Tag:Cleveland Browns
Posted on: August 16, 2011 11:29 am

Colt McCoy worked with Brett Favre this offseason

Posted by Will Brinson

Over the summer, NFL players weren't allowed to contact with coaching staffs. So many of them turned to other tutors in order to beef up on their respective offenses. Nothing weird about that.

But that doesn't make it any less interesting to hear that Browns quarterback Colt McCoy sought out Brett Favre for advice.

"Since I couldn’t get coached, it was a great opportunity to pick the brain of a guy who’s played in the [West Coast] system for 20 years,” McCoy said via a Browns spokesman, per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. "It was a chance for me to get a lot of questions answered. We worked on footwork, progressions, reads and things like that. It was definitely a positive trip."

At this point Favre's name, in any non-retirement context, strikes fear into the hearts of NFL fans and scribes across the land. But McCoy's decision to chat with the future Hall-of-Famer actually makes a lot of sense.

Browns Offseason

For starters, Favre built his legacy under Browns president Mike Holmgren when the mustachioed legend coached the Packers. Favre is Holmgren's guy and Favre knows the system that coach Pat Shurmur is installing under the regime.

Shurmur had tremendous success with Sam Bradford, developing him into one of the more prolific rookie passers in NFL history. That wasn't because Bradford spent the year chunking the ball down the field either; he dinked-and-dunked his way to 3,512 passing yards and an NFL rookie-record 354 completions (on an also-rookie-record 590 attempts).

While McCoy is a different QB than either Favre or Bradford, he's still a talented young man who flashed plenty of promise his rookie year in the West Coast offense.

And if he wants to improve on an already pretty good shot at repeating his 2010 success, he's certainly making a smart move by seeking out the advice of the people who best understand the offense he's charged with running.

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Posted on: August 15, 2011 9:17 am

Ndamukong Suh: 'I haven't crossed any line'

Posted by Will Brinson

There are a number of folks that believe Lions defensive lineman and general manchild Ndamukong Suh is a "dirty" player. He got this reputation partially from two preseason games -- in 2010 he treated Jake Delhomme like a rag doll against Cleveland (he was eventually fined $7,500 after the NFL reviewed the hit) and then this past weekend he squeezed Andy Dalton so hard the rookie's helmet popped off.

Oh right, and for the hit on Jay Cutler that ended up costing him $15,000 last year. But Suh said Sunday that he doesn't believe he's "dirty."

"There's always a fine line of dirtiness and a fine line of aggressiveness," Suh said Sunday, per Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free-Press. "I know to this point that in my own heart that I haven't crossed that line by any means."

I've spoken to Suh a couple times and on occasion (one happened to be right after the Cutler hit), I've asked him about whether he plays dirty or not. And he always says the same thing -- he's not dirty. He's aggressive.

And I think there's an argument to be made for both sides. Suh's actions against Delhomme were clearly dirty, especially considering he extended the play beyond the actual contact with the quarterback (read: the sack). But I didn't feel like his "hit" on Dalton necessarily was "dirty" insomuch as it was "aggressive."

But Suh is -- quite obviously -- developing a reputation for being a dirty player. Whether or not he actually is won't matter when there's a call that's close.

Because in those situations the referees will continue to flag him and the league will continue to fine him. Although those hits may not matter much if Suh keeps playing as well as he does the rest of the time.

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Posted on: August 10, 2011 9:22 am
Edited on: August 11, 2011 9:18 am

Podcast: Previewing the AFC North

Posted by Eye on Football Staff

We're rolling out the NFL previews and first up on the podcast: the AFC North.

Unlike other divisions, where any team could win, the AFC North will come down to the Steelers and Ravens, although there will be a race to the basement between the Browns and Bengals. That said, both Cleveland and Cincy have relatively easy schedules and there's a chance (remote but not impossible) that one or both of these outfits could win more than six games.

For that to happen, young quarterbacks Colt McCoy and Andy Dalton will have to play out of their minds and get a lot of help from their teammates. McCoy performed better than anybody expected last season, and with expectations predictably low for Dalton, there really is no place for him to go but up (assuming, of course, he doesn't get maimed by the Ravens' or Steelers' defenses at some point during the season).

Baltimore fans may not be sold on Joe Flacco, but the front office's decision to cut ties with two of his favorite receivers -- Derrick Mason and Todd Heap -- won't magically make him a better player. As it stands, the Ravens have Anquan Boldin and, well, that's it. Rookie Torrey Smith could be forced into duty, which while great for getting him some early experience, won't do much for the passing game. The solution: more Ray Rice.

Pittsburgh returns basically the same team that lost to Green Bay in the Super Bowl. If you're a Steelers homer and looking for a silver lining from that loss: there won't be any Super Bowl hangover. So there's that.

Alright, talking starts below. (Just hit the play button and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.)

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Posted on: June 24, 2011 8:00 pm
Edited on: June 25, 2011 2:15 pm

Browns WR Little got 93 parking tickets at UNC

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Somewhere Terrelle Pryor is no doubt wondering "Hey, wait a second, Greg Little had 93 parking tickets in college and people are focused on me? Really?"

As it turns out, yes, although that could be changing.  According to the News & Observer, Little received 93 parking tickets associated with five different vehicles while at North Carolina. UNC officials confirmed that Little and seven other players racked up 395 tickets worth $13,000 in fines from March 2007 to August 2010. 

No idea how you explain that away, although Little's time in Chapel Hill wasn't without controversy. He was suspended for the 2010 college season after accepting improper agent benefits. Mistakes as a 20-year-old don't necessarily portend a life of crime. But racking up more parking tickets than career college receptions (93 to 86) doesn't do much to change that perception.

As for how Little came to the Browns, it's an interesting story.

Cleveland had the sixth-overall pick heading into April's draft. The pre-draft scuttlebutt was that they would probably add one of the two game-changing wide receivers -- either AJ Green or Julio Jones. The Bengals ended up taking Green fourth overall and instead of settling on Jones, the Browns made a deal with the Falcons, who landed Jones in exchange for their 27th, 59th, and 124th selections in 2011, as well as their first- and fourth-rounders in 2012 NFL. That's a lot to give up for one player, but Atlanta thinks Jones could be the final piece to their Super Bowl puzzle.

Meanwhile, the Browns were praised for the move, even if they didn't land one of the two best wideouts in the draft. What they got instead were enough picks to add depth to a roster desperately in need of it. And they got their big-play wide receiver, too, drafting Little 59th overall.

You could make the argument that the difference between Jones and Little isn't worth what the Falcons gave up to get Jones. And in that sense, the Browns appear to have made out. Except that Jones, by all accounts, is a high-character guy. Little still has a long way to go, but has said he learned a lot from his 2010 suspension. 

"It was really tough for me, man," Little told the Cleveland Plain Dealer shortly after the Browns drafted him in late April. "I learned a tremendous amount about how to deal with success. I've grown from it. A lot of my morals and values have changed so much just from sitting out that year. I'm so hungry and ready to get back and play, it just baffles me sometimes."

A word of advice: maybe he should let someone else drive him to practice. Like, say, this guy.

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Posted on: June 22, 2011 4:45 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 5:16 pm

Hot Routes 6.22.11: BW3 giving fans lockout wings

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Buffalo Wild Wings is offering up what I like to call "lockout wings." Or, what you might call "free wings if the lockout ends before July 20." (Which, coincidentally, is what BW3's is calling them.) To be eligible for six free wings in the event of the lockout ending, cruise on over to their Facebook page and like their petition to end the lockout. If the lockout ends before July 20, everyone who does so will get some free grub. The fascinating thing here, for me, isn't that I might get six wings. It's how much freaking money places like BW3 stand to lose come September if there's no football on for fans to come in and watch. So, yeah, it's probably worth whatever they have to give up in Jamaican Jerk.

Posted on: June 21, 2011 8:40 pm

Cribbs not pleased to receive parking ticket

J. Cribbs was not pleased to receive this parking ticket.

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In this lockout season when players are saving their money (maybe) and taking part-time jobs, it pays to fight the man if you feel like you’re getting ripped off.

Browns WR Josh Cribbs might be taking it to a new level, though.

Last Friday in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Cribbs walked to his car in a metered parking space only to find a ticket underneath his windshield wiper for having an expired meter. The problem? Cribbs says his meter had 8 minutes remaining (as you can see by the photo above).

Wrote Cribbs on his Twitter account: “Police in cleveland heights just wrote me a ticket & my meter had time left wow..smh can u say not Guilty lol."

Although the ticket cost $15, Cribbs has decided to contest it where he’ll have to pay $50 for the right to appeal it. Even though he called the charge a “scam,” he’s going to buck the system anyway.

Wrote Cribbs: “I'm going to fight it 4everybody who gets a parking ticket b4 the meter expires & can't fight it bc of the court cost!!”

While this potential court case probably isn’t as important as the one winding its way through the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, this one actually might be more exciting to talk about.

Photo courtesy of Josh Cribbs.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: June 21, 2011 2:54 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 3:13 pm

Browns doing 'due diligence' on Terrelle Pryor

Posted by Ryan Wilson

When asked Monday about whether the Browns might have interested in quarterback Terrelle Pryor, coach Pat Shurmur would only say, "I can't comment on that situation."

Maybe he can't comment, but the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot will: "The Browns are intrigued enough by former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor to do their due diligence on him for the supplemental draft, a league source told The Plain Dealer."

"Due diligence" is a start, but it's a long way from actually submitting a bid for Pryor in the NFL supplemental draft, much less making him a first-round pick as agent Drew Rosenhaus has previously proclaimed.

The doubts about Pryor as an NFL quarterback have been well documented. Putting aside Rosenhaus' assessment, the consensus among draft experts is that Pryor is no better than a fourth-round selection.

But maybe that's where the Browns envision bidding on him.

(Unlike the regular draft, the supplemental draft is an auction; teams are grouped by record and submit bids based on which round they would take a prospect. Highest bid wins).

As it stands, Cleveland has second-year quarterback Colt McCoy and veterans Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme. McCoy appears to be the favorite to win the job, and Delhomme, who the Browns inexplicably paid $7 million in 2010, could be released (although he shouldn't have trouble finding work).

Cabot writes that if the Browns think Pryor is worth pursuing, they could draft him as the No. 3 QB next season. Cabot also points out that Monday Night Football color analyst Jon Gruden is a protege and close confidant of Browns president Mike Holmgren (Gruden worked on Holmgren's staff in Green Bay in the 1990s), and he's also pretty high on Pryor's talents.

But he's not the only one. Last week, ESPN.com AFC North blogger James Walker made the case for the Browns taking a flyer on Pryor.

"Pryor is projected to be a fourth-round pick in July's supplemental draft by everyone not named Drew Rosenhaus," Walker wrote June 16. "That's a modest cost for someone with Pryor's athletic ability, big-game experience and pedigree. That is especially the case for the Browns, who have nine draft picks next year -- including two first-rounders -- following a cunning trade with the Atlanta Falcons."

Walker also notes that Pryor would have access to two of the league's best QB coaches: Holmgren and Shurmur, who have worked with Brett Favre, Matt Hasselbeck, Donovan McNabb and Sam Bradford.

And then there's this: After the April draft, Holmgren admitted that his only regret was not taking a quarterback.

"I think, philosophically, I always like to take a quarterback in the draft late," Holmgren said at the time. "But that also had to make sense. This year, based on our roster needs and what we had and what we needed to do, we did the right thing. Now, are we finished adding to the quarterback pile? I don’t think so but maybe we are, but I don’t think so. I think we are going to try and figure out a way to get another guy in here but you do what you have to do when the draft comes up to make good decisions and Pat and Tom did that.”

Channeling Rosenhaus and Pryor: "So you're telling me there's a chance?"

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Posted on: June 14, 2011 8:51 am
Edited on: June 14, 2011 9:34 am

Joe Thomas in favor of fewer offseason workouts

Posted by Ryan Wilson

After a three-month staring contest that appeared to accomplish little, there is finally some movement on the lockout front. Optimists think it could be settled in the next week or two, while the glass-half-empty set pegs mid-July as the more likely scenario.

Either way, that means real live NFL football, complete with free agency, training camp and a season that starts on time. While we wait for the owners and players to work out the details, we're left to speculate on, well, just about everything.

Not having organized team activities and minicamps will make it tougher for rookies to transition from college to the NFL, and the lockout didn't do any favors for those undrafted free agents who remain unsigned. But Browns' left tackle Joe Thomas doesn't think missing spring workouts is the worst thing in the world.

Appearing on Denver's 102.3 The Ticket, he explains:

"I think it can be good and it can be bad," Thomas said. … [F]or some of the veteran guys and the veteran teams, the OTA minicamp, all the spring work and stuff like that maybe became a little bit too much and could be a little bit of extra grind on the body and the mind. Come January and February people were a little bit worn down and those same veteran teams and I think Green Bay is going to be especially rewarded for the team they have.

"You kinda take a step back and you get a chance to think about other things and refocus your mind and get your body a little bit fresh, think about the rehab and the stretching and the other things you can do in the offseason on your own is going to probably pay off because the season is going to feel shorter and your body is going to be healthier at the end of the year and I think the mind will be a little fresher."

There have been concerns that the lockout-induced "everybody for themselves" approach to keeping in shape out could mean some low-quality football, at least early in the season when teams are essentially still in preseason mode. But Thomas doesn't consider that a big problem. "You may see, at the beginning the football not being as good, but at the end I think you may see guys that are more fresh and more ready to go after it.”

When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was pushing the 18-game schedule earlier this year, part of his pitch included reducing the offseason workload to keep players fresher during the regular season. Pretty much everyone agrees that extending the schedule by two games is a horrendous idea, but there could be a groundswell of support from players at the thought of limiting OTAs and minicamps (but still no more than 16 games). The owners don't make money during the offseason, and we've gotten to point because spring and summer workouts turned into an arms race. "If our division rival is doing it then so are we!" the thinking went.

So, Roger, if you're looking to smooth things over with the players, there's your olive branch.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com