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Wednesday's Browns-Ravens injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 31, 2012

Injury report for Oct. 31

Browns – Did not participate in practice: CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle) and DT Ahtyba Rubin (calf). Limited participation in practice: DT John Hughes (arm), LB D’Qwell Jackson (foot/toe), RB Trent Richardson (chest/rib), DE Brian Sanford (knee), S Ray Ventrone (hand/calf) and strong safety T.J. Ward (hand/shoulder). Full participation in practice: CB Johnson Bademosi (hip), S Tashaun Gipson (knee), LB James-Michael Johnson (knee/groin), RG Shawn Lauvao (groin), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), RB Chris Ogbonnaya (chest/ribs), DE Frostee Rucker (shoulder/toe), G Jarrod Shaw (illness), QB Brandon Weeden (groin/thigh) and LS Christian Yount (shoulder).

Ravens – Did not participate in practice: DE Pernell McPhee (thigh). Limited participation in practice: WR Jacoby Jones (foot), DT Haloti Ngata (shoulder) and CB Jimmy Smith (abs). Full participation in practice: CB Chykie Brown (ankle), LB Dannell Ellerbe (hand), S James Ihedigbo (hand), DT Ma’ake Kemoeatu (knee), OT Bryant McKinnie (thigh), OT Michael Oher (ankle), OT Kelechi Osemele (ankle), S Bernard Pollard (chest), S Ed Reed (shoulder/chest), LB Terrell Suggs (ankle) and G Marshal Yanda (shoulder).

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Browns DT Phil Taylor says he'll make his 2012 debut Sunday vs. Ravens

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 31, 2012

Defensive tackle Phil Taylor said he will make his 2012 debut Sunday when the Browns (2-6) host the Baltimore Ravens (5-2).

“I’m ready to go out there,” Taylor said. “I’m ready to go.”

The 6-foot-3, 335-pound Taylor has spent all season on the physically unable to perform list after tearing his left pectoral muscle while lifting weights in May. Taylor said he’ll probably serve as a backup to rookie defensive tackles Billy Winn and John Hughes and rotate into the lineup against the Ravens.

“I don’t think I’m gonna start right away,” Taylor said. “They might roll me in just for this first game, so I can just get back in the swing of things. I’ve got to earn it. I haven’t played this year yet. What I did last year was last year. So I’ve gotta get in there this year and earn my spot.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 31, 2012

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

(Opening statement)- “We put Emmanuel Stephens on IR, you saw that. It’s unfortunate, but we’ll get him better and try to get him back at some point next year. The captain this week will be Buster Skrine, will be the fourth captain. He’s done a nice job on special teams, he competes obviously, on defense. They felt like he would be worthy and I think he’s a good choice. That being said, we’ve already started our preparations for Baltimore. The walk-through was good and in a while here we’ll get back out on the field and get after it.”

(On if Emmanuel Stephens’s injury was his neck)- “Yeah.”

(On if they are going to fill Stephens’ spot on the active roster with Phil Taylor)- “That’s pretty much what will happen.”

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Browns DT Phil Taylor expected to be activated this week

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 31, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur expects defensive tackle Phil Taylor to be activated from the physically unable to perform list and fill the roster spot created by defensive end Emmanuel Stephens (neck) being placed on injured reserve.

“That’s pretty much what will happen, yeah,” Shurmur said today during a news conference.

The 6-foot-3, 335-pound Taylor has spent all season on the PUP list while recovering from a torn left pectoral muscle he suffered in May. Taylor returned to practice last week and continued to work with the team today.

If Taylor shows he’s comfortable and doesn’t suffer any setbacks this week during practice, he’ll likely make his 2012 debut when the Browns (2-6) host the Baltimore Ravens (5-2) Sunday.

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Browns DE Emmanuel Stephens out for season with injured neck

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 30, 2012

The Browns placed backup right defensive end Emmanuel Stephens on injured reserve, the team announced tonight.

Stephens is out for the season with a neck injury he suffered Sunday during the first quarter of the Browns’ 7-6 win over the San Diego Chargers.

The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Stephens played in all eight games this season and compiled nine tackles. He helped seal the Browns’ first win of the season, a 34-24 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, on Oct. 14 when he strip-sacked quarterback Andy Dalton and rookie defensive tackle Billy Winn recovered the fumble with 2:27 left in the fourth quarter.

“It was really good to see Emmanuel get that play,” defensive coordinator Dick Jauron said while reflecting on Stephens’ lone sack of the season. “I have a lot of admiration for his work ethic. [He’s] a really good teammate who fits in that group well.”

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Browns rookie RB Trent Richardson nominated for two weekly awards for performance vs. Chargers

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 30, 2012

Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson has been nominated for two awards following his performance Sunday in the team’s 7-6 win over the San Diego Chargers.

After rushing for a career-high 122 yards on 24 carries (5.1 average) and the game’s lone touchdown, Richardson is one of three finalists for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week award and one of five finalists for the Pepsi MAX NFL Rookie of the Week award.

Fans can vote at NFL.com/FedEx and NFL.com/rookies until 3 p.m. Friday to determine the winners.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 29, 2012

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

(Opening Statement) – “After watching the game, when you watch the tape the day after, you kind of got to remember the elements when you watch some of the plays in there. If you forget a little bit, then you sit back and say, ‘Boy, we didn’t play very well in some areas.’ I will say this, when I drove to the stadium yesterday, I knew that the elements would be a factor. The combination of the rain, the wind and then of course the cold, I felt like it was going to affect the game. I would have never predicted a 7-6 game. I just felt like there wouldn’t be a great deal of scoring, because I knew it was going to be a tough day to throw the ball, kick the ball, and catch the ball efficiently. It even affected the coin flip in my opinion. That’s why we won it. We deferred it, which allowed us to kick off with the wind to begin the game. Obviously, we took the ball in the second half. Typically, teams will then take the wind in the third quarter to kickoff, which would have got us the wind in the fourth quarter. Had it come down to a field goal, that might have been significant. That’s why I chose to do it that way. For the most part, I talked to the players we had a couple of balls on the ground. The guys that handled the ball yesterday, I think did a good job protecting the football. We were fighting for two and three yard chunks the whole game and that’s why the score is what it is. For people that liked watching defensive football, people who like seeing the ball run, I hope you had a good Sunday. I sure would like to be able to score more points, but to score one more than they did is important because we all know it’s about winning. That being said, I’m sure you’ve got some questions for me. There are some players that played well and stood out. I thought Kaluka (Maiava) did a nice job on special teams. There are guys stepping up each week on defense and playing better. JMJ (James-Michael Johnson) played well. Billy Winn had production. We had a lot of guys in there that I thought battled. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t perfect, but it’s something that we can build on. Of course, our guys are quickly onto the Ravens. To have another division game at home here, I think it’s important that we show up, play well, learn from the first time we played against these guys and try to play even better. Try to fight to get a victory. That’s where we’re at.”

(On if the most satisfying part of a win is the idea that it’s a building block) – “The fact that it wasn’t perfect. The fact that they fought through the conditions and the elements, and did the things necessary to win the game; I think that’s the lesson. There are no ugly victories. That’s a win.”

(On if it’s a trend that more teams are deferring) – “No, I think you get a feel for your team, and there are reasons why you do it. You never count on when you defer the team driving down and scoring. I talk about it each week and obviously, yesterday there was a reason for it.”

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Game day blog: Browns vs. Chargers (Week 8)

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 28, 2012

Final score: Browns 7, Chargers 6 (Trent Richardson, defense and weather unplug Chargers; Marla Ridenour's column about Richardson fighting through his rib injury; cornerback Buster Skrine delivers in clutch; notebook -- Hall of Famer Jim Brown upbeat about Richardson; thumbs up/thumbs down)  

Game action

End 4Q: Browns 7, Chargers 6 —The Browns opened the Jimmy Haslam era by ending the game in victory formation. The Chargers drove to the Browns 44-yard line, but four passes from Rivers went incomplete, the last tipped by Buster Skrine. Trent Richardson ended the game with 122 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown and one catch for 12 yards. 

End 3Q: Browns 7, Chargers 6 — The Chargers drew closer with Novak’s 31-yard field goal with 2:33 left in the third quarter. The Browns weren’t able to do much of anything on offense and lost the field-position battle, eventually resulting in points the other way. Luckily for Cleveland, Chargers receiver Robert Meachem dropped a would-be touchdown at the Browns’ 23-yard line after he beat T.J. Ward. As the quarter ended, Weeden hit Greg Little for 22 yards and Josh Gordon for 26 yards but the drive was ended with a sack by rookie Corey Liuget. 

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Browns elevate DL Brian Sanford from practice squad to active roster, place LB Scott Fujita on IR

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 27, 2012

The Browns signed defensive lineman Brian Sanford to their active roster and placed strongside linebacker Scott Fujita on injured reserve, the team announced today.

The 6-foot-2, 280-pound Sanford spent the first seven weeks of this season on the Browns’ practice squad. He was listed as a left defensive end during the preseason.

Last season, Sanford appeared in five games and compiled three tackles. In 2010, the Browns signed him as an undrafted free agent from Temple University.

Fujita, 33, started three of the four games in which he appeared this season before disk and nerve issues in his neck sidelined him following the Browns’ loss to the New York Giants on Oct. 7. Fujita, who had 14 tackles with one sack this season, is contemplating retirement.

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Browns LB Scott Fujita weighing retirement because of neck problems

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 26, 2012

Browns linebacker Scott Fujita is contemplating retirement as he deals with disk and nerve issues in his neck.

Fujita said he had a foraminotomy, a surgery used to take pressure off spinal nerves, 13 years ago while he played at the University of California and always believed similar problems would likely resurface at some point. Fujita, 33, had several neck stingers Oct. 7 when the Browns played the New York Giants, and he hasn’t played since. The Browns will place him on injured reserve.

“It had been building up a little bit,” Fujita said this afternoon. “I had a number of stingers in that game. Those issues didn’t subside over the next few days. Otherwise I would probably have said, ‘Let’s forget about it. I’ll be just fine.’ They didn’t subside, and that’s why we had to take the next step.”

The next step was an MRI, which Fujita said revealed “a combination of some disk issues, some stenosis, lot of things I’d dealt with in the past and had to handle surgically.”

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Friday's Browns-Chargers injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 26, 2012

Injury report for Oct. 26

Browns – Out: LB Scott Fujita (shoulder/neck), CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle) and DT Ahtyba Rubin (calf). Questionable: S Tashaun Gipson (knee), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring) and RB Trent Richardson (chest/rib). Probable: CB Johnson Bademosi (hip), WR Travis Benjamin (hamstring), LB Tank Carder (foot), LG John Greco (ankle), RB Montario Hardesty (knee), DT John Hughes (knee), OL Ryan Miller (illness), RB Chris Ogbonnaya (chest/ribs), DE Juqua Parker (shoulder/illness), DE Frostee Rucker (shoulder), OL Jarrod Shaw (illness), CB Buster Skrine (hand), S Ray Ventrone (hand/calf), SS T.J. Ward (hand/shoulder), FS Usama Young (hamstring) and LS Christian Yount (shoulder).

Chargers Questionable: LB Jonas Mouton (hip) and WR Eddie Royal (hamstring). Probable: OT Jared Gaither (groin), C Nick Hardwick (abdomen), DE Vaughn Martin (neck) and CB Shareece Wright (foot).

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 26, 2012

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

(Opening Statement)- “Not much to add, it was a good practice today. We had as many guys out here today as we’ve had, and we’re getting ready to go.”

(On how Trent Richardson is doing)- “I think today was his third good day of practice. He’s better this Friday than he was last. I can’t tell you exactly what’s going to happen Sunday, but he had a good practice.”

(On if it is unknown how Richardson will deal with contact)- “I think we’ve just got to make our decisions based on where he is health wise. The good news is you always play more than one running back. We’ll just see how he’s doing and then put the roster together with those things in mind.”

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Browns CEO Joe Banner's father, Ralph, dead at age 89

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 26, 2012

Ralph Banner, the father of new Browns CEO Joe Banner, died Thursday night at age 89, said Neal Gulkis, the team’s vice president of media relations.

Joe Banner originally planned to begin working at the team’s headquarters Thursday. Instead, he went to the Boston area to be with his father, who had fallen ill.

On Friday, Joe Banner remained in the Boston area with family. Gulkis said he doesn't know whether Banner will attend the Browns' home game Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.

“Deepest condolences to Joe and the entire family,” Gulkis said.

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Browns rookie RB Trent Richardson appears to be ready to play Sunday

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 26, 2012

Rookie running back Trent Richardson appears to be on the verge playing through his rib injury again this weekend.

Richardson worked with the Browns’ offense during practice this morning and looked comfortable taking handoffs and running.

Of course, the only way for Richardson to truly test the injury that has hindered him in each of the past two games is to find out how it holds up Sunday when he takes some hits from the San Diego Chargers. If Richardson's workload decreases, backup Montario Hardesty will receive more playing time.

Injury updates

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Transcript from news conference with Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 25, 2012

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

(On Brandon Weeden’s progression)– “It has just been slow and steady, that’s kind of how I see it. I don’t know if it’s, catastrophic is not the word, but any gigantic leap. I just think it has been slow and steady. All you ever want to know is what standard of performance you’re going to get from somebody. I think he’s developing a consistency that we expect.”

(On how Weeden responds to a drop like Josh Gordon had against the Colts)– “You don’t want a reaction either way. I really believe what you want is you want flat line guys at quarterback. You want never too high, never too low, just kind of right straight across the board. It’s the same way you don’t like to see receivers overly demonstrative if a quarterback scuffs a ball at him and dumps it at their feet. I think it’s not a good way to act. I wouldn’t want to see that either way. I know there are some tangible emotions that happen there, but his thoughts were his thoughts and he didn’t act out. Let’s put it that way.”

(On if he’s seen things from Weeden that he didn’t see in the scouting report)– “It was up to conjecture a little bit how he would deal with coming from underneath the center. I think he has done a decent job with that stuff in the pocket. It’s very hard to evaluate quarterbacks in general these days, just because the center-quarterback exchange is not something that you get to see and it’s a fundamental of the position. You can say, well I think he’ll be okay, but I can’t tell you how many Senior Bowl’s I’ve gone to where all those shotgun guys come to the Senior Bowl and balls are on the ground and it screws up a drill. That’s maybe one of things that we’ve seen that we didn’t really know about.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 25, 2012

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

(On if the young defensive linemen struggled maintaining their assignments last week)- “No I didn’t think so actually. I thought they played pretty well again up front. We made some errors in our fits. That doesn’t mean every play they played terrific up front. In a 70-play game, you’re going to have good and bad downs. But no, I thought the young guys played pretty well again. They’ve been consistently solid and we talk about it a lot. Really, I don’t want to say it’s a surprise, because clearly we drafted them for this reason, but they’ve played better than you could anticipate, and continue to improve I think.”

(On if he feels good about the depth on the defensive line with John Hughes and Billy Winn along with Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin returning in the future)- “I feel very good about it. Inside, our depth, when we get everybody back, is really pretty good. They are all playing at a good level. We like Kitch (Ishmaa’ily Kitchen) too. Kitch has done a nice job. He’s come along. He’s learning more and more about our scheme and how we play, and he’s willing and he’s big. We like that combination. We’re happy about it. Again, up front there are a lot of really good young players. I think it bodes well for the organization as it moves forward and as we move forward this year.”

(On if James-Michael Johnson could play inside linebacker or if he’s better suited for outside)- “I think that he can handle the MIKE in time. We don’t need him in there right now. Obviously with Scott’s (Fujita) injury, there’s a real need at the SAM, but I do believe that he can play them both. He can probably all three of them in time. I think he’s smart enough and he’s talented enough to do it. He’s certainly helping us in doing the job at the SAM at this point, but I think he can play inside.”

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Thursday’s Browns injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 25, 2012

Injury report for Oct. 25

Browns – Did not participate in practice: LB Scott Fujita (shoulder/neck), OL Ryan Miller (illness), CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle), DT Ahtyba Rubin (calf) and OL Jarrod Shaw (illness). Limited participation in practice: S Tashaun Gipson (knee), RB Montario Hardesty (knee), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), RB Trent Richardson (chest/rib), S Ray Ventrone (hand/calf), SS T.J. Ward (hand) and FS Usama Young (hamstring). Full participation in practice: CB Johnson Bademosi (hip), WR Travis Benjamin (hamstring), LB Tank Carder (foot), LG John Greco (ankle), DT John Hughes (knee), RB Chris Ogbonnaya (chest/ribs), DE Juqua Parker (shoulder), DE Frostee Rucker (shoulder), CB Buster Skrine (hand) and LS Christian Yount (shoulder).

Chargers -- Limited participation in practice: LB Jonas Mouton (hip) and WR Eddie Royal (hamstring). Full participation in practice: T Jared Gaither (groin), C Nick Hardwick (abdomen), DE Vaughn Martin (neck) and CB Shareece Wright (foot).

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 25, 2012

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

(Opening statement)- “Nothing new to add to yesterday, obviously, I answered a lot of your questions. The guys had a good day at practice and we’ll have another one today and just keep moving.”

(On how tough it is to assess a player’s readiness without having contact throughout the week at practice)- “I think that happens to a lot of players in a lot of different weeks. We’ve had players that have played in games, our guys that had the thumbs had no contact during the week so it’s not uncommon. Trent (Richardson) had a good day of practice yesterday. He did a lot of work and you just do as much as you can to get them as good and as ready as they can be for 1:00 on Sunday.”

(On if Richardson looked better overall)- “Yeah, he did way more yesterday than he did last Wednesday.”

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Sale of Browns to Jimmy Haslam officially closes

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 25, 2012

The sale of the Browns to Jimmy Haslam officially closed today as expected, a team spokesman said.

Haslam, whose family owns truck-stop empire Pilot Flying J, struck a deal to buy the Browns from Randy Lerner for about $1 billion on Aug. 2. NFL owners approved Haslam’s purchase of the team during their meeting Oct. 16 in Chicago.

Haslam is now majority owner of the Browns. Lerner still has a 30 percent stake in the team. Lerner will complete the sale of his minority share to Haslam four years from today.

Haslam, a native of Knoxville, Tenn., attended practice today and chatted with coach Pat Shurmur on the field. Haslam’s top lieutenant, new CEO Joe Banner, did not begin working at the Browns’ headquarters today as originally planned because he visited his ill father in Boston.

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Browns starting DT Ahtyba Rubin among players sitting out practice today

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 25, 2012

Browns starting defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin sat out practice for the second consecutive day with an injured calf.

Rubin missed the Browns’ game Oct. 14 against the Cincinnati Bengals because of the injury. He started Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts but played only seven snaps and left the game for good in the second quarter.

If Rubin can’t play Sunday when the Browns (1-6) host the San Diego Chargers, rookie John Hughes would start in his place. Rubin has 20 tackles and one sack in six games this season. Hughes, a third-round pick in this year’s draft, has 16 tackles and a sack in seven games this season.

Cornerback Dimitri Patterson (ankle), offensive linemen Ryan Miller (illness) and Jarrod Shaw (undisclosed) and linebacker Scott Fujita (neck) did not practice, either. Fujita will be placed on injured reserve, coach Pat Shurmur said.

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Wednesday's Browns-Chargers injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 24, 2012

Injury report for Oct. 24

Browns – Did not participate in practice: LB Scott Fujita (shoulder/neck), CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle) and DT Ahtyba Rubin (calf). Limited participation in practice: S Tashaun Gipson (knee), RB Montario Hardesty (knee), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), OL Ryan Miller (illness), RB Trent Richardson (chest/rib), S Ray Ventrone (hand/calf), SS T.J. Ward (hand) and FS Usama Young (hamstring). Full participation in practice: CB Johnson Bademosi (hip), WR Travis Benjamin (hamstring), LB Tank Carder (foot), LG John Greco (ankle), DT John Hughes (knee), RB Chris Ogbonnaya (chest/ribs), DE Juqua Parker (shoulder), DE Frostee Rucker (shoulder), CB Buster Skrine (hand) and LS Christian Yount (shoulder).

Chargers – Full participation in practice: OT Jared Gaither (groin) and CB Shareece Wright (foot).

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 24, 2012

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

(Opening statement)- “As I do every week, the fourth captain this week will be Brandon Weeden. I think it’s a good choice. I know you’ve been asking questions about it, but our intention here is to put Scott Fujita on IR so we’re going to do that. Again because I’m sure you’ll ask, Phil Taylor will be out there practicing today so those are probably the significant things involving the players at this point. Aside from that I’ll kind of let the injury report speak for the rest of the guys and get ready for the Chargers. We had a good walk-through, good meetings, the energy level is high, these guys understand that the process is most important - that we get ourselves as good as we can be individually, as a unit and then as a team to compete against the Chargers at 1:00 on Sunday. That’s where we’re at and that’s the mindset of the players and it’s been a good morning.”

(On if Trent Richardson participated in the walk-through)- “He did, yeah.”

(On if it would have been wiser to have Richardson sit last week)- “No, we wanted him to compete and he competed in there for about a half. I was watching him every step of the way and I don’t think it was wise to keep himself out. He didn’t re-injure himself. Had he re-injured himself or set himself back then I would have had second thoughts, but that wasn’t the case.”

(On if there is value in resting Richardson until after the bye)- “I think what’s important is if he’s healthy to play, he plays. If they tell me he is at no risk to hurt if further then we’re playing ball. As I watch him in practice, just like we watched him in the game, if we feel like that’s something that we can and should do we’ll do it otherwise we’re getting ready to play.”

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Browns LB Scott Fujita to be placed injured reserve; DT Phil Taylor returns to practice

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 24, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur said the team will place linebacker Scott Fujita on injured reserve, but he doesn’t know whether Fujita will retire.

“I think retirement decisions, those are personal whether it’s coaches, players,” Shurmur said after speaking to Fujita this morning. “I think those are discussions you have with your loved ones about is it time. For a player, sometimes that decision’s made for you. If you’re no longer on a roster and you don’t get picked up, eventually it kind of sets in. I think we all want to be in control of our own situations. I think that’s fair to say, but I think it’s fair to say that most of us aren’t. I think that’s the reality of it.”

Either way, Fujita’s tumultuous 2012 season has come to an end as a result of the neck injury that sidelined him in each of the past two games. Fujita has spent most of this year fighting for his reputation after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell implicated him in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal, suspended him three games and later reduced the ban to one game.

Fujita hasn’t played since Oct. 7, when the Browns lost to the New York Giants on the road. Fujita played in four games this season, tallying 14 tackles and a sack. Rookie James-Michael Johnson has replaced Fujita as the team’s starting strongside linebacker.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns President Mike Holmgren

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 23, 2012

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

(Opening statement) – “I’d like to start off by thanking Randy Lerner, first of all, for giving me the opportunity to come to Cleveland. My year off when he came to visit me in Arizona, he made a very compelling case to come in and try and help the organization. After talking with my wife Kathy, we decided to do that and I referred to it as my last great adventure. During the process, during these three years, I have to say I couldn’t have asked any more from an owner than what Randy gave to me. He hired me to do a specific job and in some instances be his surrogate at league meetings and different things, and he was very clear about that. Some of the things that most people didn’t get to see I saw firsthand, if not at our weekly lunches, our many, many talks. The passion he had for this city and this team, but as you all know, he was uncomfortable being out front and that’s why he asked me to come. I’ll be forever grateful about having the opportunity. He forced me to challenge myself in areas of football that I had not been in before, certainly the business side of this organization and the league meetings where I represented him with the other owners in privileged session. It was a tremendous learning experience for me and I think we did a lot of great things here. The tough part and the part that I’ll feel bad about is for Randy, I wasn’t able to help put a winning product on the field, at least enough yet. He certainly deserved that and that’s really what I wanted. While we fixed up a number of things, that was one thing that we haven’t been able to fix yet. Now, I think there’s light at the end of the tunnel and I’ll go into that a little bit later, but thanks again to Randy Lerner. A special guy and I wish him nothing but the best moving forward after this time.

Secondly, I would like to congratulate Jimmy Haslam and his family, and Joe Banner. Jimmy is a special person as well. I knew when he purchased the team that my role was going to change dramatically because Jimmy wants to be more of a hands on owner and do a lot of the things that I was asked to do by Randy. I’ve known Joe Banner for a long time. When he and Jeffrey Lurie came, and Jeffrey bought the Philadelphia Eagles and Joe became the president there, my good friend Andy Reid became the coach. We’ve been very close over the years. Jimmy will bring a great enthusiasm. Those of you who have had a chance to talk with him, I’m sure most of you have if not all and right away you see what type of a person he is. He’s out front, he’s enthusiastic and he has a lot of energy. He wants this to be right, he wants this to go well and he’s committed to do that. I don’t think there have been many things in his life where he has committed to it that hasn’t happened. I think it’s a wonderful thing for the city of Cleveland and a great thing for the Browns organization. So congratulations to Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner.

In the past there have been a few instances where people weren’t sure if I was going to honor my contract or the things we’ve talked about in the past and the rumors that would crop up on occasion. I really want you to know, if you didn’t believe me before, I want you to believe me now. Kathy and I, our time in Cleveland has been special. She has been very involved with Catholic Charities and MedWish and the things that she does at our own church, any number of things in the community, that are kind of behind the scenes. We made great friendships here and I could say the same thing. It was always my intention to honor my contract if not more, but this business, at times, things happen and the sale of a football team certainly changes the dynamic and it changed the dynamic for me. My time was shorter than I had hoped, but I understand what happened. I just wish the people that are going to be here well and I will always care about this place and how we’ve been treated since we’ve been here. It has been good.

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President Mike Holmgren leaving Browns, but doesn't rule out return to NFL or even coaching

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 23, 2012

President Mike Holmgren will leave the Browns, but he might not be done with the NFL -- or his coaching career.

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam announced Oct. 16 that Holmgren would retire at the end of this season. However, Holmgren made it clear today he’s not necessarily ready to retire.

Holmgren did not rule out working for another NFL team or a return to coaching during his farewell news conference this afternoon at the Browns’ headquarters in Berea.

Does he still have a future in the NFL?

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 22, 2012

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

(Opening Statement) – “I’ll go back to what I said last night. Against the Bengals, we made enough plays to win as a team. Yesterday, of course, we didn’t’ make enough plays across the board and things happened to us that we did to ourselves. It was a team loss, like a week ago it was a team victory. I don’t think it points to any trends. I think we’re back to work. The players were great today in the meetings. They’re finishing up the corrections from the tape, and then we’re moving on to the Chargers. That’s where it is. That’s what it is. We’re moving forward. I think that’s the mindset and get ready play the Chargers.”

(On if Josh Gordon’s drop factored into the fourth and one punt call) – “Nope. I’d do that again. I think it worked out. I had two timeouts after we decided to punt the football. We kicked it to them and it was better than six minutes left. At the end of the day, we had a first down with over three minutes left on the other side of the field. (It was) basically in the same spot we punted from, give or take a yard, with a chance to win the game and we didn’t. So no, that had nothing to do with it.”

(On being aggressive on the other three downs and ‘conservative’ on fourth down) – “I think each decision plays off the other. I felt like at that point, there was a lot of game left. There was over six minutes to play and on defense we were doing a better job of getting them stopped. We just made the decision to punt it there. It worked out. We had the ball, first down, as I mentioned, at the 45-yard line, with three minutes and 19 seconds. We had a chance to score and we didn’t get it done there.”

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Browns place LG Jason Pinkston on IR, elevate OL Jarrod Shaw from practice squad to active roster

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 22, 2012

As expected, the Browns placed left guard Jason Pinkston on injured reserve, the team announced today. He is out for the season.

Pinkston was hospitalized Thursday with a blood clot in his lung. He remains at the Cleveland Clinic, a team spokesman said this evening.

The Browns signed offensive lineman Jarrod Shaw to their 53-man roster, a league source told the Beacon Journal this afternoon. The Browns announced the move this evening.

John Greco replaced Pinkston in the starting lineup Sunday during the Browns’ 17-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Greco said today he believes Pinkston will make a comeback attempt next year.

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Game day blog: Browns at Colts (Week 7)

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 21, 2012

Final score: Colts 17, Browns 13 (game story; Marla Ridenour's column; box score; notebook; thumbs up/thumbs down)

Pregame notes

Inactives: Browns – wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), cornerback Dimitri Patterson (ankle), running back Brandon Jackson, free safety Tashaun Gipson (knee), left guard Jason Pinkston (blood clot), tight end Alex Smith and strongside linebacker Scott Fujita (neck/shoulder). Note: Smith is the only surprise scratch. He played last Sunday and practiced all week after missing three games with a concussion. Massaquoi is inactive for the fourth consecutive game. Colts – running back Donald Brown (knee), cornerback Darius Butler (shoulder), linebacker Robert Mathis (knee), defensive ends Fili Moala and Cory Redding (knee), nose tackle Martin Tevaseu (ankle) and guard Joe Reitz (knee).

Lineup changes: Browns – rookie wide receiver Josh Gordon will start in place of Massaquoi; left guard John Greco for Pinkston; and rookie James-Michael Johnson for Fujita. Notes: Greco will start for the fifth time in his career and the first time with the Browns. Johnson will start in place of Fujita for the second week in a row. Colts – running back Vick Ballard will start in place of Brown; defensive end Ricardo Mathews for Redding; nose tackle Drake Nevis for Moala; strongside linebacker Jerry Hughes for Mathis; and left cornerback Vontae Davis for Cassius Vaughn.

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Friday's Browns-Colts injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 19, 2012

Injury report for Oct. 19

Browns – Out: LB Scott Fujita (shoulder/neck), CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle) and LG Jason Pinkston (blood clot). Questionable: WR Travis Benjamin (hamstring), S Tashaun Gipson (knee), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), RB Trent Richardson (chest/rib) and DT Ahtyba Rubin (calf). Probable: LB Tank Carder (foot), WR Josh Gordon (knee),
WR Greg Little (illness), DE Frostee Rucker (shoulder), S Ray Ventrone (hand/calf), SS T.J. Ward (hand), QB Brandon Weeden (foot) and LS Christian Yount (shoulder).

Colts – Out: RB Donald Brown (knee), CB Darius Butler (shoulder), LB Robert Mathis (knee), DE Fili Moala (knee), DE Cory Redding (knee) and NT Martin Tevaseu (ankle). Questionable: LB Pat Angerer (foot) and G Joe Reitz (knee). Probable: CB Vontae Davis (ankle), LB Dwight Freeney (ankle) and T Winston Justin (ankle).

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Browns coach Pat Shurmur says he assumes rookie Trent Richardson will play against Colts

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 19, 2012

Coach Pat Shurmur expects rookie running back Trent Richardson to play Sunday when the Browns (1-5) visit the Indianapolis Colts (2-3).

“He practiced throughout today,” Shurmur said this afternoon. “He practiced all the way through practice. Yeah, I think he’ll be there.”

Richardson, the third overall pick in this year’s draft, suffered a rib cartilage injury as a result of absorbing a blow from a helmet Sunday in the first quarter of the Browns’ 34-24 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. He has repeatedly said this week he’ll be ready to play Sunday, and a coach’s decision is the only thing that could prevent him from facing the Colts.

When asked whether pain will be the biggest hurdle for Richardson, Shurmur said, “I think when he gets in there and gets rolling, a lot of things that tend to hurt until the adrenaline flows kind of go away. He’s cleared to play and my assumption is that he’ll be there Sunday.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 19, 2012

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

(Opening Statement)- “I’ll head this off before you get around to asking it. Jason Pinkston, doctors determined, we found this week that he has a blood clot. He’s going to miss this week’s game. We’ll determine through the week if it’s going to be an extended period of time, but he won’t play this week. That’s why you haven’t seen him. I’m sure somebody was going to ask me about that, so I’ll just head that off right now. He’s getting treatment and he won’t be available this week.”

(On if he’s talked to Pinkston)- “Oh yeah. I’ve talked to him, he’s doing fine. I intend to go see him here.”

(On if Pinkston in the hospital)- “Yeah.”

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appoints Paul Tagliabue to hear player appeals in Saints' bounty case

By The Associated Press Published: October 19, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has appointed his predecessor, Paul Tagliabue, to hear the appeals of Browns linebacker Scott Fujita and the other three players suspended in the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal.

Goodell said Friday that he notified Fujita, Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith and Anthony Hargrove, as well as the players' union, that Tagliabue would be the hearing officer to "decide the appeals and bring the matter to a prompt and fair conclusion."

The union and the four players had asked Goodell to recuse himself, contending he could not fairly rule. Tagliabue, the NFL’s commissioner from 1989-2006, will conduct hearings for the four players on Oct. 30 at a time and location to be determined by him, the league announced.

Vilma was suspended for the 2012 season and Smith was banned four games for his role in the bounties program. Fujita, now with the Browns, was barred three games, since reduced to one. Hargrove, a free agent, had his suspension reduced from eight games to seven.

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Browns starting LG Jason Pinkston hospitalized with blood clot

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 19, 2012

Starting left guard Jason Pinkston is in the hospital with a blood clot and won’t play Sunday when the Browns (1-5) visit the Indianapolis Colts (2-3), coach Pat Shurmur said today after practice at the team's headquarters in Berea.

The blood clot is in Pinkston's lung, and he's being treated for it at the Cleveland Clinic, a league source said.

"The news is true," Pinkston tweeted this evening. "I've been hospitalized with blood clots in my lungs. Very thankful [our] medical staff did a great job of taking action and catching it at a early stage. It's obviously clear I won't be playing for sometime but more importantly I'm thankful to be alive. Thanks for everyone's support. Coaches, teammates, friends, fans and family have been great. Just a bump in the road."

Pinkston was taken to the emergency room Thursday and then admitted to the Clinic, where he is being tested to determine the cause of the blood clot, the source said.

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Browns WR Greg Little returns to practice today after sitting out with flu

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 19, 2012

Browns wide receiver Greg Little returned to practice today after sitting out Thursday with the flu.

Left guard Jason Pinkston, however, remained sidelined with an illness. If Pinkston can’t play Sunday when the Browns (1-5) visit the Indianapolis Colts (2-3), John Greco would start in his place.

As expected, linebacker Scott Fujita (shoulder/neck) and cornerback Dimitri Patterson (ankle) continued to miss practice. They will likely be officially ruled out for Sunday when the injury report is released sometime after 4 p.m. today.

Rookie running back Trent Richardson continued to practice on a limited basis today after suffering a rib injury Sunday in the Browns’ 34-24 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Richardson has repeatedly said he expects to play this weekend, barring a coach’s decision that prevents him from doing so.

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NFLPA questions suspension of Browns LB Scott Fujita by citing 1996 incentive program allowed by NFL

By The Associated Press Published: October 18, 2012

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The NFL Players Association filed papers in federal court pointing out that the NFL permitted a 1996 incentive program for big hits funded by then-Green Bay defensive lineman Reggie White.

In papers filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, the union questioned why NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should now be able to suspend Browns linebacker Scott Fujita for offering then-New Orleans Saints teammates rewards for big plays during the 2009 season.

The filing cited media reports about White's "smash-for-cash" program that paid $500 for big plays, including big hits.

The reports, now nearly 16 years old, include players from other teams discussing similar pools climbing into the thousands of dollars. In one report by ESPN, Troy Vincent, then a defensive back with Philadelphia, discusses a similar player-funded incentive program run by Eagles players.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 18, 2012

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

(On what Josh Gordon’s evolution has meant to the offense)- “Just the deep strike ability, the fact that he’s gotten behind some people and done it twice now. He’ll want to strive for consistency. That won’t happen all the time. Defenses are set up not to let you do that. They will be much more mindful, I think, of where he’s at. It helps you take the top of things and move people away from the line of scrimmage and make them play you with a deep threat.”

(On how much better Gordon has gotten with little technique things)- “I think he’s gotten a lot better. All those little things kind of have equated to him doing some big things.”

(On if teams will defend the offense differently since they’ve had success passing deep)- “I think they’ll be mindful of where he’s at, whether he’s in the slot, or whether he’s outside. Those guys kind of check and see who’s taking the top off, and who can run. They can see somebody can run now. That’s a good thing. They’ll honor him, and maybe play a little bit looser, although people have a tendency to play a good bit of man-to-man versus us.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 18, 2012

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

(On how important it is to get the win to reinforce what they have been teaching) – “In this business, if you lose a game, you feel like you may never win again. It’s a bad feeling. You want to turn it around as quickly as you can. It took us awhile to turn it around. It was a terrific feeling after that game. It’s hard to win in this league and you got to win in this league. It felt really good; really happy for our guys. They play hard. They certainly deserve it if deserves have anything to do with it, because they work at it.”

(On if the defense had a lift with Joe Haden’s return) – “It was good to have him back, there’s no doubt. He’s a highly skilled player. He’s a starting corner in the National Football League and he draws a tough assignment. He comes back after a four week layoff, and we kind of match him on an outstanding receiver. He held him own. The receiver had a terrific day obviously against us, but Joe really overall played well. I wish I had noticed more or anticipated more how much the game would take out of him, because at the end of the game, I think he had lost his legs to some degree. He was struggling, and it made sense after the fact, but it was too bad they got that long one on him at the end, because he had played really well.”

(On how Haden’s return affected other players in the secondary) – “It had a positive effect, there’s no doubt. Everybody recognizes his talent level, his playmaking ability. He does have, I guess to add to all the physical skills, he is tough. There’s a toughness involved there. He’s a willing tackler, he will hit you and that’s a big factor. That really helps us too. It was just great to have him back, and hopefully he’ll just get better and better every week.”

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Thursday's Browns-Colts injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 18, 2012

Injury report for Oct. 18

Browns – Did not participate in practice: LB Scott Fujita (shoulder/neck), WR Greg Little (illness), CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle) and LG Jason Pinkston (illness). Limited participation in practice: WR Travis Benjamin (hamstring), S Tashaun Gipson (knee), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), RB Trent Richardson (chest/rib), DT Ahtyba Rubin (calf), S Ray Ventrone (hand/calf), SS T.J. Ward (hand) and LS Christian Yount (shoulder). Full participation in practice: DE Frostee Rucker (shoulder) and QB Brandon Weeden (foot).

Colts – Did not participate in practice: RB Donald Brown (knee), CB Darius Butler (shoulder), LB Robert Mathis (knee), DE Fili Moala (knee), DE Cory Redding (knee) and NT Martin Tevaseu (ankle). Limited participation in practice: G Joe Reitz (knee). Full participation in practice: LB Pat Angerer (foot), CB Vontae Davis (ankle), LB Dwight Freeney (ankle) and T Winston Justin (ankle).

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 18, 2012

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

(Opening statement)- “You guys are talking about the rain here, it looks like we’ll practice inside today for a couple of reasons - because of the weather and then of course we work crowd noise so that noise will be a little intensified in there. Remembering back to last year when we played in Indianapolis, it can be loud in there. Typical of Thursdays when we play on the road, we work with the crowd noise so we’ll be inside.”

(On if Trent Richardson will be able to do more in practice today)- “He practiced yesterday so he’ll be out there, yeah.”

(On if Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney are any different in the 3-4 versus the 4-3)- “They’ve got them in a role where they stand up a little more than they’re used to in their old 4-3 scheme. They play a lot of four-man fronts especially when they get to nickel situations where it’s very obvious those two guys can still pass rush.”

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Browns WR Greg Little misses practice today with flu, team spokesman says

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 18, 2012

Browns wide receiver Greg Little did not practice today because he was sent home from the team's headquarters with the flu, a team spokesman said.

Little attended meetings and had "a productive morning" before heading home, coach Pat Shurmur said through the spokesman.

Little has started all six games this season. He has tallied 14 catches for 169 yards and a touchdown. He is tied for second in the NFL with five dropped passes, according to STATS LLC.

Left guard Jason Pinkston (illness), linebacker Scott Fujita (neck/shoulder) and cornerback Dimitri Patterson (ankle) didn’t practice today, either. Pinkston was listed as limited Wednesday. Fujita and Patterson were out Wednesday and are not expected to play Sunday, when the Browns (1-5) visit the Indianapolis Colts (2-3).

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 17, 2012

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

(Opening statement) – “This week’s captain will be Sheldon Brown. He’ll be our fourth captain. He obviously distinguished himself last week with some big plays and good play and I think it’s a good choice. There has been a lot going on, I guess for you folks this morning in terms of Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner. I think they mentioned the fact that they spoke to the team this morning at 8:30 and then I guess talked to the rest of the organization. We were involved in meetings so you know more of the details of how the rest of the morning went. The message was strong and the message was similar to the one I’ve heard since he expressed his intentions to buy our team. I thought that it came off in a way where the players felt inspired that we’re going to have an owner that’s going to stand there and support us as we build a winner. There’s a drive there and the emotion there like we’ve talked about. It was all good and of course my job is to make sure we keep our eye on the ball as we prepare for the Colts. I told the players that winning is a bye product of the preparation and of course then getting it done on Sunday, but we’ve got to make sure that Wednesday, today, is best Wednesday of the year.”

(On how much interaction did he have with Joe Banner during his time in Philadelphia) – “I was with Joe Banner for 10 years in Philadelphia, all my years there. Extremely smart man (who) had a large part in the development and building of that program into a consistent winner and I’m assuming that’s what he expressed to you. That’s what we want to do here, a team that can go out and win on a consistent basis and compete for championships. Aside from that, obviously, when you’re around someone for a long time, I got a real good feel for him as a family man and a guy that’s going to provide the leadership that we need as we move forward.”

(On if it makes the transition a little easier having a previous history with Banner) – “I don’t know, I think because I know Joe and his family I think there’s at least a starting point. We know this in this business and it should come as no surprise that everyone in our business gets evaluated at the end of the year. You put all the personal stuff aside and you say, ‘Okay, is this the guy I want to lead our team as we move forward based on what you’ve done previous and what they expect that you can do in the future.’ That’s the way I’m approaching it. We as coaches live with that. We’ve all at whatever level of the organization that we’ve worked in since we’ve gotten into this profession; we’re all evaluated at the end of the year. It happens to all of us whether you’re the head coach or you’re an assistant.”

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Transcript from Browns CEO Joe Banner's introductory news conference

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 17, 2012

New Browns owner Jimmy Haslam introduced Joe Banner as the team's CEO this morning. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

Jimmy Haslam

(Opening statement)- “Good morning. I feel sure that a lot of you were in Chicago yesterday and if you weren’t I know you’re very aware of all the events that transpired so we won’t waste anybody’s time by rehashing any of that. I do want to talk a little bit about Joe Banner though. Since it became obvious that we had a really good chance of becoming the owner of the Cleveland Browns we started talking to a lot of different people in sports, not just football, but pro sports. One name kept coming up that if you could get this guy it would be a tremendous asset to your franchise and that name was Joe Banner. It came up early and often, candidly, it came up from people we know and people we don’t know. Joe and I have spent a lot of time together really over the last two or three months and have come to know each other very well. As you all know, I come from the business world and have hired a lot of senior executives. I can look everybody in the room in the eye and say I’ve spent more time with this senior executive making sure he was the right fit for the Cleveland Browns than any we’ve ever interviewed for Pilot Flying J because I do think it’s so important. Joe brings, first of all, a wealth of experience, he helped transform the Philadelphia Eagles from one of the, I’ll just say, weaker franchises in the league to, you can argue from the period of 2000-2010 maybe the strongest, certainly one of the strongest. He’s very bright, he works very hard, he’s very focused, very intense and he has extreme passion for bringing a winning team to Cleveland. You all heard me say this yesterday, several people say are you excited and I say, ‘Yes, we are excited, but we won’t really be excited until we start winning consistently,’ then you’ll see a lot of excitement from us. I believe adding Joe Banner to our team as the CEO in charge of all day-to-day operations puts us in a position to have a great winning team and its my pleasure to introduce to you the new CEO of the Cleveland Browns, Joe Banner.”

Joe Banner

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Wednesday's Browns-Colts injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 17, 2012

Injury report for Oct. 17

Browns – Did not participate in practice: LB Scott Fujita (shoulder/neck) and CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle). Limited participation in practice: WR Travis Benjamin (hamstring), S Tashaun Gipson (knee), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), LG Jason Pinkston (illness), RB Trent Richardson (chest/rib), DT Ahtyba Rubin (calf), S Ray Ventrone (hand/calf), SS T.J. Ward (hand) and LS Christian Yount (shoulder). Full participation in practice: DE Frostee Rucker (shoulder) and QB Brandon Weeden (foot).

Colts – Did not participate in practice: RB Donald Brown (knee), CB Darius Butler (shoulder), LB Dwight Freeney (ankle), LB Robert Mathis (knee), DE Fili Moala (knee), DE Cory Redding (knee) and NT Martin Tevaseu (ankle). Limited participation in practice: LB Pat Angerer (foot), G Joe Reitz (knee) and T Winston Justin (ankle). Full participation in practice: CB Vontae Davis (ankle).

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Browns rookie RB Trent Richardson practices despite rib injury

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 17, 2012

Rookie running back Trent Richardson practiced today after suffering an injury to the cartilage in his right rib cage Sunday when he absorbed a blow from a helmet during the first quarter of the Browns’ 34-24 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

After the game, Richardson said he expects to play Sunday when the Browns (1-5) visit the Indianapolis Colts (2-3). Richardson, the third overall pick in this year’s draft, appeared to move well while taking handoffs during practice.

"In my head, I’m gonna be ready for Sunday," Richardson said. "I’m already ready for Sunday. It just depends how I do and coach is gonna let me know what I need to do.

"You're really just going [to play] with how much pain you can tolerate. And for me, I'm just going to be ready for Sunday and ready to go for the whole game."

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New Browns CEO Joe Banner determined to deliver results instead of promises

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 17, 2012

Joe Banner wants to deliver results, not promises, in his new role as CEO of the Browns.

Banner was formally introduced during a news conference this morning at the team’s headquarters in Berea. Banner, the former president of the Philadelphia Eagles, met owner Jimmy Haslam in June and became convinced the two would work well together while running an NFL franchise. They later found out it would be the Browns.

Banner is sensitive to the Browns’ troubles since their rebirth in 1999. The team has had only two winning seasons and one playoff appearance. It’s also had five management regimes before Banner’s arrival.

“I know these fans have been through a lot of hopeful starts, and I don’t want to sit up here and be kind of the next promiser in their lives,” Banner said. “We’re just gonna have to deliver. I know this: Nobody will work harder. No one will have a clearer direction.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns owner Jimmy Haslam

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 16, 2012

Jimmy Haslam held a news conference at the JW Marriott hotel in Chicago after NFL owners unanimously approved his purchase of the Browns. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

Opening statement: “Obviously a very exciting day for our family and one that I guess like a lot of families we've dreamed about for a long, long time. And what we've come to understand since Aug. 3 since we were introduced in Berea, Ohio, is that it's made even more special by the fact that it's the Cleveland Browns. I had always heard what a great football town and football area Cleveland and Northeast is, but what we've experienced since Aug. 3 has been nothing short of phenomenal. This is truly one of the great iconic NFL brands, and if you think back to Paul Brown and then, of course, arguable the greatest NFL player of all time, Jim Brown, it’s a very special place. As we have said on numerous occasions, we’re gonna do everything we possibly can and work as hard as we possibly can to bring a winning team to the fans of Cleveland. Whether they’re in Cleveland, Northeast Ohio, or one of the many Browns Backers around the country, we’re gonna work hard for them. Somebody asked me the other night if I was excited to win the first game, and I said, ‘Well, of course we were. It was a relief.’ I was excited for the players and the coaches who work hard, put a lot of time in and candidly catch all the grief. But I was really most excited for our fans. As we left the stadium, an hour or so after the game, there were still thousands of people around, and I didn’t no better, I would have thought we’d just won the AFC Championship instead of winning our first game in 11 months. So it’s a great town. It’s a great football community. and we feel very privileged to now own the team. It’s really an asset of the community and we’re gonna do everything we can to increase the value of that asset and candidly the way you do that is you put a winning team on the field.

“I want to comment on three different people. I’ll start with the family group. The Haslam family owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to the Lerner family. And if you think back to, first of all, the late Al Lerner, who worked so hard to bring a team back to Cleveland, and we wouldn’t be standing here today if he hadn’t done that. Secondly, his wife, Norma, who has become a great friend of my wife [Dee] and I and has been very gracious in introducing southerners to the Cleveland community and it’s been outstanding. And then lastly to Randy Lerner, who I met for the first time on July 2 and who has worked very closely with us during this transition process. So it’s been a great experience with the Lerner family, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them in the future.

“The next person I want to comment on is Mike Holmgren. I’ll be honest. I had never Mike till Thursday night, Aug. 2. of course, knew of him, knew the famous Super Bowl winning coach, et cetera, and on Thursday night, Aug. 2, my dad, my wife and I had dinner with Mike. It was supposed to be an hour dinner and it ended up being about three hours, and we quickly found we had two things in football – and I want to get this right because my wife’s probably listening: family and football. We talked for a long time and had a great visit. Since that time, we have spent hours and hours together. Candidly, I have spent more time with Mike than anybody in the organization, and he has been kind enough to answer hundreds and hundreds of questions about the NFL and pro football and how you do this and why you do this, et cetera. Mike has decided with our becoming the owner that his role would obviously change a lot. Mike was brought in to be the president and I think in a lot of ways the de facto owner. And with us coming in and taking a more active role, Mike has decided to effective at the end of the year to leave the Cleveland Browns and to retire. Mike will work very closely with us over the next three or four months to ensure that this transition goes as well as possible. Mike and I have had numerous long talks, and I know that he has been and still is committed to doing everything he can to help make the Cleveland Browns a better football team. To assist with that transition – and I think of the Browns as a big organization and I don’t think a guy walks out the door one day and somebody takes his place the next day – I don’t think that’s necessarily the best way to do things. And so we are going to bring in Joe Banner. Joe will be the CEO of the team. That will be effective on October the 25th. Joe and Mike will work together over the next three, three-and-a-half months until the end of the season to transition in what I would call a seamless fashion to do everything we can to bring a winner to the Cleveland Browns. If you think about the experience that the two of them have, it’s probably over 50 years of experience in the NFL, and I don’t think we could have two better people to help us turn this transition around. So we’re very excited about that.

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Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says Joe Banner to become CEO, Mike Holmgren to retire after season

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 16, 2012

New Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said Joe Banner will become CEO of the organization and President Mike Holmgren will leave the franchise and retire at the end of this season.

“Mike has decided to effective at the end of the year to leave the Cleveland Browns and to retire,” Haslam said this afternoon during a news conference after NFL owners unanimously approved his purchase of the Browns at about 10:40 this morning at the JW Marriott hotel in downtown Chicago. “Mike will work very closely with us over the next three or four months to ensure that this transition goes as well as possible. Mike and I have had numerous long talks, and I know that he has been and still is committed to doing everything he can to help make the Cleveland Browns a better football team.”

Banner’s role as CEO will become effective Oct. 25, the day Haslam expects the sale of the Browns to close. Haslam said he will introduce Banner during a news conference at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the team’s headquarters in Berea.

Banner, 59, became president of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2001 and stepped down in June. He has since held the title of strategic adviser to the owner.

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Jimmy Haslam III unanimously approved as Browns' new owner

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 16, 2012

CHICAGO: Tennessee billionaire Jimmy Haslam has officially been crowned the new owner of the Browns.

NFL owners unanimously approved Haslam’s purchase of the Browns at about 10:40 this morning during their meeting in the Burnham Ballroom at the JW Marriott hotel in downtown Chicago, league spokesman Greg Aiello said. The owners applauded Haslam as they welcomed him to their fraternity.

“Obviously a very exciting day for our family and one that I guess like a lot of families we've dreamed about for a long, long time,” Haslam said during a news conference this afternoon. “And what we've come to understand since Aug. 3 since we were introduced in Berea, Ohio, is that it's made even more special by the fact that it's the Cleveland Browns. I had always heard what a great football town and football area Cleveland and Northeast is, but what we've experienced since Aug. 3 has been nothing short of phenomenal. This is truly one of the great iconic NFL brands, and if you think back to Paul Brown and then, of course, arguable the greatest NFL player of all time, Jim Brown, it’s a very special place. As we have said on numerous occasions, we’re gonna do everything we possibly can and work as hard as we possibly can to bring a winning team to the fans of Cleveland.”

Haslam, whose family owns truck-stop empire Pilot Flying J, only needed 24 of the league’s 32 owners, or three-fourths, to vote in his favor. There was never any doubt he would receive the blessing of his peers.

“He’s a guy who’s committed to doing things right,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “He wants to make sure that the Cleveland Browns are represented the right way, that they’re going to have a winning franchise and that they’re a big part of the community. That’s great news for the fans.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Marla Ridenour Published: October 15, 2012

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

(Opening statement) – “Going back on yesterday, I thought it was a good team victory. I thought for the most part in the first five games we gave ourselves a chance to win and didn’t make enough plays to do it. I think we found a way yesterday to make enough big plays, touchdowns and then of course interceptions, fumbles, scoring on defense. We’ve scored twice on defense this year in the first six games which is outstanding. We made enough plays yesterday as a team to get a victory against a good opponent. We all know how good the Bengals are and for us to win a game at home and a division game, I think is a big step for our team. I’d like to talk first about the special teams. We introduced the special teams yesterday, they competed in 37 plays and (Special Teams Coordinator) Chris Tabor, (Special Teams Assistant) Shawn Mennenga, those guys have put together good plans and I think each week, even though we didn’t win prior to this week, our special teams have contributed positively. I think yesterday, aside from a play or two, we did some good stuff. The return game, we’ve got good young talent in the coverage units and of course Phil (Dawson) is still making his kicks. I also think that (Defensive Coordinator) Dick Jauron and (Offensive Coordinator) Brad Childress did an excellent job of putting the plans together. When all that gets put in place and then the players play the way they did you have a chance to win. I’m pleased with that. I think you saw guys on offense step up and make plays. It wasn’t always pretty. We had way too many three-and-outs. I think we can’t have that, but we found a way to score enough points and I’ve said that all along, it’s about points not yards and so that was good. On defense, when you get turnovers and when you take one turnover and make it a score, those are all plays that are hard for the other team to overcome. I thought that was a good thing for us. With that being said, it was fun to win. We’re already working on the Indianapolis Colts. It’s a fast turnaround and once you do something once now you want to build toward consistency and doing it more and more, so that’s where we’re at.”

(On how Trent Richardson is doing today) – “Trent’s fine. Just so I can get it out there, he has a right rib cartilage injury. He’s day-to-day.”

(On Josh Gordon over the last two games) – “Two games ago he played well and made plays and was productive. Once you do it once you want to see consistency and I think he continued his progress. He made plays yesterday as well and so, you look at his progress. Here’s a young man that’s playing as a rookie like a lot of the guys that we have that did not have an offseason. You’re starting to see a certain amount of work starting to take shape and I think he’ll only continue to get better. In my opinion, the lights coming on and when you practice hard and then you can have success in the game, and then they start to say this works. Hopefully that will continue.”

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Neck injury could end Browns LB Scott Fujita's career

By Marla Ridenour Published: October 15, 2012

The neck injury suffered by Browns linebacker Scott Fujita on Oct. 7 against the New York Giants could end the 11-year veteran’s career, a league source confirmed Monday evening.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen first reported the story on “Monday Night Countdown” and later on Twitter, saying both the team and the player feared he had played his last game.

Fujita was inactive Sunday against the Bengals. He was listed as limited in practice Wednesday with a shoulder injury, but sat out Thursday, when neck was added to the injury report.

 He had played in the previous four games, starting three, while battling NFL commissioner Roger Goodell over his Bountygate suspension. It landed him on the reserve/suspended list for the opener before being reduced from three games to one last week. Fujita continues to appeal.

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Conference call with Browns QB Brandon Weeden

By Marla Ridenour Published: October 15, 2012

Here's what Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden said during a conference call with reporters today:

Did you see yourself on SportsCenter: I didn’t. I got home and hopped in the shower and went and got a bite to eat with my wife and her mom and her boyfriend. I didn’t watch any TV last night. I woke up and came in the first thing this morning. I haven’t had a chance to watch anything.

How much confidence can team gain from its first win: A lot. We’ve been close the first couple weeks. We just haven’t been able to like coach says get out of our own way. We’ve shot ourselves in the foot. I think confidence-wise closing out a game, playing well in the second half, playing well in the fourth quarter in all three phases has got to give us confidence. Now the goal is to keep moving forward and build from it. Use the momentum going forward.

What is Josh Gordon’s impact as he stretches the field: He’s a guy, he did a lot of that at Baylor. He has an ability to run past guys. He’s a long guy who is a huge mismatch, especially on safeties. He can do some things there. It’s a great asset for us. He’s come a long way, he’s continuing to get more and more comfortable and grow each week. It’s huge for us. He’s a huge asset for us and we need him to continue to grow and play the way he’s been throwing.

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Browns coach Pat Shurmur: RB Trent Richardson has right rib cage injury

By Marla Ridenour Published: October 15, 2012

Highlights of Browns coach Pat Shurmur’s press conference, which took place this afternoon:

On the status of running back Trent Richardson, who left the game midway through the third quarter with what was first called a “flank” injury: “Trent’s fine. He has a right rib cartilage injury and he’s day to day.”

On seven consecutive three-and-outs: “We were calling bad plays and we weren’t executing them right.”

On defensive tackle Phil Taylor’s expected return to practice after suffering a torn pectoral in May: “We’re going to get him in there soon. There’s a 21-day window. I’ll let that play itself out.”

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Game day blog: Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals (Week 6)

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 14, 2012

Final score: Browns 34, Bengals 24 (game story; thumbs up/thumbs down; notebook; Stephanie Storm's story about Montario Hardesty making the most of Trent Richardson's injury; Marla Ridenour's column)

Game action

End 4Q: Browns 34, Bengals 24 -- In the first win of the season, the Browns took the lead on the first play of the fourth quarter. Montario Hardesty, filling in for Richardson (flank), leaped over the pile on second and goal from the 1-yard line to put the Browns up 20-14. Bengals kicker Mike Nugent kicked a 44-yard field goal to make it 20-17. Later, on third and one, Weeden found Jordan Cameron on third and one at the 26-yard line for 23 yards. Weeden then hit Ben Watson in the end zone on a play-action pass. Cornerback Sheldon Brown put the Browns up 34-17 left with a 19-yard interception returned for a touchdown. A.J. Green later beat Haden on a 57-yard touchdown with 2:29 remaining. Down 34-24, the Bengals were driving inside the Browns’ 20-yard line when Emmanuel Stephens sacked Dalton and forced a fumble that Billy Winn picked up and ran back 35 yards.

End 3Q: Bengals 14, Browns 13 – The Browns scored six points in the midst of a 7-drive drought without a first down. Josh Cribbs returned a punt 60 yards and Joe Haden intercepted a pass to set up two Phil Dawson field goals. As time expired for the quarter, the Browns have second and goal at the 1-yard line.

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Browns sign QB Thaddeus Lewis to practice squad

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 13, 2012

The Browns signed quarterback Thaddeus Lewis to their practice squad, the team announced today.

The Browns waived Lewis from their 53-man roster Thursday to create a spot for cornerback Joe Haden, who returned this week from a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Lewis was inactive in all five games this season. He completed 9-of-17 passes for 146 yards with one interception in the preseason.

Last season, the Browns claimed Lewis off waivers from the St. Louis Rams. Lewis spent the 2010 season with Browns coach Pat Shurmur while the latter served as the Rams’ offensive coordinator. Lewis was inactive for the Browns in 13 games last season and dressed in three others without playing.

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Browns elevate WR Josh Cooper to active roster; place WR Jordan Norwood on IR, designate for return

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 12, 2012

The Browns have elevated undrafted rookie wide receiver Josh Cooper from their practice squad to their 53-man roster, the team announced today.

They also placed wide receiver Jordan Norwood on injured reserve and designated him for return. Norwood, who’s on crutches and has his left foot in a walking boot, will be eligible to practice in six weeks and allowed to return to the active roster in eight weeks. He suffered the injury this week.

Cooper’s promotion was expected because the Browns’ receiving corps is short-handed. In addition to Norwood going on IR, starting wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring) has been ruled out for Sunday, when the Browns (0-5) will host the Cincinnati Bengals (3-2).

“I feel really prepared,” Cooper said. “I've been working with offense a little bit and I understand the game plan, so it would be great to go out and play.”

Cooper will serve primarily as a slot receiver, a role Norwood filled for the Browns in the past two games. Cooper also will reunite in live action with his former Oklahoma State teammate, rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden.

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Friday's Browns-Bengals injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 12, 2012

Injury report Oct. 12

Browns – Out: S Tashaun Gipson (knee), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), WR Jordan Norwood (foot) and CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle). Doubtful: WR Travis Benjamin (hamstring). Questionable: LB Scott Fujita (shoulder/neck), DT Ahtyba Rubin (calf), S Ray Ventrone (hand/calf) and SS T.J. Ward (hand). Probable: LB D’Qwell Jackson (concussion), DE Frostee Rucker (shoulder) and TE Alex Smith (concussion).

Bengals – Questionable: CB Jason Allen (quad), DE Wallace Gilberry (calf), CB Dre Kirkpatrick (knee) and LB Dontay Moch (illness). Probable: WR A.J. Green (knee), CB Adam Jones (back), CB Terence Newman (groin) and OT Andrew Whitworth (knee).

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 12, 2012

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

(Opening Statement)- “You saw yesterday we had to make a roster move. We had to make room so we let Thad (Lewis) go. We’ll do what we can as we move through the weekend and hopefully get him back. There’s a chance we have to make another move here, and I’ll let that determine itself for us. I’m not going to make any announcements at this point. Other than that practice was good. The guys have had, once again, another good week. I think we’re ready to go out and play hard. Now we’ve just got to go play better.”

(On if they’ve filled Lewis’ roster spot yet)- “We haven’t made the final moves yet.”

(On if they need a third quarterback even if it’s on the practice squad)- “I think it’s good to have three around, however you do it. I think it’s important that you have a guy in here that you’re developing, or if you developed them, you have an opportunity to bring them back.”

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Browns rookie WR Travis Benjamin returns to practice

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 12, 2012

Browns rookie wide receiver Travis Benjamin practiced today for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury Sept. 27 against the Baltimore Ravens.

It remains to be seen what his status will be for Sunday when the Browns (0-5) host the Cincinnati Bengals (3-2). The injury report will be released at about 4 p.m. today.

Benjamin’s return could give the Browns a much-needed boost in their short-handed receiving corps. Starter Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring) and Jordan Norwood (foot) continued to sit out today.

The Browns also are expected to soon elevate undrafted rookie wide receiver Josh Cooper from their practice squad to the active roster. Cooper worked with the offense today during team drills.

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Browns waive third-string QB Thaddeus Lewis to make room for return of CB Joe Haden

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 11, 2012

The Browns waived third-string quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, the team announced today.

The team made the move so it could place cornerback Joe Haden, who returned from a four-game suspension Monday, back on its active roster.

Lewis was inactive in all five games this season. He completed 9-of-17 passes for 146 yards with one interception in the preseason.

Last season, the Browns claimed Lewis off waivers from the St. Louis Rams, with whom he spent the 2010 season with Shurmur while the latter served as an offensive coordinator. Lewis was inactive for the Browns in 13 games last season and dressed in three others without playing.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 11, 2012

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

(On if Brandon Weeden is being asked to throw too much and him being second in yardage) – “He’s second in yardage for a rookie too, right? Would I like to be able to run it more? Yeah, I would like to be able to run it more, but we put ourselves in some situations where the way that you have to come back is you have to throw the football. I don’t know if he’s being asked to. He’s holding up under it decently. That’s for you guys to say.”

(On if it’s a positive step for Weeden accepting his mistakes) – “I think anytime you can own it, that’s huge. I certainly haven’t put it in the ego category. I’ve told you guys before that for him to keep shooting is really important. Whether it’s in the face of an error to shut it down and clamp down, and just look five yards beyond the line of scrimmage is not a good thing. That’s something that I have seen with young quarterbacks that do shut it down and don’t keep shooting. I’d say, having learned from that and being able to acknowledge it is a plus, but I don’t want him to back up.”

(On how being short on receivers changes the way they approach the scheme) – “All those guys are being paid as professionals, so we’re really kind of a next man up operation. We kept a bunch of those guys, kept a handful of those guys up for the first games. I think we had five up for the first game. If we have to go down to three or four, we’ll go down to three or four and we’ll build it some other way. Alex Smith looks like he’s going to be back this week, and that helps you build other personnel packages.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 11, 2012

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

(On having Joe Haden back and how it changes the way he schemes)- “It’s great to have Joe back, there’s no doubt about it. We’ve talked about it almost every week since he’s been out, it’s just never good to have a starter out of your lineup. Call-wise or scheme-wise it helps us a little bit, but doesn’t change a lot of stuff significantly. It does change some things.”

(On how he plans to implement James-Michael Johnson into the defense and if he envisions him playing both inside and outside)- “He does play both. He’s gotten more of his work outside in training camp to this point. Hopefully D’Qwell (Jackson) will be able to go, but we will keep dual training him. He’ll get work at both of them, really more focus on outside on our base and the backup MIKE on our sub package. That’s kind of where he’s been focusing.”

(On if Buster Skrine can play inside if Dimitri Patterson unable to play)- “Buster has played inside for us before and he’s worked there. He practiced there a good deal last year and then I would say a significant amount this year so he can move inside. He’s played the position, he’s familiar with it, clearly he doesn’t have a lot of experience there, but Buster does not have a lot of experience in the league.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 11, 2012

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

(On Adam Jones’ punt return the last time they played the Bengals and if the punt coverage unit has made strides in the past couple of weeks)- “Yeah, that wasn’t a very good play for us. I think it’s important that, number one, you improve and I think we have. I think the last two weeks our coverage units have done a fine job. I anticipate that we will not punt the ball in a way that he can return it and I anticipate that we won’t miss six tackles this time.”

(On if the hang time on Reggie Hodges’ punts is improving)- “I think he’s improving. I think it’s all coordinated. You need the proper punt and then you’ve got to cover it. First of all, you’ve got to protect it. The coverage unit needs to protect, you’ve got to punt the ball properly and then you need to cover in a way where you get the returner on the ground. I think we’ve made improvements in all those areas.”

(On if he expects D’Qwell Jackson and Ahtyba Rubin to be back at practice today)- “We’ll see. I think there’s a chance that one or both could be there.”

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Thursday's Browns-Bengals injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 11, 2012

Injury report for Oct. 11

Browns – Did not participate in practice: WR Travis Benjamin (hamstring), LB Scott Fujita (shoulder/neck), S Tashaun Gipson (knee), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), WR Jordan Norwood (foot), CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle) and DT Ahtyba Rubin (calf). Limited participation in practice: LB D’Qwell Jackson (concussion), S Ray Ventrone (hand/calf) and SS T.J. Ward (hand). Full participation in practice: DE Frostee Rucker (shoulder) and TE Alex Smith (concussion).

Bengals – Did not participate in practice: LB Dontay Moch (illness). Limited participation in practice: CB Jason Allen (quad), CB Adam Jones (back), CB Terence Newman (groin) and OT Andrew Whitworth (knee). Full participation: WR A.J. Green (knee) and CB Dre Kirkpatrick (knee).

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Browns coach Pat Shurmur says DT Phil Taylor is 'right on schedule' for return

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 11, 2012

Browns starting defensive tackle Phil Taylor will be eligible to begin practicing next week, and coach Pat Shurmur indicated the 21st overall pick in last year’s draft is expected to do so.

“He looks great,” Shurmur said today. “We’re hopeful he'll be back soon. Let’s just say this: I think he’ll be right on schedule.”

Taylor started this season on the physically unable to perform list after suffering a torn left pectoral muscle May 10 while lifting weights. He had surgery six days later.

Once Taylor starts practicing, the Browns will have a 21-day window in which they must add him to their active roster or declare him done for the season. If all goes well, Taylor will provide a boost for a defense ranked 26th in the NFL against the run (142.4 yards allowed per game).

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Browns LB D'Qwell Jackson returns to practice while seven other players sit out

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 11, 2012

Browns starting middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson returned to practice today after suffering a concussion Sunday late in the first half against the New York Giants.

Jackson is a captain and the undisputed leader of the defense. He ranks second on the team with 30 tackles, including a team-high three sacks and two interceptions.

The Browns (0-5) can ill afford play without Jackson when they host the Cincinnati Bengals (3-2) Sunday. His return to practice is a sign he’ll probably be able to play.

“He’s the core of this defense and really our defensive leader,” undrafted rookie linebacker L.J. Fort said of Jackson. “I’m sure when he’s not out there, there’s a whole different feel and vibe. He’s essential to our defense.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 10, 2012

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

(Opening statement)- “Trent Richardson will be the fourth captain this week and another little piece of business, our rookie quarterback turns 29 on Sunday. That was a joke. We’re looking forward to getting the preparation going for the Bengals. Our first walk-through was good and their attention was good and we’re looking forward to getting them on the practice field. As you move through the process of correcting the mistakes of losses and wins, now we get to actually get to go on the field and get ready for the next team and I think all 32 teams do that unless you’re involved in a bye. We’re excited to get the preparation going and get after the Bengals.”

(On if D’Qwell Jackson will be at practice today)- “We’ll see. He was in the building and at all the meetings today.”

(On if Scott Fujita will practice today)- “Yeah, he’s out there.”

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Wednesday's Browns-Bengals injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 10, 2012

Injury report for Oct. 10

Browns – Did not participate in practice: WR Travis Benjamin (hamstring), S Tashaun Gipson (knee), LB D’Qwell Jackson (concussion), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), WR Jordan Norwood (foot), CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle) and DT Ahtyba Rubin (calf). Limited participation in practice: LB Scott Fujita (shoulder), TE Alex Smith (concussion), S Ray Ventrone (hand/calf) and SS T.J. Ward (hand). Full participation in practice: DE Frostee Rucker (shoulder).

Bengals – Did not participate in practice: CB Terence Newman (groin). Limited participation in practice: CB Jason Allen (quad), WR A.J. Green (knee), CB Dre Kirkpatrick (knee) and OT Andrew Whitworth (knee).

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Browns TE Alex Smith practices for first time in nearly a month; LB D'Qwell Jackson among those out

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 10, 2012

The Browns welcomed tight end Alex Smith back to practice but were missing several key defensive players and three wide receivers today during the 20-minute portion open to reporters.

Smith practiced today for the first time since he suffered a concussion Sept. 16 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Shurmur said he expects Smith to play Sunday when the Browns (0-5) host the Bengals (3-2) in a rematch.

Middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson didn’t practice today after suffering a concussion Sunday in the Browns’ 41-27 loss to the New York Giants. Jackson was at the team’s headquarters and attended meetings, coach Pat Shurmur said.

If Jackson can’t play Sunday, it would be a significant blow to the defense. Undrafted rookie L.J. Fort would likely fill in for Jackson.

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Browns LB Scott Fujita fires back at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in statement

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 10, 2012

On Tuesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reduced the suspension of Browns linebacker Scott Fujita from three games to one game and conceded he has no proof that Fujita contributed money to a bounty program that the New Orleans Saints allegedly administered, an accusation Goodell levied against Fujita in May.

But in a letter from Goodell to Fujita that was released by the league, Goodell also chastised Fujita for not speaking out against the alleged bounty program.

Fujita, who played for the Saints from 2006-09 before signing with the Browns in 2010, will practice today and can still appeal the revised suspension. In the meantime, he fired back at Goodell by releasing the following statement:

“I'm pleased the Commissioner has finally acknowledged that I never participated in any so-called ‘bounty’ program, as I've said for the past seven months. However, his condescending tone was neither accurate nor productive. Additionally, I am now purportedly being suspended for failing to confront my former defensive coordinator for his inappropriate use of language. This seems like an extremely desperate attempt to punish me. I also think it sets a bad precedent when players can be disciplined for not challenging the behavior of their superiors. This is an absolute abuse of the power that's been afforded to the Commissioner.

“For me, the issue of player health and safety is personal. For the league and the Commissioner, it's about perception and liability.

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Browns sign WR Rod Windsor to practice squad

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 10, 2012

The Browns signed wide receiver Rod Windsor to their practice squad, the team announced today.

Windsor was with the Browns in training camp this past summer before they waived him Aug. 31 during the final round of cuts. He spent 15 weeks on the Browns’ practice squad last season before being elevated to the 53-man roster for the final two games. He was inactive for both games.

The Browns also cut linebacker Benjamin Jacobs from their practice squad. The move was reported last night.

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Browns waive DE Marcus Benard from injured reserve, cut LB Benjamin Jacobs from practice squad

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 9, 2012

The Browns waived defensive end Marcus Benard from injured reserve today.

Benard dislocated his left elbow Aug. 24 in a preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles and was waived/injured Aug. 27. He then landed on IR with the Browns because no other team claimed him.

Benard, who's pictured above, led the Browns with 7.5 sacks in 2010. He compiled 39 tackles, including 11.5 sacks, in 25 games with the team. Benard spent this past summer fighting for a roster spot after missing most of last season with injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident in October 2011.

The Browns also cut linebacker Benjamin Jacobs from their practice squad today. Last season, he appeared in five games with the team.

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NFL reduces Browns LB Scott Fujita's three-game suspension to one game

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 9, 2012

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reduced Browns linebacker Scott Fujita’s three-game suspension for his alleged role in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal to one game, the league announced today.

The league also reduced the eight-game suspension it levied against defensive end Anthony Hargrove to seven games and credited him for the five games he has missed as a free agent. Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma remains suspended for the season, and Saints defensive end Will Smith’s four-game ban was not altered.

The players can appeal the suspensions. Fujita did not immediately reply to an e-mail from the Beacon Journal.

In response to the NFL’s discipline, the NFL Players Association released a statement.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 8, 2012

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

(Opening Statement) – “After watching the game in detail, I’ll go back on a little bit of what I said yesterday. I thought we came out and we started fast, 14-0 start is pretty good. We were running the football. We hit a couple big passes against them. We caused a turnover. We created field position with the kicking game, so we had a good start. I felt like going into the second quarter, we were continuing to play that way. Then we hit a three minute period there that at least initially changed the course of the game. (It’s) safe to say, when you talk about the opportunity lost of not scoring points. It was about a 21-point swing in my mind. The challenge there is going in at half time is to come back out and restart your motor. We came out and I thought we were playing hard and we just didn’t overcome it. That’s what happens in the game. It’s very important, no matter how hard you play, the results are important and that’s winning. We can’t let a three minute period wreck a performance against the Super Bowl champs. (We) can’t do it. They took advantage of what we gave them and we didn’t overcome it. That’s where it’s at. We’re moving forward. (We’re) looking forward to playing the Bengals this week. The fellas are just finishing up the corrections from yesterday. We’re playing a team that we know pretty well. They’re coming off a tough loss and (we’re) looking forward to playing them here at home.”

(On if he has talked to Joe Haden) – “I did, early this morning.”

(On his message to Haden and if he conveyed disappointment or anger to him) – “No, this is the first Joe could be in the building. So the first stop he made this morning, he came in early. I don’t know if it was the first stop, but it was early this morning, he came in and we visited. We just talked about what we’re going to do as we progress. Beyond that, I’ll keep it private.”

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Video: Browns CB Joe Haden apologizes for Adderall use that led to four-game suspension

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 8, 2012

Browns starting cornerback Joe Haden confirmed today that Adderall use triggered his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, and he apologized to fans, his teammates and the organization.

“I took an Adderall, and I shouldn't have,” Haden said. “And I got suspended, and now I'm back.”

After serving the suspension, Haden returned to the Browns’ headquarters this morning and met with coach Pat Shurmur. Haden will be re-inserted into the starting lineup Sunday when the Browns (0-5) host the Cincinnati Bengals (3-2).

“I hurt a lot of people,” Haden said. “I hurt myself for sure, but I hurt a lot of people with a decision I made, and I just want everybody to know I really sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart. It’s no script. Nobody tells me what to say. I just really feel that, and I want everybody to know that it was a mistake. Everybody makes mistakes, but my mistake happened to hurt a lot more people than I would have thought.”

Haden did not elaborate on his Adderall use when asked about the rumor that he took the drug while partying in Las Vegas. Adderall is often prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, but it’s also commonly abused to fight fatigue.

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Giants 41, Browns 27: Early success deteriorates quickly into another loss

By Ron Ledgard Published: October 7, 2012

By Nate Ulrich, Beacon Journal sports writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.: The Browns proved to be big teases Sunday.

They took control early and appeared to be poised for an upset win over the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, but a total meltdown spoiled their chances of winning for the first time this season.

The Browns (0-5) allowed the Giants (3-2) to run all over them, as evidenced by running back Ahmad Bradshaw’s 30 carries for 200 yards. Their secondary was torched — wide receiver Victor Cruz had five catches for 50 yards and three touchdowns. And they committed costly turnovers.

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Game day blog: Browns at Giants (Week 5)

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 7, 2012

Final score: Giants 41, Browns 27 (game story; Marla Ridenour's column; notebook; thumbs up/thumbs down)

Inactives: Browns -- quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), running back Brandon Jackson, safety Tashaun Gipson (knee), offensive tackle Ryan Miller, wide receiver Travis Benjamin (hamstring) and tight end Alex Smith (concussion). Notes: The Browns will play with only four active wide receivers: rookie Josh Gordon, Greg Little, Jordan Norwood and Josh Cribbs, who will play after suffering a concussion Sept. 27 against the Baltimore Ravens. They did not elevate rookie Josh Cooper from the practice squad. As expected, strong safety T.J. Ward will start despite undergoing surgery to repair his broken right thumb a little more than a week ago. Ward, who was listed as questionable heading into today, will wear a cast on his hand during the game. Usama Young will start at free safety despite dealing with a knee injury. Free safety Eric Hagg is active after spending Weeks 3 and 4 on the inactive list. Rookie linebacker James-Michael Johnson will make his regular-season NFL debut after sitting out the first four games with a ribs/oblique injury. Giants -- wide receiver Ramses Barden (concussion), defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (quad), cornerback Jayron Hosley (hamstring), wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (foot/knee), safety Kenny Phillips (knee), linebacker Keith Rivers (hamstring) and offensive tackle David Diehl (knee).

Lineup changes: Browns -- Gordon will start in place of Massaquoi. Giants -- defensive tackle Markus Kuhn will start in place of Bernard.

Top storylines by Stephanie Storm: 1. The winless Browns hope to continue playing the role of David when they take on this season’s Goliath, the New York Giants. The Browns have beaten the past three defending Super Bowl champions they’ve played: the Giants in 2008 (winning 35-14), the Pittsburgh Steelers in ’09 (13-6) and the New Orleans Saints in 2010 (30-17). 2. It probably felt like the longest four weeks of Joe Haden’s life, but the third-year cornerback will be sitting out the final game of his four-game suspension for reportedly testing positive during the offseason for the prescription drug Adderall. Haden is usually assigned to the opponents’ best wide receiver, and the secondary has struggled in his absence. 3. Injuries continue to mount for the Browns, with the receiving corps the hardest hit during the loss last week to the Baltimore Ravens. It appears as if kick returner/wide receiver Josh Cribbs (concussion) will play, but Mohamed Massaquoi and Travis Benjamin have been rules out with hamstring injuries. Strong safety T.J. Ward returned to practice Thursday with his broken right thumb in a cast and will start. 4. The Giants feature two local talents. Linebacker Chase Blackburn and wide receiver Domenik Hixon are both products of the University of Akron. Blackburn signed with the Giants as a rookie free agent in 2005. Hixon was a fourth-round draft pick in 2006 by the Denver Broncos and was awarded to the Giants off waivers in 2007. 5. The two teams have plenty of coaching connections, including Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron, Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, running backs coach Jerald Ingram and strength and conditioning coach Jerry Palmieri, who worked under Giants coach Tom Coughlin with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 1995-96. Later, Jauron also coached alongside Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell on the 1998 Jaguars staff.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 5, 2012

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

(Opening Statement)- “There is nothing really to add to the week’s preparation. As you noticed Trent (Richardson) wasn’t out here. I’ll just address that right away. He was excused for personal reasons. Him not being here at practice will not affect his game status so we’ll put that to bed.”

(On if he can say where Richardson is)- “It’s just personal. I’ll let him tell you when it’s time. That’s all.”

(On if Richardson is in town)- “Yeah, he’s in town. He’s fine.”

(On if he expects Richardson back at the facility today)- “He’ll be around, sure.”

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Friday's Browns-Giants injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 5, 2012

Injury report for Oct. 5

Browns – Out: S Tashaun Gipson (knee) and TE Alex Smith (concussion). Doubtful: WR Travis Benjamin (hamstring) and WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring). Questionable: SS T.J. Ward (hand). Probable: WR Josh Cribbs (concussion), RB Trent Richardson (not injury related), DE Frostee Rucker (shoulder), S Ray Ventrone (hand/calf) and S Usama Young (knee).

Giants – Out: WR Ramses Barden (concussion), DT Rocky Bernard (quad), CB Jayron Hosley (hamstring), WR Hakeem Nicks (foot/knee) and S Kenny Phillips (knee). Doubtful: OT David Diehl (knee) and LB Keith Rivers (hamstring). Questionable: LB Michael Boley (hip) S Antrel Rolle (knee), G Chris Snee (hip) and CB Corey Webster (hand/hamstring). Probable: C David Bass (hand) and CB Michael Coe (hamstring).

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Browns strong safety T.J. Ward says he'll play Sunday after recent thumb surgery

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 5, 2012

Starting strong safety T.J. Ward said he will play Sunday when the Browns (0-4) visit the New York Giants (2-2).

Ward broke his right thumb last week in the first quarter of the Browns’ 23-16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and had nine screws inserted in his hand over the weekend to repair it. Dr. Thomas Graham performed the surgery.

Ward has practiced the past two days while wearing a cast. He’ll continue to wear it when he faces the Giants.

“I hate missing games, and I can play with it,” Ward said. “I think having the surgery early helped me out. I don’t think anything else can happen to it, so I’ll be able to play.”

Ward leads the Browns with 27 tackles this season to go along with a sack and a forced fumble.

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Browns rookie RB Trent Richardson excused from practice today to attend birth of his third child

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 5, 2012

Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson was excused from practice today so he could attend the birth of his third child, coach Pat Shurmur confirmed.

Richardson and his girlfriend, Sevina, are expecting a boy. They have two daughters, Taliyah, 5, and Elevera, 4.

Shurmur said he expects Richardson to play Sunday when the Browns (0-4) visit the New York Giants (2-2). Richardson is in the Cleveland area and is expected to be at the team’s headquarters today, Shurmur said.

“I’ve seen guys go through family situations, personal situations and come and play outstanding games,” Shurmur said. “So I think what’s important is that he just tidies up on the preparation that he did miss, which I know he will.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 4, 2012

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

(On what has to be done to maximize Trent Richardson’s potential) – “It all starts getting into rhythm. It probably starts with running the football and running it a little bit better, and then I think his catches will come in the pass game. He’s obviously shown some explosion in the passing game, but I would say being able to run the football a little bit better.”

(On how he would assess the offensive line with run blocking) – “If we’re calling it and sometimes I haven’t done a great job of calling it as much as I need to, it has been okay. I wouldn’t say we’ve been overpowering, but then again that’s driven by lack of calls.”

(On Brandon Weeden and the progress he made against the Ravens) – “I thought he made some in-game adjustments where he missed a blitz opportunity. The one that Greg (Little) dropped down the middle, he got that exact same look and exact same play earlier and missed the read. I thought coming back and being decisive with that, that was a full pressure and I thought he was seeing things good.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 4, 2012

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

(On how they will incorporate James-Michael Johnson into the defense)- “First of all, it’s really good to have him back, to get somebody back. We were counting on him to contribute throughout the whole year. We’re excited to get him back on the field, now we’ve just got to see because it’s his first week back in full practice. He’s moving well, he’s moving around well. If he has any soreness, it’s very minimal. He’ll have to work his way back in. It’ll be a lot of special teams and then we’ll see what happens defensively as we move along. We’re really excited to have him back.”

(On what role Johnson will play)- “I think it will probably be with our base scheme, as opposed to the nickel, but he can play either. That’s how I would see it at this point.”

(On facing another elite quarterback and what they have done to compensate for missing Joe Haden)- “We haven’t really tried to do a whole lot different so in that regard, in terms of calls and defenses, we haven’t done it a lot different. I haven’t really thought about it like that - to try to change things up or protect our corners. Our guys are very competitive, the people that play on the edge, they have to be to play in this league, they just have to be. They have to tough, and have short memories and get right back up and challenge after they don’t look so good on a play, and they’ve done that for us. Hopefully they will continue. I know we’ve said it a number of times, to lose any player is hard, to lose starters is really hard. We’ll look forward to getting Joe back, but they’ve stepped in. This week I know that the Giants have some injuries too, and may have some guys miss the game, they may not, I don’t know that yet. They are a very talented group, so it will be another huge challenge, and as you pointed out with another elite quarterback. We’ve got our work cut out for us. The guys are really excited about it as they are every week. I feel good. I like our guys, they just play. They play, they don’t complain and they come after you.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 4, 2012

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

(Opening statement)- “We’re digging deeper on the preparation for the Giants. I think we had a good day of practice yesterday. Some of the younger guys had, in my opinion, some of their best practices of the year so we need to build on that. We’re playing an outstanding football team on the road and I know our guys are excited to go out there and compete and get a victory.”

(On if Mohamed Massaquoi or Travis Benjamin will practice today)- “We’ll have to see. They’re both dealing with hamstrings so we’ll just have to see if they can make it back out there.”

(On if a hamstring injury affects a speed guy like Travis Benjamin more than another player)- “It could, I don’t know. Each guy handles their injuries differently. There are some guys that are really fast that have to be perfect to play then there are other guys that can play with nagging things and be affective so we’ll just have to see.”

(On if he was aware that Joshua Cribbs’ family said they would like him to retire and his response to that)- “I was made aware of it and I’ve said this before, I have a huge admiration for his toughness. Josh is a tough man and Josh is a football player. He’s been banged around quite a bit over his career and he loves the game. It’s obvious by the way he just keeps getting back up and getting back out there so I admire that. I also know the feelings that families have for the people they love so I can understand that as well.”

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Thursday's Browns-Giants injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 4, 2012

Injury report for Oct. 4

Browns – Did not participate in practice: WR Travis Benjamin (hamstring), S Tashaun Gipson (knee), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring) and TE Alex Smith (concussion). Limited participation in practice: LB James-Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique), S Ray Ventrone (hand) and SS T.J. Ward (hand). Full participation in practice: WR Josh Cribbs (concussion), DE Frostee Rucker (shoulder) and FS Usama Young (knee).

Giants – Out: WR Hakeem Nicks (foot/knee). Did not participate in practice: WR Ramses Barden (concussion), DT Rocky Bernard (quad), LB Michael Boley (hip), CB Jayron Hosley (hamstring), S Kenny Phillips (knee), S Antrel Rolle (knee), G Chris Snee (hip) and CB Corey Webster (hand/hamstring). Limited participation in practice: OT David Diehl (knee) and LB Keith Rivers (hamstring). Full participation in practice: C David Bass (hand) and CB Michael Coe (hamstring).

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Jimmy Haslam tells FOX Business he won't make Browns personnel decisions until toward end of year

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 4, 2012

The Browns will probably undergo major changes because of their impending shift in leadership, but incoming owner Jimmy Haslam III said he doesn’t plan to shake up the football side of the organization during this season.

After practice today, Haslam said through a team spokesman that personnel changes are “not something we’ll discuss until after the year.” In other words, coach Pat Shurmur and his staff appear to be safe for now despite the team’s 0-4 record.

Haslam’s purchase of the Browns from Randy Lerner is expected to be approved by NFL owners during their meeting Oct. 16 in Chicago. However, Haslam said an immediate overhaul wouldn’t follow.

During an interview earlier today with FOX Business, Haslam was asked specifically about the futures of Shurmur and President Mike Holmgren.

“I don’t think anybody thinks 0-4 [is acceptable] and certainly Mike Holmgren and Pat Shurmur don’t think it is, and we don’t think it is,” Haslam said. “But we’ve got a young team. We’re building. I think we’re heading in the right direction. We don’t officially own the team yet, and we’ve said all along that we’re not going to make any comments on personnel until after we own the team. That’s in about two weeks. And candidly we’ll be halfway through the football season then, so any personnel decisions we’d make would be made toward the end of the year.”

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Browns starting strong safety T.J. Ward returns to practice after recent thumb surgery

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 4, 2012

Browns starting strong safety T.J. Ward returned to practice today after undergoing surgery on his right thumb this past weekend.

Ward wore a black cast on his right hand as he participated in individual and team drills. If his thumb responds well, Ward should be able to play Sunday when the Browns (0-4) visit the New York Giants (2-2). Ward suffered the injury Thursday in the Browns’ 23-16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

“Hopefully T.J. will be OK,” defensive coordinator Dick Jauron said today. “He’s playing really well. I think he understands our scheme better. He really wants to do it right. He’s working at it hard. He’s done a nice job.”

Special teamer and safety Ray Ventrone had a similar surgery after he broke his left hand Sept. 9 in the regular-season opener. Ventrone missed one game but has played the past two weeks with a protective cast on his left hand.

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Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress says rookie WR Josh Gordon stepping up

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 4, 2012

With a chance to break out on the horizon, Browns rookie wide receiver Josh Gordon is preparing better than he has all season.

At least that’s the way offensive coordinator Brad Childress sees it.

“I thought he had his best practice as a professional yesterday,” Childress said this afternoon during a news conference. “I didn’t see any hesitation. I didn’t see him thinking about anything. I saw him playing fast, catching the football, just doing all the things that a professional receiver, you expect to see.”

The Browns’ receiving corps is short-handed. Mohamed Massaquoi and rookie Travis Benjamin are dealing with hamstring injuries and have yet to practice this week. As a result, Gordon’s opportunities will likely increase when the Browns (0-4) visit the New York Giants (2-2) Sunday.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 3, 2012

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

(Opening statement)- “As I start every Wednesday, this week’s game captain will be Ahtyba Rubin. It’s another good choice. He’s kind of a quiet, dependable guy, who leads by example although I’ll give you one little story. In the offseason, it was during an OTA practice, some new players came in and around their area after practice things got a little sloppy. As I was making my swing through the locker room later in the day, I saw on each person’s chair a printed off sheet that said, ‘Don’t be a pig, take care of your area,’ kind of a reminder to some of these guys. Well, my first reaction was it was Brad’s (Melland) crew that did it, the equipment guys. I came to find out it was Rubin that did that which it was a little thing, but he’s a guy that leads by example. He’s quiet and he thinks about things and he understands what’s important. In his mind it was important to give a few guys a reminder so I appreciate that about him. That’s one little thing that you can go with. Other than that I think he’s a very fine football player so it was a good choice. Other than that we’re getting ready to play the Giants and again we’ll get our team as good as we can be and then make every effort to go to New York and get our first victory. I think that’s what is most important.”

(On if he expects Joshua Cribbs to practice today)- “Again, I do this every week, thanks for asking the question so I can say it - I don’t want to talk about injuries, but Cribbs will be out there.”

(On Mohamed Massaquoi’s injury)- “Again, I’m not going to talk about injuries. Thanks for asking again.”

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Wednesday's Browns-Giants injury report

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 3, 2012

Injury report for Oct. 3

Browns – Did not participate in practice: WR Travis Benjamin (hamstring), S Tashaun Gipson (knee), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), TE Alex Smith (concussion) and S T.J. Ward (hand). Limited participation in practice: WR Josh Cribbs (concussion), LB James-Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique), DE Frostee Rucker (shoulder), S Ray Ventrone (hand) and S Usama Young (knee).

Giants – Did not participate in practice: C David Bass (hand), WR Ramses Barden (concussion), DT Rocky Bernard (quad), LB Michael Boley (hip), WR Hakeem Nicks (foot/knee), S Kenny Phillips (knee), G Chris Snee (hip) and CB Corey Webster (hand). Limited participation in practice: T David Diehl (knee), CB Jayron Hosley (hamstring), LB Keith Rivers (hamstring) and S Antrel Rolle (knee). Full participation in practice: CB Michael Coe (hamstring).

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Browns WR Josh Cribbs returns to practice today after suffering concussion Thursday against Ravens

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 3, 2012

Wide receiver and special teamer Josh Cribbs returned to practice today after suffering a concussion Thursday in the Browns’ 23-16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. He said he's ready to face the New York Giants on Sunday.

Cribbs left the Browns’ most recent game in the first quarter after he had his helmet knocked off while returning a punt. Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe delivered the frightening hit, smacking his shoulder pad against Cribbs’ helmet. After Cribbs’ helmet flew off, his head snapped back, hit the turf and he was kicked in the face.

Cribbs was motionless on the field for a minute or two. He then sat up and walked off the field with members of the team’s medical staff.

"I don't remember much about the hit, but after I came up, I was ready to play again," Cribbs said, adding he was knocked unconscious. "They had to take my helmet and everything for me not to play and had to keep tabs on me in the locker room so I wouldn't run back out there. I was ready to play, and I'm ready to play this week.

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NFL Network chronicles Browns' final season in Cleveland before move to Baltimore

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 2, 2012

NFL Network has chronicled the Browns’ final season in Cleveland before Art Modell moved the team to Baltimore as part of its behind-the-scenes, Emmy-nominated series, A Football Life.

The episode titled Cleveland ’95: A Football Life will air at 8 p.m. Wednesday. It examines the immediate impact the team’s move had on Cleveland and the organization.

It also features former Browns coach Bill Belichick and the front-office executives and assistants who worked under him. The high-profile list includes NFL general managers Ozzie Newsome, Scott Pioli, Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Tannenbaum, three-time national championship coach Nick Saban, former Browns and New York Jets coach Eric Mangini and Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz.

Click here to watch a trailer for the documentary.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 1, 2012

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

(Opening Statement) – “We’re back at it. It was good for the players to get away for a day or so. We had a chance to go through what we’ve done to this point in the year. Of course, we’re not where we want to be yet. We’re putting all our energy and our focus into beating the Giants. It was a good practice today. Guys ran around. We are working mostly on fundamentals and doing all the things right, and then of course, we snuck a peak at the Giants. That’s where we’re at.”

(On updates on Mohamed Massaquoi, Travis Benjamin and Joshua Cribbs) – “They are all day to day.”

(On if T.J. Ward had to have surgery) – “He did. I think I said the thumb, right? It was the thumb, yeah. He did.”

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T.J. Ward has surgery on right thumb, leaving Browns short-handed at safety

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 1, 2012

Browns starting strong safety T.J. Ward had surgery on his right thumb a couple of days ago, coach Pat Shurmur said this afternoon.

Shurmur described Ward’s status as “day-to-day.” It’s unclear whether he’ll be able to play Sunday when the Browns (0-4) visit the New York Giants (2-2).

“We’ll see,” starting free safety Usama Young said. “We’ve had guys have surgery and come play, so we don’t know. We’ve gotta wait and see. I know T.J. will try to fight through it. It’s gonna take a lot to keep him off the field, so who knows?”

The surgery Ward underwent is akin to the one special-teams ace and safety Ray “Bubba” Ventrone had after he broke his hand Sept. 9 in the regular-season opener, Shurmur said. Ventrone missed the Browns’ Week 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals following the surgery, but he returned in Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills and has been playing with a cast on his hand. Shurmur believes Ward will be able to return because Ventrone has played.

“Same procedure Bubba had, and he’s back,” Shurmur said.

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Six Browns players, including three wide receivers, sitting out today

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 1, 2012

The Browns are short-handed today, especially at wide receiver.

Three of the six players who were not at practice this morning during the 20-minute portion open to reporters are wide receivers. They are Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), Josh Cribbs (concussion) and rookie Travis Benjamin (unknown). As a result, the only receivers practicing were Greg Little, Jordan Norwood, rookie Josh Gordon and rookie Josh Cooper, who’s a member of the practice squad.

Strong safety T.J. Ward (right thumb), free safety Tashaun Gipson (knee) and tight end Alex Smith (concussion) didn’t practice, either.

Free safety Usama Young suffered a knee injury Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens, but he was at practice today.

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