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Daily Dawg Chow (7/10/20)by Jon Stinchcomb on July 10, 2020 at 10:30 am
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images More of the latest Browns news and notes from around the web in today’s dose of the Daily Dawg Chow. Cleveland Browns: “Browns allowing season ticket members to opt out of 2020, will mandate masks at FirstEnergy Stadium” (cleveland.com) - “The Browns are joining a number of other NFL teams in allowing season ticket holders to opt out...” “Who emerges as the Browns’ top returner, and will it be more than one person?” (Browns.com) - “There just wasn’t enough improvement in the return game for special teams coordinator Mike Priefer’s liking. He’s vowed for that to change in 2020.” “Browns Vastly Improve in PFF 2020 Offensive Line Preview” (OBR) - “Without question one of the Browns major focal points for 2020 improvement was improving their talent along the offensive line.” “Mary Kay: The Browns would have to get a bargain basement deal to bring in Everson Griffen” (92.3 The Fan) - “Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot joined Ken Carman and Anthony Lima to go over all the latest with the Cleveland Browns.” NFL: “Big Ten to play conference-only schedule in 2020” (NFL.com) - “One of college athletics’ major conferences is dramatically altering its 2020 fall schedule amid the COVID-19 pandemic.” “NFL bans jersey exchanges due to coronavirus” (ESPN) - “Jersey exchanges have gained in popularity in recent years, and their elimination was met with immediate derision from some prominent players on social media.” “Texans star J.J. Watt says he likely won’t play this season if NFL puts one certain rule into place” (CBS) - “The Houston Texans better hope that the NFL doesn’t decide to require face shields this year, because if that happens, J.J. Watt might end up sitting out the season.” “Testing protocol is still being developed” (PFT) - “The NFL and NFL Players Association are reaching the various agreements that need to be reached to allow the 2020 season to proceed on a piecemeal basis. Certain key agreements still need to be finalized.”
Way too early Cleveland Browns season schedule predictions: Part 2by Barry Shuck on July 10, 2020 at 8:00 am
Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images DBN writers have the Browns going into the second half as winners. Will that continue? The writers here at DBN are certainly positive about the Browns’ 2020 season. Here are the current predictions as far as their forecasting the first half of the year: DBN writers predicted win-loss record at mid-season: Matt Wood: 8-0-0Rufio: 6-2-0Barry Shuck: 5-3-0Thomas Moore: 5-3-0 The second half of Cleveland’s schedule is going to make or break their year as the Browns will face four clubs that made the playoffs last season. These final eight games are going to be a tough road. What do the DBN writers feel will happen? Will Cleveland make the playoffs? Is the second half of their schedule a deal breaker? Will the Browns win the division? Or will they falter once again? Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images Week 10: November 15 - Houston Texans @ Browns Thomas Moore: The Houston Texans have been a vexing match-up for the Browns over the years, as Cleveland has not defeated the Texans since 2007, and the past five meetings have not been particularly close as the Browns have lost by an average of 15.2 points. Quarterback Deshaun Watson relives his college days by once again beating an Ohio team for a record of 5-4-0. Texans Matt Wood: The top notch quarterback once again comes out of QB Baker Mayfield in this top shelf match-up. The Browns tide the running game early as the game is tied at half. But in the second half Baker catches fire as WR Odell Beckham, Jr. scores his 10th TD of the season on his way to his fifth 100-yard game. Browns defense puts QB Deshaun Watson in his back six times as Texans head coach Bill O’Brien tries to trade for another offensive tackle after the game. Browns Rufio: The Texans are really good and what they do is a tough match-up for our running game. Add in a maturing QB Deshaun Watson and DE J.J. Watt and their experience as a team and we just fall short in this one. Texans Barry Shuck: I think Houston is a very good team despite losing their ace receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The Browns struggle with running quarterbacks and the Texans have one of the best. Should be a close game and should go down to the final possession. Texans Week 11: November 22 - Philadelphia Eagles @ Browns Matt Wood: With QB Carson Wentz nowhere to be found (actually he is found on IR again) it is a battle between the former Oklahoma Sooner signal callers. No fireworks in this one as the Browns only need 19 pass attempts to bludgeon the Eagles into submission. Browns Rufio: QB Carson Wentz is hurt by this point in the season, and I think that defensive front has been underrated for years but DE Brandon Graham can’t do it forever up there. QB Jalen Hurts proves to be useful as a 2nd round pick, but the Browns pull away in the second half. Browns Barry Shuck: Another playoff team taking on Cleveland. I like the Eagles’ rushing defense behind DE Brandon Graham, ranked third last year which has gotten better with free agent DT Javon Hargrave plus they drafted LB Davion Taylor, a key run stuffer. The Browns will have to rely on the passing attack, which Philadelphia is adept to getting to the quarterback. So far, a 5-5-0 start. Eagles Thomas Moore: For just the second time since “missing out” drafting quarterback Carson Wentz, the Browns face the Philadelphia Eagles. Fun fact: entering his fifth year in the league, Wentz has as many playoff wins as Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Browns remind anyone who still doesn’t get it that they are just fine without Wentz and get back on the winning side of the scoreboard. Browns Week 12: November 29 - Browns @ Jacksonville Jaguars Rufio: I think the Jaguars are set up perfectly this year...to completely tank and draft QB Justin Fields or QB Trevor Lawrence. Their QB is likable enough that fans won’t be chanting for the backup, and they don’t seem to be that good of a team around him. The Browns win another game with a run-heavy second half. Browns Barry Shuck: What used to be a very stiff run defense now can’t stop their own grandmas. The Browns will have a big day with their tandem of running backs in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Plus, half of the Jaguars’ defense is in quarantine due to the virus and can’t play so former Brown Joe Schobert has to make all tackles. Browns Thomas Moore: The Jacksonville Jaguars are another team that has given the Browns issues over the years. Cleveland has dropped three in a row to the Jaguars and have lost on their past two trips to Jacksonville. Outside of a fluke playoff run in 2017, the Jaguars have been sharing space with the Browns in the league basement for that past decade. Times have changed for the Browns, however, and Cleveland walks out of TIAA Bank Field with a win. Browns Matt Wood: Browns looking ahead? Yup. Jaguars’ quarterback Gardner Minshew lights up the Browns in the first half again sending sports talk show host Colin Cowherd to Twitter. But the Browns wake up, force three second half turnovers including two INT’s from CB Greedy Williams as the offense flips the switch in the second half. Browns Week 13: December 6 - Browns @ Tennessee Titans Barry Shuck: Newly acquired OT Jack Conklin has circled this game and is happy he doesn’t have to tackle RB Derrick Henry. The Titans are a grind-it-out type offense and can wear you down. Sure tackling defense ranked third in totals tackles. Finally got the quarterback position solved with QB Ryan Tannehill and Henry tied up for years. Leading up to the game the storyline will be a clash of two behemoths in running backs Nick Chubb vs. Derrick Henry. On paper, the Titans look very good and will be favored. The Browns defensive line is up to the task of stopping Henry, but our linebackers are suspect. Titans Thomas Moore: The Browns open the month of December with a road game against the Tennessee Titans, who embarrassed the Browns in the season opener of 2019. It would be nice to see the Browns get revenge for that game, but until they show they can consistently stop the run, facing a team with a running back like Derrick Henry is not a good thing. Browns drop the game, but everything is about to turn. Titans Matt Wood: The RB Nick Chubb revenge game. After losing the rushing title to RB Derrick Henry on the final game of 2019, Chubb reminds the former Heisman winner who the best RB is. Chubb goes for 215, most of it coming in the second half. Browns Rufio: I like this matchup for us on paper, but the Titans have a great coach and playoff experience. I don’t really believe in QB Ryan Tannehill, I don’t really like what they did in the draft, and I think the Titans are due to regress. But I’ve picked only three Browns losses at this point, which frankly seems insane. We drop a game to the Titans because “any given Sunday.” Titans Week 14: December 14 (Monday) - Ravens @ Browns Thomas Moore: Cleveland makes its return to Monday Night Football with a home game against the Baltimore Ravens. The Browns were not ready for prime-time in 2019, but the times have changed and Cleveland picks up a decisive win against the Ravens to stay in the playoff chase. Browns Matt Wood: ESPN spends the entire week calling it the game of the year and it was a good one. The Browns again take the fight to the Ravens, picking up two early turnovers on QB Lamar Jackson who is returning from his “Madden Curse” injury. But the ground game and the TE Austin Hooper’s two TD performance pushes the Browns to the win and locks up the AFC North crown. Browns Rufio: I really want to pick the Browns here but I just can’t. The Ravens’ off-season moves were great, and QB Lamar Jackson is the fastest man on earth. Still, the Browns have found a way to beat the Ravens each of the past two years, including blowing them out in Baltimore last year. We should have an upgrade at head coach, on the offensive line, and we should have a healthy receiving corps...you know what? Screw it - Browns win. Browns Barry Shuck: It will take more than one season for Cleveland to measure up to the Ravens for division supremacy. This game will be a closer loss than in Week 1, but the Browns’ defense just can’t stop the machine of Baltimore. Not this year. Ravens Week 15: December 20 - Browns at New York Football Giants Matt Wood: The RB Nick Chubb revenge tour makes another stop this time beating the supposed “top RB” in his draft. Chubb scores twice but OBJ has the dagger taking a screen pass 85 yards to put a nail in this one early in the third quarter. Odell is leading the NFL in yards and TDs at this point. Browns Rufio: The Browns lose a hangover game here and some of our starters are out due to injury. I can’t explain this one, but wild things happen in the NFL and this is one of them. Giants Barry Shuck: RB Nick Chubb shows why he is one of the league’s best backs and runs roughshod over the porous Giants defense while he says hello with a stiff-arm to former Browns’ safety Jabrill Peppers. OBJ will have his best game as a Brown in order to show his former team the mistake they made in trading him. New York’s offensive line is two quality guys and then old guys still making a paycheck. Stefanski will try not to run up the score. Browns Thomas Moore: The Browns head to New Jersey to take on the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. The storylines will be off the charts for this game as it marks wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s first game against the Giants, and the first meeting between quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and New York’s Daniel Jones, who Mayfield “disrespected” (not really) in a 2019 GQ interview. WR Odell Beckham, Jr. has a big day and Mayfield proves his point as the Browns win and suddenly have a record of 9-5-0. Browns Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images Week 16: TBD - Browns @ New York Jets Rufio: This is one where the Browns take care of business. QB Baker Mafield lights up the scoreboard and stuffs the stat sheet in a big win. Browns Barry Shuck: Browns remain on east coast to a poor Jets squad. In the second half, expect to see why the club signed QB Case Keenum as the backup as he lights it up. The talk is whether wide receivers OBJ and Jarvis Landry can both make the Pro Bowl in the same season. No contest. Browns Thomas Moore: In a return engagement, the Browns are right back at MetLife Stadium to face the New York Jets for the sixth consecutive season. QB Baker Mayfield runs his career record to 3-0 against the Jets, setting up the Browns for a season finale that will be off the charts. Browns Matt Wood: The game is flexed to PrimeTime as the Browns are chasing perfection and the Jets are but a gnat on the windshield to this train. QB Baker Mayfield does whatever he wants as CB Jamal Adams asks for WR Odell Beckham, Jr. to “come get him” this off-season. ESPN still has an article wondering if this means the Browns are going to trade Odell. Browns Week 17: January 3 - Steelers @ Browns Barry Shuck: The Steelers will regress as the season rolls along, and all that is at stake here is pride within a division foe in an attempt to not get swept. Expect a lopsided game and a look ahead to the Wild Card playoff opponent. Browns Thomas Moore: With a playoff berth on the line, the Browns welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers to FirstEnergy Stadium since November 14, 2019. Before a national audience after NBC flexes the game to PrimeTime, defensive end Myles Garrett takes out his revenge on the Steelers as Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph cowers on the sidelines in fear that he may actually have to enter the game. Before a raucous crowd, the Browns win to earn their first playoff appearance since 2002. Browns Matt Wood: The Browns are out for blood. After a week of questioning of whether or not the Browns would sit their starters against the 0-15 Steelers, they decide to go for the kill. Browns starters CRUSH the Steelers including DE Myles Garrett again getting four sacks on his way to breaking the NFL record for sacks in a season. Browns Rufio: The Steelers are bad now, and we beat them again to complete our first winning season since former QB Derek Anderson was throwing to WR Braylon Edwards and TE Kellen Winslow Jr. Browns DBN writers predicted win-loss record at season’s end: Matt Wood: 16-0-0Rufio: 11-5-0Barry Shuck: 9-7-0Thomas Moore: 11-5-0 The Browns don’t make it look easy getting into the playoffs according to all four DBN writers listed, but finally break the “Wasteland Years” streak and find something which before had only been the speak of lore among the locals called “the post-season.” How do you feel these DBN writers fared? Is Matt Wood off his medications again? Will Cleveland indeed make the playoffs? Is Barry Shuck too much a party foul with a barely winning season? Are the projected win-loss records in line, or too inundated with optimism? Did Rufio copy off of Thomas Moore’s paper with suspiciously identical 11-5-0 records? If the Browns are indeed a playoff club, as a division winner or via a Wild Card bid? Let us know what you think.
Cleveland Browns Training Camp 2020: WR Preview (Part 3)by Chris Pokorny on July 10, 2020 at 1:30 am
Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images Capping off our wide receiver preview for the Browns. In Part 3 of our wide receiver preview, we wrap up the 12 players at the position by looking at D.J. Montgomery, J’Mon Moore, Ja’Marcus Bradley, and Tony Brown. Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images 9. D.J. Montgomery - Backup WR Height: 6-1 | Weight: 201 lbs | Age: 23Experience: 2 years | College: Austin Peay The Browns signed D.J. Montgomery in 2019 as an undrafted free agent. According to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, Montgomery “hit the scouting radar thanks to his size, speed and explosion numbers at his pro day,” complimenting his above average athletic traits while pointing out that he must “improve basic fundamentals of route running and ball skills to have a shot.” He ran a 4.41 at his Pro Day with vertical leap of 37.5 inches. Montgomery made a good impression in training camp last year. With the Browns’ top receivers sitting out, he saw a good amount of action in the first two preseason games, logging a total of 5 catches for 124 yards (24.8 yards per catch) and 1 touchdown. What I liked was his ability to recognize and catch the back shoulder throws: D.J. Montgomery had a night. Really flashed NFL level fluidity and hands on these two back shoulder balls from David Blough. He should find a home on some 53-man roster around the NFL.The Austin Peay product finished with 2 receptions for 47 yards and this touchdown. #Browns pic.twitter.com/a7g23P8Ngm— Jake Burns (@jake_burns18) August 9, 2019 The touchdown grab can be seen here. Montgomery had a hamstring injury after the second preseason game, and as is often the case with undrafted free agents, the Browns placed him on injured reserve to open another roster spot instead of waiting it out with him. It’s hard to make an impression as still a relatively unknown player, but Montgomery’s limited action left me intrigued last year to see when he can do. Final Roster Odds: 10% Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images 10. J’Mon Moore - Backup WR Height: 6-3 | Weight: 205 lbs | Age: 25Experience: 2 years | College: Missouri J’Mon Moore was a 4th round pick in 2018 by the Green Bay Packers. He played in 12 games with the Packers in 2018, mostly on special teams, finishing the season with 2 catches for 15 yards. He didn’t make final roster cuts with the Packers last year. Cleveland signed Moore to their practice squad last November. Last year, our Packers affiliate noted that Moore had a solid camp, but didn’t come through during live action with dropped passes and also some bobbles on the passes he did catch. Here was one of Moore’s drops from 2018: J’Mon Moore drops a potential TD right in his hands pic.twitter.com/BZ37KzDfuY— IKE Packers Podcast (@IKE_Packers) August 10, 2018 Back in 2018, Moore was Dane Brugler’s 16th-ranked receiver, and he offered this assessment: Moore benefited from a high volume of screens, comebacks and stop routes and needs to prove he can handle more diverse patterns in a pro offense. He has the athleticism/length to expand his catch radius, but he is uncomfortable with crowded catch points. Overall, Moore is a good-sized athlete with terrific body fluidity and hand/eye reflexes to make easy adjustments, but he needs to develop his route tree and cut down on the dropped passes to carve out a meaningful role in the NFL. Does it say something that Moore didn’t land on anyone’s practice squad between September and November last year, despite being a 4th round pick? I’m not expecting him to make the roster, but we’ll see. Final Roster Odds: <5% Photo by Aaron Gilbert/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images 11. Ja’Marcus Bradley - Undrafted Free Agent WR Height: 6-0 | Weight: 198 lbs | Age: 23Experience: Rookie | College: Louisiana-Lafeyette Ja’Marcus Bradley was one of two undrafted free agents who the Browns signed following this year’s draft. The Browns gave him $65,000 in guaranteed money, second only to what CB A.J. Green received ($145,000), showing that Cleveland had a definite interest in Bradley despite not drafting him. Bradley was the 50th-ranked receiver on Dane Brugler’s rankings this year: Lining up as the “X” receiver, his production steadily increased each season, including 10 receiving touchdowns each of the last two seasons. Bradley has strong hands to turn erratic throws into completions and he won’t flinch working the middle of the field. While he runs efficient routes and surprises with some shake after the catch, he won’t accelerate past defenders, lacking burst in his releases or out of his breaks. Overall, Bradley has only average size, speed and strength and might have trouble uncovering vs. NFL-level cornerbacks, but his dependable ball skills and concentration give him a legitimate chance to make a pro roster. Bradley also had a touchdown catch at the East-West Shrine game amidst traffic: The East open up the scoring at the @ShrineBowl!James Morgan finds Ja'Marcus Bradley for the TD : @ShrineBowl on NFL Network pic.twitter.com/jvLEF86FtS— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 18, 2020 Final Roster Odds: 10% Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images 12. Tony Brown - Undrafted Free Agent WR Height: 6-1 | Weight: 192 lbs | Age: 22Experience: Rookie | College: Colorado Tony Brown was the Browns’ other undrafted free agent receiver this year, and the 81st-ranked receiver by Dane Brugler from this year’s class. Brown was nicknamed “touchdown Tony Brown” by Colorado offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini, a former Brown himself. The nickname came on because Brown had a touchdown for every 10 catches he had, although that just equates to 5 touchdowns for his senior season. Scouting reports say that Brown shows skills as a good possession receiver, with good route running and ability to use his frame to box out defenders for contested passes. His draft stock was very low, though, because of his 4.65 time in the 40-yard dash. The all-important third receiver role in Cleveland might not need a speedster, though, so it’s up to Brown to be solid in all the other areas of his game. Competing for a spot on the practice squad is more likely. Final Roster Odds: 5%
Daily Dawg Chow (7/9/20)by Jon Stinchcomb on July 9, 2020 at 10:30 am
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images More of the latest Browns news and notes from around the web in today’s dose of the Daily Dawg Chow. Cleveland Browns: “Browns Sign ‘Bama Tackle Wills, Team’s First-Round Pick” (AP) - “The former Alabama star right tackle, who will attempt to slide over to the left side for Cleveland, signed his four-year, $19.7 million contract on Tuesday...” “Browns appear to be out of the bidding for Jadeveon Clowney” (PFT) - “After the Browns agreed to a renegotiated contract with Olivier Vernon, a league source told PFT that Cleveland is unlikely to continue pursuing Clowney...” “Browns expected to play opener at Baltimore before fewer than 14,000 fans” (ABJ) - “The Browns are not expected to play in front of nearly as many fans amid the COVID-19 pandemic as they would under normal circumstances.” “Odell Beckham Jr. provides injury update, brings back blonde hair” (WKYC) - “In a video posted to his YouTube page, Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. provided an update on his recovery and revealed a return to one of his signature styles.” NFL: “RB Raheem Mostert requests trade from 49ers, agent says” (ESPN) - “Running back Raheem Mostert is requesting a trade from the San Francisco 49ers, his agent announced Wednesday.” “NFL, NFLPA discussing plan for potential player opt-outs in 2020” (NFL.com) - “Among the questions lingering in the air amid the COVID-19 pandemic is the potential for players opting out of participating in 2020.” “Patrick Mahomes details restrictions in his new contract: ‘Pretty much every physical activity you can do’” (CBS) - “Mahomes spoke about some of those physical activity prohibitions included in his new contract.” “Dan Snyder Started a Foundation to Support Native Americans. Has It Abandoned Its Mission?” (SI.com) - “For years, the NFL owner in Washington has claimed to serve and support Native Americans. Public records tell a far less flattering story.”
Daily Dawg Chow (7/8/20)by Jon Stinchcomb on July 8, 2020 at 10:30 am
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images More of the latest Browns news and notes from around the web in today’s dose of the Daily Dawg Chow. Cleveland Browns: “Source: Browns DE Vernon restructures contract, will get $11 million guaranteed in 2020” (ESPN) - “The Cleveland Browns have restructured Olivier Vernon’s contract, ensuring the defensive end will be with the team this season.” “What Olivier Vernon’s new Browns deal means for Jadeveon Clowney” (WKYC) - “And while ultimately, the move could be perceived as minor, it will likely have a significant impact on the Browns’ pursuit of the NFL’s top remaining free agent, Jadeveon Clowney.” “Can Damion Ratley Become the Browns Third Receiver?” (BrownsDigest) - “Stefanski’s new offensive scheme will lean primarily on running the ball but developing a strong third wide receiver will be important to the Cleveland Browns overall success on offense.” “Browns C, NFLPA president JC Tretter warns season at risk” (92.3 The Fan) - “Tretter issued a warning Tuesday on the NFLPA website after the NFLPA board of player representatives voted unanimously against playing any preseason games this year.” NFL: “NFL, NFLPA Still Haven’t Resolved All Protocol For Camps” (AP) - “The NFL and the NFLPA haven’t come to an agreement on all protocols for training camp and the preseason as the report date for teams draws closer.” “The problems with the Patrick Mahomes contract” (PFT) - “He potentially could become the best player in league history, at any position. His skills and abilities deserve if not command a contract that reflects his unique talents and blindingly bright future.” “Dak Prescott contract talks: How Patrick Mahomes’ historic payday impacts Cowboys negotiations” (CBS) - “Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs just did Dak Prescott a favor, sort of.” “Broncos adding Mike Shanahan to Ring of Fame” (NFL.com) - “The team announced the two-time Super Bowl-winning coach will be the 34th member of the Ring of Fame. Due to potential COVID-19 disruptions, the ceremony is slated to take place in 2021.”