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Transcript from Browns GM Ray Farmer's news conference

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 30, 2014

Browns General Manager Ray Farmer met with reporters Tuesday for his 2014 season review. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

Opening statement: “End of the year, so thank you everybody for attending my end of the year synopsis for how the Browns played this year. I would tell you it was invaluable for us this year in setting a foundation that we think that’s going to put our team in the direction that we want to be able to achieve sustainable success. I guess the simple term for me that I would say is the word…It was ‘necessary.’ We went through this year. The things that we embodied and the things that we kind of accomplished this year brought us back to seeing the good and the bad. There are positives and negatives. I would tell you there are two sides to this season. We started in a direction where there were some positives early. Then, there were some negatives late. I think those are obvious, and I think in that instance we learned a lot about ourselves. We learned a lot about our culture. We learned a lot about that foundation that we’re trying to lay, and it’s not perfect right now. It’s going to require us sanding some edges and making some adjustments, and we recognize that. I would also say that we’re obviously not happy with how things finished up at the end of the season. Our goals are to sustain winning over a long period of time here, and we fell short of that goal this year. I’d also like to say that from my point, I think it’d be a discredit to the players, the staff, the coaches, everyone that was involved in this thing not to really requisitely look at positives that were accomplished this year. Bringing meaningful football to Cleveland in the month of December is I think something we should hang out hats on and be positive about, as well as the ability to start to establish a culture of creating accountability, the next man up philosophy I think that ‘Pett’ (Head Coach Mike Pettine) talked about during the course of the year was important for us, and moving this foundation and this franchise forward towards our goals at the end of the day is really what we’re focused on here. There are a lot of things that we really want to make sure we get across. I think that from Coach Pettine, (Owner) Jimmy Haslam, (President) Alec Scheiner, myself, all believe that at the end of the day this is about creating a culture where we consistently win, and at the end of the of the day we find a way to bring championships to the city of Cleveland. With that in mind, I’ll open it up for questions.”

On QB Johnny Manziel talking a good game again yesterday to the media saying he wants to be held accountable and he wants to change his behavior and if he believes Manziel: “I would tell you that the words don’t mean anything. I’m not a big word guy. It’s all about action. I think that’s really where we’re at in time, and I think that’s for everybody. I think that’s what all of our players and our coaches and our staff, everybody with this organization want to see. That’s what our fans want to see. It’s about action.”

On if he thinks Manziel can still develop into an elite quarterback: “I do think he can develop into a solid starter in this league, yes. I think that the sample size that’s available is, like you said, small. I’d say to that end, we all have got to be patient. I think there’s an opportunity for the guy to make changes. It’s up to him if he’s going to make those changes, but I think the talent is in his body to accomplish that.”

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Browns GM not counting on Johnny Manziel to start, wouldn't hesitate to pick QB in 1st round

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 30, 2014

Browns General Manager Ray Farmer said he would not hesitate to use a first-round draft pick on a quarterback for the second year in a row.

"Nope, I would not," Farmer said Tuesday during his season wrap-up news conference. "I would not hesitate to take whoever I thought could help this football team and move us forward. The goal is to win."

The Browns used the 22nd overall pick in this year's draft to select quarterback Johnny Manziel, but Farmer made it clear the franchise is not counting on the former Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M to start in 2015. The Browns, who went 7-9 in 2014, have two first-round selections in next year's draft -- Nos. 12 and 19 overall.

"He'll be given every opportunity to contribute and compete, and he'll also have to compete against guys that could be draft choices," Farmer said. "They could be free-agent selections. They could be any number of stones that we overturn to try to find the right guy to bring in here to improve our roster."

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 29, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Monday to wrap up the 2014 season. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the Browns.

Opening statement: “Just understand that we have a lot of work to do this offseason, a lot. It’s difficult because our finish was very disappointing. We talked about that with the team this morning. Disappointing to everybody involved – players, coaching staff, everybody within the organization. I think the biggest lament for us is how disappointing it was for our fans to be 6-3 and to finish 7-9. That’s hard to deal with. There are a lot of circumstances involved, a lot of reasons why that happened, but it’s stuff that we’re going to have to dissect and study and look to learn very valuable lessons from. The game at Cincinnati, I think, was our high point. Then unfortunately, from there – like I said – for a variety of reasons we were not able to put together a very good end of November and all of December. In just getting a brief amount of time to reflect, I thought we did a lot of positive things this year. I think we’ve instilled a culture change. I think we’re well on our way to having that bought into by the vast majority of our players – the ‘Play Like a Brown’ mantra. I think we have a lot of guys that typify that, but we have to get everybody on board. That’s critical. As I told the team today and I’ve said it to them in prior team meetings – and it’s something that comes from (Browns GM) Ray (Farmer) and I truly believe it having been in the league for as long as I have been – that your raw talent will get you in the league, but it’s your character that determines how long you stay. I think it’s important for our guys to realize that. Overall, the message to the team this morning – we looked back. We talked about the disappointing finish. We talked about the foundation we built, the lessons that we’ve learned, and the fact that we still feel we’re headed in the right direction. We know we are. Then just looking ahead, just talking about relaxing, giving their minds and their bodies a chance to heal up, to recharge, but understand how important this offseason is. The lessons we learned this past year do us no good if we don’t correct those mistakes, that we don’t make them again, and just knowing and planting the seed that in 2015 it’s going to be a bigger challenge for us, just for the sheer fact of the schedule – the teams that we play. I know our strength of schedule will be much more difficult. We know we have to be that much better moving into next year. Very encouraged by a lot of things and discouraged by some others, but at the same time, feel that we’re headed in the right direction. Very excited about getting some time off. Very excited about looking back and evaluating what we’ve done. I’m very excited about moving forward, making changes and accomplishing what we want to accomplish next year.”

On how he gets everybody on board: “A variety of ways, tough love being one of them. It’s something that I’ve talked about it a number of times throughout the season. I think the staff can only go so far in getting players to do it the right way. I think our veteran leaders have stepped in and understood that we have some talented guys that need to be kind of herded in the right direction. I think you have to understand what motivated each player and push those buttons to get them going. Like I said, I told the team today that the guys that do it the right way we’re thankful for, and the guys that aren’t that if they want to take it as a warning we’re going to encourage them and coach them hard to do it the right way. If we exhaust all opportunities, all options and can’t then they won’t be here.”

On if DB Justin Gilbert and QB Johnny Manziel are in that group that is out of warnings: “I wouldn’t say out of warnings. I wouldn’t say that. I think the two situations are a little bit different. I’m not going to get into…Like I said with Justin, I’m not going to open up each player’s personal file here and get into details. Justin essentially was suspended on Sunday. It was just past the 4 o’ clock deadline to do it, but it was a result – as was (WR) Josh’s (Gordon) – just as multiple violations and having been served, having been warned that a suspension would occur. Whereas, Manziel – he was late for a treatment. I’m not writing off his behavior as acceptable. It is unacceptable, especially we said that we hold the quarterback to a higher standard than everybody else. That just comes with the territory at that position. Has his behavior been disappointing? Absolutely.”

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Browns owner Jimmy Haslam sends stern message to Manziel, Gordon, Gilbert: Grow up or get out

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 28, 2014

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam delivered a stern message directed toward rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel, wide receiver Josh Gordon and rookie cornerback Justin Gilbert on Sunday after the team fell 20-10 to the Baltimore Ravens in the season finale.

Haslam essentially said the players must get their acts together, or the organization will part ways with them.

The Browns fined Manziel, the 22nd overall pick, after he arrived late to a treatment session for his injured hamstring Saturday morning. He reportedly hosted Gordon and other players Friday night during a party at Manziel's apartment in downtown Cleveland.

The Browns suspended Gordon for the finale because he missed their walk-through practice Saturday morning. They also made rookie cornerback Justin Gilbert, the eighth overall selection, inactive Sunday because he was tardy to a team meeting Saturday night.

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Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says he's 'absolutely' sticking with coach Mike Pettine, GM Ray Farmer

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 28, 2014

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam vowed to keep his finger off the blow-up button, saying Sunday after the season finale he'll "absolutely" stick with coach Mike Pettine and General Manager Ray Farmer moving forward.

The Browns finished 7-9 in their first season under the guidance of Pettine and Farmer. They lost their final five games and six of their last seven, including a 20-10 defeat to the host Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

"I think they've done a good job," Haslam said after the game in the locker room at M&T Bank Stadium. "Listen, we're all disappointed. We're 7-4, we didn't think we'd be 7-9, but I think it's really positive how hard the guys played today, and you think of how many guy we had hurt. We're playing our third-team  quarterback who's never taken a snap in a live game and we go toe-to-toe with a team that's made the playoffs now seven of the last eight years in their facility. It went down to the wire. It was a 20-10 game, and they made more plays in the end than we did and they won the game. Guys played hard and did a good job. So we're happy with what Ray and Mike did and I know they're like I am. They want to get better next year and we're going to go to work on that tonight."

Haslam fired coach Rob Chudzinski last year after the Browns lost their final seven games and finished his first season on the job 4-12. Then a few weeks after a 25-day search for a head coach, which culminated with the hiring of Pettine, Haslam fired CEO Joe Banner and GM Mike Lombardi. He then promoted Farmer from assistant GM.

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Browns rookie CB Justin Gilbert inactive for season finale after being late to team meeting Saturday

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 28, 2014

Browns rookie cornerback Justin Gilbert will be inactive Sunday for the season finale against the Baltimore Ravens after reportedly being late for a team meeting Saturday night.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Gilbert, the eighth overall pick in this year's draft, was tardy just a day after he promised to work harder moving forward.

Gilbert's gaffe occurred after the Browns suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon for the finale because he missed the team's walk-through practice Saturday morning and fined rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel, the 22nd overall pick, because he was late to receive treatment for an injured hamstring Saturday morning.

Gilbert was publicly called out last week by inside linebacker Karlos Dansby and strong safety Donte Whitner. The veteran leaders let it be known they believe Gilbert needs to mature and become more dedicated to preparing like a professional.

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Report: Browns' Johnny Manziel, Josh Gordon punished after Manziel hosted party Friday night

By Marla Ridenour Published: December 28, 2014

Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel was fined for being late for treatment Saturday morning after throwing a party Friday night attended by several team members, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported Sunday.

The report implied there may have been more players other than Manziel and wide receiver Josh Gordon who reported late to team headquarters Saturday. Gordon missed the team's walk-through practice, was suspended for Sunday's game at Baltimore and was not permitted on the team flight when he showed up for it. Manziel traveled with the team to Baltimore.

Manziel, 22, was placed on injured reserve after hurting his left hamstring last Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, so he was required to undergo treatment in Berea. According to La Canfora, the Browns had to send security personnel to Manziel's apartment Saturday to try to locate him.

According to La Canfora, Manziel's late-night partying, work habits and practice performance continues to worry the Browns. On Tuesday, Manziel vowed to take his job more seriously, words that sound even more hollow in light of the party he hosted.

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Browns at Ravens (Week 17): Score tied 3-3 at halftime

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 28, 2014

The Browns (7-8) are facing the Baltimore Ravens (9-6) in the season finale Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium.

Halftime summary

The Browns tied the score when Garrett Hartley made a 38-yard field goal with 2:32 left in the second quarter, and the two teams were in a 3-3 stalemate at halftime.

Browns undrafted rookie quarterback Connor Shaw started his first NFL game after spending the first 16 weeks of the season on the practice squad. He received the nod because veteran Brian Hoyer (shoulder/biceps) and rookie Johnny Manziel (left hamstring) suffered injuries last week in a 17-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

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Browns suspend WR Josh Gordon for season finale after he missed their walk-through practice

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 27, 2014

Click the link for an updated version of this story: Browns suspend Josh Gordon, fine Johnny Manziel on eve of season finale

The Browns have suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon on the eve of their season finale against the Baltimore Ravens for a violation of team rules.

Instead of ending his season on a positive note, Gordon is enveloped in controversy again.

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Browns promote QB Connor Shaw, D-lineman Jamie Meder from practice squad to active roster

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 27, 2014

The Browns elevated undrafted rookie quarterback Connor Shaw and undrafted rookie defensive lineman Jamie Meder from the practice squad to the active roster, the team announced Saturday.

Shaw's promotion was a formality because on Friday coach Mike Pettine named him the starting quarterback for the season finale Sunday between the visiting Browns (7-8) and Baltimore Ravens (9-6). With rookie Johnny Manziel (hamstring) and veteran Brian Hoyer (throwing shoulder and biceps) hurt, Shaw will become the 22nd quarterback to start for the franchise since 1999.

The Browns waived backup outside linebacker Eric Martin and backup tight end Ryan Taylor on Friday to create roster space for Shaw and Meder.

Martin appeared in 13 games this season, including one he started, and tallied two tackles on defense to go along with four tackles and a forced fumble on special teams. Taylor played in eight games.

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 26, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Friday after practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference.

On heading into the season finale with the team’s third QB: “It’s a challenge. You can’t sugarcoat that, but at the same time, we look forward to it. If we go out and perform at all the other positions well, that’s going to minimize the impact. If we can stick to our formula, we still feel good about going down there.”

On if QB Connor Shaw will start: “Yeah, Connor will start.”

On when the Browns will officially elevate Shaw to the active roster from the practice squad: “Tomorrow. There will be a move by whenever the deadline is. I’m sure we’ll have a move by then”

On if QB Brian Hoyer is unable to throw the football: “He’s improving each day. Could he throw it underneath? Probably, but just as far as opening it up and having to throw a deep one... Again, we still listed him as doubtful. We didn’t rule him out completely, but I just think it would be the ability to really put something on a longer throw is what will keep him out of it.”

On Shaw receiving reps with the first team: “It’s good. He’s excited. The guys respect him because they’ve seen how hard he’s worked. It was good for him to get out there. As you can see, he made some plays with his feet. I know (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) will have a plan that will take advantage of what he does well.”

On if the season seems like a blur, getting to the end quicker than anticipated: “In some senses, it does; in other senses, it seems like it’s been 1,000 years. I’m looking forward to next week to be able to just kind of sit back and reflect on it all and kind of go back through – I’ve got pages of notes and moving forward. Obviously, we’ve got a chance to get to 8-8. That’s important. Our guys have talked about it all week and the importance of finishing well and having momentum. That’s our biggest priority, but I think we all know that next week will be a time for reflection and self-improvement.”

On defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil’s endorsement of DB Buster Skrine and Skrine’s performance this year: “We talk about ‘Play Like a Brown,’ and Buster is one of those guys that would come out of the gate first in just how he’s prepared himself and how coach-able he is. He’s had some rough moments during the season – it hasn’t all been great – but his resiliency has been impressive, how he’s been able to bounce back. Especially when (DB) Joe (Haden) went down and having to step up the last two weeks, actually, to step up and put him on a top receiver, he’s responded and handled it well.”

On if Skrine is a player he’d like to have back in 2015: “Yeah, he’s a Brown. It’s tough when you have guys that are up (for free agency). That’s the reality of business. As far as what we’re looking for, and I already talked about it, just everything from Buster from A to Z is a guy that you want on your football team.”

On what the Browns need from offensive skill positions that the team isn’t getting enough of now: “Production. It’s a bottom line business. You need to be able to get first downs and score points, but it’s still a matter of not trying to do too much in order to accomplish that so they still have to be very narrow minded in their focus. ‘What’s my job on this play? How do I get lined up? What’s my job? If I do it full speed, then I’m onto the next one.’ Then we get a chance to make a play, make a play.”

On if the thought was that Skrine is going to be a free agent and there will be enough players to let him walk when the Browns acquired several cornerbacks through the draft and free agency before this season: “I don’t want to get into just the kind of theory behind them. Our whole thing, we said it from the beginning, you can’t have enough corners. That’s a position that we’ll always look to address, the style that we play. When you rank the positions and prioritize, I’ve always said that two positions are quarterback and cornerback.”

On WR Miles Austin helping the receivers and if it’s atypical for a player that’s on injured reserve and not under contract next season to do that: “It’s the kind of guy he is. He was wanting to come on the trip to Carolina, here it is around the holidays and maybe wanted to get away from it all for a day (laughs). He’s that kind of guy. It just speaks volumes of his character that he would want to. I think the other guys even asking him, too, ‘Hey, you’re going to be around?’ They respect him that much and just his ability that he can put it in veteran’s terms for these guys. He’s such a good role model.”

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Injury report for Browns at Ravens (Week 17)

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 26, 2014

Browns

Out: Nose tackle Ahtyba Rubin (ankle) and center Ryan Seymour (hamstring). Doubtful: Quarterback Brian Hoyer (shoulder/biceps). Questionable: Tight end Gary Barnidge (rib), defensive end Desmond Bryant (thumb), cornerback Joe Haden (shoulder), wide receiver Andrew Hawkins (thumb), outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard (foot) and cornerback K'Waun Williams (hamstring). Probable: Wide receiver Marlon Moore (hamstring).

Ravens

Doubtful: Offensive tackle Eugene Monroe (ankle). Questionable: Defensive end Chris Canty (ankle/thigh), running back Fitzgerald Touissant (ribs) and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (back/thigh).

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Browns name QB Connor Shaw starter for season finale: 'I feel really confident going into this game'

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 26, 2014

Undrafted rookie quarterback Connor Shaw will start Sunday for the Browns (7-8) when they visit the Baltimore Ravens (9-6) in the season finale, coach Mike Pettine said Friday after practice.

He'll become the 22nd quarterback to start for the Browns since 1999. The franchise will start a third-string quarterback in its third consecutive season finale and its fourth finale in the last five.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer is officially listed as doubtful with an injured throwing shoulder and biceps he suffered Sunday in a 17-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers while playing in relief of rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel, who exited the action with 1:49 left in the first half with a left hamstring injury. Manziel, the 22nd overall pick in this year's draft, is on injured reserve.

"I'm excited about it," Shaw said Friday. "It was a good week of practice. I had a lot of support from coaches and teammates. I feel really confident going into this game with the game plan, and we'll see what happens on Sunday."

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Browns QB Connor Shaw continues to prepare to start season finale with Brian Hoyer sitting out

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 26, 2014

Undrafted rookie quarterback Connor Shaw continued Friday to prepare as the starter for the season finale Sunday between the Browns (7-8) and host Baltimore Ravens (9-6).

Veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer sat out practice Friday with an injured throwing shoulder and biceps he suffered Sunday in a 17-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers while relieving rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel, who exited the game with 1:49 left in the first half with a left hamstring injury. Manziel, the 22nd overall pick in this year's draft, is on injured reserve.

Hoyer hasn't practiced all week. He tried to throw Monday but shut it down. He planned to attempt to throw Friday.

Shaw would become the 22nd quarterback to the start for the Browns since 1999. The Browns would start a third-string quarterback in their third consecutive season finale and their fourth finale in the last five if Shaw were to receive the nod.

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Browns put Johnny Manziel on injured reserve, make other roster moves

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 24, 2014

Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel was placed on injured reserve Wednesday, the team announced. Manziel suffered a left hamstring injury Sunday in a 17-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Below is a news release from the Browns outlining the roster moves they made. 

BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns on Wednesday signed LS Charley Hughlett to the active roster from Kansas City’s practice squad and activated DL John Hughes (knee) from injured reserve-designated for return. To make room on the roster, the club placed DL Ishmaa’ily Kitchen (leg) and QB Johnny Manziel (hamstring) on injured reserve. General Manager Ray Farmer made the announcement.

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 23, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Tuesday before practice. Below is a transcript provided by the team.

Opening statement: “We’re back in the division this week against a very tough Ravens team. It’s been a long time – it seems like a lifetime – since we played them in Week 3, which was obviously a very tightly contested game. It came right down to the very end. Needless to say, a lot has changed for both teams in the meantime. They’re coming off a very difficult loss against the Texans. They had been playing very well and took a step backwards, but (Ravens Head Coach) John Harbaugh has always done an outstanding job of keeping them focused despite any distractions that there might be. (Ravens RB) Justin Forsett has really emerged as a go-to back this year. He’s been impressive. (Ravens WR) Steve Smith (Sr.) is still obviously playing at a very high level. I know (Ravens QB Joe) Flacco had a regrettable performance last week. Other than that, he’s been pretty solid. Defensively, they’re very consistent, very strong up front. I know they’ve had some injury issues in the secondary, but they protect those guys very well (with) the way they rush the passer. That group of four outside backers is as good and as deep as any in the league – (Ravens OLBs Terrell) Suggs, (Pernell) McPhee, (Courtney) Upshaw, (Elvis) Dumervil, and they obviously have the sack production to back that up.

“Again, this will be a typical AFC North game – very physical. Obviously (it’s) our last opportunity to accomplish a goal. We’re still trying to stay in the moment and understand that this game is meaningful for a lot of reasons and for different reasons for some guys. There are some young guys we’ve seen the last couple of weeks get an opportunity to play. We don’t know where we are yet at the quarterback spot given Brian (Hoyer’s) health. We’ll have (QB) Connor (Shaw) up, and then we added (QB) Tyler (Thigpen). I just reminded the guys todays that these opportunities are few and far between and we need to cherish every one of them. It’ll be over 250 days before we set foot on the field again in a regular season game. We have plenty of time off. It’s sooner than we wanted it to be, but we have plenty of time off coming up. We have to avoid the danger of looking past that. This is still a significant game for us, and we obviously know it’s very significant for them given their playoff status. I’ll go ahead and open it up.”

On if Hoyer is sitting out from practice today: “Yeah, he’ll rest today.”

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Browns rookie QB Connor Shaw taking all first-team reps Tuesday as Brian Hoyer sits out practice

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 23, 2014

Third-string quarterback Connor Shaw is taking all of the first-team snaps in practice Tuesday as the Browns (7-8) prepare for their season finale Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens (9-6), coach Mike Pettine said.

Veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer, who's dealing with an injured right shoulder, did not practice Tuesday. He rode a stationary bike alongside rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel, whom Pettine ruled out for the finale on Monday.

Shaw, an undrafted rookie, would make his first NFL start if Hoyer can't bounce back.

"We don't know where we are yet at the quarterback spot, given Brian's health," Pettine said.

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Browns re-sign veteran QB Tyler Thigpen, who could serve as backup in season finale

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 23, 2014

Updated at 12:05 p.m.

The Browns have re-signed veteran quarterback Tyler Thigpen, a league source confirmed Tuesday morning for the Beacon Journal, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team had yet to announce the move.

The Browns later announced the move. They waived rookie fullback Ray Agnew to make room on the roster for Thigpen.

With rookie Johnny Manziel ruled out of the season finale Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens (9-6) because of an injured left hamstring and Brian Hoyer dealing with an injured throwing shoulder, the Browns (7-8) are thin at quarterback.

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QB Connor Shaw may start finale for Browns with Johnny Manziel out, Brian Hoyer's shoulder hurt

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 22, 2014

Coach Mike Pettine said the Browns might be forced to start their third quarterback of the year in the season finale Sunday on the road against the Baltimore Ravens because rookie Johnny Manziel has been ruled out with a left hamstring injury and veteran Brian Hoyer is dealing with an injured throwing shoulder.

Rookie Connor Shaw would become the 22nd starting quarterback for the Browns since 1999 if Hoyer is unavailable. Shaw has spent the entire season on the practice squad after signing with the Browns as an undrafted free agent in May.

"Connor Shaw will get a good number of reps with the starters," Pettine said.

The Browns are also "exploring some other options to bring in at quarterback," Pettine explained. A logical choice would be veteran Rex Grossman, who spent training camp with the Browns and has five seasons of experience in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's system.

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 19, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Friday after practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

On if he’s encouraged that he might have DB Joe Haden in on Sunday: “Yeah, we’ll see. It truly will come down...I mean, there’s still a good amount of time for it to quiet down for him, so we’ll see how he feels on Sunday.”

On if he banged his shoulder on the near interception: “Yes.”

On if it’s a pain thing: “I’m not sure. (Head athletic trainer) Joe Sheehan gave me the complicated medical term for it. We’ll just have to see how it is. I know it was something that really bothered him as the game went on. That’s why we had to take him out. It’s improved since, but it’s a time thing. We just don’t know if, by the time Sunday comes along, it’s been enough time.”

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Injury report for Browns at Panthers (Week 16)

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 19, 2014

Browns

Out: Free safety Tashaun Gipson (knee) and cornerback K'Waun Williams (hamstring). Questionable: Tight end Gary Barnidge (rib), inside linebacker Karlos Dansby (knee), cornerback Joe Haden (shoulder), wide receiver Marlon Moore (knee), cornerback Robert Nelson (hamstring) and outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard (foot). Probable: Wide receiver Andrew Hawkins (illness).

Panthers

Questionable: Cornerback Carrington Byndom (hamstring), linebacker A.J. Klein (ankle), guard Amini Silatoli (knee) and running back DeAngelo Williams (hand). Probable: Linebacker Thomas Davis (knee), safety Roman Harper (thigh) and quarterback Cam Newton (back).

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Browns left tackle Joe Thomas accused of environmental violations in Wisconsin

By the Associated Press Published: December 19, 2014

MADISON, Wis.: Wisconsin officials have accused Browns lineman Joe Thomas of multiple environmental violations on his hunting land west of Madison.

The state Department of Natural Resources sent the former Wisconsin Badgers standout a letter Wednesday accusing him of doing work on the land without permits, including building bridges and dams and dredging a pond.

The letter also accused Thomas of tearing down a barn without notice of intent as well as discharging manure into a wetland.

The agency wants to meet with Thomas on Jan. 6 to discuss the violations. He could face $10,000 in fines for every day in violation.

DNR spokesman Bob Manwell declined to comment on the violations.

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 18, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Thursday after practice. Below is a transcript provided by the team.

On OL Joe Thomas winning the local PFWA Player of the Year Award and what has impressed about Thomas in his first season with him: “From an NFL player standpoint and beyond that,he’s just the total package, very professional, high character. Sometimes you have superstar players that are top of their game that there’s a sense of entitlement or they don’t practice as hard. He’s the exact opposite of that. We give him a day off, but it’s like we’re protecting him from himself. He’d want to go. To me, you know you’ve got a special guy when one of your best players is also one of your best examples and your best worker. It’s not a surprise to me that you guys saw that too.”

On some examples of guys who’ve played like a Brown and played up to what he had hoped this year: “(WR Andrew) Hawkins is another guy that we have to pull him out at times because he just works so hard. Joe, already mentioned. (OL Joel) Bitonio is a guy that we’ve been very impressed with. Again, if you spend some time around us and don’t have a roster and don’t know who was who you’d never think this was his first year in the NFL, also not coming from a huge program, too. He’s been great for us. (OL John) Greco is another guy I’d put in that category. (TE) Jim Dray just goes out and never says a…You’d think he’s on a budget for words on the year. He says nothing, and all he does is go out and do everything we ask and then some. ‘Kitch’ (DL Ishmaa’ily Kitchen) on defense is a guy, great work ethic, just wants to get better, has shown improvement through the year. Another obvious one is (LB) Craig Robertson. We already talked about that when he received the Man of the Year Award. His level of play this year, a guy that’s bought into what we’re doing and very coachable. You could see the difference – again, I didn’t study him too much from last year’s tape – but you could see just a big improvement in his approach to the game, how hard he works. It’s a lot of guys. (DB) Joe Haden’s been good for us. (DB) Pierre Desir’s a good example. I talked about just kind of given a set of circumstances where it was, ‘Hey, you’re given a redshirt.’ Then all he’s done is work and found himself on the field and found himself being productive. (DB) Jim Leonhard, don’t let the looks fool you. He’s just a guy that’s a consummate professional on and off the field. There’s a bunch more. I could bore you.”

On how the season so far has been a learning experience for him in his first season as a head coach: “It’s tough for me to really reflect back on that now. We’ve got two left, and I said it the other day, none more important than this one. I don’t want to get in the mode where…It’s not time for reflection yet. I have plenty of time when we’re done to do that. We will do a very detailed, whether it’s self-assessment, self-scout, audit when we’re done and just look back evaluate everything with this program from A to Z. I’ll look at myself and ask for feedback from people, as well, that I’m close to, that I trust on, ‘Hey, what did we do well as a program? What did we not do well?’ That’s all stuff for postseason. We’ll be able to pour through that information when we get it and act on it accordingly, but our primary concern now is Carolina.”

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Columbus officials reportedly think city will host Browns training camp, team says no decision made

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 18, 2014

Elected officials from Columbus visited FirstEnergy Stadium this past Sunday to make a pitch for the city to become the new home of Browns training camp, the Columbus Dispatch reported Thursday.

Two sources at City Hall told the newspaper the group, which included Mayor Michael B. Coleman, City Council President Andrew J. Ginther and Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady, left the recent meeting with the Browns believing it was “a matter of when, not if” the team announces training camp will relocate from its headquarters in Berea to Columbus.

The group from Columbus offered financial incentives of an undisclosed amount to entice Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, according to the report.

When asked to comment, the Browns said no decision has been made.

"We haven’t made any decisions about the location of Browns training camp in 2015," team spokesman Rob McBurnett said Thursday. "We are still evaluating various options, including our facility in Berea."

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Browns' Joe Thomas voted PFWA Player of Year, Brian Hoyer named 'Good Guy Award' winner

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 18, 2014

The local chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America unanimously selected Browns left offensive tackle Joe Thomas as the PFWA Player of the Year. The writers also voted Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer the PFWA Dino Lucarelli “Good Guy Award” winner.

The results were released Thursday.

The players will be honored at the 35th annual Akron Browns Backers banquet in May at the Tangier restaurant.

Thomas has made the Pro Bowl in each of his first seven NFL seasons. He has been selected first-team All Pro four times and second-team All Pro twice.

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 17, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Wednesday before practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

Opening statement: “The message to the team this morning was pretty simple. This week represents another opportunity to get a win in the National Football League. Those opportunities you don’t get that many of them. You train for a long time for 16 opportunities in a regular season, and this is one that is just as important as any other. There’s no better feeling than winning, and that’s something that we need to get that feeling back. In the Panthers, we’re playing a team…They’re, despite their record, in the thick of the race in the NFC South. We all know that’s well documented. Offensively, they do a lot of different things – a very unique running game. They do a real nice job. They have three backs that are very capable. They involve the quarterback in the run game a lot, very aware of (Panthers QB) Cam’s (Newton) situation, his unfortunate accident last week. We do expect him to play. I know there’s still a little gray about that, but we do fully expect him to play. That’s a big part of our prep. Defensively, it’s a good group led by (Panthers LB) Luke Kuechly who, to me, is one of the best linebackers in football. We’re going to have to be on point in what we do in all phases, whether it’s setting the edge in the run game, whether it’s us on offense being physical at the point of attack. It’s emphasizing the little stuff this week. It’s not about the call. I would think that we are not going to try to reinvent the wheel scheme wise. We need to go out and play great fundamental football. I talked to the team about their focus this week. We’re kind of sandwiched in between a very disheartening loss, and we also have the end of the season is on the horizon. That’s a difficult spot to be in because your focus can tend to stray. That’s a big part for us this week is we are in the moment of this week. I cautioned them about looking back and cautioned them about looking forward because I have a feeling that they’re going to be asked questions about last week and the end of the year. That’s something we have to guard against. These opportunities, like I said before, are few and far between. It’s something that we need to put our full focus on. We’ve got a real bad taste in our mouth. We’ve had it now for a month, and we need to get rid of it.”

On if he has a better idea of why the team lost its edge on Sunday against the Bengals: “I don’t because I just think it is hard to predict, and especially when a team is as young as we are. That is very difficult to kind of see. You look for the tell-tale signs, and it’s even more puzzling when they’re not there when you have a good week of prep. You kind of look at how many times did we have to repeat a play in practice or how many times did you have to go back over something in a meeting? How many missed assignments did we have? Those are all indicators that the focus isn’t there, and that hasn’t been there. I said this before, if we could figure out, as coaches, how to control that and how to guarantee that that edge will be there and put it in a bottle we’d make a lot of money.”

On if the QB change played a part in the team losing its edge: “That’s a theory. It could have, but I don’t have any definitive proof that that would be the case.”

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Browns practice notes: Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden sits out with injured shoulder

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 17, 2014

Browns Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden sat out practice Wednesday with a bruised rotator cuff he suffered Sunday in the second quarter of a 30-0 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Haden worked out on a stationary bike during the 20-minute portion of practice open to the media.

His status for Sunday's game between the Browns (7-7) and Carolina Panthers (5-8-1) at Bank of America Stadium will be determined later this week.

"Joe, we'll know late in the week," Browns coach Mike Pettine said. "He truly is day-to-day."

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Browns coach Mike Pettine calls Bernie Kosar's remarks 'a little dramatic'

By George Thomas Published: December 17, 2014

BEREA:  While saying that he had a lot of respect for former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar, coach Mike Pettine said that his remarks stating his beliefs on why the team doesn’t win, may have been “a little dramatic.”

“The issue is systemically from a culture in Berea,” Kosar said Monday during an interview on the Mike Trivisonno Show on WTAM (1100-AM).   “They’ve got to get it together because I don’t know of anyone who can be consistently successful within this culture, within this organization right now.”

Kosar took the Browns front office to task during the interview for not showing patience with quarterbacks and coaches.

“I know I've talked about that before.  Sometimes guys will make comments that are a little bit over the top,” Pettine said when asked about Kosar’s remarks.

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Browns claim offensive tackle, cancer survivor Andrew McDonald off waivers from Colts

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 16, 2014

The Browns claimed backup offensive tackle and cancer survivor Andrew McDonald off waivers from the Indianapolis Colts, the team announced Tuesday.

The Browns waived backup inside linebacker Zac Diles to make room for McDonald, whom the Colts cut Monday.

The 6-foot-6, 310-pound McDonald, 26, appeared in two games this season with the Seattle Seahawks. It was the first regular-season action of his NFL career.

According to the Colts' website, McDonald was diagnosed with testicular cancer in May while participating in the Carolina Panthers’ offseason program. The mass was surgically removed the day after doctors discovered it.

"It was obviously surprising," McDonald said in June, according to ESPN.com. "I just kind of made up my mind not to get down, not to let it affect me, as much as I could.

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 15, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Monday. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

Opening statement: “As with every loss, we carry disappointment into the next day, and even more so with this one just because of the magnitude, the circumstances. We just had a great opportunity yesterday to come out in our last home game and leave our fans with a very positive feeling. Ultimately, last chance to play in front of the Dawg Pound, and we fell way short. That doesn’t sit well with anyone. After watching the tape, it’s still difficult to understand why our performance was what it was. I talked about that edge, that ‘it’ factor that you have to have in order to be successful. It wasn’t there, and the atmosphere was intense. I thought our fans were as they always have been. They were jacked up ready to go. As I said, we control the volume, and we found a way yesterday to turn the volume down to zero. These last two games we still have a lot to accomplish. It’s been a theme for the last month but as coaches, we’re still tasked with getting our offense to play better. We made the decision to go with (QB) Johnny (Manziel). He’ll be a big part of that, but it’s not all on him after watching the tape. We need to be much more consistent on defense and on special teams. Took a step backwards yesterday in our run defense. To me, moving forward, again, I talked about people will say that these games aren’t meaningful. They’re certainly meaningful to us, this one in particular. Like I said, we still have a lot to accomplish. We look forward to having a great week of prep and go down to Carolina and get this bad taste out of our mouth.”

On if the type of performance Manziel had yesterday was part of his hesitation in making Manziel the starter earlier in the season: “What I’ve said all along is that we felt each week leading up to this week that (QB) Brian (Hoyer) gave us the best chance, but part of the evaluation is the great unknown with playing a rookie and knowing that there are going to be rookie mistakes made. I think that just was always built into that discussion.”

On why he thinks Manziel gives the Browns the best chance to win in the last two weeks of the season: “That we know we’ll get better. A big part of it too is, as we’ve said all along, we have to play better around him. The unfortunate thing of yesterday, we had some guys that played well, but the mistakes they made were at critical times. We had guys that graded out high and maybe made three or four mistakes. Well, those mistakes were on a third down. They were on a goal line play. They were in the red zone. They were on a critical, like I said, a critical third down or a critical point in the game. That’s unfortunate because hidden within yesterday were some pretty good performances. Johnny showed some flashes of what he’s capable of, and we had some chances to turn those plays into some real positive ones. The one that ‘Hawk’ (WR Andrew Hawkins) got hit on and ultimately dropped it on the third down. (TE) Jim Dray mistimed a jump a little bit. I thought those were both plays where he showed his escape ability and made a good throw. It’s just across the board. We have to find a way. We’ve lost something, and we need to take this week and find it.”

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Browns vs. Bengals (Week 15): Johnny Manziel throws 2 interceptions, Cleveland trails 20-0 at half

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 14, 2014

The Browns (7-6) are facing the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals (8-4-1) Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Halftime summary

Rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel had a horrendous first half in his first NFL start, and the Browns trailed the Bengals 20-0 at halftime.

Manziel completed 4-of-9 passes for 22 yards with two interceptions. He posted a passer rating of 12.0. Manziel had a third interception negated by a neutral-zone infraction.

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Browns sign kicker Garrett Hartley, waive Billy Cundiff on eve of showdown vs. Bengals

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 13, 2014

Quarterback isn't the only position the Browns have changed entering their regular-season home finale Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Browns signed kicker Garrett Hartley and waived veteran kicker Billy Cundiff, the team announced Saturday.

Cundiff received an injury settlement from the Browns.

Cundiff missed a field goal in each of the past five games and injured his right knee Thursday during practice. He spent last season and the first 13 games of this season with the Browns. He converted 22-of-29 field goals (75.9 percent) and all 28 extra-point kicks this year.

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Injury report for Browns vs. Bengals (Week 15)

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 12, 2014

Browns

Out: Tight end Gary Barnidge (rib), free safety Tashaun Gipson (knee) and cornerbacks K'Waun Williams (hamstring) and Robert Nelson (hamstring). Questionable: Kicker Billy Cundiff (knee), inside linebacker Karlos Dansby (knee) and outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard (foot). Probable: Defensive end Desmond Bryant (thigh) and running backs Isaiah Crowell (hip) and Glenn Winston (illness).

Bengals

Doubtful: Defensive end Margus Hunt (ankle) and wide receiver James Wright (knee). Questionable: Tight end Jermaine Gresham (toe), cornerback Adam Jones (chest) and cornerback Terrance Newman (ankle). Probable: Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (ribs), kicker Mike Nugent (not injury related), guard Mike Pollak (knee) and safety Shawn Williams (chest).

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 12, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Friday after practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

On what the plan will be if K Billy Cundiff is unable to play on Sunday: “We have plans. We had brought some guys in. We’ll make a choice from there, if it’s necessary.”

On if Cundiff’s knee injury just came up: “Yesterday.”

On if there’s anything that DB Jim Leonhard did that surprised him when he filled in for DB Tashaun Gipson: “It really doesn’t come as a surprise just knowing how he prepares and just how we approaches the game. There are some guys that just have a knack. They just get it. They see it. The game is slower in his mind than it is for other guys. It’s not a surprise because he’s always where he’s supposed to be, and when the ball comes his way, he’s got very underrated ball skills.”

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 11, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Thursday before practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

On how QB Johnny Manziel looked in practice yesterday: “Overall, it was a solid day. It was a lot of teaching. Wednesdays are typically that way when you’re implementing a plan. Sometimes, it was hard to tell because we didn’t do everything full speed, just trying to save legs, as well. We’re trying to find that blend between getting it practiced, but at the same time making sure we get enough doing what we can mentally so we can be as fresh as possible. It was a good start to the week.”

On if he gets a sense that Manziel has learned that he can’t force things and to live for another down during his time in the preseason and in practice: “You hope, but you still have to see it over a consistent level. That’s the biggest thing is understand – I mentioned this the other day – that every play can’t turn into a broken play…‘Hey, take what’s there.’ That can be 10 plays in a row. The read is what it is. Make the throw, onto the next one. Those few plays where it does break down, now we have a chance to extend the play.”

On why the team practiced indoors yesterday and if practice will be inside all week: “No, we’ll be outside today. Yesterday was just…With the amount of walkthrough we were doing, jog-through and the amount of teaching, just felt it was more conducive to be inside. We’ll definitely be outside today. At (vice president, communications) Peter’s (John-Baptiste) request, the heaters will be outside for you guys. Tomorrow I think the weather will get a little bit better as we move on. I think tomorrow will be close to what game day will be like. I’m expecting to be outside today and tomorrow.”

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Browns coach Mike Pettine to remind Johnny Manziel to keep cool when opponents try to push buttons

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 11, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine plans to remind rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel about the importance of keeping his cool Sunday when he makes his first NFL start against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Pettine is convinced defenders throughout the league will target Manziel, the 22nd overall pick in this year's draft, even more than the average quarterback because of his celebrity status.

Pettine also expects the Browns' upcoming opponents to attempt to get under Johnny Football's skin the way Washington did in the preseason when Manziel directed a middle-finger salute toward the opposing sideline in front of a nationally televised audience on ESPN's Monday Night Football.

"I'll talk with him as the game gets closer, but it's something he's faced," Pettine said Thursday before practice. "It's not anything new coming into the NFL for him. He's been a target probably since the day that he first stepped under center in college. I'm sure he knows, but I have a feeling it'll be reiterated."

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Browns QB Johnny Manziel able to laugh about Marvin Lewis controversy

By George Thomas Published: December 10, 2014

BEREA:  Newly minted starting quarterback Johnny Manziel displayed  a sense of humor Wednesday when asked about Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis referring to him as a “midget.”

When asked about it he laughed ever so slightly then answered.

“I didn't take it any type of way. It didn't make me feel any way,” he said.  “Obviously, coach Lewis called a couple people within the organization and wanted to apologize but for me it really didn't get to me, I was up here trying to get prepared for practice today and for the rest of the week so I didn't let it get to me.”

Manziel said that he found the entire situation funny.

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 10, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Wednesday before practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

Opening statement: “Certainly, a great challenge for us this week to be back in the division against the team that’s leading the division. Looking forward to being back out in front of the Dawg Pound. We’re expecting a high level of intensity for a lot of reasons. I think it’ll be a playoff type atmosphere. The margin for error for both teams is minimal. We also understand the Bengals’ mentality coming in. I asked the team this morning to put themselves in their shoes – times they’ve had a big game at home and high expectations for it, national TV audience and had the result not be anywhere near what they expected. We know the mentality that they’re going to have coming up here, but we can’t allow that to phase us. It’s going to be critically important for us to be focused and dialed in on the task at hand, in large part just because of the outside noise that has picked up significantly for obvious reasons. I talked about that with the team today, for them to understand that the move was made just because of the lack of performance at that position over the last four games. They have to understand it was as a unit, that if we don’t pick up our play around the quarterback, we’d be extremely foolish to expect different results. I challenged the team today that we all share in the joy of a win. We all share in the agony of a loss. Everybody has to pick up their play as we head down the stretch. (QB) Brian (Hoyer) got us to this point where here it is mid-December and we’re playing an extremely meaningful game. It’s important to recognize that. We know our goal is still very difficult to reach, but it’s still there. We don’t control our destiny. The only thing that we can do is prepare to go 3-0, and the only way to go 3-0 is to be 1-0. That’s why this Sunday is critically important for us.”

On if there was any reluctance this week in deciding to start QB Johnny Manziel: “There was not. Basically after the Monday presser, got together with the group I was going to get together with. Meeting didn’t last very long, and went ahead and informed both players. We went on to the business of starting to game plan.”

On if Manziel will take the field with his teammates’ respect on Sunday: “Yeah, absolutely. I think they’re going to see certainly how he was last week. They see how he’s practiced throughout the year, but I thought he ramped it up a little bit more last week. I’m sure they’ll see it this week. They’ll see him in a different light, just even being in the walkthrough this morning, you could just see the presence in the huddle and the command and how he was calling things. He spent a lot of time up here yesterday, wanted to get a head start on the plan. I’m sure it’ll show, and the guys around him will respect it.”

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Browns coach says he's excited to see Johnny Manziel play, gauge whether he's long-term solution

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 10, 2014

Coach Mike Pettine is excited to finally open the gift the Browns got themselves in May when they traded up four spots to draft rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel 22nd overall.

"I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't excited about seeing him play," Pettine said Wednesday during a news conference. "I've seen it in practice. We got a small taste of it [when he played two series] in Buffalo and you'd like to see it carry over, how we build a game plan around it and how we got out and execute it."

Pettine explained he made the decision to bench slumping veteran Brian Hoyer and name Manziel the starter for Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals (8-4-1) because the coaching staff believes the move will give the Browns (7-6) their best chance to win the game. Pettine revealed the staff gathered Monday about the quarterback situation but the meeting didn't last long because everyone believed a chance was necessary. The team announced the switch Tuesday.

But Pettine also conceded the organization receiving a chance to evaluate Manziel and figure out whether he's the quarterback of the future is a significant bonus.

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Nate Burleson on Browns starting Johnny Manziel: 'Next 3 weeks are going to be telling. It’s big'

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 10, 2014

NFL Network analysts Nate Burleson, Kurt Warner and Michael Robinson discussed the Browns naming rookie Johnny Manziel their starting quarterback Tuesday night on NFL Total Access.

Burleson was Manziel's teammate this year. The veteran wide receiver signed with the Browns in April and was cut by them in August.

Below are comments from Burleson, Warner and Robinson provided by NFL Network.

On what to expect from Johnny Manziel:

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Poll: With Johnny Manziel as the starting quarterback, will the Browns win on Sunday?

By Dan Kadar Published: December 9, 2014
Colts Browns Football_Kada

What many expected is official. Johnny Manziel will start for the Browns against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

But does that mean the Browns will win? Take the poll below and let us know what you think.

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With Johnny Manziel as the starting quarterback, will the Browns win on Sunday?

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Bengals coach Marvin Lewis calls Browns QB Johnny Manziel 'a midget' during radio interview

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 8, 2014

Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis gave the Browns some bulletin-board material for their showdown Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium, especially if rookie Johnny Manziel starts at quarterback.

Lewis referred to the 5-foot-11 3/4 Manziel as "a midget" Monday night during an interview with Cincinnati radio station WLW (700-AM). Click here for the audio.

Lance McAlister and former Cincinnati offensive lineman Dave Lapham co-host "Bengals Line" each Monday, and Lewis calls in every week at 7 p.m.

So because coach Mike Pettine has yet to announce whether Manziel or veteran Brian Hoyer will start Sunday when the Browns (7-6) host the AFC North-leading Bengals (8-4-1), McAlister asked Lewis whether Cleveland's uncertainty at quarterback will affect Cincinnati's preparation this week.

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Browns coach doesn't name starting QB but says 'it's natural to lean' toward Johnny Manziel

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 8, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine was not ready to name a starting quarterback during his news conference Monday afternoon, but he certainly seemed inclined to bench Brian Hoyer and replace him with rookie Johnny Manziel.

"I think it's natural to lean the other way given the results," Pettine said. "But I still want to make sure we do our due diligence and get a chance to talk to everybody involved with it."

Pettine said the Browns (7-6) would have their starter in place by the time they begin practicing Wednesday in preparation for their game Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals (8-4-1).

"We're going to meet on [the quarterback decision] in the coming hours," Pettine said. "I'm not prepared to comment on it at this point due to the fact that I have not spoken with both of the players involved."

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Mired in slump, Browns QB Brian Hoyer says, 'It’s crazy how fast things change'

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 8, 2014

Brian Hoyer doesn't know who will start at quarterback for the Browns when they host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

For the first time this season, it might not be him. And rookie Johnny Manziel, the 22nd overall pick in this year's draft, is waiting his turn.

"No, I don't know anything," Hoyer said Monday afternoon. "I haven't talked to anyone yet, Coach [Mike] Pettine or anyone else yet, so similar to last week. I'll prepare this week the way I always do.

"Coach, that’s his decision and I respect his decision. For me, just got to keep the same mentality. It’s about being mentally tough. And I think if anything, I’ve proven I can handle that. I’ll keep the same attitude and prepare the same way."

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Browns vs. Colts (Week 14): Cleveland falls 25-24

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 7, 2014

Injury report for Browns vs. Colts (Week 14)

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 5, 2014

Browns

Out: Tight end Gary Barnidge (rib), free safety Tashaun Gipson and cornerback Robert Nelson (hamstring). Questionable: Running back Isaiah Crowell (hip), tight end Jordan Cameron (concussion), inside linebacker Karlos Dansby (knee) and outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard (foot). Probable: Outside linebacker Paul Kruger (illness), center Nick McDonald (ankle/knee), outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo (shoulder) and wide receiver Marlon Moore (hamstring).

Colts

Out: Cornerback Vontae Davis (concussion), offensive tackle Xavier Nixon (foot), linebacker Andy Studebaker (hamstring) and guard Hugh Thornton (knee). Questionable: Safety Mike Adams (back) and returner Josh Cribbs (knee). Probable: Tight end Dwayne Allen (ankle), center Jonnothan Harrison (illness), wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (hamstring), defensive end Arthur Jones (illness), defensive tackle Zach Kerr (illness), guard Lance Louis (illness), defensive end Cory Redding (knee) and linebacker Erik Walden (knee).

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 5, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Friday after practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

On if he’s hopeful that TE Jordan Cameron will be able to play: “Yeah, I think that’s accurate. He had a good week, but then again, he had a good week last week. We’ll see.”

On if there are any other tests Cameron still has to pass: “I do think he has one more. I’m not sure of the exact specifics of it.”

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 4, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Thursday. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

On if WR Miles Austin is expected to recover fully from his kidney injury or if it is career ending: “It’s my understanding that he’ll recover from this. I haven’t heard it phrased in any other way. He got back last night and has a follow-up appointment today with our people here. The news was positive. Like I said, he was just kept there more from a precautionary.”

On what the offense will miss with Austin not being on the field: “The on the field stuff is simple. It’s his production. He made some clutch plays for us. He could go for a period of time where he didn’t have much production, and all of a sudden when we needed it – when it was a big third down, when it was a two-minute drive. You just look back at some of the plays that he’s made, and that’s what we’ll miss for sure.”

On if OL Nick McDonald will start at center on Sunday: “Still haven’t determined that yet. We’ve been working both guys.”

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 3, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Wednesday. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

Opening statement: “As I said a couple days ago, we weren’t going to make this decision any more difficult than it need to be because it was always going to be about football. We weren’t going to do anything rash after the game when things are much more emotional and there’s a tendency to knee-jerk on some decisions. I wanted to be thorough with it, process all the information, all the circumstances taken into account and make the decision that was best for the Cleveland Browns. Obviously, after weighing all of it, talking to the staff and people that I trust very deeply, we felt that starting (QB) Brian (Hoyer) gives us the best opportunity to win on Sunday against the Colts.

“In the Colts, very tough opponent this week…Offensively lead the league in points, lead the league in yards. (Colts QB) Andrew Luck is a premier quarterback in this league, multiple weapons cause a lot of problems. A lot of quality players on the defensive side of the ball. I’ve got a ton of respect for (Colts Head Coach) Chuck Pagano having worked with him in Baltimore, knowing what he brings to the table from a schematic standpoint and just overall how hard those guys play on defense. I know a lot of that comes from Chuck and his staff. We’re certainly expecting their best effort there, as well. Special teams, they’re among the leaders in the league. They’ve got the best battery of kickers in (Colts P Pat) McAfee and (Colts K Adam) Vinatieri. It’s a huge challenge for our guys on special teams, as well.”

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Browns practice notes: ILB Karlos Dansby returns to action after missing two games with injured knee

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 3, 2014

Browns starting inside linebacker Karlos Dansby returned to practice Wednesday after missing the past two games with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

Dansby led the Browns with 73 tackles when he suffered the injury Nov. 16 in the second quarter against the Houston Texans.

Inside linebackers Craig Robertson and Chris Kirksey have started in Dansby's absence. They had shared playing time alongside Dansby before he was injured.

Below are other injury updates from practice Wednesday.

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Browns place WR Miles Austin on injured reserve, sign RB Shaun Draughn

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 3, 2014

Browns wide receiver Miles Austin is done for the season after suffering a kidney injury Sunday in a 26-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

On Wednesday morning, the team announced it placed Austin on injured reserve and signed running back Shaun Draughn.

Austin spent the past three nights hospitalized at the Erie County Medical Center.

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Browns to stick with Brian Hoyer as starting QB Sunday vs. Colts

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 3, 2014

The Browns will stick with Brian Hoyer as their starting quarterback instead giving rookie Johnny Manziel his first NFL start Sunday when they host the Indianapolis Colts, coach Mike Pettine announced Wednesday afternoon.

“After thorough evaluation and talking to the staff, we feel Brian gives us the best opportunity to win on Sunday,” Pettine said in a news release. “This is a football decision and those are always going to be based on what we think is best for our team.

"Brian has led our team to a 7-5 record. I’m confident that we can get the entire offense playing at the level needed to accomplish the goals we set at the beginning of the season. Those goals are still very much attainable.”

Jay Glazer of Fox Sports first reported the news Wednesday morning.

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 1, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Monday. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

Opening statement: “As always after a loss, we came in very disappointed, but (I) told the team today, ‘We’ve got four games left, but we don’t have much of a margin for error with playoffs being one of the goals that we sat down at the beginning of the season.’ Our sense of urgency has to increase moving forward, but as always, we talk about compartmentalizing games won or lost. I know our guys had a good session today with the staff learning from the mistakes and moving forward. Buffalo was able to make more plays than us yesterday, and I give them a lot of credit, especially that defense. We knew that was going to be the best defensive front that we went against, and they were certainly as advertised. We were not able to move the ball consistently, but had some opportunities and weren’t able to capitalize. That was frustrating - I said that after the game - just to go in 3-0 knowing how we controlled most of the first half. It was kind of a bad omen against a good team like that. Offensively, you’ve got to take advantage of every opportunity. Turnovers were obviously costly. We’ve preached all year that that’s the number one determining factor of wins and losses is the turnover ratio.

“Defensively, we did some really good things. I thought that we wasted a very good effort. (We) had a first half shutout. At one point in the game, I looked up and realized that they were 0-for-11 on third down and didn’t convert one until the fourth quarter, but they got the momentum shifted, got on the board and got a lead. It was frustrating because we knew that we had played well, and then I think the big thing was when we needed a stop at the end, we couldn’t make it. That was disappointing on that side of the ball. I’ll continue to say it takes a full team effort to get our results, and we certainly didn’t get that yesterday.

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Brian Hoyer still thinks he's right man for Browns' starting QB job: 'I’ve gotten us to this point'

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 1, 2014

Brian Hoyer doesn't know whether he'll keep his job as the Browns' starting quarterback or be supplanted by rookie Johnny Manziel, but the North Olmsted native still believes he's the right man to lead the offense with four regular-season games remaining and the team in the playoff hunt.

"It’s been a lot of hard work, and I think I’ve proven that I’ve gotten us to this point," Hoyer said Monday afternoon. "I feel like I can carry us through the next four games. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll be ready to go."

The Browns (7-5) will host the Indianapolis Colts (8-4) on Sunday, and coach Mike Pettine said Monday he has yet to decide who he'll start at quarterback. He expects to announce the decision Wednesday.

On Sunday, Pettine yanked Hoyer in favor of Manziel with 12:01 left in the fourth quarter of a 26-10 loss the Buffalo Bills (7-5). Pettine revealed the coaching staff discussed benching Hoyer after a 23-7 loss to the Houston Texans on Nov. 16.

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Poll: Should Johnny Manziel or Brian Hoyer start for the Cleveland Browns?

By Dan Kadar Published: December 1, 2014
Browns Bills Football_Kada

In Sunday's loss to the Buffalo Bills, the Browns turned to rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel. That move, and the comments from head coach Mike Pettine, casts into doubt Brian Hoyer's future as the Browns' starting quarterback.

"The door is definitely open for a change at the quarterback position," Pettine told ESPN's Sal Paolontonio. "It's not like we're just going to go back to Brian. This has been a cumulative thing where discussions about a change at quarterback have been more and more lively. We'll evaluate both quarterbacks and have a decision soon."

Pettine told reporters after the game he would decide on the team's starting quarterback against the Indianapolis Colts later this week. We want to hear who you think should be the Browns' starting quarterback.

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Who should start for the Browns?

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