Browns News and Notes 8/21
Nov 25, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns cornerback Tashaun Gipson (39) during a game against Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Cleveland won 20-14. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
– Tashaun Gipson has been named the starting free safety for the season. It is an opportunity for the undrafted free agent out of Wyoming to make a name for himself in the NFL. If all goes well, he can be Tashaun Gipson rather than the ‘other’ safety on the Browns that is not T.J. Ward.
The reality is that while Gipson won the job and will have the opportunity to really own it going forward, there was not much of any competition behind him. The other point is that Gipson is not done competing. Gipson will be competing against the idea of drafting a free safety next year, depending on how well he plays. If he can be a good player, he can own the job, get a contract extension and the Browns can look elsewhere. If he is another JAG in the line of JAGs at the safeties the Browns have run out at free safety since… Brian Russell?
– Jabaal Sheard is apparently day to day after suffering some minor knee injury on Wednesday. He did not practice today (Thursday) and may be held out in the preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts. Sheard has been an absolute stud, so he does not really need to go out there provided he is ready to go for the season and there is no reason to think he will not be. He would likely be fine to play if this was the regular season.
– Rob Chudzinski announced the starters will play into the first series of the third quarter. They will play a half and then come out for the first series to give them a live look at how they can reengage after halftime.
– There are still no details on how long Barkevious Mingo will be out or really, what actually happened. The Browns have been extremely vague on the whole thing and they say Mingo continues to undergo tests and is doing light lifting. Mingo and Sheard watched practice from the sideline.
The lack of a timeline caused Dustin Fox of Bull and Fox on 92.3 The Fan to be extremely concerned. With no basis of information and actually citing some terrible medical advice that has already been debunked, Fox said Mingo could have died (debunked) and was not afraid to do some solid fear-casting and suggest Mingo might be out half or all of the season in a fit of random speculation. The one point in all of this that Fox is right about is that the lack of a timeline is concerning. The Browns are playing this off like they and the doctors do not really know what is happening and how to go about it, but that seems extremely hard to believe. On the other hand, since its inception, this PR staff has been extremely good about communicating information to the media. This whole situation is bizarre and hopefully Mingo is fine, but also that he will be ready for the Miami Dolphins. If it is worse than that, the Browns PR will look worse for not getting out in front of the issue.
– And in a bit of breaking news, apparently young kids with money and fast cars like to drive them above the speed limit. Josh Gordon and Greg Little have had a few issues with speeding and the law which resulted in the media finding out about an issue Little had in April, where he is reported to have been in a single car accident. None of these issues involved alcohol.
First, thankfully neither was on a motorcycle. Between Kellen Winslow and Marcus Benard, that fact alone makes fans able to take a breath. Obviously, the Browns and their fans want their players to be responsible, especially when it comes to operating a giant machine that could get them injured or killed, but like with LeBron James when he was in Cleveland or Josh Cribbs, young athletes with fast cars and money tend to drive them too fast. Most of these guys are by nature adrenaline junkies and while speeding tickets are an annoying expense for the average person, they are not a huge problem for athletes making far more. This is not to excuse Little or Gordon from the issue and they should be more careful, but it is not an issue that requires a significant amount of analysis. There are some folks out there who are trying to read way too much into these issues and make lasting statements that are frankly, silly. The organization can deal with it as they see fit and work to get these guys ready for the season.