Posted: 11/11/2012 1:09 AM
The tone of questions in the bye week turned decidedly against Pat Shurmur. After watching the Browns lose to Baltimore, 25-15, in a game marked by sideline confusion, questionable play-calls and a controversial fourth-down decision, contributors to this column subscribed to the opinion that changing coaches is now a foregone conclusion.Hey Tony: Do you think the next Browns coach will be an experienced, proven winner, in the Gruden, Cowher mold? Will it be someone currently an NFL assistant with the drive and savvy to embrace the many roles a head coach must play? Will it be a successful college head coach from a competitive program with the ambition and confidence to make the transition to the NFL? Based on your observations of Mr. Haslam and Mr. Banner, what are your thoughts?-- Mark, Wallingford, CTHey Mark: At this point, it’s premature to know for sure. My hunch is the Browns will not draw from the college ranks or from the big-name NFL coach’s pool. That leaves the young and hungry, NFL assistant coach as the most likely model for the next Browns coach.
Posted: 11/11/2012 1:11 AM
By Nate Ulrich Beacon Journal sports writerPublished: November 10, 2012 - 10:52 PM
New Browns CEO Joe Banner laughs at the thought of someone trying to describe his personality.“Good luck,” he said. “I don’t think my wife can even do that.”To say Banner is complex might be an understatement. After spending 19 years with the Philadelphia Eagles, including the past 12 as their president, Banner has brought his expertise and multilayered identity to Northeast Ohio.He’s the tough negotiator who sometimes draws the ire of players and agents with his ultra-competitive nature.“If we have a negotiation and it’s over a dollar, 99 percent [of the time] I’ll approach it and be more than happy to let you take 50 cents if you let me take 50 cents,” Banner said. “On the other hand, if you go into the negotiation feeling like, ‘Hell with that, I want to get the whole dollar,’ I will fight back at you and try to win as hard as anybody you’re going to come in contact with.”
Posted: 11/11/2012 1:13 AM
Ravens inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe was fined $10,000 for his unnecessary roughness penalty stemming from striking a defenseless player in the head and neck area, according to the NFL.Ellerbe indicated he has already appealed the fine.During the third quarter of the Ravens' 25-15 victory over the Cleveland Browns, Ellerbe crashed into rookie running back Trent Richardson on a passing play and incurred a 15-yard penalty.
Last edited 11/11/2012 1:16 AM by T-Dog
Posted: 11/11/2012 1:16 AM
Published: Sunday, November 11, 2012By Jeff Schudel
Last edited 11/11/2012 1:17 AM by T-Dog
Posted: 11/11/2012 1:20 AM
Published: Sunday, November 11, 2012By Jim IngrahamBrowns coach Pat Shurmur has apparently survived the bye week.It's only his third win of the year.The bye week, or as it's known in some of the bleaker NFL outposts, The "Are you guys sure you don't want to change coaches?" week, is a built-in week off, allowing NFL teams to take inventory.Assuming they have some.It's called the bye week because some teams use it to point their coach toward the door while saying, "Bye!"Others teams trudge bravely on, anxiously awaiting that next fourth-and-1 call from the sidelines in which, depending on the time zone in which they are playing, and what their decision was in the same situation the week before, they will go for it or punt, or call a timeout first and then go for it or punt. Because sometimes you've just got to take the bull by the tail and face the situation.The Browns, under new owner Jimmy Haslam, chose the latter.It's the right call.Nothing worthwhile could be achieved through a midseason Shurmurectomy.
Posted: 11/11/2012 1:24 AM
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- On any given Sunday, Brandon Weeden looks like the Browns' quarterback of the future. Except when he doesn't.Fans fret about the inconsistency of the 29-year-old rookie, the talk shows are a-buzz, and his clock is ticking.Little is said, by comparison, about running back Trent Richardson. Optimism is the prevalent mood here, especially since Richardson didn't hit the ground in life, presumably running, until 1990. He is 22 years old and stands only 5-9, meaning he can hunker down behind his offensive linemen and then spring an unpleasant surprise on the defense."When I coached," said Mike Holmgren during his tenure as Browns president, "I never saw [5-8 Hall of Famer] Barry Sanders until he was through the hole."Sanders weighed only 203 pounds in his playing days, however, so he wasn't as punishing as Richardson. Once in the hole, Richardson, who weighs 230 pounds, can batter his way past whatever is in his path.
Posted: 11/11/2012 1:26 AM
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The rookie quarterback who could have been a Brown stood on the practice field at the organization's training facility in June and indulged the media in a friendly game of What If."Once I declared for the draft, Cleveland was a place I thought I would be just because they had the most firepower when it came to draft picks and tradeability," the Washington Redskins' Robert Griffin III told reporters gathered for the NFL rookie symposium.The Browns made a bid for the most dynamic, multi-talented and marketable player in the draft, offering the St. Louis Rams their two 2012 first-round picks (Nos. 4, 22) and their 2013 first-round selection for the right to move up to take Griffin with the second overall choice. Ultimately, the Rams accepted Washington's package that included its 2012, 2013 and 2014 first-rounders, plus a 2012 second-rounder -- a stunning exchange of future currency for the potential to immediately alter the course of a rudderless franchise.
Posted: 11/11/2012 1:29 AM
Everybody in Berea reports to the new CEO with the possible exception of train conductors .Media interviews this week made clearer what we already knew. Joe Banner is in charge.If his powerful status with the Browns strikes you as a pretty good reason for a Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden to rule out potential employment here -- and therefore also strikes you as a limiting factor in a coaching search -- you're likely gripping over a moot point.There are two working models of interest in predicting what might happen here if the new Browns' leadership wants a new front office and/or head coach: Banner in Philly and the Pittsburgh Steelers, where Jimmy Haslam was a minority owner.Neither offers a tale of the big-name coach handed the keys to the kingdom with everyone else scurrying a safe distance away until the coach signals it's OK to print playoff tickets and buy a confetti franchise.You know, the Mike Holmgren-in-Cleveland model minus the small detail that the fabled coach might actually elect not to coach.The same dynamics that makes it difficult to see Pat Shurmur staying on beyond this season -- a hard-driving owner and perhaps a harder-driving CEO looking to stamp the Browns as their own -- also make it hard to imagine turning to even a successful retread.
Posted: 11/11/2012 1:37 AM
We know who has the power in Browns Town. Jimmy Haslam owns it, and makes it clear he will use it. He has appointed Joe Banner as his right-hand man.We don’t know how highly the big two regard general manager Tom Heckert.We know Banner was president of the Eagles the entire time Heckert worked for that team, as director of player personnel from 2001-02, as vice president of player personnel from 2003-05, and as general manager from 2006-09.We don’t know how good Banner thinks Heckert is at picking players and fitting into an organization.We know Heckert has had three years to stock the roster, and that the team record since he began is a ghastly 11-30.We don’t know if Haslam and Banner believe Heckert inherited a roster that was so bereft of talent that he needed all this time and more to set the roster right.We know neither Haslam nor Banner has given Heckert a vote of confidence.
Tom Heckert heads into the Browns’ bye week as much on the hot seat as head coach Pat Shurmur.Here is the second of three articles analyzing Heckert’s drafts as general manager of the Browns.Grades reflect value received in relation to what Heckert should have been expected to get.Today The 2011 draft.FIRST ROUNDThe pick Baylor defensive tackle Phil Taylor, No. 21 overallThe risk Heckert opted out of a chance to grab Alabama wideout Julio Jones at No. 6 overall, trading down for a package that included the 27th overall pick. Heckert believed he could not get Taylor at No. 27 and subsequently traded up to No. 21.The progress Taylor started all 16 games in 2011 and was a consensus choice on all-rookie teams. Optimism for his second season was high before he tore a pectoral muscle while bench pressing in the spring. He missed nine games before suiting up against Baltimore, playing 33 of the 66 defensive snaps.Outlook Taylor’s size, determination and rookie production point to a quality starter at a key position. He is signed through 2014.Heckert’s grade B-plus. Better-than-mediocre defensive line starters are one of the rarest commodities in the league. Taylor has Pro Bowl potential.
Tom Heckert heads into the Browns’ bye week as much on the hot seat as head coach Pat Shurmur. Here is the final part of three articles analyzing Heckert’s drafts as general manager of the Browns.Grades reflect value received in relation to what Heckert should have been expected to get.Today: The 2012 draft:First roundThe pick Alabama running back Trent Richardson, No. 3 overall.The risk Heckert might have been able to get Richardson with the Browns’ original pick, No. 4 overall, but he got scared into trading up to make sure. Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman extracted Heckert’s picks at No. 4, No. 118, No. 139 and No. 211 as barter for that No. 3.The progress Richardson’s inability to deliver a steady flow of juice was a big reason the season disappeared amid a 1-6 start. In five of those seven games, Richardson totaled 67 carries for 158 yards, a 2.38 per-carry average that was below even the Travis Prentice line. Knee and rib issues were factors. Richardson’s last two games (227 yards, 4.6 yards a carry) were signs he is getting his act together. He vows “the real Trent” will appear after the bye.The outlook Richardson’s struggles to function in key third-and-1 situations will be a concern until he starts converting. At worst, he projects as a better-than-average NFL feature back. To be a Pro Bowler, he must cut down on runs that go for a yard or less and break more big ones. He has made a run longer than 20 yards in only two games. His season best is 23.Heckert’s grade B. It will slip to C-minus or worse if Richardson doesn’t rise to elite status. There’s no guarantee he will eventually surpass fellow rookie Doug Martin (No. 31 overall, Buccaneers) simply because his name is Trent Richardson. For now, Martin is miles ahead of Richardson with more yards (792-575), better efficiency (5.1 yards a carry to 3.8) and more touchdowns (8-6) despite playing one less game. Plus, Martin is a big reason a team that was as bad as the Browns last year is 4-4.
Posted: 11/11/2012 1:51 AM
Posted: 11/11/2012 9:06 AM
Which brings us to the Browns'Pat Shurmur. He held the dual roles of head coach and offensive coordinator last season, one in which the Browns finished 4-12. After they scored fewer offensive touchdowns (20) than the New England Patriots tight-end tandem of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez (a combined 24 TDs) Shurmur decided he might need some assistance, hiring Brad Childress as his offensive coordinator.Game management, while improved this season, has remained an issue at critical junctures and play-calling has come into question during stinging defeats to the New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens.
Following the 25-15 loss to Baltimore last week, a game in which the Browns were forced to burn three timeouts due to an inability to get plays run in a timely manner, Shurmur vowed to streamline the operation during the bye week. The coach conceded that he and Childress collaborate on the play-calling.
Credit Shurmur for recognizing the problem and addressing it."I've got to find a way to get a little bit better in all areas, so that those games like we played Sunday become victories," Shurmur said.
Posted: 11/11/2012 9:09 AM
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Not long ago, the Baltimore Ravens' road to an AFC North title seemed lined in rose petals, a 17-week coronation as their chief rival was stumbling against opponents like Oakland and Tennessee.But the Ravens (6-2) began losing key players and the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3) started winning big games. Suddenly, it's the Ravens who are in need of a boost one week before traveling to Pittsburgh.Baltimore hosts the Oakland Raiders (3-5) on Sunday and the Ravens must regain their swagger if they hope to fend off the charging Steelers. The Ravens looked anything but convincing a week ago in their 25-15 win over the Browns, a game in which they trailed midway through the fourth quarter."We need to be better," coach John Harbaugh told the Baltimore media this week. "We need to be better on third down. We need to run the ball more consistently. We need to protect our quarterback more consistently. We need to throw and catch better. And that's just on the offensive side."
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