Browns release Shaun Rogers and other veterans

New head coach Pat Shurmer is starting to clean house, releases a group of veterans over the age the 30 in an effort to make the team younger. GM Tom Heckert had indicated that the Browns needed to get younger, particularly on defense, even if they stuck with the 3-4 defense. With the move to the 4-3, it probable made it easier to part ways with many in this group.

The Browns’ housecleaning under new coach Pat Shurmur began Wednesday when the team cut six players, including three-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Shaun Rogers and three of Eric Mangini’s former Jets.

In addition to Rogers, the contracts of linebackers Eric Barton and David Bowens, defensive end Kenyon Coleman, right tackle John St. Clair and tight end Robert Royal were terminated. All six were over 30 and Barton, Bowens, and Coleman all played for Mangini in New York.

These guys were mostly good players in their time, but they’re all getting old. Royal was a disaster as a receiver, but he was a good blocker. It wasn’t his fault that Mangini and Daboll kept using him in the passing game.

With this decision, I’m thinking the Browns might be planning on taking advantage of all the quality defensive linemen in the draft this year.

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Ben Watson has hands!

CLEVELAND - AUGUST 21: Benjamin Watson  of the Cleveland Browns scores a touchdown in front of Craig Dahl  of the St. Louis Rams at Cleveland Browns Stadium on August 21, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

With Benjamin Watson, the Browns now have another tight end with good hands to go along with Evan Moore who came on strong last season.

Even Robert Royal made a good catch! He was terrible last season, but you have to wonder how much he was affected by two sub-par quarterbacks. Royal is a good blocker, so I think he still has a chance to hang on a keep a roster spot, particularly if he starts catching the ball.

Ugly win for the Browns

Some observations from today’s game against the Bills:

1. The game was painful to watch. The wind made it difficult for both teams, but the Bills were pitiful.

2. Derek Anderson had a tough day, but his stats were laughably bad, and made his performance look even worse. The Browns receivers were terrible as they dropped pass after pass (are we sure Braylon Edwards wasn’t on the field?). Robert Royal in particular has stone hands. I think defenses are leaving him open on purpose hoping Anderson will throw to him, knowing Royal will drop most passes.

3. The running game was solid. The Bills can’t stop the run, and the Browns were able to exploit it, even on a day when the conditions made it necessary to run.

4. I’m thrilled that we traded Edwards, but it will take some time for this group of receivers to gel. I’m disappointed we’re not seeing more of Brian Robiskie.

5. It’s encouraging to see the Browns limit their penalties and play so well on special teams. It’s hard after a game like this to gauge the team’s progress, but the Browns looked like a well-coached team, while the Bills looked like a mess.