Cowboys @ Browns Preview

America’s Team pays a visit to The Land tomorrow afternoon as the surging Dallas Cowboys (6-1) take on the struggling and banged up Cleveland Browns.

This is a tale of two teams going in two completely different directions. The Cowboys have improved from a season ago, using their solid quarterback play from rookie Dak Prescott to lead the NFC. As for the Browns, they’re still looking for their first win of the season and are using their rookie QB Cody Kessler who has been cleared to play after suffering a concussion two weeks ago against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Although the Cowboys are favored to win the game, they can’t sleep on the Browns because even though there record shows no wins, they have come extremely close to winning games yet always falling short in the end.

Speaking of falling short, that’s something the Browns need to turn around this week if they want any chance at winning this game. The fourth quarter, and in some cases the entire second half of games have been the Browns Achilles heel. They have been outscored 51-121 this season in the second half of games including a quarter of overtime against the Miami Dolphins.

The defense has been atrocious even with some rookie play makers like Carl Nassib and Emmanuel Ogbah but it gained a boost at the linebacker position as Jamie Collins was acquired from the New England Patriots just before the trade deadline. Attacking the stacked Cowboys offensive line and getting to the rookie QB should be priority number one for the defense this week. Cowboy’s RB Ezekiel Elliot, the NFL’s leading rusher this year, also needs to be held in check for the Browns to have any chance of winning.

This won’t be the hardest test for the Cowboys, but it could be a statement game, showing the rest of the NFC that their team can beat any team, good or bad, home or away. For the Browns, a win would just be a good feeling to the team and for the fans.

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Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens Preview

Tomorrow afternoon at First Energy Stadium, veteran QB Josh McCown gets his first start of the season as the Cleveland Browns host their first home game of the season as they look to get their first divisional and overall win of the season against Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh alone has a record of 14-2 against the Browns and the Ravens have an overall record of 25-9 which doesn’t look good for the Browns who are already on their second quarterback of the season with a new head coach and new system. What does look good is what Josh McCown was able to accomplish during his last start against the AFC North rivals

In his last game against the Ravens, McCown went for 457 yards and three total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) in a 33-30 overtime win. That was his best start at QB at 36 years old in his entire career. During a interview with the media the week, John Harbaugh stated that he knows what Josh can do against his defense.

“He’s had a lot of success against us. He’s been on fire against us. He’s thrown balls up in the air, and a guy catches it with his feet for a touchdown. I just remember this guy having no conscience.”

A big factor of McCown’s success during that game was thanks to Gary Barnidge who was already showing the league that he can be a Pro Bowl caliber tight end. Gary racked up 139 yards and a spectacular between the legs touchdown. Gary wasn’t playing at the level he showed last year dropping two passes from Robert Griffin III last week in Philadelphia and ended up not recording a catch for the whole game. Expect a bounce back game for him this week as he was McCown’s favorite target last year.

This Ravens team has been know to not let any team run over them and have one of the better linebacker cores in the NFL. Head coach Hue Jackson still has faith in his running back Isaiah Crowell.

“We just have to hand it to him enough times,” Jackson said, per the team’s official transcript. “If you have a runner you believe in, you have to give him the ball. He has to get a feel for the game and be able to play within the structure of what you are trying to accomplish with the offensive line. That’s why I said I take responsibility for that. I think he is off to a good start. We just have to give him opportunities to go show his ability.”

Ravens all pro linebacker Terrell Suggs fully expects unique plays from Jackson and his offense tomorrow. He jokingly stated “We’re expecting Hue to thrown the kitchen sink at us. We’re preparing for everything. Some wildcat, polecat, everything. Don’t be surprised if they come out there with the ‘Little Giants’ formation or the Flying V. They’ve got something up their sleeve.”

It’s never a dull moment when these two teams meet. Don’t be surprised to see a better offensive attack from the Browns this week and fully expect Joe Flacco to try and throw on this young, raw defense.

Browns return to practice. Prepare for Tampa Bay road trip.


For the first time since Thursday’s game against the Falcons, the Cleveland Browns returned to the practice field on Sunday for one last time before they head down to Tampa Bay to play the Buccaneers. The two teams have joint practices on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Familiar faces returned to the field for the Browns as Joe Haden is on pace to play Friday in Tampa. Haden has been sidelined most of the practices so far this year to protect himself from further injuring his ankle that ended his rough season last year. 

Josh Gordon, who was nursing a lower leg injury of his own, participated fully in every drill and had a big day for himself catching a good number of passes. Along with Gordon, the Browns first round pick Corey Coleman returned and looks like he didn’t miss any time as he was just as impressive as he’s been so far this year.

It’s encouraging to see most of the roster starting to become healthy. The injuries played a big part of the Browns abysmal season. The third preseason game is the closest thing to regular season action we can get. The so called “Dress Rehersal” is when the starters play most of the first half of the game as the players try to find a rhythm and a connection with one another. 

The Browns haven’t had Haden, Gordon or Coleman in a game so far in the preseason so we may see a bit more time for a select few. Look out for the RG3 to Gordon connection early. The two were teammates at Baylor and were very fun to watch. Let’s hope they can bring some of that magic to northeast Ohio. 

Browns RB Isaiah Crowell should be punished; Shouldn’t be cut from team.


Last week, Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell shared a gruesome image of a man dressed in black cutting the throat of a white police officer on his personal Instagram account.

The timing of this picture cannot be any worse for Crowell. With the multiple shooting and protests happening throughout the country, people are quick to act on emotion and say radical and sometime offensive things. This could be one of those situations for Cleveland running back.

Since Crowell posted this picture, outrage from fans, the city and people from across the country has been well documented via social media.
The post has been taken down and Crowell has publically apologized for the illustration claiming that “It was an extremely poor decision” and that he apologized for “that mistake and for offending people.”

He goes on to say that this wasn’t about color but it’s about what’s right and wrong. The Browns have been quiet so far and have yet to comment on the situation.
With all of that being said, I’d like to give my personal opinion as a lifelong Cleveland fan. Social media gives people a chance to share their opinions and beliefs about things going on in this country and I have seen many post and comments saying that Crowell should be cut from the team, exempt from the NFL and never have a job again.

People that once cheered for the back are now calling him a thug and other terrible things I cannot put in this article. Although I agree that he should be punished, there is no way I can see Crowell as a thug for speaking his opinion. The only thing that he should be punished for is the image. It was over the top and uncalled for and the text from the post alone could’ve gotten his opinion out clear as day.

If you are a popular sports figure in a city where sports are a religion and you put yourself in a situation where you have half of a fan base calling for you job, and in some cases your head, there is no way you go unpunished.
But as I said before, every one of us has made a quick emotional post on Facebook or Twitter. He is obviously trying to show support for the men that were killed by police in Baton Rouge and Minnesota.
Crowell’s post was up right before the shootings in Dallas where five police officers were killed while keeping protesters under control. He acted out of emotion like millions of others did and didn’t think about the consequences of his actions because he was acting on emotion.

Athletes today are more accessible than ever before with non-stop television coverage and Twitter accounts where any fan can tweet at their favorite player and possibly even hear back from said player.
This also means that you need to be careful on what you post. Think of what one post like Crowell’s could do for a career of an athlete.

You could be the best player on your team but you will be seen as a trouble maker and known as that guy who said that thing on social media that people didn’t agree with. This isn’t the first time Cleveland athletes have shown how they feel about current events going on in the country.
Browns wide out Andrew Hawkins and Cavs forward LeBron James have both worn the “I can’t breathe” shirts to support Eric Garner after he was choked to death by a NYPD officer back in 2014 and people were outraged even then by the support these athletes showed for the victim.

I do think that Crowell should be punished.

A two-game suspension without pay seems fitting to me. He apologized and realized very quickly that he shouldn’t have put such a hateful and disrespectful picture up on Instagram.

This is the first time that we’ve heard of any trouble coming from the young back since he came here two years ago.
I do not think that a man should lose his job and be run out of town for supporting victims even if he is an athlete. That being said, in the future, if a player, owner or anyone who is affiliated with a popular sport or team wants to show their support for a movement or victim, think about what you post before you post it.

Acting out of emotion is why we hear about so many terrible things happening in world today. Think logically and show your support the best way you can.

The Land Sports Talk Monday 6-27-16

 

TheLand

Rob from AllSportsCleveland.com’s The Main Event joins Tom and Jeff to discuss the Indians winning streak and trade possibilities, Johnny Football and his own father wishing he ends up in jail, awesomely bad movies and more. And of course we make fun of Jeff as always.

The Downfall Of The ’15 Season

  
The end of the 2014-2015 Cleveland Browns season didn’finish in the Cinderella ending that the fans and player were hoping for. With Brian Hoyer at the helm for most of the season, they started 7-4 with some impressive running from some rookie RB’s and minimal turnover play. This meant nothing on the later part of their season because they ended up losing 5 straight to end the season 7-9. We did get glimpses of Johnny Manziel and even though he was far from exceeding expectations, people were excited to see him next year.

Holy crap. What were we thinking?

I, personally, didn’t see any improvements in the offseason that jumped out at me. Josh McCown? Why would we need the ancient QB that was on the WORST team last year? Dwayne Bowe? How he tricked our front office to giving him nine million dollars is beyond me. Good work to his agent. Ray Farmer honesty seemed like he knew nothing about what this team needed which might have led to the drama that was created between Farmer and Mike Pettine. 

When the draft came along, the excitement came back because, once again, the Browns had two first round picks and the fanbase was hoping to get those dynamic playmakers and defense players we have been looking for for years. Danny Shelton was the first pick for us and it seemed like a solid pick to beef up the dead last run defense. Cam Irving was the second pick and had some questions about him but his versitility from switching from guard to center was a positive after the injury to Alex Mack so it made sense. 

Training camp came and went and before you knew it, the season was here. And wouldn’t you know it, the pieces started falling apart for the Browns in their first drive against the Jets. McCown scrambles to try and get to the end zone by diving head first trying to break the plane and getting rocked in the head by a Jet defender and ended up giving Josh a concussion. Johnny came in after that and despite throwing a 50 yard touchdown to Travis Benjamin, they were blown out and that’s when I knew this was going to be a rough season.

The misuse of players in the game, injuries, the healthy scratches of Dwayne Bowe and Justin Gilbert and off the field antics of Johnny and a few other player were the downfall of Farmer and Pettine and the result of the 3-13 season. Let’s just hope that Mr. Haslem can find a group of guys that can get along and have the same agenda for this franchise: Win the division.