The Browns…brownies…get it?!
Team Name: Cleveland Browns
Division: AFC North
Stadium: FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland, OH)
2013 Record: 4-12
Head Coach: Mike Pettine (Hired 2014), used to be the defensive coordinator for the Bills
Quarterback: Brian Hoyer (sorta 2013 – present), used to be Tom Brady’s backup, got injured in 2013, originally from Cleveland and grew up a Browns fan, so it’s nice to see his childhood dream come true
3 Offensive Players You Should Know:
– Jordan Cameron, Tight End (84) – Drafted in 2011, he finally broke out last year. He is dating a Victoria’s Secret model because, well, have you Google imaged him? Not to be confused with Cameron Jordan, the Saints defensive end who also entered the league in 2011.
– Alex Mack, Center (55) – This off-season, the Jaguars signed ProBowler Mack to an offer sheet. This means that they offered him a huge contract (5 years, $42 million-ish) and the Browns had 5 days to match the offer, which they did. Not to be confused with Alex Mack of 90s fame, who had a secret world and super powers.
– Ben Tate, Running Back (44) – Fifth-year running back who came from Houston, where he took over as starter when Arian Foster was injured last year.
3 Defensive Players You Should Know:
– Joe Haden, Cornerback (23) – Had a stellar rookie season in 2010. Got suspended for 4 games after testing positive for Adderall in 2012. Went to ProBowl last year.
– Barkevious Mingo, Outside Linebacker (51) – Sixth overall draft pick in the 2013 draft, but he’s really just on this list for his name. Barkevious. Miiiiiiiiiiiiingo.
– Donte Whitner, Strong Safety (31) – Spent the first 8 years of his career in Buffalo and San Francisco. Signed a 4-year, $28 million contract with the Browns this year. He was hit by a car when he was six-years-old and was told that he might not be able to walk again.
What Happened This Offseason:
– To start their crazy off-season, the Browns surprised everyone and hired a new coach. Mike Pettine replaced Rob Chudzinski, who had only been in the head coach role for a year. Even though the team still finished with a 4-12 record in 2013, things seemed to be getting better with Chud, which is why everyone was surprised that management didn’t want to stick it out with him. Pettine is the Browns’ seventh coach since 2001, which is a really high turnover rate, even in the NFL.
– They drafted quarterback Johnny Manziel in the first round of the draft. You may know Johnny by his nickname, Johnny Football. He was a pretty good college player, but there are questions about him transitioning to the NFL. Right now, he does not have the starting job. He does, however, have a bunch of random famous friends. Also, if you Google image search Johnny, you will understand why he could be considered a PR nightmare. The good news is Johnny appears to like both blondes and brunettes.
– Wide Receiver Josh Gordon got suspended, which is a shame because he had a phenomenal 2013 season. Fun fact – he was the first NFL WR to have back-to-back games with 200+ yards. He served a two-game suspension last year for a drug violation, which makes you wonder what was going through his head when he was arrested for driving under the influence in July. Gordon earned a year-long suspension after violating the league’s substance abuse policy when he tested positive for weed. This was reduced to 10 games with the NFL’s newly passed drug policy.
Before Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely, he was only suspended for two games as a result of his assault charges. People took issue with this (obviously) and pointed to Gordon for getting a year-long suspension for getting caught with pot.
Why You Should Cheer for Them: You like the underdog or you’re color-blind. (Orange and brown, c’mon now, really?)
2014 Theme Song: Slow and Steady (Of Monsters and Men) – Not gonna lie, it was a challenge to come up with a theme song for the Browns. Eventually determined that they really are getting better, but it’s a “slow and steady” effort. Hoyer, who seems to have won the starting job, seems like a “slow and steady” kind of guy to me. If only bad boy Johnny Texas had won the starting job – we could have had some real fun with that song selection.
The Last Word: The Browns have a really good defense. We already saw them upset the Saints and we have a feeling that they aren’t going to make it easy for any team they play. That said, a fourth place finish in the AFC North is probably still going to happen because they’re the Browns.
– Michelle and Val