2018 Browns Training Camp Week 1 Recap.

Image result for Baker Mayfield Training Camp

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.

Higgins stats.JPG

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.

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Well…We’re Fucked.

In case you have been living under a rock the past couple of days, The Kansas City Chiefs have traded Quarterback, Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins.  In return, Washington received a 3rd round draft pick in 2018, and second year Cornerback Kendall Fuller.  In addition, Alex Smith signed a four year $91 million dollar contract extension with Washington.   The trade cannot be officially completed until March 14th, when the new league year begins.  Theoretically, there could be “take backs” called by one of these two teams between now and then.

This is a massive deal for many reasons, first being Kirk Cousins is officially out in Washington.  I will never understand that organizations’ contempt for him.  From the very second he was named starter over Robert Griffin III, Kirk was never really respected as a true Franchise Quarterback.  All while Kirk was showing them wrong on the field.  After 3 seasons, the Kirk Cousins saga is finally over in Washington, it’s going to very much heat up around the league come March.

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I initially thought Alex Smith would be the first big move of John Dorsey’s tenure as Cleveland Browns GM.  Like with many acquisitions, the Browns were beaten to the punch by another team.

Oh fucking well.  That’s the way the ball bounces for the Cleveland Browns.  Like the Jimmy Garoppolo deal the Browns were frozen out.  Likely this is a case of the Chiefs doing Smith a solid.

Sounds like Smith would not have been thrilled to play in Cleveland, not that he has any reason to be thrilled.  I am not overly frustrated because, well it’s Alex Smith.  He just got an albatross of a contract extension, and it seems as if the Browns were only willing to commit short-term.  The problem with this deal is that it likely takes 2 quarterbacks off of the “Veteran Bridge Starter” short-list for Dorsey.   With every Quarterback needy team salivating over Kirk Cousins, I thought for sure the Browns would swoop in and silently trade for Smith.  The Browns simply due to cap space are still likely in the conversation for Kirk, but I can’t imagine him not picking Denver.  How could you not?  The more I thought about it, the less I can see the Browns landing captain Kirk.  They should do everything in their power to land him, but I just don’t see it happening with Denver sitting there all QB needy.  John Elway is going to rob the Browns a third time.  You just know it.  The Broncos had offered a 2nd round pick, AND Aqib Talib for Smith, and that was turned down.  You can certainly see Elway pulling out all the stops to land Kirk.

The Jets and Bills feel like viable landing spots for him too.  Both teams are solid on the defensive side of the ball, and have a few quality pieces on offense to intrigue Kirk.  While I desperately want Kirk to dawn turd colored pants, it just doesn’t seem like a good landing spot for him.  They are likely on this list due to the shear amount of money available to spend.

Now that those two are out of the way, lets take a look the remaining Unrestricted Free Agent Quarterbacks this off-season:

  1. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints.
  2. Hasn’t re-signed with the Saints yet. Would expect him back in NOLA.**
  3. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers.
  4. **Technically has not re-signed with San Francisco.  He will re-sign there no doubt.**
  5. Image result for jimmy garoppolo 49ers
  6.  Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins.
  7. **Will be a Bronco on 3/14.** 
  8. Image result for kirk Cousins 2018
  9. Case Keenum, Minnesota Vikings.
  10. **This guy blows.  Hard pass.**
  11. Image result for keenum skol
  12. A.J. McArron, Cincinnati Bengals.
  13. **Sashi Brown is rolling in his hypothetical grave**
  14. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings.
  15. **Will re-sign in Minny. Youngest QB on their roster with positive upside.**
  16. Image result for teddy bridgewater sucks
  17. Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings.
  18. **Viable option in the Alex Smith mold.  Can see him being high on the Browns wish-list**
  19. Image result for Sam Bradford 2018

Overall, considering what is normally out there for Free-Agent Quarterbacks, it’s not a bad list.  There are a few other names that could be moved as well.  Tyord Taylor could be released or traded by Buffalo.  Initially, I was all-aboard Team Tyrod.  Then this years playoffs happened.  Boy oh boy did he ever suck in the Wildcard game against Jacksonville. He couldn’t hit check-down routes in the hands.  A brief look at his playoff stat-line:

Tyrod playoff stats

Image result for Tyrod Taylor playoffs

Depending on his contract situation, and how he plays this Sunday, Nick Foles is another prospective bridge guy.  Big Dick Nick would have to put on one hell of a display for me to want the Browns to go after him.  If he is a Free-Agent, by all means give it a go.  If not, don’t sell the farm to bring him in.

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I seem to be changing this prediction as to which Veteran Quarterback I would like the Browns to bring in.  First I wanted Tyrod, then Kirk, then check down Alex, and back to Kirk.   It’s exhausting really.  I guess with new developments I will make a new prediction:

Based off of prior events, I would think that AJ McCarron will be fumbling snaps next season in Cleveland.  Just remember:

Image result for Hue Jackson AJ MccArron

Welcome to Cleveland, Katherine Webb-McCarron!!!!!!

Image result for Katherine Webb McCarron

Rays Trade Evan Longoria to Giants

Breaking news: The Tampa Bay Rays and the San Francisco Giants have agreed on a trade that will send 3B Evan Longoria and cash to the Giants for 3B Christian Arroyo and OF Denard Span along with prospects LHP Matt Krook & Stephen Woods.

Bad news for Pablo Sandoval, looks like hes out of a job again. This now gives the Giants another big bat in their lineup to go along with Buster Posey.

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For the Rays, they get a young player who has great upside and a veteran CF that they can plug in for a year. The Rays also shed Longoria’s contract and even though its a bargain it will still help lower their payroll.

In the end, it looks like both sides win. I would give a slight edge to the Giants because Longoria is a stud and will help them immediately.