With the fourth preseason game being mostly meaningless (and largely boring) recapping the team’s movers and shakers makes more sense now than after the final fake game, when all attention will be turned to the Christmas morning that is NFL opening day. Until, you have your Cleveland Browns Preseason Winners and Losers.
D’Qwell Jackson: It’s really amazing that the Browns were relying on him to start at linebacker this season, considering many had already written him off. But, he has remained healthy thus far, and looks to be back in top form. His body has had much less wear over the past few years due to his inability to get on the field, so he could be primed for a strong season. It will be needed because the Browns have little depth at the position.
Colt McCoy: Has was somewhat shaky against the Eagles, but given that most people expected a long learning curve due to the shortened off-season, he has been rock solid thus far. Granted, it’s only preseason, but his command of the offense doesn’t resemble that of a guy who is learning a new system, with a new coach, with limited time, and with his #1 receiver sidelined much of the preseason. Plus, his arm strength looks to be improve, which has been an area of concern.
Evan Moore: Me and friend of mine have been saying for a year and a half that Evan Moore was going to be a beast someday. That day may be upon us soon. His game against the Lions shows why he could be a matchup nightmare. At 6”5, and with great hands he could be a great weapon in the Redzone against shorter corners or slower linebackers, and could lineup as a WR much of the time. If he can be concussion-free, he has shown this preseason he could be a play maker.
Rookies and Undrafted Free Agents: Either the Heckert and company did a great job finding talent, or the Browns really have no depth. When you consider that the team will start at least 5 draftees on opening day in Taylor, Sheard, Little, Marecic, and Pinkston, plus potentially have Buster Skrine as the Nickelback. Add in Jordan Norwood and Kevin Dockery who have been standouts thus far and it would appear that there is a strong young base developing along last year’s already stout draft class.
Marcus Benard: Remember him? An impact player in the 3-4 has gone missing in the 4-3.
Owen Marecic: He will always be compared to jettisoned Lawrence Vickers for whom he replaced, and early returns have not been promising. Despite being brought in because he had better pass catching skills than Vickers, he has dropped two passes early and his blocking hasn’t been overly impressive. He was a beast in college, so hopefully he is just taking his rookie lumps early.
Hamstrings: Did anybody take the players seriously when they said that they were staying in shape during the lockout? Nearly a dozen players have missed time this year due to various ailments, and hamstrings have been top of the list.
Free Agent Signings: The story of the preseason has been the lack of signings the Browns brought to an already thin team, but the ”headliners” of the group have failed to contribute at all. Brandon Jackson looked like a great fit as a third down back, but his turf toe injury could keep him out for an extended period, and Usama Young has yet to take the field.Back to the Cleveland Browns Newsfeed