For the 14th time in the past 15 seasons, the Browns will open the regular season at FirstEnergy Stadium when they host the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 8 at 1:00 p.m. This will mark the first time that the Browns open the regular season against the Dolphins and the team’s first home opener against Miami since 1992.
“Our coaches and players are eagerly anticipating that opening kickoff against Miami as we continue to build our team this off-season,” said Browns Head Coach Rob Chudzinski. “Having four of our first six games at FirstEnergy Stadium will allow our fans to create a distinct home-field advantage for our team, and I expect the Dawg Pound to be barking early and often. Finishing the season with four divisional games over the final eight weeks, with three of our last four games on the road, will give us an exciting challenge that I know we will be ready to face.”
“Opening the regular season at home against the Dolphins will be great for our fans and our football team,” said Browns CEO Joe Banner. “It also should be exciting for our fans to have a home prime time game, where their passion can be seen by a national television audience. We look forward to giving Browns fans a tremendous gameday experience every time they enter FirstEnergy Stadium in 2013 and for many years to come.”
The 2013 schedule features one prime time game as the Browns face the Buffalo Bills at FirstEnergy Stadium on Thursday, October 3. The matchup will mark the first time the Browns have hosted a prime time game since a 13-6 victory against Pittsburgh on Thursday, December 10, 2009. The Browns are 1-1 all-time against Buffalo in prime time action with this year marking their first meeting on a Thursday night.
For the fifth time in six seasons, the Browns will face the defending Super Bowl Champions as they square off with the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2 and Week 9 action. Cleveland has topped the Super Bowl champion from the previous season three times during the last four years.
The Browns host three consecutive home games during Weeks 4-6 (Cincinnati on September 29, Buffalo on October 3 and Detroit on October 13), marking the team’s first three-game home stand since 2006.
The club’s bye week is scheduled for the week of November 10, which marks the second year in the row that the team’s bye comes during Week 10.
Also for the second consecutive year, Cleveland will close out the regular season with two road games as they face the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium (Sunday, December 22) and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field (Sunday, December 29). It marks the fourth straight year and fifth time in the last six seasons that the Browns close the regular season against Pittsburgh, and the second straight year at Heinz Field.
The combined record of the Browns’ 13 opponents this year was 98-110 in 2012. The eight teams that will visit FirstEnergy Stadium posted a record of 57-71, and their eight road opponents went a combined 69-59. The Browns will play a total of seven games against 2012 playoff teams (Bengals and Ravens twice each).
Also today, the Browns announced the dates and times of their 2013 preseason schedule, which consists of home games against St. Louis (Thursday, August 8) and Detroit (Thursday, August 15) and road contests against Indianapolis (Saturday, August 24) and Chicago (Thursday, August 29).
Cleveland Browns 2013 season tickets are now available. Fans can purchase season tickets by calling (440) 824-3434, toll free at (888) 891-1999 or online at www.ClevelandBrowns.com. The Cleveland Browns ticket office is located on the south side of FirstEnergy Stadium, and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
(Opening statement)- “I’m really pleased with what we have been able to accomplish these last three days. Putting the foundation in place and really working to get the guys to understand where we want to go in terms of a practice standpoint, getting some of our base offense, defense and special teams put in. We’re working to build that foundation and build a winning team.”
(On if they will use this camp to judge some of the players before the draft)- “Really, this was more for learning purposes – a teaching, learning camp more so than an evaluation camp. There are a lot of things that are new.
Guys are kind of feeling their way through. You don’t really get the true evaluation of players and with it only being three days it’s pretty preliminary. From a draft standpoint, are boards are set and we are working through our boards. This camp really has little effect on that.”
(On if it’s tough having to evaluate without seeing the players in person too much)- “A little bit, you have a little bit of a feel for that. Obviously, you don’t have every opportunity to know the guys like you would like to know them. Hopefully, we know them well enough.”
(On if he learned anything about the players from this camp)- “You do, you learn a lot. You learn how guys learn. You learn how guys apply things. You learn how to best coach them. They are getting to know us as much as we are getting to know them and how we operate and how we do things. It’s invaluable in that way.
The next step is phase two, which means we get opportunities in the classroom and out in the field – separate offense and defense. It’s more on air. We’ll be doing that for the next three weeks and then we will start OTAs after that.”
(Opening statement)- “I’m pleased, we’ve had two great days. We’ve got a lot of work done these last two days. Guys are really, really showing up. They are hungry, ready to go and there’s a lot of energy and excitement out there.
We’ve thrown a lot at them, this is the second day. We’ve mixed in and worked some different situations, introduced some third down. That has been good from that standpoint. We will continue to work on our install, but the guys have had a lot of energy and it’s been good. Hopefully tomorrow we will get a chance to get out on the practice field and get outside instead of being inside.”
(On if Jordan Cameron is ready to be the top tight end)- “Well he’s not ready right now, we are working through that with him. He is learning the offense obviously. This is an offense that has featured tight ends and tight ends have always been a big part of it. He has the skill set that fits and he has had a good couple days. It’s a learning process right now and he has to keep progressing, but we feel good about him and where he is at right now.”
(On how he envisions using Trent Richardson)- “Trent will be our primary runner. We will use him on first-second down and Trent has some unique skills. He can actually catch the ball well and run routes well out of the backfield. That’s one thing out of the last few days that we have been able to see. He is a guy that we could play on three downs. Obviously, we just have to keep him fresh. ”
(On what makes running backs excel in his offense)- “One thing is the flexibility. We are going to use those guys and put those guys in positions to run the type of runs in the scheme that they can do and feature them to get the ball in their hands.”
(On if they threw more at the players today than yesterday)- “We were aggressive with the install schedule. We like to give them a lot so day two was just as much as day one. The previous two weeks we had worked on those first two installs in the classroom.
They had seen it a little bit for the last couple weeks and then actually getting out on the field and work a day one install yesterday and day two install today. Tomorrow, we will use a combination of the two installs.”
(On how similar this offense will be to the one in 2007)- "We've evolved, and that's one thing that, as a coach, you hope to learn and grow. Defenses are always working to try and catch up to you. You have to try to stay and work ahead. One of the biggest things is tailoring your system to your players.
Everyone has a million plays, but trying to fit what your guys do best and putting them in the best position to win is key. Right now we are building that foundation and building the base of what we want to be - not just as an offense but as a team, with defense and special teams."
BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Quarterbacks Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell threw passes side by side as the Cleveland Browns opened their first minicamp of the season. The 29-year-old Weeden, the 22nd overall pick in last year's draft, is the incumbent and started 15 games last year.
Campbell, 31, was signed as a free agent on March 26 after appearing in six games last season with the Bears. Eighteen quarterbacks have started games for the Cleveland Browns since they returned to the NFL in 1999.
Weeden plans on keeping the job. "I want to compete, and having Jason here is better for everyone involved because we'll push each other,'' Weeden said. "This is probably the biggest year of my career because I've got to show that I can play at this level and make adjustments. "Now that it's my second year here, it's my time to take control and be the guy. They're not going to stick me out there if they don't think I'm the guy who can win games.''
New Browns coach Rob Chudzinski is overseeing the three-day voluntary minicamp at the franchise's training facility after being hired as Cleveland's 14th full-time head coach on Jan. 10.
The minicamp opened one day after FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents executed four search warrants at the Knoxville, Tenn., headquarters of Pilot Flying J, whose CEO is new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III
. At an afternoon press conference in Knoxville, Haslam acknowledged that the investigation could cast a negative light on his NFL franchise. "First of all, I apologize, because the last thing we ever want to do is put any kind of blemish on the city of Cleveland, which we've grown to love, or the Browns,'' he said. "We'll manage things down
Haslam said he has spoken with Browns CEO Joe Banner, team president Alec Scheiner, general manager Michael Lombardi, and Chudzinski about the situation. But the first-time head coach said he wasn't concerned about it affecting his work. "Obviously, I don't know too much about what's going on with that,'' Chudzinski said. "I've got enough on my plate. Nothing has changed about what we're doing here.''
Haslam echoed that sentiment, relaying his conversation with the Browns' football braintrust. "They said, `Is everything OK?' and I said, `Hey, we're great,''' Haslam said, adding that he plans on traveling to Cleveland "to participate in draft preparation'' on Thursday and Friday.
The Browns' draft preparation will likely include lengthy discussions about quarterbacks Geno Smith of West Virginia, Ryan Nassib of Syracuse, and EJ Manuel of Florida State. Cleveland has the No. 6 pick in the first round, and Banner has repeatedly avoided naming Weeden the franchise's long-term solution at the position.
Weeden, though, remains unfazed by it all. During the winter, the former New York Yankees farmhand worked out with another pro baseball-to-football quarterback in Chris Weinke, honing specific skills. "Chris and I have a lot in common, so it worked out well,'' Weeden said. "We spent a lot of time speeding up my feet and eliminating the pat (of the football) that I fell into last season. Those things should improve my accuracy, which I know has to get better.''
Thaddeus Lewis is the only other quarterback on the roster, but has just one NFL game under his belt. Weeden passed for a Browns rookie-record 3,385 yards, but only completed 57.4 percent of his throws and tossed 17 interceptions to 14 touchdowns.
"I'm not going to comment at all on what happened last year,'' said Chudzinski, who replaced Pat Shurmur after Cleveland's 5-11 campaign. "I will tell you what I see when I look at Brandon. He has some tools, a good arm, and the ability to get the ball down the field. I'm looking forward to working with him.'' Weeden took all of the snaps with the first-team offense during the two-hour practice, while Campbell worked with Cleveland's second unit.
The session was held inside the Browns' field house. Chudzinski cautioned not to read too much into their assignments, stressing "we're early in the process.'' "Jason will get some reps with the ones along the way, as well,'' he said. "There's not a lot to see yet on the field because we've only put in a portion of the offense. But I have been impressed with all three quarterbacks with the way they've picked up things and have been able to verbalize them in meetings.''
Campbell, who said he would speak to reporters Thursday, has 14,682 career passing yards and has completed 60.9 percent of his throws. At 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, Campbell also stands two inches taller and is 10 pounds heavier than his competition. "I'm glad to have Jason on board because he's a veteran guy who can help the Browns,'' Weeden said. "But I'm also glad he's here because he's a good dude. We met last year in the preseason when we played Chicago, and I really liked the guy.''
NOTES: All NFL teams that make coaching changes are given one bonus minicamp in the spring, which the Browns chose to hold at their team training facility. ... RB Trent Richardson declined comment on a civil lawsuit in which he was named last month. According to the document filed in Cuyahoga County, two plaintiffs claim they were verbally and physically abused at Richardson's home on Dec. 9, 2012. "I can't say nothing about that,'' he said. "I wish I could, but I can't.'' ...
Starting LG Jason Pinkston has been medically cleared to resume physical activities, but Chudzinski said he will be brought back slowly. The third-year pro fell ill during Cleveland's game against Cincinnati on Oct. 14 and was diagnosed with a season-ending blood clot. ... Three NFL veterans - WR Legedu Naanee, WE Seyi Ajirotutu, and DB Chris Rucker - are participating in minicamp on a tryout basis. ... WR David Nelson should be ready for the start of training camp, according to Chudzinski. Nelson tore his right anterior cruciate ligament in Buffalo's 2012 season opener, requiring reconstructive surgery, and signed with the Browns on April 8.
CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Browns have signed free agent kicker Shayne Graham, a potential replacement for Phil Dawson. A 12-year NFL veteran, Graham has made 85.4 percent of his kicks, fifth in league history.
Graham played in 16 games for Houston last season, setting a team record for points with 138. He connected on 31 of 38 field goals and set a career high with 28 touchbacks. Graham has appeared in 155 career regular-season games. He was selected to the Pro Bowl following the 2005 season with Cincinnati after he finished third in the league with a team-record 131 points. He spent eight seasons (2003-09) with the Bengals.
Dawson, the last player left from Cleveland's 1999 expansion team, recently signed as a free agent with San Francisco.
The Cleveland Browns today acquired running back Dion Lewis from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for linebacker Emmanuel Acho.
“Dion is a back who runs with very good quickness and vision,” said Browns Head Coach Rob Chudzinski. “He is a promising young player who will add depth, which is extremely important at that position.” “Dion had an extremely productive college career and responded well in his limited chances with the Eagles,” said Browns CEO Joe Banner.
“We felt this would be a good opportunity for him and us, and we are happy that Dion is now a member of the Browns.”
Originally drafted by Philadelphia in the fifth round (149th overall) of the 2011 draft, Lewis has appeared in 24 regular season contests as a reserve. He has totaled 171 rushing yards on 36 attempts (4.8 avg.) and two touchdowns and three receptions for 21 yards. In addition, he has returned 32 kickoffs for 702 yards with a 21.9-yard average. In 2012, he appeared in nine games and totaled 69 rushing yards with one score.
A two-year letterman at the University of Pittsburgh (2009-10), Lewis broke Tony Dorsett’s freshman rushing record with 1,799 yards and tied Dorsett for the school freshman record with 10 100-yard rushing performances. Lewis’ rushing total ranked third in the nation in 2009 and was the second-highest single-season total by a Panther in school history
. He added 17 rushing touchdowns en route to being named the Big East Conference Rookie of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year. As a sophomore, he led the team with 1,061 rushing yards with 13 touchdowns
. Despite playing just two years, Lewis finished his career fourth on the Panthers’ all-time rushing list with 2,860 yards. Born September 27, 1990, the 5-8, 190-pound Lewis is a native of Albany, New York and attended Albany High School and later transferred to Albany Academy.
He also attended Blair Academy in Blairstown, New Jersey before enrolling at Pitt.
Acho was drafted by Cleveland in the sixth round (204th overall) of the 2012 draft with a compensatory pick. He sustained a knee injury during the preseason and missed the entire regular season on injured reserve.
The Cleveland Browns today signed wide receiver David Nelson as a free agent to a one-year deal, the club announced. “David possesses very good size and hands, and has a good feel for the game,” said Browns Head Coach Rob Chudzinski.
“He showed promise with Buffalo two years ago before missing most of last season with an injury, and we feel as though he will be a good addition to our group of wide receivers.”
Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Buffalo Bills in 2010, Nelson has appeared in 32 games with 17 starts. In his three NFL seasons with Buffalo, he recorded 94 receptions for 1,042 yards with eight touchdowns.
In 2011, he ranked second on the club in both catches (61) and receiving yards (658), while finishing third on the team with five receiving touchdowns.
A four-year letterman as a wide receiver at the University of Florida (2006-09), Nelson saw action in 44 contests with 14 starts, registering 46 receptions for 630 yards with seven touchdowns. Born November 7, 1986, the 6-5, 214-pound Nelson is a native of Wichita Falls, Texas, where he attended S.H. Rider High School.
The Cleveland Browns’ opponents for the 2013 preseason were announced today by the NFL. The Browns will open the preseason with two contests at FirstEnergy Stadium before finishing with consecutive road games. Cleveland kicks off the 2013 preseason by hosting the St. Louis Rams (Aug. 8-11).
The contest will be the 28th matchup between the clubs in preseason action and first since 2010. The following week, the Browns host the Detroit Lions (Aug. 15-19). Cleveland has faced Detroit more than any other team in preseason play with 44 meetings, including a 19-17 victory to open the 2012 preseason.
The two clubs will also meet at FirstEnergy Stadium during the 2013 regular season.
The Browns will travel to Indianapolis to face the Colts (Aug. 22-25), marking just the second meeting between the clubs in preseason action with the other occurring in 1994.
Cleveland closes out the preseason on the road against the Chicago Bears on Thursday, August 29. The contest will mark the 10th straight time that Cleveland and Chicago will face off during the preseason finale.
The Browns and Bears will also meet in Cleveland during the 2013 regular season.
BEREA, Ohio (AP) - The Cleveland Browns have released linebacker Chris Gocong and safety Usama Young.
They also signed placekicker Brandon Bogotay on Tuesday. Gocong was expected to bolster the linebacking corps when he was acquired in 2010 from Philadelphia, and he did start 32 games. But he missed last season with a torn right Achilles tendon, and with a new defensive alignment under coach Rob Chudzinski and coordinator Ray Horton, Gocong was considered expendable.
Young was signed as a free agent in 2011. In two seasons with the team he had 19 starts, 118 tackles and four interceptions. Bogotay kicked at Georgia for three seasons as a backup to Blair Walsh, who is now with the Vikings.