ESPN Cleveland - Cleveland Browns, 850 AM & 1540 AM
ESPN Cleveland - Ohion State, 850 AM & 1540 AM

  • Page 1 of 56
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • ...
  • »
  • »»

Hooley's NFL Picks: Week 3

Sep 21, 2014 -- 12:39pm

By Bruce Hooley | ESPNCleveland.com

 
 
So much for the thought that selecting NFL games based solely on one random factor might whimsically bring Las Vegas to its knees.
 
After a 9-6 showing in Week 1, picking based upon which city I'd rather visit, the record plummeted to 5-10 in Week 2 based on which coach I'd rather cover as a beat reporter.
 
So, beware risking your Knockout Pools on this week's selections, where the sole deciding factor is which quarterback I'd rather have for the balance of his career.
 
San Diego at Buffalo -- Not a believer in E.J. Manuel, so it's easy to go with Phillip Rivers here. Sure, he's never won a Super Bowl and he runs hot at times, but Manuel's 2-0 start doesn't convince me.
 
Pick: San Diego.
 
Washington at Philadelphia -- Oh, snap, a choice between two former Michigan State guys in Kirk Cousins or Nick Foles. Yes, Foles started at MSU and left because he was jammed on the depth chart behind Cousins and Brian Hoyer. Choosing between them makes both Mark Dantonio and me make a Bitter Beer Face.
 
Pick: Philadelphia.
 
Tennessee at Cincinnati -- There aren't many young quarterbacks in the league I believe in less than Andy Dalton. Congratualations, Jake Locker. You're one of the few.
 
Pick: Cincinnati.
 
Dallas at St. Louis -- Tony Romo is nearing the finish line, so he might have just two or three seasons left. That's two or three more than Austin Davis and Shaun Hill have between them.
 
Pick: Dallas.
 
Houston at N.Y. Giants -- Eli Manning has two Super Bowl rings and about three reasonable seasons left. Ryan Fitzpatrick has a beard.
 
Pick: Giants.
 
Baltimore at Cleveland -- Joe Flacco has a $117 million contract and a Vince Lombardi trophy. Brian Hoyer has 117 family members and former Ignatius classmates he gets tickets for every home game.
 
Pick: Baltimore.
 
Green Bay at Detroit -- Now this is an interesting choice. Matt Stafford could be coming into his own as an elite quarterback. Aaron Rodgers is already there. Both have been known to show up on Instagram aside a lovely lady or two. Rodgers spends more time in the frigid Wisconsin weather, where cuddling is encouraged to stay warm. Advantage: Rodgers.
 
Pick: Green Bay.
 
Indianapolis at Jacksonville -- Andrew Luck has lost two consecutive games for the first time in his career. Chad Henne has tons of experience with that.
 
Pick: Indianapolis.
 
Oakland at New England -- Derek Carr is a rookie and Tom Brady surely is not. But for the balance of their careers, Brady has three quality seasons left in him, which is one or two more than the entire Raiders franchise.
 
Pick: New England.
 
Minnesota at New Orleans -- I'm not sure what's the bigger mismatch, Matt Cassel against Drew Brees or a Minnesota snowball on a New Orleans street corner in July.
 
Pick: New Orleans.
 
San Francisco at Arizona -- Colin Kaepernick hasn't shown the consistency expected of a player starting for a third season. But Carson Palmer is ancient and has a dead nerve in his right arm. It's a wonder his backup, Drew Stanton, has any fingernails left, hanging on for dear life on his fourth NFL team.
 
Pick: San Francisco.
 
Denver at Seattle -- Peyton Manning is among the best ever at throwing footballs and pitching product. Russell Wilson has his whole career in front of him, passing the ball and hawking for American Family Insurance.
 
PIck: Seattle.
 
Kansas City at Miami -- Alex Smith played for Urban Meyer at Utah and went No. 1 overall in the year Aaron Rodgers was in the draft. Ryan Tannehill is the guy Texas A&M played while red-shirting Johnny Manziel. A good Johnny story beats a, "Boy, Urban is intense story," every time.
 
Pick: Miami.
 
Pittsburgh at Carolina -- Ben Roethlisberger has two Super Bowl rings and two sexual investigations on his resume. Cam Newton tossed a laptop which may or may not have been stolen off his balcony and may or may not have let his dad market his services in college for $180,000. So Cam is the solid citizen in this matchup.
 
Pick: Carolina.
 
Chicago at N.Y. Jets -- Jay Cutler has the reputation of being sullen and soft, with a big arm. Gino Smith has the reputation of being sullen and soft, with a big ego.
 
Pick: Chicago.
 
SEASON RECORD: 14-16.
 
Bruce Hooley hosts "The Bruce Hooley Show" from 5-7 p.m. weekdays on ESPN 850 WKNR. He is the author of, “That’s Why I’m Here: The Chris and Stefanie Spielman Story.”

Email Bruce hoolz@espncleveland.com

Follow Bruce on Twitter @bhoolz

 

 

 

Gordon: "Can't wait" to get back on the field

Sep 19, 2014 -- 6:02pm

By ESPN Cleveland Staff | ESPNCleveland.com

 

On Friday, the NFL and NFL Players Association released an updated and revised policy on substance abuse. As part of the agreement, the NFL has reinstated Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon and has announced that his suspension will run a total of 10 games. Gordon -- and others who run afoul of the league's new policy -- will now be allowed inside of the team's facility to engage in team meetings.

After missing the Browns' first two games of the season, Gordon will next see the field on Sunday, November 23, in Atlanta against the Falcons.

In response to the new policy, Gordon released a statement through the Players Association:

“I’m happy that the NFLPA and NFL worked hard to agree on a new Substances of Abuse policy.  I’m very thankful to my union for fighting for a significant reduction in my suspension.  I’m glad I can go to the facility during my suspension. I look forward to going to meetings, working out individually, and learning from my coaches and teammates. I can’t wait until game 11 to get back on the field!”

 

 

 

Quotes of the Day

Aug 26, 2014 -- 8:28pm

By Jason Gibbs | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Photo/Getty

BEREA --The Browns are counting down to the team's final preseason game just two days away, which also means that we're closing in on the final roster cuts before the regular season opener on September 7th. Below is a round-up of the best quotes from Tuesday's practice.


HEAD COACH MIKE PETTINE

On how many roster spots are up for grabs:

“There’s a few. I think the wide out position needs to kind of shake itself out still. We’ll get some quality reps with those guys. Inside backers are another one for maybe the last spot or the last two spots. Even the defensive line, some of those young d-linemen – looking forward to getting them some extended playing time, as well. Safety I think is important for those guys to go out there and compete. There are more than a few, I would say, that are unsettled. That’s why we’re looking forward to get those guys some more game experience.”

On if Browns QB Brian Hoyer has to get over a hump and if he is stuck right now:

“I don’t think he’s stuck. I just think he can’t press, that he just needs to keep it simple. Do your job. Good things will happen. Go out there be confident, and hopefully the rest of the offense that they’re functioning well around him. As I’ve said that a bunch of times, probably 30 of the quarterbacks in this league are so much of a product of what’s going on around them that there’s very few that can transcend their supporting cast. I think that certainly applies here. For Brian to look good, for Johnny to look good, for (Browns QBs) Rex (Grossman), for Connor (Shaw) – for any of our quarterbacks to look good we need to play well around them.”

On if he liked QB Blake Bortles coming out of college:

“Yeah. We liked him probably even more after we visited with him because he just kind of has something about him that I think what we thought of him was elevated after we got a chance to go down there and work him out privately.”


QB BRIAN HOYER

On WR Nate Burleson returning to practice:

“It’s good; it’s great to have Nate back out here. Obviously, we got to see him out here earlier in the spring and to have him back out here another veteran guy who knows what he’s supposed to do. I was able to throw a touchdown pass to him in one of the periods today so it’s good to get another guy back out there who is experienced. Nate has had a great career, to have a guy like that around us is only going to benefit us.”

Whether upcoming roster cuts can be a distraction in the locker room:

“Yeah, I think for me it was. There was a few nights where you toss-and-turn a little bit so it’s definitely understandable, but I think this is the business that we chose. We chose to get into this business so you put yourself in that situation and you just hope for the best and try to go out and perform the best that you can and kind of let the chips fall where they may.”

What advice could he offer a young player like WR Willie Snead who might be on the bubble:

“Anyone who is in that position, I think you tell those guys ‘look, they bought you here for a reason. Go out and just do what you’ve done your entire life playing this game. Have fun.’ I think sometimes you get so caught up in the situation that you don’t realize how fortunate we are to be playing this game for a living. Just because you get cut, if you do get cut, that’s not the end of the road. There are so many times where, I look at myself for example, just because one team doesn’t want you doesn’t mean 31 others might not want you. You just go out and, its hard-it is, it’s hard but just try and focus on what you can control because there’s so many things going on around you that usually when you do that things will take care of themselves.”


QB JOHNNY MANZIEL

If he’s looking forward to there potentially being a package for him down the road and what he thinks that could do for the offense:

“Yeah, I think (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) is obviously a very innovative guy who is extremely creative, so whatever is put on my plate or asked of me, I’m absolutely happy to do and would be extremely excited to get on the field and help this offense in any way I can.”

On how he would compare and contrast how he was at the beginning of August to where he is now three preseason games into it and how far he needs to go to be where he thinks he should be:

“I think I still have a ways to go. At the same time, I feel like I’ve definitely covered some ground on making up on some things that I didn’t do very well during OTAs and then coming into August at the very beginning. I think I’ve honed in on some things and continued to get better, and I still think there’s a ways for me to go. I’m excited to get into the season and see how the schedule is going to be week to week – how the work schedule is going to be, how the film and everything is going to go and how it is preparing for an opponent in the NFL. I’m pretty excited for that. I think it will be good to get a couple weeks under my belt and see how that goes.”

What advice he might have for the freshman quarterback that will be starting for Ohio State since the injury to QB Braxton Miller:

“First and foremost, it’s tough to see a friend like Braxton…I mean, it’s rough. I don’t wish that for anybody. I don’t wish that for him especially. Hopefully everything in that situation works out for him. I hope he can get a medical red shirt and be able to play because first and foremost, I’m a fan of Braxton. I think he’s incredible for college football. I think he’s incredible for Ohio State and the state of Ohio.

"Ohio State is obviously a very big deal, but a true freshman coming in and taking over for a program like that, I think he’s got a good situation with (Ohio State Head) Coach (Urban) Meyer being there and being able to put him in situations to be successful. I think more than anything, he needs to depend on him, Coach Meyer, who’s been through it all. There quarterbacks coach is a very creative guy who is a standup guy as well. I would say lean on those guys. Lean on the older players that have been there. They have a lot of playmakers, so you get the ball to those guys in space and they can really do a lot with it. Don’t try to do too much. I would say rely on your coaches. Rely on what they’re telling you, and most of all, have fun and go out and play football like you did in high school and like you’ve been doing your whole life. Man, I really wish them nothing but the best and I hope Braxton is OK.”


TE JORDAN CAMERON

Can you say why you were absent from practice yesterday:

“Nope. It’s all good though, everything is fine. Coach excused me and there’s nothing really to talk about.”


SS DONTE WHITNER

Clarifying his comments he made to Peter King a few weeks ago about the locker room being divided over who should start at QB

“Well I think some guys like Johnny and I think some guys like Brian. You know its pick your poison. Pick who you like. You know so that’s what I meant, I didn’t mean we were divided you know but some guys like who they like. Some guys probably don’t like me at strong safety and they probably like my back-up in there so…I don’t know but no we’re not divided or anything based on that comment you know, just some guys like what they like.”
 

One additional note: The Browns needed to make one more roster move by 4pm today to get down to the league mandated 75 player limit. They placed OL Nick McDonald on the reserve/non-football injury list. McDonald can’t practice or play until after Week 6.

 

 

 

 

There's a gleam amid the gloom of a bad Browns preseason

Aug 26, 2014 -- 8:30am

By Bruce Hooley | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Photo/Getty

As the choking fog from the Browns’ 33-14 loss to the Rams in Preseason Game 3 begins to fade, a bit of clarity has emerged from the cloud of desperation that grips an increasingly-uneasy fan base.

Whether it’s the reality that nothing is ever as bad as it initially seems, or just the unrelenting determination that assumes things must get better, because they can’t possibly get worse, there are several legitimate reasons to believe the Sept. 7 opener at Pittsburgh won’t be the embarrassment last Saturday night against St. Louis suggested.

If you feel like your fingers just can’t hold onto the railing of the 480 bridge much longer, here are four reasons to maintain your grip that the 2014 regular season might not start as poorly as you fear.

As bad as the Browns looked in losing to the Rams, at least they walked off the field hanging their heads in shame instead of being carted off in an ambulance. Imagine how you’d feel if the Browns had five starters go down in the first half.

St. Louis suffered that damaging reality, ultimately losing quarterback Sam Bradford for the season.

Sure, Brian Hoyer looked bad, and so did Justin Gilbert and Mitchell Schwartz, and….

But at least they’re all still vertical and their backups remain backups.

The Browns’ putrid performance earned the starters rare duty in the fourth preseason game, Thursday against Chicago. At the very least, that eliminates the first team having two full weeks off between games before they debut at Heinz Field.

The past two seasons, head coaches Pat Shurmur and Rob Chudzinski believed it wise to sit the starters in Preseason Game 4 to guard against injury. Better they had risked someone getting hurt and had the surviving portion of the starting lineup at peak efficiency for the opener.

We haven’t seen much of rush linebacker Jabal Sheard, a player Browns coach Mike Pettine raved about prior to training camp. Pettine must be saving something Sheard-related for Pittsburgh.

Where might be be deployed? Only Pettine knows.

But given the Browns’ coach’s expertise in scheming blitz packages, perhaps Sheard will be enough to significantly slow the Steelers’ offense.

Pettine said Sunday he’s confident the Browns will have a winning plan in place for their trip to Pittsburgh. Of course, what else is he going to say?

However, the calendar does suggest the Browns could dramatically improve over the 10 days between their exhibition finale against Chicago and the regular-season debut.

Why?

Because that period to tunnel in on Pittsburgh allows the Browns greater attention to detail than they were afforded during a stretch of playing their final three exhibition games over an 11-day span.

It stands to reason that 10 solid days of preparation for one game should result in a much sharper performance at Pittsburgh than exhibited in three games over an 11-day span.

 

Bruce Hooley hosts "The Bruce Hooley Show" from 5-7 p.m. weekdays on ESPN 850 WKNR. He is the author of, “That’s Why I’m Here: The Chris and Stefanie Spielman Story.”

Email Bruce hoolz@espncleveland.com

Follow Bruce on Twitter @bhoolz

 

 

 

Johnny continues his 50/50 trend on final tune-up before Washington

Aug 16, 2014 -- 2:02pm

By Jason Gibbs | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Browns' quarterback Johnny Manziel adressing the media after Saturday's practice.

 

BEREA -- Johnny Manziel continued his 50/50 trend on Saturday at the Browns' final practice leading up to Monday night's game at Washington.

9:28am: It’s good to be alive! Johnny is QB #4 out on the field this morning and we are underway just two days before Browns/Redskins!

9:30am: QB/Center Exchanges. Johnny is back with the two’s today.

9:38am: Stretch time

9:48am: Offensive shell drill.

9:50am: Johnny time- Johnny pitches the ball to RB Terrance West with the second team offense

9:55am: QB/WR Drills

10:08am: 11 on 11 Drill number one

10:10am: Johnny time (Numbers – 0/2 with two handoffs)

  • Play #1 – Johnny goes play action but throws an incomplete pass to WR Anthony Armstrong
  • Play #2 – Handoff to RB Chris Ogbonnaya
  • Play #3 – Handoff to RB Dion Lewis
  • Play #4 – Incompletion pass to WR Anthony Armstrong

10:16am: Johnny time (Numbers – 1/1 with one handoff)

  • Play #1 – Handoff to RB Edwin Baker
  • Play #2 – Play action completion to WR Travis Benjamin

10:18am: Special Teams time. QB’s go to work on agility.

10:30am: 7 on 7 Drill

10:32am: Johnny time (Numbers – 2/4)

  • Play #1 – Completion to WR Miles Austin
  • Play #2 – Incomplete pass to WR Andrew Hawkins
  • Play #3 – Completion to WR Andrew Hawkins
  • Play #4 – Incomplete pass to WR Taylor Gabriel

10:38am: Johnny time (Numbers – 1/2)

  • Play #1 – Incomplete pass to WR Tim Smith (Dropped)
  • Play #2 – Completion to WR Anthony Armstrong

10:39am: 11 on 11 Drill number two (Red Zone)

10:42am: Johnny time (Numbers – 1/2 with two handoffs)

  • Play #1 – Handoff to RB Terrance West
  • Play #2 – Handoff
  • Play #3 – Incomplete pass to WR Travis Benjamin (Almost picked off)
  • Play #4 – Completion to WR Taylor Gabriel

10:49am:  Johnny time (Numbers – 3/5 with a TD and an INT plus one handoff)

  • Play #1 – Johnny is intercepted by DB Royce Adams
  • Play #2 – Completion to WR Taylor Gabriel
  • Play #3 – Handoff to RB Terrance West
  • Play #4 – Completion to RB Terrance West
  • Play #5 – Incomplete pass (Ball batted down)
  • Play #6 – Completion to WR Charles Johnson for a Touchdown

10:54am: Special Teams time. QB’s go to work on agility.

11:03am: 11 on 11 Drill number three

11:06am: Johnny time (Numbers – 1/2 with one handoff)

  • Play #1 – Incomplete pass to WR Taylor Gabriel
  • Play #2 – Handoff to RB Ben Tate
  • Play #3 – Completion to WR Miles Austin

NOTE: Around 11:10am fight time breaks out. A late shove after a play by RT Mitchell Schwartz to LB Justin Staples sets off an entire team fight. LT Joe Thomas ends up at the bottom of the pile. Coach Pettine is angry (that is an understatement) and the team runs before resuming the drill.

11:21am: Johnny time (Numbers – 1/2 with one handoff)

  • Play #1 – Incomplete pass to WR Andrew Hawkins
  • Play #2 – Handoff to RB Terrance West
  • Play #3 – Completion to WR Miles Austin

11:28am: Johnny time (Numbers – 1/2 with one handoff)

  • Play #1 – Completion to WR Travis Benjamin
  • Play #2 – Handoff to RB Terrance West
  • Play #3 – Incomplete pass to WR Travis Benjamin

UN-OFFICIAL PASSING TOTALS TODAY FOR JOHNNY – 11/22 1TD/1INT

Manziel's Un-Official Numbers for this week: 61/122 (50%) passing

Manziel's Un-Official Training Camp Numbers: 178/347 (51%) passing (Games excluded)

 

 

Where's Johnny: Right at 50%

Aug 15, 2014 -- 9:14pm

By Jason Gibbs | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Photo/Getty via ESPN

BEREA -- It's the second-to-last practice of the week and the first practice of the week when we know that Johnny Manziel will not start this Monday night's game at Washington.

9:27am: Happy Friday everybody! Johnny is QB #3 out on the field on this beautiful morning.

9:30am: QB/Center Exchanges and Warm-Ups. Johnny is working with Alex Mack. Looks like he’s with the one’s today.

9:38am: Stretch time

9:46am: Offense Team Drill. Confirmed…Johnny is with the first team today.

9:48am: QB/RB Drills

9:56am: QB/WR Drills

10:06am: Offensive shell drill with QB’s and skill position guys

10:17am: The QB’s split up. Johnny goes to another field for TE/LB drills with QB’s throwing (Numbers not available)

10:23am: O-Line vs. D-Line Drill with QB’s and RB’s

10:26am: One on One Drill with QB’s throwing

10:26am: Johnny time (Numbers – 3/7)

  • Play #1 – Incomplete pass to WR Andrew Hawkins
  • Play #2 – Incomplete pass to WR Charles Johnson
  • Play #3 – Completion to WR Willie Snead
  • Play #4 – Incomplete pass to WR Jonathan Krause
  • Play #5 – Incomplete pass to WR Anthony Armstrong
  • Play #6 – Completion to WR Willie Snead
  • Play #7 – Completion

10:34am: Special Teams time. QB’s go to work on agility.

10:44am: 11 on 11 Drill number one

10:44am: Johnny time (Numbers – 2/3 with one handoff)

  • Play #1 – Completion to WR Miles Austin
  • Play #2 – Incomplete pass to WR Marlon Moore
  • Play #3 – Completion to WR Travis Benjamin
  • Play #4 – Handoff

10:53am: Johnny time (Numbers – 1/3 with one handoff)

  • Play #1 – Incomplete pass to WR Travis Benjamin
  • Play #2 – Incomplete pass
  • Play #3 – Handoff to RB Terrance West
  • Play #4 – Completion to TE/FB MarQueis Gray

10:58am: 7 on 7 Drill

10:58am: Johnny time (Numbers – 2/4)

Play #1 – Incomplete pass to WR Taylor Gabriel
Play #2 – Incomplete pass to RB Ben Tate
Play #3 – Completion to WR Charles Johnson
Play #4 – Completion to TE Jordan Cameron

11:05am: Johnny time (Numbers – 0/2)

  • Play #1 – Incomplete pass to WR Travis Benjamin
  • Play #2 – Incomplete pass to WR Jonathan Krause

11:07am: Special Teams time. QB’s go to work on agility.

11:19am: 11 on 11 Drill number two (Red Zone)

11:19am: Johnny time (Numbers – 1/2 with two running plays)

  • Play #1 – Handoff to RB Ben Tate
  • Play #2 – Manziel with a nice run
  • Play #3 – Incomplete pass to RB Ben Tate
  • Play #4 – Completion to WR Jonathan Krause

11:29am: Johnny time (Numbers – 1/2 with two handoffs)

  • Play #1 – Handoff to RB Ben Tate
  • Play #2 – Handoff to RB Ben Tate
  • Play #3 – Incomplete pass
  • Play #4 – Completion to WR Miles Austin

11:34am: 11 on 11 Drill number three

11:34am: Johnny time (Numbers – 4/5 with a botched snap)

  • Play #1 – Incomplete pass to WR Miles Austin
  • Play #2 – Completion to WR Anthony Armstrong
  • Play #3 – Completion to WR Anthony Armstrong
  • Play #4 – Completion to WR Anthony Armstrong
  • Play #5 – Never happens…Johnny mis-handles the snap
  • Play #6 – Completion to TE Jordan Cameron

11:46am: Johnny time (Numbers – 2/4)

  • Play #1 – Completion to WR Miles Austin
  • Play #2 – Incomplete pass to RB Ben Tate
  • Play #3 – Completion to WR Willie Snead
  • Play #4 – Incomplete pass to WR Willie Snead

MANZIEL'S UNOFFICIAL PASSING TOTALS FRIDAY – 16-for-32

MANZIEL’S UNOFFICIAL NUMBERS FOR THIS WEEK – 50-for-100

MANZIEL'S UNOFFICIAL NUMBERS FOR TRAINING CAMP – 167-for-325 (51%) passing (Games excluded)

 

 

 

  • Page 1 of 56
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • ...
  • »
  • »»

ON AIR - LISTEN LIVE

PHOTO GALLERY

  • Recently Updated

    more

    • Bud Light ESPN Cleveland Browns Tailgate

    • ESPN Tailgate Alfred Learner Way 9/21/2014

    • High School Hysteria at Hudson High School 9/19/2014

CALENDAR