Camp Report 2015: Cleveland Browns - Position Breakdowns

Discussion in 'Game Summaries & Team News' started by LtJustice, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. LtJustice

    LtJustice QSF Commissioner

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,373
    062515-training-camp-576.jpg
    Cleveland Browns 2015 Training Camp Report
    BEREA, OH - It's almost time once again for Madden season and, with the new release just over two weeks away, anticipation is at an all time high! The teams have all been set, and a familiar face is returning to the owner's suite in Cleveland to lead his beloved Browns once again. Jim (aka LtJustice) had been expected to follow his usual pattern and select someone other than the hometown team, after having control of them in the last release, but when the time came to make his selection, he saw no other team that he felt gave him a better chance to get back to The Q Super Bowl.

    After leading the Browns to back-to-back simmed season Super Bowl victories in the M15 release, the hopes and expectations are high for LtJustice and the Browns in this new format in The Q. The question is, will his successes in simulation seasons in the past translate ti this new hybrid sim/played format? Time will only tell...

    In this 8 part series, we will take a position by position look at the preliminary training camp rosters for the Cleveland Browns and what we might be able to expect from the players, once the final rosters are released when the game drops.
    • Part 1: Quarterbacks - Now Available
    • Part 2: Running Backs - Now Available
    • Part 3: Receivers & Tight Ends - Now Available
    • Part 4: Offensive Line - Coming Soon!
    • Part 5: Defensive Line - Coming Soon!
    • Part 6: Linebackers - Coming Soon!
    • Part 7: Defensive Backs - Coming Soon!
    • Part 8: Special Teams & Wrap Up - Coming Soon!

    2015-uniform-reveal-post-header.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
    • Like Like x 3
  2. LtJustice

    LtJustice QSF Commissioner

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,373
    2015 Training Camp Report
    Part 1 of 8
    usa-today-8582410.0.jpg
    QUARTERBACKS
    Players of Note: Josh McCown, Johnny Manziel

    CAMP STORY

    The veteran Josh McCown comes into camp as the starting quarterback, after joining the Browns as a free agent this offseason. McCown and the Browns are eager to prove that he is a much better player than his 1-10 record as a starter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2014 would seem to indicate. While nobody is likely to mistake McCown for Tom Brady, the Browns expect him to be an effective game manager. Someone who can lead an offense behind a stout offensive line that is built to run the ball down opposing defenses throats. In reality, many believe that McCown was appealing, more so than the departed Brian Hoyer, because he is a willing mentor to the guy hoping to take his job out from under him. The Browns aren't ready to throw in the towel on their young signal caller just yet, and McCown provides a decent veteran insurance policy in the event the guy behind him isn't ready to step up just yet.

    The Cleveland Browns have been searching for the answer at QB since their return to the league in 1999. When they selected Johnny Manziel in the 1st round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the man known as Johnny Football became the latest hope for the success starved Cleveland Browns fan base. After a disastrous rookie season that saw JFF look unprepared to take the reigns of an NFL offense on the field, and with the same immaturity he showed in college resurfacing in his first year as a pro, many have already written off the former Heisman Trophy winner. After a long and much publicized stint in rehab this off-season, Manziel has been by all appearances saying and doing all the right things going into his sophomore season training camp. He is no longer a walking circus of distraction for his team, nor is he the golden boy 1st round draft pick being undeservedly anointed as the top guy. He comes into camp as a backup and will have to earn the job and beat out the veteran McCown to be a starter once again. Only time will tell if Manziel has truly turned a new leaf and can put his immature ways behind him. Even if that is the case; he still needs to prove that he can be an effective NFL quarterback and can find success at the peak of his sport.

    MADDEN STORY
    Manziel came into M15 is a hot shot rookie with superstar development. He did indeed develop into that superstar caliber player and led the Browns to their first simmed Super Bowl Championship. While we know he will come into Madden 16 with a not very good 71 OVR rating, he will probably also lose his superstar development trait. If that is indeed the case, it will be a tough road to progress JFF back to the ranks of the elite QBs in The Q. One thing he certainly has going for him is that at just 22 years old, there is plenty of time for him to grow.

    At 36 years old and carrying a 72 OVR rating, Josh McCown is clearly not the ideal Madden QB. Add to that an expensive free agent contract, and he could be a long shot to even make the Browns roster in the 1st season.

    PREDICTION
    Manziel is the run away winner at starter over McCown. The Browns could potentially explore free agency or the trade market to bolster the position.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Awesome Content Awesome Content x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. LtJustice

    LtJustice QSF Commissioner

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,373
    2015 Training Camp Report
    Part 2 of 8
    isaiah-crowell-duke-johnson-terrance-west.jpg
    RUNNING BACKS
    Players of Note: Isaiah Crowell, Terrance West, Duke Johnson

    CAMP STORY

    The Browns come into the 2015 season looking for one of their promising young half backs to grab the brass ring and become the feature back for this offense. 2nd year backs Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell each showed promise in their rookie season; but they also suffered periods of ineffectiveness, which led to the duo splitting carries for much of the season. West edged out The Crow for the team lead for yards (673 to 607) in 2014, but The Crow found the endzone 8 times, to T-West's 4 scores on the ground. Both backs need to improve their play on passing downs, in both pass blocking and receiving, if they expect to become a featured 3 down back in the NFL.

    The Browns added to their stable of young backs when they selected former Miami Hurricane Duke Johnson in the 3rd round of the 2014 draft. Johnson brings some explosiveness to the position for the Browns and has the hands to make a difference in the passing game. You can't rule out the Hurricanes all-time leading rusher in the competition for the top of the depth chart.

    MADDEN STORY
    The Crow has the ratings to potentially be a breakout Madden star, as the power back of the bunch. With his 86 trucking and 75 strength, he should have no problem going straight through defenders. But he also has the ability to take advantage of openings, sporting 91 acceleration, 92 agility, and 85 ball carrier vision.

    Duke will definitely get opportunities to spell Crowell, and with his speed (90) and elusiveness (87), he will be a great change of pace back.

    West is the best pass blocker of the bunch (57 PBK) and has solid, if unremarkable, all around ratings. He will have to take advantage of whatever opportunities he is given, if he wants to see the field very much.


    PREDICTION
    If the Browns don't add a back via free agency or trader, expect Crow to be the day one starter. But don't sleep on Duke...
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
    • Awesome Content Awesome Content x 4
  4. LtJustice

    LtJustice QSF Commissioner

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,373
    2015 Training Camp Report
    Part 3 of 8
    browns-nfl-uniforms-hartline-gabriel-bowe.jpg
    WIDE RECEIVERS & TIGHT ENDS
    Players of Note: Dwayne Bowe, Brian Hartline, Andrew Hawkins, Travis Benjamin, Taylor Gabriel, Rob Housler, Josh Gordon (?)

    CAMP STORY

    The wide receiver corps of the Cleveland Browns is definitely a question mark for the 2015 season, but this is not a group completely devoid of talent.

    Veteran receiver Dwayne Bowe joined the Browns in Free Agency, after a sub par final season in Kansas City (leaving as the Chiefs all time leading wide receiver). Bowe catches a lot of flack for not scoring any TDs in 2014, but many around the NFL (including the Browns) dismiss that as a result of the Chiefs offense, more so than Bowe's ability. The Browns are hoping Bowe can return to form and be the #1 receiver they are lacking (with Josh Gordon suspended for the season).

    Another big free agent signing for the Browns this off-season was former Ohio State Buckeye, Brian Hartline. While he has never been considered an elite receiver, Hartline has been a solid performer in his career. Even posting back to back 1,000 yards seasons in 2012 & 2013, before falling out of favor in Miami last year. Hartline gives the Browns an excellent possession receiver to help move the chains.

    Beyond Bowe & Hartline, the Browns have a trio of speedy (and small) slot receivers that can damage defenses in a variety of ways. Travis Benjamin (5'10"), Andrew Hawkins (5'7"), and 2nd year man Taylor Gabriel (5'8") are all very similar players. Small guys that can get lost in a defense to catch a pass underneath or stretch the field with their speed.

    Tight End Rob Housler was signed in free agency to replace the departed Jordan Cameron. Housler, much like Cameron, is an athletic pass catcher that be a nightmare for opposing defenses. But, also like Cameron, he has had trouble staying healthy enough to make a difference on the field.


    MADDEN STORY
    The biggest question mark is the status of Josh Gordon. If he is available, then he instantly give the Browns a bona fide elite #1 receiver.Bowe & Hartline give the Browns a pair of big possession receivers to make the tough catches. Being veterans with high awareness, they should also perform well in sim games. While the speed ratings have taken a hit league wide, the Browns crop of small speedsters still have the potential to be difference makers. The real question is; if Gordon is available who becomes the odd man (men?) out in this receiver group?

    Housler is a prototypical Madden tight end; at 6'5" with 85 speed and 88 acceleration, he has the potential to be a monster on the virtual gridiron.


    PREDICTION
    If the Browns have Gordon, expect Bowe or Hartline to make a quick exit from Cleveland.

    Taylor Gabriel has Madden superstar written all over him and will be firmly entrenched as the #3 receiver in the long term.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
    • Awesome Content Awesome Content x 6
  5. LtJustice

    LtJustice QSF Commissioner

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,373
    • Like Like x 2

Share This Page