be a defensive stalemate.  Baker Mayfield was leading the offense, and unlike his first game, he was stuck with all 2nd and 3rd stringers.  No Callaway’s or Njoku’s.  While, he didn’t light it up as he had against the Giants, he still played well.  He had his moments within the pocket that make you say wow.  His footwork in there is pure wizardy.

Probably Mayfield’s highlight of the night.  3rd and 6, facing a heavy pass rush, moving around the pocket, and firing a pass back across his body to convert on 3rd down.  It was a fantastic display of Mayfield’s best traits as a Quarterback.

The Browns managed a touchdown in the second half, but Buffalo was too much on this night.  The Browns dropped to 1-1 on the Preseason losing 19-17 at home.

 

Decent start so far from this new look Browns team.  They managed to win a game, and each unit has shown flashes of its potential.  In game 1 we saw the passing attack go off for multiple touchdowns, and big yardage.  In game 2 we saw an effort to run the football heavily.  This generated a few big runs, and 2 rushing Touchdowns.  In both games we saw flashes of a young, fast, athletic, physical defense.  In the early stages of the Buffalo game, the Browns had allowed 9 yards on 9 plays.  Hopefully this is a glimpse as to what is to come.

Finally with the most important news of the Preseason:

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Josh Gordon announced a mere hour or two prior to the Buffalo game via Twitter and Instagram he would be rejoining the Browns.  What. A. Relief.  All systems go.  Josh Gordon stepping away from the team for any length of time is never a good thing, but he actually fucking came back.

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It will take some time for the Browns to assimilate Josh back into the offense, but fucking A, we might get Josh Gordon Week 1 against Pittsburgh.  T’s and P’s Joe Haden.    Things keep on rolling closer and closer towards regular season football.  I cannot freaking wait any longer. Tonight the Browns take on the Philadelphia Eagles at FirstEnergy Stadium.

The game will be a National Fox Broadcast at 8pm tonight.  Expect Tyrod Taylor and the rest of the starters to play for a good chunk of the game.  I would estimate 2 and a half quarters.  What am I expecting from the Browns?

  1. Balance.  I’d like to see Todd Haley mix it up with a nice balance of Run and Pass this week.  Week 1 they struggled to run the ball, so they aired it out for the majority of the game.  Week 2 the Offense made a concerned effort to run the football.  Lets see them combine the two in the so called, “Dress Rehersal” game.
  2. Defense.  I want to see the Defense continue to terrorize opposing Quarterbacks.  So far, the first teamers have not generated a turnover.  That was a huge issue last year, in terms of yardage and points the Browns fared well defensively, they just could not generate turnovers.  I’d like to see a few take-ways from the defense.  Show some hunger.
  3. Baker.  I am not yearning for Baker Mayfield just yet, I like Tyrod Taylor, and understand the teams decision to start him over the kid.  That being said, Browns fans aren’t going to have many more opportunities to watch Baker play.  I’d like to see him continue to play turnover free Football, and demonstrate that clear command he has of the offense.
  4. Win the fucking game.  You can only learn how to win by winning.

 

Tune in live on Fox to watch defending Super Bowl Champion, Philadelphia Eagles invade Cleveland.   Hopefully this will be yet another building block for good things in the regular season.  Go Browns!

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2018 Browns Training Camp Week 1 Recap.

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Thursday afternoon marked the 7th completed practice for the Browns so far in Training Camp.  A lot has gone down in those 7 days, so lets just take a look back at some of the highlights.

Baker Mayfield:

All in all it has been a good start for the 1st overall pick in April’s draft.  Tyrod is firmly the starter, but Mayfield has been opening some eyes this past week.  Accuracy, velocity, and leadership are all on display.  Funny, haven’t heard much about his height the last 7 days? Funny how that works.

Holy shit.  A lot of Baker Mayfield action these past 10 or so days.  Through that time, he has been everything the Browns could hope for.  It is early, but he is flashing the traits that lead the Browns to draft him first overall.  Unfortunately, with it only being camp we are limited to short social media highlight clips, so its hard to truly see how he is doing.

What I am seeing is a guy who is going to stand in the pocket and pick Defense’s apart.  He’s got the quickness and mobility to move about the pocket, and create his own throwing lanes.  His touch on deep balls appears to be a major strength.  Those deep balls float into his receivers hands with great touch.  Helps that he has some versatile weapons in the likes of Rashard Higgins, Seth Devalve, David Njoku, and countless runningbacks to mix-match.

By all accounts, he’s been working extremely hard on the field, off the field, and creating bonds with his teammates.  According to those covering the team, Mayfield hadn’t thrown a recorded Interception in camp until Friday’s Orange and Browns Scrimmage.  Tyrod is still firmly the starter, but Mayfield is doing his very best to challenge Tyrod.  Baker has stated numerous times he never wants to have a backup mentality, so it is expected to see him go balls to the wall.  It is a bit surprising to hear how well he is doing however.

Rashard Higgins:

A bit of a forgotten man coming into camp, Rashard has come in and flashed as a potential sleeper option on the Browns offense during the first week.  Last season saw some mild production from Higgins.  Nothing special, but he did have himself a few big games.  When the rest of our bum receivers were dropping passes, Higgins stepped up to contribute.   Also worthy to note his growth.  He more than tripled his yardage output, doubled his touchdown total, and caught nearly four times as many passes in 2017 as he did in 2016.

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Early in camp, Rashard has developed a strong connection with Baker Mayfield, as the two have hooked up on numerous highlight reel plays.  Higgins was going to have to fight for a job this season, especially with the new crop of Wide Receiver talent the Browns brought in last season.  He is on the fringe of the depth chart, but has developed into Mayfield’s favorite target so far in camp.

A couple of nice highlight clips there from Hollywood Higgins!  Hopefully this will parlay into Preseason.  I see the makings of a decent slot receiver.  I am rooting for Rashard Hollywood Higgins to make the team.

Denzel Ward:

There is a defense on the Browns as well, might as well show them some love.  Denzel Ward came into Training Camp higher up the depth chart than originally expected, as the kid tore up Mini-Camp.  So far Denzel has had a strong camp, by all accounts.

Denzel is impressing coaches, and teammates alike so far in 2018.   The kid has the quickness to cover guys one on one, and he is reeking havoc at Browns camp.  It’s great to see him getting reps with the first team.  Right now, looks like Terrance Mitchell and Denzel have been the starting corners.  Mitchell has made a whole bunch of plays, leading him to get that number 1 spot opposite Ward.  Still, with T.J. Carrie, E.J. Gaines, and Brean Boddy-Calhoun available, we’ll likely see a combination of all of these DB’s.

Jarvis Landry:

Jarvis Landry.  The dude has been a fucking highlight reel every single day of Browns practice thus far.  When the Browns first acquired Landry my very first reaction was: “Oh no, he’ll hate it in Cleveland.”  I was way wrong, the dude is quickly becoming the most vocal leader on the team.  Yeah he runs his mouth about playoffs, but the dude puts in the work on the field.  He’s a fantastic football player, who looks to be energized in a new situation.  I can’t wait to see how Todd Haley utilizes Landry in the offense.  You can send him deep up the sideline on go routes, he’s sure-handed enough to go across the middle, and he’s got the quickness to beat anyone with the ball in his hands.  Hell, you can use Jarvis in the backfield.  In the open field this dude makes DB’s miss.

Joel Bitonio:

Sigh.  Late last week Hue Jackson made the announcement that Joel Bitonio would be moving from his Left Guard position to Left Tackle.  It is a brand new position for Joel, and he stated that he preferred not to move just a few days earlier.  In addition to that, the Browns stated he would be the last option.  Sure enough, Friday saw Joel against Myles Garrett in practice.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but it is discouraging.  I was looking to see if Austin Corbett could assume the role, but the Coaching Staff prefers he play Guard.  I just don’t like having to place someone with no experience at a position like Left Tackle.  If he doesn’t feel comfortable, than hit the waiver wire.  The upcoming games will give the fans more of an idea of how he will do, its hard to gauge how well he did when you can barely contact your opponent in practice these days.

Corey Coleman:

TRADE ALERT! Late last night, the Browns shipped Corey Coleman off to Buffalo for a 7th round pick in 2020.  Weird that they are moving on so fast from Corey.  While injuries, drops, and off-field have plagued Coleman, I thought for sure they’d give him a full training camp to earn a role.  Nope.  He’s gone.  Traded for essentially nothing.  A first round pick from two years ago.  I am not sad about them losing Corey Coleman.  He’s a small-ish receiver with blazing speed and suspect hands.  Dime a dozen.  The problem with Coleman is his worth ethic, and Football IQ.

Anyway, best of luck to Corey Coleman in Buffalo.  I feel like the train has already left the station with this guy.  No matter what he does in the future, he will always be remembered for this:

fuck you dude.

Big week ahead for the Browns.  Tomorrow we will have the much anticipated premier of Hard Knocks.  HBO’s documentary, chronicling the Browns 2018 Training Camp.  With a cast of characters like the Browns, this season is bound to be pretty good.  We may even get a juicy little nugget regarding the Coleman trade.  He missed practice yesterday with a bum hammy, and then BAM.  9 PM hits and your traded.  I am curious to see if something happened that lead to the Browns just throwing him at Buffalo.

Even better, we have ourselves a football game this week.  Tune in on Thursday 8/8 to catch the Browns take on the New York Giants from MetLife Stadium.  Baker Mayfield vs. Saquon Barkley.  Can’t fucking wait.

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Lets go Browns.

Fuck Me Running, Not Again?!

72 hours before veterans are due to report to camp, Josh Gordon revealed he would not be present for the start of training camp.  Silly me.  How could I ever think he would be present for the start of camp?  Stupid of me.  Now Josh and the Browns are saying, “All good!  Just keeping up with treatment!  No suspension!”

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WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?! There is absolutely no way of knowing what is going on?  There is a high probability what is being reported is exactly what is going on.  Josh is taking a few weeks off to gain some extra counseling, prior to starting a full season in the NFL.  He wants to make sure he is sticking to his program, so he’s stepping away for some extra counseling.  I don’t necessarily believe that one bit.  In fact, it’s the first Adam Schefter story that I feel is complete bull shit.  But hey, it’s Schefty.  I guess it’s true?   Even the NFL is claiming that Josh’s absence is not suspension related, and he didn’t fail any tests.

I hope to Christ Josh hasn’t had any setbacks, for his own sake.  It had appeared he was working very hard to maintain his clean lifestyle, and return to the Football field.  Now the Schefter tweets are reassuring, but widely confusing.  I am glad he hasn’t been suspended YET, but camp starts in 2 days.  He had a full month to get the extra treatment/counseling he is referring to.  John Dorsey confirmed the team fully supports Josh, his decision, and hopes he gets the help he needs.  So whats the big deal?  Sounds like a man taking some initiative in recovery, right?  Well another wrench was thrown by Brian McCarthy, NFL Spokesman:

“No timetable for return…We’ll address the matter at the appropriate time” 

All of the tweets from Beat guys, the statement from the Browns, and Gordon are supposed to reassure me that everything is a-ok.  That tiny quote scares the absolute shit out of me.  Just sounds like there was a fuck up along the line here.  Josh is in stage 3 of the NFL substance abuse program.  He can be tested up to 10 fucking times a month.  I feel like a failed test is not likely, due the sheer amount of times he can get tested.  If he failed one, we’d probably know by now.  I can see missing tests as an issue.  Knowing you’ve slipped up, so you skip the tests.  To the NFL that’s as good as failing.  Raiders Wideout, Martavis Bryant has plenty of experience with this.

Who knows, as of now, I guess he’s good?  But we’ll have to wait to see Josh Gordon in 2018.  Some things never change.

Image result for josh gordon rehab

Some new faces in Cleveland, but they are still the same old shitstains at heart.

Welcome back, Football.

Cleveland Browns Training Camp Preview 2018.

Image result for new look Browns

I can’t wait anymore.  I just can’t.  We are exactly 6 days away from the Cleveland Browns reporting to Training Camp.  I for one, am counting down the very seconds down until they hit the field.  This season is a lot like the others.  Optimism is through the roof, and I am telling others I’ve never felt better about them going into the season.  Obviously, that is a lie.  It’s the same every year.  Every year is FINALLY the year where it appears the Cleveland Browns will be fielding a competitive roster.   However, this time saying it doesn’t seem so crazy.

A lot of the Browns Off-season activity has been discussed ad nauseam, but lets take a look at some of the pro-level acquisitions (Free Agents/Trades):

  1. Tyrod Taylor-QB
  2. Jarvis Landry-WR
  3. E.J. Gaines-CB
  4. Mychal Kendricks-LB
  5. Donald Stephenson-OL* (he already retired  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )
  6. Darren Fells-TE
  7. TJ Carrie-CB
  8. Carlos Hyde-RB
  9. Terrence Mitchel-CB
  10. Chris Hubbard-OL
  11. Chris Smith-DE

A nice haul of experienced players to fill in where JAGS had started previously.  FINALLY the Browns added proven NFL talent, and got rid of the absolute stiffs that inhabited starting spots previously.  After adding talent at the Pro level, the Browns turned to the NFL draft to strengthen even further:

  1. Baker Mayfield-QB
  2. Denzel Ward-CB
  3. Austin Corbett-OL
  4. Nick Chubb-RB
  5. Chad Thomas-DE
  6. Antonio Callaway-WR
  7. Genard Avery-LB
  8. Damion Rantley-WR
  9. Simeon Thomas-CB

All in all there will be 20 brand spanking new faces in Berea next week.  Think about that, the Browns added 20 brand new players to the roster, just 6 players away from exactly half of the 53 man roster.  This doesn’t include un-drafted Free Agents, or camp invites. John Dorsey, Eliot Wolf, and Alonzo Highsmith have done some serious work to get this thing going. Will it work this time? We are about to find out.

Who am I most excited for at each position group, and who will I be watching closely during preseason?

QB: Tyrod Taylor

No, not Baker Mayfield. Despite picking Mayfield number 1 overall, I am still excited to see what my man, Tyrod can do. We are all well aware Taylor lead the lowly Buffalo Bills to the playoffs for the first time in nearly 20 years this past season, is a first in last out hard working SOB, and he simply doesn’t turn the football over. Tyrod’s got unanimously blown by teammates, coaches, and media members since his arrival in March.

It’s nice to see praise for a Quarterback on the Cleveland Browns Roster. It’s a rare phenomena. So no, I am not most excited to see Baker. Tyrod is a competent Quarterback, something the team was lacking. It was obvious to the vast majority of beat writers that OTA’s and Minicamp were the most crisp practices from a QB they had seen (that’s not saying much I know). Looking forward to seeing him sling the rock to a multitude of weapons, weapons he has not had in previous seasons. Team T-Mobile, baby.

OL: Austin Corbett (Guard, Tackle)

Picked at the top of the second round, Austin Corbett comes in from the University of Nevada. Current Browns guard, Joel Bitonio’s alma mater. The two played together for a brief spell, until Bitonio was drafted. If any of Joel rubbed off on this kid, than we got a gem.

The most intriguing aspect of Corbett is we don’t really have any idea where he will ply. He is seen more as interior lineman, but hasn’t been ruled out as Joe Thomas’ replacement at left tackle. He is one of many options to fill that void, and it will be interesting to see where he plays week 1.

RB: Nick Chubb

Nick Chubb was selected at the top of the second round after the Browns already selected Corbett. Nick Chubb was an absolute monster in College until significant knee and leg injuries sidelined him. He still managed a stellar college career, finishing second, and passing Todd Gurley on Georgia’s all-time rushing list. He also surpassed Kevin Faulk and Darren McFadden for second on the SEC’s all time rushing list.

This kid can do it all, and I am chomping at the bit to see how he is utilized by Todd Haley’s offense. At 5’7 227, Chubb has a frame that suits running inside the tackles. 227 lbs is massive for a dude who’s only 5’7. Early on I expect to see Chubb in short yardage situations. Over time I can see Chubb being the head honcho, but to start the year expect Carols Hyde to be the top back.

WR: Josh Gordon

Since being drafted in 2013 Josh Gordon has failed to participate in a full Off-Season program with the Browns. It’s 2018, and just over a month ago Josh Gordon completed his first full Minicamp with the team. That is just absurd.

Everybody knows what Josh Gordon can do on the football field. Last year, he came back with 5 games to go, and contributed in every one. Josh finished the season with 18 catches, 335 yards, and 1 score. Those look mundane, but for a guy who hadn’t played an NFL snap in 2 years, that’s fucking good.

This year (knock on wood) we will get to experience a Josh Gordon, who completed the full Off-Season program prior to Training Camp. I can’t even imagine what a fully prepared Josh Gordon will be like. The dude dominated stoned to the high heavens, I fear for opposition corners.

TE: David Njoku

Chief David Njoku is coming into his second season, after the Browns traded back into the first round to select him in 2017. He had an average rookie campaign posting, 32 catches, 386 yards, and 4 scores. Not bad, but not lighting up the joint. With how inept the Browns were offensively last season, it’s a goddam miracle he did that well.

This dude is a physical freak of nature. Coming out of college, Njoku was seen primarily as a supremely athletic pass-catcher, but extremely raw. Dude can’t block for shit, and I could give less of a shit. Chief flashed his ability at times last year, but poor game planning, and shit Quarterback play lead to inconsistent performances.

This season, defenses are going to have to shift the bulk of their coverage to Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon, Duke Johnson, and many others. In turn, this should leave Chief with favorable matchups. I hope Todd Haley utilizes him like the Patriots utilize Rob Gronkowski. Get this absolute specimen up the seam for chunks of yardage, utilize his overall size and reach in Red Zone, and draw up crafty Tight End screens. Hopefully 2018 will free up the beast in David Njoku.

DL: Emmanuel Ogbah

How could the Browns be so stupid, and pass on drafting Bradley Chubb? Emmanuel Ogbah that’s why. Ogbah is coming into his third season, after being drafted in the second round in 2016. Playing opposite Myles Garrett Ogbah was developing into an absolute force. An injury halfway through 2017 shortened his campaign. Until he went down, he was playing at a Pro-Bowl pace. He played in 10 total games registering 4 sacks. In 2016 he played a full 16 game slate, and recorded 5.5 sacks. He was on pace for double digit sacks, and lead the team in Tackles for Loss until he went down.

Looking forward to seeing how Gregg Williams unleashes Ogbah in 2018. Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah should be a lethal pass rushing combo.

Linebacker: Mychal Kendricks

Released by the Eagles in May, Kendrick’s signed with the Browns in June. Kendrick’s had requested a trade from the Super Bowl champions, due to a lack of playing time. Welcome aboard my man, we suck you’ll play an ass ton.

In all seriousness, Kendrick’s will be an interesting addition to the Browns defense. He played primarily Outside Linebacker in Philly, but the Browns are trying him out as a Middle Linebacker. Gregg Williams had this to say about the signing,

“Kendricks fits into that role. He is a multiple-position player. He is able to play inside and outside. He is able to play on the line of scrimmage, off of the line of scrimmage, and he will fit in with the packaging that we do.”

Linebacker quickly became an extremely deep position for the Browns. It will be interesting to see who loses playing time with his addition. In the middle Christian Kirksey and Joe Schoebert recorded the bulk of snaps. Schoebert was the Browns lone Pro-Bowl representative last season, and it was only his second season. Kirksey has been a staple in the middle for the past 4 years. He hasn’t made any Pro-Bowl’s but he is a team Captain, and one of few more established Browns. It’ll be interesting to see how Kendrick’s play impacts this group. It never hurts to have depth, but who knows, maybe one has to be dealt down the line?

Secondary: Denzel Ward

Denzel Ward was the Browns second top 5 selection this year, as he was selected 4th overall. Primarily a man-cover corner, Denzel looks to be a future Number 1 shut-down corner. Generally, at least in my opinion, corner is the second hardest position to develop in Football. Quarterbacks are faster in every aspect of the game, and the Receivers are as well. All of this doesn’t seem to phase the kid, as he turned quite a few heads in Minicamp:

The dude was playing with the One’s by the time camp ended. I doubt he is ready to be playing full-time with the starters, but it’s good to see coaches noticed his efforts, and gave him some reps with the One’s for it. I still think E.J. Gaines and TJ Carrie will still get first crack at first team reps, but who knows? A good Training Camp could see Denzel a day 1 starter.

With so many exciting players coming in the door from March until June, HBO picked the Browns to be featured on, Hard Knocks. An inside/unfiltered look into NFL Training Camp.

With a cast of characters like Gordon, Landry, Garrett, Peppers, Chief Njoku, and many more, this series should be very good. Not to mention we’ve got that shit for brains, Hue Jackson running the show. He’s bound to do something stupid, say something stupid, or both. Looking forward to the meme’s and gif’s that come from these 5 hour long episodes.

So, on July 26th, all Veterans will report to Berea for the first practice of Training Camp. We will finally begin to get some answers as to whether or not this is a mirage or not. I certainly hope it is. I mean, there are so many good football players on the team now, I can’t help but think they should be half-decent. Not predicting win totals, but with this roster, they should be drafting in the teens in 2019. That would be a fair and modest goal. Some of the players are calling playoffs, but yeah I don’t think that’ll happen. Sure hope I’m wrong. I hope that 2018 Football season will have at least a few good moments. All I really ask is for it to not completely suck. I don’t think I’m out of bounds asking for that.

Go Browns!

It’s Finally Over.

After the month’s and month’s of crap spewing every which way regarding the Browns draft, we finally got some answers.  With the 1st overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, The Cleveland Browns Selected, Baker Mayfield.

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The whole lead up to the draft almost all of the pundits had the Browns selecting Darnold first overall.   Darnold was my preferred option, and the more I look back, the more I believe that had to do with him being the cardboard cutout of an NFL Starting Quarterback.  Despite everything, Baker was always in the back of my mind to be picked.  He intrigued me the most.   This kid is a winner.  He’s not putting up a front like, Johnny Manziel.  He will come in and work his ass off to beat Tyrod Taylor.  That has always been what Baker Mayfield does.  Naturally, the Browns got absolutely ripped for taking him.  Fans were upset that the golden boy from USC was not selected, and the national perception is that the Browns just picked Johnny Manziel again.  It is simply not true.  There is 1 similarity between the two, and that is their both dicks on the field.  Other than that, they are two completely different football players.

Baker Mayfield

Baker comes into the NFL having been one of College Football’s most productive players ever.  The above PFF scores don’t mean dick really, but it helps us compare him to everyone else.  A recent article on SB Nation really highlights the main differences between all of this years top QB prospects,

“In college:

  • Josh Allen was a tall mediocrity.
  • Sam Darnold coughed up gobs and gobs of turnovers.
  • Lamar Jackson had a slight physique and got hit (and sacked) a lot.
  • Josh Rosen got crushed a lot and never had a chance to shine because of iffy line play and a bad running game, not that he can’t become a great NFL QB himself.

The knock on Mayfield is he’s … a little short, I guess? He’s 6’1, which is on the smaller side for a quarterback, but he still had fewer passes swatted at the line than the 6’5 Allen did.” ( 

I knew all of this going in with Mayfield.  I knew how dominant he was in college, and I still didn’t think the Browns would even consider him.  Public opinion of the team is pretty poor obviously, and I just thought the Haslam’s would not have drafted Mayfield after what happened with Johnny Football. That public perception is wrong, and I am glad the team is ignoring it.

On field, Baker Mayfield is more than capable of being the Cleveland Browns franchise quarterback.  He’s deadly accurate.  In his three years at Oklahoma Mayfield had finished with 68.1, 70.9, and 70.5 completion percentage.  That is at 69% on average.  That is insanely good for a 6 ft. 1 Quarterback.  In terms of play style, Mayfield excels within the pocket.  He is going go through his progressions, and fire the ball downfield.  The scrambling you see is mostly a fail safe, not his first instinct.  He would be decent in designed runs, as he is used to the Run-Pass Option offense.  It is not something you will catch him doing a lot of, as he is a gunslinger.

So, Browns fans quit bitching about Baker Mayfield being picked over Darnold.  This guy is money, and is going own being QB one of the Cleveland Browns.  He is going to put his balls on the line for his teammates, and when we eventually see him on the field it will be because he earned it.  Baker’s always earned it.

Fourth overall was also a pick the Browns got unanimously ripped for.  I on the other hand was doing cartwheels.  With Bradley Chubb on the board, the Browns opted to pick the highest ranked corner in the draft.  It woulda sent me up a fucking wall if the Browns pissed away a draft pick on another edge rusher.  Currently our two edge guys are Myles Garrett, and Emmanuel Ogbah.  Ogbah is less known, but is only entering his third season.  Last season Ogbah played in only 10 games due to injury, and was tied for the team lead in sacks with 4.  He played in 16 games in 2016, and finished with 5.5 total sacks.  What exactly is wrong with Emmanuel Ogbah?   He is super young, on a team friendly deal, and has prior success in oh I don’t know….THE NFL.

The Browns may have reached with Denzel Ward, but he was the best Corner in the draft per many outlets.  I haven’t watched this kid play much, but multiple reports say that Ward is one of very few College corners who plays man-to-man.  That is 100% exactly what the Browns need.  The past few years the Browns have trotted out nothing but JAGS in the secondary, and people are still going to bitch?   Would you prefer Tramon Williams? No? Johnson Bademosi anyone? Nah, you’d rather have Buster Skrine. Give me a break. I’ll leave you with Defensive Coordinator, Gregg Williams statement on the pick.  This comes in Josh Edwards Orange and Brown Report Article explaining the pick.

Image result for denzel ward gif

“Ward. The reason is our need for a press cover cornerback. Denzel probably plays that position as well as anyone I’ve seen in college football in some time. We probably play the most press of any team in the league. There’s another reason. I’ve got a video of 28 snaps of Myles Garrett pass-rushes last year where he gets within two steps or less of the quarterback when the ball comes out. Basically, we aren’t covering long enough to let him get to the quarterback. Myles and others—especially [defensive end] Emmanuel Ogbah—will get more chances because of Denzel.” Ogbah, Williams said, was a major reason why the Browns went Ward over Chubb. “Ogbah’s a rising star in this league,” Williams said. “He’s got a chance to be Chubb.” High praise”  

Couldn’t have said it better myself, Gregg.  Come get some baby!

A full breakdown of the rest of the picks can be found here.   I frankly don’t care about the picks outside of 1 and 4.  I wanted the Browns to identify their guy, and select him at 1.  They did that with Baker.  Now we wait for the new shitheads to arrive, and hit the field.  Go Browns!

Welcome Back, You Fucking Shit Stains.

It’s not a lot but it is something.  The Cleveland Browns have started up Organized Team Activities (OTA’s).  For the first time this new look Browns team will be together in one place.  It is their first chance to wipe off the stink of 2017.

This wasn’t the biggest news of the day regarding our beloved Shit Stains:

Josh Gordon officially signed his Exclusive Rights Tender, putting him on the books for 1 year at roughly $790,000.  This is actually pretty significant to me in terms of Josh staying on the field.  Now, Josh Gordon is on the last of all last chances.  Should single little nugget of Mary Juana enter his body, he is fucked.  No if’s, and’s, or but’s.  With this extension, and the Browns publicly backing him earlier this year, I feel like the Sobriety is going well?  I don’t want to speculate, but I feel like the Browns are comfortable with tagging him.  Hopefully this means no more fuck ups?  Tyrod Taylor spoke to the media today, and stated that Josh was participating in workouts and looked good.

I was all happy about the Browns returning, and working out as a team again.  But, then I got a rotten fucking stench:

LOL okay, Hue.  Go Browns!