Ex-Brown Kevin Zeitler: ‘It’s definitely an exciting time in Cleveland’

Cleveland is rocking right now. They seem to have their quarterback of the future in Baker Mayfield, and not only does Mayfield have Jarvis Landry to throw to but he also has Odell Beckham Jr., who was acquired in a trade with the New York Giants last week.

There has not been this much excitement in Cleveland since LeBron James won a championship with the Cavaliers in 2016, and If all goes as planned, maybe Cleveland could celebrate another title soon.

One of the players sent to New York in the trade for Odell Beckham, G Kevin Zeitler, believes that fun has just begun in Cleveland.

“You look at what they have done these last couple of weeks; it’s definitely an exciting time in Cleveland,” Zeitler said on a conference call on Monday. “I think the guys there are going to have a very good time this next year. Like I said, there’s nothing I can do about it. They traded, and the Giants wanted me. I’m excited to be here, and we are going to do everything we can to get the same amount of buzz in New York.”

Zeitler, who spent two seasons in Cleveland after signing a five-year, $60 million contract with the Browns in 2017, endured so much losing in Cleveland, including 0-16 in 2017, so you have to feel for Zeitler, but football is a business, and in business, things happen.

 

 

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Nick Chubb believes the Browns will make the playoffs in 2019(VIDEO)

There is a lot of excitement in Cleveland when it comes to talking about the Browns. First, the team won 7 games in 2018, which is the most since 2014. Next, they may have found their franchise QB in Baker Mayfield, who threw 27 touchdowns in 2018, which is the most by any rookie QB in NFL history. Furthermore, they have talent on defense with Pro Bowlers Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward. Finally, according to ESPN, the Browns are going to have close to $80 million in cap space in 2019, and a new head coach in Freddie Kitchens, who helped turn Cleveland’s offense around in the second half of the season after the team fired head coach Hue Jackson and OC Todd Haley.

All these things are enough for Browns fans to have a lot of optimism in 2019, which is shared by their RB Nick Chubb. The rookie RB, who got the bulk of the carries after the team traded RB Carlos Hyde in October, and ran for close to a 1000 yards and eight rushing touchdowns in 2018, believes the Browns will take that next step and make the playoffs in 2019.

When asked by TMZ Sports if he believes the Browns will make the playoffs next season, Chubb said, “Yea, we will.”

The AFC North will probably be wide open next season. The Steelers have some internal issues going on, the Ravens have a good defense, but they’re questions on the offensive side of the ball, and the Bengals are the Bengals. So, If Mayfield is what he showed in 2018, and management improves the team even more in the offseason, the playoffs are a possibility, but the NFL is a weird league, and sometimes players don’t develop and take that next step, or sometimes injuries derail things, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Video/courtesy: TMZ Sports

 

 

Damien Woody to Baker Mayfield: Why you worried about Hue Jackson?(VIDEO)

Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns got a little revenge on their former head coach Hue Jackson on Sunday as the Browns dominated the Bengals 35-20 in Cincinnati. Mayfield did his part by throwing for 258 yards and four touchdowns.

Jackson joined the Bengals coaching staff as a special assistant after getting fired by Cleveland back in October. Unfortunately for the Bengals, he was not much help against the Browns on Sunday.

After the game, Mayfield barely shook Jackson’s hand and had this to say about his former coach:

Today, former NFL player and ESPN NFL analyst Damien Woody had this to say to Mayfield:

In the end, Jackson has to make a living. The Browns fired him. Therefore, he needed a job, and he found it. You can’t begrudge a man for wanting to make a living for him and his family — something the 23-year-old Mayfield might not know too much about at this stage of his life.

Browns’ Rashard Higgns: ‘Don’t count us out just yet’

The Cleveland Browns have made progress in 2018. After winning a combined one games in the past two seasons, Cleveland has three wins heading into their AFC North showdown with the Bengals, and while Cleveland has improved, their former head coach Hue Jackson was fired after the Browns were beaten by the Steelers in Week 8. Jackson was replaced by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, and in Week 10 against the Falcons, the Browns played with a lot of energy and were able to beat Atlanta 28-16.

At 3-6-1, the Browns chances of making the playoffs are bleak, but according to wide receiver Rashard Higgins, the Browns can still possibly make some noise in the AFC.

“Don’t count us out this year, man,” Higgins told TMZ Sports. “We still got a few games to go. The way we ended going out on the bye week, we feel great heading into Cincinnati week, so don’t count us out just yet.”

You have to love Higgins’ enthusiasm, and at this point, the Browns are still in striking distance of the final wild-card spot held by the 5-5 Ravens.

Can the Browns make the playoffs? That seems unlikely, but the NFL is a crazy league, so anything is possible. However, don’t expect Cleveland in the playoffs in 2018.

 

NFL announces schedule changes

​The NFL announced today a scheduling change for Week 10, as well as the teams and times for the Saturday games in Weeks 15 and 16.

In Week 10 (November 11), the Miami Dolphins at Green Bay Packers game will move from 1 PM ET on CBS to 4:25 PM ET on CBS. Additionally, the Arizona Cardinals at Kansas City Chiefs game originally scheduled at 1 PM ET on FOX will be cross-flexed to CBS.

In Week 15, the two games played on Saturday, December 15, both televised by NFL Network, will feature the Houston Texans at the New York Jets at 4:30 PM ET followed by the Cleveland Browns at the Denver Broncos at 8:20 PM ET.

In Week 16, the two of four possible matchups on Saturday, December 22 on NFL Network have been determined with the Washington Redskins visiting the Tennessee Titans at 4:30 PM ET followed by the Baltimore Ravens at the Los Angeles Chargers at 8:20 PM ET. The Jacksonville Jaguars at Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants at the Indianapolis Colts games will both be played at 1 PM ET on Sunday, December 23.

The following is the final Week 10 NFL schedule (all times ET):

Thursday, November 8

Carolina at Pittsburgh 8:20 PM FOX/NFLN/Amazon

​Sunday, November 11

Detroit at Chicago 1:00 PM FOX
New Orleans at Cincinnati 1:00 PM FOX
Atlanta at Cleveland 1:00 PM FOX
Jacksonville at Indianapolis 1:00 PM CBS
Arizona at Kansas City 1:00 PM CBS
Buffalo at New York Jets 1:00 PM CBS
Washington at Tampa Bay 1:00 PM FOX
New England at Tennessee 1:00 PM CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland 4:05 PM FOX
Miami at Green Bay 4:25 PM CBS
Seattle at Los Angeles Rams 4:25 PM CBS
Dallas at Philadelphia 8:20 PM NBC
 

Monday, November 12

New York Giants at San Francisco 8:15 PM ESPN

The following is the Week 15 NFL schedule (all times ET):

Thursday, December 13
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City 8:20 PM FOX/NFLN/Amazon  
Saturday, December 15
Houston at New York Jets 4:30 PM NFLN  
Cleveland at Denver 8:20 PM NFLN  
Sunday, December 16
Arizona at Atlanta 1:00 PM FOX  
Tampa Bay at Baltimore 1:00 PM FOX  
Detroit at Buffalo 1:00 PM FOX  
Green Bay at Chicago 1:00 PM FOX  
Oakland at Cincinnati 1:00 PM CBS  
Dallas at Indianapolis 1:00 PM FOX  
Washington at Jacksonville 1:00 PM FOX  
Miami at Minnesota 1:00 PM CBS  
Tennessee at New York Giants 1:00 PM CBS  
Seattle at San Francisco 4:05 PM FOX  
New England at Pittsburgh 4:25 PM CBS  
Philadelphia at Los Angeles Rams* 8:20 PM NBC  
Monday, December 17
New Orleans at Carolina 8:15 PM ESPN  

The following is the Week 16 NFL schedule (all times ET):

Saturday, December 22
Washington at Tennessee 4:30 PM NFLN  
Baltimore at Los Angeles Chargers 8:20 PM NFLN  
Sunday, December 23
Atlanta at Carolina 1:00 PM FOX  
Cincinnati at Cleveland 1:00 PM CBS  
Tampa Bay at Dallas 1:00 PM FOX  
Minnesota at Detroit 1:00 PM FOX  
New York Giants at Indianapolis 1:00 PM CBS or FOX  
Jacksonville at Miami 1:00 PM CBS  
Buffalo at New England 1:00 PM CBS  
Green Bay at New York Jets 1:00 PM CBS or FOX  
Houston at Philadelphia 1:00 PM CBS  
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona 4:05 PM FOX  
Chicago at San Francisco 4:05 PM FOX  
Pittsburgh at New Orleans 4:25 PM CBS  
Kansas City at Seattle* 8:20 PM NBC  
Monday, December 24
Denver at Oakland 8:15 PM ESPN  

 * – Sunday night games in Weeks 5-16 subject to change

Jets-Browns: Highest rated Thursday night game on NFL Network since 2015

NFL Network’s telecast of Thursday Night Football between the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns, which featured the professional debut of number one pick Baker Mayfield against number three pick Sam Darnold, averaged a 5.2 US HH rating and over 8.6 million overall P2+ viewers ranking as the network’s highest rated and most-watched exclusive Thursday night game since December of 2015 (MIN@ARI, 12/10/15; 5.47 US HH rating / 8.74M P2+ viewers).

Overall, the game was up +17% in US HH rating and up +16% in overall P2+ viewership compared to NFL Network’s Week 3 Thursday Night Football game from 2017 (LAR@SF: 4.4 US HH rating / 7.5M P2+ viewers).

With Cleveland down 14-0, Mayfield entered the game at the end of the first half and ultimately led the Browns to a 21-17 victory. The game peaked at 10.3M viewers during the game’s final six minutes (11:30p-11:36p).

Compared to NFL Network’s seven exclusive Thursday Night Football games in 2017, the Jets-Browns was up +43% in US HH rating and up +41% in overall P2+ viewership (3.6 US HH rating / 6.1M P2+ viewers).

The Jets-Browns game outperformed last week’s Thursday Night Football game by +24% in US HH rating and +22% overall P2+ viewership (BAL@CIN; 4.2 US HH rating / 7.1M P2+ viewers).

The 2018 Thursday Night Football Presented by Bud Light season continues Thursday, September 27 when the Minnesota Vikings visit the Los Angeles Rams. The game will be broadcast on FOX, simulcast on NFL Network, distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes, and distributed digitally to a global audience on Amazon Prime Video, Twitch, NFL digital properties, FOX Sports digital properties, and Yahoo Sports on mobile devices. Coverage from Los Angeles begins at 6:00 PM ET on NFL Network with NFL GameDay Kickoff.

 

Ex-Steeler Woodley: ‘The Browns could be a dangerous team’

The NFL is buzzing after Browns rookie QB Baker Mayfield’s performance in his first preseason action on Thursday night. Mayfield, who was the number one overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, threw for 212 yards and two touchdowns as the Browns defeated the Giants 20-10.

However, former Bills QB Tyrod Taylor is expected to start the season for the Browns. He was solid(5-5, 99 yards, 1 td) as well in his Browns’ debut on Thursday. Furthermore, Cleveland added a big-time weapon in WR Jarvis Landry, who they acquired from the Dolphins, and talented WR Josh Gordon is supposed to be back with the team at some point in 2018.

Will it be the same old Browns in 2018? Maybe not, according to former Steelers LB LaMarr Woodley. He believes the Browns could be a “dangerous team.”

“The Browns could be a dangerous team, man.  They can definitely be a dangerous team,” Woodley told TMZ Sports. “They made some good moves in the offseason with coaches, players. They get Dez Bryant, they going to be a tough team. You would hate to go in Cleveland and play in the playoffs because it’s cold as hell.”

The Browns have been 1-31 in the last two years, so they can’t help but to be better in 2018. No matter how you feel about Taylor, he is an upgrade at the QB position, and Landry helps, too.  Cleveland does need to get better on the defensive side of the ball. They were 31st in points allowed last season, so that has to improve.

Concerning free agent WR Dez Bryant, he will reportedly meet with the Browns next week. The 29- year-old numbers have dipped in the past few years, but he should be very motivated to play well, so if the money is right, maybe Bryant to Cleveland could be a good thing.

Do the Browns make the playoffs? I don’t think so, but things should be better in Cleveland in 2018.

Dede Westbrook on Mayfield: ‘If you pretty much want to win football games, that’s the guy you need in your lineup’

The number one overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft QB Baker Mayfield is expected to make his preseason debut on Thursday night against the Giants. While Browns QB Tyrod Taylor is expected to be the starter for Cleveland in 2018, Mayfield is expected to be the franchise quarterback moving forward. Cleveland has started 28 different quarterbacks since 1999.

Some have questioned the Brown’s decision to draft the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner number one, but according to one of his former teammates at Oklahoma, Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook, the Browns made the right move:

“Big-time plays. Baker’s a baller. I’m not just saying that because I played with him,”  Westbrook told the Go4it podcast host Paul Gant. “I took a step back, and I was trying to see what all the critics were saying. Trying to see what they see. You ask me after watching the tape and watching him play, he’s a passionate guy who loves the game of football, and regardless of anything me and him have ever been through, he’s a baller. He knows how to win, so if you pretty much want to win football games, that’s the guy you need in your lineup.”

High praise from Westbrook. Mayfield, 23, made a lot of plays in college, but some have questioned whether his height(6’1) could be an issue on the next level, and some have questioned whether he will be an issue off the field after his arrest in 2017, but he is young and young people make mistakes.

Mayfield is not a slam dunk pick for the Browns, but the organization thinks he is the right guy. Hopefully, for Browns fans, he is more Bernie Kosar and less Johnny Manziel.

 

Manziel goes to the CFL

After two years out of football, Johnny Manziel announced on Twitter today that he is going to the CFL. Manziel has signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL.  Manziel last played in the NFL with the Browns in 2015.

Hopefully, for the 25-year-old Manziel, the second chapter will be much better than the first.

The CFL season begins in June.

Ex-Brown Joe Thomas: ‘It was a really special moment to get love and respect from an icon like LeBron James’

Recently retired Browns LT Joe Thomas had a great run in Cleveland. The 10-time Pro Bowler spent his entire 11-year career in Cleveland.

While the Browns did not do a lot of winning over Thomas’ 11 years in Cleveland, he established himself as one of the better left tackles in football.

On Monday night at the Bucks-Cavaliers game in Cleveland, Thomas received the love that his great career deserved.

Take a look:

Then, Thomas received some love from LeBron James:

Thomas talked about his reaction to what happened last night:

“It was a really special moment to get love and respect from an icon like LeBron James, somebody that I’ve been a fan of since I was 12 years old; it was really special,” Thomas told TMZ Sports.

“Actually, once I walked off the court, I walked under the bleachers, and I got a little emotional. I’m going to be honest; I started tearing up a little bit.”

Thomas explained what made him so emotional:

 

“I think it was the standing ovation from the fans, the people of Cleveland, the highlight video, and then having LeBron come over really capped it off,” Thomas said. “It was just an emotional moment. I remember after I got drafted in 2007 the Cavs were in the Finals and they announced myself and Brady Quinn at the game, and the crowd went crazy. To have that moment kind of happen and come full circle again when I announced my retirement was really special. I think that moment kind of hit me pretty hard.”

Next stop for Thomas? Canton!