Browns focus on hiring a G.M.
Posted by Mike Florio on January 12, 2013, 4:45 PM EDT
With a head coach in place, it’s now time for the Browns to bring in their next General Manager.
And while owner Jimmy Haslam suggested Friday that the process could, in theory, take up to a month, look for something to happen sooner than that — possibly within the next week.
It’s still unclear whether and to what extent coach Rob Chudzinski will have influence over personnel. CEO Joe Banner suggested before Chudzinski was hired that the next coach could end up having final say over the roster, depending on the next coach’s expertise when it comes to finding players.
The candidates for the job aren’t known. There had been suggestions during the season that former Browns executive Mike Lombardi could be on the list, but that possibility sparked a fairly strong negative reaction among the Cleveland media.
Posted by Josh Alper on September 21, 2014, 2:23 PM EDT
The Giants have made some of the confounding mistakes that marked their double-digit losses in the first two weeks of the season, but they’ve been able to overcome them on the way to a 14-0 halftime lead over the Texans.
New York saw tight end Larry Donnell fumble near the end zone and then watched long snapper Zak DeOssie send a field goal snap well past holder Steve Weatherford, but Eli Manning has kept the offense moving despite those blunders. Manning is 14-of-18 for 179 yards and a touchdown while Rashad Jennings has sprinted for 88 yards on 18 carries while also scoring a touchdown.
Manning’s touchdown pass went to Victor Cruz for his first home score since 2012 and the wideout, who had major issues with drops in the first two weeks, also had a 61-yard gain in his best showing of the season.
Houston’s offense has had no success without Arian Foster, however. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been intercepted twice on his way to a 4-of-13 first half and the Texans mustered just 83 total yards on offense before the teams went back to the locker room. Playing from behind will call for more passing from Fitzpatrick, which looks like a dicey proposition given his struggles and the spirited performance by the Giants pass rush.
Posted by Darin Gantt on September 21, 2014, 2:23 PM EDT
Teddy Bridgewater is going to get an extended look as the Vikings starter.
Matt Cassel, who left the game with a toe injury, will not return. Third-stringer Christian Ponder was inactive.
Bridgewater actually gave the Vikings a bit of a spark when he entered the game, getting them in position for a pair of field goals.
They trail the Saints 13-6 at halftime, but Bridgewater has at least given them reason for hope.
He’s 3-of-5 for 46 yards passing, and added 23 yards on five rushing attempts.
Posted by Mike Wilkening on September 21, 2014, 2:16 PM EDT
On Sunday afternoon in Cleveland, the Browns came oh-so-close to pulling off one of the more unique trick plays of recent seasons, but a penalty scuttled it, taking a 39-yard Johnny Manziel reception right out of the box score and into the footnotes of obscure football history.
The play occurred in the second quarter in today’s game vs. the Ravens. On the sideline, Manziel feigned a discussion with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and another Browns assistant, then stepped on to the field and caught a pass from Brian Hoyer.
However, tailback Terrance West was penalized for an illegal shift, nullifying the gain.
In the end, the Browns got an A-plus for creativity and an F for execution.
But it was fun to watch.
Posted by Mike Florio on September 21, 2014, 2:14 PM EDT
Last year, Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta suffered a serious hip injury in training camp. He has now injured it again.
Pitta’s right leg gave out after catching a pass in the backfield at Cleveland. He stumbled to the ground, and he has been carted off.
Pitta had three catches for 12 yards. The Ravens lead, 10-7.
Posted by Josh Alper on September 21, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT
The Eagles saw running back LeSean McCoy make a quick return to the game after being evaluated for a concussion and the Redskins will be hoping that Alfred Morris can make a similar turnaround.
Morris is being called questionable to return to the game after injuring his knee in the second quarter. Morris was hurt when he and quarterback Kirk Cousins bounced into one another at the end of a running play and he went to the sideline for the final play of the drive to get evaluated by medical personnel.
Morris had seen a lot of work up to that point in the game, running 14 times for 46 yards on the team’s first three possessions. All three of those possessions ended in points for the Redskins, who led 17-7 after a Kai Forbath field goal.
Their lead shrank a short time later when Nick Foles hit Jordan Matthews for a touchdown to close within a field goal in what’s been a game light on defensive stands in Philadelphia.
UPDATE 2:12 p.m. ET: Morris has returned to the game.
Posted by Michael David Smith on September 21, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT
No team got off to an uglier start today in the NFL than the Cowboys.
In the second quarter in St. Louis, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo threw a pass right to Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who took it to the house for the Rams’ third touchdown of the day, giving St. Louis an early 21-0 lead.
The Rams had previously had two touchdown passes from quarterback Austin Davis, who looked surprisingly good: He hit Lance Kendricks for a one-yard score and Brian Quick for a 51-yard score.
Dallas finally got on the board when DeMarco Murray plunged up the middle for a one-yard touchdown to make it 21-7. The Cowboys will need a lot more from Murray, who is running well but has also lost a fumble, if they’re going to come back in this one.
Posted by Darin Gantt on September 21, 2014, 2:04 PM EDT
The Titans aren’t playing horribly, but their special teams are keeping them from keeping it close against the Bengals.
They just committed a holding penalty in the end zone for a safety while trying to punt, giving the Bengals a 12-0 lead.
This comes after kicker Ryan Succop missed a pair of field goals, and Blidi Wreh-Wilson committed a facemask penalty on a punt return.
Wilson was also the culprit who gave up a touchdown pass to Andy Dalton, when he looked like he was caught somewhere between trying to light up the quarterback or play a lofted pass, and ended up failing at both.
This should be a one-score game, but they’re handing it to the Bengals on a platter.
Posted by Mike Florio on September 21, 2014, 1:51 PM EDT
As the current face of the franchise has gotten a stiff arm to the face from the franchise, the next face of the franchise will be getting his first crack at making an impact on the field.
Vikings quarterback Matt Cassell has left the playing area on a cart, with a toe injury. Which means that rookie Teddy Bridgewater has entered the game.
Even without the injury, it was looking shaky for the veteran. The Vikings fell into a quick 13-0 hole, after losing 30-7 last week.
Posted by Darin Gantt on September 21, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT
Maybe the Bengals shouldn’t have paid Andy Dalton.
Because Mohamed Sanu is becoming quite a passer.
Sanu just hit Dalton with an 18-yard touchdown pass to give the Bengals a 10-0 lead over the Titans, which required his quarterback to make a move to get the end zone. It could have easily been picked off and returned for a touchdown, but Dalton was able to climb the ladder and scamper for the score.
On the heels of last week’s 50-yard pass to Brandon Tate, Sanu now has a passer rating of 158.3 for his career. He’s 4-of-4 for 166 yards and two touchdowns.
Posted by Mike Wilkening on September 21, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT
Down two games to the Texans in the AFC South, the Colts entered Sunday’s game at Jacksonville in desperate need for a victory.
Well, Indianapolis is off a good start in its quest for its first win of the season.
Led by strong defense and sharp play on offense, the Colts are out to a 17-0 second quarter lead at Jacksonville.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has starred early, completing 15-of-18 passes for 145 yards, including a six-yard first quarter TD pass to Ahmad Bradshaw and a one-yard second quarter scoring toss to tight end Dwayne Allen. Tailback Trent Richardson has also played well, racking up 35 yards on five carries.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars’ offense has done little early, going three-and-out on its first two drives.
Posted by Josh Alper on September 21, 2014, 1:44 PM EDT
The Eagles defense hasn’t been able to stop the Redskins on either of Washington’s first two drives, leaving them in a 14-7 hole.
They may not have running back LeSean McCoy’s help in their effort to come back. McCoy took a shot to the head from Redskins cornerback David Amerson during a running play in the first quarter and was immediately met by members of the Eagles training staff on the field.
They helped McCoy to the sideline, where he was evaluated by a couple of members of the medical team. McCoy, who was seen pleading with trainers to get his helmet back, then headed back to the locker room where there will presumably be concussion testing done to see the extent of the injury.
If McCoy is out the rest of the way, the Eagles will need Darren Sproles to repeat some of the production he gave them on Monday night against the Colts if they are going to wind up winners of this divisional battle.
UPDATE 1:56 p.m. ET: McCoy has been cleared to return to the game by the Eagles, who saw Sproles lose a fumble in the Washington red zone while he was out of the game.
Posted by Mike Florio on September 21, 2014, 1:43 PM EDT
In response to a report from the Denver Post that the Broncos may have as little two years to determine whether a member of Pat Bowlen’s family will assume ownership of the franchise or sell it, the team says that no deadlines exists.
“Owner Pat Bowlen has indicated a strong desire to keep specifics of his estate planning private, and the Denver Broncos intend to honor his wishes,” the team said in a statement.
“While Mr. Bowlen’s long-term hope is for one of his children to run the team, any speculation on the transition of his ownership to one of them is premature. No timetable has been set for that process by the organization or the National Football League.
“There are no plans for the sale of the Denver Broncos, and the Pat Bowlen Trust will continue to implement the provisions set forth by Mr. Bowlen to keep the team in the Bowlen family.”
Bowlen, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, stepped away from any activities with the organization in July. His wife has said that the plan is to keep the team in the family.
Posted by Michael David Smith on September 21, 2014, 1:42 PM EDT
Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch has pulled a Gramatica.
Tulloch jumped up and down celebrating a big play today against the Packers, but he came down too hard and fell awkwardly, appearing to hurt his leg. It was reminiscent of the infamous Bill Gramatica celebration.
The Lions didn’t have much to celebrate after Tulloch left the game; the Packers marched right down the field against Detroit’s depleted defense and got a 10-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Andrew Quarless.
Late in the first quarter in Detroit it’s tied, 7-7.
Posted by Darin Gantt on September 21, 2014, 1:32 PM EDT
As if the Vikings didn’t have enough problems, they’re getting their doors blown off at New Orleans.
The Saints sandwiched a pair of touchdown drives around a lonely Vikings three-and-out, for a quick 13-0 lead.
The Vikings were being outgained 162-2 at that point, with Matt Cassel throwing two incomplete passes and Mat Asiata gaining all their yards on one rush.
Meanwhile, the Saints are as sharp as expected offensively.
Drew Brees is a perfect 9-of-9 passing for 108 yards, hitting Josh Hill for a touchdown to go with Pierre Thomas‘ scoring run.
Posted by Josh Alper on September 21, 2014, 1:19 PM EDT
Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins has gotten off to a fast start in his first start of the 2014 season.
Cousins, filling in for the injured Robert Griffin III, completed all seven passes he tried on the team’s first possession. The last of those passes was a four-yard toss to fullback Darrel Young for a touchdown that gave the Redskins a 7-0 lead a little more than six minutes into the first quarter.
Cousins spread the ball around on the drive with five different receivers catching passes as they marched down the field. Two of those passes were to DeSean Jackson, who is playing with an injured shoulder, and the Redskins got 15 extra yards at the end of one of them when safety Nate Allen got flagged for unnecessary roughness after getting involved in a shoving match with Jackson.
The Redskins’ lead was short lived, however. Chris Polk took the ensuing kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown to tie the score.