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Browns announce roster moves

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 31, 2012

The Browns had to cut their 75-man roster to 53 players by 9 tonight. The team announced the following moves:

Waived (18)

Dominic Alford                                  OL

Ronnie Cameron                              DL

Josh Cooper                                    WR

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Browns trade SS David Sims to Eagles

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 31, 2012

The Browns have traded strong safety David Sims to the Philadelphia Eagles for a conditional 2013 draft pick, the Eagles announced tonight.

Sims' agent, Malik Shareef, first announced the trade tonight via Twitter. In an e-mail to the Beacon Journal, Shareef said he was under the impression Sims was cut until the Browns contacted him at about 9 tonight to pass along word of the trade.

The Browns have yet to announce the move.

Sims spent the final five weeks of the 2011 season on the Browns' practice squad. He had a stellar preseason this summer, compiling two interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown.

"One door closes, another open!" Sims tweeted. "Headed to the Eagles!"

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Browns cut QB Seneca Wallace, TE Evan Moore, others

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 31, 2012

The Browns have cut quarterback Seneca Wallace and tight end Evan Moore, a league source confirmed today for the Beacon Journal.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the Browns have yet to announce the moves.

Wallace and Colt McCoy were competing to become the primary backup to starting quarterback Brandon Weeden. With Wallace gone, McCoy appears to have won the No. 2 job, at least for now.

Free-agent quarterback A.J. Feeley might be an option for the Browns, a Philadelphia sports talk host, Howard Eskin, reported today.

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Game day blog: Browns vs. Bears (preseason game No. 4)

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 30, 2012

The Browns fell 28-20 to the visiting Chicago Bears in the preseason finale Thursday night.

Here's the game story:

CLEVELAND: With starting quarterback Brandon Weeden resting on the sideline Thursday night during the preseason finale, backups Colt McCoy and Seneca Wallace entered the spotlight in the Browns’ 28-20 loss to the Chicago Bears.

One of them probably made his final appearance in a Browns uniform.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 28, 2012

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

(Opening Statement)- “Good afternoon. As I’ve talked about all week, I tried to take the players through a typical week in terms of the schedule. Today of course was a Friday schedule, where the new part to the game plan is the red zone and of course you come out here and review the base, the short yardage, the goal-line, the third down and whatnot. They went through that. It’s always important for the guys that have done it before, but I think it’s extremely important for our team this year because we’re going to have so many rookies that are going to be competing. Before you get to the real first game week, them getting a feel for the process I think is important. That’s how we tried to handle it. Now they’ll go in there and they’ll all kind of get together in their little groups and have a last little meeting, then we’ll get ready for tomorrow, which I guess is a Wednesday, but in our world it will be a Saturday.”

(On his plan for the player’s playing time Thursday)- “I have most of those decisions done. For the most part, the guys that are ones will play very little if at all. I’ll keep the names private at this point. We’re going to meet as a staff here now that we’ve had a chance to watch some of the new guys that came out today, that didn’t practice during the week, we have to kind of fit them in and see who may or may not play from there. For the most part, the guys that have not been lining up as the ones will play quite a bit.”

(On if the rookie ones will get a little playing time)- “There are a lot of things that we think about when we go and decide who is playing. I think about injury for the first game. I think about guys that need to show us more and guys going out there that want to compete and try to make this team. There’s a lot that goes into it. I wouldn’t read too much into who is in the game and who is not. You can try to predict who’s going to make it, but unfortunately at some positions, you’re just going to have to wait.”

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Browns coach Pat Shurmur: QB Brandon Weeden won't play Thursday vs. Bears, Colt McCoy to start

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 28, 2012

Starting quarterback Brandon Weeden won’t play in the Browns’ preseason finale Thursday night against the Chicago Bears, coach Pat Shurmur said this afternoon during his post-practice news conference. Colt McCoy will start, and fellow quarterbacks Seneca Wallace and Thaddeus Lewis also will play, Shurmur said.

The competition between McCoy and Wallace for the No. 2 quarterback job is still up in the air, Shurmur said.

“I think as they’re out there playing, we’re gathering information about whether they’re gonna be a member of the 53[-man roster],” he said.

The preseason finale could have served as one final tune-up for Weeden. Shurmur, however, is confident Weeden is ready for the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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Browns waive injured DE Marcus Benard, place LBs Chris Gocong, Emmanuel Acho on IR

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 27, 2012

The Browns made several roster moves, whittling their roster down to 75 players by 4 p.m. today as required by the NFL.

They waived/injured defensive ends Marcus Benard (dislocated left elbow) and Auston English (undisclosed) and undrafted rookie cornerback Antwuan Reed (left leg), the team announced this evening.

They also placed linebackers Chris Gocong (torn right Achilles tendon) and Emmanuel Acho (undisclosed) on injured reserve and defensive tackle Phil Taylor on the reserve physically unable to perform list. Taylor, who tore his left pectoral muscle in May, must miss the first six weeks of the season.

The Browns were awarded undrafted rookie defensive lineman Ernest Owusu off waivers from the Minnesota Vikings. The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Owusu was a four-year letterman at the University of California (2008-11) and appeared in 42 games with 18 starts. He had 55 tackles, eight sacks and one forced fumble.
 

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 27, 2012

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

(Opening Statement)- “Good morning. Yesterday was a great practice for a couple reasons. We got them back in pads. It was hot, it was almost 90 degrees out there, which was terrific. We got a nice long practice. For those of you that were out there you know, we finished with a two minute drill where it was really good for them to get some of the conditioning that you need to get this time of year. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the kind of heat you normally get in training camp, so any warm day I welcome. I’m glad for that. Unfortunately, it changed a little bit today. There’s a chance that we will go inside. Other than that, it’s a Thursday in the player’s world, so we’re working on short yardage, goal-line, third down and reviewing the base from yesterday. I think it’s important for them to go through the process, and that’s why I do it this way the fourth week of the preseason.”

(On if Montario Hardesty was injured, resting or held out of practice yesterday)- “He was at practice. I saw him. He was out there practicing. I think you guys had a chance to talk to him, right? He was just sore from the game. He’s fine. I want us to play better, and I don’t want to turn the ball over, but he’s fine.”

(On if he was sending a message to Hardesty)- “No, not at all. Any of our guys that can practice are out there. As we’re all accustomed to seeing, there are reasons why guys don’t practice, typically for health reasons. He was just sore from the game. He had a lot of carries and he played a lot of plays.”

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Browns coach Pat Shurmur says RB Montario Hardesty has not been demoted

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 27, 2012

Updated following practice

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters this morning before practice. Here are some highlights from the news conference:

Demotion?

Running back Montario Hardesty practiced with the first-team offense today after sitting out team drills Sunday. Brandon Jackson, who took Hardesty’s spot with the first-team offense Sunday, substituted for Hardesty today on third downs.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 26, 2012

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

(Opening statement)- “When you look out there today you are going to see a lot fewer players. You’ve been given the list of guys that we have released. I’ve said it numerous times that this is a tough time of year for a coach because you develop a relationship with the players, they compete extremely hard for you and you’ve got to make tough decisions and let guys go so there is a list of guys. If you have specific questions I’ll answer them. Going back on our last game against Philly, I wouldn’t say one thing different then I told you after the game. When you play a good team, you’ve got to play your best and any team you play, if you give it to them with turnovers and kicking game issues and I don’t think we played with the same emotion that we played with when we played Green Bay. When you do those things then you get the results that we got so that was the message to the players, we’ve cleaned up the tape. For your knowledge, this is a Wednesday schedule for us so that the new players can get a feel for the rhythm of a Wednesday. Within this day we’re working, obviously, on the corrections from the past game and then we’ll be really competing against each other. It’s a Browns versus Browns day with the idea that we’re doing what we can to get better so that’s where we’re at. I have nothing really to add about that game except for the comments that I’ve made."

(On if Trent Richardson will practice this week)- “He is making great progress. He’ll be out there soon.”

(On how soon Richardson will be back)- “We’ll see how soon. He’s doing great so he’ll be out there soon.”

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Browns RB Montario Hardesty sits out team drills while Brandon Jackson works with first unit

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 26, 2012

Browns running back Montario Hardesty did not participate in team drills today, and Brandon Jackson took his place with the first-team offense.

Hardesty worked in individual drills but wore a black sleeve on his lower right leg as he stood and watched team sessions.

Still, Hardesty insisted he’s healthy. He did not play in six games last season as he dealt with a torn muscle in his right calf.

“I’m good, just a little rest, gave me a little rest today,” Hardesty said. “I’m good. I’m fine.”

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Browns coach Pat Shurmur 'very optimistic' rookie RB Trent Richardson will be ready for Week 1

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 26, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today before practice, which is scheduled to run from 1-3 p.m. Here are some of the highlights from the news conference:

Richardson's return

Shurmur said he’s “very optimistic” rookie running back Trent Richardson will be able to play in the regular-season opener Sept. 9 against the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s the strongest statement Shurmur has made about Richardson’s progress since the latter underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Aug. 9.

“He is making great progress,” Shurmur said. “He’ll be out there soon.”

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Browns waive WR Carlton Mitchell, eight other players

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 26, 2012

The Browns announced this morning that they have waived the following nine players: wide receivers Carlton Mitchell, Bert Reed, Jermaine Saffold and Owen Spencer, offensive linemen Jake Anderson and Matt Cleveland, cornerback Emanuel Davis, linebacker JoJo Dickson and punter Spencer Lanning.

The team now has 80 players on its roster. It must trim to 75 by 4 p.m. Monday.

Mitchell highlights the list of early cuts. The Browns picked him in the sixth round (177th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Mitchell was hindered by an injured right leg throughout training camp this summer. In two seasons with the Browns, he played in 16 games and caught three passes for 31 yards.

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Game day blog: Browns vs. Eagles (preseason game No. 3)

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 24, 2012

The Browns suffered a 27-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the third preseason game of the year for both teams.

Here's the game story

CLEVELAND: If the Browns’ starters didn’t want to reveal any secrets in their preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, then mission accomplished.

Other than ineptitude, they didn’t show much of anything.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 22, 2012

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

(Opening Statement)- “This is a great day. I’ll tell you, our fans this training camp - I know we had more out here this year than we did a year ago. We have a very passionate group of fans that come out every single day. Unfortunately for them, this is the last day it will be open to the public. I mentioned it earlier in the week, but the players will be out of the hotel here after tonight. They will go back to their primary residences and we’ll get ready to play the Eagles. Then next week the next phase of training camp kind of kicks in, where we’ll try to mock up a week in what the schedule feels like for that week during the season. The fans have been outstanding. I know it motivates our guys to come out here on days like today. This was practice 21, so you have 21 practices and 21 walk-throughs. They’ve been on the field quite a bit. As you might expect, none of us have had enough sleep in the last month. We get very emotional and we are out here working hard. For the fans to be here to inspire the players, I think it is just outstanding. I’ve been a couple of places for practices, the other places I’ve been, you don’t get near the turnout that we do here. I’m just a little disappointed they can’t see us do more work. Now the season will be here quickly. Today was about the red zone. Today was about the fans. We’ll move on and get ready to play Philadelphia here.”

(On what happened during practice between him and Joe Haden)- “I’m not going to talk about it. That’s between me and the player. I’ve got a great deal of respect for Joe. If you want details, you’re going to have to find it on twitter. My only apology is that I used bad language, and the fans were here to see it. That’s between me and the player. Joe is a great competitor and I appreciate what he does and who he is. That’s the last you will hear me talk about it.”

(On the Haden situation)- “Don’t ask, because I’m not talking about it anymore. You have to go somewhere else to find out.”

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Browns coach Pat Shurmur kicks CB Joe Haden out of practice for being too rough

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 22, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur removed cornerback Joe Haden this morning from the final practice of training camp open to the public for being too rough, President Mike Holmgren said.

Haden later participated the team's afternoon walk-through session.

"Joe and I talked," Shurmur said after the walk through. "Everything's fine. It's a dead issue."

As Haden tried to break up a touchdown pass from rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden to wide receiver Travis Benjamin during the morning practice, he swiped at the ball with his left hand, grabbed the back of Benjamin's jersey with his right hand and pulled him down to the ground. Neither player was injured during the play.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 21, 2012

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

(Opening statement) – “I think the players were lucky (today), the weather got cool for them, which I think is good every once in a while. We haven’t had a lot of heat, so in some ways I’m hoping that it gets hot for the next couple of days. It was a good practice and it felt like we got a lot done. We worked on third down quite a bit, some third and long situations, which were very challenging for the offense. If you’re in third and long it’s because you didn’t do something right on first and second down. You have to be willing to number one, not be in those situations, but then if you are, you have to make your fair share of them. I thought the competition was good today. Now we’ll start focusing on what we’re going to do this weekend when we play Philadelphia. You saw we had some more players out today. ‘Am I right Nate (Ulrich), were there more guys practicing (jokingly)?’ I think. Check with Nate, but we had more guys out there running around today which is good. I’m always happiest when we got most or all our guys out there working, that means we’re all getting better together.”

(On if they have thought about playing time for Philadelphia) – “No, we’re going to finalize that here in the next couple of days. You’ll see our ones out there.”

(On Michael Vick getting hurt last night and if he will keep Brandon Weeden’s reps to a minimum) – “Each team is different. Each game is different. I understand exactly why each team did what they did last night. The Patriots chose to make their big amount of work for their ones here coming up against Tampa Bay. I understand why Philadelphia did what they did based on who their first opponent is, and then the shortness in time between a Monday game and a Friday game. That’s for them to decide. I’ve got a little different scenario, we have time between the games, and it’s important that I think our guys get their work. We all pretty much in the fourth preseason game become very cautious when it comes to injuries.”

(On if there will be any secrets left in the season opener between the two teams because the staffs know each other so well) – “I think the game is won and lost by the players. There’s a fair amount of scheme involved, but the players have got to go out and do it, and we as coaches try to help them. There is some familiarity because I was there for 10 years. Some of the coaches that are here, like Dick Jauron was there as well, Brad Childress of course. I think you can overdo that. Then you get into the he-said she-said, I know they’re going to do this or we’re going to do this. It can get crazy. I think what you need to do is, do the things that you think your players do best as matched up the best you can against who you’re playing against. I think that’s where the focus needs to stay.”

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Browns QB Colt McCoy says he's happy to be in Cleveland despite speculation he'll end up elsewhere

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 21, 2012

Still competing

Browns quarterback Colt McCoy met with reporters this morning after the 18th full-squad practice of training camp and insisted he's happy to be in Cleveland despite speculation he’ll eventually be traded or released.

McCoy, though, also sidestepped a question about whether he has asked for a fresh start elsewhere.

McCoy said his throwing shoulder feels fine, and he’s on the verge of completing a two-to-three year recovery period, as outlined by noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews. McCoy pinched a nerve in his right shoulder during his final collegiate game in January 2010.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 20, 2012

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

(Opening Statement)- “I felt like today’s practice was a lot better than yesterday. It feels good to ask the players to respond, and then they did, I saw them do it. It was a good thing. I think we got a lot done this morning. We did a lot of situational work. As you could see, there was a lot of third down work. At the end we did some more two minute situations with a lot of different personnel in there, so it was a good day.”

(On how David Sims keeps getting interceptions)- “I think he’s flashed for the coaches as well. He made an interception today which was good. He’s challenging, he’s physical and he’s really made a huge amount of progress in the time that we’ve been together. I’m hopeful that it will continue here in the next two preseason games because that’s the kind of thing you want to see for a guy to make the team. He’s got to flash and he’s got to make plays. To his credit, he’s done that.”

(On if Sims plays safety or corner)- “He’s a safety. He plays safety.”

(On if he can keep both Brad Smelley and Owen Marecic on the roster)- “When we put the thing together, we’ll have a combination of running backs, tight ends and receivers. We will try to keep the best players in total between those three positions, offensive skill positions. We’ve got a couple of preseason games here, and let’s say, ‘Knock on wood,’ we don’t have any injuries at those positions, there’s going to be some tough calls there because we have to think of the other positions as well. Possibly, because Smelley could be considered a tight end as well as a fullback.”

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Browns training camp: News, notes and observations from practice

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 20, 2012

The Browns held their 17th full-squad practice of training camp this morning. Here are some highlights from practice and subsequent interviews:

Working harder

Browns rookie wide receiver Josh Gordon has often stopped short of finishing plays and lacked overall hustle during camp, but coach Pat Shurmur believes Gordon is turning the corner and giving more effort as of late.

“The last couple of days, he’s practicing faster in my mind, catching the ball and running with it instead of catching it and stopping,” Shurmur said. “He’s learning how to do it better in practice, and as we all know if you see it here, then it’ll translate to the game.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 19, 2012

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

(Opening Statement) – “Well, fortunately we got it all in before the rain came. It looked like it was threatening a little bit. We got a full practice in and got the field clear before any rain or any lightening, so it was a good day’s work. I thought it was a little sloppy in some ways. Coming back after the day off, sometimes that happens, especially early. I thought by the end, they were focused in and we got a lot more done, which was good. Now we just keep going through it. Our guys will be out of the hotel on Thursday. We have one more week of full day’s work and night meetings and it’s important that we keep our foot on the gas and get as good as we can get before we actually move out of the hotel and go to the last phase of training camp. That’s where we’re at. It was a work day and the guys handled it well. It started out, as I mentioned, a little bit sloppy, but they finished up strong. With that being said, I’ll take your questions.”

(On if Benjamin Watson is not ready for team practice) – “He’s working himself back into practice. He did mostly individual today, and he’ll do a little bit more tomorrow, and so on.”

(On D’Qwell Jackson returning to practice and his importance) – “I’ve spoken numerous times about what he means to this team, not just as a player, but as a leader. When he’s back out there, it adds to what we can do. The good news though, while he has been out, I’ve watched some young linebackers get in there and make the best of their opportunities so they can play around him. That’s the good news. Of course, we want all of our guys that we’ve slotted as starters to be out there working all the time and fortunately he’s getting back on the field.”

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Browns training camp: News, notes and observations from practice

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 19, 2012

The Browns held their 16th full-squad practice of training camp today. Here are some highlights from practice and subsequent interviews:

Strong return

Browns middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson practiced this afternoon for the first time since Aug. 7. He had been sidelined with a sore shoulder.

“It was just sore,” Jackson said. “We had a lot of guys going down and banged up, so we took the precautionary route just to let it calm down a bit. Now I’m back.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 17, 2012

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

(Opening statement)- “In terms of the game last night I don’t have much to add. The guys came in today and we got through the tape. We got to look at it in great detail; offense, defense, special teams. Half of the practice was corrections from yesterday and half the practice was specific areas that we wanted to work on in all three phases. The guys handled it well. as you probably noticed, we got some guys back that hadn’t been back in a while and there were a couple of guys who weren’t out here that are sore from the game. I don’t think there’s much of a story there.”

(On why Oniel Cousins did not practice today)- “He’s sore from the game.”

(On what he saw from Brandon Weeden after watching the tape)- “I think it was a combination of things. I talked to our guys, there were a few gimmes in the game or layups so to speak that we didn’t take advantage of. The drops, there were a couple of progressions there that I think Brandon could be better with which would have even added to the success of our offensive day. Those are the things that you talk about today and some of the situations were the first time for Brandon, going through it, plays we’ve been running in practice as they related to a new defense. He’ll be better with that the next time, but for the most part he led us on a touchdown drive and did some other things better than he did in the first game. As you work your way through the preseason, training camp and the games, you just want to see steady improvement and I think I saw that from him.”

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Three Browns players return from injuries, 14 others sit out

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 17, 2012

Tight end Jordan Cameron, wide receiver Travis Benjamin and defensive end Frostee Rucker returned to practice this afternoon as the Browns got in some light work following their preseason win Thursday night over the Green Bay Packers.

Cameron said he suffered a bone bruise in his lower back during the preseason opener on Aug. 10. Cameron was hurt when he caught a 42-yard pass from quarterback Colt McCoy and Detroit Lions safety Sean Jones landed on him.

“I was just bugged,” Cameron said today after practice. “It was just annoying. I wanted to be out there and keep playing. And for it to end like that, I wanted obviously to get out there and try to make some more plays and kind of showcase what I’ve been doing during camp. But it happens. It’s part of the game, bounce back and I’ll be good.”

Benjamin missed practices this week after playing against the Lions. He didn’t specify the nature of his injury.

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With sworn declaration from Browns LB Scott Fujita, NFLPA challenges Goodell's bounty case statement

By AP Sports Writer BRETT MARTEL Published: August 17, 2012

NEW ORLEANS: The NFL Players Association filed documents in federal court disputing Commissioner Roger Goodell's sworn statement that he was prepared to discipline players for their involvement in the Saints bounty pool back in March but waited until May as a courtesy to the union.

Attorneys for four players suspended in the bounty investigation have argued the punishment handed down by Goodell should be overturned, in part because the commissioner's public statements last spring showed he had improperly pre-judged the players' actions.

The documents filed Friday include sworn declarations by sanctioned Browns linebacker Scott Fujita and union chief DeMaurice Smith. Fujita reiterated comments he made in an interview with The Associated Press in June in which he described a phone conversation he had with Goodell in March.

"During our phone conversation on or about March 20, Mr. Goodell told me that he would be coming down hard with punishments on Saints coaches, but that with respect to Saints players, he was not quite sure what he had on them, and that player punishments would therefore take some time," Fujita's declaration said.

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Game day blog: Browns at Packers (preseason game No. 2)

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 16, 2012

The Browns (2-0) defeated the Green Bay Packers (0-2) in the second preseason game for both teams tonight at Lambeau Field.

Here's the game story:

GREEN BAY, Wis.: With Jimmy Haslam III monitoring his latest major investment from the visiting owner’s box at Lambeau Field, the Browns showed some signs of progress.

Riddled with injuries and coming off a lackluster preseason opener last week, the Browns’ starters needed to build some hope and confidence. They were far from perfect, but they did gain some momentum in a 35-10 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night at Lambeau Field.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 14, 2012

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

(Opening Statement)- “We have a new player, as you know, we claimed Ronnie Cameron. We claimed him off waivers, he was at Chicago. He played at Old Dominion. He was a player that we liked in the draft so we’ll bring him in to add depth and competition to the inside of the crew. Unfortunately, we had to practice inside. I think it was the smart thing to do with the weather the way it is. Just like anything players need to learn how to do it inside with close quarters and lots of bodies. We worked on the red zone. We’ll solidify who’s going to be playing in the game here this afternoon based on some of the guys that are nicked up and we’ll get ready to go play Green Bay.” 

(On if Mohamed Massaquoi will be available to play Thursday)- “Maybe, he might play.”

(On if Marcus Bernard is in the same category as Massaquoi)- “He might play as well, yeah.”

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Browns, LeCharles Bentley settle lawsuit over staph infection

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 14, 2012

Former offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley settled his lawsuit against the Browns over the career-ending staph infection he said he contracted at the team’s training facility, FOXSportsOhio.com first reported.

The Browns confirmed the settlement has been reached.

Details of the settlement worked out by Bentley and Randy Lerner, who agreed to sell the Browns to Jimmy Haslam III on Aug. 2, are confidential. As part of the agreement, the Browns will fund six scholarships for underprivileged children at Bentley’s alma mater, St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, for 20 years. Those were the only terms that were announced.

“These last six years have been the most trying time of my life, but now that it is over I can honestly say I am a better man for having gone through it,” Bentley said in a statement. “Randy Lerner and I -- two men born and raised in Cleveland -- were able to sit down face to face back in June and come to an agreement that was fair.”

Not long after signing a six-year, $36 million contract with the Browns, Bentley tore the patellar tendon in his left knee during the first day of training camp in 2006. Bentley’s lawsuit charged he nearly died from the subsequent staph infection.

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Browns WR Mohamed Massaquoi returns to practice, says he didn't suffer any concussion symptoms

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 14, 2012

Wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi returned to practice today and stuck to his version of the story by insisting he did not suffer any symptoms of a concussion in the Browns’ preseason opener Friday night against the Detroit Lions.

“I feel great, always felt great, never developed a symptom or anything,” Massaquoi said this morning following the Browns’ 14th full-squad practice of training camp. “Everything that was done was strictly precautionary because of the type of the hit, the way that the hit looked. So I’m excited just to play right now, and now we’re gonna keep moving forward.”

In his post-game news conference at Ford Field, Browns coach Pat Shurmur said Massaquoi suffered a concussion when he caught a 12-yard pass during the team’s first offensive play and took a hit from Lions safety Erik Coleman. Massaquoi disputed he had a concussion when he responded to a fan on Twitter Friday night by writing, “No! Precautionary! Cant wait to get back to work!”

On Sunday, Shurmur insisted Massaquoi had a concussion. He also said he dislikes Twitter.

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Browns awarded undrafted rookie DT Ronnie Cameron off waivers

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 14, 2012

The Browns have been awarded undrafted rookie defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron off waivers, the team confirmed this morning. The Browns waived/injured fullback Eddie Williams to make room for Cameron on their 90-man roster.

Cameron practiced with the Browns this morning and wore No. 65. The Browns moved practice indoors and closed it to the public because of inclement weather.

The Chicago Bears waived the 6-foot-2, 304-pound Cameron on Saturday. As a senior last season at Old Dominion University, he compiled 73 tackles (28 solo, 45 assisted) along with a team-leading 17 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.

"We thought he was a good player versus the run as well as generating pass rushing from inside," Shurmur said. "We’ll get him in there and get him up and running and hopefully he will be able to contribute."

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 13, 2012

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

(Opening Statement)- “Good morning. Today was one of those dog days. This was a work day and a dog day of training camp and the guys pushed through it. They carried their pads well. We got better in a lot of areas. Tomorrow our focus will be Browns versus Browns, but also with Green Bay in mind. As I mentioned yesterday, the guys that line up this week with the first group, we’ll try to get them about a half of play, and we’ll see and evaluate from there at half time. They may play a little more, they may not. We’ll just have to see. I’m going to keep that open.”

(On if he’s talked to Andy Reid about how they will approach the third preseason game)- “No, I don’t think you want to do that. Head coaches don’t do that, no. Andy’s getting his team ready to play, and I’m getting our team ready to play. You can look into this third preseason game and how we’re going to do it way too much in my opinion, because there’s a certain amount of work that needs to get done in training camp, and we’ll both get it done the way we see fit.”

(On L.J. Fort)- “I think he’s had an excellent camp. When we left in June, I was looking forward to him playing well in training camp, because as I’ve said before, when the linebackers put their pads on then they start to separate. I think when he started wearing his pads and playing the game for real, he showed me more. He did a good job in his scrimmage snaps. He also did an outstanding job on special teams. As you saw today, he ended the drill with an interception. I mentioned it to our defense. I talked about as a team we need to catch the football more and better. As you’ve seen in practice here, instead of the balls just getting deflected, you’re seeing our guys finish the play if it is a bad throw with an interception. I’d like to think you get what you emphasize.”

(On what he saw in L.J. Fort to bring him in as an undrafted free agent)- “I think he has very good instincts. He’s got the right size, the skill and ability to play the position. He has kind of a powerful build, and again you have to have good instincts to be a linebacker and play in three downs, and I think he has that.”

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Browns training camp: News, notes and observations from practice

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 13, 2012

The Browns held their 13th full-squad practice of training camp today. Here are some highlights from practice and subsequent interviews:

More from starters

Browns coach Pat Shurmur said the team’s starters will play at least a half Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers, and they might stay in the game for part of the third quarter.

“The guys that line up this week with the first group, we’ll try to get them about a half of play,” Shurmur said. “And then we’ll see and evaluate from there at halftime. They may play a little more. They may not. So we’ll just have to see. I’m gonna keep that open.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 12, 2012

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

(Opening statement) – “Good practice today. So I could get good speed, we wanted to work on a different couple of phases. I took the pads off of them so we could get good speed. The guys handled it well. Again, there was plenty to do today to clean up the mistakes from the game. It’s always fun to win the game, but I did feel like there are some things we have to improve on. We made all our points and I think the guys handled it well. We came out here and did corrections and now we move forward. We’re into our next week, next phase and with that our minds will start to drift towards Green Bay as we get towards the middle of the week. So with that, I’ll take your questions.”

(On Travis Benjamin and Scott Fujita not practicing today) – “(They are) Sore from the game so they’re not out here today.”

(On updates regarding the players injured in the game) – “Again, they were nicked up in the game so we’ll have to see here as we go.”

(On if any of the players injured during the game sustained a serious injury) – “No, I don’t know. It’s hard to tell when those guys will all be back. They got nicked up in the game and we’ll see.”

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Browns training camp: News, notes and observations from practice

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 12, 2012

The Browns held their 12th full-squad practice of training camp this afternoon. Here are some highlights from practice and subsequent interviews:

Injuries mount

Fifteen players did not practice because of injuries. That’s about 17 percent of the team’s 90-man roster.

“Of course, I don’t want anybody to be injured,” Shurmur said. “Anytime we don’t have guys that are at practice, it keeps them from getting one day better on the practice field. So we’ve got to find ways to keep them going.”

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Game day blog: Browns at Lions (preseason opener)

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 10, 2012

Here's the game story:

DETROIT: Brandon Weeden is 28 years old, but he’s still new to the NFL and prone to the types of miscues that often haunt rookies.

It showed during the Browns’ 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions in the preseason opener for both teams Friday night at Ford Field.

Browns fourth-string quarterback Thaddeus Lewis led the team to a late scoring drive, setting up Jeff Wolfert’s game-winning 45-yard field goal with 28 seconds left. Safety David Sims then intercepted a pass to seal the Browns’ win.

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Browns rookie RB Trent Richardson undergoes knee surgery, Pat Shurmur confirms

By Ron Ledgard Published: August 9, 2012

Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson underwent surgery today on his left knee, coach Pat Shurmur said in a release from the team.

Richardson, the third overall pick in this year’s draft, had arthroscopic surgery on the same knee Feb. 3 to have a meniscus tear repaired. Dr. James Andrews performed both surgeries.

“Trent Richardson underwent a successful routine arthroscopic procedure today on his left knee. It was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla.," Shurmur said. “We anticipate that Trent will make a speedy recovery, and we are hopeful that he will be ready for our Week One game against Philadelphia.”

The Browns visit the Detroit Lions on Friday night in the first preseason game for both teams. The Browns open the regular season Sept. 9 at home against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 8, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters tonight after the team's Family Night practice at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Here is a transcript:

(Opening statement)- “What a great experience. I got an opportunity to sign some autographs before we started practice and I ran into so many Browns fans that either had never been to our stadium and talked about just how neat it was to be out here and so this event provides that. A lot of people that maybe can’t afford to come to our games or just wanted to come out and enjoy the Browns had a great opportunity to see our team work. I thought the work was good. I was a little concerned about the banging because we’re pressed up to a game here in a couple of days so I learned a little bit about some of our guys. Some of our young guys, when the bright lights come on and you start breathing a little heavy, you’ve got to keep your focus and I think there’s something to be learned from that, but for the most part it was great work. It’s very exciting for us to do it in front of the fans and now we’ll finish it up, the guys were signing autographs and engaging the fans and we’ll get on a bus tomorrow and go to Detroit and play our first game.”

(On Trent Richardson’s injury and if he will miss any time)- “I don’t know about how much he’s going to miss, but I do know this, we’re hopeful he’ll be back quickly. I don’t know any more than probably you do. I didn’t hear any reports while I was out here, but were very hopeful that he’ll be back fast.”

(On Joe Haden’s status)- “Joe Haden’s status is he’s out here practicing getting ready to play. Beyond that I don’t know anything about what was reported and if I did I wouldn’t be allowed to talk about it so at this point he’s out here practicing getting ready to play a game.”

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Report: Browns CB Joe Haden fails drug test, could face 4-game suspension

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 8, 2012

The NFL is reviewing a failed drug test by Browns cornerback Joe Haden that could result in a four-game suspension, ESPN Cleveland reported today.

According to the report, a source said Haden tested positive for Adderall during the offseason. Adderall is often prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, but it’s also used as a cognitive enhancer that decreases fatigue. It’s on the NFL’s list of banned substances.

When asked about the report by phone, Browns vice president of media relations Neal Gulkis said, “It’s not something we can confirm or comment on.”

In an e-mail response, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said, “We decline comment.”

Haden’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, visited the Browns’ headquarters Tuesday. Neither he nor Haden’s manager, Sean Cabble, have responded to e-mails.

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Report: Browns RB Trent Richardson 'tentatively scheduled' for knee surgery Thursday

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 8, 2012

Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson is "tentatively scheduled" to have arthroscopic surgery Thursday morning to remove a "hang nail particle" of loose cartilage that is irritating his left knee, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported. The surgery will be performed by Dr. James Andrews.

A league source confirmed for the Beacon Journal that Richardson is scheduled to have the procedure. He could return by the start of the regular season, the source said.

Richardson, the third overall pick in this year’s draft, had arthroscopic surgery on the same knee Feb. 3 to have torn meniscus cartilage repaired. Andrews performed the surgery.

"Richardson’s surgery would be considered as proactive minor procedure; a 'hang nail particle' not related to meniscus repair on same knee," Mortensen wrote on Twitter.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 7, 2012

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

(Opening Statement)- “Practice started a little bit later because we were a little delayed getting back from Philadelphia, but the guys handled it well. We got a lot of good work in. The guys competed well. I could see that some of these guys have camp legs, which you get this time of year. We’re about four and a half weeks out from our first game so that’s natural. Part of the grind of training camp is fighting your body and your mind and making sure you come out here and compete, and I think our guys did that. It was a good afternoon of work and we’ll come back out tomorrow. As you know, tomorrow afternoon we’ll be doing our walk-through, and then we’re going to be in the stadium tomorrow night, which will be fun. It’s a fun event. It’s a great opportunity for our fans to watch us work. It will be a good chance for our rookies to play in our arena for the first time, which will be a good thing as well. We’ll do that tomorrow. It was a fun event last year, as you know we did it on a weekend, this year we’re doing it on a weekday. I know they have fireworks and there will be a lot of stuff going on. It should be a good night for everybody that wants to come watch us practice.”

(On Trent Richardson didn’t practice today)- “He had a sore knee. We’ll evaluate it and see as we move forward here. But that’s why we held him out.”

(On if Richardson missing practice will affect him playing in Friday’s game)- “It might. We’ll have to evaluate him further which we’ll do here after practice, then we’ll see where we go from there.”

(On if he said Richardson will miss practice tomorrow)- “I said it might affect Friday, so I don’t know. We’ll have to see. We’re going to evaluate him further here. There’s a chance he won’t play on Friday.”

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Browns RB Trent Richardson misses practice with sore left knee, might be sidelined Friday vs. Lions

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 7, 2012

Browns running back Trent Richardson sat out practice this afternoon with a sore left knee, and he might not play in the preseason opener Friday night against the host Detroit Lions, coach Pat Shurmur said.

Richardson had arthroscopic knee surgery Feb. 3 to have torn meniscus cartilage repaired. He did not work out at the NFL Scouting Combine later that month.

“We’re gonna evaluate him further here, and there’s a chance he won’t play Friday,” Shurmur said. … “I’m always concerned about injuries, but I think at this point we’ll just find out what it is. He’s been practicing well, and he’s just a little bit sore right now, so we’ll just see where he is.”

Richardson worked out on an exercise bike at the start of practice. He wore a black rubber sleeve on his left leg and watched most of practice from the field.

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Browns release their first depth chart of 2012

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 6, 2012

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

OFFENSE

Wide receiver: Greg Little, Josh Gordon, Joshua Cribbs, Carlton Mitchell, Owen Spencer, Jermaine Saffold

Left tackle: Joe Thomas, Oniel Cousins, Jeff Shugarts

Left guard: Jason Pinkston, Jarrod Shaw, Matt Cleveland

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 6, 2012

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

(Opening statement) – “Well, we got a lot of work done today. This was one of our longer practices of the year. I wanted to go this week, because we had the off day yesterday, it fit nicely that we had such a good afternoon. So we got a lot done, we got a lot of banging and we got a lot of situation work. I was originally going to go tomorrow morning, but we adjusted the schedule and we’ll do practice in the afternoon. That will allow a group of us here from the Browns to attend Garrett Reid’s services in Philadelphia. We’ll race there for that, pay our respects and then come back. I know I released a statement yesterday. It’s hard to even think about what Andy (Reid) and Tammy (Reid) and the family are going through losing a child. I can’t even imagine. As a father, it’s got to be tough and for those of us who knew Garrett, it’s even tougher. We remember training camps when all our boys were out there as ball boys and helping out and being around. So, if you know someone of course you have more memories and you just wish them the best. That being said, I know you all have been waiting for this, but Brandon Weeden will start the Detroit game and he’ll be our starter as we go forward here. The number two position will be determined based on how things play out here in training camp. We have five weeks to go before we play our first regular season game. Brandon, as you know, has been getting most of the work with the ones so this isn’t like we’re just starting a development. We’re just ramping it up now. So that’s that and I’m sure you’ll have some follow ups with that. So I’ll let you ask away.”

(On what Brandon Weeden has shown him to win the starting job) – “Well, we’ve watched him compete now through all the offseason, now through training camp, for more than a week here in training camp. I’ve seen him get a pretty good handle on what we’re doing, although it’s important to remember he is still a rookie. There will be some things that have to get cleaned up as we go and I would say the same thing for Colt (McCoy), Seneca (Wallace) and Thad (Lewis). I’ve seen them improve tremendously as guys that were here a year ago, so I feel better about our quarterback position and now I’m going to tell you he’s the starter.”

(On if there was any significance to Seneca Wallace working with the twos today) – “No, nothing significant. We’re going to just keep mixing it up. I wouldn’t read into that in any way. I spoke to all three guys separately and they are well aware of the situation. It has been a very open and honest in terms of communicating through this and they understand their roles right now and they’re going to all continue to compete.”

(On if Brandon Weeden and the starters will see one quarter of action on Friday) – “I think we’ll stay with that for the most part with the ones, one quarter or so. Then within that, you kind of get a feel for how many plays they are out there. You can go through a quarter sometimes and maybe just get a couple of series and not many plays so we’ll get a feel for that. The guys will come in behind the ones and play the rest of it.”

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Browns coach Pat Shurmur names rookie Brandon Weeden team's starting QB

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 6, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur formally named rookie Brandon Weeden the team’s starting quarterback this evening after practice.

The announcement was not surprising at all.

Weeden, the 22nd overall pick in this year's draft, has taken all of the snaps with the first-team offense since the team held its first full-squad practice of training camp on July 27. Weeden will start Friday on the road in the Browns’ preseason opener against the Detroit Lions and beyond.

“Brandon Weeden will start the Detroit game, and he’ll be our starter as we go forward here,” Shurmur said. “The No. 2 position will be determined based on how things play out here in training camp.

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Browns LB Chris Gocong out for season with torn Achilles tendon

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 4, 2012

Browns starting weakside linebacker Chris Gocong tore his right Achilles tendon this morning during practice and will be out for the season, coach Pat Shurmur said.

Gocong had an MRI today and will need surgery, Shurmur said. The procedure could be done as early as Monday.

"I'm very fond of Chris and the effort he puts into being a good football player," Shurmur said this evening after the team's walk-through session. "Anytime a player like that gets hurt, unfortunately there's a loss there. But the challenge is for us to cover it up with the guys that are on this roster, so that's where we're at. I talked to Chris. He's fine and unfortunately we're moving on. He understands that."

Gocong suffered the injury during an 11-on-11, goal-line drill. As he tried to defend a touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Cameron, he planted his right leg, then lifted it, grabbed it while the ball was in the air and fell to the ground.

Gocong could not put weight on his leg as trainers helped him onto the cart. He was visibly upset, and starting strongside linebacker Scott Fujita immediately consoled him.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 4, 2012

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

(Opening Statement)- “It was another good practice. You are probably going to ask about Chris Gocong who left. They are evaluating his ankle, and we’ll see so I’ll know more here at some point. I’m sure it will get released if there’s something extended to his injury. It looked like, from what we could tell, he just jumped up in the air, and then came down on it so we’re having it evaluated. With that being said, I thought the practice was good. There were a lot of coachable moments out there. We saw some big plays. We saw a couple big plays that we have to make. We saw a situation where a receiver caught a ball then stopped running when he could have scored a touchdown. He’ll never do that again. You don’t go through it unless you practice it. I think that’s something that we can learn from and that’s why you do these things. We got some situational work in. I really felt like, again, we made some progress today.”

(On if he thinks Chris Gocong’s injury is ankle related)- “We’re hoping that whatever the injury is that it’s not a long term thing, but we’ll know here. He’ll be sent for an MRI and we’ll know for sure if it’s something that we have to deal with more than a couple days.”

(On if Kaluka Maiava and James Michael Johnson play either outside position)- “Yeah, they are very flexible position wise. They really can play inside as well, Kaluka, JMJ, and some of the young linebackers that we have on our roster. Anytime there’s an injury, it’s unfortunate when it happens. It’s the unintended consequence of playing this game. As safe as you try to be sometimes it happens. It drives the coach nuts for sure. I worry about that when we come out here. You don’t want to see guys get hurt. I think the important thing though, is when that happens, you quickly get your eye right back on the ball and you get guys in there that can compete. It’s also a lesson to guys that play behind people, it’s a play away from being in there and being in there full time. That’s what you have to learn from that.”

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hopes sale of Browns will be approved in 'a matter of weeks'

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 4, 2012

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III stood on the practice field and watched his new team in action for the second consecutive day.

Meanwhile, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke to reporters (including Ryan Lewis of the Beacon Journal) at a youth football event in Akron this morning and said he hopes Haslam’s purchase of the Browns from Randy Lerner will be approved in the near future.

“Hopefully it’ll be a matter of weeks,” Goodell said. “I think it’ll be a little longer than two weeks. We’re not that fast. That part of the process is important. And we take great steps to ensure that it obviously meets all of the requirements of the NFL that we have the right type of structure in place with respect to the financing. All of those things are very important to us. It’ll be no later than October unless there’ some unusual delay."

The owners are scheduled to meet Oct. 16-17 in Chicago. However, Goodell could call for a special meeting to be held sooner. The NFL’s finance committee must review the transaction and then 75 percent of the league’s owners must vote for approval.

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Transcript from introductory news conference with new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 3, 2012

New Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III held his introductory news conference today. Here is a transcript:

Mike Holmgren

(Opening statement)- “Welcome. This is a great day for the Cleveland Browns organization and it’s my privilege and honor to introduce to you the new owner of the Cleveland Browns. Now understand, I’ve talked to you before about league protocols and all of those things and we are following those things and it’s going to happen down the road here, but this really is a special day for me and this organization. I would like to say I’ve known these folks for years, but actually I’ve known them for a day, but it doesn’t take too long for anybody to understand their passion, how much they care, the type of people they are and you’ll get to know them that way. As far as introductions before Jimmy (Haslam) comes up, his dad Jim Haslam, his wife Dee and now I take great pleasure in introducing to you Jimmy Haslam.”

Jimmy Haslam

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Browns starting weakside LB Chris Gocong carted off field with injured ankle; will undergo MRI

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 4, 2012

Browns starting weakside linebacker Chris Gocong injured his right ankle this morning during practice and had to be carted off the field.

Gocong grabbed the back of his right leg below his calf, indicating he might have torn his Achilles tendon. Coach Pat Shurmur said Gocong is being sent to undergo an MRI.

“If it is as bad as we think, then it’s the next guy up and we’ve gotta keep going and get a positive, successful season,” said linebacker Kaluka Maiava, a candidate to replace Gocong.

Gocong suffered the injury during an 11-on-11, goal-line drill. As he tried to defend a touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Cameron, he planted his right leg, then lifted it, grabbed it while the ball was in the air and fell to the ground.

Gocong could not put weight on his leg as trainers helped him onto the cart. He was visibly upset, and starting strongside linebacker Scott Fujita immediately consoled him.

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Highlights from new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam's introductory news conference

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 3, 2012

New Browns owner Jimmy Haslam’s introductory news conference opened this afternoon with Browns President Mike Holmgren presenting the Haslam family to the media. Haslam’s father, Jim Haslam Jr., and his wife, Dee, attended the news conference. Haslam, wearing a Browns pin on his blue suit and an orange tie, stood the entire time instead of sitting behind the microphone.

In his opening statement, he vowed to keep the Browns in Cleveland.

“I can’t tell you how excited our family is to be part of Cleveland and more important the Cleveland Browns,” he said. “I know there’s some people who think that maybe we might want to move the team out of Cleveland, and I can assure you there is zero chance of that happening.

"We have one mission and one mission only and that’s to bring winning back to Cleveland. OK? And that’s the sole thing we’re focused on, and I want everybody to know it an understand it. If you don’t know us yet, we’re gonna spend time here this afternoon. We’re gonna be here a lot, and you’ll have the opp to get to know us. But we’re really excited about the opportunity to bring a winning team back to Cleveland.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 3, 2012

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

(Opening statement)- “Good morning. I’ll tell you before you ask the question, I had a chance to meet the Haslam’s. It was brief, it was just before practice. What I found out, and it was just a brief meeting, and when you get to know the Haslam’s, you are going to find them to be very passionate people, very excited to own the Cleveland Browns. It’s going to be a great mix for our team, our fan-base and the city. Again, I don’t know much more than that because we just met briefly. After these press conferences here - I guess they are going to meet with the media a little later - I’ll have a chance to sit down and talk more, but I this point, I saw passion in their faces. I felt passion in their handshakes, and that’s about what I can say about that at this point. They had an opportunity to watch practice which was great. I felt good about the work that we got done today. I told the players, don’t let anything stop the train, the train is moving. That was more of a comment about the heat, training camp and what you go through. I think our guys again handled it very well. Today was a work day on the calendar. tomorrow’s another work day, and then Sunday will be an off day. Our players understand the process, and they’re going through it in a very, very professional way. With that being said I’ll take your questions.”

(On the players being pumped for practice and if he if he said something to them)- “No, I think they understood what we were practicing today. We had some new plays, and new coverages in, some things that they were excited to get better at. I just think that it’s an indication that our guys know how to work. I think it will show on Sundays.”

(On if the players were trying to put on a show for the Haslam’s)- “I don’t know that. I think they were trying to put on a show for me.”

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New Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III, family watch practice

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 3, 2012

The Browns held their seventh full-squad practice of training camp today. Here are some highlights:

New Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III walked onto the practice field this morning amid cheers from fans to watch the action with his father, wife, Dee, President Mike Holmgren and General Manager Tom Heckert.

Haslam reached an agreement Thursday to buy the Browns from Randy Lerner. The sale for reportedly more than $1 billion still must be reviewed by the NFL’s finance committee and approved by 75 percent of the league’s owners. He also must divest his minority stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers for the purchase to become official.

Still, the Browns are essentially Haslam’s team. He will hold his introductory news conference at 1 p.m. today, a couple of hours after he left the practice field in a Browns T-shirt and shorts.

Coach Pat Shurmur met with the Haslams before practice, and he stopped to talk to them on the field.

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Steelers President Art Rooney II issues statement about Jimmy Haslam buying Browns

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 3, 2012

Pittsburgh Steelers President Art Rooney II released a statement this morning about Jimmy Haslam III striking a deal Thursday morning with Randy Lerner to buy the Browns. Haslam became a minority owner of the Steelers in 2008, and he must divest his stake in the team before his purchase of the Browns can become official.

"Jimmy Haslam and his family have been great partners in the Steelers Ownership for the past three years," Rooney said in the statement. "I am sorry that he will be leaving our Ownership group, but I am happy the National Football League is going to have a strong new Owner. I am sure the Haslam Family will bring constructive and able ownership to the Cleveland Browns."

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Randy Lerner reportedly sells Browns to Jimmy Haslam III for more than $1 billion

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 2, 2012

Randy Lerner has sold the Browns to Tennessee businessman Jimmy Haslam III, the Beacon Journal confirmed today.

The Browns announced the sale this evening. It now must be approved the NFL's finance committee and 75 percent of the league's owners.

Haslam will hold his introductory news conference at the Browns' headquarters in Berea at 1 p.m. Friday.

“This is a very exciting time for my family and me,” Haslam said in a statement. “To own such a storied franchise as the Cleveland Browns, with its rich tradition and history, is a dream come true. We are committed to keeping the team in Cleveland and seeing it get back to the elite of the NFL – something all Browns fans want and deserve.

"We plan to bring relentless dedication and hard work to every aspect of this organization, and we look forward to getting to know this team and community as quickly as possible. Our family is committed to becoming an integral part of the Cleveland community. We also want to thank Randy Lerner for his friendship, counsel and support during this process."

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 2, 2012

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

(Opening statement)- “That was one of those morning practices that coaches like during training camp. It got hot, we were in pads, we were doing some situational work where at the beginning of practice there was some pounding and then at the end of practice of course the two minute scenario. We had situations, we had heat, we got a chance to run the ball, bang around. That’s one of those days where you have a great opportunity to get better. I don’t know if you guys all watched it but there were some coachable moments there, some things that we did, some mistakes that we made that we can learn from and get better. That’s why you go through the situations. I thought for the most part the guys competed extremely well. I think we pulled out of it okay in terms of getting guys nicked. As you saw, (Ahtyba) Rubin and Evan (Moore) were back out there today. Nate (Ulrich) did you get the message (joking)? Alright, we’re good. Anyways, they were back out there. By league rules they have a three-day period before they can go back in the pads so that’s why they weren’t in the team drills.”

(On Trent Richardson sitting out during some of practice)- “He had a headache today so he was just dealing with that. He was out here the whole time. He started out practice, competed through just about when we started team drills and then backed him off a little bit. He’s fine.”

(On importance of being a good screen team)- “I’ve always been around a good screen game. When we were in Philadelphia, we had an excellent screen game. I feel like there were some times last year when we did a good job with them. I think it’s important. It’s like every other phase, it’s like being able to throw fades and utilize personnel. I think the screen game can be a very effective tool. It’s an extended hand off really when they are covering you and the front line is rushing. I feel like we’ve made progress. I feel like our guys understand more how to get the ball completed and how to block it on the perimeter. We’ll see as we go.”

(On James-Michael Johnson)- “I think he’s established himself in a way where we’re excited to see how much progress he can make. He’s doing a good job out there. There is a lot that goes on for a linebacker. Fitting the run, matching up your pass coverage and being able to direct, and I think he’s doing all those things pretty well. That’s one of those where you’re just hopeful that he continues.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 1, 2012

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

(Opening statement) – “Alright, well our afternoon practice, I thought the guys handled the schedule well (with) a little bit of a change. I felt good about the fact that after their day off, and again it wasn’t a vacation day, I thought they all handled it extremely well, very professional. We came back this morning and had a chance to review things and for the most part we had pretty good execution out here. We did a lot of red zone work of course and then base and I think we got a lot done today. I was pleased with the progress today and we’ll go in tonight and do the meetings and keep moving. I think there are some players out here that are making progress and you probably have questions about some of the specifics. Some of the young DB’s and receivers have established themselves and are playing pretty good ball. Not to mention some of the young linemen who did a decent job of blocking today. With that being said I will take your questions.”

(On if Travis Benjamin has shown more than expected at this point) – “I don’t know if (it has been) more than I expected. I anticipated with his natural size that he might get banged around and be less efficient, but he has done a great job. I think he handles the traffic pretty well and you can see today he caught the ball in contested situations extremely well. We knew that he had the skill and ability to play in this league and at least to this point, he’s doing a good job of improving his game.”

(On the ability to call more fade routes in the red zone with Josh Gordon) – “I think the fade you know it can be a good play if you have a guy that is a mismatch size-wise or what not. It’s something I think is important to have in your red zone package, but from that standpoint too, they can take that away and that’s why you have all of the other route combinations. Just by his natural size, he should have the potential to be a pretty good fade runner.”

(On Josh Gordon making some good catches today) – “He did a good job in the red zone and again, he is a big target. Physically, he is like a tight end running around in there and obviously, athletically, he fits the wide receiver mold.”

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Browns training camp: news, notes and observations from practice

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 1, 2012

The Browns held their fifth full-squad practice of training camp this afternoon. Here are some highlights:

Quietly in background

Quarterback Colt McCoy, the incumbent starter, spoke to the media for the first time since training camp started last week.

“You guys never asked for me,” McCoy told reporters. “I missed you guys.”

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