Browns beat reporter Nate Ulrich wrote a blog Wednesday that bustedcoverage.com had a post with a picture that Johnny Manziel went out late Tuesday night after practice and was at a bar about two miles from Berea.
Nate referred to a previous interview with Mike Evans, a teammate of Manziel's at Texas A&M, that Nate conducted in June. Evans had said he expected Manziel to no longer go out once training camp started. Tuesday that wasn't the case.
Once Nate's story hit Twitter some readers questioned Manziel, some didn't care and some questioned Nate and the news value of the story, including Dan Hanzus, a writer at NFL.com.To read more or comment...
Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel speaks with media about the competition with Brian Hoyer, the playbook and possibility of earning the starting spot.
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Updated 7:58 p.m.
Veteran safety Jim Leonhard will reunite with Browns coach Mike Pettine again.
Leonhard used Twitter to announce he signed with the Browns on Wednesday.
"It's official," Leonhard tweeted. "I just signed my 8th NFL contract to become a part of the Cleveland Browns.
The Browns signed offensive lineman Ryan Lee, the team announced Wednesday.
The 6-foot-3, 290-pound Lee entered the NFL in 2012 as an undrafted free agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers and spent part of the season on the practice squads of the Steelers and New Orleans Saints. He was with the St. Louis Rams last year in training camp before being waived during final roster cuts.
The Browns now have 88 players on their roster.To read more or comment...
As questions about the offseason partying of Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel swirled, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie wide receiver Mike Evans made a prediction about his close friend and former Texas A&M teammate.
“In training camp, I don’t think he’ll go out at all,” Evans, the seventh overall pick in this year's draft, said June 24 during the NFL Rookie Symposium. “He’ll be committed and devoted and fighting for a starting job.”
Well, it didn't take Manziel long to prove Evans wrong about whether he would go out.
The Browns are off Wednesday, so players had some downtime Tuesday night after the fourth full-squad practice of training camp. Manziel used his first brief break during camp to hit the bar at Two Bucks in Middleburg Heights, which is less than two miles from the team's headquarters in Berea.To read more or comment...
Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters today after practice. Below is a transcript provided by the team.
On if today’s practice was more intense: “We challenged the guys last night in the meeting and in the meetings this morning. At times, the practice before a day off has a tendency to not be very good. We challenged them to come out and compete. We were going to build some competitive things into practice, as we did at the end. I thought our guys responded, kept them out through individual. Guys seemed to be focused. I thought the teamwork was sharp, as well.”
On the defense celebrating quite a bit at the end: “It was a competitive period where the offense had to gain 20 yards. That was best out of five. The defense won three out of the first four. The reward is we have orange practice jerseys that the defense will wear on Thursday. We’ll go back and forth. Hopefully, the jerseys – I know the D [defense] won’t want to give them up – but I have a feeling that they’ll hopefully bounce back and forth.”To read more or comment...
A technicality in Browns All-Pro wide receiver Josh Gordon's reported failed drug test might help his case as he appeals a potential suspension, according to reports published Tuesday by ProFootballTalk.com and ESPN.
Gordon has an appeal hearing scheduled for Friday in New York. He is facing a potential ban from the NFL of at least a year because he tested positive for marijuana in the offseason and is a repeat offender of the league's substance-abuse policy, ESPN reported.
Gordon's attorneys plan to introduce witnesses who will testify Gordon's test results indicate he was the victim of breathing in second-hand marijuana smoke, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported. The league has maintained it does not intend to suspend players for second-hand smoke.
Gordon's test results were barely above the threshold set by the NFL, PFT reported.To read more or comment...
The Browns signed wide receiver Marlon Moore, the team announced today.
The 6-foot, 190-pound Moore is entering his fifth NFL season. Moore has appeared in 43 games with two starts. He has tallied 19 receptions for 306 yards and two touchdowns.
In 2013, Moore appeared in six games with the San Francisco 49ers and eight games with the Miami Dolphins. He compiled seven catches for 62 yards.To read more or comment...
Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters today. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.
On how the first day in pads went: “First day in pads, I thought our guys were solid. I thought they were taking care of each other. You still don’t want to go to the ground. We’re not going to cut block and tackle guys to the ground. We always talk in the meeting about being a good teammate. As much as you want to finish a guy, that’s something you don’t want to do when we’re all wearing the same logo. Overall, I thought it was a good start to our padded work, but I say that and then my opinion might be totally different 45 minutes from now.”
On DB Johnson Bademosi delivering a tough hit: “I don’t like that. It’s football and sometimes instincts take over to kind of drop the shoulder, but we don’t want to do that to each other. It still falls back to the competitive, not combative. I told the guys that that stuff is not going to help them make the team. We want to be tough. We want to be nasty, but we want to play within the rules. We certainly want to protect each other while we’re practicing.”To read more or comment...
The Browns and Jason Pinkston's agents issued a joint statement this morning, explaining his absence from training camp. He has not practiced since camp started Satruday:
Joint Statement from the Cleveland Browns and Schwartz & Feinsod on his playing status:
Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Jason Pinkston has not been medically cleared to participate in football activities. The team has been in communication with Jason and his representatives and will respect their wishes to not provide any further details at this time.
------To read more or comment...
Browns general manager Ray Farmer met with reporters today. Below is a transcript from the news conference, provided by the team.
On what's going on with (Browns OL) Jason Pinkston: "I think (Browns Head) Coach (Mike Pettine) addressed it the best way we could is that right now there's really no comment from our prospective, and where there is time to make a comment then that comment will be made."
On if he would be surprised, shocked, stunned if (Browns QB Brian) Hoyer was not the guy anymore: "I don't think I'd be surprised, shocked about anything. The thing that we're focused on now is driving competition. Brian will have to play. Johnny will have to play. Tyler will have to play, and Connor will have to play. Our goal is to try to promote the best environment for those guys to compete and demonstrate what their skill level is."
On what he has seen from Manziel in the first two practices: "I've seen a young man that came back that appears to be prepared for a competition. I think that's what we want are guys that took the time to come back and demonstrate that they're ready to compete to be starters in this league. I think everybody here wants to play. Anytime you're on a football team you want to play. You want to play as much as you can. We'll see that while he's in the building he's putting forth the work to try to be the starter."
On if Manziel's reputation off the field was more than he expected this year and what he and Manziel talked about: "We met, and I will tell you that - and I'll kind of make this simple - I'm big on keeping those conversations private, but I will tell you just that I did know his off the field prowess, if you will, that everybody is kind of alluding to. I think, like Johnny said, like Jimmy Haslam said, like 'Pett' has said - he made his mistakes and that's that. Our focus now is what happens on the field. He's focused he's committed on football. He's doing his thing here in the building, and we're excited about kind of where he's at, at the moment.
On if Manziel convinced him that he was putting those days behind him before the draft: "Again, I will tell you that before the draft there were numerous conversations with people in the building, people outside the building, people including Johnny himself - all those conversations culminated in, obviously, we had a comfort level when we drafted him. If we thought that was an excessive nature of what it was going to be, then we would have never picked him."
On what he sees in the receiving corps now after not selecting one in the draft: "I like our receiving corps. Like I said, you want to drive the competition. We want guys in here that we think can play and be competitive and contribute to be starters. At the end of the day, there are some names that everybody here recognizes, whether it's Miles Austin, whether it's Nate Burleson. There are names that you'll recognize. There are some other guys that you won't recognize. For me, it comes down to when you look at what guys do it's when they get an opportunity to play, will they play well? Nobody knew Miles Austin until Miles Austin got his opportunity. That's what we're looking for, guys that compete and then push Miles Austin to make our football team better."
On if he expects clarity on Browns WR Josh Gordon's situation after Gordon visits the league next week: "When the league tells us what the clarity is then that's when we'll move forward."
On what he saw from (Browns WR) Charles Johnson last year and what he sees of him now that he's finally on the field: "The easy things are all the recognizables right away, that he's 6 foot 2 and a half, 215 pounds. He ran a 4.38 40 (yard dash). Those are the easy pieces, but when you watch the tape you like his hands. You like the fact that he can run the routes, and right now it's a young man that put a lot of work to recovering from an ACL injury. You can see that he's big. He's still fast and he can run routes and catch the football."
On if the Browns worked Johnson out before the draft: "Yes, we did. We took looks at him, and again, he's an interesting prospect. At the end of the day, Green Bay drafted him. They then released him and put him on their practice squad and we poached him from there. I'm really excited for him to get his opportunity. I think this is his first time stepping on the field, and everybody now is getting a chance to see what we thought about Charles Johnson live.
On if he thinks the Browns have enough receivers or if he is trying to add to that group: "Always looking to add. Again for us, it's about driving the competition and pushing the roster. Always looking to incrementally getting better. If we can push the guys that are at the bottom end of the roster, if you will, to pushing those next guys it'll improve all of us."
On if he is comfortable with the current wide receiving corps if he had to go into Week 1 with it: Assuming they perform and they demonstrate that they're worth being on this football team, absolutely. I think that's what it comes down to. They're all going to have to go out and perform when it comes down to playing games and preseason games and consistently performing in practice."
On how far he thinks the Browns have progressed since the spring and how far he thinks the team has progressed from when he took over as general manager: "Again, my job, my role here is to try to improve the talent on this football team. I think we did that, to what degree I'll let you guys judge. I think I'm always looking to get better. The movie is never over. Every day we come out here, every day we sit in there with the scouts, we're looking to improve our roster. We're just looking to drive the roster. We we're talking on the field today about guys that we've seen on the wire, guys that we've seen come through, what our interest of them may or may not be, and how can we continue to get better."
On what he's thought about Browns RBs Ben Tate and Terrance West? "I think that, not only Tate and West, we have a good stable, if you will, of runners. I like the group that we have, and I'm excited to see those guys put the pads on and see kind of what happens once they do get the pads on, of how they carry those pads and how they bounce around against our defense."
On his impressions of Brian Hoyer coming back from the ACL, the way he's dealt with the offseason and his start to camp: "I think Brian's been phenomenal. I think he's handled it like a pro, which is what you would like. He's a man's man. He didn't cry over spilled milk. He attacked his rehab. He was here probably more than anybody. I think I work a lot hours and there weren't very many hours that I was in the building and Brian wasn't somewhere working on his craft, be it the meeting room, be it the indoor facility, be it the weight room. He did everything he could to put himself in the best position possible. Now he's got to go out and perform."
On his desire to extend Hoyer's contract and where he might be in that process "Again, I will never negotiate through the media. I apologize. It's just not my thing to talk about a player's financial prowess, if you will, to anyone else but him and his agent. I'll avoid that one."
On if the staff moving forward with the idea that Hoyer is going to start the first preseason game is an accurate perception: "I would say that everybody's going to get their opportunities. Brian right now is working with the No. 1's and as he goes that's what will happen. As coaches make decisions and we definitely have meetings every day - who's doing what, how well they're performing and who needs to get more reps in what situations. As we move through that, Coach will make those decisions. We'll all have input, and we'll see what happens when the movie ends."
On Hoyer seeming very decisive and effective today and if that is reflective of the work he has put in "Yeah. The guy's a pro. If you watch how he attacked all of it, like you said, his rehab, his mental state, all of it. He has been a professional, you can see it. One bad day doesn't make or break it. It's the consistency that makes you win in the National Football League. Guys have great games, and you never hear from them again. It's the guys that can routinely go out and perform time and time again that you want, and Brian's trying to show that that's what he's going to do."
On if it is easy to compare Hoyer to a guy who was on the party circuit and is learning: "Again, I would tell you that, like I said, from Brian's perspective, he's been a pro. He's handles himself the right way, and I'm going to compare Brian to Brian."
On if it might be harder for Johnny to show up well in these kind of drills because so much of what everybody has seen is the improvising and the stuff that he does during games: "I would say that Johnny shows up fine. You watch him in practice, you watch him do what he does and, again, the interesting part about it is that most people fall in love with the highlights because that's what gets portrayed. Nobody really pays attention to the routine throw, but he's made routine throws. He's made routine throws at Texas A&M. He's made routine throws out here. From our perspective, we really like the idea that he can go and do all the things that we expect him to do."
On if he sees a hole somewhere anywhere and if there is a group that's pleasantly surprised him: "I think there's always work to be done. I'm not going to single out any one group of our football team. I do think that as we look at where we're going, we're going to definitely look to address every position. We're never done. We're never content with where we're at. I think the great teams, they make transactions and they move on from guys and they improve and they get better in time. You go back and you watch some the teams that kind of attained success here recently, they had a lot of transactions on those football teams in short period of time. It's not an indictment on anything other than looking to get better, looking to incrementally get better. That's where we're at."
On if Browns OL Joel Bitonio was his highest rated guard and what he you liked about him so much: "I don't want to talk about my board and kind of who was where, but I will tell you I definitely like the player on tape. For me, he had a lot of similarities to players that I've seen have a lot of success in this league. A guy that played left tackle, he was gritty, he was tough, he was athletic. He played smart, didn't have a lot of mistakes. He wasn't on the ground. You watched his tape, he could run dowfield, engage a defensive back, stay of his feet, finish the block, and all of those things added up to me that a guy would come to this league and have success, specifically with the type of scheme ."
On what he has thought of (Browns DB) Justin Gilbert so far: "I think Justin Gilbert's been good. He came in, he crushed the run test. I actually thought he had the hardest part of it. People talked about that before, but he came out and ran it one day by himself, it was windy, he ran through the wind one way, he ran with the wind another way and crushed it. Kudos to him. I think he's looked good while he's been out here. He made a break the first day. He's like all the other younger players. He's learning to get better day by day. He's taken the coaching. He seems engaged in meetings. We're excited about where he can go."
On if he expected the type of season he had last year and how hard will it be for him to duplicate that with more focus and not Josh Gordon running next to him: "I would say that if you look at Jordan last year you could say it's a surprise. I think we want all of our players to play at that level, and he did. He performed. He did it, and if you look at early in the year he was really good when Josh wasn't available. From our prospective, we hope he can continue that. I think that's really the moniker of the guys that make a difference year in and year out are the guys that they continually put those numbers up, regardless if they're a focal point or if they're not. If you look at the better tight ends...I had the fortune of being in Kansas City with Tony Gonzalez. They double-teamed him. They quadruple-teamed him, but he still caught footballs. It really didn't matter, and we're hoping Jordan can take those kinds of steps."
On how training camp is going for him: "I'm good. It's been good. 'Pett' and I meet routinely. We're enjoying the journey together, and I think that's what it's about. Our organization is moving in a direction where. We're excited about what the future can hold. We realize it's a process, and we're just going to work, have fun in the moment and enjoy it."
Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters today. Below is a transcript from the news conference, provided by the team.
Opening statement: "Just before we get started real quick, I know some people might ask about [OL Jason] Pinkston. Pinkston's unavailable to practice and due to his circumstances I cannot comment on it any further. I want to give you more, but just given the circumstances, I can't. That's where we are with Jason."
On if he has any idea when he'll be back: "No."
On if he'll be back: "Possibility."
On if it's health related: "I will not speak on it further."
On if QB Johnny Manziel took a step back today: "No, and I don't know if I want to stand here every day just walking off the field and evaluate the performance. Until we watch the tape and look at the grade sheets and kind of know what was asked of him and what he did and making sure the guys around him are doing the right thing-it's similar to after a game. I don't know how much true evaluation I'll be able to offer. Sometimes you think one thing and you get in and watch the tape and your opinion changes completely, so it's hard to say."
On what he was trying to get accomplished today with the passing game: "We're still in the install. What we installed in the spring, we circle back. We start right at the beginning. We do have a handful of new guys, but it's still repetition. We're still very much in just the basic. We haven't put pads on yet. We'll even circle back in some of these core concepts we put in, in shorts. We want to make sure we get these practiced well with pads also. Some of the things that went in day one and two, we'll go back into the install for tomorrow."
On if it's encouraging to see QB Brian Hoyer looking confident on his knee today after talking about it yesterday-monitoring it, seeing if there's swelling, things like that: "It is and I think it's just a matter of getting the repetitions with confidence. I think anybody coming off (an ACL injury), it's just human nature, may be a little flighty early with lots of big bodies flying around. I think he'll only get more comfortable as we go."
On how you're not comparing apples to apples when comparing which quarterback had the better day-they were working with two different supporting casts: "It's not. They still have things they need to accomplish every play. That starts with getting the play and calling it right in the huddle-all the minute details that they're being evaluated on. Footwork, where their eyes are, if their eyes are where they're supposed to be as far as making the read, the mechanics of the throw-all those things go into it. I'm thinking that we will mix the groupings up, but it's just still so early. We're still technically under the rules of the mini-camp. Until we put pads on and really get going, things will stay as they are."
On if he thinks he'll keep this 'Brian Hoyer first team reps' thing going a little bit longer or if he thinks he'll get Johnny in there: "A little bit longer. The players are off on Wednesday. Then we'll get with-not just with the quarterback competition but with the other groups-and evaluate. These are the players that have gotten reps with this group, and we want to make sure we get things evened out so we get a good evaluation."
On moving TE MarQueis Gray to full back in mini-camp and if he's staying there: "Yeah, we're hopeful. That's a position that, as I've talked about before, any time you have a versatile player there that can do the fullback jobs but has a history of a tight end, receiver-type skill set, from a defensive perspective, I always thought that was problematic. You don't know what you're in. Usually, when there's a true fullback in the game, it really restricts the call-sheet offensively, and you can really dial in defensively when you have a guy that's that hybrid-type in there. That can cause some problems."
On why they didn't see OL Joe Thomas out there: "Joe is just one of our veteran guys. He'll periodically have a day off. We didn't want to just give him all the days in shorts and then turn around and not have him in there for when we got started in pads. When he's out there he'll be on a pitch count and then we'll periodically have scheduled days off just for being a veteran player. He's shown he's done it. We'll give some other guys an opportunity."
On if DB Joe Haden is OK as well: "He returned to practice."
On if he thinks that Brian Hoyer was a little too geeked up yesterday given all the circumstances he had yesterday-coming off an injury, hometown guy, his dream job, all the Johnny Manziel hype-and if today he was more relaxed: "Yeah, I think that for all the things you said, he would have to be a robot not to be affected. I don't know if you asked him that or not. There was a lot going on inside his head, but it's a solid start for both quarterbacks."
On what's going on at the inside linebacker sport next to LB Karlos Dansby: "Competition-we've got (LB) Craig Robertson. We've got (Chris) Kirksey. We even out Dansby on the edge today for a couple of snaps and let those other guys play inside. We'll mix and match. It's part of what we do to get guys cross trained. You always want to be in a position to have your best 11 out there. I think we'll have more than enough reps to get that position evaluated before we get to the opener."
On if DL Phil Taylor has tried the conditioning test again: "No, he's rehabbing right now."
On fans taking notice of Johnny Manziel's gear change-he changed his shoes-and if that means anything: "Well I got tied up inside. I never even knew that he came out. I'm a black shoe black sock guy myself, much more conservative. By the time I came out he had his regular shoes on anyway."
On if there is a team rule you have to abide by in relation to his shoes: "Yeah, I think it's the equipment, team issued gear. DL Calvin Barnett came out yesterday and decided to wear Oklahoma State socks. That lasted a day. Even though they were Browns' orange, that lasted a day."
On what he sees from WR Andrew Hawkins after making nice catches over the last few days, but still developing chemistry with the quarterbacks: "It's why he's here. We identified that in him. He's been an ultimate professional. He's been great with the other guys in the room. You would think he was a 10-year veteran with the way he carries himself. When we talk to the young wide receivers, he's the guy-if you want to pattern yourself after a guy, that's the guy. He comes out and works hard every day, on the field, off the field. It's been a very pleasant surprise. To me, when you have a guy that has that type of separation ability, that type of quickness that can turn a short game into a long one, it can only be a plus for you."
On what he's looking forward to with the first day of pads and if there is anything special planned: "Nothing special planned for, but I want to be able to hear the practice. To me, you know when the pads are popping and we're getting after each other. It's been tough on the offense because it's advantage defense when you're not in pads. It's a little tougher to block a guy when there's less blocking surface. That to me, has been what's been missing so far is to master the physical techniques that you're not able to practice without pads on, and tomorrow will be the start of that."
On how good DL Desmond Bryant is when he's healthy and how important he can be to the defense: "Very important-He's already flashed some. We didn't have him for the spring and these past two days he's already jumped off the tape a little bit for us. He's another guy we'll keep an eye on how many reps he's taking. I think the nice thing about that defensive line room is the depth, that we can keep a guy like Des fresh, that he doesn't necessarily have to be out there all three downs, that we can save him for the long third down and let him rush the pass."
On when he watched the tapes last year, if he saw a difference in how he played the rest of the season as opposed to the first few games when he was arguably the best defender the Browns had: "Yeah, it was noticeable. I don't know the exact details of it, but he was darn good early."
On if there will be any Oklahoma drill tomorrow: "No."
On if there will be an inside run drill tomorrow: "Yes, we'll do an inside run period every day. It essentially ends up being no wide receivers, no corners. We won't get too exotic defensively. It'll be let's line up and see who can play. To me it's the counterpart of when we do seven on seven. That's usually advantage offense-clear pass rush, no throwing lanes-whereas that inside drill should be advantage defense. It's more of a mentality thing. We want to come off. We want to block people. We want to get off blocks. We want to knock people back. If we want to establish that mentality, we have to do that drill."
On why he think that the shift around the NFL has been a passing league, but the Browns and the really most of the AFC North seem to believe in defense first, that the run sets up the pass, smash mouth football and why he still believes that's the way to win: "I think it's been proven. I know that you look at what we did in the offseason, the improvement at running back and some of the moves we made up front. We're still going to have the ability to throw the football. We're not just going to put one wide receiver out there and go two tight ends. We want to be an efficient offense whether it's running or passing. We're not just going to say we're going to run. You want to be unpredictable. That's when you're the most successful, when you're throwing it when people think you're going to run and vice versa. I think you have to have the ability to run the football. When you get a lead you can win the game, or when it's bad weather and you can't throw it you have to be able to move the ball still."
On things getting a little feisty at practice and if he likes that: "Not necessarily. I use the phrase-and you guys will probably get tired of me saying it-it's competitive, not combative. I talked to all the players that were involved with both of them. We don't need that. It's not good for them. It's not good for us. It's not going to help guys make the team. It's going to happen. I understand it, but it's a bad habit to have in practice because then you can say, 'I won't lose my cool in the game.' That's easy to say and that's harder to do."
Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters today following the first full-squad practice of training camp. Below is a transcript from the news conference.
Opening statement: “Solid first day, I told the guys I was very proud of the effort, very proud of the energy. I’ll go ahead and open in up.”
On ending 30 minutes prior to schedule: “We script a certain amount of plays within the time period, and when we’re not repeating them and when the tempo is good and we’re getting in and out of the huddle, that will trim some time off. We also like to save a little time for the coaches to work with their guys after practice, guys that need a little bit of extra help. In the first day we’re not looking to necessarily maximize the time.”To read more or comment...
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam met with reporters today following the first full-squad practice of training camp. Below is a transcript from the news conference, provided by the team.
On the fans and energy on the first day of training camp: "It's amazing, and it's exciting. We've said all along, these are tremendous fans and we need to put a better team on the field for them. I think we'll do it. Today was a really exciting day, and I think we've got the same kind of crowds coming tomorrow and Monday and understand we've got 25-30,000 people coming to Akron for next Saturday, so truly exciting. It's really exciting for our coaches and players."
On Browns QB Johnny Manziel's actions in the offseason: "I think Johnny said it well, he made some rookie mistakes. I think the really great athletes make their news on the field not off the field. Hopefully, Johnny can look at guys like (Cavaliers F) LeBron (James) and (Patriots QB Tom) Brady and (Broncos QB) Peyton (Manning) and (Yankees SS Derek) Jeter and pattern himself after those guys who make their news on the field not off the field."
On if his message has sunk in with Manziel: "We'll see."
On choosing the starting quarterbacks: "The coaches will decide that. They'll do a great job with that."
On how the coaches feel about the quarterback situation: "They feel good about our quarterback situation. I think we'll have a great competition."
On Manziel's offseason: "I don't want to wear this subject out. Johnny said it himself. He made some mistakes. We expect better from him. I'm sure he'll perform now. We're anxious to see what he can do on the field, which is what really counts."
On if he felt the need to talk to Manziel about his actions: "I think we're all on the same page with Johnny."
On how Browns Head Coach Mike Pettine is doing: "One of our guys came in now and said, 'Mike looks like he's been doing that for years.' I think he's exactly what we need. I think he's going to be a really good head coach. I'm excited about the group we put together with Mike and (Browns General Manager) Ray (Farmer). They're working extremely well together. They're both smart. They work hard."
On if he thought Pettine could be the face of the franchise during the interview process: "As you know, as you all reminded us on numerous times, this was a rather protracted process. We spent three lengthy sessions with Mike and each session we felt better, and what he showed in the interviews is what he showed in the spring and he's showing out here and I'll think he'll show it here in Cleveland in years to come."
On Pilot Flying J's current situation: "This happened on April 15th last year. We said on April 16th that clearly it looks like some people had made some mistakes in our company, and it cost all of us dearly. I think we also said we would, No. 1, cooperate with the government, which we've done and will continue to do; No. 2, put systems and processes in place where something like this could never happen again, we've done that; and No. 3, make things right with our customers and we've done that. We're glad to get this chapter behind us and move on."
On if he has gotten any assurances from the government that he won't be indicted: "I've said all along we're not going to comment on any personal situations. I think one quote on the PFJ situation today and the overall business is fine. I think today needs to be about the Browns."
On what makes Browns QB Brian Hoyer easy to talk to: "Brian's been around. He's a veteran. We've known him well. He handles himself extremely well. We we're actually talking about his weight, which a lot of guys you want their weight to be lower. With Brian's, you want it to be higher, and his had come in higher than we expected, which is a good thing, and we we're laughing about that."
On if Hoyer is an easy guy to root for: "Yeah, absolutely. Is there a better story? First of all, he's a hometown kid. He's coming off an injury. We all want him to do well. He's a quality guy and a class act, so we all want Brian to play well. We want Johnny to play well, and we want (Browns QBs) Tyler (Thigpen) and Connor (Shaw) to play well. It's an important position."
On WR Josh Gordon's situation: "As you all know, the league prohibits us from commenting on these situations. I'll say this: first and foremost, we care about our players. We want our players to take care of themselves and make good decisions. We're going to do everything we can to support him. At the same time, the players have to understand they're accountable to themselves, to their teammates, to the front office and to our fans. People have to understand that, and I'll leave it at that."
On if he looks forward to the day when he is only asked football questions by the media: "Of course."
On if releasing Gordon is an option: "No."
On what he's learned about Head Coach Mike Pettine: "You all have observed him and you've all been around this business a long time, a lot longer than I have. I think he's smart like we thought. He's tough. He's articulate. I don't think he gets rattled easily. He's tough. I think the players relate well to him, and I think we have a good environment here. We're really excited about Mike. He's a quality guy."
On his expectations for this team: "It's same as we said last year, that we improve. Everybody wants it coursed. If I were you I'd ask the same questions. I ask our guys the same questions all the time. What's that look like in wins and losses? I said this last year - we'll know at the end of the year if we've improved or not. Expectations are high here that we'll improve, but to put wins and losses on it I think is unfair. This is a long process. This is a team that has not been very good for a long time. Despite what a lot of people think, we're actually patient. We think we have the right group in place, and we're going to get better over a period of time. I think we'll have a better football team this year, and we're all going to be disappointed if we don't."
On the Seattle Seahawks model: "That's really a (GM) Ray (Farmer) and (Head Coach Mike) Pettine decision. They know so much more about football than I do. I think you all talked to Pettine yesterday. I don't know when you're talking to Ray. I'll let Ray answer that because Ray is really putting the team together and I think he's doing a nice job."
On people being impatient waiting for the wins: "Like I said, it's all about getting better. I'll be honest, if we were 12-4 last year, we'd still be all about getting better. Hopefully, we'll play better football this year. I think Ray and Pettine did a nice job in the offseason with free agency and then the draft. We probably need another year or two like that to really have the kind of roster we need, but in my terminology, we're directionally correct."
On having someone assigned to QB Johnny Manziel to work with him as a mentor to help him mature: "We put tremendous emphasis on working with our players both on and off the field."
Browns QB Brian Hoyer met with reporters today following the first full-squad practice of training camp. Below is a transcript from the news conference, provided by the team.
On the first day of training camp: "It's a good building block for our foundation. Now, you've got to go back and review the film and make corrections on mistakes and keep learning and move on."
On how important it is to make good plays during a quarterback competition: "You just play within yourself and take what the defense gives you. I mean, that should be your philosophy whether you're in competition or not. I'm not out there trying to make spectacular plays, magical plays because that's not what you do in a game. I try and treat every practice like it's a game. Going against our defense, you never know what you're going to get, and you just try to wait it out and take what they give you because they do have a great scheme and they disguise a lot. It actually makes it easier for me not to try to press because I just try to go through my progressions. If there's something there, I try to take it; if not, then move on."
On confidence in the receiving corps: "If you look how that room or group has changed in a year, it's a complete 180. You have a bunch of news guys, a lot of veteran guys and they all know how to go about their jobs and do things the right way. It was good to get out there and throw to (WRs) Miles Austin and to Nate Burleson and Anthony Armstrong and (Andrew) Hawkins and Josh (Gordon). Some of those young guys have turned some heads, too. I made a few plays and threw the ball to those guys throughout the spring and even until now. It's a good group. We talk about competition, and the competition between that group is really going to bring the cream to the top."
On what he's observed from WR Charles Johnson: "From me getting to work with him in the offseason - obviously, we were here rehabbing the whole time and then when he was cleared to throw we would throw together - he's a hard worker, and like you mentioned has size, speed for a big guy, I think he gets in and out of routes really well. I didn't get a chance to go with him today, but the other day, I ran a route with him where he had a double move, and for a big guy, for him to get in and out of the break was impressive. I think for him a lot of people are waiting to see what he's capable of because he was on the practice squad with a torn ACL. Who knows if he was healthy, if he had made the team, like I said about those other guys, he's the same way. He's very smart, he works really hard and as a quarterback, that's all that you can ask for is a guy who's out there trying to learn and trying to go hard."
On if the knee brace impedes his movement: "At this point, I don't even think about it. It's something that I've become used to. For me, it'll be something that I wear the whole year, not just for the stability of the knee getting hit from the side but I think that it's something that I can benefit from. For me, I'm not the most mobile guy anyway so it doesn't really affect me that much."
On how different this year's training camp is compared to last year's: "For me, I can kind of be myself a little more. When you're not a guy who's the starter or in the position to be the starter, you don't want to step on too many toes and vocalize things and be a leader as much and I think now, in the position I'm in, I'm not afraid to go up and tell guys, 'Hey, let try and do this.' Last year's situation, I was really the third or second quarterback, and you kind of leave that up to the starter because you don't want to throw someone off because you had a conversation with a receiver and the starter didn't get it, whereas now, I'm in the position to be the starting quarterback. I feel that I'm more free to go around and talk to the receivers, talk to the tight ends getting in there with the line and cadences. It's the little things when you are in there with that first group and you kind of speak your mind a little more freely."
On feeling the support from fans when he came to practice: "No doubt. Like I've said all along, playing for this team was my dream as a child, but also being from here doesn't make me the best quarterback for this team. I want to earn it out on the field, and it's great to have the support of fans. I saw someone that I played youth baseball with over there. It's really cool for me, but like I said, it's really about focusing on what's going out on the field each and every play."
On if he expects to be the Week 1 starter: "The opportunity is there for me. That's my goal, and that's so far in advance that I can't even think about it. I'm thinking about our install for tomorrow that we're putting in tonight. I believe that I'm capable of being the starter at quarterback for this team, and that's what I'm working towards every day."
On working on 11-on-11 and in full formations during today's practice: "It's a little bit of a different motion, but I don't think that it's something that I'm trying to catch up on. It's kind of like riding a bike. The footwork is a little bit different, that's all, as opposed to being in the pistol. I felt that I got to my tracks on the run game really well and the play-action passes. Even in the spring doing seven-on-seven, I did everything all from under center so it's not something that I'm concerned about."
On being complimented as a class act and respected as a possible franchise quarterback: "When it comes down to it, all that matters is what happens on the field. No one is going to cheer for a good guy if they're 4-12. It's good to know that people respect me and my character, but for me, when it comes down to it, it's all about what happens out on the field."
On trusting his knee during simulated pass rushes by the defense: "I think the reason is because of the way that my knee was injured running. It wasn't somewhere where a lot of other quarterbacks were stepping up throwing it and they got hit from that angle. For me, actually, it's not even in my mind. It's kind of a natural feel where I need to step up, move, whatever. I've done so many drills like that working to get back and strengthening this leg in kind of a way that the functional movements that I would be doing out on the field. Whether it's dropping back with resistance or dropping back and working on movements and things like that, I've been doing that for a long time. Now, it's just navigating around the rush and feeling it. Even that, the first time that you get back out there and there's a real rush coming at you, you have to get used to it. No matter how many times you've done it, it's still kind of the nuances of not seeing the rush, but feeling it. There were a few plays out there where I had to step up and it's kind of a natural reaction."
On getting advice from New England Patriots QB Tom Brady: "We've talked. I like to keep those conversations between him and me, but he's been a great friend, supporter. There's not much I needed to ask him because I witnessed it on a day-to-day basis for four years, but we've talked a few times and he's been supportive. He just told me to take full advantage of the opportunity. That's what he's always told me. It's great to have a guy like that to kind of rely on if I ever feel like I need to reach out to him."
On possibly being underrated outside of Cleveland: "I don't know. I don't follow it that much. They'd have every right to because I've only played three games and then the injury happened. That's something I'm not concerned with because, like I said, what matters is what happens out on the field and I'll get that opportunity and I'll look forward to it."
Browns QB Johnny Manzieul met with reporters today following the first full-squad practice of training camp. Below is a transcript from the news conference, provided by the team.
On the first day of training camp: "It felt like Day 1. It was really good I think. We ran the ball really well; better than we did in OTAs. That's nice. We're getting great push. I think our offensive line is doing a really good job. It was really good, got better as the day went on. I think we're getting better."
On if there is a different intensity to training camp practice compared to the spring: "It's absolutely a different intensity. We had a team meeting yesterday and on the board it shows how many days we have until the first preseason game, second, our first [regular season] game. It's getting real now. We only have 42 days until the first game and 16 until the first preseason game. It's getting close. It's getting real."
On Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam saying he hopes Manziel can learn from LeBron James and Derek Jeter: "Those are two of the greatest athletes to play their respective sports in this country. I'm sure they all made their mistakes at 21 years old, 20 years old, when they first came into the league. What I take away from that is you learn from the best and you learn how those guys have carried themselves, which is extremely well on and off the court. I think I absolutely agree with Mr. Haslam that I can learn from guys like that."
On if he's comfortable during this time of year playing football: "Yeah, it's great. I have a smile on my face pretty much 24-7 being around here. The days get a little long, but that's what training camp is, and I think everybody knows that. Going into this, they go into it with that mindset. Everybody's ready to be back. It's a grind, but we're lucky enough to come out and, as our job, play football every day and come out here and have a great fan base, people that are cheering for us 24-7. It's awesome. It's a great feeling."
On how much different practice is with fans attending: "It's definitely different for me having practices open to the fans and stuff, but they're cheering throughout the entire day. I really did enjoy it. I think it's great for our fans to get a chance to see up close and personal that we're working extremely hard to try and change things around here and we're trying to be successful. Hopefully, we continue to bring this buzz and this excitement to the city."
On what it's like seeing his No. 2 jerseys in the stands at practice: "Personally, I've had an incredible fan base that's followed me and really come out of the woodwork here in Cleveland for me. It's truly incredible. I'm truly thankful to have those guys, but more than anything, it's not just my number, my name on the back. It's Cleveland. It's the Browns. It's awesome to have the fan base that we have for this team, not just me. It's a great turnout today, and I'm sure that won't stop anytime soon."
On what his biggest challenge is right now: "We're going to be going quick, Day 1 install, Day 2, Day 3. We're going to keep going on. To really try and lock down these days one day at a time, I really feel like I have a great grasp on that install, go to the next install. Get a grasp of that, and on and on and on until we get our entire playbook in. Then from there, go back over, review, really just feel comfortable with everything. That's what I have to do. The plays that I feel comfortable with, I know I can go out and execute better. That just takes time. That takes reps. That takes going over it time and time again. Really it just takes time."
On what lessons he has to learn: "Here's the thing that I want to say. The reason that I'm popular or the reason that people follow me and there's been such a buzz around me is when I went out on Saturdays at Texas A&M, I played with an extreme amount of passion and I played with my heart on my sleeve, but more than anything, I had fun. I have fun playing this game. I have fun going out on this field playing football. It's what I live for. It's what I do, same way off the field. Whether I'm playing golf, going out having a night life, whatever it is, I have a lot of fun. That's what my life is, and luckily for me I'm living out my dream of playing in the NFL having a ton of fun. My dream has come true, and I finally got some time to get some downtime and celebrate that with my family, with my friends. This is the greatest life that I could have ever imagined for me, and I'm loving that. Will I continue to get better being a professional and learn lessons about life? Of course, I'm 21 years old. Age is not an excuse, but I need to mature and I have done some immature things. Moving forward, I'm going to try and mature and get better and handle myself better as a professional. That's really all I can say about that. My life is incredible. I'm blessed to be in this position. I'm going to have fun each and every day, whether it's practice, whether it's training camp, whether it's during the season going out and playing a game which will be even better, or it's going out in the offseason or playing golf or hanging out with my family. Life is fun. Enjoy while it's here."
On if there are plays in the playbook that suit him better than others and if he thinks that gives him an edge in the quarterback competition: "There are definitely plays that suit me being able to be mobile and run around a little bit. We have some read stuff that definitely plays into my hand a little bit. I don't know if that gives me an edge, but I know it's fun for me being able to get plays that I'm comfortable with and I feel like I've ran throughout my career playing football."
On how he maximizes every play and practice: "For me, every rep, every little special teams drill that we do, going over to the side working with the quarterbacks, every little thing I have to take extremely serious and really pay attention. Whether I'm in or (Browns QBs) Brian's (Hoyer) in or Tyler (Thigpen) or Connor (Shaw), whenever someone else is in I have to take a mental rep and continue to not just look at my plays on a scripted sheet, but look at the entirety of it and see what I could potentially get when we're in the season. Taking mental reps, what I would do here, looking at the entire defense and trying to pick up even when I'm not in is something that I think I could take advantage of."
On how he and the offense got better at practice: "I know for me, personally, came out a little slow, just bouncing around a little bit. Then, as we got into some team periods, started moving the ball a little bit the offense started to pick up. It was good to see. We started throwing the ball down the field a little more. I know our first team period was a lot more just rollouts, some runs. As the scripts went on, as our team periods went on and our situations, it just picked up. We started throwing the ball down the field, and people started to liven up, which was nice."
Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel met with reporters today. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.
Opening statement: "I'm very excited to be back in Cleveland, be back with the teammates, the coaches and just being in the environment. I think everybody's ready to get back to football and get back to what we all love doing.
"Second, to just save you guys a lot of time, (Head) Coach (Mike) Pettine and (GM) Ray Farmer and I have really talked about a lot of things that have transpired over the course of the offseason. For me, my main thing is the people in this building - my teammates, the coaching staff and the higher-ups in this organization - we've all been on the same page. We've all been good and are very eager to be moving forward. At the end of the day, I made some rookie mistakes - there are some things I wish I could have gone back and done a little differently - but I'm continuing to move forward and try and represent this organization and this team in a positive manner, in a positive light.
"I'm just very excited to be back in camp, and it's football 24/7. That's what I love doing. It's what I live for, and it's what my job is. For me, I'm very excited to get back and can't wait to get this thing underway."
On specific situations that transpired this offseason: "I think I just spoke on that a little bit. I've talked about that with Coach Pettine; I've talked about it with Ray Farmer and the people that I need to talk about that with. Moving forward, they're good with everything and I've told them everything I need to. Everything's been good."
On going out at night and being caught on camera: "I don't think there's anything wrong with me going out and having a nightlife and having a social life. I am 21 years old, and I do like going out. It was the offseason. It's free time for us, and if I want to go out and hang out with my friends or go to nightclubs or do things like that, then I think that's within my rights to be doing that. I think there are other guys throughout the league that are doing that. I'm not trying to compare myself to anybody else, but I think that's within my rights to be doing that."
On having enough time at camp to win the starting QB job: "I think Coach Pettine and the staff here have called this an open competition, and I believe that it is. I'm just trying to get in here every day and try to be better as a player, as a teammate, really hone in on my craft and try and make this football team as good as I can. Whatever my role is on this team, I think that will be decided with play within these next few weeks. At the end of the day, what I want is what's best for this team, what's best for this organization because this is about the Cleveland Browns. This isn't about me. This isn't about (QB) Brian (Hoyer). This isn't about just the quarterback position. It takes 22 positions on the team to make this whole thing work and come together so it's not just about us."
On Coach Pettine's comment that his biggest challenge will be the playbook: "I interpret it exactly the way he said it. It's not two short little plays anymore. You have a lot to a play call. You have a lot to read. You have a lot of different things that weren't asked of me at (Texas) A&M. You have to deal with protections. You have to deal with certain things. Moving forward, I have to adapt to that. I have to get better and continue to learn the game of football more and more. I'm not sitting up here saying that I know everything or that I'm even close to perfecting this thing. I'm still a young guy, a young player, and there's a lot for me to learn and a lot for me to do moving forward."
On feeling more confident: "As time goes on I absolutely feel better day in and day out, continuing to go over things. Getting back into our day one installs, day two installs, going over things again and again, you get better as time goes on. There will be times when I make mistakes throughout this camp. That's a given. That's going to happen. I know that and I'm not worried about that. It's just trying to learn from those mistakes and getting better as a quarterback moving forward."
On if offseason situations have hurt him in potentially earning the starting quarterback position: "I don't believe so. I think there are definitely things that I can do moving forward to help me better act as a professional. At the same time, I'm still learning how to do that, still getting used to this role, still getting used to this league and still learning how to be a pro football player. I'm not in college anymore. There are things that I need to do better. That's just part of being a professional, and hopefully with time and with going through the season and as time goes on, I'll get better doing that."
On his focus being to get better or to start at Pittsburgh Week 1: "I'm absolutely a very competitive person and I'm going to come out here every day and compete. I'm not going to shy down from competition or anybody that really tests me, but at the same time, I'm worried about myself getting better as a football player, getting better at drops, throwing with accuracy, throwing on the run, doing everything and just really commanding the huddle, letting these guys see me on the field more and more. There's a lot that comes with being a rookie. I haven't been here very long so there's a lot that goes into all that."
On what kind of greeting he expects from the fans: "The fans have been incredible. From the day that I got drafted in New York, they've been incredible. Up until now, the buzz in this city about sports in general, not just about football, but you look at basketball now, the Indians are playing well, but especially for the Browns, this state, this town has been great for us. It's been great to me personally."
On if he feels like the underdog in the competition for starting quarterback, given Hoyer is from Cleveland: "No, I don't feel like that. Not at all."
On if he's had any conversations with Cleveland Cavaliers forward Lebron James since he made the decision to join the Cleveland Cavaliers and his reaction to James playing in Cleveland: "Obviously, I think it's great for this area. I think it's great for this city. I think it's great for the Cavs. I think it's great for me. He's obviously a very good friend of mine. Now moving forward, he's pretty much a business partner of mine. We've exchanged texts back and forth. Him being in the area, him being down the road definitely excites me. It's going to be awesome getting to go to Cavs games and watching the best basketball player in the world play. I'm very excited and I'm really excited that he can watch us play and be involved with this program again like he was before. More than anything, I'm happy for him and his family and being able to come back home, where obviously he loves it here."
The Browns placed nose tackle Phil Taylor, guard John Greco, tight end Gary Barnidge and fullback/tight end MarQueis Gray on the non-football injury list this morning.
Those players won't participate in the first full-squad practice of training camp scheduled to run from 9:30 a.m.-12:10 p.m. today. Taylor and Greco are projected starters.
The players will be removed from NFI and permitted to practice once they pass their conditioning tests. Taylor and Barnidge stopped short of finishing their tests as they ran a series of sprints Friday with other veterans.
Inside linebacker Tank Carder and defensive end Billy Winn remain on NFI. They were placed on the list Wednesday.To read more or comment...
Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters today. Below is a transcript from the news conference.
On if Browns TE Gary Barnidge was healthy after the conditioning test: “Yeah, he’ll be fine.
On seeing Browns WR Josh Gordon on the field for the conditioning test: “We welcomed all of our players back. Josh, in particular, was good to see him out there running.”To read more or comment...
Browns rookie Johnny Manziel expressed regret about some of his recent off-field behavior and vowed to fully commit to football as he enters his first NFL training camp and resumes his competition against veteran Brian Hoyer for the starting quarterback job.
"I made some rookie mistakes," Manziel, the 22nd overall pick in this year's draft, said today during a news conference. "There's some things I wish could've gone back and done a little differently, but [I'm] continuing to move forward and try and represent this organization and this team in a positive manner, in a positive light. [I'm] just very excited to be back in camp, and it's football 24-7. It's what I love doing. It's what I live for, and it's what my job is. So for me, I'm very excited to be back and can't wait to get this thing underway."To read more or comment...
Embattled Browns All-Pro wide receiver Josh Gordon was among the veterans who reported to training camp today and took a conditioning test this afternoon in front of the media.
Gordon is facing a potential ban from the NFL of at least a year because he tested positive for marijuana, ESPN reported, and he has an appeal hearing scheduled for Aug. 1.
After being arrested and charged with driving while impaired July 5 in Raleigh, N.C., Gordon checked himself into rehab, Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports 1 reported Thursday. Gordon spent two weeks in a rehab facility in California, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported.
Despite his troubled offseason, Gordon appeared to be in fine physical shape. He and other veterans ran about 20 timed sprints. Quarterbacks, rookie and veterans recovering from injuries reported to camp Wednesday and took the test.To read more or comment...
Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer met with reporters today. Below is a transcript from the news conference, provided by the team.
On if he feels like he has a tighter grip on the starting quarterback job than he did when he left last season: "I think I feel the same way about it as I did when I left. It's my job and until somebody tells me otherwise that's how I feel about it. So I've worked hard to prepare myself for this training camp. Now that we're here, I'm just excited to get going, to see some of these faces back in the locker room. I was here with the early report group and we had two days of good work. Now, it's time to really go. I'm excited for tomorrow morning."
On how much time he's spent at the facility since minicamp: "What I would do is come Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and then I took a week to vacation with my family in Florida and came back. Towards the end of last week, I took some time off to just try and get another five, six days of solid rest before coming in on Wednesday. I was here quite a bit."
On if he's healthy and ready to go: "To my knowledge, yes, I feel ready to go so that's the plan."
On stories involving QB Johnny Manziel in the offseason: "I don't concern myself with that. I focus on myself. What people do when they leave this building is up to them. We're all adults. For me, it's none of my concern."
On his determination to be the starting quarterback: "Obviously, the competition will bring out the best player in me, but I also think the thing that drives me the most is my goal of being the starting quarterback for this team. Obviously, there's a competition, but I think for the most part I'm competing with myself. That's the way I look at it. That's what drives me every day to be the best player that I can. To have just a taste of it last year and to have it ripped away, it makes you realize how much you love the game and how much it means to you to have something taken away from you like that, especially when you've waited for an opportunity for a long time. It drove me for the past nine months, and it will continue to drive me, but like I said, I think the thing that drives me most is my willingness to try to be the best, and I strive for that every day.
On Head Coach Mike Pettine having him work with the first string to start camp: "I think that's kind of what I expected. I think, like I said, the limitations in spring kind of held me back and now it's time to go. I'm excited to be out there with those guys. I know you guys talked to me in the spring, and I just wanted to be in the huddle. I didn't care if it was a run play, a pass play; I wanted to be in there with those guys and be a part of this team. That's what I missed most, and now to get this opportunity, especially with the guys that are going to be there, with that group, get out there and earn their respect and be the guy that leads them on the field."
On if the pressure of competition is good for him: "The pressure, you can thrive off of that, but like I said, what motivates me the most is to be the best quarterback for this team. Being a team player, you want the best people out there so whether that's me or Johnny, I think that will be determined through the next couple weeks. For me, I want the best quarterback to play. I think all you can ask for is an opportunity to be that guy and I've just got to take advantage of the opportunity that I have."
On his confidence that he is the best option to start at quarterback: "I am confident that I am that guy, but in the same sense, I know that if it comes down to the fact that Johnny does beat me out, I will have given everything I have and he will have totally earned it. That's what you want, and like I said, for me, all you want is and opportunity and a chance to earn the job. That's what I've been given, and for me, it's about going out every day and proving that I can be that guy because I believe that I am."
On reading into Coach Pettine playing him with the first string at the beginning of camp: "No, I don't. Like I said, that's what I would expect for the situation that I'm in. I expect to be the starting quarterback so it's not anything that changes my mentality. I always prepare like I am the starter whether I'm not or I am. Like I said, it's an opportunity to go out there and take advantage of those reps with the guys in that huddle."
On how much time he wants with the new wide receivers at training camp: "Obviously it's important, but I look back to my time playing last year. I barely practiced with any of those guys. Really when it gets down to it and you get to a week where you're going over a game plan and you're going over plays you're going to play anyways, I think you get enough, but obviously the time that you can get in the offseason with OTA's and training camp, it can definitely make a difference."
On if he sees potential for a deep threat if WR Josh Gordon is out for the season: "I'm really excited about all of our skill players. (WR) Miles (Austin) will be out here, (WR) Nate (Burleson), those guys. To get those guys back out, those guys as a group, there's a lot of play makers in that group. I'm not really necessarily concerned about that. You talk about a deep threat. (WR) Anthony Armstrong, he really opened my eyes with what he did in this offseason. You talk about (WR) Travis Benjamin coming back. (WR) Charles Johnson is looking great. So I'm really excited about working will all those guys. Regardless of Josh's situation, you've got to go forward. We have what we have so I think those guys can do more than enough to get the job done."
On what excites him most about the playbook, compared to last year: "The thing that is most comfortable to me is the verbiage. Last year I really liked - I hope people don't get the wrong message when I talk about comparing things - I really like the plays (former Browns offensive coordinator) Norv (Turner) ran. It was just hard for me to pick up on the verbiage because it was a completely different system. This year, the verbiage is very similar to things that I've been used to so I've been able to pick it up really quickly. When you look at the system, you can attack so many ways - vertical passing lane, short passing lane, outside zone inside zone, play action - I think it really puts all facets of offensive football out on the field, and we have the guys to do it. There's no doubt about that. You look at (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan's) history, he's had a team that led the league in rushing, he's had a team that led the league in passing, and he's had teams that have been really good at both. I think being a balanced football team is probably the best thing you can do, and I think we have the scheme and the players to do that."
On if he's talked to Gordon since he's been back at the facility: "I've reached out to him, and I'll keep the interaction between him and me, but I'm here to support him and it's a tough time that he's going through. If there's anything I could ever do, I've offered that up to him, but I've had a conversation. I'll keep that between him and me."
The Browns have struck a deal with veteran outside linebacker Edgar Jones, his agent, Marc Lillibridge, announced today on Twitter.
The Browns announced the move later this afternoon.
Jones, 29, has appeared in 64 NFL regular-season games, but he has never started. He has contributed to special teams throughout his career.
Before playing for the Dallas Cowboys last season and the Kansas City Chiefs the previous year, Jones spent five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.To read more or comment...
On today's podcast, Akron Beacon Journal and Ohio.com beat reporter Nate Ulrich previews Cleveland Browns training camp. He also discusses wide receiver Josh Gordon's upcoming appeal on Aug. 1, quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel and more.
More:To read more or comment...
The Browns have struck a deal with veteran outside linebacker Jamaal Westerman, his agents at Eastern Athletic Services announced today on Twitter.
The Browns have yet to announce the move.
Westerman, 29, has started three of the 58 NFL regular-season games in which he has appeared. He played in 12 games last season for the Buffalo Bills, when new Browns coach Mike Pettine was their defensive coordinator. He also spent three seasons with the New York Jets (2009-11), when Pettine was their defensive coordinator. All three of his career starts came under Pettine's guidance in 2011.
Westerman has compiled 62 tackles, including six sacks, and one forced fumble in five NFL seasons. He most recently played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and has also spent time with the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals in addition to the Bills and Jets.To read more or comment...
The Browns put rookie running back Terrance West, offensive tackle Chris Faulk, undrafted rookie defensive lineman Jacobbi McDaniel and guard Jeremiah Warren back on the active roster today after placing them on the non-football injury list Wednesday.
The moves were made after West, Faulk, McDaniel and Warren passed their conditioning tests today.
The NFI designations were related to the players’ conditioning tests, a source familiar with the situation said Wednesday. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation.
West, a third-round pick in this year's draft, wanted everyone to know he's healthy and will be ready for action when the Browns begin their first full-squad practice of training camp Saturday morning.To read more or comment...
The appeal hearing of Browns All-Pro wide receiver Josh Gordon is scheduled for Aug. 1, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported this morning.
Gordon will meet with NFL officials in New York in an effort to get a suspension reduced, according to the report. A repeat offender of the league's substance-abuse policy, Gordon faces a potential ban from the league of at least a year after testing positive for marijuana, ESPN's Outside the Lines first reported May 9.
Gordon is expected to report to Browns training camp with other veterans by Friday. The first full-squad practice is set for Saturday morning. The team is scheduled to hold five practices before Gordon's appeal hearing.To read more or comment...
The Browns placed rookie running back Terrance West and five other players on the non-football injury list today.
But West, a third-round pick in this year's draft, took to Twitter to assure fans he isn't dealing with anything serious.
"I'm healthy, ready to go," West tweeted this evening. "(NO WORRIES)To read more or comment...
The Browns were awarded offensive lineman Nick McDonald off waivers today from the San Diego Chargers, the team announced.
The Chargers waived McDonald on Monday with a non-football injury designation. He signed with the Chargers in January.
He sat out the entire 2013 season after the New England Patriots cut him in training camp.
The 6-foot-4, 306-pound McDonald entered the NFL in 2010 as an undrafted free agent with the Green Bay Packers. He spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the Patriots, starting three of 16 regular-season games in which he appeared. He also played in two games with the Patriots during the 2011 playoffs.
McDonald, 27, has received playing time at center and both guard spots.To read more or comment...
Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel is ranked No. 1 on NFL Players Inc.'s list for officially licensed merchandise sold from March 1-May 31.
The Browns drafted Manziel 22nd overall on the night of May 8, so he shot to the top of the list in just 23 days. NFLPI announced the ranking today.
The NFLPI is the licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFL Players Association. Its sales list includes Nike T-shirts and Fathead wall decals sold online and by traditional retail outlets. Licensed product categories also include jerseys, player murals, figurines, matted and framed photos, bobbleheads, drinkware, jewelry and electronic device accessories.
Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson finished as the runner-up to Manziel on the list. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning rounded out the top five.To read more or comment...
Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel leads the NFL in jerseys sold on NFLShop.com from April 1-July 17, the league announced Monday.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is No. 2 on the list, followed by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman to round out the top five.
Manziel is the only Browns player to make the top 25. The team selected Manziel No. 22 overall during the first round of the NFL Draft on May 8.
View the entire list here.To read more or comment...
The Browns have hired former New York Giants vice president of communications Peter John-Baptiste to head their media relations department. He replaces Zak Gilbert, who resigned last month.
Below is a news release the team distributed today.
BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns named Peter John-Baptiste vice president of communications, announced today by Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam.
“We are privileged to bring Peter to our staff,” said Haslam. “He is a high-quality individual with extensive NFL experience. Peter also has a stellar reputation with the New York Giants, as well as with local and national media. He will greatly benefit both our football and business communications.
“In addition to being a respected leader by both his peers and media throughout the league, Peter’s time in a demanding New York market with Super Bowl championship teams make him an incredible asset as we continue to build positive relationships with media and Browns fans.”To read more or comment...
Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel has added Snickers to his list of endorsements, ESPN.com reported today.
A company spokesman told the website Manziel is scheduled to appear in its "You're Not You When You're Hungry" campaign. A national TV commercial is set to debut as the NFL season approaches.
Manziel, the 22nd overall pick in this year's NFL Draft who won the Heisman Trophy at Texas A&M in 2012, has already filmed commercials for Nissan in addition to a digital spot for Nike.
Earlier this month, Manziel used Instagram to post a photograph of himself and Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III at Nissan's "Heisman House" commercial shoot.To read more or comment...
The Browns are on the rise. Well, at least in terms of their net worth.
The Browns are ranked 35th on Forbes’ list of the world’s 50 most valuable sports teams of 2014 with an estimated value of $1.005 billion. Last year, they were 34th on the list at $987 million.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam bought the team for $1.05 billion in 2012. Considering the celebrity of rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel, the Browns will likely ascend Forbes' list next year.
With 30 of 50 entries, the NFL dominates the most recent list, which published online today.To read more or comment...
Here is the Browns emailed release on Family Day at InfoCision Stadium in Akron:
The Browns will host their intrasquad scrimmage at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2 at University of Akron’s InfoCision Stadium, with gates opening at 10:30 a.m.
To attend the free event, Browns fans can register for general-admission tickets by visiting www.ClevelandBrowns.com, beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday. Individuals have the opportunity to request up to six seats, as space permits. Fans are encouraged to contact the Browns ticket office directly (440-891-5050) with questions.
Cleveland will welcome its fans from Akron, Northeast Ohio and throughout the region with special family-friendly pre-game and postgame activities.To read more or comment...
Browns fans won’t be the only ones barking at FirstEnergy Stadium in the fall.
The Browns, famous for their Dawg Pound cheering section, are planning to incorporate a real bullmastiff named “Swagger” into their game-day experience, team spokesman Rob McBurnett said today. One idea being kicked around is the canine leading the team onto the field before home games during the upcoming season.
Some fans have voiced complaints about the dog’s name via social media, but the team did not name the dog. The dog had already been named before the Browns considered using it.
The Browns will become the latest NFL team to use a live animal as part of their game-day festivities. The Seattle Seahawks have a hawk named Taima. The Denver Broncos showcase a white Arabian horse named Thunder. The Baltimore Ravens use ravens named Rise and Conquer.
The Browns' plans to incorporate a real dog were revealed in a recent radio interview 92.3 The Fan conducted with Kevin Griffin, the team's vice president of fan experience and marketing.To read more or comment...
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam's truck-stop empire, Pilot Flying J, announced today it has reached an agreement with the federal government and will not be prosecuted for fraud, provided it meets the terms of the deal.
Under the two-year agreement, Pilot Flying J must pay a penalty of $92 million and fully cooperate with the government’s investigation of fraudulent conduct within the company’s diesel fuel sales discount programs.
The agreement offers no protection from prosecution to any individual, including Haslam, who has not been charged.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello made it clear that the league would not levy an additional penalty against Haslam. "There have been no allegations of any personal conduct that is in violation of NFL policy," Aiello wrote in an email.To read more or comment...
Browns Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden discussed LeBron James’ return to the Cavaliers during an interview Friday night with NFL Network’s NFL Total Access. A transcript is below.
On how he’s feeling about the news that LeBron James is joining the Cleveland Cavaliers: “It’s a great day in Cleveland.”
On what he has been hearing and experiencing: “It’s been almost overwhelming. I was actually having my football camp when people that were at my camp -- peoples’ parents -- were like, ‘Oh my goodness LeBron’s here. LeBron’s here. LeBron’s coming back home.’ I’m super excited. I’ve been a really, really big LeBron supporter. It’s been kind of tough being a LeBron fan in Cleveland since he left. So now I’ve just been able to chill and post some of my things about being a big fan of him -- it’s going to be amazing.”
On if Cleveland is the center of the sports world and how it feels: “You could feel it everywhere especially after the draft too. We got [Justin] Gilbert and we got [Johnny] Manziel, then the city was buzzing. Now, LeBron’s coming back. We got Andrew Wiggins. The whole city feels really good about themselves. I know the players and everybody. I know I do. It’s time for us. There’s no reason why we can’t win games out here with the Cavs and for the Browns.”To read more or comment...
Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel and several of his teammates used social media this afternoon to welcome NBA superstar and Akron native LeBron James back to Northeast Ohio.
In an essay published online today by Sports Illustrated, James announced he has decided to return to the Cavaliers after leaving the team in 2010 and spending the past four seasons with the Miami Heat.
James’ homecoming is particularly significant for Manziel because they are business partners.
In January, Manziel signed with LRMR Management, the marketing firm run by James’ business partner, longtime friend and fellow St. Vincent-St. Mary High School product Maverick Carter. LRMR and Fenway Sports Management, which partnered together in 2011, are representing Manziel jointly.To read more or comment...
Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu realizes plenty of people have advice for embattled Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon. But Mathieu also knows what it’s like to battle addiction, so he’s convinced that words of wisdom won’t help Gordon unless he wants to make significant changes.
Gordon was arrested early Saturday morning in Raleigh, N.C., on a charge of driving while impaired.The All Pro is appealing a potential suspension of at least a year stemming from what ESPN reported in May was a positive test for marijuana.
The 23-year-old Gordon served a two-game suspension and was docked four game checks last season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. He also failed three marijuana tests in college – twice at Baylor University and once at the University of Utah – before former Browns General Manager Tom Heckert selected him in the second round of the 2012 supplemental draft.To read more or comment...
Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown claims a 1964 NFL championship ring listed for sale in an online auction was stolen from him more than 40 years ago.
The ring listed on Lelands.com has received four bids. The highest offer was $33,275. The auction is scheduled to end at 9 p.m. July 25, according to the website.
“It was stolen from me many years ago, in the late 1960s,” Brown, a special adviser for the Browns, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press today. “I’m surprised to hear that it’s publicly for sale because whoever got it should know that I didn’t give it up.’’
The following excerpt from the listing on Lelands.com paints a different picture: “The ring was obtained directly from a Brown immediate family member and sold by Lelands.com in 1998. During that original auction preview, Jim Brown himself inspected the ring and acknowledged its authenticity. … The provenance and chain of title is well-documented: Jim Brown to family member to Lelands to Cleveland Sport Collection auction buyer back to Lelands.com and now to you.”To read more or comment...
Updated 2:20 p.m.
The party continued for Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel as he reportedly returned to Las Vegas this past week. Then speculation and controversy ensued.
The 22nd overall pick in May’s NFL Draft, Manziel sparked debate from coast to coast six weeks ago by vacationing in Vegas just before Memorial Day. He posed for poolside photographs with New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and bikini-clad women. He was caught on video spraying champagne into a crowd of dancers at a nightclub.
His partying has been documented every week since.
Manziel, 21, partied at XS nightclub at Encore during Fourth of July weekend, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Sunday night. According to a story published this morning on TMZ.com, Manziel tended bar at an Austin, Texas, nightclub before making his most recent trip to Vegas.To read more or comment...
Browns All-Pro wide receiver Josh Gordon has established himself as one of the best players in the NFL when he’s on the field. Unfortunately, he cannot stay out of trouble off it.
Whether those off-field issues persist and cost him his career remains to be seen.
Gordon had another setback when he was arrested shortly before 3 a.m. today in Raleigh, N.C., charged with driving while impaired and cited for traveling 50 mph in a 35 mph zone, Raleigh Police Department director of public affairs Jim Sughrue said this afternoon.
A person charged with DWI in North Carolina is deemed “under the influence of an impairing substance” such as alcohol or a drug. Chemical analysis is used.To read more or comment...
There is still no resolution to the saga starring Browns All-Pro wide receiver Josh Gordon, but apparently there is progress.
Gordon, the Browns and their fans have been playing an exhausting waiting game since ESPN reported on May 9 that the Pro Bowler tested positive for marijuana and faces a potential season-long ban.
Well, Gordon’s appeal hearing has finally been scheduled, ProFootballTalk.com reported today. It’s set for late July, according to the report.To read more or comment...
Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is listed 16th and Browns offensive left tackle Joe Thomas is listed 18th on NFL Network’s The Top 100 Players of 2014.
The standouts ranked Nos. 11-20 were revealed tonight. Players vote to form the list.
The Browns have three players on the list. Cornerback Joe Haden’s place at No. 39 was revealed last month.
Gordon, Thomas and Haden made the Pro Bowl last season. It was Thomas’ seventh Pro Bowl selection in seven seasons, and the first appearance for Gordon and Haden in the NFL’s annual all-star game.To read more or comment...
Photo courtesy of CBSSports.com
Browns Pro Bowler Jordan Cameron will no longer be pigeonholed based on his Twitter bio because he made a notable change to it today.
The short bio reads, "Pro Bowl pass catcher for the Browns." It used to read, "Pro Bowl TE for the Browns."
Cameron’s edit is a reaction to arbitrator Stephen Burbank’s ruling today that New Orleans Saints Pro Bowler Jimmy Graham is a tight end and not a wide receiver for franchise-tag purposes. The cost to franchise a tight end is $7 million compared to $12.3 million for a wide receiver, so there’s a difference of $5.3 million between the two positions.To read more or comment...
Is Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel really tired of the attention and hype that he complained about Friday during the NFL Rookie Symposium?
Or does he crave it?
Either way, he certainly fuels it.
This morning, Manziel retweeted two photographs of him posing with pop star Justin Bieber, boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, singer and actor Tyrese Gibson and rapper Tyga.To read more or comment...