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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 28, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening statement)- “How’s everybody doing? Once again, I’ll just add to what I said last night. Front to back I think our guys play hard, let’s get that once again. We can all play better and I think the results will come. As I go through it, I’ll start with special teams. I think the special teams last night had a positive contribution to our effort, I really do. They had zero return yards from the punt return standpoint. We asked Reggie (Hodges) to put the ball up, which he did. A couple of the punts were short, but we wanted the ball up in the air. We wanted to minimize the effect that a great returner had on the game. I think we did that. I was pleased with heavy balls, a wet environment and old Phil Dawson just keeps going. He’s amazing. He scores from a special team standpoint. I thought our coverage units did a nice job. I think the special teams last night was a positive contribution to our effort. They need to continue to be consistent, as well as better, so that we win our games.

“I thought defensively, when I look at it, we can talk about individual players, but I thought our run defense for the most part was much improved from the last time we played Baltimore, much improved. That’s a team concept, it’s a credit to the guys up front and of course the secondary when they fill their lanes as well. I think that’s good. Craig Robertson, the guy is finding a way to make a play. (Joshua) Cribbs gets knocked around, we lose the ball, they drive down, getting ready to score and we pick them off. It’s a big turnaround and it’s a big play. It’s a credit to him because that’s not the first time he’s done that. I though even though we tangled with Anquan Boldin, who had an outstanding night, the guys covering him challenged him. He made some great catches in contested areas. Joe Flacco made some great throws. Our guys battled and we can build on that from a defensive standpoint. Again, it’s about the score. You knock the pick six out of there, you just look at points and I think that’s what this league’s about.

“Offensively, there were flashes of good play. I do think we gave away some gimmes early in the game. When you give away gimmes early in the game where it keeps you from moving the football, then what happens is late in the game, you get a couple scores separating you from a victory, then Trent’s (Richardson) not quite as involved. There are certain things that happen. You can point to things that happened at the end of the game that were contributed to by things that happened near the beginning of the game. I think that’s the important thing of our guys putting lots of good plays together throughout. Those are the things we create. We can’t give away gimmes. We had some drops, not acceptable. There’s a zero tolerance for that. I will say this, we have some tough guys out there playing that are not catching the ball efficiently enough, and we just need to keep working with them. That’s the reality of it. In the passing game, of course, there were some inaccurate throws, there were times when he got pressured. We played an outstanding defense, and I think our guys battled. I think that’s kind of how it goes.”

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Browns' Ray Ventrone accuses Ravens of 'playing dirty on offense'

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 28, 2012

Browns special-teams ace Ray Ventrone accused the Baltimore Ravens of playing dirty Thursday night in their 23-16 win over visiting Cleveland.

But Ventrone wasn’t referring to Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe’s crushing blow to the helmet of Josh Cribbs during a punt return in the first quarter. Ventrone actually called it “a clean hit.”

However, Ventrone took exception to some things he said the Ravens’ offense did.

“They were playing dirty on offense,” Ventrone said today. “Watch the film, man. There was some dirty stuff going on.”

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Game day blog: Browns at Ravens (Week 4)

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 27, 2012

Final score: Ravens 23, Browns 16 (game story; game in review; Marla Ridenour's column; notebook; box score)

Here is the game story:

BALTIMORE: With the lights shining bright on a national stage, the Browns fired their slingshot and just missed Goliath by a hair.

The Browns started their final drive with 1:05 left in the fourth quarter and scratched and clawed enough to put themselves in striking distance at the end of the game, but the Baltimore Ravens escaped a potential upset. The Browns lost to the AFC North rival Ravens 23-16 on a rainy Thursday night at M&T Bank Stadium.

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says regular officials to work Browns' road game vs. Ravens

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 27, 2012

Updated with officiating crew being named

The Browns’ game tonight against the Baltimore Ravens will mark the return of regular officials and the exit of their replacements.

In a joint statement, the NFL and NFL Referees Association announced that they have reached an agreement on an eight-year collective bargaining agreement.

"Our officials will be back on the field starting [Thursday] night," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in the statment. "We appreciate the commitment of the NFLRA in working through the issues to reach this important agreement."

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Wednesday's Browns-Ravens injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 26, 2012

Injury report for Sept. 26

Browns – Out: LB James-Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring) and TE Alex Smith (concussion). Questionable: S Ray Ventrone (hand). Probable: CB Sheldon Brown (chest), WR Josh Cribbs (knee), OL Jason Pinkston (ankle), DE Frostee Rucker (wrist), RB Trent Richardson (knee) and LS Christian Yount (shoulder).

Ravens – Questionable: OT Jah Reid (calf). Probable: LB Brendon Ayanbadejo (knee) and CB Lardarius Webb (knee).

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Browns WR Mohamed Massaquoi ruled out vs. Ravens because of injured hamstring

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 26, 2012

The Browns have ruled out starting wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi for their game Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens.

Massaquoi injured his left hamstring Sunday with about nine minutes left in the third quarter of the Browns’ 24-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills. With Massaquoi out, receiver Jordan Norwood is expected to be active for the first time this season.

Massaquoi has nine catches for a team-high 145 yards this season. He has been rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden’s most reliable target.

“He’s a guy that’s been consistent all year,” Weeden said Tuesday. “He’s made a lot of great plays. He’s made plays. He’s a guy I have a lot of confidence in. I’m hoping he comes back sooner rather than later. He’s gonna be missed. He’s a guy that doesn’t make a bunch of mistakes and a competitor, great teammate and kind of a leader for the rest of the receivers.”

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Tuesday's Browns-Ravens injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 25, 2012

Injury report for Sept. 25

Browns – Did not participate in practice: WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring) and TE Alex Smith (concussion). Limited participation in practice: CB Sheldon Brown (chest), WR Josh Cribbs (knee), LB James-Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique) and S Ray Ventrone (hand). Full participation in practice: OL Jason Pinkston (ankle), DE Frostee Rucker (wrist), RB Trent Richardson (knee) and LS Christian Yount (shoulder).

Ravens – Limited participation in practice: LB Brendon Ayanbadejo (knee), OT Jah Reid (calf) and CB Lardarius Webb (knee).

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Transcript from news conference with Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 25, 2012

Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(On if he wants to rip the replacement officials)- “I’m not going there.”

(On how tough a test it is for the rookies to face the Ravens defense)- “Going on the road is its own dilemma. Tough defense, very hostile environment and I think coach Shurmur puts it the right way when he talks about everybody has seen RV’s before, but what do RV’s do? They go places and they plug into somebody else’s electricity. I think that’s what we’ll be attempting to do as we head out to Baltimore.”

(On what the biggest challenge is getting the running game going)- “Putting yourself in a situation where you feel like you can run the ball and run it for four yards or so per carry. I’m mindful of the fact that we threw the ball a good bit in the second half, but we felt like that was the best way to be able to move the football at that point in time, but just being able to be consistent with it so you can continue to go back to it.”

(On if he could point to some things they left on the field that would have gave them a respectable amount of yardage last game)- “I think a couple of those go balls, certainly. Somewhere you’ve got to hit one of those or otherwise they go in the books as a long foul ball. We’ve had a couple opportunities up the field and we need to hit a couple of those things because those have a way of taking some people out of where you’re playing.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 25, 2012

Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(On the challenge of getting the young defensive tackles up to NFL speed)- “You’re talking about Billy (Winn) and John (Hughes)? They’ve done a really good job. When we drafted both of them, we were anticipating that they would have to play, and that they would have to play early. At this stage, they’ve done better than we anticipated they would be able to do. We really believe they’re just going to get better as we keep moving along. I’m really pleased with them. I think Pee Wee (Dwaine Board) obviously has a lot of experience with the defensive line, and he does a great job with those guys. We’re really happy with them.”

(On if he will further tweak the secondary for Thursday’s game)- “As you well know, we have a lot of young players, and we’re giving them all opportunities to play. We like them. We just would like to get a little more production out of that position especially, at the free safety position going into that game (last week). We made the move, Usama (Young), Tashaun (Gipson) and T.J. (Ward), they all played very well, which we anticipated that they would, but you never know, particularly with a younger player, a rookie when you put him out there. They all showed up and made plays. That was very encouraging for us.”

(On f the secondary’s struggles are a ripple effect from not having Joe Haden)- “You never want to be without your starting corner, obviously. Clearly it has some effect, but again, we like our guys. They’re young and they’re developing, but they play hard. The experience that they’re gaining hopefully in the long run will serve us well. You don’t ever want to be down any starter at any position. I wouldn’t say corner is any more important than the defensive line or linebacker, but you definitely don’t want to be down starters.”

(On how you defend Joe Flacco)- “It’s hard. He’s got great speed now at the receiver positions. He’s got a very, very strong arm so he can reach about anywhere on the field with the ball. If the play lasts longer than you anticipate, it’s hard to defend it. It’s hard. We would like to disrupt them coming off the line of scrimmage, we just have to try to change up what we do trying to do that. We like to press, pressing speed is a little bit scary, but you can’t just let them run at you either. It’s got to be a combination of everything. The pass rush has to put pressure on him so he’s not comfortable, and can’t measure every throw. Then we’re going to have to be on top of people down the field because they can run and he can throw it a long ways.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 25, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening statement)- “We’ve got a lot to do today still. It’s a Friday schedule, but it’s also a Wednesday and Thursday schedule. We had a good walk-through, the meetings have been great and we’ll go out and really get the main practice in for the preparation. A bit of housekeeping, Ray Ventrone will be our fourth captain, which I think is fitting. He’s a tough guy, a special teams guy. He had a hand injury, fought back, played last week and I think it’s a good choice.”

(On how big of a test the Ravens are for his younger players)- “Every game is a big test. The new challenge this week of course is it’s a short week and our guys have an opportunity to play at night on national TV, but other than that each week is tough. We can talk about how good they are and I think you can go position by position and talk about how good they are. I think we are too so we’re going to go down there and battle it out.”

(On what he will stress the most to Brandon Weeden about the Ravens defense)- “I think what’s important is he’s got to play an efficient game and if we have shots that show up, we’ve got to hit on them.”

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Browns WR Mohamed Massaquoi continues to miss practice with injured hamstring

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 25, 2012

Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress said he doesn’t expect wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi to miss Thursday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.

But Massaquoi did not practice today or Monday. The injury report will be released later today.

When asked what the offense would lose if Massaquoi is out for the game, Childress said, “I’m not anticipating that with Mo.”

Massaquoi injured his left hamstring Sunday with about nine minutes left in the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills.

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Monday's Browns-Ravens injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 24, 2012

Injury report for Sept. 24

Browns – Did not participate in practice: WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring) and TE Alex Smith (concussion). Limited participation in practice: CB Sheldon Brown (chest), WR Josh Cribbs (knee), LB James-Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique) and S Ray Ventrone (hand). Full participation in practice: OL Jason Pinkston (ankle), DE Frostee Rucker (wrist), RB Trent Richardson (knee) and LS Christian Yount (shoulder).

Ravens – Did not participate in practice: LB Brendon Ayanbadejo (knee). Limited participation in practice: OT Jah Reid (calf).

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 24, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening statement)- “I’ve got nothing much more to add than I did last night in terms of this past game. We’re obviously moving fast towards playing the Ravens. What I will say is two three-and-outs, two punts that gave them field position and two scoring drives makes it 14-0 and until we become more explosive in all areas of our game, that’s a tough way to start a game. Was our team ready to play? Absolutely. Did we execute efficiently? Absolutely not. When you start a game that way that’s what happens. I felt like, just like every week, I thought our guys fought hard. We need to play better, we need to coach better, we need to do everything better and then we’ll win games. With that being said, the fact that it’s a short week we sped up the process of correcting yesterday and we’re obviously right now working on playing Baltimore on Thursday. As you know we’ll be out there on the field today and we’ll have to amp it up and get ready to go down and beat Baltimore who won last night on the last play of the game. We all know they’re a good team and they’re even better when they’re at home. It will be a big challenge for us, but we need to go down there and do it.” 

(On if he expects to have Mohamed Massaquoi this week)- “He’s going to be day to day. There’s not many days so we’ll see.” 

(On if Alex Smith will be able to play)- “Day to day as well.” 

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Browns coach Pat Shurmur on Greg Little: 'We can't play a guy that's gonna drop footballs'

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 24, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur indicated wide receiver Greg Little could be in danger of losing his starting job.

Little continues to be plagued by dropped passes. He also continues to strike celebratory poses when he does make plays.

In the wake of the Browns’ 24-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills, Shurmur made it clear he’s tired of the act.

“We can’t play a guy that’s gonna drop footballs,” Shurmur said this afternoon during a news conference. “But I will say this: We have a young roster with young players, and that’s the reality of it, too. So we need to work with them and inspire them to play better. Now am I dealing with that? Are we working with that as we go along? Absolutely. But that’s not an excuse. That’s the reality, so we all need to do better.”

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Incoming Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III: 'It makes total sense' for Jim Brown to have role with team

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 23, 2012

Incoming Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III wants Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown to have a role with the organization.

Haslam met with Brown on Saturday night and the two hit it off during a meeting that lasted about an hour. Both men spoke to reporters today at Cleveland Browns Stadium before the Browns (0-2) began their game against the Buffalo Bills (1-1).

“Jim and I both agreed that it makes total sense for him to be involved with the Browns, and we both agreed it didn’t make sense to rush into anything,” Haslam said. “We exchanged cell numbers. We agreed to talk on an as-needed basis and get together at some to-be-determined time in the future. He travels a lot and we travel a lot and hopefully we’ll find a time to get together. But I had a really enjoyable visit. Besides being a great football player, he’s a great man.”

Brown said he would love to have a role with the organization. He described Haslam as “very insightful, very open” and said the meeting couldn’t have been better for him.

“At some later date we can talk about a role that I can play officially,” Brown said. “But in the beginning, all I want to do is be an asset to his making the proper transition and not being in his way or ask for anything. But I'm very happy that he has had time to meet with me already. This is very quick and he made time last night without hesitation so he knows how to pull the trigger. We are very fortunate to have an individual like that. And his background with the [Pittsburgh] Steelers is invaluable because that's a top class organization and he was part of that family. So we talked about that. There was no downside, all positive.”

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Game day blog: Browns vs. Bills (Week 3)

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 23, 2012

Final score: Bills 24, Browns 14 (game story; game in review; Jason Lloyd's column; notebook; Jim Brown returns to Cleveland; box score)

Game action

End 4Q: Bills 24, Browns 14 - The Bills opened the fourth quarter with a 9-play, 68-yard drive capped by Fitzpatrick’s touchdown pass to Stevie Johnson, who put a double-move on Dimitri Patterson and found some open space with nine minutes remaining. The Browns’ next drive stalled and Weeden was then intercepted twice—the first by Leodis McKelvin with 4:21 left and the second by Bryan Scott inside of two minutes—to seal the game.

End 3Q: Bills 17, Browns 14 - The Browns drew closer on Weeden’s 22-yard touchdown pass to Travis Benjamin, who found some space with a nice post-corner route late in the quarter to make it 17-14. After starting the game 0-6 on third downs, the Browns converted three in a row on a 13-play, 80-yard scoring drive. Rien Lindell hit a 37-yard FG earlier in the quarter. Receiver Mohamed Massaquoi left the game with a hamstring injury and is questionable to return.

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Friday's Browns-Bills injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 21, 2012

Injury report Sept. 21

Browns – Out: LB James-Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique) and TE Alex Smith (concussion). Questionable: WR Josh Cribbs (knee), DE Juqua Parker (foot) and S Ray Ventrone (hand). Probable: OL Oniel Cousins (ankle), LB Scott Fujita (knee), WR Greg Little (back), RB Trent Richardson (knee) and DT Billy Winn (concussion).

Bills – Out: RB Fred Jackson (knee) and WR Ruvell Martin (ankle). Questionable: FS Jairus Byrd (ankle). Probable: LB Nick Barnett (knee).

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 21, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening Statement)- “I really don’t have much more to add, I think we’ve done enough talking this week. It was a good practice and with that I’ll take your questions.”

(On Jordan Cameron getting more snaps with Alex Smith out and his comfort level with Cameron as a blocker)- “I think he’s a good blocker. I think he’s developing into a blocker that you need to be in this league. Yeah, I feel like he can block.”

(On how Josh Gordon is coming along)- “Josh is doing great. He’s come along well.”

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Video: Hall of Famer Jim Brown says he 'would love to have a role with the Browns'

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 21, 2012

AVON: Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown is back in Cleveland with plans to meet incoming Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III Saturday and hopes of developing a new role with the organization.

“I am forever a Cleveland Brown,” Brown said this morning during an alumni golf outing at Avon Oaks Country Club.

President Mike Holmgren removed Brown from his role as adviser to owner Randy Lerner more than two years ago, and there has been friction between the two sides since. Brown said Holmgren reached out to him, and they plan to meet sometime this weekend. Brown called Lerner a good man, but he doesn’t believe Lerner wanted to own the team.

Brown also intends to talk to with rookie running back Trent Richardson, whom he called “ordinary” on draft day in April. Brown conceded Richardson impressed him Sunday in the Browns’ 34-27 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

“I saw a flash of the talent and I loved it,” Brown said.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 20, 2012

Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(On if the check down, catch and run to Richardson last week was good)- “It was good, it was a score so I don’t know how it can get any better than that. Any time you can make people miss that’s a plus. We would like to say we got them all blocked up on every play, but his God-given athletic ability showed up big time on that.”

(On if Richardson has a nose for the end zone)- “I think he can get in there a couple of different ways. He can make you miss and get in clean air and he can also lower his pads and run through you to get in there. It’s nice to be able to go a foot or horseback.”

(On if Richardson was embarrassed or wasn’t himself the first game against Philadelphia)- “You know I don’t think he was embarrassed. I just don’t know that he had that many opportunities in air. Most of his runs were in-line and he was never able to bounce or catch the ball out with a little bit of air to be able to turn his shoulders and square up on a defender. I think it’s probably just circumstances that happened in that second game.”

(On how important Brandon Weeden’s pocket awareness was last week)- “It’s just how you expect the quarterback to play. We talked last week about being in the 65th percentile and I think he accomplished that. I think some of the things you don’t see were him standing strong in the pocket, the pocket courage. You talked about sliding in the pocket, but just standing there in the teeth of a couple of throws and getting hit in the nose. That’s an important facet and not moving your feet when you don’t need to so he did some of those things as well let alone orchestrate and do a good job with the game plan.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 20, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening statement)- “It’s a Thursday practice - short yardage, goal-line, third downs and we’re working on red zone as well. What’s obvious as you go through the preparation for Buffalo is they’re a good football team and they found a rhythm that works well for them this past game against the Chiefs. It’s going to be an outstanding challenge for our guys so that’s what we’re preparing for.”

(On the conversation with Trent Richardson when he asks if Richardson needs a breather)- “I can see right away that I’m just going to quit asking him because he’s a competitive guy. He’s not the kind of guy that taps out. I don’t want our guys tapping out, but we as coaches keep an eye on them and if we can get a fresh guy in there we try to do that. I think that’s good for our team, it’s good for our city. Trent’s one of those guys.”

(On Richardson’s willingness to stay in the game)- “I think that’s what you’re looking for. You’re looking for guys that are passionate, productive and stay durable. I think he’s got all of those things.”

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Thursday's Browns-Bills injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 20, 2012

Injury report for Sept. 20

Browns – Did not participate in practice: LB James-Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique) and TE Alex Smith (concussion). Limited participation in practice: WR Josh Cribbs (knee), DE Juqua Parker (foot) and S Ray Ventrone (hand). Full participation in practice: OL Oniel Cousins (ankle), LB Scott Fujita (knee), WR Greg Little (back), RB Trent Richardson (knee) and DT Billy Winn (concussion).

Bills – Did not participate in practice: RB Fred Jackson (knee) and WR Ruvell Martin (ankle). Limited participation in practice: LB Nick Barnett (knee) and FS Jairus Byrd (ankle).

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Transcript from news conference with Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 20, 2012

Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron spoke to reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(On if playing against Ryan Fitzpatrick this week brings about thoughts about Harvard vs. Yale rivalry) – “No, it didn’t until now.”

(On if that particular rivalry means anything to him) – “Oh yeah, it does. It’s not between Ryan and I, but it was a huge thing in my college career. (I) love that rivalry.”

(On what a Harvard vs. Yale game was like) – “(It was like) any other football game you’ve ever been to. It was well attended, loud fans, very interested fans and a lot of preparation. It was probably like almost any other game you’ve ever been to, just been around a lot longer than most of them.”

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Browns OC Brad Childress says RB Trent Richardson to 'grow into' playing more on third down

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 20, 2012

Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress said today rookie running back Trent Richardson will likely begin to play more snaps on third down.

But it remains to be seen how soon Richardson’s workload increases.

Richardson played 48 of the Browns’ 67 snaps (72 percent) Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Chris Ogbonnaya served as the team’s third-down running back.

“We kind of use him as we see fit,” Childress said of Richardson. “We had Obi written into the plan last week and for right now he’s doing a good job with that. That’s always some of the hardest things to learn is picking up the protections and that type of thing. But we’ve got guys. I believe many hands make light work and so you want to use guys whose particular skill level really kind of fits that situation. I think Trent, you’ll see Trent grow into playing more and more on those third-down situations.”

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Incoming Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III ranked 360th on Forbes' list of richest Americans

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 20, 2012

Soon-to-be Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III is ranked 360th on Forbes’ list of the 400 richest Americans.

Haslam’s net worth is $1.2 billion, according to the magazine. His fortune is a result of his family’s business -- truck-stop empire Pilot Flying J.

Haslam agreed to buy the Browns from Randy Lerner for about $1 billion on Aug. 2. The sale is expected to be approved by NFL owners at their meeting Oct. 16 in Chicago.

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert also made the list. Forbes ranked Gilbert 250th with a net worth of $1.9 billion.

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Wednesday's Browns-Bills injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 19, 2012

Injury report for Sept. 19

Browns – Did not participate in practice: LB James-Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique) and TE Alex Smith (concussion). Limited participation in practice: OL Oniel Cousins (ankle), WR Josh Cribbs (knee), DE Juqua Parker (foot), S Ray Ventrone (hand) and DT Billy Winn (concussion). Full participation in practice: LB Scott Fujita (knee), WR Greg Little (back) and RB Trent Richardson (knee).

Bills – Did not participate in practice: FS Jairus Byrd (ankle), DT Marcell Dareus (not injury related), RB Fred Jackson (knee) and WR Ruvell Martin (ankle).

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 19, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today before practice. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening statement)- “We’re getting ready to play Buffalo. I think Buffalo found the right combination last week against the Chiefs. They moved the ball well, they scored points. As well all know, they’ve upgraded personnel on defense and then of course they made a big play in the kicking game. It was a good bounce-back for them against a good opponent and it is going to be a big challenge for us. We know what we’re facing and we know what we have to do. The only other bit of news at this point is that this week’s game captain will be Alex Mack. Once again, I think our three captains chose wisely on that.”

(On how Alex Smith is doing)- “Alex is doing fine.”

(On if Smith will practice today)- “We’ll see. I would consider him day-to-day.”

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Highlights from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 19, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today before practice. Here are some of the highlights:

Every-down back

Shurmur suggested the workload of rookie running back Trent Richardson could increase when the Browns (0-2) host the Buffalo Bills (1-1) Sunday.

Richardson had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Aug. 9, missed the entire preseason and had a disappointing NFL debut in the season opener before breaking out Sunday with two touchdowns and 109 rushing yards in the Browns’ 34-27 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

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Browns LB Scott Fujita's meeting with NFL over bounty case canceled

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 18, 2012

Browns linebacker Scott Fujita was scheduled to discuss the New Orleans Saints’ bounty case today with the NFL, but the meeting was canceled.

Fujita did not travel to New York to talk to league officials because he wanted to receive treatment on his left knee, an NFL Players Association spokesman said. Fujita planned to participate in a videoconference instead, but the NFL wanted to have a face-to-face conversation, the spokesman said.

“Scott is committed to a just and fair resolution in this matter, but he is also committed to his teammates and his club,” the NFLPA said in a statement e-mailed to the Beacon Journal. “He is still undergoing treatment for a knee injury and is preparing for this week's game. We scheduled a video conference with the league but they informed us that they were only interested in an in-person meeting."

Fujita’s meeting with the league will be rescheduled, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com reported.

The NFL suspended Fujita for three games and accused him of contributing money to a pool that allegedly paid his former Saints teammates for intentionally injuring opponents. Fujita has repeatedly denied the allegations, insisting he paid teammates for big plays like sacks and interceptions but not for trying to hurt opposing players.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 17, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening Statement) – “Preparation for week three, let’s just talk about the game for a minute. I think I hit my feelings last night after the game. When you sit there and watch it, I go back and I see some things that were mistakes, and some things that were good plays we got away with. I thought for the most part, we made progress without winning, which means you didn’t make progress. That’s number one, so let’s leave it at that. Beyond all that, I’ll answer your questions about specifics. We’ll get ready to play Buffalo, a team that bounced back and played a good game yesterday and beat a team that I think is pretty good in the (Kansas City) Chiefs. I haven’t had a chance yet to watch it. We’re just finishing up the corrections with the team. I feel good about the way the team came in today and I feel good about the week of preparation we’re going to have. I’ll talk to you about injuries if you have specifics, but for the most part most of the guys we talked about yesterday, we’re just going to have to see day-to-day.”

(On what mistakes ate at him the most after watching film) – “It’s hard to say. All the mistakes eat at me a little bit. I didn’t see anything that was repeated from the first game. Like I said, I thought our guys played hard. I think penalties are one thing you’ll talk about. Believe it or not penalties (are) the correlation to winning and losing. We can all look that up. Penalties hurt and you have to overcome them. Some of the penalties that we had, we didn’t overcome. The ones that I don’t like are the pre-snap ones, of course, that are correctable. The ones involving effort and all that business, judgment of whether it was or wasn’t, you have to coach against making those types of errors. It’s a fine line between then backing your guys off where they don’t play hard. For me, the ones that are avoidable, truly avoidable, are the pre-snap ones that put you behind on the downs.”

(On his reaction to Trent Richardson’s two big plays yesterday) – “I thought Trent played a much better game than week one. I think that’s a statement of the obvious. I still think he can do some things better when he doesn’t have the football, which means we probably ought to give him the ball every time he’s in there. I thought he ran hard, his legs looked fresher. He looked to me like a guy that practiced all week. I think that’s important for running backs no matter how many reps they get in practice they got to practice all week and get their turns.”

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Game day blog: Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (Week 2 from pregame to postgame)

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 16, 2012

Final score: Bengals 34, Browns 27 (game story; Marla Ridenour's column; notebook; box score)

Pregame notes

Inactives: Browns – quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, wide receiver Jordan Norwood, running back Brandon Jackson, safety Ray Ventrone (hand), rookie linebacker James-Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique), offensive lineman Oniel Cousins (ankle) and linebacker Tank Carder. Bengals – cornerback Jason Allen (thigh), rookie cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (knee), halfback Bernard Scott (hand), tight end Donald Lee (thigh), wide receiver Ryan Whalen, tight end Richard Quinn and defensive end Carlos Dunlap (knee).

Lineup changes: Browns – Dimitri Patterson will start in place of suspended cornerback Joe Haden; Buster Skrine will start in place of Sheldon Brown, who is active despite suffering a neck stinger in Week 1; and Scott Fujita will start at strongside linebacker after sitting out last week. Bengals – Robert Geathers will start in place of Dunlap; and Vontaze Burfict will start in place of Thomas Howard, who’s on injured reserve.

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Friday's Browns-Bengals injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 14, 2012

Browns – Out: LB James-Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique) and safety Ray Ventrone (hand). Questionable: OL Oniel Cousins (ankle), OL John Greco (calf) and TE Benjamin Watson (thigh). Probable: CB Sheldon Brown (neck), TE Jordan Cameron (groin), WR Josh Cribbs (knee), LB Scott Fujita (knee), WR Josh Gordon (knee), OL Alex Mack (knee), RB Chris Ogbonnaya (ankle), RB Trent Richardson (knee) and OL Joe Thomas (knee).

Bengals – Out: LB Thomas Howard (knee) and CB Dre Kirkpatrick (knee). Doubtful: TE Donald Lee (thigh). Questionable: CB Jason Allen (thigh), DE Carlos Dunlap (knee) and HB Bernard Scott (hand). Probable: S George Iioka (ankle) and CB Adam Jones (illness).

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 14, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today after practice. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening Statement)- “I didn’t want to come in today, but the guys that do the weather assured me it would rain, and it did rain hard. I think the practice was good. I think the preparation this week has been good. I felt like our guys have done what they can to this point to go out and try to get a victory. That’s where we’re at.”

(On how much more Trent Richardson has his legs under him this week)- “I think it’s fair to say he’ll be better ready to play this week than last. I watch it every time he comes out here, he looks a little bit crisper and smoother.”

(On if Richardson has been more explosive this week)- “I think that’s fair to say. I think running backs do need to get their legs underneath them. Him having missed practice at the outset probably hurt him a little bit. Now, he’s had a chance to practice two weeks fully, I think he’ll start to get back on track.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 13, 2012

Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(On how much could the receiver’s progress affect the rhythm of what he was trying to do offensively) – “There’s disruption going on. Those corners are good corners, maybe the best pair around. The way that they play is a kind of up in your face style, which is something that we need to be able to contend with, probably on a weekly basis here. Does it disrupt timing? Sure. Sure it does. It disrupts timing in any offense that you play. Those off schedule throws, those ones that aren’t timing throws, they’re just as important as the ones that are the rhythm one time throws. ”

(On what he can do during the game to get Brandon Weeden back on track) – “You’re trying to give him throws that he’s comfortable with. We had our chances, we had some swings at it, and we just didn’t execute quite the way we needed to execute.”

(On the challenges to dealing with Weeden as a rookie the week after his first start) – “That’s usually the quarterback coach’s job. That’s usually part father confessor, part psychiatrist, hug him and help them up off the floor. That’s what happens in that quarterback room and that’s a weekly deal. It’s the same way as sticking a pin in it when you think you’re better than you really are. It’s always easier to coach a humble guy, and he’s a humble guy anyway. Just propping him back up and getting him back up on the horse, I think that’s the biggest thing. I’d worry about him if, I’ve said this before to you guys, he didn’t keep shooting, which you got to keep shooting. You can’t all of a sudden kind of go in the fetal position.”

(On a play in the fourth quarter when you get the ball and drive toward mid field) – “You’re really going to have to paint a picture for me, because that one’s so far gone. That’s like a hundred years ago right now.”

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Thursday’s Browns-Bengals injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 13, 2012

Injury report for Sept. 13

Browns – Did not participate in practice: LB James-Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique) and safety Ray Ventrone (hand). Limited participation in practice: OL Oniel Cousins (ankle), OL John Greco (calf), OL Joe Thomas (knee) and TE Benjamin Watson (thigh). Full participation in practice: CB Sheldon Brown (neck), TE Jordan Cameron (groin), WR Josh Cribbs (knee), LB Scott Fujita (knee), WR Josh Gordon (knee), OL Alex Mack (knee), RB Chris Ogbonnaya (ankle) and RB Trent Richardson (knee).

Bengals – Out: CB Dre Kirkpatrick (knee). Did not participate: TE Donald Lee (thigh). Limited participation in practice: CB Jason Allen (thigh), DE Carlos Dunlap (knee), LB Thomas Howard (knee), S George Iioka (ankle) and HB Bernard Scott (hand). Full participation in practice: CB Adam Jones (illness).
 

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Transcript from news conference with Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 13, 2012

Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(On the challenger of not having your best cornerback)- “It’s never a good thing, but the guys that have been here and have developed here have done a fine job so they’ll get a chance to go out and compete. You never want it to happen though, obviously you’d like to have Joe (Haden) out there playing, but that’s the way it is so we’ll be okay. We’ll be alright. It’s a challenge for anybody to play against their skill people. Their skill people are very good. They’ve done a nice job and they’ve done a nice job against us so we’re going to have to step up and play better than we have.”

(On A.J. Green making big plays against the Browns last year)- “He made big plays, no doubt about it.”

(On if Haden did a good job on A.J. Green other than two big plays last year)- “Joe’s done a pretty good job against everybody, but you can never eliminate the one play. The one play, no matter where it is, it could be the first play or the 78th play, they’re all critical in the course of the game. Definately as you all know very, he’s a very talented receiver. Size, speed, he’s got really good hands and they target him so the ball is going to go to him.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 13, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today before practice. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening statement)- “It’s a pretty good morning so far, guys are focused. I thought our preparation yesterday was good. If I had to evaluate it, it was a better Wednesday practice this week than last week. I thought generally speaking, preparation last week was good so some of these young guys are learning how to practice, which is very important. This is a game that you have to practice and regardless of whether you’re in pads or not it’s important that you get a lot done and I think our guys are truly starting to understand that.”

(On if the Bengals are better than they showed on Monday)- “I think it’s important, first off, that you don’t overreact to what happens in the first game of the season. They put out a team where they had a lot of new players and both of us lost so that’s the reality of it. I’ve been very impressed with Marvin’s (Lewis) team. Competing against them last year, as you know, we were ahead and didn’t find a way to stay ahead. They came back and beat us in the end so that’s something we’ve got to work on. Watching tape you still see some of the same things you saw last year. From a defensive standpoint, they’re willing to pressure, they’re big, they’re physical and they do a good job of covering and so that challenges the offense. Then on offense, of course, Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, (Jermaine) Gresham, BenJarvus Green-Ellis has filled in pretty seamlessly as a running back for them. He had close to 100 yards. I know they’re working in some young and new offensive lineman, but we can say the same about our team. I’m very impressed with them. I think they do a good job. They way they play offense and defense fits for them and they good job on special teams.”

(On what makes Jermaine Gresham a tough matchup)- “Well, his size. He’s a big basketball player-looking guy and you can put the ball around him sometimes and he’s covered and he can make a play. That’s important for a tight end because there are times when you just can’t get separation and the ball goes up. Usually taller guys have longer arms, shorter guys have shorter arms. I think that’s pretty natural.”

(On if his younger linebackers give him a better chance to cover tight ends this year)- “I don’t know. I think that some of our younger guys run extremely well and the matchup is important. When you throw the ball to the tight end, a lot of times, he’s part of the inside part of the route combinations. We’ve got to get pressure on the quarterback as well to help speed that up or distract that throw.”

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Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress defends QB Brandon Weeden

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 13, 2012

Is there any possibility Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden isn’t ready to start yet? Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress doesn’t believe so.

“I don’t feel that way,” Childress said today during a news conference. “I don’t think he cowered in the face of it. I thought he had a good demeanor during the course of the game.”

Weeden completed just 12-of-35 passes for 118 yards with four interceptions in the Browns’ 17-16 season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. He finished with a passer rating of 5.1.

Childress gave an explanation for each interception.

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Wednesday's Browns-Bengals injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 12, 2012

Injury report for Sept. 12

Browns – Did not participate in practice: LB James-Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique) and S Ray Ventrone (hand). Limited participation in practice: OL Oniel Cousins (ankle), OL John Greco (calf), OL Joe Thomas (knee) and TE Benjamin Watson (thigh). Full participation in practice: CB Sheldon Brown (neck), TE Jordan Cameron (groin), LB Scott Fujita (knee), OL Alex Mack (knee), RB Chris Ogbonnaya (ankle) and RB Trent Richardson (knee).

Bengals – Out: CB Dre Kirkpatrick (knee). Did not participate: TE Donald Lee (thigh) and CB Adam Jones (illness). Limited participation in practice: CB Jason Allen (thigh), DE Carlos Dunlap (knee), S George Iioka (ankle) and HB Bernard Scott (hand).

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 12, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today before practice. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening statement)- “Just for the record when we’re in here I know we all have a job to do and listen, I only joke with people I admire. I know you guys have a hard job to do so just keep that in mind. I think there’s a time when a little sense of humor helps things. Would you all agree? That being said, this week’s game captain will be Frostee Rucker. I think it’s a good choice and he played for the Bengals, I just don’t want him to peak too soon. I think he’s done a lot of good things since he’s come to town and he’s displayed some of the veteran leadership that you need to see. I appreciate that and our players chose him to be the fourth captain. I think it’s a good choice. Otherwise, it will sound a little bit redundant like it is as you develop a routine to play the next opponent, but its Wednesday. We’re working on base, getting ready to play Cincinnati.”

(On how tough of a blow it is to the secondary with Joe Haden suspended)- “We’re going to miss Joe for a month and the next guys in there will do a good job. I’m very confident that the players we have on this team will go in and challenge and play extremely well. That’s just the way it goes and we’re all aware of the rules so we move forward.”

(On if he was disappointed that Haden got in trouble)- “Joe had an outstanding training camp, I think he made plays throughout the preseason and then in our first game he had some real good plays. We had these conversations, I anticipate that when he comes back he’ll pick up where he left off.”

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Coach Pat Shurmur says Browns moving on while CB Joe Haden serves four-game suspension

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 12, 2012

Updated following the 20-minute portion of practice open to media

The Browns know losing starting cornerback Joe Haden for the next four games is a major blow to their defense, but they must focus on moving on without him.

Haden’s suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances took effect Monday. He played Sunday in the Browns’ season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles while awaiting the league’s decision on his appeal.

“We’re gonna miss Joe for a month, and the next guys in there will do a good job,” Shurmur said today before practice. “I’m very confident that the players we have on this team will go in and challenge and play extremely well. That’s just the way it goes, and we’re all aware of the rules. So we move forward.”

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Soon-to-be Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III steps down as CEO of Pilot Flying J

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 12, 2012

Jimmy Haslam III is not yet the official owner of the Browns, but he has already shown he’s all in with the organization.

Haslam stepped down as the CEO of his family’s truck-stop empire, Pilot Flying J, and will assume the role of chairman, the company announced Tuesday. John Compton, president of PepsiCo, will replace Haslam as CEO of Pilot Flying J.

Haslam struck a deal Aug. 2 to buy the Browns from Randy Lerner for about $1 billion. The purchase is expected to be approved by NFL owners when they vote Oct. 16 during their meeting in Chicago.

Haslam has already shown he'll be hands-on with the Browns. He has attended several practices, a few preseason games and the Browns' regular-season opener Sunday.

Haslam has served as CEO of Pilot since 1994.

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Browns LB Scott Fujita fills spot on 53-man roster created by CB Joe Haden's suspension

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 11, 2012

The NFL lifted the exemption for Browns strongside linebacker Scott Fujita today, meaning he’s back on the team’s 53-man roster. The Browns did not need to cut anyone because cornerback Joe Haden’s four-game suspension created a spot for Fujita.

The Browns received a roster exemption from the league Friday after Fujita’s three-game suspension for his alleged role in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal was overturned by a three-member appeals panel. Fujita, though, did not play Sunday and remained on the exempt list until today.

Browns coach Pat Shurmur said Fujita, who’s coming back from an injured left knee, will practice this week.

The NFL announced Haden’s suspension for violating its policy on performance-enhancing substances Monday. Haden is no longer on the active roster as a result.

The Browns also signed offensive lineman D.J. Young to the practice squad and released former Ohio State offensive lineman Jeff Shugarts from the practice squad. Young spent the first 16 weeks of the 2011 season on the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad before being promoted to the active roster for the final game.

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Browns reach injury settlements with DT Scott Paxson, rookie CB Antwuan Reed

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 11, 2012

The Browns have reached injury settlements with defensive tackle Scott Paxson and undrafted rookie cornerback Antwuan Reed and released them from injured reserve.

Paxson tore the MCL in his right knee Aug. 10 during the Browns’ preseason opener against the Detroit Lions, a league source said today. The injury does not require surgery, but the typical recovery time is about six to eight weeks.

Paxson was waived/injured Sept. 1. He cleared waivers and was put on IR the next day.

Paxson’s settlement was done within five days of his placement on IR, so he will be eligible to return to the Browns six weeks after the length of the settlement.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 10, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening Statement) – “Let me just start by saying, it’s no more or less disappointing that we lost that first ball game. This is the day when you go back and you look at it all, you re-evaluate it, you try to make corrections and I would say from a defensive standpoint, I thought it was a great effort. (I) talked all offseason about getting turnovers, which we did, and yards aside, we eliminated scoring on a very explosive offense. To hold that offense to 17 points in over 90 plays I think is a pretty good job. We got pressure on the quarterback. I thought there was solid play from the defensive line (and) the linebacking core, which obviously there were a lot of young players out there playing and even in the secondary. When Sheldon (Brown) got hurt, the guys in the secondary did a good job of really limiting the big plays. They got a big play in the two minute drive before the half, and they had some other things that happened, but I thought they battled. A great effort can’t be confused with a win and there are some things in there that we have to get better at. On offense, I think it’s fair to say that every phase of the offense needs to improve. Although at times, I did think the pass protection was pretty decent. We need to run the ball better. We have to put more plays together. We have to do better on third-down. We have to do better in the red zone and you have to take care of the football. You can ask me specific questions, but it’s just got to be better. The special teams, very solid effort. I thought they contributed significantly to what could have been a victory. I thought some of the young linebackers on the team, some of the young secondary players, show up on special teams and they did some good stuff. (Tashaun) Gipson and (Johnson) Bademosi and (Tank) Carder, who has only been here a week. (Joshua) Cribbs obviously did some great things. Alex Smith played a big role in his effort to block. When I look back on it, we were right there. I look at some of the things that happened in the game. We had a 1:26 (remaining) and we have the football and they have three timeouts. If we execute on that third-down play, now we’re in control of, possibly stepping it up and going after a score. At 3-3 at that point, I thought that was the right way to approach it. Then later in the game, seven minutes to go, we’re up by six, we’re in around mid field, we execute those two or three plays a little bit better, we get a few more downs. We can, at the very least, kick a field-goal, now you’re talking about a nine point game. There are things in there that we need to do better if we want to be the kind of team we want to be. Those are the things we talk about.”

(On the first step to Brandon Weeden improving) – “I think he’s got to look at this game and make the corrections. (I) told the team this, every error that happened yesterday is correctable and I think that’s the great news. We’re not looking at plays and situations that they can’t improve on. That’s where he’s at right now. He’s finishing that process of watching the game, which he had already watched by the time he got here today. Make the corrections, which will be very obvious to him, and of course we need to take care of the ball better.”

(On if Weeden was the first guy in the building) – “I don’t know that. I was more concerned about me.”

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NFL announces Browns CB Joe Haden has been suspended four games

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 10, 2012

Browns cornerback Joe Haden has been suspended four games without pay for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances, the league announced this evening.

Haden’s suspension begins immediately. He will be eligible to return to the active roster Oct. 8.

As part of its policy, the league did not announce any further details about Haden's violation. ESPN Cleveland reported Aug. 8 that Adderall use triggered Haden’s failed drug test in the offseason.

Haden repeatedly declined to comment on the report.

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Browns coach Pat Shurmur says rookie QB Brandon Weeden won't lose confidence despite dismal debut

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 10, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur believes rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden will bounce back from his dreadful NFL regular-season debut in the team’s 17-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

“He won’t lose his confidence,” Shurmur said this afternoon during a news conference.

Shurmur made it clear he’s prepared to stick with Weeden through thick and thin. Fans who want the Browns to give backup quarterback Colt McCoy a chance won’t have their wishes granted anytime soon if Shurmur has it his way.

“Clamoring for Colt?” Shurmur said. “Brandon Weeden is our starter, and he’s gonna get better. That’s what I’m gonna tell them.”

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Game day blog: Eagles 17, Browns 16 (Week 1 from pregame to postgame)

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 9, 2012

Final score: Eagles 17, Browns 16 (game story; notebook; Trent Richardson's quiet NFL debut included big blast; Marla Ridenour's column; Jason Lloyd's column; box score)

End 4Q: Eagles 17, Browns 16 - D'Qwell Jackson intercepted Michael Vick early in the fourth quarter, Vick's fourth pick of the day, and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown to give the Browns a 16-10 lead. But a steady diet of Vick and LeSean McCoy were enough to pull off the game-winning score, a four-yard pass from Vick to tight end Clay Harbor on third down with 1:18 left in the game. Brandon Weeden's first pass of the potential game-winning drive drive air-mailed and was intercepted by Kurt Coleman. 

End 3Q: Eagles 10, Browns 6 - The Browns added a field goal and then ended the third quarter with Joe Haden's interception of Michael Vick and a 50-yard return to the Eagles 22-yard line. A defensive holding penalty gave the Browns first and goal at the 7-yard line. Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is in the locker room getting an IV and has yet to return to the game. T.J. Ward has returned. Brandon Weeden was again picked in similar fashion while looking for Bejamin. 

End 2Q: Eagles 10, Browns 3 - The Browns defense very nearly kept the Eagles offense out of the end zone for the first half. That was until Jeremy Maclin turned Joe Haden around in the end zone and Vick found him for an 18-yard post-route touchdown with 17 seconds to go in the second quarter. Maclin also beat Buster Skrine for a 46-yard gain on the play before. Brandon Weeden's rookie-status showed as well. Weeden had Ben Watson and then Massaquoi wide open from midfield, but didn't see Watson and overthrew Massaquoi on the same drive. At the half, Weeden is 7-19 for 68 yards and two interceptions. Trent Richardson has been held largely in check. He has 25 yards on 11 carries, but did wow the crowd when he ran over Kurt Coleman and popped his helmet off with the hit. Coleman later had his chin looked at on the sidelines. Safety T.J. Ward, who has a forced fumble and a sack, is questionable to return with cramps. 

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Browns cancel plan to honor Art Modell before game Sunday at request of family

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 8, 2012

The Browns had planned to honor Art Modell before the regular-season opener Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium, but they canceled their tribute at the request of the Modell family, Neal Gulkis, the team’s vice president of media relations, said today.

Modell, who bought the Browns in 1961 and moved the team to Baltimore in 1996, died Thursday of natural causes at age 87.

Gulkis said the Browns had hoped to “strike the right balance” between respecting Modell and their fans, many of whom are still angry about his decision to move the team. The Browns intended to give recognition to Modell with a brief public address announcement, not a moment of silence or any type of scoreboard display, Gulkis said.

But Modell’s son, David, spoke to Browns President Mike Holmgren, and the plan was nixed.

“At the request of the Modell family, we will not be having a public recognition at the game,” Gulkis said. “The final decision was made [Saturday] based upon respecting their wishes.”

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Friday's Browns-Eagles injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 7, 2012

Injury report for Sept. 7

Browns – Out: LB James-Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique). Doubtful: OL Oniel Cousins (ankle). Questionable: TE Jordan Cameron (groin), OL John Greco (calf), QB Thaddeus Lewis (right thumb), RB Chris Ogbonnaya (ankle), RB Trent Richardson (knee) and TE Benjamin Watson (thigh). Probable: FS Eric Hagg (illness), CB Dimitri Patterson (knee), SS Ray Ventrone (hamstring) and SS Usama Young (thigh).

Eagles – Out: S Colt Anderson (knee) and WR Riley Cooper (collarbone). Questionable: RB Dion Lewis (hamstring). Probable: S Nate Allen (hamstring), DE Jason Babin (calf), LB Jamar Chaney (hamstring), DT Fletcher Cox (knee), LB Casey Matthews (ankle) and OT Nate Menkin (shoulder).

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Appeals panel overturns suspensions of Browns LB Scott Fujita, other players in bounty case

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 7, 2012

Starting strongside linebacker Scott Fujita will be allowed to play in the Browns’ regular-season opener Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles after all.

Fujita is back on the active roster, a team spokesman said. The Browns have been granted a roster exemption, so they can keep 54 players and don't need to cut anyone, the spokesman said.

Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated reported today that a three-member appeals panel has overturned the player suspensions in the New Olreans Saints’ bounty case. Albert Breer of NFL Network reported the league has reinstated Fujita, Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove and Will Smith for this weekend's games.

Fujita received a three-game suspension from the NFL for allegedly contributing money to a pool that paid players for intentionally injuring opponents when he played for the Saints. Fujita has repeatedly denied the accusation.

Fujita did not immediately reply to an e-mail from the Beacon Journal.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 7, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today after practice. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening Statement)- “Final preparations, obviously we’ve got a walk-through tomorrow and meetings, but I thought the practice was good. There’s really not much more to add. I think we’ve all asked a lot of questions and I think I’ve given a lot of answers as to where we’re at. Now it’s getting to be close to that time when we go out and play. That’s where we’re at.”

(On if everything went okay with Trent Richardson yesterday)- “He had a great day, and he did today what I expected.”

(On importance of establishing an effective ground game against Philadelphia)- “I think it’s important that we’re able to run the football as well as throw the ball effectively. I think that’s primary in all contests. I’m sure they’re going to say the same thing about how they need to play the game.”

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Browns RB Trent Richardson, CB Joe Haden continue to practice

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 7, 2012

Rookie running back Trent Richardson (underwent arthroscopic surgery on left knee Aug. 9) and cornerback Joe Haden (appealing a suspension for a reported failed drug test) continued to practice today for the Browns.

Richardson and Haden are expected to play Sunday when the Browns host the Philadelphia Eagles in the regular-season opener for both teams.

Offensive lineman John Greco (calf) returned to practice today. Greco’s return is important because the Browns had only one healthy backup offensive lineman, rookie Ryan Miller, practicing earlier this week.

Offensive lineman Oniel Cousins (ankle) and rookie strongside linebacker James-Michael Johnson (oblique) continued to sit out.

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Browns spokesman says team to give 'appropriate recognition' of Art Modell at stadium Sunday

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 7, 2012

The Browns will give “an appropriate recognition” in memory of former owner Art Modell Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium, said Neal Gulkis, the team’s vice president of media relations.

Modell, who bought the Browns in 1961 and moved the team to Baltimore in 1996, died Thursday at age 87.

The NFL is asking each home team to observe a moment of silence or to honor Modell in some other way.

Gulkis said the decision to pay tribute to Modell in Cleveland was made by the Browns. He said the plans have not yet been finalized, but the acknowledgement will probably be held during pregame.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 6, 2012

Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(On if he thinks Brandon Weeden is ready for Sunday) – “Yes. By all measures, this would be the next step for him. The speed of these regular season games, I think he has come along just about like you’d expect a rookie quarterback to. I don’t think it has been too big for him. I think he has gone about it very methodically. You appreciate that, coach and quarterbacks, he’s a flat line guy. You don’t like to see those big spikes and ups and downs. You like to see somebody handle that.”

(On if they will have to monitor Trent Richardson on Sunday) – “I’d still like to fall back and watch him practice another couple days and then I think we’ll probably make those decisions. Yesterday was really the first heavy workload that he has had. You always want to see how they respond and then come back to practice today and then respond, particularly when you’re talking about his situation.”

(On how gifted is Richardson) – “He’s gifted. I don’t think you get an appreciation for him until you really see him in full pads. You watch the OTA’s and that type of thing, but I don’t think you can get the full measure of him until you see him shrug a couple people off and be physical and that type of thing. Those are all things that for you guys remain to be seen.”

(On if there is a way to speed up Richardson’s comeback after missing the entire preseason) – “I don’t think there’s any way to speed up the conditioning. Certainly some of his rehab has been conditioning oriented. We always talk about as coaches, being in football shape and carrying your pads. At a point in time, he was pretty good there, but that kind of wanes after a while of inactivity.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 6, 2012

Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(On how he deals with having so many injured players specifically linebackers)- “It’s really unfortunate obviously losing Chris (Gocong) and then Scott’s (Fujita) situation. The young guys have responded really well. We believe we got lucky, we think they’re three good young players. JMJ (James-Michael Johnson) is not practicing right now. They are really enthusiastic, athletic, maybe not the biggest, but fast and both of them are tough. They work well with D’Qwell (Jackson), so we’ve got a good thing going there. Kaluka’s (Maiava) had a terrific camp. Kind of quietly, he’s gone about his business. He got himself in terrific shape, really competed at a high level, and we know he’s a very tough guy. I think we’ll be alright. I believe we’ll be okay.”

(On if there is a positive to having so many young players)- “I don’t know that they’re any more eager than Chris and Scott, those two guys are really professional, but they’re also very highly motivated. They practice fast, they did, they practice fast, and D’Qwell does also. I don’t know, I guess there are a lot of ways to look at it. Would you rather have somebody with a lot of experience? Maybe. Would you like to have a young player with a lot of experience? Yeah. How do you do that? We have those guys and we really like them and we’ll just keep moving forward and work with them.”

(On how to stop Michael Vick)- “Not many people ever have. He’s an extremely talented athlete as we all know, incredibly strong arm, can reach almost any part of the field with the ball. He throws it pretty well on the run too, and he really can run. You can talk about trying to keep him in the pocket - you can’t really keep him in the pocket. You’ve got to be successful some of the time. I believe you’ve just got to play, go play your game, play as fast as you can. He’s going to make plays, you’ve got to hope you can limit them, and then play the game.”

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Thursday's Browns-Eagles injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 6, 2012

Injury report for Sept. 6

Browns – Did not participate in practice: OL Oniel Cousins (ankle), OL John Greco (calf) and LB James-Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique). Limited participation in practice: TE Jordan Cameron (groin), QB Thaddeus Lewis (right thumb), RB Chris Ogbonnaya (ankle), RB Trent Richardson (knee) and TE Benjamin Watson (thigh). Full participation in practice: FS Eric Hagg (illness), CB Dimitri Patterson (knee), SS Ray Ventrone (hamstring) and SS Usama Young (thigh).

Eagles – Out: S Colt Anderson (knee) and WR Riley Cooper (collarbone). Limited participation in practice: DT Fletcher Cox (knee). Full participation in practice: S Nate Allen (hamstring), S Colt Anderson (knee, ruled out as noted above), DE Jason Babin (calf), LB Jamar Chaney (hamstring), RB Dion Lewis (hamstring) and LB Casey Matthews (ankle).

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 6, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news confernece:

(Opening statement)- “I thought yesterday’s practice was good. We got a change to get a lot of work done. The heat was there, which was important. This is day two, of course as you know on this day we work on short yardage, goal-line, third downs and then review the base so that’s where we’re at. I can feel the excitement building amongst our players and we’ve got a solid work day today and we’ll come back tomorrow and Saturday and finish the preparation.”

(On if Joe Haden is practicing today)- “Yeah, Joe’s practicing.”

(On if they got word that Scott Fujita could play Sunday is his fitness level high enough for him to play)- “This is all hypothetical and each player and his ability to play will be considered on an individual basis. I think we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it.”

(On the passing of Art Modell and the passion of the fan base and how they might have a hard time reconciling him moving the team)- “I never met Art Modell and I’m sure it’s a very sad day for his family and friends. I understand the passion involved in all situations. All I can think about is I’m sure it’s a sad day for his family and friends and beyond that I really don’t have any other comment.”

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Browns President Mike Holmgren shares memories of Art Modell

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 6, 2012

Here are the memories Browns President Mike Holmgren shared about Art Modell, the former owner of the Browns who moved the team to Baltimore in 1996 and died today at age 87:

“He was one of the owners that reached out to me at owners meetings and things like that. He’s a very gregarious guy. He’s a fun guy. I enjoyed him very much, and then we competed like crazy against his teams. And then when I left Green Bay [following the 1998 season] and was kind of determining my future, I had three interviews lined up: one with Seattle, one with Baltimore and one with Philadelphia. Those three teams and it was gonna be like the week of interviews.

“I remember Art talking to me about, ‘You have to come into Baltimore first. I want you to come into Baltimore. See you Monday.’ I said, ‘Well, I appreciate that, but I’m already going to Seattle on Monday and we’ve already told them I’m in Seattle.’ So it was gonna be Seattle, Baltimore and then Philadelphia at the end of the week, probably two days at each place. Then the Seattle thing, I never left Seattle. It worked out. We decided.

“So I remember saying, ‘We have to contact the other two teams in all fairness.’ I contacted Art and [Philadelphia Eagles owner] Jeffrey Lurie. I remember Art … every time I saw him after that he’d kind of jab me a little bit. They were doing well. They had built a new stadium in Baltimore and all those kind of things. But that was the situation. Had it worked out a little differently, perhaps he would have been someone that I would have worked for near the end there.

“As I look back and reflect on the owners I have met and now in recent position I’ve had a chance to be in those owners meetings more and see how they operate and all the things. And he was such an important part in the early years of the TV business in the league. You guys know that I’m sure. And I know David. My heart really goes out to the family in these situations.”

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Browns RB Trent Richardson practices again, hasn't had 'setbacks in his recovery,' Pat Shurmur says

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 6, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur and offensive coordinator Brad Childress met with reporters today before practice. Here are some of the highlights:

Rookie running back Trent Richardson is on track to play Sunday in the Browns’ regular-season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles despite undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Aug. 9.

Richardson, the third overall pick in this year's draft, practiced in shoulder pads today for the first time since he had the procedure.

“We’re gonna watch him practice today with his shoulder pads on,” Shurmur said. “In my mind, there hasn’t been any setbacks in his recovery, and so we’ll make that decision when it happens.

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Former Browns, Ravens owner Art Modell dies at 87

By The Associated Press Published: September 6, 2012

BALTIMORE — One of the most influential owners in the history of the NFL, Art Modell helped mold the foundation of the league.

The innovative Modell, whose reputation was forever tainted when he moved his franchise from Cleveland to Baltimore, died early Thursday. He was 87.

The team said Modell died of natural causes at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he had been admitted Wednesday.

The Browns released the following statement this morning: "The Cleveland Browns would like to extend their deepest condolences to the entire Modell family."

Click here for reactions from throughout the league.

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Former Browns owner Art Modell reportedly ill in Baltimore area hospital

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 6, 2012

Former Browns owner Art Modell is gravely ill in a Baltimore area hospital, NewsChannel 5 and WKYC Channel 3 reported late Wednesday night.

Family members of the 87-year-old Modell gathered at the hospital, according to the reports.

Modell bought the Browns for $4 million in 1961 and moved the team to Baltimore in 1996. In 2004, Modell finalized the sale of the Ravens to Steve Bisciotti, but Modell remained a minority owner.

The Browns earned 17 postseason berths, won 11 division titles and the NFL championship in 1964 with Modell as owner. The Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV in 2001.

Modell was one 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001 and a semifinalist for the classes of 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011. He has not been elected to the Hall of Fame.

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Wednesday's Browns-Eagles injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 5, 2012

Injury report for Sept. 5

BrownsDid not participate in practice: OL Oniel Cousins (ankle), OL John Greco (calf) and LB James-Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique). Limited participation in practice: TE Jordan Cameron (groin), FS Eric Hagg (illness), QB Thaddeus Lewis (right thumb), RB Chris Ogbonnaya (ankle), CB Dimitri Patterson (knee), RB Trent Richardson (knee), SS Ray Ventrone (hamstring), TE Benjamin Watson (thigh) and SS Usama Young (thigh).

Eagles – Out: S Colt Anderson (knee) and WR Riley Cooper (collarbone). Full participation in practice: S Nate Allen (hamstring), S Colt Anderson (knee, ruled out as noted above), DE Jason Babin (calf), LB Jamar Chaney (hamstring), RB Dion Lewis (hamstring), LB Casey Matthews (ankle), OT Nate Menkin (shoulder) and DT Cedric Thornton (knee).

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 5, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters this morning before practice. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening statement)- “Good morning. Before we get started, as you know we have three captains for the year and then every week the captains will bring to me a suggestion for a game captain, which they did. I’ll try to announce that fourth captain in this press conference on Wednesdays. This week’s game captain will be Alex Smith. I think they chose wisely. When you’re looking for players on your team, you’re looking for guys that are passionate, productive and durable and he’s been all those things. He plays on special teams, he plays on the line of scrimmage and in the backfield on offense. He’s a tough guy. As a coach, I’m pleased with their first selection for the week so that’s what we’ve got. Otherwise, there’s been a lot of talking and predicting, everybody’s got their cracks in on what everybody thinks they’re going to do this year and how teams are going to be. It’s here and it’s Wednesday of the Philadelphia week, the first game of the season so just like every week when I get here on Wednesday, we’re working on preparation for the next opponent which ends up being Philly.”

(On if there has been any indication that Joe Haden will play this Sunday)- “Let me just make this very strong point, that is a league issue and if I did know anything about it I can’t talk about it. I’ve said that all along so at this point I’m not going to comment.”

(On Mike Holmgren saying on the radio that Joe Haden has already has an appeal hearing)- “With all due respect, what I would say to you is if you have a follow up question it should be for Mike.”

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Browns coach Pat Shurmur says RB Trent Richardson 'looks great' after returning to action Monday

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 5, 2012

Here are some highlights from Browns coach Pat Shurmur’s morning news conference, the 15-minute portion of practice open to reporters and locker-room interviews from this afternoon:

Looking good

Rookie running back Trent Richardson said the only thing that could prevent him from making his NFL debut in the regular-season opener Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles is a coach's decision.

“I think coach knows best as far as me having a good career and stuff like that, so if he don’t feel like I’m ready, that’d be the only that’d keep me out," said Richardson, who's attempting a comeback after having knee surgery Aug. 9. "I mean but other than that, mentally I’m ready to go and I’m taking it day-by-day and we’re gonna really see what’s gonna be the results on Sunday.”

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NFLPA asks for restraining order on behalf of Browns LB Scott Fujita, others in bounty case

By The Associated Press Published: September 4, 2012

NEW ORLEANS — The NFL Players Association has asked a federal judge for a temporary restraining order that would allow players suspended in connection with the NFL's bounty investigation to rejoin their teams in time to play regular-season openers.

The union, which filed the motion Tuesday on behalf of Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith and free agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, argues the players will suffer irreparable harm if they are forced to miss games while their case against the league proceeds.

Despite his suspension, Fujita has repeatedly said he is confident that he'll be able to play in Week 1.

The Browns host the Philadelphia Eagles at 1 p.m. Sunday in their opener. If Fujita does not play, undrafted rookie linebacker L.J. Fort will likely start in his place. Rookie James-Michael Johnson, a fourth-round pick, would have filled in for Fujita, but he is sidelined with an oblique injury.

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In radio interview, Mike Holmgren says Browns CB Joe Haden had appeal hearing regarding suspension

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 4, 2012

Browns cornerback Joe Haden has appealed a suspension from the NFL and is awaiting the league’s decision, President Mike Holmgren told 92.3 The Fan this morning.

“He’s had his appeal hearing, and now it’s up to someone else,” Holmgren said today when asked about Haden's suspension. “And we don’t know.”

It's still not known whether Haden will miss any games. In an e-mail to the Beacon Journal, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote, "We have nothing to report from our office."

The league does not announce suspensions in the substance abuse or steroid programs until after the appeals process is complete. The league won't make an announcement if a player wins an appeal.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns President Mike Holmgren

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 3, 2012

Browns President Mike Holmgren met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(On any updates regarding how long he plans to stay with the team) – “No, not really. I’ve never quit anything in my life. You guys know the timetable of this and it’s been documented. The league has a meeting. We have our normal fall meeting in October in which case the voting will take place, which is standard protocol. Sometime after that the actual ownership change takes place, but we’re all just doing our jobs. I’ve gotten to know him, Jimmy (Haslam) a little bit and he has gotten to know me. Probably more importantly he spent a fair amount of time with the rest of the people in the building, which is a healthy thing, it’s a good thing. Everyone is just doing their jobs and he gets a chance to see them work, see what we do and then whatever happens, happens.”

(On if he envisions himself completing his contract here) – “I hope so. That’s what my plan is.”

(On if new ownership brings uncertainty) – “If you’ve been in the business as long as I have nothing much surprises you. I think the one thing that has surprised me during the process is that, this has happened rather quickly compared to other teams being sold and purchased in the past. Other than that, I think all you can do is what you can do. I believe in the people we have here and they’re going about business as usual. When I talked to the whole building a while ago, and not only the coaches and the football people, but everyone else in the building and just said ‘Look, you’re good. We see light at the end of the tunnel, keep doing what you’ve been doing and we’ll see what happens.’”

(On if the timing of the ownership change is disruptive) – “I think the players and I think the coaches have handled the whole thing beautifully. I would say no. Who knows what’s in the deepest thoughts of people’s minds if they don’t tell you, but on the surface and how we’re preparing and how we put the team together, I like what I see. I think they’re going about business pretty well.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 3, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters this afternoon. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening Statement) – “(Today was the) first real preparation for Philadelphia. The way this week is structured, of course, kind of practice then off, practice then off, then Wednesday we’ll get into the normal routine. (I’m) glad there was some heat out here today. It could be this hot at one o’clock on Sunday. It was good for the guys to get out here and run around. It has been good. I think we had the most guys at practice that we’ve had in a while. Other than a couple guys, I think we had most everybody out here, which is good. We’ll see where we go from there.”

(On how Trent Richardson looked at practice today) – “Trent, as you know, was out here today. He looked good. I knew he’d be out here today and he did a good job.”

(On if he had to limit Trent today) – “(It’s) his first day back at practice, so we just did what we could do.”

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President Mike Holmgren says he hopes to stay with Browns despite impending ownership change

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 3, 2012

President Mike Holmgren said today he hopes finish his five-year contract with the Browns that runs through 2014 despite the team’s impending change of ownership.

“I hope so,” Holmgren said. “That’s what my plan is. … I’ve never quit anything in my life.”

However, Holmgren’s future with the organization is uncertain at best. Jimmy Haslam III agreed to buy the Browns from Randy Lerner on Aug. 2, and NFL owners will hold a vote to approve the purchase during their meeting Oct. 16 in Chicago.

Holmgren said he and Bryan Wiedmeier, the Browns' vice president of business operations, plan to attend the owners meeting with Haslam. Holmgren might not be with the Browns long after that if former Philadelphia Eagles President Joe Banner fills the same role in Cleveland. NFL Network and several other media outlets have reported that Banner is a part of Haslam’s ownership group.

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Browns RB Trent Richardson practices for first time since Aug. 6

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 3, 2012

Browns running back Trent Richardson practiced today for the first time since Aug. 6, three days before he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to have a piece of loose cartilage removed.

Coach Pat Shurmur recently said he’s “very optimistic” Richardson will be able to play Sunday in the Browns’ regular-season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“If he’s ready to go, he will be our starter,” Shurmur said this morning following practice.

Richardson, the third overall pick in this year’s draft, participated in team drills, Shurmur said. During the 15-minute portion of practice open to the media, he wore a black sleeve on his left knee as he took handoffs, ran routes and caught passes. He did not run full speed.

“Trent looked healthy running around today,” Shurmur said after practice. “I think each person is different when they come back from injury and you handle each injury separately, but we’ll see as we go. All along, I’ve been hopeful that he’d be [able to play in the opener].”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns GM Tom Heckert

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 1, 2012

Browns General Manager Tom Heckert met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(On if he was expecting to have 15 rookies on the roster coming into camp)- “I’m going to be totally honest with you, (Neal Gulkis) just told me that. I didn’t really know it was 15 so it’s obviously not something that we planned. I don’t know if Pat (Shurmur) told you guys, but you can see there are some unorthodox - maybe too many guys at one position. We talked about it in our meeting the other day and we wanted to keep the best 53 or what we consider the best 53 no matter what position, if we have to go light at one position or heavy at another one, we were willing to do it so I think it worked out that way at least right now and we’ll see how it goes.”

(On if he will have to make more moves because certain positions don’t have as many guys)- “It really doesn’t affect us in games. Practice is always the problem and with the practice squad and everything else, that’s where you get into it. There are some pros and cons whether you have enough guys for practicing or you say we’re going to take the best players and if an offensive lineman has to play defense for scout team or something like that and that’s what we’re going to have to do right now. We just said lets go with the best players we can get and we’ll deal with practice, but for the game it’s not going to affect us.”

(On if Trent Richardson’s injuries led to the team keeping so many running backs)- “Nope. We’ve talked about all of them at different times because one guy was hurt and the other one was up. I think it’s pretty safe to say that you guys know we like all of them and they all bring different things to the table and Obi (Chris Ogbonnaya) when he’s had to play - last year he had to play quite a bit – he’s played well. We like those guys so we just figured we would keep them.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 1, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today after practice. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening Statement)- “It’s the first practice with our guys since we’ve solidified the roster. You’ve been notified of the recent changes with Ishmaa'ily Kitchen and of course Tank Carder, two guys we picked up, so there were two late changes. You can now appreciate those moves as well as the (David) Sims trade, why we don’t talk about anything until the very end because there are moves and there are things that get done that help solidify the roster. That’s why we keep quiet on what our plans are. We feel good about what we’ve done to this point. As you know, the 53 man roster, it’s important to solidify who our guys are and move forward towards Philadelphia. You also know that you’re constantly looking to improve and upgrade in every area possible, and rosters change constantly. We’re in that process and we’ll continue to look at players to bring in to help us. Unfortunately, that involves guys that we feel strongly about not being here. That’s where it’s at. The other thing we did today, I’ll announce them, I had the players vote on captains for the year. We’ll have yearly captains from now on moving forward. The players voted for Joe Thomas on offense, D’Qwell Jackson on defense and Phil Dawson for special teams. The way we’re going to structure it is they’ll be our captains, and then each week that group of three who is the voice of that locker room, will bring to me a candidate to be the fourth game captain. They’re all going to decide of course, and then I will okay it. That’ll be a position of honor. That fourth game captain will be then the guy that calls the coin toss. That’s the way that we’re going to handle the leadership this year. I feel great, I think our guys chose wisely. I’m please at the direction that that leadership group is going.”

(On how close Trent Richardson is to practicing)- “He’s very close. He’s done a lot behind the scenes of course that I haven’t talked about. We’re hopeful that he’ll be out here very soon. I keep saying that, but that’s where it’s at. I’m very optimistic based on what I’m seeing behind the scenes. Of course, you folks are not privy to that.”

(On if Trent Richardson will play Sunday if he can)- “He will.”

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Browns rookie RB Trent Richardson resurfaces on practice field, rides stationary bike

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 1, 2012

Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson wore a sleeve on his left leg as he worked out on an exercise bike this afternoon at the beginning of practice.

It was Richardson’s first appearance on the practice field since Aug. 7, two days before he had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. As the open portion of practice closed to the media, Richardson and the team’s other injured players gathered to watch their teammates run plays.

Browns coach Pat Shurmur said Richardson is "very close" to practicing and he’s “very optimistic” Richardson will be ready for the Browns’ Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. Shurmur said Richardson has been running.

"If he plays, he will be ready to go and play the whole game," Shurmur said. "How we use him, of course, we've just gotta be smart."

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Browns make more roster moves following cut day

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 1, 2012

The Browns were awarded linebacker Tank Carder off waivers from the Buffalo Bills and defensive tackle Ishmaa’ily Kitchen off waivers from the Baltimore Ravens, a team spokesman said today. Carder and Kitchen are rookies, so the Browns now have 15 rookies on their active roster.

The Browns waived defensive end Brian Sanford and placed defensive tackle Scott Paxson on the waived/injured list to make room for Carder and Kitchen, a Kent State product.

The Browns also formed their eight-man practice squad by signing the following players to it: linebackers Solomon Elimimian and Benjamin Jacobs, defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron, center Garth Gerhard, guard Jarrod Shaw, offensive tackle Jeff Shugarts, wide receiver Josh Cooper and fullback Brad Smelley, a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft.

Elimimian is the only member of the practice squad who didn’t spend at least part of training camp with the Browns this summer. He was waived by Minnesota Vikings on Friday.

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Breakdown of the Browns' 53-man roster and moves

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 1, 2012

The Browns were required to trim their 75-man roster to 53 players by 9 p.m. Friday. Click here for an updated web story about the cuts. Below is a position-by-position breakdown of the Browns' initial 53-man roster and the 22 moves they made Friday.

Here is the Browns’ initial 53-man roster: 

Quarterbacks: Thaddeus Lewis, Colt McCoy and Brandon Weeden.

Running backs: Montario Hardesty, Brandon Jackson, Chris Ogbonnaya and Trent Richardson.

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