Tag Archives: Cleveland Browns

Patriots Training Camp Preview: A Defensive Line With Tons of Potential

The start to Patriots Training Camp is finally almost upon us as it is set to start in just under a week. One of the biggest issues the Patriots had at times last year was at defensive line, most notably in the Super Bowl where they couldn’t generate any pressure on Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, as well as being unable to stop the Eagles in the running game. The Patriots will return some of their main core on the defensive line, such as Trey Flowers, Malcolm Brown, and Deatrich Wise Jr., as welcome in a few new faces.

One of the new names that people should expect to see a lot from this season is defensive end Adrian Clayborn. Clayborn signed a two-year, $10 million deal with the Patriots this offseason after spending the previous three seasons in Atlanta. In 2017 Clayborn finished with a career-high 9.5 sacks, and while that total looks good on the surface it’s worth noting that six of his sacks came in one game going against the Dallas Cowboys and backup left tackle Chaz Green. A former first-round pick Clayborn is a player who so far has not lived up to his full potential and hype around him following his career at Iowa, partly due to playing in three games or less in two of his four seasons while in Tampa Bay due to injury. If Clayborn can stay on the field and continue to build off maybe his best season as a pro in last season I would expect him to be a big contributor on the Patriots defensive line opposite Trey Flowers.

 

Another new face that should make a big impact on the defensive line this season is Danny Shelton, whom the he Patriots acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Browns this offseason. Shelton is a former 12th overall pick in the NFL Draft by the Browns, the same draft where the Patriots selected Malcolm Brown in the first round.

 

Both Brown and Shelton are true run stuffing defensive tackles and while Shelton had a down year in 2017, Brown is coming off his best year as a member of the Patriots in 2017. Having two big defensive tackles in Brown and Shelton in the middle of your line with a combination of Flowers, Wise, Clayborn, Lawrence Guy, and Derek Rivers as edge rushers, as well as having Vincent Valentine and Adam Butler to play in the middle,  gives the Patriots lots of flexibility on all three downs and in all types of situations. If players are able to stay healthy and play up to their potential this Patriots defensive line is one that offers tons of flexibility and can cause problems for opposing offenses.

 

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Cleveland Browns: The Peculiar Case of Cleveland Quarterbacks

The Cleveland Browns have a troubling situation at quarterback.

The Cleveland Browns are basically cursed when it comes to having a quarterback. They have not had a solid franchise quarterback since Bernie Kosar in the 80s and early 90s. Year after year, the main headlines for the Browns is that they failed to have a winning season, and that they need a quarterback, again. Just  last year, the franchise drafted a young, talented, quarterback out of Texas A&M in the hopes that he would be the face of the franchise. That player, was Johnny Manziel.
Even with the skillset of Manziel’s, the franchise still faces a cloud of uncertainty, as his rookie year was terrible. With the addition of journeyman quarterback Josh McCown, and Manziel both on roster, the Browns have a very intriguing, and uncertain future at the most important position of football.

Taking first team reps as the starter is 36-year-old journeyman backup Josh McCown. That in itself is troubling. McCown was brought in to help fill the void Brian Hoyer left after he bolted to the Houston Texans.  Even after a terrible season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Head Coach of the Browns, Mike Pettine, still believes that the Browns can win with McCown.  So it is safe to say, that McCown is starting week one of the regular season, unless miraculous preseason play from Manziel arises.

Speaking of Manziel, what an up-and-down year it has been. From being picked 22nd in the 2014 NFL Draft.  With his arrival to Cleveland, Manziel brought so much hype, only to be disappointing in his rookie year.  Manziel threw for 18/35 (51.4%), 175 yards, 0 touchdowns, and two interceptions. His lone career touchdown came in the form of a rushing touchdown against the Buffalo Bills. At season’s end, after missing mandatory treatment, he checked into rehab.

Now, with Manziel out of rehab, he has begun to garner praise for an improved work ethic and dedication to football. Now, he even has a chance to retake the starting job this preseason. That is, if he plays exceptionally.

Will Josh McCown start all 16 games, or can Manziel truly be the franchise quarterback he was so hyped up and is deemed to be after going through rehab? Or will he fail again and be dissapointing? Either way, its a troubling future of uncertainty, as one option is 36 and in the twilight of his journeyman backup career, and the other is unproven and already has messed up once.

Follow me on Twitter @MigiManziel