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Posts of category  "Browns"

The Cleveland Browns fell to 0-3 this past weekend, but wins were picked up by our staff in Week 3 of the Dawg Pound Daily pick ’em pool.

Here we are again. Week 3 in the NFL certainly brought change to the pick percentage this week, as the typical “pick whoever is playing against the Bills, Jets, Colts and Bears” strategy supremely backfired. You can partially blame the Cleveland Browns for that.

Before we dive into the picks that were made, here’s a look at the current standings:

  1. Brandon Onda 33 points
  2. Roger Cohen 32 points
  3. Steven Kubitza 32 points
  4. Thomas Moore 31 points
  5. Andrew Seibt 29 points
  6. Joel Cade 28 points
  7. Joshua Dentler 28 points
  8. Derek Bryner 26 points
  9. Clayton Braham 24 points
  10. Johnathan Goehring 18 points
  11. Matt Stevenson 14 points
  12. Shane Carter 11 points

Weekly Leader: Brandon Onda, 9 correct picks

Mr. Onda, what a week for you! Brandon started the week off right with choosing the Rams over the 49ers which turned out to be quite a game, and was one of only two people to choose Buffalo over Denver. And wouldn’t you know it, he even guessed the Monday Night Football score correctly. Congrats on your good week, Brandon!

Negative Groupthink

There were some heavy favorites this week, but not all of them turned out the way you would expect given the previous track records of the teams involved. Everyone who made selections chose Tampa Bay over Minnesota, Pittsburgh over Chicago, Miami over the Jets, and Carolina over New Orleans.

Using that knowledge, it is safe to say that groupthink tends to lead to bad outcomes. It also begs the question with T.Y. Hilton crippling the Browns that maybe our very own Cleveland Browns are the team that everyone will pick against as a lock until they prove us otherwise.

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BEREA, Ohio — The Cleveland Browns found themselves in a 21-point hole in the second quarter of their game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis Sunday afternoon, and despite mounting a furious late-game comeback, they still suffered a 31-28 road loss.

In order to avoid having to make such a comeback, rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer says the change in culture within the team is “a mindset” for the players on the field.

“It’s 100 percent a mentality walking into the game understanding that the game plan that you have is exactly what is needed to beat that team, and in order to execute that game plan, it’s going to take all of us to buy into it and do our job correctly,” Kizer said.

Despite being responsible for three touchdowns, two passing and one rushing, against the Colts, Kizer shouldered the blame because he tossed three interceptions in a losing effort.

Plagued by dropped passes from his wide receivers and tight ends, Kizer completed only 22 of his 47 attempts for 242 yards and two touchdowns, but committed three turnovers, throwing two interceptions to Colts defensive back Rashaan Melvin and a third that spoiled the comeback attempt late in the fourth quarter.

“You’ve just got to continue to work on your craft,” Kizer said. “This is a game where you’ve got to always be getting better because as soon as you’re not upping your game, you’re getting worse.

“I think it’s my job to make sure that each day in practice that I’m out there working my butt off to become a more accurate passer, I work my butt off to run the ball a little better and have better timing with the guys who are out there with me.”

Although Kizer threw the three interceptions, he was responsible for bringing the Browns back into a competitive situation against the Colts.

The Browns put together a scoring drive and cut the Colts’ lead down to two scores, 28-14, when Kizer completed a one-yard touchdown pass to tight end David Njoku with 24 seconds to play in the first half.

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CLEVELAND — Former Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson has signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, the team announced Tuesday afternoon.

With starter Cameron Marshall working his way through a knee injury and Keinan LaFrance struggling to a 48.6 yards-per-game average over his three starts, the Roughriders reached an agreement with Richardson, who was on the team’s Negotiation List since August.

The Roughriders (6-6) are currently in fourth place in the five-team West Division of the CFL. Currently, the Roughriders, who are 5-2 over their last seven games, are in the crossover (wildcard) spot for the playoffs and have six games remaining in the regular season.

Originally, the holdup of an agreement in the summer was the fact that Richardson wanted just a one-year deal, figuring he would prove himself in the CFL and then, earn his way back into the National Football League.

The No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft out of the University of Alabama, Richardson had a promising rookie season for the Browns, rushing for 950 yards and 11 touchdowns on 267 carries and turning 51 receptions into 367 yards and one score.

Richardson set franchise rookie records for rushing yards (950), total offensive yards (1,317) rushing touchdowns (11) and points scored (72). Additionally, Richardson matched the rookie record for 100-yard rushing games (three), which was set by William Green in the 2002 season.

During the 2012 season, Richardson finished in the top five among all NFL rookies in scoring, receptions, rushing yards, scrimmage yards and first downs.

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The Cleveland Browns have signed WR Bug Howard to the practice squad.

Howard is a 6-4, 210 pound rookie out of North Carolina. Originally signed by Indianapolis an as undrafted free agent, Howard spent the entire preseason with the Colts before being waived on Sept. 2.

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Isaiah Crowell has gained two or fewer yards in 10-of-27 carries this season. (Joshua Gunter / cleveland.com)

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Scribbles in my Cleveland Browns notebook:

1. I’m not going to criticize Isaiah Crowell for being honest. He will soon be a free agent. He hired the Rosenhaus brothers to represent him after his previous agent couldn’t agree on a contract extension with the Browns.

2. Crowell told the media Wednesday that he thinks about his contract, “During the game. After the game. Before the game. Right now, it’s obvious to think about it.”

3. My only criticism would be that during the game, thinking about your contract is not a good way to eventually get paid. It’s one of those dreaded distractions coaches worry about when it comes to their players.

4. Crowell also said, “I feel like I’m a big-time player and I can make plays for the team.”

5. Crowell had a good season in 2016, gaining 952 yards and averaging 4.8 yards per carry. But he is not a “big-time” player. At least, not yet. This is his fourth season. He is 24 years old. There is room for him to improve.

6. The bottom line is production. Hue Jackson said he had no problem with Crowell wanting to run the ball more often. But as the coach said, “You better make plays when you get (the ball). There is a responsibility with that.”

7. Crowell has carried the ball 27 times for 70 yards. It’s hard to know how much of it is the fault of Crowell, how much of it is due to the lack of blocking. But he’s averaging only 2.7 yards per carry. His longest run is 17 yards. He has two others for nine yards each.

8. Looking deeper into Crowell’s stats, he has gained two-or-fewer yards in 18-of-27 carries. Profootballfocus (PFF) ranks him near the bottom of NFL running backs this season.

9. In fact, 10 of those carries were for one yard or less. Those are very negative plays. It’s hard to keep feeding Crowell the ball when not much good is happening. I’m not completely blaming him. I don’t know how much the type of plays called or the blocking has impacted his totals.

10. I’ll throw this out: Last season, Crowell averaged 12.4 carries per game. This season, it’s 13.5.

11. Jackson was concerned about the offensive line as the season opened. All five had not played together during the preseason. Joel Bitonio (knee) missed three weeks. Joe Thomas played only a bit in Game 3 as the Browns protected the knees of their future Hall of Fame tackle.

12. For what it’s worth, Profootballfocus (PFF) ranks Joe Thomas as the No. 2 tackle after the first two games of 2017. Shon Coleman ranks a solid No. 24 out of the 72 tackles they graded.

13. A few more grades: Center JC Tretter is 22 of 34 rated. PFF rated 69 guards. Joel Bitonio was No. 8. Kevin Zeitler was No. 23.

14. The strange part is only Tretter is ranked below average. Yet, the line seems to have struggled with run blocking. It’s hard to know on pass protection because DeShone Kizer is taking so long to throw the ball.

15. PFF said Kizer averaged an NFL-high 3.3 seconds to throw a pass last week in Baltimore. That was up from 3.1 against Pittsburgh. The average quarterback is 2.6 seconds. But some such as Aaron Rodgers are close to 3.0.

16. The Browns being 0-2 is no shock. Kizer playing like a rather raw rookie should be no shock. The migraine for the rookie quarterback was a real surprise, as happened last week in Baltimore.

17. Kizer said the last time he had a migraine during a game was in high school. Migraines are extremely painful. They can almost be paralyzing in terms of a person being bothered by lights, noises and the inability to quickly react to things. Not all migraines are created equal. Some last for more than a day, others are shorter in length.

18. I’m not in a panic about the migraine issue. But it does mean backup quarterback Kevin Hogan has yet another reason to stay ready. Backups are always one play away from getting into the game. The history of Browns quarterbacks staying healthy is … well … they don’t. They get hurt.

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Undrafted out of Louisville, he’s found a home in Cleveland

Within a span of four months, James Burgess Jr. was cut four times. By the time he arrived in Cleveland in late December, he’d seen four different locker rooms but never saw the field.

Month after month passed through the offseason, and Burgess remained a Brown. He got better, stronger and more comfortable with his role in Cleveland’s defense. So when the Browns cut down their roster to 53 at the start of the month, Burgess nervously waited for a call that never came.

He’d finally made it.

Burgess celebrated with a phone call of his own, and he let it all out in a conversation with his mother.

“I called my mom and talked to her for an hour,” Burgess said Thursday. “I told her about all the adversity, all the ups and downs. I was just really blessed.”

Through two games, Burgess has used that blessing as an opportunity to show the Browns why he deserved his spot on the roster. After making big plays in each of Cleveland’s first two games, Burgess could see a major bump in playing time, as veteran Jamie Collins Sr. continues his recovery from a concussion.

Collins didn’t practice Wednesday or Thursday. If he doesn’t participate in Friday’s walk-through, he’d likely be ruled out for Sunday’s game at Indianapolis.

“James is another one of those young guys who came back, had a real good offseason and we said, ‘OK, let’s give him a little more,’” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “We did and then he earned more and he took more. Now, the guy is playing. He is a real important part of our defensive scheme and the things we do. He has done really well, and I’m happy to have him here.”

Burgess said he struggled to hang with the Dolphins, Chargers and Jaguars because of his inexperience on special teams, a vital part of the game undrafted players, especially linebacker, must master if they hope to land a spot on a 53-man roster. Burgess didn’t play much special teams at Louisville, where he started 41 games and compiled 263 tackles over four seasons, but he had to pick it up in a hurry in order to stick somewhere in the NFL.

He did that with the Browns and continues to do so, playing roughly 75 percent of the team’s special teams snaps, while also making big plays on defense whenever the opportunity presents itself.

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Cleveland plays its first game without its No. 1 WR on Sunday

Hue Jackson has liked what he’s seen this week from a Browns wide receivers room that’s experienced a wave of turnover and adversity in recent weeks.

In the week before the start of the season, Cleveland acquired three new receivers via trade and waiver claims. This past week against Baltimore, former first-round pick Corey Coleman, who had a promising performance in the season opener, went down with a broken hand that will keep him out for a minimum of eight weeks.

Rashard Higgins, who was promoted from the practice squad one day before the Ravens game, stepped up in a big way with seven catches for 95 yards. Jackson wants to see similar responses from the rest of the group in the coming weeks.

“I think the guys have all rallied to a man,” Jackson said. “From Kenny Brittall the way to Kasen (Williams) and the rest of the guys and Jordan (Leslie) being back here and Rashard and Ricardo (Louis). They understand there is a job we have to get done and so, I think they went out to practice with (senior offensive assistant) Coach (Al) Saunders and have done a really good job.

“Part of this is knowing what to do, being accountable, being in the right spot at the right time, so we have some guys and that is what we worked through this week and they have done a good job thus far.”

Jackson said he’s personally challenged each and every member of the group, which expanded with a familiar face earlier this week with the return of Leslie to the practice squad. Leslie, who led the team in receiving during the preseason, would need to be promoted before Sunday’s game to have an impact this week but, in the meantime, provides Jackson with another option at his disposal as he assesses how to use Higgins, Britt, Louis, Williams and Reggie Davis, who has been inactive the first two games. Sammie Coates, who saw his playing time expand in last week’s game, has not practiced this week because of a hamstring injury.

Britt, the veteran of the group who has two catches through the first two weeks, said he’s embracing the challenge laid out to him from Jackson.

“0-2 is not where we wanted to be, and it is not where we are going to stay,” Britt said. “As long as we do the right things and do the small things that we have been missing the last two games, I believe that we can be contending in this league.

“We all need to come together to pick up the slack because we know how important (Coleman) is to this offense and to this receiver room. We all just have to band together and be operating as one unit.”

— Myles Garrett was officially a non-participant at Thursday’s practice but the Browns are “closer to him having a chance to be out there than not being out there,” Jackson said.

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BEREA, Ohio — In two games, Cleveland Browns receiver Kenny Britt has two catches, one offensive pass interference penalty and one heart-to-heart with his coach.

These are not the numbers expected from a receiver signed to a $34 million free-agent contract.

“I have challenged our guys every day and I have challenged him that he needs to step up and make plays and I think he will, I really do,” Hue Jackson said Thursday.

Britt said the discussion was “man to man.”

“To step up,” Britt said. “Let me get my energy into practice and the film room, on and off the field, and in the classroom because we are moving down a path that we don’t believe we were going to go. Oh-and-two is not where we wanted to be and it is not where we are going to stay. As long as we do the right things and do the small things that we have been missing the last two games, I believe that we can be contending in this league.”

With Corey Coleman out with a broken hand, Britt on paper would be the team’s No. 1 receiver. Jackson was hard on Britt after he had a key drop in the season opener, but this week he would only say the entire offense has to play better when asked about Britt’s one-catch/two-yard game in Baltimore.

“Again, this is where we are,” Jackson said. “We have to make some plays and we understand that these are the guys that we have and Kenny is the elder statesman in that room and I think he will raise up and help lead these young guys, and we will go play good this week.”

The Browns looked on Britt as a co-No. 1 with Coleman before the injury, though, and he has two receptions in five targets. Against Baltimore, Britt had more penalty yards (10) than receiving yards (2).

“I’ve always been up to any challenge,” Britt said. “Always been a competitive person. If the coaches want to go out there and kick the ball down the field, I’ll go out there and do it.”

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CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 10: DeShone Kizer #7 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates after rushing for a touchdown in the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Browns face the Baltimore Ravens in their first road contest of the season. Here is how to watch or listen to today’s game.

The Cleveland Browns take on the Baltimore Ravens today in Cleveland’s first road game of the year.

This being an AFC North Division game, the numbers are pretty ugly for the Browns as they have lost 16 of the past 18 meetings with Baltimore. The good news is that the last time the Browns beat the Ravens it was in Baltimore, so they have that going for them.

Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer will be making his first NFL road start and, a week after facing the Pittsburgh Steelers, is ready to take on another divisional bully, according to clevelandbrowns.com:

“It has been a long time since I played in a loud away game so I am looking forward to that. We are going to do everything we can to prepare for that. Obviously, mixing up the cadences. We might get a little bit of crowd noise going in practice hopefully, and do my best to over-communicate in practice because we know when it comes down to playing in an away stadium, you are going to have to be able to get in tandem.”

A win would make Kizer the first rookie to post a victory against the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium and set up the Browns, who take on the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals in their next two games, to potentially be the league’s early surprise team.

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