Cleveland Browns begin Organized Team Activities
By Paul Noel
With the 2015 NFL Draft nearly upon use it’s easy to forget that the 2015 NFL season begins today as the Cleveland Browns begin Organized Team Activities. This off-season has been like many in recent memory for the Browns with hiring’s and firing’s, and then influx of fresh players signed via free agency. Today at Dawg Pound Daily let’s rehash the off-season that was, and preview what’s ahead for the Browns in OTA’s.
First Day: April 20
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 26-27, May 29, June 1-2, June 4, June 8-9, June 11-12
Mandatory Minicamp: June 16-18
Shanahan’s Slide Show – The Cleveland Browns off-season started out with some in-house, with the departure of Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. It was rumored that there were disagreements with Browns front office and the rest of the Browns organization, and Shanahan wanted out of his contract. The drama even hit boarderline crazy when according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, Shanahan created a 32-presentation to explain why he wanted to get out of his contract. After Coach Mike Pettine called him out for quiting the Browns showed him the door, and he was signed thereafter by the Atlanta Falcons as their new offensive coordinator.
Gordon Pops Bottles then pops hot – Josh Gordon was officially suspended for a year (Feb 3rd) by the NFL for violating the Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. In the release on their official site the Cleveland Browns noted as much and GM Ray Farmer‘s comments were strong:
“As we have conveyed, we are disappointed to once again be at this point with Josh. Throughout his career we have tried to assist him in getting support like we would with any member of our organization,” Browns general manager Ray Farmer said. “Unfortunately our efforts have not resonated with him. It is evident that Josh needs to make some substantial strides to live up to the positive culture we are trying to build this football team upon. Our hope is that this suspension affords Josh the opportunity to gain some clarity in determining what he wants to accomplish moving forward and if he wants a career in the National Football League. We will have no further comment on Josh as he will not be permitted in our facility for the duration of his suspension.”
Manziel Enter’s Rehad – On February 2nd, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleaveland Plain Dealer broke the story that Manziel was entering a treatment facility in Caron, Pennsylvania. Manziel was in the facility for several weeks and released from rehab last week on April 11th, and according to Farmer will participate in OTA’s.
Ray Farmer and Textgate – On February 4th, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, reported that Browns GM Ray Farmer sent text messages down to the field during games. Farmer was ultimately only suspended for four regular season games without pay and the Browns organization recieved a $250,000 fine from the NFL. The Browns organization came away though unblemished and did not lose a single draft pick, which many national pundits suspected would happen.
NFL Free Agency IN or OUT
IN – QB Josh McCown
OUT – CB Buster Skrine
IN – DL Randy Starks
OUT – TE Jordan Cameron
IN – CB Tramon Williams
OUT – OLB Jabaal Sheard
IN – WR Brian Hartline
OUT – QB Brian Hoyer
IN – WR Dwayne Bowe
OUT – DT Ahtyba Rubin
IN – QB Thad Lewis
OUT – WR Miles Austin
IN – TE Rob Housler
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BROWNS OTA’S PREVIEW
The Browns begin organized team activities today, and the fog of the 2015 off-season is starting to lift so that we can see the 2015 regular season. The Browns once again will be in a start over phase, this time it’s the offenses coordinator…again. The Browns will have John DeFillippo as the offensive coordinator for the upcoming season, due to the departure of Kyle Shanahan. DeFillippo comes to the Browns as the former Quarterbacks Coach for the Oakland Raiders. As of today the Browns will likely have QB Josh McCown slotted as their week 1 starter, while the Browns look to get Manziel back on track. The Browns offense as a whole will look rather new with both Brian Hartline and Dwayne Bowe will be lining out wide in DeFillippo’s offense. Both these veteran will bring some much needed help to the wide receiver position that was carried by Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel last year. Newly signed TE Rob Housler will join a three man tight end rotation, with Gary Barnidge and Jim Dray. The Browns are likely not done adding help at the tight end position, especially with the departure of Jordan Cameron, but we will have to wait until the NFL draft to see how that plays out.
As for the defensive side of the ball, the Browns maintain continuity with Defensive Coordinator Jim O’ Neil. The Browns went out in free agency and brought in a few veterans to help out including Randy Starks from Miami, and Cornerback Tramon Williams from Green bay. Browns outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo had successful shoulder surgery this past off-season, and will be ready to go today. The Browns also return a ton of second year secondary players (Pierre Desir, K’Waun Williams, Justin Gilbert, Robert Nelson), who will be looking to build on their rookie campaigns.
The Browns have ten picks in this year’s NFL draft, including two first round picks (12th an 19th). We will have to wait and see who the new additions will be to the squad, but until then we can only speculate.
Are you excited now that the Browns have started OTA’s?