2014 DRAFT GUIDE
5 things we know about Browns, Bears

By ANDREW SELIGMAN - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-30 03:12

CHICAGO (AP) - Now, the curtain rises and the Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns will see how all the changes come together.

The Browns closed out the preseason with a late rally to beat the Bears 18-16 on Thursday night.

Both teams hired new head coaches, looking for sparks and trying to reverse trends.

For the Bears, it was about getting the most out of a stagnant offense and getting back to the playoffs after missing out five of the past six years under Lovie Smith. For the Browns, it's about ending years of losing.

With that in mind, here are five things we know about each team during the preseason.

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Five things we know about the Bears:

1. CAN COACH, QB RELATE? The biggest question hanging over the Bears is whether new coach Marc Trestman and quarterback Jay Cutler can relate. No one really knows at this point, although the fact that Cutler spread the ball around in the third preseason game against Oakland was a good sign for the Bears.

2. THE OLD: Even with Brian Urlacher gone, the Bears still have an aging core on defense. Defensive end Julius Peppers, linebacker Lance Briggs and cornerback Charles Tillman are all in their 30s, although none has shown any signs of slowing. The Bears are still forcing turnovers at a rapid rate, just as they did a year ago, with nine interceptions and five fumble recoveries in the preseason.

3. AND THE YOUNG: The Bears are going with rookies at right guard in first-round pick Kyle Long and at right tackle in fifth-rounder Jordan Mills. Throw in second-rounder Jonathan Bostic at middle linebacker with D.J. Williams injured, and Chicago has some young players at key positions on both sides.

4. CATCHING CONCERNS: A receiving group that appeared to be stable now has concerns, starting with Brandon Marshall's recovery from hip surgery. Throw in the fact that he said this week he doesn't understand his role, and more than a few eyebrows were raised around Chicago. Earl Bennett's recovery from a concussion is another issue.

5. FORTE'S A FIT: Matt Forte had a 58-yard run and averaged 9.9 yards a carry in the preseason. He also had a 32-yard touchdown on a swing pass against Oakland, a sign that he's adapting well to Trestman's West Coast offense.

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Five things we know about the Browns:

1. RUNNING BEHIND RICHARDSON: Running back Trent Richardson appears healthy after dealing with nagging injuries late last season and appears ready to carry the load behind a solid line. That's good news for the Browns, particularly with Dion Lewis (surgically repaired left leg) and Montario Hardesty (knee) on injured reserve and no one else stepping up.

2. NEW SYSTEMS, BIG ADJUSTMENTS: The Browns replaced a 4-3 with a 3-4 defense and went from a West Coast offense to a more vertical passing game under new coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner. How far along they are is hard to tell, because they struggled terribly against Indianapolis last week and the top players for both teams sat out this one.

3. NOT-SO-SPECIAL TEAMS: The Browns' special teams haven't done much in the preseason after losing key players in the offseason. Return man Joshua Cribbs, kicker Phil Dawson and punter Reggie Hodges are all gone, along with a handful of players who helped out on coverage. Now, they might have to get by without kicker Shayne Graham after he injured his back in warmups Thursday.

4. SILVER LINE-ING: One positive for the Browns is a veteran offensive line led by Joe Thomas at left tackle. With the blocking in place, that could buy time as Brandon Weeden tries to adapt to a new offense.

5. CATCHING AN (UNWANTED) BREAK: These haven't exactly been great times for Josh Gordon. He'll serve a two-game suspension to start the season for violating the NFL's drug policy. He also pleaded not guilty this week after being ticketed twice for speeding, once for driving 98 mph.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Alshon JefferySep 14 07:12p

Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) is active for the Week 2 game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Anthony DavisSep 14 07:12p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Brandon Lloyd, DL Demarcus Dobbs, OT Jonathan Martin, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock inactive for Week 2.

Charles Leno Jr.Sep 14 07:12p

The Chicago Bears have declared OT Charles Leno Jr., DL Cornelius Washington, DL David Bass, WR Josh Morgan, LB Khaseem Greene, OG Matt Slauson, C Roberto Garza inactive for Week 2.

Brandon MarshallSep 14 07:02p

Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall (ankle) will be active for the Week 2 game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Jamaal CharlesSep 14 06:22p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (ankle) will not return to the Week 2 game against the Denver Broncos after leaving in the first quarter with an ankle injury.

Gerald McCoySep 14 05:22p

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers DE Gerald McCoy (hand, wrist) re-emerged from the locker room in the second quarter of the Week 2 game against the St. [ More ]

R. Griffin IIISep 14 05:02p

Updating a previous report, Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) has been diagnosed with a dislocated ankle after leaving the Week 2 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He [ More ]

Gerald McCoySep 14 04:52p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers DE Gerald McCoy (undisclosed) left the field in the first quarter of the Week 2 game against the St. Louis Rams due to an undisclosed injury.

R. Griffin IIISep 14 03:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) suffered a dislocated ankle during the team's Week 2 game, according to a source. He will undergo tests to confirm the injury.

Shiloh KeoSep 14 03:22p

The Houston Texans have declared OT Jeff Adams, LB Jadeveon Clowney, TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, FS Shiloh Keo, DT Louis Nix, WR DeVier Posey, QB Tom Savage inactive for Week 2.

A.J. EddsSep 14 03:22p

The New York Jets have declared DT T.J. Barnes, DB Josh Bush, OT Dakota Dozier, LB A.J. Edds, LB IK Enemkpali, OT Ben Ijalana, WR Walter Powell inactive for Week 2.

Jamell FlemingSep 14 03:22p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, DB Jamell Fleming, RB Joe McKnight, QB Aaron Murray, DE Damion Square, RB De'Anthony Thomas, WR Albert Wilson inactive for Week 2.

David BrutonSep 14 03:22p

The Denver Broncos have declared SS David Bruton, CB Tony Carter, OG Ben Garland, WR Cody Latimer, OT Michael Schofield, LB Danny Trevathan inactive for Week 2.

Keenan AllenSep 14 03:12p

San Diego Chargers WR Keenan Allen (ribs) is active for the team's Week 2 game.

Scott TolzienSep 14 03:12p

The Green Bay Packers have declared LB Carl Bradford, OT Bryan Bulaga, LB Jayrone Elliott, CB Demetri Goodson, WR Jeff Janis, LB Brad Jones, QB Scott Tolzien inactive for Week 2.

Antonio GatesSep 14 03:12p

San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates (hamstring) is active for the team's Week 2 game.

Matt McCantsSep 14 03:12p

The Oakland Raiders have declared OG Tony Bergstrom, S Jonathan Dowling, DE Shelby Harris, RB Maurice Jones-Drew, OT Matt McCants, QB Matt McGloin, LB Nick Roach inactive for Week 2.

Doug MartinSep 14 03:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (knee) has been declared inactive for Week 2.

Trumaine JohnsonSep 14 03:02p

The St. Louis Rams have declared TE Alex Bayer, DT Matt Conrath, CB Trumaine Johnson, OG Barrett Jones, CB Lamarcus Joyner, RB Tre Mason, RB Trey Watts inactive for Week 2.

Doug MartinSep 14 03:02p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared DE Michael Johnson, OG Rishaw Johnson, RB Doug Martin, DB Rashaan Melvin, OT Kevin Pamphile, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins inactive for Week 2.

Greg ScruggsSep 14 03:02p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared TE Cooper Helfet, OT Andrew McDonald, RB Christine Michael, WR Kevin Norwood, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, DE Greg Scruggs, CB Tharold Simon inactive for Week 2.

Jarret JohnsonSep 14 03:02p

The San Diego Chargers have declared DB Jahleel Addae, CB Chris Davis, CB Brandon Flowers, LB Jarret Johnson, C Doug Legursky, DT Ricardo Mathews, RB Branden Oliver inactive for Week 2.

Shaun HillSep 14 02:52p

St. Louis Rams QB Shaun Hill (thigh) is active for the team's Week 2 game, but QB Austin Davis is still expected to start.

Brandon ThompsonSep 14 02:42p

Cincinnati Bengals TE Alex E. Smith (biceps) suffered a biceps injury Week 2, while DT Brandon Thompson (knee) suffered a knee injury. Both players have been ruled out for the game.

DeSean JacksonSep 14 02:12p

Updating a previous report, Washington Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) will not return Week 2 after suffering a shoulder injury during the game.

Knowshon MorenoSep 14 02:12p

Updating a previous report, Miami Dolphins RB Knowshon Moreno (elbow) will not return to the game Week 2 after suffering an elbow injury.

R. Griffin IIISep 14 02:02p

Updating a previous report, Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 2 after suffering an ankle injury during the game.

A.J. GreenSep 14 02:02p

Updating a previous report, Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) will not be able to return Week 2 after suffering a toe injury during the game.

DeSean JacksonSep 14 01:52p

Washington Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) was taken to the locker room after suffering a shoulder injury during the team's Week 2 game.

Knowshon MorenoSep 14 01:52p

Miami Dolphins RB Knowshon Moreno (arm) left the game early Week 2 after suffering an apparent arm injury, according to Scott Hanson on NFL RedZone.

R. Griffin IIISep 14 01:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) was carted off the field after suffering an ankle injury during the team's Week 2 game, according to Scott Hanson on NFL [ More ]

A.J. GreenSep 14 01:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) has gone to the locker room after suffering a toe injury during the team's Week 2 game. He is considered questionable to return.

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