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Friday's injury report for Browns, Jaguars

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 29, 2013

Injury report for Nov. 29

Browns

Out: Quarterback Jason Campbell (concussion) and inside linebacker Tank Carder (sprained shoulder). Doubtful: Inside linebacker Craig Robertson (sprained knee). Questionable: Offensive tackle Martin Wallace (illness), defensive end Armonty Bryant (back) and tight end MarQueis Gray (hamstring). Probable: Wide receiver Josh Cooper (illness), cornerback Buster Skrine (bruised ribs), offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz (toe), running back Willis McGahee (knee), punter Spencer Lanning (left knee) and outside linebacker Paul Kruger (finger).

Did not practice: Campbell, Carder, Robertson and Wallace. Limited participation: Bryant and Gray. Full participation: Cooper, Skrine, Schwartz, McGahee, Lanning and Kruger.

Jaguars

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Here's what coach Rob Chudzinski is saying about Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 29, 2013

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

Opening statement: “Good morning everybody. I hope you have a good Thanksgiving. We have a lot to be thankful for and certainly. For me, it’s an honor to be part of the Cleveland Browns organization and coaching this team. I know our players feel very fortunate as well to be able to play for this organization and be a Brown. We had a good week of practice. (We’re) ready to get playing and excited for Sunday.”

On if QB Jason Campbell has been at the facility: “He has. He’s checked in every day. We’ve sent him home. He is feeling better, though.”

On if there are any issues with Campbell playing in the future: “He’s very close and getting much better.” 

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Steelers CB William Gay fined $15,750 for hit on Browns QB Jason Campbell, but officials missed call

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 29, 2013

In the aftermath of Browns quarterback Jason Campbell absorbing a strike to the facemask without a penalty being called Sunday in a 27-11 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, cornerback William Gay was fined $15,750 for delivering the hit, and Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner and several players said blows to the head should be reviewable.

Referee Terry McAulay missed a roughing-the-passer call when Gay whacked Campbell in the facemask with his left hand, causing Campbell to fumble and smack the back of his helmet on the ground. He immediately left the game with a concussion with 7:46 remaining in the third quarter, and a play after safety Will Allen returned the fumble 49 yards to the Browns’ 4-yard line, the Steelers scored a touchdown to go ahead 20-3 and virtually ensure they would dash Cleveland’s playoff hopes.

Campbell hasn't practiced since, and the Browns (4-7) ruled him out for Sunday when they'll host the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9). Brandon Weeden will start in his place.

The NFL announced today that it fined Gay for unnecessarily delivering a forcible blow to Campbell’s head and neck area. But the damage had already been done to the Browns, who would’ve had Campbell’s fumble negated and been granted a first down at the Steelers’ 24 behind 13-3 if the officials had made the proper call.

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Thursday's injury report for Browns, Jaguars

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 28, 2013

Injury report for Nov. 28, 2013

Browns

Did not practice: Quarterback Jason Campbell (concussion), inside linebacker Craig Robertson (sprained knee) and inside linebacker Tank Carder (sprained shoulder). Limited participation: Defensive end Armonty Bryant (back), tight end MarQueis Gray (hamstring), running back Willis McGahee (knee) and cornerback Buster Skrine (bruised ribs). Full participation: Offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz (toe), wide receiver Josh Cooper (illness), punter Spencer Lanning (left knee) and outside linebacker Paul Kruger (finger).

Jaguars

Did not practice: Wide receiver Stephen Burton (concussion), running back Justin Forsett (foot) and defensive tackle Roy Miller (shoulder). Limited participation: Defensive end Andre Branch (knee), linebacker Geno Hayes (knee), guard Will Rackley (illness), cornerback Will Blackmon (shoulder), offensive tackle Cameron Bradfield (bicep), wide receiver Mike Brown (shoulder), wide receiver Cecil Shorts (groin) and linebacker J.T. Thomas (ankle). Full participation: Defensive end Jason Babin (not injury related), running back Maurice Jones-Drew (not injury related), defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks (not injury related), center Brad Meester (not injury related) and safety Winston Guy (shoulder).

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Wednesday's injury report for Browns, Jaguars

By Ryan Lewis Published: November 27, 2013

Injury report for Nov. 27, 2013

Browns: Did not participate: quarterback Jason Campbell (concussion), inside linebacker Craig Robertson (knee) and inside linebacker Tank Carder (shoulder). Limited participation: defensive end Armonty Bryant (back), wide receiver Josh Cooper (illness), tight end MarQueis Gray (hamstring) and cornerback Buster Skrine (ribs). Full participation: offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz (toe), running back Willis McGahee (knee), punter Spencer Lanning (left knee) and outside linebacker Paul Kruger (finger). 

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Here's what coach Rob Chudzinski is saying about Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 27, 2013

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

Opening statement: “Back to work with our players today. We’re looking forward to playing Jacksonville at FirstEnergy Stadium this weekend. As you look at them as a team, they’ve improved as the season’s gone on, particularly since the bye week. They’ve won two out of three games since that bye week that they had, beat Tennessee and beat Houston this past weekend. Offensively, they’ve come on. Opportunistic offense led at quarterback by (Jaguars QB Chad) Henne. He’s played well and efficiently in that role. They’re talented at the skill positions. (Jaguars WR) Cecil Shorts, a very good wide receiver, very versatile. He does a lot for them. (Jaguars WR Mike) Brown and (Jaguars WR Ace) Sanders also play there, as well. (Jaguars TE) Marcedes Lewis, I felt, has been one of the most underrated tight ends for a long time in the league, and (Jaguars TE) Clay Harbor is playing very well at tight end, as well, in their multiple-tight end sets. (Jaguars RB) Maurice Jones-Drew has been one of the best running backs in the league for a long time. He’s still playing at a high level. Their offensive line, they’ve had some changes at their offensive line but have seemed to solidify there.

“Defensively it’s a high-motor, very active defense, attacking defense. Their defensive line is excellent. It’s a deep group. They play a lot of guys there. (Jaguars DE) Jason Babin, (Jaguars DE Andre) Branch and (Jaguars TE Tyson) Alualu are very good defensive ends, and (Jaguars DL Sen’Derrick) Marks is playing very well inside at defensive tackle. Their linebackers: (Jaguars LB Paul) Posluszny you know about; (Jaguars LB Geno) Hayes and (Jaguars LB Russell) Allen, all tough guys, play very good in the defense. Their defensive backs are a young group, a very talented group. I think they’re starting three rookies in the back end. Some of these guys we had a chance to evaluate and really liked going into the draft. (Jaguars DB Josh) Evans and (Jaguars DB Johnathan) Cyprien are their safeties starting there. (Jaguars DB Alan) Ball and (Jaguars DB Dwayne) Gratz are starting at their corners. Their special teams are very good. It’s a strength of theirs, solid core.

“They’ve got a great kicker and punter and returners, as well, so those will all be a challenge as we get ready to play.

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Browns notes: QB Brandon Weeden to start vs. Jaguars; SS T.J. Ward doesn't regret postgame comments

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 27, 2013

As expected, Quarterback Brandon Weeden will start Sunday when the Browns (4-7) host the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9), coach Rob Chudzinski announced this morning during a news conference.

Quarterback Jason Campbell has started the past four games, but he has yet to be cleared to practice after suffering a concussion this past weekend in a 27-11 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Campbell hasn’t been ruled out yet, but Chudzinski said he probably wouldn’t be active against the Jaguars. Chudzinski also said, at this point, the team is not considering placing Campbell, who’s also dealing with bruised ribs, on injured reserve.

The Browns officially signed quarterback Alex Tanney off the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad after he passed a physical. Tanney practiced today and will likely serve as Weeden’s backup.

Weeden, who’s 0-4 as a starter this season and 5-14 in his career, was benched a month ago in favor of Campbell after consecutive poor performances against the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. Drafted 22nd overall last year by the previous regime, Weeden said he embraces another chance to prove himself.

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Browns claim TE Andre Smith off waivers from Cowboys, waive C Patrick Lewis, WR Brian Tyms

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 26, 2013

The Browns claimed tight end Andre Smith off waivers from the Dallas Cowboys and waived backup center Patrick Lewis and backup wide receiver Brian Tyms, the team announced this evening.

The Browns also agreed to contract terms earlier today with quarterback Alex Tanney, who is being plucked off the Cowboys' practice squad.

Below is a news release from the Browns.

The Cleveland Browns on Tuesday were awarded TE Andre Smith via waivers from the Dallas Cowboys. In addition, the team waived OL Patrick Lewis and WR Brian Tyms.

A 6-4, 270-pound player officially in his second NFL season out of Virginia Tech, Smith appeared in three games with the Cowboys this season and was inactive for eight contests. He spent the final three weeks of the 2012 season on Dallas’ practice squad. Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Bears in 2011, Smith spent the first eight weeks of that season on Chicago’s practice squad before being elevated to the active roster, but was inactive the final eight weeks.

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Video: Does new Browns quarterback Alex Tanney have superhuman accuracy?

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 26, 2013

The Browns signed quarterback Alex Tanney today off the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad. Tanney is famous for his trick-shot football video that went viral two years ago and led to his appearance in March on the History Channel series Stan Lee's Superhumans.

The episode featuring Tanney and his original trick-shot video that has been viewed more than 3.4 million times are below.

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Browns sign QB Alex Tanney off Cowboys' practice squad; team won't sign Caleb Hanie, who worked out

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 26, 2013

The Browns signed quarterback Alex Tanney off the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad, according to the Cowboys’ official website.

The Browns later announced this afternoon that they have agreed to terms with Tanney.

With Tanney joining the Browns, the team will not sign veteran free-agent quarterback Caleb Hanie, a league source told the Beacon Journal. Hanie worked out for the Browns as planned, the source said.

Tanney, who's best known for the trick-shot video above, will be on the active roster and will likely serve as Brandon Weeden’s backup Sunday when the Browns (4-7) host the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9). Weeden is expected to start in place of Jason Campbell, who suffered a concussion this past weekend in a 27-11 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Cleveland City Council approves stadium face-lift for Browns

By Tom Withers, Associated Press Published: November 25, 2013

CLEVELAND: The Cleveland City Council has approved a plan to pay $30 million over the next 15 years for upgrades at FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Browns.

Following a four-hour debate, the council passed the ordinance. The city will pay $2 million over the next 15 years — money obligated to the NFL team per a lease agreement — to help fund a $120 million renovation to the 15-year-old facility, which is owned by the city.

The Browns are financing the entire project by using a $62 million loan from the NFL and money from the city. The stadium improvements will include two giant scoreboards, escalators to improve pedestrian traffic and a new state-of-the-art sound system.

Several council members argued the city should be using money for other needs.

The Browns intend to begin the first phase of the project shortly after the final home game.

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Here's what coach Rob Chudzinski is saying about Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 25, 2013

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski met with reporters today to discuss his team's 27-11 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

Opening statement: “Disappointed in the loss, for our fans and our team. Simply, we did not get the job done, and give the Steelers credit; they did. There’s some positives, but in the end, four turnovers we had, 17 points off of those turnovers. Offensively, we had a number of drives that ended in the plus territory and so we were unable to get anything out of those drives and capitalize on that field position. Then keeping our quarterback upright; we have to do a better job of that. Defensively, we need to create some turnovers. I thought our early tackling wasn’t as good as it needs to be. We weren’t able to get the pressure on (Steelers QB Ben) Roethlisberger that we would have liked. The result was not good enough but I believe in our coaches and our players. We’ll stick together and we’ll learn from that game, make the corrections and move on. It was one game; we still have five games left in the regular season starting with Jacksonville. We’re excited about those opportunities and the opportunity to play on a week-to-week basis.

“As far as injuries, a couple of things that I mentioned last night: (QB) Jason Campbell has a concussion. He’ll be going through the NFL protocol for that before he’s cleared to play. (LB) Tank Carder has a shoulder sprain; we’ll see how he is as the week progresses. (DB) Buster Skrine has bruised ribs and again, we’ll see how he progresses as the week goes on. Those are the injuries from the game that I have to report.”

On if the play in which Campbell was hit on the head should be a reviewable play: “I think you open up all of the things, in terms of penalties, being reviewed. You open that whole can of worms so I don’t know that that’s a necessarily thing that you should do on that.”

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Browns QB Brandon Weeden expected to start Sunday, team to work out Caleb Hanie as possible backup

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 25, 2013

Quarterback Brandon Weeden will likely start Sunday when the Browns (4-7) host the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9), and the organization will likely sign another quarterback this week to serve as Weeden’s backup, coach Rob Chudzinski said today during a news conference.

“There’s a good chance that we’ll sign another guy before the game,” Chudzinski said.

Quarterback Caleb Hanie could be that guy. The Browns made plans to work out Hanie, a league source confirmed for the Beacon Journal. If the Browns sign Hanie, he'll be expected to serve as Weeden's backup Sunday.

Hanie, 28, was a backup for the Chicago Bears from 2008-11. He made all four of his NFL starts in 2011 and went 0-4. Hanie spent last season as a reserve for the Denver Broncos. He signed with the Baltimore Ravens in April and was cut in August. He has been out of the league for all of this season.

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Comedian who dubbed FirstEnergy Stadium a 'Factory of Sadness' rips Browns again

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 25, 2013

Local comedian Mike Polk Jr. ranted about the Browns on Sunday following their 27-11 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the video below.

Polk famously dubbed FirstEnergy Stadium a "Factory of Sadness" on Nov. 6, 2011, after the Browns fell 30-12 to the Houston Texans. The video, which has been viewed more than 1.4 million times, is below.

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Game day blog: Final — Steelers 27, Browns 11

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 24, 2013

The Browns (4-7) fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-6) 27-11 today at FirstEnergy Stadium. Below is our game day blog. It will be updated at the end of each quarter.

Final: Steelers 27, Browns 11

Things went from very bad to much worse for the Browns in the fourth quarter. Brandon Weeden was first stripped of the ball by Troy Polamalu, his second forced fumble of the day. That fumble was picked up by former Buckeye Cameron Heyward. Later, Weeden was intercepted by William Gay on a pass intended for Jordan Cameron, who returned it 21 yards for a touchdown. Only a few thousand fans were left in the stands as the game ended. The lone fourth-quarter bright spot was Josh Gordon, who had catches of 47- and 42-yards and 100 yards in the quarter. He later caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Weeden on a fade route. Weeden hit Bess for the 2-point conversion to make it 27-11. Gordon finished with 237 receiving yards, which breaks the franchise record of 191 by Ozzie Newsome against the New York Jets in 1984. He also tied Newsome for the franchise record for catches in a game with 14. 

End 3Q: Steelers 20, Browns 3

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Browns notebook: Nose tackle Phil Taylor's filthy forearm smash from last season on Steelers' minds

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 23, 2013

Browns nose tackle Phil Taylor will be a marked man when the Pittsburgh Steelers visit FirstEnergy Stadium at 1 p.m. Sunday for a showdown between two 4-6 AFC North rivals fighting to remain alive in the hunt for a wild-card berth.

The Browns’ 24-10 loss to the Steelers in the 2012 regular-season finale for both teams got nasty, and Taylor was at the center of the chaos.

The 6-foot-3, 335-pound Taylor blindsided Steelers offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum with a filthy forearm smash early in the third quarter that knocked him out of the game with a concussion and drew a $7,875 fine from the NFL. Beachum didn’t say much about the incident, but fellow offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert essentially told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that justice would be served against Taylor.

“It is no motivation once he gets on the field,” Gilbert said, adding that he also had an incident with Taylor. “He knows what it is, and it is business. It is smash mouth football, and there’s no talking. It is what it is. We are aware of it, but football is football, and I am pretty sure he is going to get his. It was a dirty play, and he put it on film. Once it is on film, it is out there.”

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Friday's injury report for Browns, Steelers

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 22, 2013

Injury report for Friday, Nov. 22, 2013

Browns

Out: Tight end MarQueis Gray (hamstring). Doubtful: Inside linebacker Craig Robertson (knee). Questionable: Defensive end Armonty Bryant (back). Probable: Offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz (toe), running back Willis McGahee (knee), punter Spencer Lanning (left knee), running back Fozzy Whittaker (ankle), guard Jason Pinkston (ankle) and outside linebacker Paul Kruger (finger).

Did not participate in practice: Gray and Robertson. Limited participation: Bryant. Full participation: Schwartz, McGahee, Lanning, Whittaker, Pinkston and Kruger. 

Steelers

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Here's what coach Rob Chudzinski is saying about Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 22, 2013

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

Opening statement: “Pleased with our guys’ response this week. Practices and preparations have been very focused, an outstanding week of preparation for us. Our players can’t wait to play this game. I can’t wait for this game, as well, on Sunday. It’ll be great to be back home in front of our fans, and we’ll need that Dawg Pound to be barking on Sunday.

“As far as a couple of things on the injury report: (TE MarQueis) Gray will be out for this game; (LB Craig) Robertson is improving, he’s doubtful for this game; and (WR) Armonty Bryant has back spasms, and he’s questionable for this game.”

On reminding players to control emotions in this rivalry game, specifically referencing last year’s contest: “It’s something we talk about a lot, the intensity of the game and being able to control your emotions, as well, at the same time. It’s a fine line that you want to play on that edge, and we want our guys to play on that edge. Obviously, this game, an AFC North game and the type of rivalry that we have with them, it’ll be important that we keep our composure in that way.”

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Browns DC Ray Horton discusses upcoming matchup with his mentor, Steelers DC Dick LeBeau

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 21, 2013

Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton will face his mentor, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, on Sunday. Horton discussed his relationship with LeBeau today during a news conference. Excerpts are below.

On his history with LeBeau:“I was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals and he was my defensive backfield coach, developed into my defensive coordinator, and then I’ve coached with him, or under him, for quite a while. For me, I would say it’s more of a personal than a professional relationship. I think when you have a mentor like that, it is that way; it goes beyond football. I carry some of the life lessons I’ve learned from him into my life and instilled into my children and my coaching career. Probably everything that I am, he’s a big reason why.”

On whether LeBeau shares any off-the-field hobbies with Horton: “Many golf trips, that we’ve been on the road together. Treating people exceptionally well in gas stations, in restaurants. He’s quite the scholar. I would say he’s got that common touch. It’s unbelievable how he treats people. He’s got an uncanny ability to make you think you're the only person in the room that matters.” 

On whether he someday thought he would be a coach while playing for LeBeau: “Personally, I thought I would be a coach in college (as a college player), but upon meeting Coach LeBeau, I knew how I wanted to be a coach, and what style of coaching, how I wanted to treat players. I always wanted to be a coach, but he was a role model for me of how to coach.”

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Thursday's injury report for Browns, Steelers

By Ryan Lewis Published: November 21, 2013

Injury report for Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013

Browns: Did not participate: Tight end MarQueis Gray (hamstring) and inside linebacker Craig Robertson (knee). Limited participation: Defensive end Armonty Bryant (back), offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz (toe) and running back Willis McGahee (knee). Full participation: punter Spencer Lanning (left knee), running back Fozzy Whittaker (ankle), offensive lineman Jason Pinkston (ankle) and outside linebacker Paul Kruger (finger). 

Steelers: Did not participate: defensive end Brett Keisel (foot), linebacker LaMarr Woodley (calf) and safety Shamarko Thomas (ankle). Limited participation: linebacker Stevenson Sylvester (hamstring). Full participation: offensive guard Ramon Foster (ankle), tight end Heath Miller (not-injury related), center Fernando Velasco (knee), offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum (hip) and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (foot). 

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Former Browns, Ravens owner Art Modell fails to make cut for Hall of Fame semifinalists

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 21, 2013

Art Modell, the late owner of the Browns and Baltimore Ravens, is not among 25 modern-era semifinalists the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee has nominated for induction in 2014. The list was unveiled Wednesday night.

Modell, who died Sept. 6, 2012, at age 87, moved the Browns to Baltimore following the 1995 season. He won NFL titles with both franchises.

Last year, Modell was a finalist for Hall of Fame induction, but he failed to make the first cut from 15 to 10. The same thing happened in 2002, the only other time he was named a finalist. He was a semifinalist seven times between 2002 and 2012.

The complete list of modern-era semifinalists is below. None of them is a former member of the Browns.

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Wednesday's injury report for Browns, Steelers

By Ryan Lewis Published: November 20, 2013

Injury report for Nov. 20, 2013

Browns: Did not participate: tight end MarQueis Gray (hamstring), inside linebacker Craig Robertson (knee) and defensive end Armonty Bryant (back). Limited participation: offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz (toe). Full participation: running back Willis McGahee (knee), punter Spencer Lanning (left knee), running back Fozzy Whittaker (ankle), offensive lineman Jason Pinkston (ankle) and outside linebacker Paul Kruger (finger). 

Steelers: Did not participate: defensive end Brett Keisel (foot) and safety Shamarko Thomas (ankle). Limited participation: offensive guard Ramon Foster (ankle), tight end Health Miller (non-injury related), linebacker Stevenson Sylvester (hamstring), center Fernando Velasco (knee) and linebacker LaMarr Woodley (calf). Full participation: offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum (hip) and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (foot). 

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Browns warn fans of cold weather for Sunday's game against Pittsburgh with tips

By Ryan Lewis Published: November 20, 2013

The Browns want fans to be prepared for the expected cold conditions for Sunday's 1 p.m. game with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Below are some tips and reminders from the team: 

 

·         Fans should dress warmly in anticipation of cold conditions (layers!).  

·         Under the NFL bag policy, fans are allowed to bring blankets to the game by draping them over their shoulders while entering the stadium. This will help expedite ingress and lessen lines at stadium gates.

·         Fans are encouraged to approach stadium gates by 12:15 p.m. to help ensure entry by kickoff. Proper screening processes may take additional time due to the climate.

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Here's what coach Rob Chudzinski is saying about Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 20, 2013

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

Opening statement: “Good to get back to work. It’s Steelers week. There’s a real sense of excitement with our team. It’s in the air, in the building. It’ll be good to be back at home. Pittsburgh is playing great football since their bye. They have an outstanding coaching staff. I have a lot of respect for that group and they’re coming off of a big win against Detroit. Offensively, as you look at them, very versatile. They can attack you in different ways. An explosive offense and everything starts with their quarterback, with Ben Roethlisberger, outstanding player; a group of outstanding receivers as well, Antonio Brown, (Emmanuel) Sanders and (Jerricho) Cotchery. I think Brown is leading the league in receptions. Those guys can do a lot of good things well; good route runners and very good run after the catch. They have good running backs in (Le’Veon) Bell, (Felix) Jones and (Jonathan) Dwyer that they use, and they have a solid offensive line. Defensively, we know the defense well, an attacking defense. Some familiar faces and some new faces as well. It starts with (DB) Troy Polamalu, a great player and a real playmaker and still playing at a very high level. (LaMarr) Woodley, (Brett) Keisel, (Lawrence) Timmons and (Ziggy) Hood all in their front seven; very, very good players. You see some new guys that stand out to you. A guy like Jason Worilds, Jarvis Jones as well, (Cameron) Heyward and (Steve) McLendon; those guys are playing good and solid football. They have a good secondary; Ike Taylor, we know he’s a shutdown corner, has played a lot of years and played a lot of good football through the years, and Ryan Clark as well at safety, playing excellent. Their special teams are a good solid group. (Mat) McBriar and (Shaun) Suisham at the punter and kicker positions, and Antonia Brown is a great returner as well. We’ll definitely have to pay close attention to him. It’s important we have a great week of preparation. We’re excited and looking forward to that.

“As far as injury updates to give you, I think you just got word, (WR) Armanti Edwards, we’re putting him on IR. We moved (WR) Josh Cooper up and we also signed (WR) Reggie Dunn to our practice squad as a receiver. (LB) Craig Robertson has a sprained knee. We’ll see where he’s at in the next couple of days. He will miss today in practice.”

On if any other players would miss today in practice: “Not that I know of; we’ll see when we get out there.”

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Browns WR Greg Little on being banned by Tar Heels: 'There’s a lot of people that I’ve hurt'

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 20, 2013

For the first time since Browns wide receiver Greg Little entered the NFL in 2011, he publicly lamented the damage he left behind at the University of North Carolina and how it has ultimately led to the Tar Heels formally distancing themselves from him.

The school released letters Tuesday to media outlets in which it outlined its “permanent disassociation” from Little, St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn and NFL free-agent defensive tackle Marvin Austin because of their NCAA violations that resulted in criminal charges against five people for violating the state’s sports agent law, the Associated Press reported. The letters, which were dated Nov. 15, prohibit the three players from contacting UNC athletes, bar them from campus athletic facilities and ban them from providing recruiting or financial assistance for athletics.

The NCAA declared Little and Quinn permanently ineligible in 2010 and the school dismissed Austin from the team after they accepted improper benefits, including cash and travel accommodations. Sanctions were levied against the football program, and recent charges were filed against five people for violating the state’s Uniform Athlete Agents Act.

“I think there’s been some wrongful accusing,” Little said today before practice. “There’s a lot of people that I’ve hurt, and I think a lot of the blame should be put on me much less than attacking other people. I kind of understand what they’re doing. They’re just trying to protect the athlete. A lot of the times it’s just self-inflicted.”

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Browns notes: QB Jason Campbell says it was challenging to play hurt Sunday, roster moves and more

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 20, 2013

Browns quarterback Jason Campbell conceded today before practice that it was a challenge for him to mentally block out the discomfort he experienced Sunday in a 41-20 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals while playing through bruised ribs he suffered Nov. 3 in a 24-18 win over the Baltimore Ravens.

“It was a challenge last week,” said Campbell, who completed 27-of-56 passes for 248 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions, all of which were tipped, to finish with a passer rating of 44.3. “But it’s a new week now. I try not to put too much focus on that, not at all. I feel great. I feel good. Now I’ll go out and play.”

Campbell didn’t wear any extra padding last week to protect his ribs, and he said he won’t Sunday when the Browns (4-6) host the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-6).

“That’s not even in my mindset this week,” Campbell said. “That’s in the rearview mirror. I try not to think about it. When you play this game, if you’re on the field, you’re healthy enough to play. That’s how I look at it. If I’m on the field, I’m healthy enough to play.”

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University of North Carolina permanently distances itself from Browns WR Greg Little

By AARON BEARD, AP Sports Writer Published: November 19, 2013

North Carolina has sent letters of "permanent disassociation" to three former Tar Heels football players -- Browns wide receiver Greg Little, St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn and free-agent defensive tackle Marvin Austin -- for NCAA violations that led to criminal charges against five people for violating the state's sports agent law.

The letters dated Nov. 15 prohibit the players from contacting current UNC athletes, bar them from the Kenan Football Center or other campus athletic facilities, and prohibit them from providing recruiting or financial assistance for athletics.

The players missed the 2010 season for accepting improper benefits, including cash and travel accommodations. That led to NCAA sanctions against the program and recent charges against five people for violating the state's Uniform Athlete Agents Act.

The school released the letters Tuesday in response to public-records requests from media outlets.

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Browns, city reach tentative agreement on stadium project

By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer Published: November 19, 2013

CLEVELAND — The Browns and the city of Cleveland reached a tentative agreement to fund a two-year, $120 million makeover of FirstEnergy Stadium.

The deal announced Tuesday by Mayor Frank Jackson and Browns CEO Joe Banner calls for the team to finance the entire cost for the renovation while recouping $42 million from the city.

The Browns will use a low-interest, $62.5 million loan from the NFL and private funding.

Also, the team will be paid $2 million per year by the city over the next 15 years, funds that are already obligated under the team's lease.

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Browns, city reach tentative agreement on how to pay for $120 million stadium renovation

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 19, 2013

The City of Cleveland and the Browns have reached a tentative agreement on how the team’s proposed $120 million, two-year renovation project for FirstEnergy Stadium will be paid, Mayor Frank Jackson and Browns CEO Joe Banner announced this afternoon during a news conference. City Council must approve the agreement for it to be finalized. The details of the agreement are outlined below in a news release from the city and the Browns.

Pending City Council approval, the City of Cleveland and the Cleveland Browns have reached an agreement regarding the renovations of city-owned FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cleveland Browns will invest $120 million toward improvements and capital repairs. Additionally, the team will continue to pay 100 percent of the operating and maintenance expenses to meet its obligations under the lease.

To support this significant investment, the City plans to commit $2 million a year for the next 15 years or $30 million from the City’s operating fund. This represents a present-day value of $22 million. These funds will help fulfill the City’s obligations outlined in the stadium lease for capital repairs and improvements. In addition, with $24 million remaining in the existing sin tax fund for future repairs, as part of the agreement, the City has granted the Browns the right to provide input on how $12 million of that money will be spent on specific infrastructure components, starting in 2016. 

“This $120 million renovation is a result of wanting to create the best fan experience in the NFL for our fans and players, and also to create a venue to attract other world-class events at FirstEnergy Stadium,” said Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam. “We realize the transformative opportunity of this investment for the City of Cleveland and worked with Mayor Jackson to help minimize their costs and create the most productive agreement moving forward. We are excited to reward our fans and the community with the experience they deserve.”

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Browns players thankful to be safe after rough flight back to Cleveland Sunday night

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 18, 2013

Several Browns players were relieved this afternoon to be able to talk about the team’s flight landing safely Sunday night at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport despite a rough landing in bad weather.

“It was pretty bad,” wide receiver Davone Bess said. “But we're here today to talk about it and can thank the man upstairs.”

The Browns (4-6) rushed out of Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday evening following their 41-20 loss to the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals (7-4), so they could try to fly home from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport before severe thunderstorms would prevent them from doing so. The team made contingency plans to take busses back to Northeast Ohio but opted to take its charter flight on United Airlines.

The flight was short, but players said the descent into Cleveland was turbulent and the landing was frightening because the plane tilted to the left as it touched down.

“Holy cow – I swear the wing was a couple feet from the ground, defensive end Billy Winn said. “At the last second, it was dead quiet right before the landing. We’re going to land, it got real quiet, and I heard this big gust of wind and [the plane tilted], came back and we recovered. We had a great pilot, a fantastic pilot. Bless his heart for getting here safely.”

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Here's what coach Rob Chudzinski is saying about Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 18, 2013

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

Opening statement: “The Bengals are a very good football team. They deserve credit for the game yesterday. I’m disappointed in our performance as a team. Simply had too many mistakes and critical errors, particularly in the second quarter. That, coupled with not capitalizing on two early red-zone opportunities, the game just got away from us. We have to play better in all three phases. Our veterans have to play better, our young guys have to play better and it needs to happen right away. I do feel confident that the things from yesterday that we were able to look at on tape, we can correct. This game is one we can learn from and grow from for the future if we approach it the right way. Again, it was one game and we have six more to go. There’s a lot still out there in front of us. I’m confident our guys will respond. We have a very close team and these guys will continue to fight for each other and compete. I feel confident that we’ll bounce back. Again, after making corrections, we can only control what we can control from here going forward. It’s Steeler week, so we’ll be getting ready for that and a big challenge with them.”

On if the second quarter of the game was scarier than the flight coming home (weather): “Yeah, it was just a rough landing. I was watching tape, and was pretty engrossed in that on the way back.”

On how much the game was a missed opportunity vs. a growing moment for a young team: “Probably both at the end of the day. It was an opportunity, obviously, an important opportunity for us that we didn’t play the way that we were capable of playing, and weren’t able to get it done at the end of the day. I think that as I mentioned, it’s important that we learn from this and when we have an opportunity again, which we will in the future, that this experience that the guys will be able to draw from and that’ll help us in the future.”

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Game day blog: Final — Cincinnati Bengals 41, Browns 20

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 17, 2013

The Browns (4-6) fell to the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals (7-4) 41-20 today in rainy, windy conditions at Paul Brown Stadium.

Final: Bengals 41, Browns 20

The Browns drove deep into Bengals territory late in the game but came up empty and never challenged the Bengals’ lead. Cincinnati put the game out of reach early in the fourth quarter thanks to a former Brown. In a jumbo package from the 2-yard line, Dalton found Alex Smith wide open for a touchdown and a 38-20 lead. That was set up by a 13-yard run to the outside by Giovani Bernard. Campbell finished the game 27-of-56 for 248 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. The Bengals scored 41 points but had only 224 total yards and 10 first downs. 

End 3Q: Bengals 31, Browns 20 

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Friday's injury report for Browns, Bengals

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 15, 2013

Injury report for Nov. 15, 2013

Browns

Out: Tight end MarQueis Gray (hamstring). Questionable: Guard Jason Pinkston (ankle). Probable: Quarterback Jason Campbell (ribs), outside linebacker Paul Kruger (finger), running backs Willis McGahee (knee) and Chris Ogbonnaya (ribs) and cornerback Chris Owens (finger).

Did not participate in practice: Gray. Limited participation: Pinkston. Full participation: Campbell, Kruger, McGahee, Ogbonnaya and Owens.

Bengals

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Browns Hall of Fame offensive lineman Mike McCormack dies at 83

By STEVE REED, AP Sports Writer Published: November 15, 2013

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Browns Hall of Fame offensive lineman Mike McCormack died Friday in Palm Desert, Calif. He was 83.

McCormack played, coached and held several executive positions in the NFL, including president of the Carolina Panthers.

Panthers spokesman Charlie Dayton says he spoke with McCormack's wife, Ann, and was informed of McCormack's death of natural causes.

McCormack spent 12 seasons with the Browns, helping the franchise win NFL championships in 1954 and 1955. He played with Otto Graham and blocked for running back Jim Brown.

McCormack later coached the Philadelphia Eagles (1973-75), Baltimore Colts (1980-81) and Seattle Seahawks (1982). He served as president and general manager of the Seahawks.

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Here's what coach Rob Chudzinski is saying about Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 15, 2013

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

Opening statement: “We haven’t played for a while. It will be good to get back at it. Our players are excited about the opportunity and challenge this week with Cincinnati. We can feel the excitement that the fans and the community have [and are] pleased and have been pleased with the growth and improvement of this team. I like where we’re at and the direction we’re going. The focus has been good this week in our preparation. I have confidence in our guys. We’re going to need to be at our best in all three phases this week for this football game. Ultimately, it will come down to us getting it done on the field.

“I do have one thing to report form an injury standpoint with (WR) Travis Benjamin. He had his surgery today. Everything went well in that regard, and we’re expecting a full recovery with Travis.

“As far as the injury report: (TE MarQueis) Gray will be out for the game, and (OL Jason) Pinkston is questionable. Everybody else looks good, is either probable of full speed.”

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Thursday's injury report for Browns, Bengals

By Ryan Lewis Published: November 14, 2013

Injury report for Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013

Browns: Did not participate: Tight end MarQueis Gray (hamstring) and running back Willis McGahee (knees). Limited participation: Offensive lineman Jason Pinkston (ankle). Full participation: Quarterback Jason Campbell (ribs), outside linebacker Paul Kruger (finger), running back Chris Ogbonnaya (ribs) and cornerback Chris Owens (finger). 

Bengals: Did not participate: Safety Chris Crocker (hamstring), linebacker Rey Maualuga (knee), defensive tackle Devon Still (elbow) and offensive guard Kevin Zeitler (foot). Limited participation: Linebacker Vontaze Burfict (knee), center Kyle Cook (shoulder), defensive tackle Brandon Thompson (ankle), linebacker Mike Boley (hamstring) and cornerback Terence Newman (ankle). Full participation: Tight end Jermaine Gresham (groin). 

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John Moffitt says Browns failed him on physical after he refused to take less money, team denies it

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 14, 2013

The Browns have denied former NFL guard John Moffitt's claim that they declared he failed their physical and voided a trade for him in August because he refused to take less money.

Moffitt made the accusation Tuesday during a radio interview with 710 ESPN Seattle. He called the Browns “terrible” and said, “the way that they did me in that front office was so dirty.”

The Browns responded this morning with the following statement: “The only reason John Moffitt is not a Brown is because of our concerns about his health. Any claims to the contrary are not true.”

The Browns shipped defensive end Brian Sanford to the Seattle Seahawks on Aug. 19 in exchange for Moffitt. A day later, Moffitt spoke to reporters at the Browns’ headquarters and was on the field for the beginning of practice before coach Rob Chudzinski escorted him back into the facility. The Browns announced that evening that they voided the trade because of concerns about Moffitt’s health.

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Two more charged in North Carolina agents probe involving Browns receiver Greg Little

By AARON BEARD, AP Sports Writer Published: November 13, 2013

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. — A sports agent's employee and a former college football player are charged with violating North Carolina's agent law, making them the fourth and fifth people facing criminal charges for providing benefits to Tar Heels football players in 2010.

Willie James Barley Jr. and Michael Wayne Johnson Jr. are charged with facilitating Georgia-based agent Terry Watson's efforts to sign Browns wide receiver Greg Little and St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn in violation of the law.

They are the last of the five to appear in court after being indicted by an Orange County grand jury on Sept. 30. Those indictments came after testimony from an investigator with the North Carolina Secretary of State's office after a three-year investigation and were immediately placed under seal.

Indictments against Watson, his longtime associate and a former UNC tutor were unsealed last month.

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Video: Fly-through of Browns' proposed renovations to FirstEnergy Stadium

By Ryan Lewis Published: November 13, 2013

Here is the video shown today by the Browns detailing the proposed renovations to FirstEnergy Stadium.

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Browns CEO Joe Banner addresses quarterback situation, state of team

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 13, 2013

Browns CEO Joe addressed the state of the team today following a news conference in which the organization unveiled its plans for renovations to FirstEnergy Stadium. Below are some of the highlights from Banner’s discussion about the football side.

On the Browns having a 4-5 record and getting ready to visit the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals (6-4) for a crucial game Sunday: “I think we're super excited. We're playing well and we're playing hard and having games that matter. I think you've all heard me talk about all year the things that I think most are important right now and you look at those things and the way the team keeps playing and the systems are getting installed under a new coach, and I think it’s basis to be encouraged and I think it's a lot of fun to participate in the game and we're confident we're going to play hard and play good. They're a good team, and I think we're starting to establish ourselves as a competitive team, so it will be a fun afternoon.”

On the strong performances of quarterbacks Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer, both of whom entered this season as backups to Brandon Weeden: “When we were asked at training camp, we said we felt good about all three guys, and it's not often you get to your second or third quarterback. So it's a testament to the coaches and a testament to the players who are working hard and playing hard and really implementing what they're being asked to do. So I think it's all very encouraging both short-term and long-term.”

On whether the strong performances of Campbell and Hoyer this season could keep the Browns from picking a quarterback in the early in the 2014 draft: “I think we're going to have to get to the end of the season and see exactly where we are. Our commitment to the draft is to try and pick and the best players we can as opposed to trying to force anything at any positions. So I think we've got a lot left to learn as the season goes on in terms of finding what we want to do and where the strengths of the draft are.”

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Wednesday's injury report for Browns, Bengals

By Ryan Lewis Published: November 13, 2013

Injury report for Nov. 13, 2013

Browns: Did not participate: Tight end MarQueis Gray (hamstring). Full participation: Quarterback Jason Campbell (ribs), outside linebacker Paul Kruger (finger), running back Willis McGahee (knee), running back Chris Ogbonnaya (ribs) and cornerback Chris Owens (finger). 

Bengals: Did not participate: Linebacker Vontaze Burfict (knee), safety Chris Crocker (hamstring), center Kyle Cook (shoulder), linebacker Rey Maualuga (knee), defensive tackle Devon Still (elbow), defensive tackle Brandon Thompson (ankle) and offensive guard Kevin Zeitler (foot). Limited participation: Linebacker Mike Boley (hamstring) and cornerback Terence Newman (ankle). Full participation: Tight end Jermaine Gresham (groin). 

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Here's what coach Rob Chudzinski is saying about Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 13, 2013

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

Opening statement: “Good morning. As I mentioned Monday, (it’s) an important game against Cincinnati this week. They’re first place in the division, in the driver’s seat, an extremely talented, well-coached team. Obviously, playing them on the road is a tough place to play. As you look at their team offensively, they’re very explosive. (Bengals QB) Andy Dalton is a playmaker, one of the top quarterbacks in the league. They have a solid offensive line and they’re really loaded at the skill positions. Two running backs that are playmakers for them, (BenJarvus) Green-Ellis and (Giovani) Bernard, their tight ends (Jermaine) Gresham and (Tyler) Eifert are outstanding and we all know about (WR) A.J. Green and the type of player he is. (WR) Marvin Jones is playing real good football for them and (WR Mohamed) Sanu as well. On defense, excellent scheme and personnel. Their front seven is outstanding. (DL Michael) Johnson and (DL Carlos) Dunlap at the defensive end position create a lot of issues for people. (DL Domata) Peko inside and obviously (DL Geno) Atkins was hurt two weeks ago, but you look at him and (DL) Brandon Thompson stepped right in and, I thought, played outstanding against Baltimore. Their linebackers are an excellent group as well. (LB James) Harrison, (LB Rey) Maualuga and (LB Vontaze) Burfict, you look at those guys playing great football; flying around. Obviously, Maualuga was hurt and (LB) Vincent Rey stepped in last week and, I thought, played very well. A solid secondary, again, they battled some injuries but guys have stepped up. (DB Adam) “Pac-man” Jones and (DB Terence) Newman at the corner position and (DB Reggie) Nelson is playing very good at safety. Their special teams, they’re really solid in the kicking game. They have an outstanding returner in (WR) Brandon Tate. This is going to be, again, a great challenge for us; a great opportunity for us. I expect our guys to respond. Our focus has been good through the bye week. We’ll need to be out best as a team.”

On what gives him the confidence that the team is ready for such an important game: “They’re all important, every one. As you look back at the beginning of the season, last week’s game and the one’s going forth, they’re all important and this is the most important one this week. Our guys, I think, have had a taste of some success. I think they believe in themselves. We know we have a lot of areas we have to improve on and are continuing to work on those areas. I just really like our guys’ focus right now.”

On if he has seen the players mature over the season: “I have. I think there’s a lot of examples that you can look at of guys who have grown as players, matured as professionals, and have gotten better as the season has gone on. Obviously, the experience of playing and having some success helps.”

On how comforting it is to have a veteran quarterback playing down the stretch: “I’m very pleased with (QB) Jason (Campbell) and what he’s done. He’s really been efficient in managing the offense. He’s made good decisions, has not turned the ball over. Even more so, he’s a guy that I know when tough stretches come, he can respond to that adversity and battle through those tough stretches and that’s a key to that position.”

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Browns unveil proposal for two-year, $120 million stadium renovation project

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 13, 2013

The Browns unveiled their plans today for a two-year, $120 million renovation project designed to modernize FirstEnergy Stadium.

Browns CEO Joe Banner said the organization will present the proposal to the Cleveland City Planning Commission Thursday. It will also meet with Mayor Frank Jackson and city council to discuss the plans and funding for them.

Banner declined to reveal how the enhancements would be paid for, but he said, “the team will make a significant investment.” The NFL approved $62.5 million in funding for stadium improvements in October when the owners met in Washington.

The renovation would begin in January, Banner said, and it would be done in two phases during the next two offseasons.

During the first year of the proposed project, the Browns would install two new video boards nearly triple the size of the scoreboards currently in each end zone. The plan also calls for LED video boards throughout the stadium, which would feature stats, scores and information, and installation of an entirely new audio system.

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On comeback trail from injury, running back Dion Lewis believes he has bright future with Browns

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 13, 2013

Running back Dion Lewis is confident he has a bright future with the Browns despite an injury ending his first season with the team before it really started.

"I’m doing fine now, and I’ll be back better than ever," Lewis said today.

Lewis suffered a fractured fibula and ligament damage in his left leg Aug. 15 during a preseason game against the Detroit Lions when he caught a 6-yard pass in the third quarter from Jason Campbell and was tackled by linebackers Travis Lewis and Ashlee Palmer. He had a plate and screws inserted into his leg Aug. 19 and was placed on season-ending injured reserve a week later.

“When I first got hurt, I got a lot of calls from a lot of people,” Lewis said, speaking to reporters for the first time since he suffered the injury. “[We] definitely have a great support system here and you could tell that they want me here. So I want to be here. I like where this team’s heading, and I like Coach [Rob Chudzinski]. He’s one of the best coaches I’ve been around. He knows how to get guys fired up, so I want to be here.

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Browns to unveil plans for FirstEnergy Stadium during news conference this afternoon

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 13, 2013

The Browns will unveil their plans for FirstEnergy Stadium during a news conference at the stadium at about 2:15 p.m. today, the team announced this morning.

The Browns have been working on renovation plans for FirstEnergy Stadium, and the NFL approved $62.5 million in funding for such improvements in October when the owners met in Washington.

Browns CEO Joe Banner said in July that the renovation project, which could cost about $120 million, would likely unfold in two phases during the next two offseasons.

A year ago, Banner indicated the installation of new scoreboards and sound systems were part of the plan.

“Clearly in the area of technology as it relates to scoreboards and sound systems, things have advanced so far from when these systems came from,” Banner said. “I don’t want to prejudge anything, but it’s inconceivable we won’t be making some very dramatic changes there.”

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Here's what coach Rob Chudzinski is saying about Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 11, 2013

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

Opening statement: “It’s good to get back to work. I think after about the third trip to the grocery store this weekend, I was ready to get back, myself. We had a good, productive bye week. Players and coaches had a chance to get a break and re-energize, had a chance to study ourselves internally and work to improve in those areas, whether it was personnel scheme, from a technique standpoint, all of those things we had a chance to work on this week. Also, got a chance to work on Cincinnati and look at them with some initial game-plan thoughts. Obviously, the game yesterday was a great game, the Baltimore-Cincinnati game. Typical AFC North-type game; physical, hard-fought, down to the wire and a real defensive battle. As I said, we’ve shifted our focus to Cincinnati. They’re an outstanding team, very talented. They’re leading the division and we’re excited to play them. It’s going to be a great challenge for us, especially being on the road. One thing I did have to report from an injury standpoint is that we will put (LB) Quentin Groves on IR at this point.”

On how QB Jason Campbell did at practice today with rib injury: “He’s doing fine.”

On if Campbell is good to play: “He’s good to go. He’s full speed in practice.”

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Browns OLB Quentin Groves out for season with injured ankle, coach Rob Chudzinski says

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 11, 2013

Browns backup left outside linebacker Quentin Groves is out for the season with an injured left ankle that will require surgery, coach Rob Chudzinski announced today during his news conference coming off the team’s bye.

Groves, the Browns’ special teams captain, will undergo surgery later this week or next week, Chudzinski said. The Browns placed Groves on injured reserve today and promoted undrafted rookie linebacker Brandon Magee from the practice squad to the active roster.

Undrafted rookie Eric Martin is next on the depth chart behind Groves. Rookie backup right outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo, the sixth overall pick in this year’s draft, could also receive a heavier workload as could undrafted rookie Paul Hazel, the third-string right outside linebacker. Left outside linebacker Paul Kruger and right outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard are the starters.

“Quentin’s a valuable part of our team and a valuable part of the leadership on our team, so obviously we’re disappointed,” Chudzinski said. “But it’s the best thing right now to get that fixed and corrected. We’ll have to have other guys step up whether it’s on special teams or whether it’s on defense in the outside ’backer rotation and some of the things that he’s doing from that standpoint.”

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Sports Talk with Ron Ledgard and Nate Ulrich on the Browns

By Ron Ledgard Published: November 7, 2013

I talked with Nate Ulrich, our Browns beat reporter,this morning with the Browns entering their bye weekend.

Watch and let us know what you think. You can reach me @RonLedgardABJ and Nate at @NateUlrichABJ.

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Browns WR Greg Little accuses Ravens S James Ihedigbo of choking him, says 'he's far from tough'

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 6, 2013

Browns wide receiver Greg Little accused Baltimore Ravens strong safety James Ihedigbo of choking him Sunday during Cleveland’s 24-18 win and explained that he pulled off Ihedigbo’s helmet in self-defense. Little then threw the helmet and received a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty with 1:16 left in the first quarter.

Screen shots of the television broadcast on CBS show Ihedigbo with his hands around Little’s neck. A still frame of the melee circulated online Monday.

“The ref was saying, ‘Let go of his face mask,’ but he was choking me, so I'm not [going to let go],” Little said today, speaking to reporters for the first time since the incident. “There's a thin line between football and just morals, and I'm not going to let a guy spit in my face, choke me, [disrespect] my family or anything like that. It's just how it is.

“I was pushing him off me and [his helmet] popped off. The refs [were] pulling him off me. He's still trying to choke me. I'm pushing him off, and his helmet popped off.'”

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Jason Campbell becomes first Browns QB to win AFC Offensive Player of Week award since 2007

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 6, 2013

Browns quarterback Jason Campbell has been named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance Sunday in a 24-18 win over the Baltimore Ravens.

Campbell is the first Browns quarterback to win the award since Derek Anderson was honored for his Week 2 performance in 2007. Campbell is the 20th starting quarterback for the Browns since 1999 and the fourth one during that span to earn the honor.

Below is a news release from the Browns.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Jason Campbell has earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week for games played Oct. 31-Nov. 4 (Week 9), the National Football League announced Wednesday. This is the third player of the week award the Browns have won this season.

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Browns activate G Jason Pinkston, waive OL Rashad Butler

By Ryan Lewis Published: November 5, 2013

The Browns on Tuesday announced that the team has activated guard Jason Pinkston from the injured reserve/designated to return list and waived offensive lineman Rashad Butler. 

Pinkston sustained a high ankle sprain Aug. 15 in a preseason game against the Detroit Lions. 

Pinkston tweeted this on Tuesday: "It's def feels great to be back bitter sweet on the other hand lost a really good guy & veteran leader on our team"

Below is a release from the team:

The Cleveland Browns on Tuesday activated OL Jason Pinkston from injured reserve/designated for return. In addition, the club waived OL Rashad Butler.

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Here's what coach Rob Chudzinski is saying about Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 5, 2013

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

Opening statement: “I’ll give you a little quick outline of our bye-week plan. We’re going to practice, which we did today, and then we’ll practice tomorrow. The players will be off from Thursday through Sunday, and then we’ll be back and they’ll be back on Monday. Coaches, we’re going to work through Thursday, and then they’ll get a little time that they can get off as well. Our focus on the bye week is going to be a combination of us and Cincinnati. This portion, especially with our players here now in the next day or two, primarily focused on us and the ways we can improve. We’re looking at cut-ups; we’re going through some scheme things to try to fix some things and look at what we’re doing well, what we’re doing not so well so that we can progress for these next seven games. (We’re) looking at a lot of technique evaluation, as well as looking at personnel and seeing what we’re doing, if there’s some things we can modify. Also, one of the things from an ‘us’ perspective from what we’re working to get better at this week is for our players to get some rest and rejuvenate, both mentally and physically. We’ll get started some more, later in the week, especially with coaches, on Cincinnati in preparing for them.

“As I look to the season at this point, a little chance to evaluate where we’re at and just some observations that I have: I think our coaches have done a great job to this point. You look at our coordinators – we’ve talked a lot about (offensive coordinator) Norv (Turner), (defensive coordinator) Ray (Horton) and (special teams coordinator) Chris (Tabor) and the things that they’ve been able to do – a lot of different moving parts, new systems, a lot of different people in and out of the huddle at times, I think they’ve done an outstanding job. I think that our position coaches, it’s important to note and talk about them, as well. When you have a lot of young players, a lot of new players as we do, you see a lot of guys making progress and getting better and improving. I think that says a lot to our coaches and our position coaches and the job they’ve done.

“I feel good about how we’re building a culture and identity here. That doesn’t happen overnight; it takes time. We have a group of guys that have really come together. They’re relentless. I think we see that on a day-to-day basis, and they’re passionate about playing football and passionate about being Cleveland Browns. That’s something that’s important to us, and I feel like we’re making strides in that area. Also, just an understanding of how we play, whether it’s the player or the fans. I was actually with my family out getting pizza on Friday night and ran into a fan, who came by and just stopped in and said he really likes the way we play. He didn’t say anything about wins or losses; he just said he likes the way we play. I think that the fans are seeing that, are appreciating how we play. It adds to their excitement. I think that adds to our players excitement and they feed off of the fans being excited. It’s just generally been a real good thing for all of us. We’re excited about getting better over the course of this bye week and getting ready for Cincinnati as we go through it and get into next week.”

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Browns QB Jason Campbell, WR Greg Little practice despite injuries

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 5, 2013

Starting quarterback Jason Campbell (bruised ribs) and starting wide receiver Greg Little (sprained right shoulder) are practicing today despite suffering injuries Sunday in the Browns’ 24-18 win over the Baltimore Ravens.

Campbell, though, took it easy with the Browns (4-5) in the midst of their week. During the 20-minute portion of practice open to the media, Campbell threw off to the side while backup Brandon Weeden threw to the receivers in one-on-one drills.

Campbell is expected to be ready to play in the Browns’ next game Nov. 17 at the Cincinnati Bengals. He is scheduled to address the media today after practice.

Several Browns players did not practice today but worked out in the field house. They were wide receiver Davone Bess, fullback Chris Ogbonnaya, inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, defensive end Ahtyba Rubin, left tackle Joe Thomas and defensive end Desmond Bryant.

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Browns QB Jason Campbell did not break ribs, likely to practice Tuesday, coach Rob Chudzinski says

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 4, 2013

The Browns received some good news when they learned that quarterback Jason Campbell did not suffer any broken ribs Sunday in a 24-18 win over the Baltimore Ravens.

Campbell has bruised ribs, but X-rays were negative, coach Rob Chudzinski said today during a conference call.

The Browns (4-5) have a Week 10 bye and won’t play again until they visit the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals (6-3) Nov. 17, so Campbell will receive some extra time to heal. He’ll probably practice Tuesday, Chudzinski said.

“I’m very happy that he’s OK obviously,” Chudzinski said. “He played really well.”

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Game day blog: Final — Browns 24, Baltimore Ravens 18

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 3, 2013

The Browns (4-5) defeated the Baltimore Ravens (3-5) 24-18 today at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Final: Browns 24, Ravens 18

The Ravens pulled to within one score in the fourth quarter but the Browns were able to run out the clock. Joe Flacco hit Marlon Brown from 7 yards out early in the quarter and found him again for the two-point conversion to make it a 21-18 game. After Jabaal Sheard sacked Flacco to end the Ravens' next possession, teh Browns took over with 6:44 left. Keyed in by a nice catch by Davone Bess on fourth-and-1, the Browns ate up all but 14 seconds on the clock and capped it with a Billy Cundiff field goal. The Ravens completed two passes but couldn't get any real shot at the end zone. Jason Campbell was 23-of-35 for 262 yards and three touchdowns and a QB rating of 116.6. Greg Little posted a career-high seven receptions for 122 yards. 

End 3Q: Browns 21, Ravens 10 

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Former Browns player Ausar Walcott indicted on aggravated assault charge

By The Associated Press Published: November 1, 2013

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) — A grand jury has indicted a former NFL player on a lesser charge stemming from an attack on a man outside a northern New Jersey nightclub.

Ausar Walcott is charged with aggravated assault instead of attempted murder, which carries a prison term up to 20 years if he's convicted. Aggravated assault is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors say the 23-year-old critically injured a 24-year-old New York City man with a single blow outside the Palace Gentleman's Club in Paterson on June 23. The man is undergoing rehabilitation for a brain injury.

Walcott was cut from the Browns after the incident.

His lawyer tells The Record newspaper his client acted in self-defense and is pleased the attempted murder charge was dropped.

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Friday's injury report for Browns, Ravens

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 1, 2013

Injury report for Nov. 1, 2013

Browns

Questionable: Outside linebacker Quentin Groves (ankle) and defensive end Billy Winn (quadriceps). Probable: Running backs Willis McGahee (knee) and Chris Ogbonnaya (ribs), cornerback Chris Owens (finger), outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard (wrist) and defensive end Desmond Bryant (thumb).

Limited participation in practice: Groves and Winn. Full participation: McGahee, Ogbonnaya, Owens, Sheard and Bryant. 

Ravens

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Here's what coach Rob Chudzinski is saying about Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 1, 2013

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

Opening statement: “We had a great week of preparation, a very focused, high energy for this week. We know we have a tremendous challenge in Baltimore coming into our house at home coming off of a bye week. Our guys are excited to play this game, and we’re ready to roll. We know the fans will be excited, as well, and be out there. We’ll need them to be there.”

On if he called players out at halftime against Kansas City: “No, really it was a matter of telling guys to step up, and we needed them to do their job. That’s really the gist of the message from last week at halftime.”

On DB Joe Haden’s comment coaches were animated at halftime and needing to light a fire under the team: “It was a time that we needed that.”

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