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Published: Monday, July 31, 2017 @ 5:02 PM
— BEREA — The Cleveland Browns have taken a positive approach to improving their 1-15 record from a season ago. The Browns were one of the biggest winners on draft day and did an admirable job addressing some needs in free agency. Now it’s time to see if the offseason acquisitions will mesh with existing talent and help win games.
Judging by the first few days of training camp the team is showing promise.
The million dollar question is who will be the starting quarterback for the season opener: Cody Kessler, Brock Osweiler or rookie DeShone Kizer?
Kessler appears to have a leg up on the competition after spending a season in the system. He made some nice throws with touch and showed that he can push the ball down the field, connecting with receiver Kenny Britt for a touchdown. Kessler also had a few passes batted down at the line of scrimmage and forced an interception.
Coach Hue Jackson likely will have Kessler on a short leash as No. 1 throughout this evaluation process.
Osweiler prospered while substituting for future Hall Famer Peyton Manning during the Denver Broncos Super Bowl run two seasons ago. The quarterback’s performance earned him a monstrous free agent contact with the Houston Texans, when then shipped him off after one disappointing season.
Now in Cleveland, Osweiler finds himself in the midst of a three-way competition. Early on, he’s been precise with his intermediate passes and throwing into tight windows. He made nice reads while going through his progressions but did have a couple of miscues on timing routes. He was fairly accurate, poised in the pocket and showed a quick release.
Of the three quarterbacks, Kizer, the second-round draft pick from Notre Dame, shows the most promise. He matched the veterans throw-for-throw completing passes. Kizer stands tall and poised in the pocket when making his reads and shows good velocity on his throws, with a nice delivery. He possesses a big-league arm and demonstrated that ability by throwing passes that ripped through the gusty wind. The rookie also showed his athleticism, making plays with his feet.
Kizer fit some passes into tight widows and throws a nice deep ball, but he stared down his intended targets and held the ball too long at times. The talent is clearly visible, but there is much work to be done.
Too hot to handle
Perhaps the most intriguing rookie is tight end David Njoku who was selected 29th overall from Miami.
Njoku is very talented with tremendous upside. He’s explosive off the line with good acceleration and shows great leaping ability catching the ball at its highest point over defenders. However, the rookie has serious issues with dropped and fumbled passes so far.
Despite that, Njoku is taking a businesslike approach to the learning curve.
“The playbook is a lot more complex than college, but this is my job now,” he said. “Everyone is a professional here, everyone is getting paid to play, and at any moment you can get cut or fired. I’m going to make sure I work that much harder learning the playbook so I can be here as long as possible.”
The coaching staff is pleased with the progress of tight end Seth DeValve, who was injured much of last season. DeValve is not the most dazzling receiver but catches everything and knows how to get open. He’s a good blocker and plays well in line and flanked to the slot position.
DeValve did fumble once after being thumped by safety Derrick Kindred running up the sideline after a catch.
Published: Saturday, May 19, 2018 @ 12:22 PM
— Johnny Manziel is taking his football career north of the border.
The former Texas A&M star quarterback who had two disappointing seasons with the Cleveland Browns marred by off-the-field antics has signed a two-year-deal with the Canadian Football League.
Manziel will play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the league announced Saturday. Manziel confirmed his decision on Twitter. "I believe this is the best opportunity for me moving forward and I’m eager for what the future holds," Manziel wrote.
Made the decision today to sign my contract with the CFL and further my football career after a long break. Very grateful for everyone that’s been supporting me along the way. I believe this is the best opportunity for me moving forward and I’m eager for what the future holds.— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) May 19, 2018
Manziel last played professional football in 2015. He has a 74.4 career quarterback rating in the NFL.
Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 10:12 AM
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spoke out for the first time Friday in the wake of his team’s Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles defeated the Patriots in Minneapolis on Sunday, 41-33.
"It has taken me a few days to reflect on our SB loss as well as the great season our team had,” he wrote in an Instagram post. "There are many emotions when you come up short on your goal. And they are all part of learning and growing in this journey of life."
He went on to express his gratitude to the organization, his teammates, the Eagles and the fans.
To read the whole post, click here.
It has taken me a few days to reflect on our SB loss as well as the great season our team had. There are many emotions when you come up short of your goal. And they are all part of learning and growing in this journey of life. Learning turns everything into a postitive. And the number one feeling I have had the past 4 days is gratitude. Gratitude to my teammates for the incredible effort given all season regardless of the challenges we faced. Gratitude toward my coaches for the effort and sacrifice they make to put us players in the best position to win. Gratitude to the NEP organization for supporting us on our very challenging and difficult journey. Gratitude to the Philadelphia Eagles team and organization for bringing out the best in us and being gracious winners (as well as congratulations on winning the championship) Gratitude toward our fans who showed up every week to cheer us on and commit their time and energy and love and support to what our goals are. And gratitude to my family and friends who continue to love and support my dreams. Thank you all. I love you all. Best, Tom
Published: Saturday, January 27, 2018 @ 2:01 PM
GASTONIA, N.C. — A North Carolina woman has won a prize that would be any football fan's dream.
As winner of Bud Light's Super Bowl Tickets for Life sweepstakes, Amy Stronger of Gastonia will receive four tickets to every Super Bowl game for the next 30 years, WSOC reported.
The benefits start next weekend with an all-expenses-paid, four-day trip to Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis.
Published: Saturday, January 27, 2018 @ 1:04 PM
BROCKTON, Mass. — A Massachusetts bakery is busy designing a sweet treat to share with fans Monday at the Patriots Super Bowl send-off.
Montilio's Baking Company is working on a 16-foot cake that will be delivered by truck to Gillette Stadium, Boston25News reported.
And the bakery has also found another way to show off its Pats pride before the big game.
"We've just banned all the Philadelphia cream cheese ... and any cream cheese products that come from there or have the name on it," bakery owner George Montilio said.
Montilio's isn't the only one banning certain products before next Sunday.
Dottie's Donuts in Philadelphia announced it won't sell any “New England themed” menu items until after the Super Bowl. A museum in Philadelphia has temporarily renamed its Patriots Gallery. And the Esplanade has banned all things Philly - including cream cheese, cheesesteaks, Sylvester Stallone and bald eagles.
The owner of Montilio's says he loves a friendly rivalry, and knows customers and fans feel the same way, Boston25News reported.
If you want to see what the bakers are working on - you'll have to head out to the Super Bowl send-off Monday morning.