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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 30, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Tuesday after practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

On sorting out the RB situation now that RB Ben Tate is practicing: “Ben looked good today. He just went through some individual work. He’ll get some team reps as the week goes on. As I’ve said at all positions, when you have depth that’s a good problem. It’s a long season, and we’re looking forward to getting him back. He was playing at a high level before he got hurt. We want to be committed to running the football. When you have that mentality, you can’t have enough good backs.”

On if there would be more of an inclination to rest Tate one more week since they have the depth at running back: “We’ll make that decision at the end of the week. If he’s ready to go, there’s no sense resting him. He told us last week that if we had a game yesterday it would have been possible he could have gone. It just leads us to believe that it shouldn’t be an issue this week, but we still need to get him a full week of practice and see how the knee responds to it.”

On if the fact that the two rookie RBs only have five catches between them is a result of a system where you don’t throw to the backs much or the fact that they’re rookies: “I think it’s the system, but I think Ben was ahead of them just from his experience in a similar system and just being a veteran back. Sometimes rookies get too paranoid about protection. They stay in a little bit longer than they need to. We would like the running backs to be more a part of the pass game, but sometimes it’s just a function of what’s available.”

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With Christian Yount struggling, Browns sign long snapper Charley Hughlett to practice squad

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 30, 2014

If Browns long snapper Christian Yount didn't already feel pressure, he will now.

The Browns have signed long snapper Charley Hughlett to their practice squad, his agent, Brett Tessler, announced Tuesday on Twitter. The Browns later announced they made the move and placed defensive lineman Calvin Barnett on the practice squad/injured list.

Still, Yount remains on the active roster.

"I love this coaching staff -- [special teams coordinator Chris] Tabor and [coach Mike] Pettine, all those guys," Yount said Tuesday after practice. "I love being a Brown and being on this team. I'm happy to be here."

Yount misfired high on a botched extra-point attempt in a 26-24 win against the New Orleans Saints in Week 2. Then he misfired low on the 50-yard field goal Billy Cundiff missed with 13:26 left in a 23-21 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3. Pettine has said another less-than-ideal snap played a role in Cundiff’s 36-yard attempt being blocked with 7:46 remaining against the Ravens.

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Browns running back Ben Tate returns to practice after missing two games with sprained knee

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 30, 2014

Browns running back Ben Tate practiced Tuesday for the first time since he suffered a sprained right knee during the second quarter of the Sept. 7 season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It's a sign Tate will likely be able to play Sunday when the Browns (1-2), who are coming off their Week 4 bye, visit the Tennessee Titans (1-3).

Tate is expected to return to the starting lineup upon his return despite the recent emergence of rookie running backs Isaiah Crowell (27 carries, 141 yards, 5.2 average, three touchdowns) and Terrance West (47 carries, 204 yards, 4.3 average, two touchdowns). Tate tallied six carries for 41 yards (6.8 average) before being sidelined.

“That’s what we brought Tate here for, to be the starter,” Browns running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery said last week. “He’s the No. 1 running back in this offense. Right now, you can say we miss him. We miss his experience. We miss his leadership with the group. Speaking from that standpoint, we’ll be open arms and welcome to have Ben back into the fold.”

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List of Browns' opponents for 2015 season

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 29, 2014

The Browns will play the following teams during the 2015 season, according to the NFL Record and Fact Book:

Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and an AFC South team whose finish in its divisional standings corresponds with that of the Browns at the end of the 2014 season.

Away: Ravens, Bengals, Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks and an AFC East team whose finish in its divisional standings corresponds with that of the Browns at the end of the 2014 season.

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Browns try out long snappers Charley Hughlett, Kevin McDermott, according to report

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 26, 2014

The Browns have tried out long snappers Charley Hughlett and Kevin McDermott, NationalFootballPost.com reported Friday.

Browns coach Mike Pettine revealed the team would work out long snappers because Christian Yount has struggled in recent games. He also said Yount's job is probably safe for now.

“[Special teams coordinator] Chris [Tabor] talked to [Yount] and challenged him,” Pettine said Wednesday. “He knows the deal, that it’s a performance-based league, and especially at that position, you’ve got to be on point all the time. We are going to bring a couple guys in to work out, but I can’t put a percentage on it at this point whether or not we would make a move. I would say it’s probably leaning more toward no.”

Yount misfired high on a botched extra-point attempt last week in a 26-24 win against the New Orleans Saints. Then he misfired low on the 50-yard field goal Billy Cundiff missed with 13:26 left in the fourth quarter Sunday in a 23-21 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Pettine said he also partially blames another snap by Yount for Cundiff’s 36-yard attempt being blocked with 7:46 remaining against the Ravens.

Hughlett has never appeared in an NFL regular-season game. McDermott appeared in all 16 regular-season games with the San Francisco 49ers last season.

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 25, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Thursday after practice. Below is a transcript provided by the team.

On if there’s anything new to report: “No updates.”

On what his message was that he sent the guys off on the bye week with: “We want to make sure that we come back fresh and focused. At the same time, you hate dwelling on the negative, but we’ve very aware of the scrutiny that NFL players are under. We’re more under – coaches and players – more under a microscope than most. They represent not just themselves, but their families and the Cleveland Browns – their teammates – when they’re out of the building. I just kept stressing it to them. Surround yourself with good people. Make good choices. It’s a good group, and I think that the time off will be well spent. I’m certain they’re going to come back fresh and focused.”

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 24, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Wednesday after practice. Below is a transcript provided by the team.

On QB Connor Shaw not being at practice: “He’s sick, illness. He’s OK. We just wanted to keep him away from everybody.”

On LB Craig Robertson not being at practice: “Craig welcomed a new addition to his family.”

On if he’s decided to stay with LS Christian Yount for the next game: “Yeah, it’s still being evaluated, but we’re going to come out and (special teams coordinator) Chris (Tabor) talked to him and challenged him. He knows the deal that it’s a performance-based league, and especially at that position, you’ve got to be on-point all the time. We are going to bring a couple guys in to work out, but I can’t put a percentage on this point whether or not we would make a move. I would say it’s probably leaning more towards no.”

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Father of Browns owner Jimmy Haslam released by doctor after car accident, spokesman says

By The Associated Press Published: September 22, 2014

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A family spokesman says Pilot Flying J truck stop founder and father of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is all right after being involved in a three-car accident.

Spokesman Tom Ingram says Jim Haslam was examined and released by his doctor after the Monday wreck.

According to Knoxville police spokesman Darrell DeBusk, Haslam's 2014 Mercedes drifted across the center line, sideswiped an SUV and then went off the roadway and struck a wall. The third vehicle then hit the rear of the Mercedes.

Haslam played tackle for the University of Tennessee and founded Pilot Corp. in 1958 with a single gas station in Gate City, Virginia. The privately held company now has annual revenues of more than $30 billion.

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 22, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Monday to discuss the team's 23-21 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

Opening statement: “(We’re) still feeling very disappointed over yesterday. It goes back to what I said after Pittsburgh. This is a bottom-line business. You have to win games, especially when you put yourself in a position through a good part of the game to win it. We just didn’t take advantage of opportunities we had to put the game away. I will always be my toughest critic and the toughest critic of the staff, and like I said after the game, I wasn’t good enough yesterday. We had a lot of the players put forth a winning effort, but it’s on all of us. We have to clean up, as a staff, a lot of the procedural stuff. I addressed that this morning. We talked about, in the offseason, the ability to finish games and manage games and to do a better job. That’s an area where I felt we came up short. We’re going to take the bye week to get some things done. I know it comes at a…after only three games it still gives us an opportunity to look at our body of work – get a feel for who we are and where we’re headed. We’ll take the time as a staff to evaluate the opposite side of the ball, treat each other as the opponent and give some feedback later in the week. Then we’ll get some work done on the practice field Wednesday and Thursday, and hopefully our guys will be able to come back fresh and focused.”

On how much it bothered him that the Ravens were able to run on them and make big plays late in the game: “The run thing is disappointing. When we look at it…every run play that we give up, every explosive play we give up we evaluate. Was it technique? Was it scheme? Was it talent? Over time as you build, you start to see some trends. If it’s scheme, you either fix the call or take it out. If it’s technique, you address it on the practice field as far as making sure you get that technique worked, repped, perfected. Then if it’s talent you could replace a guy or not put him in a position to have to make that play. Just in broad terms, we look at all the negative plays we give up that way. In the run game, it’s a combination of a lot of different things. It was technique on some. It was scheme on some. (It was) missed tackles on some. It wasn’t any one thing where, ‘Hey, if we do this, we’ll be different.’ We need to get better in our run defense across the board. The pass at the end, that was a perfectly thrown ball. We need to make a play though. That’s disappointing that we battled for as long as we did. We were going to make them drive and earn it, and they were able to hit and basically end the game there with that big chunk. We have to step up. We talk to the guys all the time – be at your best when your best is needed.”

On the players disagreeing with him about the loss being on him: “They’re competitive guys. That’s the way they see it, but I just know if the staff had handled some things better, if I had handled some things better, we wouldn’t have had to burn timeouts. Some of the coaching decisions that we made weren’t good enough. That to me, is why I looked at the end of the game and said, ‘You know what, a lot of our guys played their hearts out.’ It was an emotional locker room. To me, that’s also…you know you’re headed in the right direction when you have guys that care and losing bothers them. We talked about that in the team meeting today. We want the whole room to be like that. When you care that much and it bothers you that much, then you know you’re building something special as opposed to guys that it doesn’t bother as much – losing.”

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Browns vs. Ravens (Week 3): Cleveland falls 23-21

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 21, 2014

The Browns fell 23-21 to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

For our game story, click here.

For Nate Ulrich's analysis, click here.

For Marla Ridenour's column, click here.

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Injury report for Browns vs. Ravens (Week 3)

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 19, 2014

Injury report for Browns vs. Ravens (Week 3)

Browns

Out: Running back Ben Tate (knee). Questionable: Tight end Jordan Cameron (shoulder) and outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo (shoulder). Probable: Wide receiver Travis Benjamin (knee), defensive ends Desmond Bryant (wrist) and John Hughes (hamstring), punter Spencer Lanning (shoulder), offensive lineman Paul McQuistan (ankle) and cornerback Buster Skrine (thumb).

Ravens

Doubtful: Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (knee). Questionable: Running back Bernard Pierce (thigh). Probable: Quarterback Joe Flacco (illness), cornerback Asa Jackson (concussion), offensive tackle Eugene Monroe (knee) and cornerback Lardarius Webb (back).

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 19, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Friday after practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

On the chance of rain on Sunday: “It’s looking like it. The last report I got (indicates) it will rain early. (It will) hopefully blow on through by kickoff, but you never know. We do know there should be a decent amount of wind, but we’ll see. Like we said before, our theory of all-weather could potentially get tested.”

On what is more difficult – throwing a wet ball or catching a wet ball: “I just saw (QB Brian) Hoyer almost get his nose broken. I think both are tough. I think it’s something that you have to work on. It’s important for the quarterback; they have to adjust their grip a little bit. It’s something that I’m sure over time here we’re going to have to deal with.”

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Browns WR Josh Gordon's season-long ban has officially been cut to 10 games

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 19, 2014

Browns All-Pro wide receiver Josh Gordon has officially been reinstated into the NFL, and his season-long ban stemming from a positive marijuana test in the offseason has been reduced to a 10-game suspension under a revamped substance-abuse policy.

The NFL and NFL Players Association reached an agreement on a revised policy Friday.

Gordon has already served two-tenths of his suspension by missing the first two games of the season, so he must sit out the Browns' next eight games, including their matchup Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium. He will be eligible to play again Nov. 23 when the Browns visit the Atlanta Falcons.

Gordon is now allowed to work out and attend meetings at the Browns' headquarters. He won't be allowed to practice until the week leading up to his first game back. The season-long ban permitted him to meet with his clinician at the team's facility, but it prohibited from working out and attending meetings.

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 18, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Thursday before practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

Opening statement: “Just before we start I want to give a shout-out to Ma’ake Kemoeatu. I was in Baltimore when we signed him as an undrafted free agent, got to know him very well. He’s very tight with (defensive line coach) Anthony Weaver. ‘Weave’ was like a mentor, big brother to him. He went from a guy that just…undrafted guy, nobody thought he had a chance and turned into a heck of a player, went on to have a pretty good career. The recent news, very touching, just donated a kidney to his brother. It was ironic that on draft day we were on the phone with his brother Chris to sign him after the draft as a defensive lineman, and he said, ‘Wait, I have another phone call.’ It was the Steelers, they had drafted him in – I think it was – the sixth or seventh round. Today’s climate, most recent climate of the NFL is starved for some positive news, and this is certainly a piece that I think deserves a lot of attention.”

On if he was encouraged by what TE Jordan Cameron was able to do yesterday at practice: “Yeah, cautiously optimistic. He was able to move around. We weren’t in pads. Today will be a better test, just a little bit of contact to see how he responds.”

On why Baltimore is the toughest challenge that the Browns will have faced to date: “Just because of what we’ve seen on tape. When you put on what they did to Pittsburgh on that Thursday night game. That was a dominant performance in all phases. The film doesn’t lie. It was easy to say that about Pittsburgh when it was the opener, but Baltimore’s obviously looking to get back from where they were from the Super Bowl. They took a step backwards last year, but you just look at since 2008 – since (Ravens Head Coach) John (Harbaugh) took over – you could argue that I don’t know if there’s a franchise that’s had more success, multiple AFC Championship games, Super-Bowl win. The success, it speaks for itself. Obviously, they’re trying to get back to that. It didn’t show up Week 1, but certainly did last week.”

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 17, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Wednesday before practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

Opening statement: “New week, new challenge. Makes it a little bit more involved with this one because it is a division opponent. This is a good football team. The film doesn’t lie. I don’t think they were really themselves – they’ll be the first ones to admit it – when they played Cincinnati. I think you saw how they want to play going back to the Thursday night game. It’s a big challenge for us. I think it’ll be our stiffest challenge to date, and just wanted to make sure our guys got re-focused today in the team meeting and just still (have) that ability to compartmentalize wins and losses and move onto the next one I think is critical for our success moving forward. We’re two games in, and the guys I think have done a good job realizing that essentially the only thing the Saints game did for us was guarantee that we won’t go 0-16. I have a lot of respect for this franchise we’re getting ready to go against having spent some time there, knowing a lot of people down there that I worked with – a lot of respect for it. Having that information, it’s easy to figure out how big of a challenge this is going to be for us.”

On if there has been any recent news on the length of WR Josh Gordon’s suspension: “No news, and I know there’s talk with upper level of management, but I’m bunkered in. We’ve got team meetings. We’ve got group meetings. Then, we go into position meetings. Until he’s here and we get official word, then I’ll deal with it at that point, but at this point, I think there’s still a lot of stuff floating out there as far as what – and I’ve heard a lot of different things, and it’s just hard to react to it until we actually get definitive word from the league.”

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Jordan Cameron, Barkevious Mingo return to practice for Browns; Ben Tate not expected to face Ravens

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 17, 2014

Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron and starting outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo returned to practice Wednesday for the Browns.

Cameron and Mingo did not practice last week, and they sat out Sunday during the Browns' 26-24 upset win over the New Orleans Saints. They are recovering from shoulder injuries.

They'll likely be limited in practice Wednesday, but their return is a sign the Browns (1-1) hope they will be ready to face the Baltimore Ravens (1-1) on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

On the other hand, starting running back Ben Tate is not expected to face the Ravens. Tate suffered a sprained right knee Sept. 7 during the second quarter of the Browns' 30-27, season-opening loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He hasn't practiced or played since. He rode a stationary bike on the field Wednesday.

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Browns All-Pro WR Josh Gordon pleads guilty to DWI in North Carolina

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 16, 2014

Suspended Browns All-Pro wide receiver Josh Gordon pleaded guilty Tuesday to driving while impaired July 5 in Raleigh, N.C., the Wake County Clerk of Court's office confirmed for the Beacon Journal.

Attorney Trey Fitzhugh said he entered the plea at the Wake County Justice Center, and Gordon was found guilty. Gordon received a 60-day suspended jail sentence and 12 months unsupervised probation. He was issued $390 in fines and court costs. His driver's license has been suspended.

Wake County assistant district attorney Rashad Hauter said Gordon must comply with any treatment recommended through a substance-abuse assessment. He also must perform 24 hours of community service, Hauter said.

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Podcast: Evaluating the Cleveland Browns after two games

By Dan Kadar Published: September 16, 2014
Saints Browns Footbal_Kada

Behind quarterback Brian Hoyer and rookie running backs Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell, the Cleveland Browns are 1-1 to start the season. Beat writer Nate Ulrich talks those players, some standouts on defense and looks ahead to Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens in this week's podcast.

 

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 15, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Monday to discuss his team's 26-24 upset win over the New Orleans Saints. Below is a transcript provided by the team.

Opening Statement: “(I’m) just extremely proud of the performance. The outcome was just a result – I talked about it yesterday – of just all the work that’s gone in. I think it did a lot to validate what we’re trying to build here. The only thing that truly does that is winning football games. I thought we showed great toughness, great resilience. There were points in that game where it could have slipped away. I thought our guys did a great job staying right in it right until the end. (It was a) great experience, great atmosphere playing in front of that crowd. It was a blast. There were times when I felt the ground moving underneath. The place was rocking. That was big for us – to make sure we were doing things that got that reaction. I think our fans are obviously very hungry, very loyal and very passionate. You could see it. You could feel it. That’s why it was so important for us to come out and play well in the home opener.

With that being said, life in the NFL…I talked to the team today about how to handle success. I think that’s the sign of a mature team – a team that knows how to handle their business. I just reminded them what life in the NFL is like. You look back at this game. We very easily could be 2-0, and probably even more likely, we could be 0-2. That’s very true. Just as part of the handling success part, remembering that feeling in the locker room – I think that’s important. Just the sheer joy that those guys had celebrating afterwards and what a great feeling that is – there’s no substitute for that. There’s no drug in the world that you could take that could make you feel like that. Fear of failure is one of our motivators, but that feeling is also another. Understand that there was a pretty heavy price paid to get that feeling – the work we put in during the week, the preparation and then obviously executing throughout the game.

Handling success is important. They need to understand the praise. Just like I said last week, we don’t want one loss to turn into two. We don’t want a big win…we don’t want to celebrate it for too long and have it turn into a loss. We talked about compartmentalizing, being able to celebrate. I celebrated probable just as much as any of them did last night. I was feeling it a little bit this morning (laughter), but I came to work. I watched the tape – a lot of good things, but a lot of bad. We have a lot of things to get cleaned up. I think our guys, now that they’ve seen it, realize it. We have to be able to lock it away, take what we need to take from it, but then move onto the next one. We’ve got a real good football team coming into town this weekend. They also have a little bit of an advantage because they’ve had a couple extra days off. With that, I’ll open it up.”

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Browns vs. Saints (Week 2): Cleveland prevails 26-24

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 14, 2014

The Browns defeated the New Orleans Saints 26-24 on Sunday in the home opener at FirstEnergy Stadium.

For our game story, click here.

For Marla Ridenour's column, click here.

For Nate Ulrich's quick analysis, click here.

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Browns All-Pro Josh Gordon would have suspension cut to 10 games under approved policy

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 12, 2014

Browns All-Pro wide receiver Josh Gordon is expected to have his season-long suspension reduced to 10 games under a new substance-abuse policy the NFL and NFL Players Association are finalizing, a league source confirmed Friday evening for the Beacon Journal.

Cleveland.com first reported Gordon would be docked 10 games Friday evening. NFL Network and ESPN also confirmed the report.

The 32 NFLPA player representatives voted Friday night to approve new policies for both substances of abuse and performance-enhancing drugs, the union announced.

Players who have violated the substance-abuse policy four times will serve 10-game suspensions under the new substance-abuse policy. The union announced the discipline of players for certain violations in the 2014 league year, which began March 11, will have their discipline adjusted by certain aspects of the new policies.

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Injury report for Browns vs. Saints (Week 2)

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 12, 2014

Injury report for Browns vs. Saints (Week 2)

Browns

Out: Running back Ben Tate (knee). Questionable: Defensive end Desmond Bryant (wrist), offensive lineman Paul McQuistan (ankle), defensive end John Hughes (hamstring), tight end Jordan Cameron (shoulder) and outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo (shoulder). Probable: Cornerback Buster Skrine (thumb).

Saints

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 12, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Friday after practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference.

On if he thinks that when a team tackles badly he can take advantage of it offensively: “Yeah, I think both defenses had regrettable tackling performances. Ask our guys, and they’ll agree. It’s certainly been the kind of mantra this week down there. They’re two prideful groups. You’d expect a bounce-back in that area.”

On if that’s something he can take advantage of by being more physical and causing missed tackles: “Yeah, I just think that the kind of slashing style of our backs can lead to that. You always want a guy who can extend a play, but also know when to go down instead of taking unnecessary shots.”

On if he decided whether or not DB Justin Gilbert’s workload is going to be cut down on Sunday: “Well some of it depends on how the game plays out. Some of it is out of our control based on what personnel they have on the field. I’d certainly expect…he’s had a good week. I know it’s important to him, and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t bounce back.”

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Browns TE Cameron, LB Mingo questionable for Sunday; RB Tate says Week 4 bye good timing for him

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 12, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine said whether Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron and starting outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo play Sunday in the home opener against the New Orleans Saints will be determined by game-time decisions.

Cameron and Mingo are listed as questionable on the team's injury report with injured shoulders suffered in a 30-27 season-opening loss this past weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Neither player practiced this week.

Still, Pettine revealed he's "absolutely" holding out hope Cameron and Mingo can play this weekend.

"There's still a chance [they could play] based on how their rehabs going," Pettine said Friday after practice. "They're getting better every day, so it'll be right up to game time."

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Report: New NFL drug policy could reduce Browns WR Josh Gordon suspension to eight games

By Ron Ledgard Published: September 12, 2014

Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting on Twitter that a new NFL drug policy could be in place Friday and that the policy would reduce Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon's ban to eight games.

When a new drug policy is approved as early as this afternoon, Josh Gordon's suspension expected to be reduced to 8 games, per source.

That would bring Gordon back Nov. 6 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

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Video: Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon speaks about life after his NFL suspension

By Ohio.com Published: September 10, 2014

Suspended Browns wide receiver spoke with OnDeckEr.com to discuss his feelings about the season-long suspension handed down by the NFL and what he's been up to since his appeal was denied.

Watch the eight-part series below.  

Part 1

Part 2

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 10, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Wednesday before practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

Opening statement: “Very excited to have the team back here in the building to prepare for the home opener. I think those days are always special. It’s like opening day in baseball. There’s just a feel to it that, like I said, it’s a special day. We’re excited to get out in front of the Dawg Pound, and put out a performance that they can be proud of, not just a half. That was something that we’ll stress all week. It’s important for us moving forward that we use our fans. I’ll continue to say it – I think they’re among the best in the league, but we have to give them reasons to be loud and be excited, use that to our advantage.

This week’s opponent – I have a great amount of respect for (Saints Head Coach) Sean Payton and (Saints QB) Drew Brees. Their record speaks for itself. The wins, the offensive numbers are legendary. It’ll be a great challenge for us because they have a great system. It’s not just any one guy you can key on. That’s one of the things that I think they’re so good at. They can distribute the ball and take advantage of what they feel is a mismatch or go to whoever they feel the defense is giving to them. That will be a tremendous challenge for us. Any time you’re going against a Ryan-coached defense that’ll present its own set of challenges. While what (Saints defensive coordinator) Rob (Ryan) and (Jets Head Coach) Rex run are very different from each other – from a schematic standpoint – I think the philosophy behind it is consistent, that they want to be in attack mentality. They want to pressure the quarterback. They want to punish, and that’s the type of defense they are. They have multiple fronts, multiple coverages. That’ll be a big part of our plan. A big part of our success on Sunday will be predicated on how well we can identify what they’re in, and I think Rob does a real good job of changing up week-to-week. It’s just not the same game plan. They’re not just going to be in the same front, same coverage. I think our ability to make adjustments in-game to something new will be critical for us, as well.

In special teams, we need to take a step up. (Browns special teams coordinator) Chris Tabor will be the first one to tell you that we didn’t have our best day on teams against Pittsburgh, andwe’re looking for a bounce-back performance on Sunday. On the injury front, (Browns RB) Ben Tate will miss some time with a knee sprain. I’m not going to go into detail exactly what it is. I’m always going to be in the mode when it comes to injuries to protecting the player, protecting the team. I feel that information is valuable. We’ll be compliant with what the league requires, but not much more than that. (Browns TE) Jordan Cameron injured his shoulder. I would categorize him as day-to-day, not exactly sure what his availability will be for the week. (Browns LB Barkevious) Mingo, also falls into that category, as well, injured shoulder. We’ll see how that progresses as we get closer to Sunday. (Browns DL) Des(mond) Bryant will be back at practice today. He will get some reps in the team portion. (Browns OL Paul) McQuistan should return today and get some work done, as well. We’re still in kind of a what-and-see mode with (Browns DL) John Hughes, hopeful to get him back in practice later this week.”

On if Ben Tate is out Sunday against the Saints: “Yes.”

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Browns coach Mike Pettine expects Saints' Rob Ryan to be 'paranoid' about Johnny Manziel package

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 10, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine began playing mind games with New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan on Wednesday by declaring a package featuring rookie backup quarterback Johnny Manziel could be employed at anytime.

It could even happen Sunday when the Browns (0-1) host the Saints (0-1) in their home opener at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Pettine knows Ryan, who served as the Browns' defensive coordinator from 2009-10, well because he served as twin brother Rex Ryan's defensive coordinator for four years with the New York Jets. Pettine and Rex Ryan were assistants together with the Baltimore Ravens before they joined forces in New York.

"It could happen," Pettine said if Manziel could be summoned. "And I know Rob. They're preparing for it. I'm sure they are. Ryans are very paranoid, very detailed in their preparation. If Johnny does go out there, I don't think it'll be anything [Ryan] hasn't prepared himself for."

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Browns coach rules out RB Tate for Sunday, says availability of TE Cameron, LB Mingo uncertain

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 10, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine ruled out starting running back Ben Tate for Sunday's home opener against the New Orleans Saints and warned the availability of Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron and starting outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo is unknown.

Pettine said Tate suffered a sprained knee Sunday in a 30-27 season-opening loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and declined to elaborate. Tate is expected to miss two to four weeks and is not expected to need surgery, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday morning.

Pettine said rookie Terrance West, a third-round pick in this year's draft, will start in place of Tate. Undrafted rookie Isaiah Crowell will serve as the No. 2 running back, Pettine said.

Cameron and Mingo have shoulder injuries. Pettine categorized the statuses of both players as day-to-day. He said it's not clear whether they'll be able to play Sunday.           

If Cameron is sidelined, Gary Barnidge and Jim Dray will fill in for him. Pettine said there's no clear-cut starter between the two of them, and the starter would be determined by the personnel group.

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Browns RB Ben Tate expected to miss two to four weeks with sprained knee, NFL Network reports

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 10, 2014

Browns starting running back Ben Tate is expected to miss two to four weeks with a sprained knee, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday morning.

The injury is not expected to require surgery, according to the report.

The Browns have yet to provide an update on Tate's injury. He left Sunday's 30-27 season-opening loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers after a 25-yard run in the second quarter. He finished with 41 yards on six carries (6.8 average).

Rookies Terrance West (16 carries for 100 yards, 6.3 average) and Isaiah Crowell (five carries for 32 yards, 6.4 average, and two touchdowns) ran wild while filling in for Tate in the second half. The Browns will count on them in Tate's absence.

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NFLPA opts not to vote Tuesday on new drug policy that could affect Browns WR Josh Gordon

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 9, 2014

The NFL Players Association player representatives did not vote on a new drug policy Tuesday night as previously expected, NFLPA assistant director of external affairs George Atallah confirmed. If an agreement on a new policy is struck, Browns All-Pro receiver Josh Gordon's suspension might be reduced or overturned.

"On the drug policies, the NFLPA player representatives did convene (during a conference) call tonight," Atallah wrote on Twitter. "There was not a vote; few issues unresolved.

"Collective bargaining is hard and we review proposals and issues comprehensively. We will continue to work on a solution."

The NFL and NFLPA could not reach an agreement on a proposal partly because the two sides were hung up on punishment for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports 1 reported.

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Browns sign TE Gerell Robinson off Denver practice squad, activate WR Marlon Moore after suspension

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 9, 2014

With Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron dealing with an injured shoulder, the Browns swiped tight end Gerell Robinson away from the practice squad of the Denver Broncos and signed him to their active roster Tuesday.

The Browns also announced they added wide receiver Marlon Moore to their active roster. Moore served a one-game suspension during Week 1 for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy

The Browns waived offensive lineman Ryan Seymour and terminated the contract of cornerback Aaron Berry to make room for Robinson and Moore. The Browns claimed Seymour off waivers last week and signed Berry in June. Seymour and Berry played Sunday in the Browns' 30-27 season-opening loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but they were limited to special teams.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Robinson will be relied on to provide depth, especially if Cameron misses time. The Browns would start either Jim Dray or Gary Barnidge in Cameron's absence.

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Browns work out tight end Kellen Davis, according to report

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 9, 2014

The Browns worked out veteran tight end Kellen Davis on Tuesday, Yahoo Sports reported, citing an unnamed league source. It remains to be seen whether they sign him.

Browns Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron said he aggravated an injury Sunday when he fell on his right shoulder after making a 47-yard catch in the first quarter of a 30-27 season-opening loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cameron originally suffered a sprained AC joint in the shoulder Aug. 2 during an intrasquad scrimmage at the University of Akron.

Browns coach Mike Pettine said Monday he had no update on Cameron.

Davis, 28, spent the past five months with the New York Giants. They cut him Aug. 30.

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 8, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Monday. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

Opening statement: “We wake up today, look at the tape and we have some regret for lost opportunities. You can’t live life with regrets after a game like it, but you just feel you lose an opportunity. We had an opportunity to get the season started the right way, headed in the right direction, and it took us a half to get things figured out. It was obviously too late. That’s something that we’ll certainly work on is how we’re going to come out of the gate. It’s hard to have an explanation for a start like that. We really, in a lot of ways, slept-walked through the first half and they played. They made some plays, as well. I can’t say it was all our issues. With that being said, very proud of the way our guys came out and played in the second half. As I said after the game and as I told our players in the meeting today, there’s a phrase for almost winning, or a word for it. It’s called ‘losing.’ I talked about no moral victories and when you guys publish the standings it’s wins and losses. There’s no third column for moral victories. It’s something that we take some lessons from, some hard ones. Our normal protocol – and I went through it with the team today – Monday we come in. we’ll watch the game. We learn from it. We lock in the corrections. A sign of a good team is not repeating the same mistakes. As they move on and transition out of the building today after we’ve looked back, then they spend the rest of the time from Monday afternoon, Monday night, all day Tuesday through Wednesday morning – rest, recovery and looking forward to the next opponent. What you don’t want to do is dwell on a loss to the point where it becomes two losses. If the flip side were true, you don’t want to celebrate a win until Thursday or Friday. The next thing you know, it costs you the next week. It’s important in this league that you have the ability to compartmentalize and move on very quickly. That’s why we’re upset about the lost opportunities yesterday, but looking forward to the challenge this week.”

On if calling the defense himself proved to be the case on Sunday against the Steelers: “It did. We split the game. When they started to go with some of their up-tempo stuff and it was more nickel calls, then (Browns defensive coordinator) Jim (O’Neil) took over. For a good part of the game when we were in base defense, I called it. Then, we got to the point where we, in between series, would kind of plan out the next series just from a scripting standpoint. ‘I’m going to script out the next series. What do we like first down against this, second down against this?’ That’ll kind of be a fluid thing. I don’t have one way to say it. I thought the times when he had it he did a good job, especially in the second half when they got us off the field a couple times. I thought he did a good job.”

On if he has an update on Browns RB Ben Tate and Browns TE Jordan Cameron’s injuries: “I don’t. I don’t have the full details on that yet. If we get information we’ll go ahead and push that out. If not, it’ll be Wednesday.”

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Browns at Steelers (Week 1): Cleveland falls 30-27

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 7, 2014

The Browns fell 30-27 to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the regular-season opener Sunday at Heinz Field.

For our game story, click here.

For Marla Ridenour's column, click here.

For our quick analysis, click here.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns GM Ray Farmer

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 6, 2014

Browns General Manager Ray Farmer met with reporters Friday. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

On if it has been a long preseason: “I wouldn’t say it’s along preseason. There all different. I will say it’s interesting. It’s the first time I’ve actually had training camp in the place where you work in the last few years. That was different for me. Normally, you go away. You get a little time to really galvanize and just all ball all the time, a little different when you’re at home though.”

On if he likes the idea of having training camp away from the facility: “I definitely like the idea. Now, whether or not it makes sense, that’s a whole other subject – where you go, how far away is it, what the facility is like. There are a lot of intangibles that go into making that decision, but I do think there are positives and there are negative either way with taking training camp somewhere else.”

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Suspended Browns WR Josh Gordon speaks to ESPN.com, his saga becomes even more convoluted

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 6, 2014

Suspended Browns All-Pro receiver Josh Gordon granted his first interview in several months, presumably to tell his side of the story, but it has actually done nothing but cause more confusion.

Now there are conflicting reports about whether Gordon has shut the door on possibly suing the NFL over his suspension.

ESPN.com's Elizabeth Merrill interviewed Gordon on Friday. Here is an expert from her story:

Banished Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon says he has no plans to sue the NFL and is moving forward regardless of whether the league decides to revamp its drug-testing policy.

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Injury report for Browns at Steelers (Week 1)

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 5, 2014

Injury report for Browns at Steelers (Week 1)

Browns

Out: Offensive lineman Paul McQuistan (ankle) and defensive lineman John Hughes (hamstring). Doubtful: Defensive end Desmond Bryant (wrist). Probable: Cornerbacks Joe Haden (foot), Pierre Desir (knee) and Buster Skrine (thumb), safety Jim Leonhard (knee), linebacker Eric Martin (concussion) and long snapper Christian Yount (shoulder).

Steelers

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 5, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Friday after practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

On if he’s ready to go for the season opener: “We talked this morning, making sure the guys are dialed in. We always talk. We want the feedback. We want there to be a two-way street with the game plan. If there’s something at the end of the week that we don’t feel comfortable with, we want guys to bring it up – what they like, what they don’t like. I’ve had calls defensively that looked great on the board, feel great about it, we install it and just the end of the week, the players [say] something’s not right with it so we take it out. We want our guys to play fast and play confident. There will be some interaction tomorrow morning and probably tomorrow when we get down there as far as just finalizing the final details of the plan, but other than that, we’re ready to go.”

On if it feels like his first regular season game as an NFL head coach coming up: “I do. I do. I’ve been asked this questions a bunch. Hopefully, it’s the first of many. We’ll see how it plays out. I’m just – again, I’ve said this before – more excited for the organization, for the team, for the coaches, guys who have put in so much time and effort from the beginning. There will be a lot of guys where it’ll be their first game so I’m just another name on that list.”

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Cleveland Browns season preview podcast: What to watch for this season

By Dan Kadar Published: September 5, 2014
Bears Browns Football_Kada

Akron Beacon Journal and Ohio.com Browns beat writer Nate Ulrich previews the team's season. What are the things to watch for in what many expect to be another down year? Can the team's running backs carry the offense? Can defense carry the Browns? Will Johnny Manziel become the team's primary starting quarterback by the end of the season? Nate answers those questions, makes a prediction and much more in the podcast below.

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 4, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Thursday before practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference.

On how practice was to start Steelers week: “I think they’re, as probably all the teams are, excited for the opener. A lot of work’s been put in, a lot of preparation. We’ve gone through a lot this offseason and through training camp, and I just think things are starting to settle and guys very much have tunnel vision on Pittsburgh. I think they’re, as we all are, looking forward to the challenge.”

On if TE Jordan Cameron is ready to be the main focus of the passing offense: “I think so. I think he’s an exceptional athlete. I think he’s really worked hard at his craft this offseason. You can tell it’s important to him. I think (Browns tight ends coach) Brian Angelichio has done an outstanding job with him. Those two spent a lot of time before practice, after practice. He wants to be great, and that shows up in his preparation.”

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Suspended Browns receiver Josh Gordon reportedly to work for Portage County auto dealer

By Ohio.com staff Published: September 4, 2014
Josh Gordon

According to ESPN reporter Josina Anderson, Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has found a new job.

Anderson tweeted this Thursday:

Browns WR Josh Gordon has a new job. He will be the goodwill ambassador for the Sarchione Auto group in Randolph, Ohio, which includes Sarchione Ford and Sarchione Chevrolet . He will be working in all aspects of their car business including as an on-floor salesman. Gordon will also be heading all of their local community efforts including with the Wounded Warriors Project. He starts this weekend.

Read the ESPN.com report here.

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 3, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Wednesday before practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

Opening statement: “This is an exciting time for us. This is a lot of time we’ve put in to come down to this week. When I got hired, I just talked about just being back in the AFC North and what that meant. We we’re excited when the schedule came out. I know people say, ‘Be careful what you ask for,’ but I don’t think there’s any better test to kind of see where we are as a team, as a program, then to go down to play at Heinz Field. It’s a challenge that we’re looking forward to. I have a great deal of respect for (Steelers Head Coach) Mike Tomlin and his staff. I know those guys will be well prepared. It’s going to be a big challenge for us, but we’re looking forward to it.”

On if any members of the Pettine family from Pennsylvania are Steeler fans: “East coast, eastern side of the state – that’s the big part of… Most of the Pettine clan comes from near Philly. They’re Eagles fans more so than Pittsburgh, but there are a lot of ties there. You just look at the staff. I coached at University of Pittsburgh for a while, lived there. I got married there, had a first child there, have some definite ties back to Pittsburgh. There is some family there. Worked with (linebackers) Coach (Chuck) Driesbach at Pitt; (secondary) Coach (Jeff) Hafley, (tight ends) Coach (Brian) Angelichio, guys that were there. There are some strong Pitt connections, not just with the staff but with the players, as well.”

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Browns' Mike Pettine won't hide ugly truth about series with Steelers: 'It's not much of a rivalry'

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 3, 2014

When Browns coach Mike Pettine gave his players a history lesson about the franchise's series with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he questioned whether a rivalry really exists.

"I researched the history and I talked to the players about it. It's not pretty. I'll be honest with you," Pettine said Wednesday during a news conference. "I put it up on the slide to kind of talk our young guys through, the guys who don't know the history. I put rivalry, and I put question mark. From the Steelers standpoint, it's not much of a rivalry."

The Browns are 57-67, including 0-2 in the playoffs, all time against the Steelers. But since the Browns re-entered the NFL as an expansion team in 1999, they're a dismal 5-26, including 0-1 in the postseason, against their AFC North foes from Pettine's home state of Pennsylvania.

Now Pettine, in his debut as an NFL head coach, is charged with leading the Browns into Heinz Field to face the Steelers in the regular-season opener Sunday.

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ESPN analyst Merril Hoge doubles down on Johnny Manziel observations

By George Thomas Published: September 3, 2014

Prior to the NFL Draft, rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel attracted his share of supporters and critics who opined about his chances in the league.

Merril Hoge, a former Pittsburgh Steelers running back and current analyst for ESPN, offered some of the toughest criticism of all in the run up to the draft on May 8. With the Browns set to play the Steelers in the season opener Sunday and rumors of a possible Manziel package, Hoge, in a radio show appearance Wednesday morning on WDVE in Pittsburgh, made it clear he hasn’t changed his opinion one iota.

“He really had no business being drafted in the first round,” Hoge said of Manziel, the 22nd overall pick. “When I was doing the draft and I was going through and studying him, I actually got done and it’s the first time, aside from when Tim Tebow came out, there’s nothing, nothing he does that transitions to the National Football League. There’s not one skill set he had where you say ‘Gosh he’s a first-rounder.’ Really nothing.”

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Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about the Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 1, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Monday after practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference.

On if he meant that they might bring back QB Rex Grossman when he said yesterday that some guys that got cut might come back: “No, I was more speaking in general terms. I think you’ll see it happen with more than one team. There will be some instability with the roster that first week. There will kind of be some jockeying and getting some guys and deciding whether you want them on the practice squad or on the active. I wasn’t speaking to any specific position or player.”

On having 12 DBs on the roster (seven corners) and if it’s because they were the best players on the team or if there’s another reason for stocking up: “It’s probably a little bit of both. We feel that these guys are talented NFL corners worthy of being on the roster. The number is towards the high end, but once you get above your minimum requirements at each position you look to keep the best players in general. You never want to keep a guy just for the sake of filling out a quota as long as you’ve met the position minimum you can function at on game day.”

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