2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Browns head to camp hoping to shed losing image

By TOM WITHERS - AP Sports Writer
    2013-07-23 11:29

CLEVELAND (AP) - Rob Chudzinski has his dream job. There's no telling how long he'll keep it.

Hired as Cleveland's sixth coach - and fourth in six years - since 1999, Chudzinski returns to the team he cheered for as a kid and the one he helped to a 10-6 record in 2007 as the offensive coordinator. The orange helmets are being directed by Chud now, and while the Browns still have a long climb to contention, he inherits more talent than any of his predecessors.

The Browns have lost at least 11 games in each of the past five seasons, a streak they should be able to stop.

However, to do so, they'll need stability at quarterback, a position of constant change since the Browns returned as an expansion franchise. Second-year quarterback Brandon Weeden showed promise last season but needs to make major strides under new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who has a track record for developing QBs.

Cleveland's spending spree in free agency - mostly on defense - gave worn-out Browns fans reason to hope that 2013 would bring a turnaround and dawn a new era. But some of the optimism has been erased by new owner Jimmy Haslam's legal troubles, which have cast a shadow over the season already.

Five things to know as the Browns open training camp this week:

1. RICHARDSON ROLLING: Running back Trent Richardson may be the NFL's toughest man. Playing most of his rookie year with two broken ribs he kept secret until the season ended, Richardson still rushed for 950 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. The Browns need Richardson, who reported to camp banged up last season, to shed the ``injury-prone'' label and be 100 percent healthy from the outset. He's ready to roll after missing some of the spring workouts with a sprained shin muscle. He averaged just 3.6 yards per carry - 45th among the league's runners.

2. WEEDEN GROWS: Weeden passed for 3,385 yards in 2012, not bad for a rookie. But he was overshadowed by an elite class of first-year QBs, three of whom - Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson - led their teams to the playoffs. The Browns are adjusting their offense to better fit Weeden's strengths, and Chudzinski said he has already seen marked improvement in the 29-year-old's footwork, quickness and speed in getting rid of the ball. Weeden believes he has grown as a leader as well and feels ``like a completely different player'' than last year.

3. HASLAM'S HEADACHE: The owner's ongoing legal entanglement has Browns fans on edge, and the NFL on watch. Haslam's arrival gave Cleveland a much-needed boost and he's already sunk millions into overhauling the roster, the team's suburban headquarters and a $100 million face lift of FirstEnergy Stadium is reportedly in the works. Haslam recently reached a settlement with customers his Pilot Flying J truck-stop chain cheated out of rebate money. Unless he is indicted, the league will not consider sanctions against Haslam, who has professed his innocence from the start.

4. KICKING IT: Phil Dawson's departure leaves the Browns with some huge cleats to fill. The Pro Bowl kicker, who signed as a free agent with the 49ers, was an invaluable asset for 14 years, handling field-goal and kickoff duties while mastering the tricky winds off Lake Erie. The Browns signed veteran Shayne Graham, who made 31 of 38 field goals and scored 138 points for Houston last season, to compete for the job with rookie Brandon Bogotay. The winner will have a difficult time replacing the dependable Dawson, the second-leading scorer in franchise history.

5. FLASH GORDON: Wide receiver Josh Gordon's two-game suspension for violating the NFL's drug policy makes it imperative the Browns find some other offensive playmakers. Gordon will miss the opener against Miami and the following week against Baltimore, depriving Weeden of his top target. But more importantly, the Browns have to hope Gordon, who was suspended for marijuana use in college, gets his head on straight and stays clean in the future. His teammates rave about his athletic gifts and view the 22-year-old as a future star - if he stays on the right path.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Ryan SuccopSep 1 04:22p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent PK Ryan Succop (Chiefs) to an undisclosed deal and released PK Travis Coons Monday, Sept. 1.

Josh ScobeeSep 1 11:43a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson (hamstring), DT Sen'Derrick Marks (shoulder), PK Josh Scobee (quadriceps) and OT Zane Beadles (undisclosed) are practicing Monday, Sept. 1.

Larry DonnellSep 1 11:43a

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell is the starting tight end on the team's unofficial depth chart. TE Daniel Fells and Adrien Robinson are second- and third-string, respectively.

Quintin DempsSep 1 11:23a

New York Giants SS Quintin Demps is the lead kick returner, while WR Preston Parker is the lead punt returner.

Ben TateSep 1 10:52a

Cleveland Browns RB Ben Tate is expected to stay on the field on third downs, according to head coach Mike Pettine. This is good news for his PPR [ More ]

Charles BrownSep 1 10:43a

New York Giants OT Charles Brown (shoulder) and OT James Brewer (back) returned to practice Monday, Sept. 1.

Ahmad DixonSep 1 10:22a

The Dallas Cowboys released SS Ahmad Dixon.

Lonnie PryorSep 1 09:52a

The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent FB Lonnie Pryor (Buccaneers) and OG D.J. Morrell (Rams) to the practice squad.

Tony HillsSep 1 09:32a

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent LB David Hinds (Titans), TE Jacob Maxwell (Lions), CB Lowell Rose (Chargers) and WR Tommy Streeter (Buccaneers) to the practice squad. C Sam Brenner, [ More ]

Emil IgwenaguSep 1 03:53a

In addition to the previously announced signings of TE Michael Egnew and RB George Winn, the Detroit Lions inked OG Rodney Austin, FB Emil Igwenagu, S Nate Ness, WR [ More ]

Chase FordSep 1 03:42a

Nine players were signed to the Minnesota Vikings practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Players joining the squad include RB Joe Banyard, WR Kain Colter, DT Isame Faciane, TE [ More ]

D.J. SmithSep 1 03:33a

The Carolina Panthers brought 10 players onto their practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Players signed were CB Carrington Byndom, LB Adarius Glanton, WR Tavarres King, SS Robert Lester, [ More ]

Trevin WadeSep 1 03:22a

The New Orleans Saints signed six players to their practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Signees include WR Brandon Coleman, CB Terrence Frederick, WR Seantavius Jones, OT Tavon Rooks, [ More ]

Champ BaileySep 1 02:52a

Although the New York Jets are in need of cornerbacks, they are unlikely to pursue free-agent CB Champ Bailey, who was cut by the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, [ More ]

Dee MillinerSep 1 01:02a

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls and FS Antonio Allen could start at cornerback Week 1 because of the injury to CB Dee Milliner (ankle).

Jeromey ClarySep 1 12:23a

San Diego Chargers OG Jeromey Clary (shoulder, hip) underwent hip surgery around a week ago, and his status for the 2014 season is uncertain, according to sources. Clary has [ More ]

Ryan SuccopSep 1 12:12a

Free-agent PK Ryan Succop (Chiefs) is receiving significant interest from the Tennessee Titans and could sign with them as early as Monday, Sept. 1, according to a source.

Kenjon BarnerSep 1 12:02a

Philadelphia Eagles RB Kenjon Barner (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Vincent BrownSep 1 12:02a

San Diego Chargers WR Vincent Brown (calf) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

DeMarcus Van DykeAug 31 11:52p

Kansas City Chiefs CB DeMarcus Van Dyke (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Jake StoneburnerAug 31 11:32p

Green Bay Packers TE Jake Stoneburner (undisclosed) and OT Aaron Adams (knee) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after they were waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

M.D. JenningsAug 31 11:22p

Chicago Bears FS M.D. Jennings (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Steve VallosAug 31 10:33p

The Tennessee Titans released C Steve Vallos Sunday, Aug. 31.

Damian WilliamsAug 31 10:22p

The Miami Dolphins released WR Damian Williams Sunday, Aug. 31.

Mike ThomasAug 31 10:12p

The Houston Texans released WR Mike Thomas Sunday, Aug. 31.

Duke IhenachoAug 31 09:53p

The Washington Redskins have claimed SS Duke Ihenacho off waivers from the Denver Broncos.

Brandon HarrisAug 31 09:53p

The Tennessee Titans have claimed WR T.J. Graham off waivers from the Buffalo Bills, WR Kris Durham from the Detroit Lions and CB Brandon Harris from the Houston Texans.

Garrett GilkeyAug 31 09:42p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have claimed OG Garrett Gilkey off waivers from the Cleveland Browns.

MarQueis GrayAug 31 09:32p

The Minnesota Vikings have claimed TE MarQueis Gray off waivers from the Cleveland Browns and OT Michael X. Harris from the San Diego Chargers.

Brandian RossAug 31 09:22p

The Miami Dolphins have claimed CB Brandian Ross off waivers from the Oakland Raiders.

Mickey ShulerAug 31 09:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have claimed TE Mickey Shuler off waivers from the Atlanta Falcons.

Damaris JohnsonAug 31 09:12p

The Houston Texans have claimed OT Jeff Adams off waivers from the Tennessee Titans, WR Damaris Johnson from the Philadelphia Eagles and CB Darryl Morris from the San Francisco 49ers.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group