Browns 53 Man Roster & Cuts Analyzed
Aug 28, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer (6) throws a pass during the first quarter against the Chicago Bears at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Quarterbacks – Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel and Rex Grossman
Notes: No surprises here. Hoyer starts, Manziel is truly a sideshow for now and Grossman is the veteran. Expect all 3 to be active on game day with Hoyer and Manziel possibly seeing time on the field in packages together. If Hoyer gets hurt early in the season, during a game, it is likely that Grossman and not Manziel finishes that game before giving way to the rookie after a week of prep.
Running Backs – Ben Tate, Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell
Notes: A far better group than anything the Browns had last year. Tate showed that he is worthy of starting and that he truly understands the ZBS. He is able to setup blocks and make cuts. West is still learning while Crowell has the pure talent to be a difference maker down the road. Having 2 backups who are rookies is a problem at most positions but at RB it means fresh legs.
Fullback – Ray Agnew
Notes: Agnew is likely to be a fan favorite. The Browns haven’t had a hard nosed, blow up the defender type of fullback since Lawrence Vickers. Agnew showed his is adept at catching the ball as well as blocking which will be important in Kyle Shanahan’s system.
Receivers – Miles Austin, Andrew Hawkins, Travis Benjamin, Taylor Gabriel, Charles Johnson and Marlon Moore (on suspended list for 1 game)
Notes: A uninspiring group of names that played uninspiring in the pre-season now have set the expectations low. Fans are not expecting any huge breakouts from the group but hope they can compile something resembling an NFL passing game. When Moore comes back from suspension the team will likely carry 6 receivers but waiver/cut players from other teams could mean a change in the names of those 6.
Tight Ends – Jordan Cameron, Gary Barnidge and Jim Dray
Notes: Cutting Gray was a bit of a surprise but the rest are pretty clear cut. Cameron will occupy blockers all over the field while Barnidge and Dray will likely see time with Cameron in 2 tight end sets.
Offensive Line – Joe Thomas, Alex Mack, John Greco, Mitchell Schwartz, Joel Bitonio, Paul McQuistan, Martin Wallace and Karim Barton
Notes: Once Greco beat out Gilkey for the RG spot the starting line was set. McQuistan and Wallace struggled in the pre-season while Barton was just claimed off waivers from the Eagles along with Hawkins. Finding the right balance on the line will be huge for the Browns who plan to be a running team all year long.
Defensive Line – Desmond Bryant, Armonty Bryant, John Hughes, Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, Phil Taylor, Billy Winn, Ahtyba Rubin
Notes: So far all of the offensive units have been listed on the Browns site with starters first then backups. Yet not true for the defensive line. Is it because the Browns have so much talent that they aren’t sure who is starting or could this be a negotiation thing when teams come calling about their overly talented group of 6? As an aside a mistype led me to this: how about Ar-Monster as a nickname for Armonty Bryant?
Linebacker – Karlos Dansby, Barkevious Mingo, Craig Robertson, Paul Kruger, Jabaal Sheard, Chris Kirksey, Tank Carder, Eric Martin
Notes: Another group that is 6 deep with some great talent. Robertson has really come on and has held uber talent Kirksey from just assuming the starting spot next to Dansby. Carder and Martin make the team as backups at the expensive of Diles and Westerman. Interchangeable really but Pettine values versatility. Expect far less movement on this unit as the year goes on.
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Defensive Backs – Joe Haden, Buster Skrine, Justin Gilbert, Aaron Berry, Pierre Desir, Robert Nelson, K’Waun Williams, Dante Whitner, Tashaun Gipson, Jim Leonhard, Johnson Bademosi and Jordan Poyer
Notes: Whether due to all the injury concerns or just Pettine’s love of the position, the Browns kept a lot of defensive backs. Williams and Nelson are the big surprise as the undrafted rookies made their mark. They were helped by the poor play of McFadden and the injury to Trufant. Leonhard is the Grossman of the defense while Bademosi plays special on special teams giving him a spot.
Specialists – Billy Cundiff, Spencer Lanning and Christian Yount
Notes: No surpsises. Kicker, Punter and Long Snapper.
What stood out to you among all the Browns moves yesterday afternoon?