Cleveland Browns: A guide to watching the preseason
By Joel W. Cade
The fourth exhibition, in stark contrast to the third exhibition, is often difficult for fans to endure. But it can also be the most exciting.
The fourth exhibition is a showcase event for those players fighting to stay on the roster. They are not only competing for a roster spot with the Browns, but also with every other team in the league. The tape is the resume. Here is the last chance to earn a job playing in the National Football League.
This exhibition can make or break a career. If a player comes out and makes an impression, a roster spot could still be won. A perfect example of this is Isaiah Crowell, who had a phenomenal game against the Chicago Bears in a fourth exhibition game earning him a spot on the team.
There is no game planning for the fourth exhibition. With all the focus and preparation headed into the third exhibition, the fourth week is the last chance for the coaching staff and players to catch a breather before the season. Starters normally do not play in the fourth exhibition unless there is an area from the previous week that necessitates a series or two to fix.
Fans watching this exhibition should remember that there is no game plan. This is an opportunity for your favorite rookie or younger player to make their case to stay in the NFL. Have fun with this game and cheer loudly for your favorite underdog player!
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The preseason exhibition schedule is not outdated, it is misunderstood. These are not really “games” like regular season games. Instead these are opportunities for the Browns to define their roster and prepare the starters for the regular season. When watched in that vein, they can be very exciting for fans.