All CATEGORIES
☰ Menu
Cleveland Browns

Roster cuts leave Browns without a kicker

By Marla Ridenour Published: August 31, 2013

Saturday’s final roster cuts left the Browns without a kicker as they terminated the contract of Shayne Graham and released Brandon Bogotay.

“We gauged all the practices, the preseason games and weren’t completely satisfied,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said. “From a (roster) timing standpoint, keeping some other guys and being flexible in that way we felt was the best move at this particular time.”

But he also stressed that the roster will be fluid over the next few days as the Browns prepare for the Sept. 8 opener at home against the Miami Dolphins.

“This is our Aug. 31 roster, not necessarily our Sept. 8 roster,” he said.

Coach Rob Chudzinski said the Browns haven’t closed the door on the kickers they had previously.

To read more or comment...

Report: Browns cut WR David Nelson

By Marla Ridenour Published: August 31, 2013

Wide receiver David Nelson has been cut by the Browns, a league source told ProFootballTalk.com.

Signed as a free agent in April despite tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Sept. 9, Nelson worried about his future after he caught just four of 10 passes thrown his way in Thursday's preseason finale at Chicago.

He had missed most of training camp and the first three games with a bone bruise in his surgically repaired knee.

"I feel like every time the ball's in my area I should come down with it,'' Nelson said Thursday night in Chicago. "That didn't happen tonight for a variety of reasons and I'm my own harshest critic and I didn't feel like I played up to my potential. I don't make excuses, whether it be I've been out for a year or I've been practicing for a week and a half. I step on the football field, I expect to make plays. I just felt like there were some plays I left out there today.''

Nelson dropped one pass that would have gone for a first down and had problems staying on his feet on the Soldier Field grass.

To read more or comment...

Browns cut to 68, must be at 53 by 6 p.m. Saturday

By Marla Ridenour Published: August 30, 2013

The Browns reduced the roster to 68 Friday evening with the release of seven players, including six undrafted rookies. The only veteran was tight end Dan Gronkowski, who caught a 14-yard touchdown pass against the Bears. He is the brother of Patriots’ tight end Rob.

Also waived were center Braxston Cave (Notre Dame), receiver Mike Edwards (Texas-El Paso), cornerback Abdul Kanneh (New Mexico Highlands), running back Miguel Maysonet (Stony Brook), safety Kent Richardson (West Virginia) and punter/kicker Colton Schmidt (UC-Davis), recently claimed off waivers from the 49ers.

Maysonet rushed 13 times for 30 yards and caught three passes for 14 yards in the preseason, while Edwards caught four passes for 39 yards. Kanneh recorded seven tackles (four solos), while Richardson totalled five tackles (four solos).

They have until 6 p.m. Saturday to reach the league's 53-man limit.

To read more or comment...

Predicting Browns' 53-man roster with cuts on horizon

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 30, 2013

After enduring the grind of training camp and four preseason games, the Browns will cut their roster from 75 players to 53 this weekend.

All NFL teams are required to trim to 53 players by 6 p.m. Saturday.

But it’s important to remember that the rosters released Saturday night are not final. They will change more in the following days as teams scour the waiver wire and pick up players who were cut throughout the league.

With that in mind, here are my predictions for the Browns’ initial 53-man roster:

To read more or comment...

Game day blog: Browns at Bears (preseason finale)

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 29, 2013

The Browns are facing the Chicago Bears in the preseason finale for both teams tonight at Soldier Field. Below is our game day blog. It will be updated at the end of each quarter.

End 4Q: Browns 18, Bears 16

The Browns turned a lame-duck preseason game into a pretty entertaining three hours of football. Down 16-9, Hoyer found tight end Dan Gronkowski, who made a terrific catch in traffic, for a 14-yard touchdown with 6:47 to go. The Browns went for two and the lead but Hoyer’s attempt to Josh Cooper was batted away. A minute later rookie defensive end Armonty Bryant forced a fumble that L.J. Fort recovered in Bears territory. That led to a Spencer Lanning 40-yard field goal with 3:15 remaining, giving the Browns an 18-16 lead. The Bears would drive into Browns territory but Gould missed a 57-yard field goal with just over a minute remaining. 

End 3Q: Bears 13, Browns 9

Linebacker James-Michael Johnson is fighting for a roster spot and came away with the biggest play of the night, although he got some help. A Jordan Palmer pass went off the hands of tight end Fendi Onobun and right to Johnson, who returned the interception 23 yards for a touchdown. The Browns then went for two but Cook was stuffed on a run to the inside. Fullback Brad Smelley left the game with a shoulder injury and is not expected to return. After having two catches late in the second quarter, David Nelson had two slips on routes in the third quarter. He had a third target but was badly overthrown by Hoyer. 

End 2Q: Bears 10, Browns 3

To read more or comment...

Browns third-string QB Brian Hoyer to start preseason finale vs. Bears; Jason Campbell ill

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 29, 2013

Browns third-string quarterback Brian Hoyer will start against the Chicago Bears in the preseason finale at 8 tonight at Soldier Field, the team announced this evening.

Backup quarterback Jason Campbell was expected start in place of Brandon Weeden, who’s resting tonight like almost all of the Browns’ starters. But Campbell has flu-like symptoms and plans to sit out.

Campbell missed practice Tuesday with the illness. Campbell, though, will be available to play tonight if needed, a team spokesman said.

To read more or comment...

ESPN's Jon Gruden says he's confident Browns' Brandon Weeden is 'going to be a good pro quarterback'

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 29, 2013

ESPN analyst Jon Gruden has seen Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden progress during the preseason, and he believes the organization should let Weeden continue to improve before deciding the upcoming season is a make or break one for him.

Eighteen quarterbacks have started for the Browns since their rebirth in 1999. On Sept. 8, Weeden will become the fourth one to start consecutive season openers during the expansion era. Like almost all of the Browns’ starters, Weeden will receive tonight off when the team faces the Chicago Bears in the preseason finale at 8 p.m. at Soldier Field.

“I don’t know what direction Cleveland would go,” Gruden said today during a conference call. “It’s easy to say it’s make or break, but who are you going with next year? I mean they’ve changed quarterbacks more than any team in NFL history in the last 20 years since they’ve been back in Cleveland. What’s the alternative? I think they have to try to build around Weeden. Maybe improve the receiving corps [and] let him work himself through this new offense. I’m confident he’s going to be a good pro quarterback. But if it doesn’t work out, coaches and quarterbacks don’t last long. I know that.”

If Weeden falters, the Browns certainly could draft a quarterback next May. But for the most part, Gruden is encouraged by what he has seen from Weeden, the 22nd overall pick from last year’s draft, heading into his second NFL season.

To read more or comment...

Browns rookie Barkevious Mingo unlikely to play in Week 1, but probable for Week 2, ESPN reports

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 29, 2013

Browns rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo is unlikely to play in the regular-season opener Sept. 8 against the Miami Dolphins, but he’s probable for Week 2 Sept. 15 against the Baltimore Ravens, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported today.

Mingo is scheduled to undergo a CT scan Monday, ESPN's Ed Werder reported today. The test should help the Browns decide Mingo's status for Week 1.

Mingo, the sixth overall pick in this year’s draft, hasn’t practiced or played since the first quarter of the Browns’ preseason win over the Detroit Lions Aug. 15 and was subsequently diagnosed with a bruised lung. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski has repeatedly told reporters that no timeline has been established for Mingo's return.

Mingo has been working out on a stationary bike since last week. He did some running Tuesday and went through a weight-room workout Wednesday, a team spokesman said.

To read more or comment...

Browns waive cornerback Trevin Wade, claim linebacker Eric Martin off waivers

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 28, 2013

The Browns waived cornerback Trevin Wade today and were awarded linebacker Eric Martin off waivers from the New Orleans Saints, the team announced.

The Browns reached an injury settlement with Wade, a seventh-round pick in last year’s draft who had been sidelined since Aug. 17, when he suffered a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder while diving to intercept a pass during practice. Wade appeared in 13 games last season, compiling 11 tackles on defense and another six on special teams.

"Going to miss my GREAT teammates and great fans," Wade wrote on Twitter today. "Got to get back healthy! Best of luck to them boys!"

The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Martin is an undrafted rookie from the University of Nebraska who signed with the Saints on April 28 and was waived by them Tuesday. He appeared in all three of the Saints’ preseason games and tallied one special-teams tackle.

To read more or comment...

Browns to rest majority of starters in preseason finale; backup QB Jason Campbell expected to start

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 28, 2013

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski has decided to rest the majority of his starters Thursday night in the preseason finale against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, the team announced this morning.

Backup quarterback Jason Campbell is expected to start in place of Brandon Weeden. Campbell missed practice Tuesday with an unspecified illness, but he is feeling better today, a team spokesman said. Third-string quarterback Brian Hoyer figures to receive a significant amount of playing time.

Chudzinski made his decision after weighing the risk of injury against the possibility of giving a young team that's learning new offensive and defensive systems more reps. He entered the week preparing as if his starters would face the Bears in the aftermath of the Browns' 26-7 preseason loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Some of Chudzinski's first stringers will play, but not many. On Tuesday, he said some starters would receive 10-12 reps against the Bears.

To read more or comment...

Browns place RB Montario Hardesty on season-ending IR, waive FB Owen Marecic in slew of roster moves

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 27, 2013

The Browns placed running back Montario Hardesty on season-ending injured reserve and waived fullback Owen Marecic, making a slew of roster moves today because all NFL teams were required to trim their rosters to 75 players by 4 p.m.

Hardesty had arthroscopic knee surgery Aug. 15. He will miss his second full season since former Browns General Manager Tom Heckert drafted him in the second round in 2010. This is the final year of Hardesty’s rookie contract.

Marecic, whom Heckert drafted in the fourth round in 2011, lost his role as the team’s primary fullback this summer to Chris Ogbonnaya, who converted from tailback.

The Browns also were awarded two players off waivers. They claimed outside linebacker Paul Hazel from the Jacksonville Jaguars and Colton Schmidt from the San Francisco 49ers.

To read more or comment...

Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Rob Chudzinski

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 27, 2013

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

Opening statement: “Good morning.  We’re back to work getting ready for Chicago on a short week.  Players came back and were really focused and open to coaching and some of the improvements and corrections that we made.  We had a good day at work yesterday and have another good day of work today.  We’re going to continue to coach them hard and we are going to continue to improve and make progress. 

“The Chicago game will give us an opportunity again to see some more guys play.  It’ll give us one last opportunity to assess them.  We’re looking forward to that.  I’ll get into a little more detail tomorrow as far as the plan for going forward with playing time and all of those things.  Generally, the guys who were with the ones would get 10 to 12 reps, but there are a number of situations that need to play out in terms of specifics of who is going to play and those types of things.  I will get into more detail on that tomorrow.

“We have announced a number of our roster moves.  We will continue to update you until four o’clock today.  That’s when the final moves have to be made.  It’s a busy time.  We are evaluating not only our own players but also the players from other teams who may have been released.  It’s a fluid situation. I know that (General Manager) Mike Lombardi and our scouting staff are working tirelessly on evaluating and looking into all of the other potential different situations we have out there.”

To read more or comment...

Browns notes: Rob Chudzinski says some starters will play 10-12 reps in preseason finale

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 27, 2013

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said he’ll play at least some of his starters for a brief time in the preseason finale Thursday night against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

“Generally, the guys who are with the ones would get 10-12 reps,” Chudzinski said this morning during a news conference. “But there’s a number of situations still that need to play out in terms of specifics of who’s going to play and those types of things.”

Chudzinski said he would wait until Wednesday to reveal whether starting quarterback Brandon Weeden will face the Bears. He didn’t offer any playing time plans for any of the starters except wide receiver Josh Gordon, who will begin regular season by serving a two-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. Chudzinski revealed Gordon will play “some.”

Weeden and running back Trent Richardson have made it clear they’re in favor of playing in the exhibition finale. Chudzinski is encouraged by that attitude.

To read more or comment...

Browns place running back Dion Lewis on season-ending injured reserve with broken left leg

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 26, 2013

As expected, the Browns have placed running back Dion Lewis on season-ending injured reserve with a surgically repaired fractured fibula.

Lewis broke his left leg Aug. 15 with 7:52 left in the third quarter of the Browns’ preseason win over the Detroit Lions when he caught a pass from quarterback Jason Campbell for 6 yards and was tackled by linebackers Travis Lewis and Ashlee Palmer.

He had surgery Aug. 19. The next day, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said Lewis would “likely” be put on season-ending IR.

In April, the Browns traded backup linebacker Emmanuel Acho to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for Lewis. One of the most pleasant surprises of training camp, Lewis was listed third on the depth chart when he was injured.

To read more or comment...

Browns practice notes: TE Cameron sidelined; OLB Sheard, WR Bess, TE Barnidge return

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 26, 2013

Browns starting tight end Jordan Cameron worked out on the side with a trainer and did not participate in practice today.

Cameron was resting a strained groin and is listed as day-to-day, coach Rob Chudzinski said through a team spokesman.

Cameron played Saturday night in the Browns' 27-6 preseason loss to the Indianapolis Colts. He had two catches for 7 yards.

Starting outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard (knee), wide receiver Davone Bess (tendinitis in knee) and tight end Gary Barnidge (sprained AC joint in shoulder) returned to practice today as expected. All of them sat out practice last week and were sidelined Saturday against the Colts.

To read more or comment...

Browns QB Brandon Weeden says preseason loss to Colts could be 'slap in the face' offense needed

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 26, 2013

Starting quarterback Brandon Weeden pumped the brakes today on any notion that the Browns will go into a downward spiral after their 27-6 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night in the third preseason game.

“I don't think there is any reason to push the panic button like a lot of people want to, but we've got to learn from it and we've got to get better,” Weeden said today. “We've got to take the things that we didn't do very well and correct them and get better come Thursday and moving forward when we play Miami.”

Weeden actually thinks the wake-up call came at the perfect time for a starting offense that cruised to success in the first two exhibition games. Now Weeden and Co. were reminded that they need a sense of urgency while preparing for the Sept. 8 regular-season opener against the Miami Dolphins.

“I think sometimes you need that,” Weeden said. “I think you need a little slap in the face to say, ‘Listen, you’ve got to keep continuing to grind.’ It’s just human nature to get a little ahead of yourself. But what better timing? It doesn’t count toward the win-loss record of the regular season. We can correct all the mistakes we made. So we knew it’s not going to be perfect all the time. It’s impossible to play 20 games throughout the regular-season, perfect games. It’s just not going to happen. We had been pretty good in the first two games. Now it’s just how do we deal with that adversity, how do we move on. It’ll be a big step for us.”

To read more or comment...

Browns release wide receiver Jordan Norwood, team confirms

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 26, 2013

The Browns have terminated the contract of wide receiver Jordan Norwood, the team confirmed today after a league source told the Beacon Journal that Norwood had been released.

Norwood, who spent the past three seasons with the Browns, had a strong start to training camp this summer, but a nagging hamstring injury sidelined him for several practices and two preseason games. Norwood, 26, returned to practice Thursday but sat out Saturday during the third exhibition game against the Indianapolis Colts. He played in the preseason opener Aug. 8, catching one pass for 9 yards.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Norwood compiled 13 catches for 137 yards in two games last season. He suffered a foot injury Oct. 7 against the New York Giants that sidelined him for the rest of the season.

In 2011, Norwood started four of the 14 games in which he appeared for the Browns. He tallied 23 catches for 268 yards and one touchdown.

To read more or comment...

Browns announce first wave of roster cuts

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 26, 2013

The Browns waived cornerback Vernon Kearney, defensive end Dave Kruger, wide receiver Cordell Roberson and inside linebacker Tommy Smith, the team announced today. All four players are undrafted rookies.

The Browns now have 84 players on their roster.

All NFL teams are required to trim their rosters to a maximum of 75 players before 4 p.m. Tuesday and a maximum of 53 players before 6 p.m. Saturday.

To read more or comment...

Browns notes: Coach Rob Chudzinski approaching preseason finale as if he'll play his starters

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 25, 2013

When the Browns resume practice Monday, coach Rob Chudzinski will prepare his starters to play in the preseason finale on the road Thursday night against the Chicago Bears.

“We’re going to approach this next game that those guys are going to play,” Chudzinski said today during a conference call. “And then I’ll make that determination later in the week as it goes on.”

The Browns won their first two exhibition games, and their starters outscored the St. Louis Rams and the Detroit Lions 34-3 in those matchups. However, quarterback Brandon Weeden and the rest of the starting offense failed to find a rhythm and the first-string defense was on its heels Saturday night in a 27-6 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the “dress rehearsal” exhibition game. The starters were outscored 17-3.

Chudzinski acknowledged the offense’s disappointing performance against the Colts could influence him to play his starters in the preseason finale, but he insisted the potential time off before the Sept. 8 regular-season opener against the visiting Miami Dolphins is a more important factor to consider. If the starters sit out in Chicago, they’ll go 14 days without live game action before the opener.

To read more or comment...

Game day blog: Browns at Colts (preseason game No. 3)

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 24, 2013

The Browns lost to the Indianapolis Colts 27-6 in the third preseason game for both teams tonight at Lucas Oil Stadium. Below is our game day blog.

End 4Q: Colts 27, Browns 6

Backup quarterback Jason Campbell led the Browns on a solid drive (13-play, 65 yards) but was sacked and hit multiple times on the final play. He slowly walked off the field and did not return. Graham hit a 44-yard field goal. Cordell Roberson then had an interesting five minutes. First, he recovered an onside kick and on the next play let Brian Hoyer’s first pass of the night bounce off his hands. It was picked off by Larry Asante and returned for a touchdown. On his next attempt, Hoyer found him open in the middle of the field and with room to run, and he dropped it as well. Campbell finished 8-of-14 for 112 yards. 

End 3Q: Colts 20, Browns 3

To read more or comment...

Browns waive punter T.J. Conley

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 22, 2013

The Browns waived punter T.J. Conley today, the team announced.

With Conley gone, Spencer Lanning is the only punter left on the roster. Through two preseason games, Lanning has punted eight times for gross and net averages of 45.8 and 39 yards. He has had three punts downed inside the 20-yard line and two touchbacks.

Conley played in the preseason opener Aug. 8 against the St. Louis Rams, but he sat out the second exhibition game Aug. 15 against the Detroit Lions with a strained groin. He returned to practice Tuesday.

In his lone preseason appearance, Conley punted twice for a total of 80 yards. One punt was downed inside the 20-yard line.

To read more or comment...

Browns notes: CB Chris Owens, WR Davone Bess, OLB Jabaal Sheard likely to sit out Saturday

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 22, 2013

In a post-practice news conference today, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski ruled out starting defensive end Desmond Bryant (back spasms) and kicker Brandon Bogotay (strained groin) for the third preseason game Saturday at the Indianapolis Colts.

Chudzinski said cornerback Chris Owens (foot), wide receiver Davone Bess (knee) and outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard (knee) are questionable for Saturday. None of them practiced today.

“They would be able to play in a regular-season game,” Chudzinski said. “They would be fine in a regular-season game. … We’ll be smart with them and wanted to make sure we were smart with them today.”

Billy Winn will start in place of Bryant at right defensive end, Chudzinski said. Bryant said he doesn’t believe he’ll need surgery. He has been dealing with back trouble for the past few weeks.

To read more or comment...

Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Rob Chudzinski

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 22, 2013

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

Opening statement: “To start off, (starting DL) Desmond Bryant and (K) Brandon Bogotay will be out for this week and will not play in the game. (DB) Chris Owens, (WR) Davone Bess and (LB) Jabaal Sheard all did not practice today. I held them out. They would be able to play in a regular-season game. They would be fine in a regular-season game. They will be questionable for the game; we’ll be smart with them and wanted to make sure we were smart with them today. As I said before, our starters are going to play into the third quarter. Obviously that remains to be determined. We will be flexible with that plan as well. As far as some of the guys that would potentially fill in, obviously at right guard, Oniel Cousins will start the game. At defensive end, Billy Winn will start for Desmond Bryant. As far as the other guys go, they are questionable. We will wait to see with them. (Rookie DB Leon) McFadden would be the (nickel) corner, (LB Quentin) Groves would be the outside linebacker, and (WR) Travis Benjamin, as well as (WR) Josh Cooper, would be the guys at receiver if Davone does not play. We’ve had a good week, going through the process this week of our mock week. Our approach on road trips is as a business trip and we will have that approach tomorrow as the guys come over. We’ll meet and get on the plane and head out for the game. Obviously this will be a good opportunity, as I have mentioned all week long, playing against a really good football team. We will get another chance to see where we are at and assess ourselves as a team.”

On Jabaal Sheard injury: “It’s just a sore knee. Again he could have practiced and could play this weekend. In the regular season, it would be no doubt.”

On severity of Sheard’s injury: “It’s just sore. Nothing happened in particular. It just started to get sore the last day or so.”

To read more or comment...

Browns WR Greg Little says he needs to slow down while driving, 'be cautious of others on the road'

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 22, 2013

Browns wide receiver Greg Little addressed the media today after his speeding tickets and single-car crash in April made headlines Wednesday. Little insisted he realizes that he must slow down.

In April, Little admitted to driving 127 mph on the Jennings Freeway in Cleveland, where he lost control, hit a guardrail and knocked down a light pole, according to the police report. He was fined $350.

“It's obviously something that I've got to take very seriously and slow my speeds down and be cautious of others on the road,” Little said. “I could have seriously put my life and other lives in danger.”

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said he reprimanded Little and fellow starting wide receiver Josh Gordon, who also has recently been ticketed for speeding. Chudzinski would not reveal whether he disciplined the players, but he said both of them were remorseful.

To read more or comment...

Browns practice notes: WR Davone Bess, OLB Jabaal Sheard continue to sit out

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 22, 2013

Wide receiver Davone Bess and outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard continued to sit out today while the Browns practiced.

Bess and Sheard were also sidelined Wednesday. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said Wednesday that Bess was getting practice off to rest and Sheard was day-to-day with an injured knee. Both players worked out on the side with trainers today.

Chudzinski is scheduled to address the media after practice at about 12:10 p.m. today.

With Sheard out again, Quentin Groves is expected to Saturday night when the Browns visit the Indianapolis Colts for the third preseason game. Chudzinski said most of the starters will play the entire first half and one series in the third quarter.

Outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo (bruised lung), kicker Brandon Bogotay (groin), cornerback Chris Owens (foot), tight end Gary Barnidge (sprained AC joined in shoulder), wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt (hamstring) and defensive end Desmond Bryant (back spasms) were also sidelined but working out on the side. Mingo rode a stationary bike.

To read more or comment...

Report: Browns WRs Greg Little, Josh Gordon get speeding tickets, Little crashed car in April

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 21, 2013

Browns wide receivers Greg Little and Josh Gordon received speeding tickets and Little crashed a car in April, 19 Action News (WOIO) reported today.

None of the incidents involved alcohol, and Little was in a single-car crash, a team spokesman said.

The Browns also issued the following statement: “We’re aware of the situation involving the players and their unacceptable driving records. We take matters such as this very seriously. We’ve spoken to both individuals, and will address the issue with the entire team.”

Little was cited Monday night for driving 81 mph in a 60-mph zone on I-71 in Strongsville and for driving with expired license plates, according to the report.

In April, Little admitted to driving 127 mph on the Jennings Freeway in Cleveland, where he lost control, hit a guardrail and knocked down a light pole, according to the report. He was fined $350.

To read more or comment...

Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Rob Chudzinski

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 21, 2013

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

Opening statement: “Good morning, everybody.  We have shifted our focus from last week training camp, to getting now more into game preparation.  Obviously, we are playing Indianapolis this week.  We’re spending our mock week preparing for them and some of the challenges that they bring.  They’re a playoff team.  They were 11-5 last year, an outstanding team.  A road game, which will be a first time we will get a chance to do that this preseason so we will go through that process and guys getting used to doing that and what we want on a road trip.  We will also play indoors in a dome.  This is a team that has a lot of speed – I’m talking about Indianapolis – skill positions, their front, their defense, they run really well so that will be a challenge for us.  We are preparing for the crowd noise, as well.  One of the things we want to do in practice this week is utilize the crowd noise so we can go through those procedures and get use to that, as well. 

“They have a tremendous coaching staff.  (Colts Head Coach) Chuck Pagano and I go way back.  He was a graduate assistant when I was playing at the University of Miami.  A few years later, we had the chance to coach together at Miami and then coached here obviously with the Browns.  I know him well.  I have a lot of respect for him.  I still have the picture of my kids in their ‘ChuckStrong’ t-shirts that we sent to him last fall when he was going through his ordeal.  I’m just happy to hear everything is going well with him from that standpoint.”

On the trade involving OG John Moffitt being nullified: “It was before practice had even started.  We hadn’t finished going through everything, and he was eager to get going, so I just brought him back in and it was not a big deal.”

To read more or comment...

Browns practice notes: OLB Jabaal Sheard sidelined with injured knee, listed as day-to-day

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 21, 2013

Browns starting right outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard is sitting out practice today with an injured knee.

Sheard is day-to-day with the injury, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said through a team spokesman. Rookie Barkevious Mingo (bruised lung) is Sheard’s backup, but he’s still out, too.

With Sheard sidelined, Quentin Groves is practicing with the first-team defense opposite starting left outside linebacker Paul Kruger. Groves will likely start Saturday when the Browns visit the Indianapolis Colts in the third preseason game.

Groves is the backup left outside linebacker. He started seven games last season under the guidance of new Browns offensive coordinator Ray Horton while the two were members of the Arizona Cardinals.

To read more or comment...

Browns notes: Tashaun Gipson named starting FS, playing time plans, injury updates and more

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 21, 2013

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski formally named Tashaun Gipson the team’s starting free safety this morning during a news conference.

Gipson missed part of training camp with a sprained shoulder, but held off challengers Johnson Bademosi and rookie Jamoris Slaughter to secure the top spot on the depth chart.

“It was definitely a grind, a battle coming into camp,” Gipson said. “This is what I set my goals for and I’m just blessed that coach Chud and the coaching staff gave me that title and instilled that trust in me.

“My mindset is not going to change just ‘cause I am the starter. It doesn’t mean I’m going to relax on my craft. I’m going to continue to try to get better each day. I’m going to continue to grind out there like I’m competing for my job.”

To read more or comment...

List of Browns' opponents for 2014 season

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 20, 2013

The Browns will play the following teams during the 2014 season, according to the "NFL Record and Fact Book:"

Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and an AFC West team whose finish in its divisional standings corresponds with that of the Browns at the end of the 2013 season.

Away: Ravens, Bengals, Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and an AFC East team whose finish in its divisional standings corresponds with that of the Browns at the end of the 2013 season.

To read more or comment...

Browns' trade with Seahawks for guard John Moffitt voided because of concerns about his health

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 20, 2013

The Browns’ trade for guard John Moffitt has been voided because the team had concerns about his health.

The Browns shipped defensive end Brian Sanford to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday in exchange for Moffitt because they needed to bolster their guard position with Shawn Lauvao (arthroscopic ankle surgery) and Jason Pinkston (high ankle sprain) set to miss the early part of the regular season. The Browns now have the rights to Sanford again.

A third-round draft pick in 2011, Moffitt started the first nine games of his rookie season before suffering torn ligaments in his left knee that required surgery. He also had elbow surgery last year during training camp.

Moffitt reported to the Browns’ headquarters today and spoke to the media before practice about his new opportunity. But when Moffitt walked onto the practice field carrying a helmet and wearing a uniform, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski escorted him back into the team’s training facility.

To read more or comment...

Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Rob Chudzinski

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 20, 2013

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

Opening statement: “Good morning.  We are excited about getting a chance to play Indianapolis this week, a playoff team from last year that went 11-5 in the regular season.  It will give us a chance, also, to play a road game, which we haven’t done yet this preseason and go through that process of doing that, as well as playing in a dome, which also brings some unique challenges.  Our approach this week, we are going to approach it as a normal week.  We are calling it a mock week with our players.  That will give us a chance for our coaches and our players to go through the normal process, the normal schedule of what they would do during the regular season.  We will look at Indy a little more than we have at the previous two opponents, but it won’t be an all-out gameplan where everything is on the table.  As part of this week, with the exception of right guard, corner and the kicker and punter positions, we will start the group that we are expecting and planning on starting at the beginning of the season.  That also includes the quarterback position, where Brandon Weeden will be our starting quarterback for this team.  A couple of points about my decision in terms of the quarterback: number one, all three quarterbacks have shown very well.  I have seen improvement, significant improvement, out of all of them and have become very comfortable with them all.  (Browns offensive coordinator) Norv (Turner) has done a great job with them.  There is great chemistry in that room, and I expect that to continue.  It was important for me and for us to go through the process and this process that we follow, the plan that we followed throughout the offseason and started in April in the meetings, carried out into OTAs on the field, the multiple minicamps that we had, the number of weeks in training camp that we had, as well as the first two preseason games so that we could get these guys and see them react to a lot of different situations that would come up and how they would handle them and so forth.  Based on this process, Brandon has earned this job.  That’s extremely important to me that he did.  He has gained my complete trust.  He has gained his teammates complete trust and this organization’s trust.  We are all behind him and we will all be there to support him.  As far as the timing, I felt like the timing was right in this process as we are shifting and just completed our training camp and broke camp the other day.  Now, we are looking forward and really getting more into preparation for the season and again, preparation this week in the mock week.  But our focus is shifting in that way.” 

On what he told QB Brandon Weeden: “I told him that he is going to be the starting quarterback.”

On when he told Weeden he would be the starter: “I told him yesterday.”

To read more or comment...

Browns notes: Coach Rob Chudzinski names Brandon Weeden starting quarterback

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 20, 2013

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski officially named Brandon Weeden the team’s starting quarterback this morning during a news conference.

“Brandon has earned this job, and that's extremely important to me that he did,” Chudzinski said “He's gained my complete trust. He's gained his teammates' complete trust and this organization's trust. We're all behind him and we all will be there to support him.”

Chudzinski broke the news to Weeden on Monday.

"I feel like I've worked my tail off from during the offseason, this spring, throughout OTAs and up until this point," Weeden said. "So, yeah, it's rewarding."

To read more or comment...

Browns trade DE Brian Sanford to Seahawks for G John Moffitt, cut FB Brock Bolen

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 19, 2013

The Browns needed support at guard, and they got it today when they traded defensive end Brian Sanford to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for John Moffitt.

The 6-foot-4, 319-pound Moffitt started six games last season, four at right guard and two at left guard. A third-round draft pick in 2011, he started the first nine games of his rookie campaign before suffering a season-ending knee injury.

Moffitt, 26, is expected to hold down the fort at right guard while Jason Pinkston (high-ankle sprain) and Shawn Lauvao (arthroscopic ankle surgery) sit out the first few games of the regular season.

"We continue to look each day of the year for any opportunity to improve our roster," Browns CEO Joe Banner said in a news release. "We’re committed to a building a team that can consistently compete in this league."

To read more or comment...

Browns RB Dion Lewis having surgery on fractured fibula today, CEO Joe Banner says

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 19, 2013

Running back Dion Lewis is undergoing surgery today on his fractured left fibula and rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo will have more tests conducted on his bruised lung, Browns CEO Joe Banner said.

“He’s having it right now,” Banner said of Lewis' surgery while looking at his watch at about 1:38 p.m. today.

Banner spoke to reporters this afternoon as he gave them a tour of the team’s headquarters, which underwent a four-month, $5 million renovation project.

Lewis will miss at least half of the season and possibly the entire year. He suffered the fractured fibula Thursday night with 7:52 left in the third quarter of the Browns’ preseason win over the Detroit Lions when he caught a pass from quarterback Jason Campbell for 6 yards and was tackled by linebackers Travis Lewis and Ashlee Palmer.

To read more or comment...

Browns WR David Nelson returns after missing weeks with bone bruise in surgically repaired knee

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 18, 2013

Browns wide receiver David Nelson returned to practice today after being on the sideline in training camp since Aug. 1.

As a member of the Buffalo Bills, Nelson tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the season opener on Sept. 9 against the New York Jets last season. He then signed a one-year deal with the Browns in April. 

After missing the first full-squad practice of camp, Nelson participated in the next six. On Aug. 1, he left that practice and had sat out until he returned to individual drills today. 

Nelson said a bone bruise in his surgically repaired knee has kept him out. He said the bone bruise was not related to the ACL injury. 

To read more or comment...

Transcript from news conference with Browns OC Norv Turner

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 18, 2013

Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner met with reporters today before practice. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

On Brandon Weeden: “I’m excited about what Brandon’s been able to do. The thing that we’ve spent a lot of time working on is trying to find out the things that he does best, and combine them with the things our players do best. And a lot of the things that we do on the practice field, it’s not experimental, but there’s a process you go through to get everyone on the same page. Hopefully when we get everyone in the games, we feature all the things that our guys do best. Through the preseason action that Brandon’s had, we’ve been able to do that. And we’ve had a lot of guys playing well. He’s taken advantage of the way they’ve been playing.”

On Turner’s secret working with quarterbacks: “To me, it starts with a system that’s extremely sound. It’s been proven over time. You go back to the ‘70s with (Don) Coryell, and just keep going through all the different people that have played in the system, whether it was me, Ernie Zampese, Mike Martz, it was the system that was very sound. My background in terms of teaching and the process you go through to get those guys to play, I think there’s some things we believe in, and we try to keep it as simple as possible for the quarterback, and put the burden on some of the other players. I think it helps them sort through some of the things they need to work through.”

On Weeden’s ceiling in the NFL: “That’s so hard for me because, as I said when I first got here, it’s based on the people behind him and how they’re playing. There have been some really talented quarterbacks that have been put in a position where they didn’t have very good players around them, and they’ve struggled. And then there have been some guys not as talented that have played at a real high level because they were surrounded by a great supporting cast. But the thing Brandon has done is make good decisions. He’s extremely accurate with the ball and he’s made some big throws up the field already, so those are the things you look and say those are positives we can build on.”

To read more or comment...

Browns OC Norv Turner says it's not too early to get excited about Brandon Weeden, starting offense

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 18, 2013

Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner realizes success in the preseason doesn’t always translate to real NFL games, but he’s still excited about what he’s seen thus far from quarterback Brandon Weeden and the rest of the projected starters.

“I’m excited what Brandon’s been able to do,” Turner said today before practice. “The thing that we’ve spent a lot of time working on is trying to find out the things that he does best and combine them with the things that our players do best, and a lot of things that we do on the practice field, it’s not experimental, but there’s a process you go through to get everyone on the same page. Hopefully when we get into games we’re able to feature the things that all our guys do best and the things they do together and through the preseason action that Brandon’s had, we’ve been able to that. We’ve had a lot of guys playing well, and he’s taken advantage of the way they’re playing.”

In the six series in which Weeden and the first-team offense have played through two exhibition games, the Browns have tallied three touchdown drives and two others that produced field goals. In those games, the starters have outscored the St. Louis Rams 17-0 and the Detroit Lions 17-3.

The Browns will visit the Indianapolis Colts for their "dress rehearsal" exhibition game Aug. 24.

To read more or comment...

Browns add depth to thin RB corps by signing rookie Jamaine Cook, waiving rookie S Kenronte Walker

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 18, 2013

The Browns re-signed undrafted rookie running back Jamaine Cook and waived undrafted rookie safety Kenronte Walker, the team announced this morning.

Cook was added to bolster the depth at running back, a position decimated by injuries.

Dion Lewis entered training camp as the third running back on the depth chart, but he will undergo surgery on a fractured left fibula he suffered Thursday night in an exhibition win over the Detroit Lions. He could be out for the season.

Montario Hardesty, who was listed as starter Trent Richardson’s primary backup, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Thursday, a procedure that usually requires at least a month of recovery time. Hardesty has had torn anterior cruciate ligaments repaired in both knees.

To read more or comment...

Browns rookie Barkevious Mingo says he's 'feeling really good,' eager to come back from bruised lung

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 17, 2013

Browns rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo watched practice today and wanted to join the action, but he must let his bruised lung heal first.

“I’m feeling really good,” Mingo said after practice. “Whenever the doctors and the coaches clear me, I’ll be back out there with those guys and trying to help this team win games.”

Mingo believes he suffered the unusual injury during the opening kickoff of the Browns’ second preseason game Thursday night against the visiting Detroit Lions. He knew something was wrong because he couldn’t catch his breath and he spit up blood on the sideline early in the game.

Mingo left the game late in the first quarter after participating in five or six special teams plays. He ran off the field and to the locker room early in the second quarter and was taken to the Cleveland Clinic’s main campus before the game ended.

To read more or comment...

Transcript from news conference with Browns DC Ray Horton

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 17, 2013

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

On the defense’s performance in the first two preseason games indicating improvement: “It is a good starting point. All we have been trying to instill in the players is to get better today, get better today, get better today. Not tomorrow; just get better today. It is a good start. That is all it is. It’s preseason. Some guys don’t play and some guys do. We are trying to get better and get ready for Miami coming up.”

On rookie LB Barkevious Mingo’s status: “I just saw him. He looks great. As far as projections, the doctors will make that decision. We just want him to get healthy and are glad everything is OK. The projection will be whenever his body says he is ready to go.”

On if Mingo will return to play soon: “I don’t know. I just saw him at lunch. I could tell you what he had for lunch, but he is fine. He will be ready when he is ready.”

To read more or comment...

Browns DC Ray Horton optimistic rookie Barkevious Mingo will bounce back from bruised lung

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 17, 2013

Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton doesn’t know exactly when outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo will return from a bruised lung, but he’s optimistic the team’s top draft pick will still be able to have a productive rookie season.

Mingo was released from the Cleveland Clinic’s main campus Saturday morning after a two-night stay because of the unusual injury he suffered Thursday in the second preseason game against the Detroit Lions. Horton visited with Mingo while the native of West Monroe, La., ate gumbo for lunch at the team’s headquarters shortly after he got out of the hospital.

“He looks great,” Horton said. “As far as projection, the doctors will make that decision and we just want him to get healthy, and we're just glad that everything's OK. The projection will be whenever his body says it's ready to go.

“He’s going to miss some time. We’re just happy it’s not a career- or season-ending injury. They’re all bad when they miss playing time. I can’t specifically say I’ve seen that [injury before].”

To read more or comment...

Transcript from conference call with Browns coach Rob Chudzinski

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 16, 2013

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

Opening statement: “I will start with a medical report today. Dion Lewis, as I mentioned last night, has a fibula fracture. It’s going to require surgery. That has not been scheduled yet. I will let you know when I get more details on that. Barkevious Mingo has a bruised lung. He felt better this morning. He stayed overnight in the hospital. We are going to keep him over another night as a precautionary measure; a little bit too early to give you any estimates as to where it stands. Jason Pinkston has a high-ankle sprain. There’s a chance he will be out in the early part of the regular season. We will just have to see how that goes. Gary Barnidge has a shoulder sprain. We are expecting him to be back next week; he will be day-to-day. Brandon Bogotay has a groin strain. He will be day-to-day. T.J. Conley, the same thing, groin strain. He will be day-to-day. David Nelson is making progress and we are day-to-day with him. Hopefully, we will be able to get him back to practice next week.

“As far as the game goes, I felt good. We took another step against another good team. I have a lot of respect for Detroit. We’ve played well in all three phases. The past two games, obviously, we have a lot of work to do and improvements to make but it will be good to get a chance and watch tape with our guys. It doesn’t count in the standings in the preseason as I mentioned last night. We want to keep this in perspective. But we are working to develop winning habits and hopefully these things will help us during the course of the season. We are finding some guys that exemplify our identity and that’s what we want to do, establish our identity on the football field. Getting a chance to evaluate our players and our team, and put our team together in the best manner we can. I can think of some things last night that we did well. We were efficient, ball security was good, and the guys came to play. I like the effort that I’m seeing. Some things that we needed to work on and improve are fundamentals and we will be focusing on those the next two days in practice, on Saturday and Sunday. We will continue to work on our situational football. We will get our two-minute drill, which we haven’t been able to get in the game; offensively, we had some with the twos and threes at the end of the game, in the first game primarily. Some four-minute offense, we will work on third downs and red zone, those types of things. We want to improve on penalties. We had six penalties for 49 yards and one nullified a touchdown. Certainly, every point is precious and we had a number of pre-snap penalties that we want to continue to work on.”

On whether he knows what happened to Barkevious Mingo: “I don’t. We looked at the tape. There wasn’t a big hit that we could see. Obviously, he had a number of plays where there was some contact but it was hard to determine which one it was.”

To read more or comment...

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski still not ready to name starting QB, but says Weeden excelled vs. Lions

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 16, 2013

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski still isn’t ready to name a starting quarterback, but he’s pleased with what he saw Thursday night from Brandon Weeden during Cleveland’s 24-6 win over the Detroit Lions in the second preseason game.

Weeden completed 8-of-12 passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns, posting a passer rating of 137.8. He connected with tight end Jordan Cameron for touchdowns of 10 and 5 yards.

“I’m still going to wait to name a starter,” Chudzinski said today during a conference call. “To me, this process is important. We’ll go through that, and when we complete the process, then we’ll name a starter.

“His performance, he was really good overall. He led, I think, three scoring drives we had with him. [He made] a number of good throws. Certainly there’s some things he can improve on that we’re going to go through the film with him.”

To read more or comment...

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski says Mingo to stay in hospital another night, Lewis to undergo surgery

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 16, 2013

Rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo will be kept in the hospital for the second consecutive night with a bruised lung he suffered Thursday in the Browns’ 24-6 preseason win over the Detroit Lions, coach Rob Chudzinski said today during a conference call.

Mingo is expected to be out for at least a week or two, a league source told the Beacon Journal, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation.

The Browns will visit the Indianapolis Colts Aug. 24 in their third preseason game. Mingo will sit out then and possibly miss the preseason finale Aug. 29 against the Chicago Bears.

The Browns open the regular season at home Sept. 8 against the Miami Dolphins.
Chudzinski did not give a timetable for Mingo’s return.

To read more or comment...

NFL Network: Browns’ Mingo expected to be out for about a week, Pinkston 2-4 weeks

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 16, 2013

Browns rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo is expected to be sidelined for about a week or so after suffering a bruised lung Thursday during the team’s 24-6 preseason win over the Detroit Lions, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported this morning.

“Browns first-rounder Barkevious Mingo should only miss a week or so with his bruised lung,” Rapoport wrote on Twitter. “Expected out of the hospital today.”

A doctor said Mingo might be out for a week or two, a league source told the Beacon Journal, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation.

The Browns will visit the Indianapolis Colts Aug. 24 in their third preseason game. It wouldn’t be surprising if Mingo sat out.

To read more or comment...

Bernie Kosar defends his comments made during last week's Browns broadcast, doesn't apologize

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 15, 2013

Bernie Kosar addressed the controversy surrounding his comments made during last week’s broadcast of the Browns preseason opener with the St. Louis Rams but did not apologize.

“I love the game so much and there’s no way I’d want to disrespect or hurt or make fun of any players or coaches,” Kosar said. “That being said, the way I look at the game and the way I like to analyze it from a football perspective, it is what it is. Again, I don’t wan tto disrespect or hurt any of the players or coaches in the league. But I do like the way I look at the game and I have strong feelings about how the game is played.”

During last week’s broadcast, Kosar called the Rams receivers “horrible,” even saying he’d be embarrassed if he were one of their parents. He then said Rams Wide Receivers Coach Ray Sherman wasn’t doing a very good job, either. He was also very critical toward Rams third-string quarterback Kellen Clemens and turned an anecdote about Clemens and Pope Benedict XVI into a joke about having to watch Clemens for a whole quarter.

Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher verbally blasted Kosar, saying he lost respect for him. Sports Illustrated senior writer Peter King asked on Twitter if Kosar was drunk and later apologized for that remark.

Browns CEO Joe Banner released a statement on Sunday night saying the team doesn’t condone the “personal and unprofessional approach” Kosar took toward the Rams during the broadcast. 

To read more or comment...

Game day blog: Browns vs. Lions (preseason game No. 2)

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 15, 2013

The Browns are facing the Detroit Lions tonight in the second preseason game at FirstEnergy Stadium. Below is our game day blog, which will be updated at the end of each quarter.

End 4Q: Browns 24-6

Jason Campbell found running back Brandon Jackson for a touchdown from 14 yards out, giving the Browns a 24- lead in the fourth quarter. Campbell finished the night 12 of 14 passing for 106 yards and a touchdown, with a QB rating of 122.0. Brian Hoyer took over for him midway through the fourth. Brandon Bogotay was scheduled to make all the needed kicks for the Browns but left the game sometime between the second and fourth quarters with a groin injury. Graham had to come in to hit an extra point. 

End 3Q: Browns 17, Lions 6

To read more or comment...

Browns RB Montario Hardesty's arthroscopic knee surgery “went as expected,” team spokesman says

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 15, 2013

Browns running back Montario Hardesty’s arthroscopic knee surgery “went as expected” today, a team spokesman said.

Dr. Mark Schickendantz performed the surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.

Hardesty will be out for at least the first two regular-season games because the minimum recovery time for a knee scope is usually about a month.

Hardesty was listed as Trent Richardson's main backup, so Dion Lewis, Brandon Jackson and Chris Ogbonnaya, who converted from tailback to fullback in the offseason, will vie for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart when the Browns host the Detroit Lions at 7:30 tonight in the second preseason game at FirstEnergy Stadium.

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp: Transcript from news conference with coach Rob Chudzinski

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 14, 2013

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski met with reporters today after the 17th full-squad practice of training camp. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

Opening statement: “Good morning. We will get started here with the injury update. Montario Hardesty will have a knee scope. His knee’s been nagging him for a little bit. This is unrelated to the hamstring tendon that he had injured, that had kept him out earlier in camp. He is going to have a scope tomorrow on that. We have T.J. Conley has a slight groin strain. We held him out today and we will see how he feels tomorrow. It will be a game-time decision. Jordan Norwood has the same hamstring. We will let you know tomorrow.”

On Chris Faulk: “He had a scope as well, two days ago on the same knee as the ACL injury.”

On whether he knows Montario Hardesty’s timetable: “I don’t. We will have to see after he gets the scope. It’s just to clean it up.”

To read more or comment...

Browns notes: Knee surgery becomes latest obstacle in RB Montario Hardesty's fight to make roster

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 14, 2013

Knee trouble continues to haunt Browns running back Montario Hardesty.

Hardesty will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery Thursday, coach Rob Chudzinski said today during his post-practice news conference. Hardesty will be out for at least the first two regular-season games because the minimum recovery time for a knee scope is usually about a month.

The Browns will host the Detroit Lions in the second exhibition game Thursday night.

Hardesty missed most of training camp with an injured hamstring tendon and dislocated his right thumb Monday before returning to practice Tuesday. But it’s his history of knee problems that has crept up again and will force him to undergo a procedure.

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp: Transcript from news conference with coach Rob Chudzinski

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 13, 2013

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski met with reporters today after the 16th full-squad practice of training camp. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

Opening statement: “We had a chance to work on Detroit a little bit and get ready for that game. I am looking forward to playing against somebody else. They are a very talented team. I am looking for progress and improvement from Game 1 to Game 2. We plan on playing the starters through midway in the second quarter, possibly all the way to half. We will just have to play it by ear and see from a rep standpoint, series and the flow of the game. We will get the twos in after that and then the threes in the fourth quarter at some point. As far as injuries, Montario Hardesty had a dislocated thumb. We padded him up; he was okay. He went out and did some individual drills in practice today. We will see about him for next week.”

On the status of Trent Richardson for Thursday: “I had a feeling you would ask about that. We will play Trent, give him a couple series and then we’ll go from there.”

On whether he’ll miss the fans, who saw their last practice Tuesday: “Absolutely. I hope there will be a lot of them at the games, though. It was great having them here. Great support. The turnouts were awesome. Even during the week on some of the days you wouldn’t expect a lot of people to be here. It just tells you a lot about these fans and how they feel about this team. Hopefully they had a lot of fun out here, as much as I did, and enjoyed the time with our players.”

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp snapshot: Chudzinski says QB race ‘close,’ Weeden confident; Richardson to play

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 13, 2013

The Browns held their 16th full-squad practice of training camp tonight. Below is a glance at what unfolded.

Storylines: After the final practice of training camp open to the public wrapped up this evening, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said he’s not ready to name a starting quarterback, and he described the competition as a tight race, even though Brandon Weeden has taken every snap with the first-team offense throughout camp. “I think it’s still close and we’re finding out every game, and these games are important opportunities for guys to show what they can do,” Chudzinski said. Weeden impressed last week in the Browns’ 27-19 win over the St. Louis Rams in the preseason opener, completing 10-of-13 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown and posting a passer rating of 127.7. He’ll start again Thursday night when the Browns host the Detroit Lions, and Chudzinski said his plan is to play most of the starters until midway through the second quarter and possibly the entire first half. But Chudzinski also made it clear he wants to keep to pushing Weeden with second-string quarterback Jason Campbell and third-stringer quarterback Brian Hoyer working behind him on the depth chart. “I think we’ll see them more and get more time with them on the field, and there’s still three preseason games left out of the four,” Chudzinski said. “There’s still a lot of work to be done. We’ve got plenty of practice time as well. Every day is an evaluation and we’re looking at them every day. They each have done well and showed good things along the way.” Weeden, the 22nd overall pick in this year’s draft, believes he’ll secure the starting job if he continues to progress the way he has throughout camp. “I’m confident that I’m going to be [the starter],” Weeden said. “But I’ve got to prove it to the other guys, the guys upstairs that I am the guy. The only way I can do that is play well and keep continuing to get better.” Because the new regime and coaching staff didn’t draft him, Weeden knows he’s still in the process of earning trust. “I have to show these guys that I can play and show these guys that I can be the man,” Weeden said. “[It’s] just one more obstacle I’ve got to overcome, but I’ve just got to worry about what I can control.” Is there something Chudzinski has seen from Weeden that makes him question his top spot on the depth chart? “I don’t look at it like that,” Chudzinski said. “I think you look at maybe a day or a play or a throw or this or that, that maybe something you’d like to improve on, and you see it. You see the improvement with him. You see him make the corrections and you see the progress.” And if Chudzinski continues to see those things from Weeden, he will formally name him the starter for the upcoming season. … Starting running back Trent Richardson will make his NFL preseason debut Thursday against the Lions. “We’ll play Trent,” Chudzinski said. “We’ll get him a couple series, and then we’ll go from there.” Richardson missed all four preseason games last year as a rookie because he underwent surgery Aug. 9 to have a piece of loose cartilage removed from his left knee. He sat out last week against the Rams because the Browns were being cautious with him after he was kicked in the right shin, the same one in which he suffered a strained muscle during the spring. “I’m surprised like ya’ll,” Richardson said when told Chudzinski gave him the green light. “I’m happy, and I can’t wait to get up out there. … It’s a big relief. I want to play all the time, and I’m just real happy with the decision coach just made.” Richardson, who said he’s 100 percent healthy, believes he can benefit from playing Thursday. “I just want to get the timing down with the offensive line, game speed, game conditioning, just being in there with my team and just getting back in the groove,” Richardson said. … Second-string running back Montario Hardesty practiced today after suffering a dislocated right thumb during practice Monday, Chudzinski said. Hardesty wore padding or a soft cast on the thumb during practice. He did not speak to reporters. “We padded him up, and he was OK,” Chudzinski said. “He went out and did some individual drills in practice today, and we’ll see about him for next week.”

Position battles: Undrafted rookie Brandon Bogotay will be the only kicker who plays Thursday, Chudzinski said. Shayne Graham, a 12-year veteran, will take the night off. “It’s a pretty tight competition, and it really it’s a day-to-day thing,” Chudzinski said. “It just depends on the day. We’ll kick Brandon Bogotay in this game, only, just Brandon. So it’ll give him an opportunity. We’ll get a chance to see him perform in a situation where he has to kick them all.”

Highlights: In team drills, Weeden completed a deep touchdown to wide receiver Greg Little, who beat undrafted rookie cornerback Abdul Kanneh during the play. … Cornerback Buster Skrine leaped to breakup a pass along the sideline from Campbell to wide receiver Dominique Croom. … Hoyer connected with wide receiver Cordell Roberson for a deep touchdown despite coverage from Kanneh. … Browns owner Jimmy Haslam chatted with Glenville football coach Ted Ginn Sr. during practice. Ginn brought members of his team to watch the action.

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp: Transcript from news conference with coach Rob Chudzinski

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 12, 2013

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski met with reporters today after the 15th full-squad practice of training camp. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

Opening statement: “We will start with the injury report. We had some guys come back today. Jordan Norwood, Oniel Cousins and Chris Owens were back at work. Chris Owens got some work in some of the team periods, as well. Montario Hardesty injured his thumb. We will get a look at it when we get in and get more information for you tomorrow.

“It was another good day. We have been working against each other in practice. These three days have been an opportunity for us to get back to basics. We have a lot of work to do. Just being able to focus on the fundamentals has been good for us. This was a good day, as well, a little warmer than it’s been. Just seeing these guys push through and be able to push through practice is important as we are getting closer and closer to opening day.”

On if he has a preliminary diagnosis on Hardesty: “I don’t. Other than he hurt his thumb. The ball hit his hand and he injured it.”

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp snapshot: Montario Hardesty leaves practice with injured thumb; 3 others return

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 12, 2013

The Browns held their 15th full-squad practice of training camp today. Below is a glance at what happened:

Storylines: Browns second-string running back Montario Hardesty returned to team drills today after dealing with an injured hamstring tendon, but left the field after hurting his right thumb during the first hour of practice. With his first rep, Hardesty took a direct snap and was tackled to the ground near the line of scrimmage by undrafted rookie linebacker Justin Staples. With his second rep, Hardesty took another direct snap, but it sailed high. Hardesty reached above his head to catch the ball and then immediately extended his right arm and looked at his hand. A trainer examined Hardesty for a few minutes before taping an ice pack to Hardesty’s thumb. About 20 minutes after Hardesty suffered the injury, he walked of the field and into the team’s facility. In his post-practice news conference, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said there was no preliminary diagnosis available for Hardesty. “It’s a tough deal,” Chudzinski said. “But we’ll see what the status is and how soon he’ll be back.” When asked if Hardesty’s injury will put him behind the eight ball in terms of being able to make the team, Chudzinski said, “It’s too early to say that.” Hardesty missed most of camp with a hamstring problem and returned to practice Sunday. His first action back in team drills was today, and it was short-lived. … Cornerback Chris Owens, wide receiver Jordan Norwood and offensive lineman Oniel Cousins returned to practice today. Owens strained the arch of his foot Wednesday, Norwood suffered a hamstring injury in the preseason opener Thursday and Cousins sprained an ankle July 26. Of the three players, only Owens participated in team drills, and he was limited. Buster Skrine continued to line up with the first unit in its base defense.

Position battles: Shayne Graham won a kicking duel against Brandon Bogotay. Graham, a 12-year veteran, edged Graham, an undrafted rookie, 5-4 in field goals during warm-ups. Following two-minute drills, Graham made a 50-yard field goal, and Bogotay missed wide right from the same distance.

Highlights: In team drills, quarterback Brandon Weeden completed a deep pass on a post route to wide receiver Greg Little, who grabbed the ball despite tight coverage from cornerback Joe Haden. … Wide receiver Davone Bess made a leaping catch over the middle on a pass throw by Weeden. … Cornerback Buster Skrine knocked the ball out of Bess’ hands in the end zone. … Haden broke up a pass from Weeden to wide receiver Travis Benjamin on an out route to end a two-minute drill for the first-team offense. … Wide receiver Cordell Roberson beat the coverage of safeties Johnson Bademosi and Josh Aubrey but dropped a long pass from quarterback Jason Campbell. … Cornerback Trevin Wade broke up a pass over the middle from Weeden to Little. … In red-zone drills, Weeden connected with wide receiver Josh Cooper for a touchdown despite Skrine’s coverage. … Quarterback Brian Hoyer hit wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt with a touchdown pass in the back corner of the end zone. … Haden intercepted a pass Weeden intended for wide receiver Josh Gordon, who fell while running his route. … Running back Brandon Jackson dived to catch a touchdown pass after the ball thrown by Hoyer deflected off Roosevelt in the end zone.

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp snapshot: Hardesty, Smelley return to action; Kosar apologizes, keeps TV gig

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 11, 2013

The Browns held their 14th full-squad practice of training camp today. Below is a glance at what happened.

Storylines: Running back Montario Hardesty and tight end Brad Smelley returned to practice today after missing significant time with hamstring injuries. Hardesty participated in individual drills but not team drills. He’s listed as the second running back on the depth chart, but he needs to stay healthy and show something this preseason to secure a roster spot, especially with the emergence of third-string running back Dion Lewis. “Hardesty coming back, hopefully that continues,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said. “There is still a lot of preseason left, and he’ll have that opportunity to show us.” The Browns have three exhibition games remaining, with the next one against the Detroit Lions set for Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium. As for Smelley, he took some reps in team drills with the second-string offense. It was Hardesty's first action since July 31 and Smelley's first practice since Aug. 1. ... The Browns reprimanded former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar for the harsh comments he made about the St. Louis Rams while serving as an analyst for WKYC (Ch. 3) during the preseason opener Thursday night. But Kosar is still scheduled to work the Browns' next preseason game against the Lions. Kosar called Rams coach Jeff Fisher today to apologize, a team spokesman said, and Browns CEO Joe Banner released a statement tonight in an attempt to quash the controversy. For more about Kosar’s comments and subsequent apology, click here.

Position battles: Lewis has sole possession of the top kickoff returner spot on the Browns’ latest depth chart, which was released Saturday night. On the previous version of the depth chart, Lewis and safety Johnson Bademosi shared the No. 1 spot. … Buster Skrine continued to play cornerback opposite Joe Haden with the first-team defense as Chris Owens remained sidelined. Owens strained the arch of his foot this past Wednesday. In team drills, Skrine cut in front of wide receiver Greg Little and broke up a pass from quarterback Brandon Weeden but couldn’t secure the interception. Earlier in practice, Skrine broke up another pass from Weeden to Little.

Highlights: The Browns randomly picked two fans from the crowd today and had them end practice by kicking field goals with something at stake. Chudzinski told the offense’s players they could skip their positional meetings tonight if Anthony Kinney of Shaker Heights made his kick, and the defensive players could do the same if D.J. Rapposelli of Mayfield had a successful attempt. With the ball placed on a tee and at the goal line, both fans made their kicks, and the players mobbed the kickers and cheered as if they had won the Super Bowl. “You get into the doldrums of training camp and [look for] different ways of creating some fun as well,” Chudzinski said. “Of course, I have a special place in my heart for the fans and getting them involved out here in practice. I think everybody enjoys.” … Undrafted rookie cornerback Abdul Kennah had one interception and two pass breakups in team drills. He made all the plays against quarterback Brian Hoyer. Later, in a seven-on-seven session, he broke up a pass from quarterback Jason Campbell. … Weeden threw two impressive deep passes in team drills. Josh Gordon beat the coverage of Skrine and dropped the first one, but fellow wide receiver Travis Benjamin beat the coverage of cornerback Trevin Wade and caught the other. … Gordon used one hand to haul in pass from Weeden on a crossing route. … Little and strong safety T.J. Ward went through hand-fighting drills with the defensive linemen. … Browns owner Jimmy Haslam had a long conversation with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson on the practice field.

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp: Transcript from news conference with coach Rob Chudzinski

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 11, 2013

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski met with reporters following the 14th full-squad practice of training camp. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

Opening statement: “We’ll get started with medical. We had Montario Hardesty back today. He got involved with some individual drills. We will continue to see how that goes and upgrade as we can. Today was a good day. These past two days have been good days in terms of work and really focusing on getting back to the basics. We had the shoulder pads on today so we were able to do a little bit more hitting, blocking and working on the fundamentals. Also, one of the things we have been emphasizing with the guys is trust. They’re learning. They are getting to know the offense, getting to know the defense and getting to know the special-teams packages. It’s been very individual in terms of that learning. Now we are really emphasizing with the guys working together as a unit, the offensive-line communication and so forth, secondary communication, and all the things you want to develop through trust, playing with each other and being lined up and comfortable with the guy next to you.”

On having two fans kick field goals to end the practice: “We grabbed a couple guys from the group of fans that were here today.  For individual meetings that we had planned tonight, I told the guys if Anthony (Kinney, the first fan) made the field goal, the offense wouldn’t have their individual meetings tonight, and D.J. (Rapposelli) kicked for the defense, and if he made it, the defense wouldn’t have their meetings tonight. Both of the guys made it, of course, and the guys were pretty happy about that.”

On picking the fan kickers randomly: “Yeah. We just randomly picked them out. We had a little mini tryout before practice so we were sure that they could kick it, at least.”

To read more or comment...

Browns keep Bernie Kosar on telecast, say he called Rams coach Jeff Fisher to apologize for comments

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 11, 2013

Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar called St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher today to apologize for the comments he made during the telecast of Thursday night’s preseason opener, a team spokesman said. And Browns CEO Joe Banner released a statement tonight in an effort to quash the controversy.

“We don't condone the personal and unprofessional approach that Bernie took with some of his comments during the broadcast Thursday night,” Banner said in the statement. “We’ve spoken to Bernie, he understands that, and we would expect the situation is resolved moving forward. We’ve also reached out to the Rams organization and have shared those same sentiments.”

Kosar is still scheduled to serve as an analyst for WKYC (Ch. 3) Thursday when the Browns host the Detroit Lions in their second preseason game. He has not replied to a text message from the Beacon Journal seeking comment.

Either way, Kosar will likely be more careful about his commentary this week after Fisher verbally blasted him during a news conference Saturday.

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp: Transcript from news conference with coach Rob Chudzinski

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 10, 2013

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski met with reporters today following the 13th full-squad practice of training camp. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

Opening statement: “It’s good to get back and get going with practice. We were able to get a couple guys back that we haven’t seen in a while. T.J. Ward was out in practice today and Jarmoris Slaughter also was out and got a chance to do some team work. We are excited about having those guys back.

“One of the things I was pleased with during the game was the way our guys competed, played hard and played fast. One of the things I wanted to challenge them with was coming back to practice and competing and working to get better. That’s one of the things we need to do to be the team we want to be is we’re going to have to work and scrap for everything we do and everything we get. The competition in practice was good. We had a good spirited practice. The tempo was good and we got some things done today. We worked a lot of situations and are really focusing on improving on situational football.”

On if Trent Richardson will play Thursday: “He’s been practicing. Last week he was practicing, as well. He’s been back. Again, I will wait until later in the week and let you guys know on that.”

To read more or comment...

Rams coach Jeff Fisher says he lost respect for former Browns QB Bernie Kosar because of broadcast

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 10, 2013

St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher verbally blasted former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar during a news conference today.

Fisher was responding to the critical comments Kosar made as an analyst for WKYC (Ch. 3) during the telecast of the Browns’ 27-19 win over the Rams in the preseason opener for both teams Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium. Kosar ripped third-string quarterback Kellen Clemens, the Rams’ wide receivers and the team’s receivers coach.

The Browns are reviewing the situation, a team spokesman said.

“First off let me say this, the Cleveland Brown organization is a first-class organization from top to bottom and it has been that for years and years and years,” Fisher said. “I guess I’m a little disappointed – I feel bad for them – that they had someone doing the broadcast feel the need to speak that way about players, specifically on our team and coaches for that matter.

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp snapshot: Josh Gordon defends work ethic; Brandon Weeden learns from Joe Haden

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 10, 2013

The Browns held their 13th full-squad practice of training camp today. Below is a glance at what happened.

Storylines: Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon defended his work ethic and said he doesn’t expect the patellar tendinitis in his right knee to be an issue this season. Gordon touched on those topics while addressing the media for the first time since July 22, when he apologized to the organization, his teammates and fans for the two-game suspension he’ll serve at the beginning of the regular season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. Last year, ex-Browns coach Pat Shurmur and former offensive coordinator Brad Childress publicly acknowledged that Gordon, at times, lacked the level of hustle and focus they wanted during practices. But as Gordon’s rookie season progressed, he improved in those areas. Then in June, Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bedard watched Gordon during the team’s mandatory minicamp and was not impressed with his effort. “There's no question Josh Gordon is the most talented WR the Browns have and there's a lot to like there, but I'm not a fan,” Bedard wrote on Twitter. “Maybe I'm spoiled from covering GB & NE, but I'm used to seeing all-out hustle and urgency. Gordon lacks that. Loafs a lot. IMO [in my opinion], Gordon won't reach his full potential until he gets it. Greg Little might not be as talented, but he has urgency and fun.” Bedard also did a radio interview with 92.3 The Fan to discuss his less-than-flattering opinions about Gordon’s work ethic. Gordon said he was not aware of the criticism, but he responded to it. “From loafing, I mean certain people see different things when they look at me run or look at me move,” Gordon said. “It might look slow ‘cause I’m a little bit larger to play at my position. So it might be a little bit deceptive, hard to look at it. It looks like, compared to everybody else, a little bit shorter strides, shorter movements, but I go out here 100 percent every day I come out here.” Gordon said his coaches are fine with the way he practices. “They seem pretty happy,” Gordon said. “They make it not just known for me but as for the team as well. We just want a sense of urgency out there for everybody to go out there and feel like we have something to play for and go as hard as we can no matter what.” Gordon missed one-and-a-half practices during camp as he dealt with patellar tendinitis, but he has been back since Aug. 1 and played Thursday in the preseason opener against the St. Louis Rams. “Tendinitis, it's something that always happens just playing sports, just running around playing sports a whole lot,” Gordon said. “It's pretty much from a heavy workload, just moving a lot off the right foot, planting and stuff like that. But really, it’s nothing more than just maintenance work, just stretching, taking care of it when I need to, just ice and stuff. Nothing more than what I can handle though.” Gordon said he dealt with it last season, too. “[It was] not really as bad, no, but definitely fought through it,” Gordon said. “So it wasn't a big deal for me.” … Browns cornerback Joe Haden intercepted two passes thrown by quarterback Brandon Weeden in team drills during today’s practice. Haden revealed how Weeden tries to learn from the miscues. “Weeden comes to me every time I get an interception,” Haden said. “He’ll come right up to me and ask me, ‘Joe, what did you see? What could I do differently? What did you see in the route?’” Haden intercepted Weeden on a deep pass to Gordon and on an out route to wide receiver Davone Bess.

Position battles: Running back Trent Richardson (shin) and strong safety T.J. Ward (hamstring) returned to team drills after sitting out Thursday against the Rams, but they were limited. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said he would wait to decide whether to play Richardson in the second preseason game Thursday against the Detroit Lions. With Richardson and Ward still taking a lighter workload than usual, running back Dion Lewis and strong safety Johnson Bademosi received significant practice time with the starters. Strong safety Josh Aubrey also took some reps with the first unit. … With Chris Owens (strained foot) sidelined, cornerback Buster Skrine practiced opposite Haden with the first-team defense. … Kickers Shayne Graham and Brandon Bogotay each missed a 45-yard field goal in warm-ups. In two-minute drills, Graham’s 55-yard attempt deflected off the right upright and missed, and Bogotay missed a 46-yard try wide left.

Highlights: In the final two plays of a red-zone drill, Chudzinski created a friendly competition between the offense and defense by saying “loser’s eating peanut butter sandwiches” for dinner. Weeden then appeared to complete a 3-yard touchdown pass to Lewis over the middle as inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson tackled him at the goal line. But Chudzinski ruled the play dead because he thought inside linebacker Craig Robertson reached Weeden in time for a would-be sack. The next play, second-string quarterback Jason Campbell threw a pass toward wide receiver Josh Cooper in the back corner of the end zone, but undrafted rookie cornerback Abdul Kanneh intercepted the pass. In other words, the offense was left with the peanut butter. … In the same red-zone session, Weeden completed consecutive touchdown passes to Little. … Third-string quarterback Brian Hoyer connected with Cooper in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. … Nose tackle Phil Taylor batted down a pass from Weeden near the line of scrimmage. … Weeden ended a two-minute drill with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Lewis over the middle. … Hoyer ended another two-minute drill with a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Travis Benjamin in the back corner of the end zone.

To read more or comment...

Browns RG Shawn Lauvao undergoing ankle surgery, will miss time early in season, Rob Chudzinski says

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 9, 2013

Browns right guard Shawn Lauvao is undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle today and will miss time early in the regular season, coach Rob Chudzinski said during a conference call this afternoon.

Chudzinski declined to reveal the specifics of Lauvao’s injury or a timetable for Lauvao’s return. He said Lauvao did not suffer a broken bone.

"He’s going to get a scope on that," Chudzinski said. "He’ll miss some time early in the regular season. I don’t have any definitive dates and times on that. We’ll just have to see how that goes from the results of the scope, and how he’ll progress over the next few weeks."

Jason Pinkston filled in for Lauvao at right guard Thursday night during the Browns’ 27-19 win over the St. Louis Rams in the preseason opener for both teams. Pinkston played the entire first half, even though the other starters left early in the second quarter.

To read more or comment...

Game day blog: Browns vs. Rams (preseason opener)

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 8, 2013

The Browns defeated the St. Louis Rams in the preseason opener for both teams tonight at First Energy Stadium 27-19. Below is our game day blog.

Game action

End 4Q: Browns 27, Rams 19

With just over four minutes remaining in the game, defensive lineman Hall Davis tipped a Kellen Clemens pass that undrafted rookie outside linebacker Justin Staples picked off. Staples is a St. Ed’s grad, and it was a St. Ignatius grad who capitalized. Hoyer, still in at quarterback, found a wide-open Cordell Roberson for a 26-yard touchdown with three minutes to go. The rams added a quick score and failed a two-point conversion. The game came down to a Hail Mary by Clemens that was picked off in the end zone by Justin Cole.  Hoyer finished the game 10-14 for 100 yards and a touchdown for a QB rating of 115.2. Punter T.J. Conley also had a great 37-yard punt that was downed on the 1-yard line by receiver Mike Edwards. 

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp: Transcript from news conference with coach Rob Chudzinski

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 7, 2013

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski met with reporters today after the team's 12th full-squad practice of training camp. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

Opening statement: “Start out with a medical update, Shawn Lauvao will not play. He will be out for the game. Trent Richardson and T.J. Ward will also hold for the game. Those guys would be available to play normally, but since it’s the preseason, we are going to be smart with them. Obviously, it’s a good opportunity for us to get here and get a chance to play against somebody else, in which we have been waiting for and a chance to really assess, from a personnel standpoint and from a schemes standpoint of where we are.”

On how the severity of Lauvao’s injury: “I don’t have any more details on that.”

On the third guard Thursday night: “We will work Garrett Gilkey and Caylin Hauptmann, as well.”

On what to expect from Brandon Weeden: “I think, overall as a team, I’m looking to see guys competing out there to win, seeing what they carry over from the practice field, and their execution and their efficiency to the game, ultimately the kind of effort and establishing the identity that we want to establish.”

To read more or comment...

Browns to honor legendary running back Jim Brown during Oct. 3 home game against Bills

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 7, 2013

The Browns will honor legendary running back Jim Brown Oct. 3 when they face the Buffalo Bills in a Thursday night game at FirstEnergy Stadium, the team announced today.

Below is the news release from the team.

The Cleveland Browns on Oct. 3 will honor one of the most extraordinary athletes in sports history, the organization announced Wednesday.

That evening, when the team hosts the Buffalo Bills in a showcase Thursday night contest on national television, the legendary Jim Brown will return to Cleveland to be properly recognized by his only NFL team in a fitting tribute. The event figures to be among the most singular memories in the team’s rich timeline.

"We are absolutely thrilled to formally honor Jim Brown, the greatest running back in the history of the NFL,” said Owner Jimmy Haslam. “Jim is synonymous with the Cleveland Browns. He has an undeniable place in our history and we look forward to celebrating him appropriately on Oct. 3."

To read more or comment...

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski rules out RB Trent Richardson, SS T.J. Ward, others for preseason opener

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 7, 2013

Running back Trent Richardson and strong safety T.J. Ward are among the players Browns coach Rob Chudzinski has ruled out for the preseason opener Thursday night against the visiting St. Louis Rams.

“Those guys would be available to play normally,” Chudzinski said of Richardson and Ward today during his post-practice news conference. “But since it’s the preseason we’re going to be smart with them and hold them for the game.”

Richardson, the third overall pick in last year’s draft, missed two practices last week after being kicked in the right shin, the same one in which he suffered a strained muscle in the spring. He returned to practice Monday and took three carries in team drills, but he hasn’t worked in any 11-on-11 sessions since.

Richardson missed most of training camp and all four preseason games last year after undergoing surgery on his left knee Aug. 9 to have a piece of loose cartilage removed. He made it back for the 2012 regular-season opener.

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp: Transcript from news conference with coach Rob Chudzinski

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 6, 2013

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski met with reporters today after the 11th full-squad practice of training camp. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

Opening statement: “An injury report: Shawn Lauvao had suffered an ankle injury yesterday. He is still getting evaluated medically and I will get you updates as I get them tomorrow. Today, we had a chance to shift our focus toward St. Louis, giving our guys some looks, studying the tapes and giving them a chance to work against some of the different things St. Louis may be doing that are different than they are seeing on a day-to-day basis from our offense and from our defense. It will be good to get a chance to get out on the field to see our guys against different competition, against different people. We are looking forward to that opportunity. We have a plan for the game in terms of playing. We are going to play our starters for the most part, for about a quarter. That may vary from individual to individual. We will get our second group in there for the second quarter and third quarter. Some will be done at halftime and some will go forward in the third quarter. Fourth quarter we will get some of our third group in there. I will give you more details tomorrow on specific individuals as we get more medical information. That is our general plan and again, I will get in the specifics of people and different playing about playing them tomorrow when I get more information on that.”

On any problem with Jason Pinkston walking off the field (excused to attend a funeral): “No, there’s no problem. No problem at all.”

On what he likes about Garrett Gilkey: “What I like and what we saw was a big guy who can really move his feet well. Where he is coming from, it’s a big adjustment. He played tackle, so moving to guard is usually an adjustment for guys. The level of competition of what he is seeing and the offense is a lot more than what he did in college. There are three things that usually young guys coming from smaller schools have adjustments to do. I have been pleased with what he is doing; he is a guy who has improved. He just needs to keep working.”

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp snapshot: Richardson, Ward sit out team drills; starters to play 1Q Thursday

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 6, 2013

The Browns held their 11th full-squad practice of training camp today. Below is a glance at what unfolded.

Storylines: Running back Trent Richardson (right shin) and strong safety T.J. Ward (hamstring) practiced but did not participate in team drills, a sign they’ll likely get Thursday night off when the Browns host the St. Louis Rams in the preseason opener for both teams. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski, though, has yet to officially rule anyone out. “I’ll give you details tomorrow on specific individuals as we get more medical information,” Chudzinski said today during his post-practice news conference. Richardson returned to action Monday and took three carries during limited action in team drills. He missed the previous two practices after being kicked in the right shin, the same one in which he suffered a strained muscle in the spring. Richardson has vowed to play in all four preseason games, but he also made it clear he would defer to Chudzinski. “We’ll talk to all the players that are in that situation,” Chudzinski said when asked specifically about Richardson. “Whether they play or don’t play, we’ll first assess it and do the smart thing. And then we’ll communicate that with them.” Third-string running back Dion Lewis practiced with the first-team offense today while Richardson watched team sessions. Second-string running back Montario Hardesty continued to sit out with an injured hamstring tendon. As for Ward, he returned to action Monday after missing the previous three practices with a sore hamstring. He still hasn’t participated in team drills. Johnson Bademosi took his spot as the first-team strong safety alongside free safety Tashaun Gipson. On Saturday, Ward said he “definitely” expected to face the Rams, but that expectation won’t be fulfilled if Chudzinski wants Ward to rest. Most of the starters who suit up Thursday will receive about a quarter of playing time. “We’re going to play our starters, for the most part, for about a quarter,” Chudzinski said. “That may vary from individual to individual. We’ll get our second group in there for the second quarter and third quarter. Some of them will be done at halftime. Some will go forward in the third quarter, and then in the fourth quarter, we’ll get some of our third group in there.”

Position battles: Jason Pinkston filled in for Shawn Lauvao at right guard with the first-team offense. Lauvao suffered an injured left ankle Monday and was carted off the field. “It’s still getting evaluated medically,” Chudzinski said today. “I’ll give you updates as I get them tomorrow.” Pinkston left practice today about an hour-and-a-half after it started. Chudzinski excused Pinkston so he could attend a funeral, Browns director of communications Zak Gilbert said. … The following players caught punts in this order: wide receiver Travis Benjamin, Jordan Norwood, Davone Bess and Josh Cooper.

Highlights: Wide receiver Josh Gordon burned rookie cornerback Leon McFadden on a fly route and caught a long pass from quarterback Brandon Weeden in team drills. … Buster Skrine broke up a pass from quarterback Jason Campbell, and fellow cornerback Trevin Wade intercepted it. During the next play, Skrine gave up a long completion against undrafted rookie wide receiver Mike Edwards despite tight coverage. … Quarterback Brian Hoyer placed a deep pass in the hands of wide receiver Dominique Croom, but he dropped the ball. … Bess dived to catch a pass from Weeden. … Wade won a jump ball against wide receiver Tori Gurley, breaking up a pass in the front corner of the end zone. … Undrafted rookie outside linebacker Justin Staples intercepted a pass.

To read more or comment...

Browns agree with long snapper Christian Yount on five-year deal

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 6, 2013

The Browns agreed to a five-year contract with long snapper Christian Yount on Tuesday afternoon.

Here is the news release from the team:

 The Cleveland Browns on Tuesday agreed to terms on a five-year contract with long snapper Christian Yount, the team announced.

The move symbolizes the Browns’ belief in developing and retaining their own players whenever possible.

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp: Transcript from news conference with coach Rob Chudzinski

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 5, 2013

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski met with reporters today following the 10th full-squad practice of training camp. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

Opening statement: “We’ll get started with the medical report here. Shawn Lauvao was injured. It looked like potentially his ankle. We will have to check him out and let you know tomorrow. Overall in practice we worked against each other. Today was the last day that we will really do that. We had a major install and as part of that we worked goal line today. Tomorrow we will focus more on St. Louis and getting ready for the first preseason game to prepare our guys. This will be a really good opportunity to shift the focus from the installation phase of training camp into getting more focused on specifics about games. We are getting guys ready to play and seeing how they react in game-like situations. Obviously we are looking forward to get going with that.”

On if he saw what happened on the play with Lauvao: “I did not.”

On if Lauvao is out for a length of time being a big blow to the offense: “I will just have to see what the injury was. Obviously (Jason) Pinkston has been working at the guard position as well. We have some young guys that need to get some work during the course of these preseason games. We will just have to wait and see what happens.”

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp snapshot: Shawn Lauvao carted off with injured ankle, Trent Richardson returns

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 5, 2013

The Browns held their 10th full-squad practice of training camp today. Below is a glance at what happened.

Storylines: Right guard Shawn Lauvao was carted off the field today in the final half-hour of practice with an injured left ankle. Lauvao suffered the injury while nose tackle Phil Taylor bull-rushed him during a one-on-one pass rush drill. As Lauvao moved backward, he lifted his left leg and collapsed to the ground. He remained there on his knees with his helmet in the grass until two trainers helped him onto a cart. He did not put weight on his left leg while being to the cart. In his post-practice news conference, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said he did not know the severity of the injury. Lauvao has taken the majority of the first-team reps at right guard while John Greco has done the same at left guard throughout training camp. Jason Pinkston will fill Lauvao’s spot with the first unit. The majority of Pinkston’s reps during camp have been with the second-team offense, at both left and right guard, but he has spent some time with the first unit, too. Pinkston started the first 22 games of his career at left guard until a blood clot in his lung was discovered in October, ending his season after the Browns’ sixth game. Pinkston returned to action during organized team activities in May and believes he’ll be ready for full-time duty by the team’s Sept. 8 regular-season opener against the Miami Dolphins. “Absolutely,” Pinkston said. “We still have a couple weeks before we actually play, so I still have some things that I can work on, and I think there’s enough time for me to get those done and accomplished before we do open up with Miami.” Pinkston said he talked to Lauvao after he suffered the injury. “He thought he was all right,” Pinkston said. “He said, ‘I’m fine. I just twisted my ankle a little bit.’ Hopefully it’s not [serious], but you never know. They’ve got to look at it still and do whatever they do. They’re the doctors.” … Running back Trent Richardson returned to practice today and was limited in team drills after sitting out the previous two sessions with a sore right shin. Richardson said he was kicked in the shin, the same one in which he suffered a strained muscle during OTAs in May. Chudzinski said he has not decided whether Richardson will play in the Browns’ preseason opener Thursday against the visiting St. Louis Rams. Richardson had a carry in an 11-on-11, goal-line drill and two more carries in a regular team drill. He looked sharp while running and cutting. “We just wanted to work him back in,” Chudzinski said. “Again, we’re going to be smart with him. We have a plan for him from a general sense, and we want him to be able to work, to get better and be able to come out here on a daily basis through training camp.

Position battles: Strong safety T.J. Ward returned to action after missing the previous three practices with a sore hamstring. He participated in individual drills but not team drills. With Ward limited, Johnson Bademosi worked at strong safety with the first unit alongside free safety Tashaun Gipson. … Kicker Shayne Graham started practice by making 6-of-6 field-goal attempts. He later capped a two-minute drill for the first-team offense by making a 53-yard field goal. Kicker Brandon Bogotay then made a 52-yard field goal to finish a two-minute drill for the second-team offense. … Rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo worked with the first unit in goal-line team drills. … Cornerback Chris Owens lined up opposite Joe Haden in the first-team defense’s base package. … Running backs Dion Lewis and Brandon Jackson and wide receivers Travis Benjamin and Jordan Norwood took turns catching kickoffs.

Highlights: In goal-line drills, quarterback Brandon Weeden connected with fullback Owen Marecic on an out route for a touchdown, and quarterback Jason Campbell hit undrafted rookie tight end Travis Tannahill with a touchdown pass in the back of the end zone. During the same session, undrafted rookie strong safety Josh Aubrey tackled undrafted rookie running back Miguel Maysonet for a loss. … In two-minute drills, Weeden threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Davone Bess with Owens in coverage, and quarterback Brian Hoyer connected with wide receiver Josh Cooper for a 6-yard touchdown. The touchdown from Weeden to Bess came two plays after wide receiver Josh Gordon dropped a would-be touchdown pass from Weeden. … In an 11-on-11 drill, Bademosi deflected a pass from Weeden that was intended for tight end Jordan Cameron, and cornerback Joe Haden intercepted it. … Weeden threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Greg Little, who was wide open during the play. … Cooper dived to catch a pass from Campbell. Norwood then made a sliding grab on a pass from Campbell. … Weeden completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Cameron, who finished the play by diving into the front corner of the end zone. … After Hoyer completed a pass to Benjamin, cornerback Buster Skrine ripped the ball away. … Weeden completed a 5-yard touchdown to Lewis with linebacker Tank Carder in coverage. … Hoyer connected with Norwood and tight end Kellen Davis for short touchdowns on out routes.

To read more or comment...

Report: If Jimmy Haslam steps down as owner of Browns, his father would take control

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 5, 2013

If Jimmy Haslam eventually relinquishes control as owner of the Browns in the midst of the federal investigation into Pilot Flying J, his father, Jim Haslam II, would take over the team, Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal reported today, citing unnamed sources.

The FBI and Internal Revenue Service raided the headquarters of Pilot Flying J April 15 in Knoxville, Tenn., and an affidavit made public days later alleges that Jimmy Haslam, the company’s CEO, had knowledge of fuel rebate fraud that cheated trucking-company customers out of millions of dollars. Jimmy Haslam has repeatedly denied knowledge of the scheme. So far, seven former Pilot Flying J employees have pleaded guilty to federal charges.

In addition to the ongoing criminal investigation, about 20 trucking companies have filed civil lawsuits against Pilot Flying J. Eight of those companies have reached a preliminary class settlement agreement, and Jimmy Haslam has sent checks to several other businesses in an effort to make restitution.

The NFL and Jimmy Haslam developed a contingency plan in the aftermath of the raid, but there are no indications at the moment he is stepping down, according to SportsBusiness Journal. He struck a deal last August to buy the Browns from Randy Lerner for about $1 billion, and NFL owners unanimously approved his purchase Oct. 16.

To read more or comment...

Browns release their first depth chart of 2013

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 4, 2013

The Browns released their first depth chart of the year today. Here it is:

OFFENSE

WR: Josh Gordon, Travis Benjamin, David Nelson, Cordell Roberson, Naaman Roosevelt, Tori Gurley

LT: Joe Thomas, Rashad Butler, Martin Wallace, Chris Faulk

LG: John Greco/Jason Pinkston, Garrett Gilkey

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp: Transcript from news conference with coach Rob Chudzinski

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 4, 2013

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski met with reporters after the team's Family Night practice at FirstEnergy Stadium. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

Opening statement: “How about that first-round draft pick Ryan Encinas scoring the winning touchdown tonight? It was great to be back in the stadium for me, personally. It’s been a little while and the energy was great out there. The fans were awesome. We had a great turnout. We are going to need them down the road. I have been pleased with the last four days of work. We’ve really made some improvements. We have to continue working on being consistent. There is time here and heading into this next week, getting a chance going into the preseason game and give the guys a chance to do it in a game situation. We try to simulate as many of those things these past four days, including tonight. Introducing a couple situations and exposing them to what we want to do in those situations during the games when they come up.”

On whether the installing is finished: “It’s never really finished 100 percent. We will do a little bit on Monday from an install standpoint but the bulk of the install is in. There are ways to do things, even on a game week, that you may put in and adjust, but the bulk of the install is in.”

On Brandon Weeden and Davone Bess: “Going back with Davone, what a great pickup for us and I couldn’t be more pleased with what he’s done both on the field and off the field, the example he sets and the leadership he’s shown. He’s able to get open on what seems like every play. I can’t be more pleased with him.”

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp snapshot: 5-year-old cancer survivor steals show, Richardson to practice Monday

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 3, 2013

The Browns held their ninth full-squad practice of training camp tonight during their annual Family Night at FirstEnergy Stadium. Below is a glance at what happened.

Storylines: Ryan Encinas, 5, of Cuyahoga Falls stole the show by capping Family Night with an inspirational, 40-yard touchdown run. Encinas was selected to participate in the event by The Littlest Heroes, a nonprofit organization that impacts the lives of children with cancer and their families. A tumor was discovered on Encinas’ left lung at age 2, but he celebrated two years of remission Aug. 2. “This is one of the highest highs we’ve had during this entire ordeal,” Ryan’s dad, Robert Encinas, said. “To see him out there running with the Cleveland Browns is one of the greatest experiences of our lives.” As for the practice Encinas overshadowed, there were only a handful of highlights for the offense and many more for the defense. Incomplete passes, drops and other gaffes caused Chudzinski to concede that the offense is not “clicking yet.” In other words, the Browns have plenty of work to do in the preseason, and the exhibition opener is scheduled for Thursday night against the visiting St. Louis Rams. Click here for an overview of Family Night. … Chudzinski said running back Trent Richardson will return to practice Monday as expected, but he said he hasn’t decided whether the third overall pick in last year's draft will play against the Rams. "We’re going to work him back into practice on Monday and we’ll go from there," Chudzinski said. Richardson sat out the past two practices after being kicked in the right shin. Richardson missed part of organized team activities in May and the team’s entire three-day mandatory minicamp in June with a strained muscle in the same shin.

Position battles: Chudzinski wanted to see kickers Brandon Bogotay and Shayne Graham duel in the stadium for the first time, and practice started with a showdown between the two. Bogotay, a rookie, made all six field-goal attempts during the drill, connecting from 28, 33, 41, 46, 49 and 53 yards. Graham, a 12-year veteran, made 5-of-6 attempts from the same distances. He missed a 53-yard try short and wide left. Bogotay later blasted several kickoffs to the back of the end zone. “We’ve been trying to put them in situations like that in practice and then being able to do that in the stadium, the dueling kickers theme, I guess that we’ve had every other day in some form or fashion,” Chudzinski said. “We’re trying to put them in those situations, to create that type of pressure on them and obviously coming down here to the stadium in front of the fans was a good opportunity for them as well.” … Fullback Owen Marecic received reps with the first-team offense for the first time since camp started. … Chris Owens lined up at cornerback with the first-team defense opposite Joe Haden. … Johnson Bademosi and Josh Aubrey took the majority of reps at free safety and strong safety, respectively, with the first unit. Bademosi filled in for free safety Tashaun Gipson, who was limited in team drills with a sprained shoulder. Aubrey replaced strong safety T.J. Ward, who sat out with a sore hamstring. … John Greco and Shawn Lauvao worked at left and right guard, respectively, with the first-team offense. Jason Pinkston worked at right guard with the second unit. … Running backs Chris Ogbonnaya and Dion Lewis practiced with the first-team offense while Trent Richardson sat out with an injured right shin. … Bademosi and cornerback Buster Skrine fielded kickoffs.

Highlights: Running back Brandon Jackson broke loose for a long run off the left side during team drills. Jason Pinkston delivered a key kick-out block to spring Jackson. … In pass rush drills, Jackson knocked linebacker James-Michael Johnson back and against a trashcan, which represented a lineman. … Nose tackle Phil Taylor knocked down Lewis in a team drill and immediately celebrated his hit. … Skrine broke up a pass that quarterback Jason Campbell intended for wide receiver Jordan Norwood on an out route. … Wide receiver Tori Gurley jumped and held onto a pass from Campbell as Skrine took out his legs. … Inside linebacker Craig Robertson broke free on a blitz up the middle. … Quarterback Brian Hoyer connected with tight end Kellen Davis for a touchdown in the back corner of the end zone. … Rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo couldn't get past Davis in pass rush drill, but he used an inside move to zoom by tight end Travis Tannahill. In a team drill, Mingo flew by Aaron Adams off the edge. … Browns owner Jimmy Haslam chatted with General Manager Mike Lombardi on the field before practice. He spent the first 45 minutes on the sideline, talking to Richardson and CEO Joe Banner before leaving the field. … The announced attendance for Family Night was 24,131. That surpasses the total for each of the two previous years.

To read more or comment...

Browns re-sign guard Dominic Alford, waive linebacker Adrian Moten

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 3, 2013

The Browns re-signed guard Dominic Alford and waived linebacker Adrian Moten, the team announced today.

Alford, a Shaker Heights High School graduate, was with Browns this offseason after signing with them Feb. 6. He was waived July 24.

The 6-foot-3, 320-pound Alford signed with the Browns as an undrafted free agent from the University of Minnesota in 2011 and spent the entire season on the team’s practice squad. Alford spent the final four weeks of last season on the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad.

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp: Safety T.J. Ward says he 'should be back soon' from sore hamstring

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 3, 2013

Browns strong safety T.J. Ward sat out practice the past two days with a sore hamstring, but he said he “definitely” expects to play in the preseason opener Thursday against the visiting St. Louis Rams.

The Browns held a walk-through session this morning to prepare for their Family Night practice that will run from 6:30-9 tonight at FirstEnergy Stadium. Ward, rookie safety Jamoris Slaughter (hamstring) and cornerback Trevin Wade (unknown) did stretching exercises on the field following the walk through while running back Montario Hardesty (hamstring) and wide receiver David Nelson (knee) jogged.

Ward was limited in practice Wednesday and sidelined Thursday and Friday. Undrafted rookie Josh Aubrey took his place with the first-team defense.

“I’m good, getting better,” Ward said. “It’s just a precautionary issue right now, but I should be back soon.”

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp: Transcript from news conference with coach Rob Chudzinski

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 2, 2013

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski met with reporters today after the eighth full-squad practice of training camp. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

Opening statement: “Let's start with injuries, we held Trent (Richardson out of practice) today. It looks like yesterday he got kicked so we decided to hold him out. He should be okay. We feel good about it. We are not worried about it. It is part of the plan we have for him. We will continue to keep him healthy and rested and get him ready for the season. A few other guys were able to get back to practice, as well.”

On where Richardson was kicked: “He was kicked in the shin it looked like.”

On if it was to the same leg that he sustained an injury to this past summer: “Yes.”

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp snapshot: RB Trent Richardson sidelined, former President Mike Holmgren visits

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 2, 2013

The Browns held their eighth full-squad practice of training camp today. Below is a glance at what happened.

Storylines: Running back Trent Richardson did not practice today because he was kicked in his right shin Thursday. He missed spring practices with a strained muscle in the same shin. Richardson, though, downplayed the severity of the injury, echoing what coach Rob Chudzinski said by insisting he would have played if the Browns had a game. Richardson said he expects to return to action Monday. Click here for more about Richardson’s latest injury. … Plenty of NFL folks are in Northeast Ohio for this weekend’s Pro Football Hall of Fame festivities in Canton, and many of them attended practice today in Berea. The most surprising visitor, though, was former Browns President Mike Holmgren. “I just came in for the Hall of Fame,” Holmgren said. “Hope to see [Bill] Parcells and [Warren] Sapp and Cris Carter and all of those guys that I coached against all those years. I was driving by the facility, and I thought practice would be over and I was going to sneak in, just going to sneak in and sneak out. I understand they have new offices. My old office, the little cubbyhole I had up there is now fancy. So I came out to say hello to [owner] Jim [Haslam] and [CEO] Joe [Banner] and [General Manager Mike] Lombardi.” Holmgren left the organization during this past season after Haslam essentially replaced him with Banner. Richardson talked to Holmgren. "He gave me a shot," Richardson said. "He picked me with the third pick. They jumped up from one spot. So it’s a lot between me and him. When I see him anytime, it’s nothing but much love 'cause he changed my life, he changed my family’s life and that opportunity, man, I’ve got to give him a lot of praise for that." ... Other notable guests at practice included former Browns defensive tackle Michael Dean Perry, former Browns offensive tackle Roman Oben, NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and CBS play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz. Referee Ed Hochuli worked practice with an officiating crew. Perry addressed the Browns’ defensive line. “I told them I didn't realize just how quickly it ends, and if I had to do it all over again, I would've taken better care of my body,” Perry said. “Hopefully those guys will listen because really, I could've played another two years. The offseason could've started earlier. I took an elongated offseason. It takes a lot more to get back in shape and that's wear and tear on your body. That's all [I told them], just a nice little tidbit.” … While the Browns conducted punting drills, wide receiver Greg Little worked with the defensive linemen to polish his hand-fighting skills on two separate occasions. Little believes those drills can help him fight off cornerbacks when they apply press coverage. “It was kind of thing I gravitated towards, kind of like during the offseason during OTAs,” Little said. “I just know that it started to help me in training camp when we started to see press coverage and I kept it up. It’s helping my game a lot dealing with press coverage.” … For the second day in a row, nose tackle Phil Taylor had a confrontation with center Alex Mack during pass rush drills. At the end of one drill, Taylor used both hands to grab Mack by the shoulder pads just below his neck. After the skirmish, defensive line coach Joe Cullen repeatedly yelled, “enough,” at Taylor. On Thursday, Taylor shoved Mack after a drill. When asked about getting chippie with Mack, Taylor said, “It’s just practice, just practice.”

Position battles: For the first time since camp started, quarterback Brian Hoyer took reps with the second-team offense before Jason Campbell took his turn with the second unit. Brandon Weeden continued to take all of the first-team snaps. … Undrafted rookie Josh Aubrey received first-team reps at strong safety with T.J. Ward (hamstring) sidelined. … Jason Pinkston and John Greco worked at right and left guard, respectively, with the first-team offense. Shawn Lauvao, who had been the first-team right guard since the start of camp, worked as a center with the second unit. … Tashaun Gipson (sprained shoulder) participated in team drills on a limited basis, and Johnson Bademosi replaced him for the majority of practice. … Davone Bess caught punts, followed by fellow wide receivers Jordan Norwood, Travis Benjamin, Josh Cooper and Mike Edwards.

Highlights: Kicker Brandon Bogotay received plenty of work with veteran Shayne Graham taking a day off to rest. Bogotay made 3-of-4 field goals to cap two-minute drills. He made attempts of 46, 47 and 51 yards and missed a 41-yard try wide left. … Outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo tipped a pass from Hoyer, and inside linebacker Craig Robertson batted a pass down from Weeden. … In a red-zone team drill, Bademosi dropped a would-be interception from Weeden, and cornerback Chris Owens broke up a pass from Hoyer. … Bess made an impressive catch from Weeden on an out route along the sideline. … Campbell connected with Benjamin for a touchdown on a deep post route. … Weeden connected with Little for a touchdown on an out route. ... Norwood jumped in the back of the end zone to grab a touchdown pass from Hoyer. … Running back Dion Lewis caught a low touchdown pass over the middle from Weeden. … Little made a great fake on a route to turn the defender around, break open and haul in a touchdown pass from Weeden. … In a red-zone, seven-on-seven drill, Weeden and Little connected in the back of the end zone for another touchdown. … Rookie cornerback Leon McFadden slid in the front of the end zone to intercept a pass from Campbell that was intended for Norwood.

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp: RB Trent Richardson sits out practice, but says he'll return to action Monday

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 2, 2013

Browns running back Trent Richardson sat out practice today after being kicked in his right shin Thursday during training camp, but he downplayed the severity of the injury.

Richardson missed part of organized team activities in May and the team’s three-day mandatory minicamp in June with a strained muscle in the same shin.

Richardson said he would miss the team’s Family Night practice Saturday at FirstEnergy Stadium, though he insisted he expects to return to action on Monday. Both Richardson and Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said Richardson would have played had the Browns had a game.

“Yeah, I got kicked, but football is football,” said Richardson, the third overall pick in last year’s draft. “Ain’t no kick going to stop me from running. I might get kicked two years from now, and I might have that same thing. It ain’t nothing to be worried about. Coach said it was already in the game plan for me to be scheduled to rest these next two days I think he said. But I’ll be back out here Monday, whenever he said I would be back.”

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp snapshot: Josh Gordon back in action, fellow WR David Nelson has knee trouble

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 1, 2013

The Browns held their seventh full-squad practice of training camp today. Below is a glance at what unfolded.

Storylines: Wide receiver Josh Gordon returned to practice today after missing one and a half practices while dealing with patellar tendinitis in his knee. Gordon participated in team drills on a limited basis. “He got back out there for individual [drills],” Chudzinski said. “I saw him in one-on-ones and a little bit of limited team. He’s feeling better, and hopefully he continues to go that direction.” Gordon, the Browns’ No. 1 receiver who’s suspended for the first two regular-season games of the year after violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, was pulled from team drills Monday because his knee was bothering him. The Browns did not practice Tuesday, but he sat out when they resumed action Wednesday. Chudzinski said Gordon’s condition did not warrant an MRI. … Wide receiver David Nelson felt discomfort in his surgically repaired right knee during individual drills and removed himself from the action. Nelson unwrapped the knee and rubbed it. He remained on the field but did not participate in the rest of practice. As a member of the Buffalo Bills, Nelson tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the Sept. 9 season opener against the New York Jets. “David Nelson was just running routes earlier in practice and just felt his knee a little bit,” Chudzinski said. “I don’t think that’ll be anything major, but we’ll get that checked and report back tomorrow with you.” Nelson was seen wearing a wrap on his right knee after practice.

Position battles: Undrafted rookie Josh Aubrey filled in for strong safety T.J. Ward with the first-team defense. Ward was sidelined, but he jogged to the locker room after practice. “T.J., his hamstring from yesterday was just a little bit tight, so [it was] more a preventive thing holding him today,” Chudzinski said. Aubrey, meanwhile, impressed. “He’s really developed since the spring,” Chudzinski said. “I’ve really noticed a big improvement and a guy that’s taking advantage. He’s getting his opportunities. He’s getting chances for reps, and he’s making good with them. That’s what you like seeing out of guys this time of year.” … Jason Pinkston worked at left guard with the first-team offense for the first time since camp opened. John Greco, who held that spot the previous six practices, practiced as a center with the second unit. Shawn Lauvao continued to line up at right guard with the first-team offense. … Free safety Tashaun Gipson (sprained shoulder) returned to practice and participated in individual drills, but he sat out team sessions. Johnson Bademosi filled Gipson’s spot with the first-team defense. … Bademosi fielded kickoffs, followed by cornerback Buster Skrine, wide receiver Travis Benjamin and running back Dion Lewis. Bademosi muffed a kick.

Highlights: Quarterback Brandon Weeden’s projected backups each threw an interception during team drills. Safety Kenronte Walker intercepted a pass from Jason Campbell, and cornerback Abdul Kennah picked off a pass from Brian Hoyer. … Outside linebacker Paul Kruger batted down a pass from Weeden near the line of scrimmage. … Hoyer and wide receiver Jordan Norwood connected for a deep completion during an 11-on-11 session. Safety Kent Richardson then tackled Norwood to the ground. … In one-on-one blocking drills, rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo, the sixth overall pick in this year’s draft, used his speed to rush around undrafted rookie offensive tackle Martin Wallace for a simulated sack.

To read more or comment...

With video: Commissioner Roger Goodell says NFL 'proud to have' Browns' Jimmy Haslam as owner

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 1, 2013

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear today that, for now, the league will continue to stand by Browns owner Jimmy Haslam amid a federal investigation into a fraud scheme orchestrated by Pilot Flying J, the Knoxville, Tenn.-based truck-stop empire run by Haslam and owned by his family.

“Jimmy Haslam is a man of great integrity,” said Goodell, who made an appearance at the Browns’ headquarters to promote safety at a “Heads Up Football” youth skills clinic. “We're proud to have him as an owner in the NFL and think he's going to be a great owner for the Cleveland Browns and their fans here.

“He's as disappointed as anybody in what happened at Pilot J and he's working hard to fix it and correct those issues, both from a structural standpoint and to make amends. He's kept me very much involved. I think ... as he tells me I was one of his first calls to inform me what was happening after he learned about it, and he's been great at keeping us informed.”

The FBI and Internal Revenue Service raided the headquarters of Pilot Flying J April 15, and an affidavit made public days later alleged that Haslam had knowledge of fuel rebate fraud that cheated trucking-company customers out of millions of dollars. So far, seven former Pilot Flying J employees have pleaded guilty to federal charges.

To read more or comment...

Browns training camp: Transcript from news conference with coach Rob Chudzinski

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 1, 2013

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski met with reporters today after the seventh full-squad practice of training camp. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

Opening statement: “A medical report, David Nelson was just running routes earlier in practice and felt his knee a little bit. I don’t think it was anything major. We will get that checked and report back tomorrow. Again, just to emphasize these four days, yesterday as well as the next few days, are really important for us. We are developing a mindset, a physical mindset. We have been in pads the last couple of days. We will be in pads on Saturday as well. We are really working to improve and develop that attitude. It’s a critical time for us. I was pleased with today’s work. We were much more efficient today. I thought the execution was better. We are eliminating and working hard to eliminate some of the pre-snap penalties that we have been having in camp up to this point.”

On this four-day stretch: “You get the first set of or wave of five practices and then we had a little bit of a break. These four practices are kind of where that lull hits. Everybody is usually excited in the first five practices. You really see guys start to separate themselves. Getting in pads develops that mindset. You can see how guys are really going to react when we press them and push them and put them in situations where they are going to be tired. You really get answers on guys during this time before we get into games.”

On whether he thinks his team is behind or ahead right now: “I like where we are. It’s always hard to tell when you are practicing against each other, until we get into the preseason games to give us a little better gage. I see progress in all areas. I like where the guys’ minds are right now. We are a hungry team. We improved from yesterday. What I talked about with those guys is it’s a matter of consistency. We need to do that every single day and come out with that approach to get better and we will.”

To read more or comment...