Daily Dawg Tags: Browns finish year the way it started


Spanning the virtual globe to bring you the latest news about the Cleveland Browns and the NFL – these are your Daily Dawg Tags for Monday, Jan. 2.

The Cleveland Browns closed out the 2016 NFL season the same way they began it, with a loss on the road to a Pennsylvania-based team.

Now the real work begins as the team prepares for what should be a franchise-altering off-season.

The draft order is set for the non-playoff teams and the Browns will be picking first overall and again at No. 12 in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft and five picks in the first 65 selections.

Those draft picks should help head coach Hue Jackson achieve priority No. 1 on his off-season list.

“We just need to continue to get better in all areas. For me, I’m going to go back and look at everything from top to bottom,” he said on Sunday. “We’ll do that and take our time in doing that, because my charge is to get this organization and football team where it needs to be along with our executive group. It’s not going to be easy decisions that we’re going to have to make but there will be some that we have to make to get this organization up to where it needs to be.”

As we prepare to head into the off-season, let’s take a quick run through the league in today’s Daily Dawg Tags.

Cleveland Browns news:

Jimmy Haslam plans to stay the course

The Cleveland Browns finished off a one-win season today with a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. But owner Jimmy Haslam says that anyone expecting or predicting major changes are in for a boring off-season.

Browns drop season finale to Pittsburgh

Say what you will about the Cleveland Browns this season, but the team never stopped fighting. That effort, more than anything else that happened during a long, frustrating and at times maddening regular season, will be one of the major takeaways from a 1-15 season. It was also on full display on Sunday as the Browns gave everything they had during a 27-24 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

RG3 confident he can lead turnaround (ohio.com)

Quarterback Robert Griffin III insisted he wants to return to the Browns next season but doesn’t think the franchise retaining him is a certainty.

Young players must learn to fight smart (cleveland.com)

The Browns played extremely hard. They really did want to win this game. Yet, they lost in overtime to mostly backups for the Steelers. As Jackson said, the players “fight hard, but don’t fight smart all the time.”

NFL news:

49ers doomed to fail under Chip Kelly, Trent Balke (si.com)

Since firing Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers have devolved into the laughingstock of the NFL. Who will want to lead this struggling team next?

Eagles eject Inquirer beat writer McLane from press box during game (philly.com)

The Eagles on Sunday ejected Inquirer beat writer Jeff McLane from Lincoln Financial Field after he and a member of the Eagles’ media relations department got into an argument over how loudly reporters in the press box were discussing a penalty.

Chargers fire Mike McCoy (Union-Tribune)

Mike McCoy saw potential in the 2017 Chargers. His tenure did not survive the year’s first day. As expected, the head coach was dismissed Sunday evening following a 37-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He was notified shortly before leaving Qualcomm Stadium, and minutes after conducting a postgame press conference with reporters.

Road to Super Bowl goes through Dallas, New England (NFL.com)

The suspense went out of the race to the NFL playoffs by mid-afternoon Sunday, when the New York Giants beat the Washington Redskins, sending both the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions into the only postseason slots still available more than an hour before they kicked off the regular-season finale.  The fait accompli feel to the end of the regular season was appropriate, considering that the entire setup for the AFC playoffs seems awfully familiar.