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Is Josh Gordon making progress?

Josh Gordon has a ton of upside, but he’s been very inconsistent so far in the preseason. Hopefully Brandon Weeden’s assessment of him is accurate:

“Look at Josh Gordon,” he said of the rookie receiver. “Look at him a month ago to where he is today. It doesn’t even look [like the same player]. He’s finishing plays, he’s running at full speed. He’s come a long way.

“We’ve got so many weapons at our disposal but it takes time and it takes reps and it takes confidence. They have to have confidence running the routes most importantly and I have to have confidence pulling the trigger.”

Everyone seems to think the kid is very coachable, but right now he needs plenty of it, along with a lot of reps. I’ll be surprised if he starts in Game 1, but he should get plenty of reps if he keeps improving.

Image source: Cleveland Browns Official Facebook page

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Will DT Ronnie Cameron be a steal for the Browns?

Watching the Browns/Packers preseason game, many of us noticed rookie defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron right away. He was playing against backups but he seems to have a knack for making plays.

Tony Grossi just published a fascinating profile of Cameron, who seems to be very intelligent along with having some serious skills. I hope this kid makes the team, as the Browns have the opportunity to build a special group of young defensive linemen.

End the Season with a Celebratory Cruise

Image Via Flickr by blmiers2

When you work as a team, sweat as a team and put in your heart and soul as a team, your season is a big deal. So when the season ends, you feel like you’ve really accomplished something. The best part isn’t that you can take some time away from grueling practices. The best part of a great season is when you’ve won and you get a chance to celebrate.

Every Sport Has One Thing in Common

Sports vary in almost every possible facet. Some are on land, some are in the water and some seem to be pushing toward the clouds. The skills, the arena and even the breathing technique of one sport can be totally different from the components of another. Some sports seem like they couldn’t be any more different.

But regardless of what sport you play, there is one element that binds it all together: the cycle of hard work, pain and the ultimate reward of victory. There are few things in this world more emotionally fulfilling than being drenched in sweat, barely able to stand, breathing like your life depends on it and knowing that all of this has led to victory. Pushing yourself to your real limits, leaving behind what you used to consider your limits, and beating your opponents is the ultimate rush.

It’s Time to Have Some Fun

After your season’s ended and you’ve caught your breath, you might just feel like taking a nap. While that’s perfectly natural, a nap isn’t much of a celebration. You ever think about taking a cruise? Not every cruise has to be a month long trip across the ocean. Some cruises are just a few hours or a couple of days of partying it up. There are so many options for different kinds of cruises that you might have trouble making up your mind which one to take.

You’ve Earned It

A major part of sports is to be hungry. Your hunger has pushed you all season long. Every time you’ve trained, you’ve had your eyes on the prize. Now that you’ve conquered your opponents, and most importantly yourself, it’s time to relish the prize you’ve earned. This isn’t the time to sit in quiet reflection. Somewhere between the podium and the first training session of next season, there’s a little time that’s built for kicking back and soaking up some relaxation time.

You came, you saw and you gave it everything you had. Now that the day is won, it’s time to bask in the afterglow of a well earned victory. There’s no better way to have a great time and really celebrate your victory than by taking a cruise and unwinding a little. Let next season’s training start in a day or two. For now, have some fun!

Weeden and Browns make their debut in Detroit

After a long and eventful offseason, the Browns finally took the field last night in Detroit for their first exhibition game. Here are some first impressions.

- Brandon Weeden came out firing and hit a couple of beautiful throws. He clearly looks like an NFL quarterback. Then he went on to make some typical rookie mistakes and finished with a pedestrian stat line. He threw one ball that should have been intercepted and another that was intercepted. The key for Weeden will be how he learns from mistakes so we have a long way to go in figuring out how successful he will be in the NFL. I love the kid’s demeanor, however. He doesn’t hang his head and he seems to thrive on the challenges in front of him. He offers a refreshing contrast to Colt McCoy who often looks like he’s sulking on the sidelines.

- Travis Benjamin and Jordan Cameron stood out as potential weapons for Weeden. Benjamin flashed his speed and quickness and had no trouble catching the ball. Many have assumed that he’ll just be a slot receiver due to his size, but Benjamin showed he can play on the outside as well as he blew past a defender to catch a long pass from Weeden up the sideline. Cameron also showed his athleticism. He’s big and fast moved easily in space. Let’s hope his back injury isn’t serious. He was smiling as he left the field so it didn’t look too bad.

- I feel terrible for Mohamed Massaquoi. I saw him in camp last week and he looked great, and most camp observers thought he was back from his injuries and could help the receiving corps. But he got hit in the head on his first play of the game and suffered another concussion. Now his career may be in jeopardy.

- There will be a steep learning curve for some of the rookies. Mitchell Schwartz had a tough night at right tackle. He’s been having trouble in camp with Jabaal Sheard and then had trouble last night with the pass rush as well. He’ll have to develop quickly for the Browns as they don’t really have a viable option behind him. Oniel Cousins had looked good in camp but he looked terrible last night playing left tackle with the second team, so the Browns have to hope that Schwartz can win the right tackle job.

- Josh Gordon also had an inauspicious debut. Bernie Kosar pointed out that Gordon needs a lot of work in running routes, which isn’t unusual for rookie receivers. But we saw Travis Benjamin look like a veteran last night, so Gordon needs to step it up. He’s been out of football however and it shows.

- Montario Hardesty looked solid subbing for Trent Richardson as did the other running backs. The Browns should be able to establish a running game this season assuming Richardson’s injury heals as expected, and Hardesty gives them a solid one-two punch.

- I like what I saw of Brad Smelley. He’s not a devastating blocker, but he’s a real receiving threat out of the backfield. Owen Marecic has to show something in order to keep is job.

- The run defense looked terrible last night, but keep in mind that Ahtyba Rubin didn’t play. I watched the d-line closely and the tackles looked much better when Billy Winn and John Hughes were in there. There’s legitimate concern with the injury to Phil Taylor, but if these two rookies develop the line has a chance to be decent.

- They weren’t in there long, but Joe Haden and T.J. Ward looked fantastic last night, which makes the rumored suspension of Haden even that much more disappointing. But from a talent level the secondary has serious upside. Unfortunately, Dimitri Patterson left the game last night with an injury. Let’s hope it’s not serious.

- Colt McCoy had a nice night as he was able to move the ball with his feet and he made some nice throws. But we also saw some of the typical dumpoffs on third down. Overall I like him as one of the backups if the Browns decide to keep him, and frankly I’d be comfortable with Seneca Wallace and Thaddeus Gibson as well. Gibson looked good in garbage time as he drove the Browns to victory in the fourth quarter.

Overall, it was a sloppy game. There were plenty of hysterical reactions on Twitter, most notably from certain radio talk show hosts that were probably off their meds again. But I like the potential of this team and the young players, and I’m anxious to see what they look like when Trent Richardson rejoins the lineup.

Pat Shurmur names Brandon Weeden as the starter at QB

It was just a matter of time of course, but Pat Shurmur made it official today. Brandon Weeden will be the starting quarterback.

Weeden has looked very good in camp, though he’s obviously a rookie and he’s going to make his share of mistakes. But his big arm and his willingness to look downfield makes him a huge upgrade over Colt McCoy.

Speaking of Colt, he wasn’t very happy, and he made some smartass remarks about expecting a real competition and the fact that he took no reps with the first-team offense. But he would have gotten reps had he miraculously started throwing the ball like Weeden. Frankly, he just looks like a backup compared to Weeden.

Of course this doesn’t ensure a successful career for Weeden, but we’ve seen in camp that he has the tools and the temperament to be a good one.

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