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

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 31, 2013

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

Opening statement: “Good afternoon. Just a couple of things and an injury update. Montario Hardesty was able to return to practice today. Desmond Bryant as well. Josh Gordon was out. He continues to have tendinitis in his knee. I expect him back within the next couple days. It was good to get back on the field after the day off. These four days are going to be critical for us. In terms of our development, these are key times. The competition is heating up at a different number of positions. We are really looking for our execution to improve as we go. I had a chance to spend some time with Coach (Sam) Rutigliano today. We had a good time talking about the Kardiac Kids and various other things.”

On the kickers: “No, we are charting out here. Particularly, the periods with a two-minute situation, for example, at the end of those things every other day we are having them do some charting. We are trying as much pressure and game-like situations on those guys. Of course, the preseason will factor in. It will be a factor of all of them.”

On an update on Ryan Miller: “Ryan is still in the concussion protocol right now. We will take it day-by-day with him.”

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Former Browns player Bobby Crespino dies at 75

By The Associated Press Published: July 31, 2013

OXFORD, Miss. — Bobby Crespino, a tight end and receiver for some of Mississippi's best football teams from 1958 to 1960, died on Monday in Atlanta. He was 75.

Cockrell Funeral Home in Macon, Miss., confirmed Crespino's death after a lengthy illness, but did not provide details of the illness.

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Crespino played for three Ole Miss teams that had a combined 29-3-1 record and earned a share of two national championships in 1959 and 1960. He caught 30 passes for 408 yards and four touchdowns in 1960.

Crespino also played eight seasons in the NFL — three with the Cleveland Browns and five with the New York Giants.

He was inducted into the Ole Miss Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.

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Browns training camp snapshot: Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk praises Trent Richardson, Norv Turner

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 31, 2013

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

Storylines: Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk was at the Browns’ headquarters today working as an analyst for NFL Network. Faulk met with Browns running back Trent Richardson after practice and offered him advice on several topics ranging from how to run routes to how to be smart with money. Faulk believes Richardson has special qualities. “It’s there,” Faulk said. “You saw it in college. It’s the reason that in a league that they’re starting to kind of devalue the position, he gets drafted so early. He has it in him. It’s in him to be great. He wants it. He’s never shied away from asking questions or letting you know what he don’t know because he understands that the things that you don’t know when you find them out, it makes it easier to become great.” Faulk also praised new Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner. “Unfortunately for you guys, he’s going to come in with these young guys and somebody else is going to give him another look as a head coach because he’s going to put up numbers,” Faulk said. “And he’s going to put up numbers against the Baltimore Ravens. He’s going to put up numbers against the Pittsburgh Steelers, against the Cincinnati [Bengals]. He’s going to put up numbers. This is just what he does. If you give him one side of the ball, one thing to worry about, the man is great at it. He’s not a good offensive coordinator. He’s a great offensive coordinator.” … Minutes before practice began today, Browns General Manager Mike Lombardi held a news conference and publicly complimented quarterback Brandon Weeden for the first time since he became the organization’s personnel chief in January. Click here for more about Lombardi’s comments. … Owner Jimmy Haslam attended training camp today for the second time since it opened to the public July 25. He also attended the first full-squad practice.

Position battles: Strong safety T.J. Ward was limited during team drills because he’s dealing with an injured hamstring, coach Rob Chudzinski said. With Ward ailing, undrafted rookie Josh Aubrey took some reps with the first-team defense. … Defensive end Billy Winn continued to fill in for Desmond Bryant, who’s dealing with back spasms, with the first-team defense, though Bryant participated in individual drills. … Free safety Johnson Bademosi worked with the first-team defense in place of Tashaun Gipson, who continued to sit out with a sprained shoulder. … Nose tackle John Hughes took first-team reps while Phil Taylor, who’s coming back from a strained calf, was limited. … Cornerbacks Chris Owens and Buster Skrine rotated with the first-team defense.

Highlights: Quarterback Brandon Weeden hit his hand on the helmet of outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard, but he threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Cameron on the next play. … Wide receiver Greg Little broke up a would-be interception from Weeden pursued by Skrine. … In red-zone team drills, Weeden completed three consecutive out routes to Little with cornerback Joe Haden in coverage. … Bademosi collided with Owens as Weeden threw a pass behind wide receiver Travis Benjamin. The ball was deflected and Bademosi intercepted it. … After Weeden checked down to running back Chris Ogbonnaya, Little told a ball boy, “It’s 7-11. I’m open all day.” … Taylor tipped a pass from Weeden near the line of scrimmage. … Inside linebacker Craig Robertson dropped an interception after cutting in front of Cameron. … Haden broke up a pass that Weeden intended for Benjamin. … Weeden completed a 50-yard touchdown to Benjamin on a post-corner route. Benjamin burned Aubrey’s coverage during the play. … Tight end Brad Smelley leaped to make an impressive catch from quarterback Brian Hoyer. … After Hoyer completed a pass to wide receiver Tori Gurley, undrafted rookie safety Kent Richardson appeared to hit him in the helmet, knocking him to the ground. … In a red-zone, seven-on-seven session, Weeden threw a touchdown pass to tight end Gary Barnidge in the back of the end zone. … Aubrey broke up a pass from Weeden near the goal line, and inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson dived to picked it off. … Quarterback Jason Campbell connected with tight end Kellen Davis for a touchdown on a crossing route.

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Browns GM Mike Lombardi on Weeden: ‘He's gotten better at everything they've asked him to do'

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 31, 2013

Browns General Manager Mike Lombardi offered his most positive public comment about quarterback Brandon Weeden since owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner named him their personnel chief Jan. 18.

Addressing reporters today for the first time since his May 13 appearance at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Luncheon Club in Canton, Lombardi was asked what he’s seen from Weeden this offseason. Lombardi didn’t heap praise upon Weeden, the team’s projected starter who has taken all of the first-team snaps throughout spring practices and the early stages of training camp, but he did offer a compliment.

“I think everybody that practices football has really good days and they have some bad days, and I think everything's a learning experience,” Lombardi said of Weeden. “And I think he clearly has proven in the offseason that he's gotten better at everything they've asked him to do. So every day is about getting better, and I think that's what a lot of players are doing.”

In his previous role as an analyst for NFL Network, Lombardi criticized former General Manager Tom Heckert and former President Mike Holmgren for drafting Weeden 22nd overall. Lombardi termed the selection a “panicked disaster.”

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NFL Pro Bowl rosters will be determined by draft, other changes announced

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 31, 2013

The Pro Bowl will be revamped beginning next year, the NFL and NFL Players Association announced today.

Instead of the AFC facing the NFC, players will be selected without regard to conference in voting by their peers, fans and coaches.

Players will then be assigned to teams through the Pro Bowl Draft, in which two leading vote getters will join two NFL.com fantasy football champions to pick players. Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will serve as alumni team captains, assisting the Pro Bowl team captains and fantasy football champions in the draft process.

Browns left tackle Joe Thomas has become a fixture at the Pro Bowl. He has been selected to the all-star game in each of his first six NFL seasons.

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Browns owner Jimmy Haslam to throw out first pitch before Lake Erie Crushers' game Friday night

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 31, 2013

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is scheduled to throw out the first pitch before the Lake Erie Crushers’ game at 7:05 p.m. Friday at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Browns director of communications Zak Gilbert confirmed.

The promotional theme for the Crushers’ matchup against the Washington Wild Things is Browns vs. Steelers Night. Haslam was a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers before striking a deal in August 2012 to buy the Browns to from Randy Lerner for about $1 billion.

Gilbert said Haslam will not address the media at the Crushers’ game. His family’s truck-stop empire, Pilot Flying J, is at the center of an ongoing federal investigation into fraud, and the probe has netted seven guilty pleas from former employees thus far.

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

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 29, 2013

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

Opening statement: “We will start out with a medical report. Josh Gordon had some patella tendinitis in his knee. He started out, tried to push through it, but we sat him down for the rest of practice. I’m not concerned about it, shouldn’t be too big of a deal. As far as these first five days of practice, I have been real pleased with the progress we’ve made. The competitiveness out there, the guys are working extremely hard. I’m seeing progress in all areas, so I’m really pleased with these first five days. We will have tomorrow where the players will have off. That’s a mandatory off day for the players. Then we will be back Wednesday and go full pads.”

On what he likes about John Greco: “John is one of those three guys that we’re working in the two guard spots. We are rotating those guys around. Unlike the spring where we rotated them almost play-to-play, we are letting those guys have a couple days to really work in and now that we have the pads on, we are really moving them around. John’s a real stable guy; solid player, smart, does all the right things and we are really happy to have him.”

On if Gordon tweaked something in practice: “No, it had just been bothering him. He had gone through a little bit of the individual and it was bothering him enough that we stopped it.”

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Browns training camp snapshot: WR Josh Gordon pulled from team drills because of patellar tendinitis

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 29, 2013

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

Storylines: Josh Gordon, the team’s No. 1 wide receiver, was pulled out of team drills because he’s dealing with patellar tendinitis in his knee, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said. “He started out, tried to push through it, but we pulled him and sat him down for the rest of practice,” Chudzinski said. “I’m not concerned about it. It shouldn’t be too big of a deal.” The NFL suspended Gordon for the first two games of the regular season for violating its substance-abuse policy. Gordon said he failed a drug test as a result of prescribed cough medicine that contained codeine, which the NFL classifies as a banned substance. Chudzinski said there wasn’t a specific incident in practice that caused Gordon to suffer patellar tendinitis. “No, it had been bothering him,” Chudzinski said. When asked whether Gordon will undergo an MRI, Chudzinski said, “We’ll see about that. Again, I’m not concerned about it. It doesn’t look to be too serious, but I’ll let you know tomorrow on that. And obviously as far as reps, we want our guys to get as many reps as possible.” At one point early in practice, a coach yelled at Gordon to finish a drill with hustle, but he walked. Chudzinski said it was because of the patellar tendinitis. … The Browns worked on their two-minute drill for the first time since camp started last week. Quarterback Brandon Weeden completed passes of 21 and 15 yards to wide receiver Travis Benjamin to set up Shayne Graham’s successful 43-yard field goal, which capped the first-team offense’s opening drive. During the second-team offense’s first try, quarterback Jason Campbell completed a 36-yard touchdown to wide receiver Jordan Norwood, who beat the coverage of cornerback Abdul Kennah. Brandon Bogotay then made a 48-yard field goal to get his rep in. During the first-team offense’s second attempt, Weeden led the team inside the 10-yard line. But on third-and-goal on the 7, cornerback Chris Owens intercepted a pass from Weeden in the end zone. Quarterback Brian Hoyer orchestrated the second-team offense’s second try. On third-and-9 on the 14, Hoyer fired a pass into heavy traffic that was deflected and intercepted by undrafted rookie safety Kent Richardson.

Position battles: With Tashaun Gipson sitting out with a sprained shoulder, Johnson Bademosi took the reps with the first-team defense. … With defensive end Desmond Bryant sidelined with an injured back, Billy Winn worked with the first unit. … Nose tackle Phil Taylor took his first reps in team drills since camp started, but he was limited as he continues to recover from a strained calf. Ishmaa’ily Kitchen and John Hughes took reps with the first-team defense while Taylor rested. … Owens practiced with the first unit opposite cornerback Joe Haden. … John Greco and Shawn Lauvao continued to work at left and right guard, respectively, with the first-team offense. Meanwhile, Jason Pinkston spent time at right guard with the second unit. … T.J. Conley punted with the first team, followed by Spencer Lanning.

Highlights: Wide receiver Greg Little leaped to make an impressive catch from Weeden on a post route in team drills. … Cornerback Joe Haden broke up a deep pass from Weeden to Little in team drills. … Inside linebacker Craig Robertson intercepted a pass from Weeden that was intended for running back Dion Lewis on an out route. … Weeden connected with Little and tight end Jordan Cameron for touchdowns in red-zone team drills. … Hoyer threw a touchdown pass over the middle to tight end Kellen Davis during an 11-on-11, red-zone drill.

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With video: Browns President Alec Scheiner outlines plan for enhancing game-day experience

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 29, 2013

Browns President Alec Scheiner unveiled a plan today to enhance the game-day experience at FirstEnergy Stadium beginning this year.

Scheiner said helping fans enter the stadium faster is one of the organization’s main goals, so 20 new turnstiles and 44 new security screening chutes have been installed. The Browns estimate those improvements will allow an additional 4,000 fans to enter the stadium every 15 minutes.

Scheiner also believes a new NFL security policy requiring fans to use transparent bags will help stadium ingress. For more information about the policy, visit www.nfl.com/allclear.

The Browns will mail clear bags featuring their helmet logo to season-ticket holders before the start of the regular season, Scheiner said. There will be express lanes in certain areas for people who don’t bring bags, Scheiner said.

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to visit Browns' headquarters Thursday for youth clinic

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 29, 2013

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will visit the Browns’ headquarters Thursday in Berea for a “Heads Up Football” youth clinic run by Pop Warner and USA Football.

The clinic is designed to further advance youth player safety. For more information, visit www.usafootball.com.

Former Browns running back Jamel White, former Browns wide receiver Steve Sanders, former Detroit Lions quarterback Eric Hipple and St. Ignatius High School coach Chuck Kyle are slated to attend.

The clinic is scheduled to begin at 3:15 p.m. A news conference is set for 4 p.m. The Browns will also begin their training camp practice at 4 p.m.
 

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

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 28, 2013

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

Opening statement: “Good afternoon, we had a good first day in pads. We started out a little bit slow, but we picked it up and ended up having a good practice. We really focused a lot on the red zone. It’s an area where we really want to concentrate and improve, and make improvements on this season. We had a good practice. Just to give you a Ryan Miller update, there is no new news with him. He is currently in the NFL concussion protocol. I saw him last night before we got to our nightly meetings. I’ll take questions now.”

On Montario Hardesty: “Montario has a hamstring. He’s day-to-day; I’m not concerned about him.”

On Desmond Bryant not taking any reps: “He’s had back spasms. He will be day-to-day.”

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Browns training camp snapshot: Barkevious Mingo debuts in full pads; Bryant, Hardesty sit out

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 28, 2013

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

Storylines: With the Browns practicing in full pads for the first time this year, all eyes were on rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo as he got a taste of his first live action in the NFL. Mingo showed off his speed during a few pass rushes. He beat undrafted rookie offensive tackle Martin Wallace off the edge and earned a virtual sack against quarterback Jason Campbell. Players, of course, are forbidden from hitting the quarterbacks in practice. But Mingo also learned some lessons while facing veteran backup left tackle Rashad Butler, who often stopped him in his tracks. “I thought I had a really good practice,” Mingo said. “Not really good, pretty good. I made some mistakes. I made some plays. But I’ve got to just keep moving forward.” Mingo has consistently worked with the second-team defense this offseason while outside linebackers Paul Kruger and Jabaal Sheard have practiced with the first unit. Kruger, the team’s most prominent free-agent signing this offseason, created some pressure while facing off against Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas. “Joe’s an awesome player,” Kruger said. “I had experience with him when I was in Baltimore. He’s a great player. He’s great to go against because it prepares you for the top guys in the league. He’s becoming a friend to me, and I have a lot of respect for him as a player. So it’s definitely a good little competition out there.” … According to the Browns, 4,466 fans attended practice today, and that’s a single-day record for a practice in Berea. With red-zone drills ruling the day, the crowd had plenty of action to follow. At the end of an 11-on-11 drill, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski looked at the fans and said, “Fourth down for the game right here.” The crowd cheered, and Weeden connected with wide receiver Josh Gordon for a touchdown on a slant route.

Position battles: Running back Dion Lewis received some work with the first-team offense. Fellow backup Montario Hardesty, meanwhile, was sidelined with an injured hamstring. … Billy Winn practiced at defensive end with the first-team defense, replacing Desmond Bryant, who sat out team drills with back spasms. … Free safety Tashaun Gipson sprained his shoulder when he collided with Gordon on a reception over the middle during the first hour of practice. With Gipson sitting out the rest of the 11-on-11 sessions, Johnson Bademosi received the majority of the first-team reps at free safety, though undrafted rookie Josh Aubrey got some work, too. … With Phil Taylor remaining idle in team drills with a strained calf, John Hughes continued to practice at nose tackle with the first-team defense. However, Ishmaa’ily Kitchen also got some time with the first unit.

Highlights: In an 11-on-11, red-zone drill, Lewis caught a pass in the flat from Campbell, juked undrafted rookie safety Kenronte Walker, causing him to fall down in front of the goal line, and then jogged into the end zone. … In a nine-on-nine drill, Gordon leaped to grab a sharp pass from Weeden over Gipson in the back of the end zone. … Wide receiver Jordan Norwood made several impressive catches, including a diving reception on an out route from quarterback Brian Hoyer. … Rookie cornerback Leon McFadden broke up a pass from Weeden to wide receiver Davone Bess in the back corner of the end zone. … Inside linebacker Craig Robertson and Kruger each reached Weeden on blitzes. … In a seven-on-seven, red-zone drill, cornerback Joe Haden cut in front of tight end Jordan Cameron and intercepted a pass from Weeden in the end zone. … Aubrey picked off a pass from Hoyer during a seven-on-seven session in the red zone.

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

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 27, 2013

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

Opening statement: “Good afternoon. Just want to start off with Ryan Miller. He was injured early in practice with a head injury during drills. He was taken to the hospital. Our medical staff treated him on the field and was able to transport him to the hospital. At this time, Ryan is doing well. He is responsive and sounds like things are better at this point. We will continue to give you updates on that. I plan on visiting Ryan tonight and seeing how he is doing.”

On Ryan Miller staying overnight in the hospital: “I don’t know that.”

On what exactly happened to cause Ryan Miller’s injury: “It was one-on-one blocking drills. I did not see it. Obviously, two guys were going against each other and hit against each other.”

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Browns training camp snapshot: Practice halted by Miller’s frightening injury; Taylor, Davis return

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 27, 2013

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

Storylines: Practice screeched to a halt when backup offensive tackle Ryan Miller suffered a frightening concussion during one-on-one blocking drills. Miller fell to the ground and stayed there for about six minutes until medical personnel immobilized him, strapped him to a board and carted him out of the field house and into an ambulance. He spent about three hours at the Cleveland Clinic’s main campus before being released. A team spokesman said he is awake, alert and has movement in all four extremities. Browns Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas said Miller was unconscious on the field for a brief time. The entire team knelt and prayed in silence as medical personnel tended to Miller. Practice resume about seven minutes after Miller’s injury occurred. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski updated players about Miller’s condition about an hour later. … Nose tackle Phil Taylor (strained calf) and tight end Kellen Davis (sprained knee) returned to practice after sitting out the past two days. Both players participated in individual drills but not team drills. John Hughes continued to practice at nose tackle with the first-team defense in Taylor’s absence. “We will continue to monitor and look at him, eventually upgrade as the time comes,” Chudzinski said of Taylor. … The Browns moved today’s practice indoors and closed it to the public because of inclement weather. Players were originally scheduled to wear full pads for the first time today, but they wore shoulder pads and helmets instead because Chudzinski wanted to wait for an outdoor practice before giving the green light on full pads. Chudzinski said players would be in full pads Sunday, provided the weather doesn’t mess with the plan again.

Position battles: The following players returned kickoffs in this order: cornerback Buster Skrine, wide receiver Travis Benjamin, running back Dion Lewis and safety Johnson Bademosi. … Wide receiver Jordan Norwood received some time with the first-team offense. … John Greco and Shawn Lauvao continued to practice at left and right guard, respectively, with the first-team offense. Jason Pinkston was the second-team left guard. Pinkston was replaced by undrafted rookie Caylin Hauptmann after committing a false start.

Highlights: The first-team lines were involved in a small skirmish during the first inside running drill of camp in which players wore shoulder pads. … In one-on-one drills pitting wide receivers against defensive backs, receiver Naaman Roosevelt beat cornerback Akeem Auguste and leaped to make a diving catch on a pass from quarterback Brian Hoyer in the front corner of the end zone. … In team drills, tight end Gary Barnidge made an impressive catch on a pass from Hoyer and managed to stay in bounds along the sideline for a gain of about 15 yards. … Rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo, the sixth overall pick in this year’s draft, dropped back in coverage against tight end Brad Smelley and broke up a deep pass from Hoyer on an out route during team drills.
Injuries: Backup offensive right tackle Oniel Cousins sat out today after spraining an ankle Friday. Chudzinski said Cousins will probably be out a couple of weeks. … Fullback Brock Bolen sat out with a strained calf. … Undrafted rookie offensive lineman Chris Faulk (knee) remained sidelined and on the active physically unable to perform list.

Sunday’s schedule: Practice from 4-6:30 p.m. For updates, call 877-627-6967.

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Browns training camp: OT Ryan Miller released from hospital after suffering concussion at practice

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 27, 2013

Updated at 8:07 p.m.

Browns offensive tackle Ryan Miller player was taken to the Cleveland Clinic's main campus this evening after being carted off the field during a scary scene at training camp.

Miller suffered a concussion and was released from the hospital tonight, a team spokesman said. Miller is awake, alert and has movement in all four extremities.

In his post-practice news conference, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said Miller suffered a head injury during one-on-one blocking drills. Chudzinski said specifically said Miller did not injure his neck, and he did not know whether Miller has a concussion.

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Browns training camp: Practice closed to public today because of weather

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 27, 2013

Updated at 3:55 p.m. today

The Browns announced that today’s practice will be moved indoors and closed to the public because of inclement weather.

It was scheduled to be the first practice of training camp with players wearing full pads. But that planned because the session was moved into the field house. The players will now wear shells (helmets and shoulder pads).

For updates from the closed practice, follow me on Twitter.

Sunday’s practice is set to run from 4-6:30 p.m. and will be open to the public, weather permitting. Players are expected to be in full pads. For updates, call 877-627-6967.

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

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 26, 2013

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

Opening statement: “Just to start out with the medical report, Kellen Davis and Phil Taylor were both out today. They had a chance to work on the side and they are both day to day. They shouldn’t be too much longer. David Nelson worked back in today and got some individual work. We will evaluate him and continue to evaluate him. Hopefully we’ll get to upgrade him as we are going. Oniel Cousins rolled his ankle in practice and we will evaluate that afterward and we will see where we are at with him for tomorrow going forward.”

On Phil Taylor’s injury: “I’m expecting him back in the next few days. He feels good and he worked hard on the side with the trainers. All reports I’ve gotten are pretty positive.”

On David Nelson’s size: “He’s a big guy. He has big hands. He’s been productive. He’s played and he has experience. We’ll just have to get him out there. He hasn’t been in the system, so obviously he’s just been learning through meetings. Just getting out there and going through the route tree was a good starting point today.”

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Browns training camp snapshot: Secondary dominates, wide receiver David Nelson returns to practice

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 26, 2013

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

Storylines: The defensive backs dominated during team drills, and the most notable player in the group was no exception. Starting cornerback Joe Haden intercepted a pass from quarterback Brandon Weeden to wide receiver Josh Gordon on an out route. Haden bolted the other way for what would have been a pick-six. After the play, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski congratulated Haden. During his post-practice news conference, Chudzinski said Haden has stepped up as a leader this offseason, and he believes Haden has great potential. “I think Joe’s best days are ahead of him if he continues to work,” Chudzinski said. Not long after Haden’s pick, he and cornerback Buster Skrine, who rotated with Chris Owens with the first-team defense, broke up passes on consecutive plays. Backup safeties Johnson Bademosi and Josh Aubrey dropped interceptions on back-to-back passes thrown by quarterback Brian Hoyer. In an another 11-on-11 session, Skrine intercepted a pass from quarterback Jason Campbell intended for Grodon on a hook route. Cornerback Trevin Wade intercepted a pass that went in and out of the hands of wide receiver Jordan Norwood. Hoyer threw the pass. … Wide receiver David Nelson passed a physical today and returned to practice. It was his first practice since he tore an anterior cruciate ligament as a member of the Buffalo Bills in last year’s season opener and underwent a subsequent knee surgery. Nelson participated in individual drills but not team sessions. He declined to speak to the media afterward. “We’ll continue to evaluate him and hopefully upgrade him as we’re going,” Chudzinski said.

Position battles: For the second consecutive practice, John Greco and Shawn Lauvao worked at left and right guard, respectively, with the first-team offense. Jason Pinkston took reps as the second-team left guard. … T.J. Conley took the first reps in punting drills, followed by Spencer Lanning.

Highlights: Quarterback Brandon Weeden, who continued to take all the first-team reps, completed a deep touchdown pass to Travis Benjamin in one-on-one drills pitting the receivers against the defensive backs. … In a seven-on-seven drill, Weeden connected with wide receiver Greg Little, who made a great grab against tight coverage from Skrine. … At the beginning of practice, the players did a stretching exercise in which they raised one arm while leaning over. A fan yelled, “Raise your hand if you’re glad [ex-Browns coach Pat] Shurmur’s gone.” Backup running back Brandon Jackson stood straight up and raised both hands. The crowd laughed and cheered while one fan shouted, “We’re with ya.”

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Browns WR David Nelson announces he's been medically cleared to return from knee injury

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 26, 2013

Browns wide receiver David Nelson has been medically cleared to return to practice after sitting out for nearly a year while recovering from a torn anterior cruciate in his knee, he announced this morning via Twitter.

“I’ve been working, and waiting a year for this!!” Nelson tweeted. “It’s GO time.”

Nelson started training camp on the active physically-unable-to-perform list, but the Browns can take him off it an anytime, meaning he could be back in action as soon as today when practice runs from 4-6:30 p.m. He signed a one-year contract with the Browns in April.

As a member of the Buffalo Bills, Nelson suffered the season-ending knee injury in the Sept. 9 opener against the New York Jets and subsequently had it repaired by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews. Last month, Nelson said he expected to be physically ready to practice by the time training camp opened Thursday.

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Browns training camp snapshot: Haslam takes spotlight, Chudzinski gets pumped, Richardson runs well

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 25, 2013

The Browns opened training camp to the public today at their headquarters in Berea. Below is a quick glance at what unfolded.

Storylines: With his family’s truck-stop empire, Pilot Flying J, at the center of a federal investigation into fraud, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam attended the first full-squad practice of training camp Thursday and tried to alleviate concerns that he’ll be forced to sell the team. “The fans should not worry,” Haslam said. “Our family is going to own this asset for a long, long time.” … Rob Chudzinski urged the crowd to cheer, exchanged fives with fans and pumped his fist with excitement. "There was some barking," he said with a smile. Growing up in Toledo, Chudzinski was a rabid Browns fan who ate dog biscuits as a youngster. His passion was evident during his first open practice as the team’s head coach. … Running back Trent Richardson practiced without limitations and displayed an impressive burst after sitting out part of organized team activities in May and all the team’s mandatory minicamp in June with a strained muscle in his right shin. “I’m feeling real good,” Richardson said. “When it comes down to it, you’re going to see my game elevate.” ... Browns Hall of Fame running back and special advisor Jim Brown attended practice, and Chudzinski asked him to address the team before it took the field. "Everyone was excited to see and hear Jim Brown speak to them and address them," inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson said. "Anytime he speaks, you listen. He's a legend. He's one of the greatest players to ever play this game, and he's a stand-up guy. People think the world of him, and I'm just happy he was able to come back and he was able to around and be a part of this organization."

Position battles: John Greco worked at left guard and Shawn Lauvao at right guard with the first-team offense while Jason Pinkston practiced at left guard with the second unit. … Cornerback Buster Skrine lined up with the first-team defense opposite Joe Haden. In the nickel package, Skrine covered the slot, and cornerback Chris Owens moved to the outside. … Rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo, the sixth overall pick in this year’s draft, and cornerback Leon McFadden, a third-round selection, continued to toil with the second-team defense.

Highlights: Quarterback Brandon Weeden took all the snaps with the first-team offense and threw several deep passes on target. However, Owens intercepted one and outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard batted another down at the line of scrimmage. … Owens and strong safety T.J. Ward broke up a few passes. … Wide receiver Josh Cooper beat the coverage of McFadden and free safety Johnson Bademosi, but dropped a deep touchdown pass from quarterback Brian Hoyer, who shared second-team reps with Jason Campbell. … Weeden connected on some deep passes with receivers Greg Little and Travis Benjamin, who got up slowly and walked to the sideline late in practice after making a nice grab over Owens.

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Browns owner Jimmy Haslam 'very optimistic' about federal investigation

By Marla Ridenour Published: July 25, 2013
haslam

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam told fans Thursday that his family “is going to own this asset for a long, long time,” and said he was “very optimistic about the outcome” of a federal investigation into fraudulent practices at his Pilot Flying J truck stop business.

Speaking on the first day of Browns training camp, Haslam seemed confident that the legal issues following the April 15 raid by the FBI and IRS raid on Pilot Flying J’s headquarters in Knoxville will not force him to sell the team he took over last Aug. 3.

“I said this on Aug. 3, we’re committed to owning the Browns for a long period of time,” Haslam said. “I understand in Cleveland there’s a great deal of uncertainty because of past history, but the fans should not worry. Our family is going to own this asset for a long, long time. We’re excited and we feel (it’s) a privilege to own not just an NFL, but to own the Cleveland Browns with all the heritage and history it has.”

Some business blogs had speculated that cash flow could become an issue for Haslam, especially as he goes about the process of refunding rebates owed customers dating back to Jan. 1, 2005.

“There’s absolutely no worry about cash flow. If there was, I mentioned this earlier, we wouldn’t be doing the things we were in Berea, we wouldn’t have signed the free agents, we wouldn’t be talking about doing the things we are at the stadium,” Haslam said. “We’re looking at this as a long-term vision. We want to be successful as quickly as we can, we want to build a long-term vision here.”

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Browns sign FB Brock Bolen, LB Justin Cole and waive OL Dominic Alford, WR Keenan Davis

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 24, 2013

The Browns signed fullback Brock Bolen and linebacker Justin Cole and waived offensive lineman Dominic Alford and wide receiver Keenan Davis, the team announced today.

The 6-foot, 232-pound Bolen has appeared in 20 NFL games, all with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In his career, he has compiled two rushing attempts for 14 yards and three receptions for 21 yards to go along with 16 special-teams tackles.

Bolen missed the entire 2012 season with an injured knee. A native of Germantown, Ohio, he signed with the Jaguars in 2009 as an undrafted free agent from Louisville. He has yet to start an NFL game.

The 6-3, 243-pound Cole has appeared in 20 NFL games, all with the St. Louis Rams. He has totaled two career tackles on defense and seven stops on special teams.

Cole, a native of Pasadena, Calif., appeared in all 16 games last season with the Rams and played in four in 2011. He has not started an NFL game.

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Browns sign former Rams LB Justin Cole, agent announces

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 24, 2013

The Browns have signed former St. Louis Rams linebacker Justin Cole, his agent, Ken Sarnoff, announced today via Twitter.

The Browns have yet to announce the move.

The 6-foot-3, 242-pound Cole spent the past two seasons with the Rams, compiling nine tackles as a backup. He appeared in all 16 games this past season and four in 2011.

Cole, 25, entered the NFL in 2010 when he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent from San Jose State. He was inactive for 11 games that year and spent the final five weeks of the season on the Chiefs’ practice squad.

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With video: Browns CEO Joe Banner tries to reassure fans about owner Jimmy Haslam's legal troubles

By Marla Ridenour Published: July 24, 2013

Browns CEO Joe Banner insisted today that the federal investigation into practices at owner Jimmy Haslam’s Pilot Flying J truck stop business is not affecting the football operation.

Banner tried to reassure fans that the probe into rebate fraud will not force Haslam to sell the team.

“I don’t know what we can say beyond what we’ve said.” Banner said. “I understand why that doesn’t give everybody total peace of mind. We’re operating the team exactly as we would, whether this would have happened or not. Jimmy’s here and incredibly supportive and a huge asset to us. He’s made it clear and I’ve tried to make it clear without any ambiguity at all that he’s not going to sell the team.

“But I understand why until that actually happens and this thing plays itself out it’s a legitimate question for people to continue asking.”

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Browns sign wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 23, 2013

The Browns signed free agent wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt, the team announced today.

The 6-foot, 200-pound Roosevelt has appeared in 16 NFL games, all with the Buffalo Bills.

With Josh Gordon suspended the first two games of the season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy and David Nelson starting training camp on the active physically unable to perform list as he attempts to come back from a season-ending knee injury suffered last year, Roosevelt will receive a chance to show he’s capable of providing quality depth.

Roosevelt, who entered the league as an undrafted free agent from University at Buffalo in 2010, has recorded 25 career receptions for 396 yards with one touchdown. In 2011, he appeared in 10 games and set career highs with 16 receptions for 257 yards with one touchdown. He spent training camp with the Bills last year before being cut and sitting out the entire season.

In college, Roosevelt set school records in receptions (268), receiving yards (3,551), touchdown catches (28) and all-purpose yards (5,341).

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Browns agree to terms on contract extension with guard John Greco

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 23, 2013

The Browns agreed to terms on a five-year contract with guard John Greco, the team announced today.

Greco’s contract was set to expire following the 2013 season, but he’s now signed through 2017. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

Greco started 10 games at left guard this past season because Jason Pinkston was placed on injured reserve with a blood clot in his lung. In his first four NFL seasons, Greco had only four starts, but he capitalized on his opportunity last season, impressing the new coaching staff and front office.

“John is a solid, all-around teammate, on and off the field,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said in a news release. “He was given an opportunity to play last year and really showed well. He’s respected in the locker room for his approach, consistency and team-first attitude.”

The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Greco, 28, spent time at right and left guard this spring and will enter training camp, which opens to the public Thursday, in a three-man competition for two starting spots. Greco rotated with Shawn Lauvao and Pinkston throughout organized team activities and minicamp, but he seemed to receive the most amount of practice time with the first-team offense. The contract extension, though, does not guarantee Greco a starting role.

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With video: Browns DC Ray Horton discusses vision for defense as training camp begins

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 23, 2013

New Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton met with reporters today to discuss the outlook of the defense as it transitions from a 4-3 system to his attacking, 3-4, multi-front scheme and enters training camp, which will open to the public Thursday with the first full-squad practice running from 4-6:30 p.m.

Below are highlights from the interview with Horton.

Linebackers

How is rookie Barkevious Mingo, the sixth overall pick in this year’s draft, adjusting to the NFL?

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With video: Browns OC Norv Turner discusses vision for offense as training camp begins

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 23, 2013

New Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner met with reporters today to discuss the outlook of the offense as it transitions from a West Coast system to his downfield, vertical passing game and power running scheme.

The Browns will open to training camp to the public Thursday with the first full-squad practice running from 4-6:30 p.m.

Below are highlights from the interview with Turner:

Quarterbacks

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Video: In wake of suspension, Browns WR Josh Gordon says his 'priorities are definitely in order'

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 22, 2013

Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon insisted he has his priorities straight while addressing the media today for the first time since the NFL suspended him two games and fined him four game checks for violating its substance-abuse policy.

“My priorities are definitely in order, definitely in line,” Gordon said. “I still got a job to come out here and do every day. I’ve got to be accountable and be a grown man, help provide for me and my family. So I do definitely have my priorities in order.”

Gordon was at the Browns' training facility this afternoon as rookies and select veterans practiced. The team will hold its first full-squad practice Thursday, when camp opens to the public.

While facing questions from reporters, Gordon repeatedly referred to the following statement he issued June 7 after the league handed down the suspension. “In February, I was diagnosed with strep throat for which a doctor prescribed antibiotics and cough medicine. Apparently, the medicine I took contained codeine, which is prohibited by the NFL policy. The policy terms are strict about unintentional ingestion, but the NFL has not imposed the maximum punishment in light of the facts of my case. Therefore, I have chosen to be immediately accountable for the situation. I sincerely apologize for the impact on my team, coaches, and Browns fans. I look forward to working hard in training camp and preseason, and contributing immediately when I return in Week 3.”

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Browns training camp: RB Trent Richardson returns to practice, has been full-go, Rob Chudzinski says

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 22, 2013

After missing some spring practices with a strained muscle in his right shin, Browns running back Trent Richardson reported to training camp early and has been practicing, coach Rob Chudzinski said this morning.

“Richardson has been full-go,” Chudzinski said. “He’s been practicing these last few days and looks good.”

Chudzinski said players who were injured in the spring were able to report to training camp Friday, when rookies and some veterans checked in. They began on-field work Saturday.

Richardson, the third overall pick in last year’s draft, suffered a strained muscle in his right shin during the second week of organized team activities in May. The injury kept him sidelined for the rest of OTAs and the team’s three-day mandatory minicamp June 4-6, but Richardson insisted that he sat out for precautionary reasons and would be ready to return to action for the start of training camp.

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Browns sign top draft pick Barkevious Mingo

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 21, 2013

Outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo, the sixth overall pick in this year’s draft, didn’t get a wink of sleep Saturday night while the Browns hammered out his first NFL contract with agent Jeff Guerriero.

Mingo’s deal was finalized sometime between 2-3 a.m. Sunday, the Browns released the news at 7:31 a.m. and their top draft pick joined his fellow rookies on the practice field hours later despite running on fumes.

The Browns signed Mingo to a four-year contract with a fifth-year club option, the team announced. The deal is worth more than $16 million, a league source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t disclose the financial terms of the deal.

Mingo received a bit more money than the sixth overall pick in last year’s draft, Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne. Mingo’s former teammate at Louisiana State University, Claiborne signed a four-year deal that totaled $16.26 million and included a $10.3 million signing bonus.

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Browns sign draft picks Leon McFadden, Armonty Bryant to 4-year contracts

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 19, 2013

As rookies reported to training camp today, the Browns signed two of their picks from this year’s draft, cornerback Leon McFadden and defensive end Armonty Bryant, to four-year contracts, the team announced.

Now outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo, the sixth overall selection from Louisiana State University, is the only unsigned player from the organization’s five-member draft class.

Because of the rookie wage scale, Mingo is due to receive a deal similar to the four-year, $16.26 million contract Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne, the sixth overall pick in the 2012 draft, signed last year. But the hold up on Mingo’s deal, like with many top-10 picks, is still about whether the contract will contain offset language, a league source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the negotiations.

Some teams push for offset language because it would keep them from paying a drafted player the full remainder of his salary in the unlikely event he is cut before the expiration of his rookie deal and signs with another team. In turn, agents resist offset language on behalf of their clients because it would eliminate the possibility that a player could be paid in full by the team that drafted him, plus receive whatever salary another team would give him.

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Browns sign rookie defensive end Armonty Bryant to 4-year contract

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 19, 2013

The Browns have signed rookie defensive end Armonty Bryant, a seventh-round pick from East Central University, to a four-year contract, the team announced this afternoon.

With rookies scheduled to report to training camp today, outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo, the sixth overall pick from Louisiana State, and cornerback Leon McFadden, a third-round selection from San Diego State, are the only members of the team’s 2013 draft class who remain unsigned.

The 6-foot-4, 265-pound Bryant pleaded no contest to driving under the influence May 3 in Ada, Okla., less than a week after the Browns drafted him April 27. He received a one-year deferred sentence and arranged to pay $1,136 in fines and court costs. The incident came on the heels of Bryant's arrest in October for selling $20 of marijuana twice to an undercover police officer.

Despite his history of off-field issues, the Browns have stuck with Bryant. Last month during the NFL Rookie Symposium, Bryant said he was determined to reward the team for showing faith in him. He said he hadn't used drugs or alcohol since his most recent arrest.

"[I’m] walking on thin ice," Bryant said. "You can’t make any more mistakes. The organization gave me another opportunity, and I’m appreciative of it. I’m just trying to get better.

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Browns announce updated information about training camp

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 18, 2013

The Browns will open training camp to the public July 25 at their training facility in Berea. Click here for the practice schedule.

Below is updated information about training camp that the team announced today.

***Handicap-accessible parking has moved from the Berea Recreation Center lot to the grounds of the Berea training facility. Parking and entry for those with a proper handicap tag will be available near the Browns training facility entrance at 76 Lou Groza Boulevard.

***The official radio partners of the Cleveland Browns, ESPN 850 WKNR & 92.3 “The Fan” WKRK, will be broadcasting live each day.

***Fan parking will be limited in the Baldwin-Wallace lots on July 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 due to the 2013 National Senior Games.

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Browns announce their radio show is moving to new time slot, adding host

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 18, 2013

In March, the Beacon Journal reported Cleveland Browns Daily, a radio show hosted by Vic Carucci, would move from its 6-7 p.m. time slot weekdays on WKNR (AM-850) to 1-3 p.m. on the same station.

Well, the Browns announced today that the show will air in its new time slot beginning Monday and that national sports radio personality Nathan Zegura will serve as Carucci’s co-host. WKNR host Je’Rod Cherry will also join the show as a contributing host.

To accommodate the lineup change, WKNR will move The Jim Rome Show to KNR2 (1540-AM). All three hours of the show will air from 12-3 p.m.

Below is the news release from the Browns.

The Cleveland Browns and Good Karma Broadcasting’s ESPN 850 WKNR announced today that “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford” host Vic Carucci will be joined by national sports radio host Nathan Zegura. In addition, the show will move from its 6 p.m. time to a new spot in the lineup and will now air live every Monday through Friday from 1-3 p.m. (ET).

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Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says Pilot Flying J has sent checks to companies shorted on rebates

By The Associated Press Published: July 15, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pilot Flying J, in the midst of an FBI investigation of alleged fraud by its sales staff, has sent checks to trucking companies shorted on rebates, according to a letter to the company's customers.

In the July 12 letter made public Monday, CEO and Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said that after an audit, "checks have been sent with interest to all who were found to be owed money."

He didn't say how large the checks were or how many were being distributed, but he did note there were numerous accounts with a "zero balance and even some accounts that owed money to Pilot Flying J."

Haslam, the brother of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, said during a speech in May at an annual conference of truckers in Indianapolis that as many as 250 trucking companies might be owed money.

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Updated: Browns pick architect, construction company for renovation of FirstEnergy Stadium

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 15, 2013

The Browns have selected Los Angeles-based architecture firm Gensler to design a major renovation of FirstEnergy Stadium and chosen New York-based Turner Construction Co. as the general contractor for the two-year project, SportsBusinessDaily.com reported today, citing industry sources.

Browns CEO Joe Banner responded to inquiries about the report in a statement.

"We have consistently communicated that improving the fan experience is one of our priorities," Banner said in the statement. "We have engaged Gensler architectural firm and Turner Construction to explore every opportunity to help us accomplish this through a potential renovation. This process is in the early stages, so it would be premature to discuss financial parameters, but when we have specific details, we will certainly share our plans with our fans and the community."

The renovation is expected to cost more than $100 million, according to the report.

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Browns 34th on Forbes' list of world's 50 most valuable sports teams of 2013

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 15, 2013

The Browns are ranked 34th on Forbes' list of the world’s 50 most valuable sports teams of 2013 with an estimated value of $987 million.

The Browns are 21st among the 30 NFL franchises on the list. They're third in the AFC North, behind the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens (19th overall, $1.157 billion) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (23rd overall, $1.1 billion) and ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals (42nd overall, $871 million).

The Dallas Cowboys ($2.1 billion) are ranked fifth overall and first among NFL teams. The St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars are the only NFL teams that missed the top 50, and they’re ranked 51st and 52nd, respectively.

European soccer team Real Madrid tops the entire list at $3.3 billion.

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Report: Lawsuit accuses Browns owner Jimmy Haslam of giving 'blessing' to Pilot Flying J fraud

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 11, 2013

Wright Transportation, a trucking company based in Mobile, Ala., filed a proposed class-action lawsuit recently in federal court against Pilot Flying J, the family business of Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, according to reports.

The 37-page complaint, according to the Tennessean, accuses Haslam, Pilot Flying J’s CEO, and other top executives of violating federal racketeering laws, state deceptive trade practices laws “and common laws of unjust enrichment.”

The FBI and Internal Revenue Service raided Pilot Flying J’s headquarters April 15 in Knoxville, Tenn., as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations that the company cheated trucking customers out of millions of dollars of diesel fuel rebates. So far, five Pilot Flying J employees have pleaded guilty to fraud.

Haslam has repeatedly denied any prior knowledge of the scheme. The suit filed by Wright Transportation charges that Haslam gave his “blessing” to the fraud, according to the Tennessean.

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Browns, rest of NFL pass on chances to pick in this year's supplemental draft

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 11, 2013

The Browns made headlines a year ago by selecting wide receiver Josh Gordon in the second round of the NFL’s supplemental draft, but there was no sequel to the drama this time around.

As expected, no players were selected in this year’s supplemental draft, the league announced this afternoon.

The supplemental draft began at 1 p.m. today. By 1:21 p.m., league spokesman Randall Liu announced via Twitter that it had concluded without a selection being made.

At least one player had been selected in the supplemental draft the past four years. Gordon was the only one picked last year, marking the first time the Browns used the supplemental draft since 1985, when they nabbed quarterback Bernie Kosar.

The six players eligible for this year’s supplemental draft -- UNLV defensive end James Boyd, UNLV defensive tackle Nate Holloway, Central Florida defensive end Toby Jackson, Houston wide receiver DeWayne Peace, Purdue wide receiver O.J. Ross and South Alabama defensive back Damond Smith – are now classified as free agents and free to sign with any team.

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Owner Jimmy Haslam says he has no plans to sell Browns

By Marla Ridenour Published: July 8, 2013

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has no plans to sell the Browns in the wake of a federal investigation that could be taxing the finances of his Pilot Flying J truck stop business.

That's the message Haslam relayed through a spokesperson Monday to Cleveland.com. Haslam said the same thing to ESPNCleveland.com in a telephone interview Sunday night.

"We are staying in close contact with the NFL during the investigation," Haslam spokesman Tom Ingram said in an email to Cleveland.com. "We expect no change in Mr. Haslam's relationship with the NFL and/or his ownership of the Browns. Any other statement is unfounded media guessing."

When he spoke to ESPNCleveland.com, Haslam addressed a rumor that the league might force him to sell the Browns. Haslam said he could not envision such a scenario.

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Browns QB Brandon Weeden discusses issue of batted passes

By Marla Ridenour Published: July 3, 2013

Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden discussed passed knocked down at the line, one of the biggest weaknesses during his rookie year, during a Wednesday interview with "NFL AM" on the NFL Network.

ProFootballFocus.com credited Weeden with a league-high 21 batted balls in 2012. That sparked questions, especially since Weeden is 6-foot-4 and the problem is usually an issue for quarterbacks who stand around 6-foot.

"You really can't work on it," Weeden told NFL Network. "It's something that if you think about it all the time, it will probably create more problems. I think there are a lot of reasons they happen. One being me patting the football, which I've talked about is one thing I've worked on this offseason to get rid of the habit of patting the football before you release it. That just gives those guys an extra half a second to jump up and bat it down.

"It's just a part of taking three-step drops from under center, as well. When you are under center you are not very far from the line of scrimmage and you are trying to throw over guys that are (6-foot-4), (6-foot-5), with long arms. You got to throw it through the windows. Unfortunately, it happened last year. I don't know why, but I'm going to do my part, whatever I got to do to throw around those guys to make it happen."

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ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski changes tune on Browns QB Brandon Weeden

By Marla Ridenour Published: July 1, 2013

In a post on Rotoworld.com, Evan Silva writes that ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski studied all of Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden's throws from his rookie season and came away "impressed."

In fact, Jaworski, among those who believed Colt McCoy should have opened the 2012 season as the Browns' No. 1 quarterback, said (per Silva) that Weeden "will be a rock-solid NFL starter in Norv Turner's offense."

Turner was hired in the off-season as offensive coordinator by new coach Rob Chudzinski, who replaced Pat Shurmur.

According to Silva, Jaworski praised Weeden's "uncommon poise and calm in the pocket" with "consistently solid" mechanics recently on ESPN. Jaworski also liked Weeden's "ability to sit on his back foot and drive the ball with velocity."

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