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Cleveland Browns run fake field goal for touchdown (GIF)

Spencer Lanning fake field goalThe Cleveland Browns stunned most observers by putting up 24 points against the Minnesota Vikings on the road in the first half of their Week 3 game on Sunday. Not only did the Browns get two touchdown passes from Brian Hoyer, but they also got in a surprise fake field goal that resulted in a touchdown.

The Browns lined up for a short field goal with under four minutes left in the first half, but they snapped the ball earlier than expected. Holder Spencer Lanning then threw a pass to tight end Jordan Cameron, who was left wide open on the right sidelines. Cameron took it in for an 11-yard touchdown, giving him two TDs on the game.

We and most people expected the 0-2 Browns to get blown out in the game, but they looked good in the first half.

GIF via @cjzero

Marvin Lewis ‘feeling pretty good’ about facing Browns after Trent Richardson trade

Trent RichardsonTrent Richardson was not exactly a dominant force during his season-plus with the Cleveland Browns, but he is still a talented player with massive potential. For that reason, Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis and the other players and coaches in the AFC North division are happy to see him go.

The Browns have the Bengals on their schedule in Week 4. If bulletin board material is capable of helping a team that just traded its star running back and will likely be without its starting quarterback, Lewis has provided it for Cleveland.

“We go to Cleveland next week,” Lewis said on Sirius XM NFL Radio Wednesday when asked for his thoughts on the trade, according to Around the League. “I’m feeling pretty good about that. Anytime a great young player like Trent Richardson leaves your division — we still get to face each other this year but once instead of twice.”

All joking aside, the comments were much more a compliment to Richardson than an insult to the Browns remaining backfield.

“He’s a fine player and has a big career ahead of him,” Lewis added. “It’s not bad that he drives two hours west of us instead of four hours north.”

The truth of the matter is the Browns became much less of a threat on Wednesday, and they weren’t really one to begin with. They are expected to sign Willis McGahee on Thursday, who we recommend picking up in fantasy. Beyond that, they have four-year veteran Chris Ogbonnaya, who has touched the ball 35 times since the start of last season, and second-year running back Bobby Rainey, who has never recorded an NFL carry. It makes perfect since for Lewis to be glad Richardson has moved on.

Brian Hoyer, Trent Richardson … Cleveland Browns are tanking

Browns dog poundThe Cleveland Browns have made it pretty clear this week that they are building for the future and, for lack of a better term, tanking this season.

The 0-2 squad made two moves on Wednesday that seem to indicate they are trying to position themselves to land the top overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

First, they announced that third-string quarterback Brian Hoyer would be starting at quarterback on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings instead of backup Jason Campbell. Campbell is in his eighth season and has gone 31-40 as a starter. He is a below-average quarterback, but at least he can make an offense somewhat respectable. Hoyer is a career backup who only has thrown for one touchdown and two interceptions in his career. Which one of the two gives a team a better chance to win?

Later in the day, the Browns announced that they were trading running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for a first-round pick in 2014. The Browns traded a fourth and fifth-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings last year in order to move up a spot and select Richardson third overall in the draft. They’re trading him after barely a year. The thinking is that Richardson did not show the new Cleveland regime that he was a gamechanger worth keeping, so they dealt him for some good value in return.

Most people believe recognize there is a big dropoff in talent between Richardson and Chris Ogbonnaya or Willis McGahee (whomever fills Richardson’s spot), so everyone is in agreement that the deal makes the Browns worse this year. They’re already 0-2 and have a long season left. Now they’ve made themselves even worse.

Richardson was not drafted by the team’s new front office and coaching staff, so why not get rid of him and at least stack the draft? They now have two first, third, and fourth-round picks in 2014, which will give them plenty of opportunities to load up on talent.

The Browns are taking a lot of heat for obviously giving up on the season, but I think they’re making a smart move. I haven’t viewed Richardson as a game-changing back. I thought they made a mistake taking him so highly for two reasons; it’s a passing league and running backs aren’t used as much, and I never viewed Richardson as a guy with Adrian Peterson talent level where he’s worth selecting in the top five. At least they’re getting a first-round pick in return.

Fan asked for Browns pallbearers so team ‘can let him down one last time’

Browns-dog-poundThe Cleveland Browns have not won a playoff game since 1994 and, like many other fans, Scott E. Entsminger grew tired of the team’s annual failures. Entsminger, a lifelong Browns fan and season ticket holder, passed away at his Ohio home on July 4 at the age of 55. But not before taking one final parting shot at the team he spent his life rooting for.

Entsminger’s obituary, which was published on The Columbus Dispatch website, revealed that he requested Cleveland Browns as pallbearers for his funeral. The reason behind it is priceless.

“He respectfully requests six Cleveland Browns pall bearers so the Browns can let him down one last time,” the obituary read.

The tribute also called Entsminger a “fun-loving” person, which is evident based on his aforementioned dying wish. He is not the first nor the second person to take a shot at his team before passing away, but Entsminger’s request was easily one of the most creative. When a team enters a 20-year drought with no playoff victories, these things tend to become more common.

H/T Eye on Football

Jim Brown hints that some Cleveland Browns may be partying too much

Jim-Brown-does-not-like-Trent-RichardsonJim Brown may be 77 years old and getting up there in age, but he is still arguably the greatest running back to ever play in the NFL. Now that he is back with the Cleveland Browns, some of the players on the team would be wise to listen closely when he speaks — especially those who may be partying to much.

On Sunday while attending the Sprint Cup race at Pocono, Brown talked about how he plans to help the Browns and expressed concern over some of the players’ behavior.

“They have a little running back there [Trent Richardson] I might be able to help,” he said, via ESPN.com. “And some of those players are staying out a little too late at night. I have a little advice for them, as well.”

For what it’s worth, the NFL announced last week that wide receiver Josh Gordon has been suspended for the first two games of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. We don’t know if that’s what Brown is referring to, but he is obviously concerned over the way some of the players have been spending their free time

Mandatory minicamp began this week, so it is officially time for players to get out of offseason mode and into work mode. If some of the Browns have trouble doing that, it sounds like one of the greatest players in franchise history will be right there to help keep their focus.

H/T Eye on Football

Chip Kelly drops ‘Wedding Crashers’ reference in denying reports that he was close to deal with Browns

Chip-Kelly-EaglesWhen it was first rumored that Chip Kelly would be leaving Oregon to coach at the NFL level, a number of conflicting reports surfaced that may have been caused by bad reporting, a smokescreen from Kelly’s camp, or both. First, he was supposed to interview with the Cleveland Browns. Then it became obvious that the Philadelphia Eagles were making a run at Kelly, but word surfaced that he was returning to Oregon. And now here we are.

Kelly may have planned to interview with the Browns at some point, but the former Ducks coach insists any reports about him ever having been close to a deal with Cleveland are bogus. When asked about those reports on Thursday, he made a fantastic movie reference.

Dude just went up 10 pegs in my eyes. Anyone who drops a Jeremy Grey reference in the middle of talking to reporters is a winner in my book. I don’t care if that offense Michael Vick is excited about works or not. Chip’s the man.

H/T The Big Lead

Chip Kelly reportedly will interview for Browns job

While Nick Saban is reportedly rebuffing NFL teams, Chip Kelly seems interested in seeing what is available.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday that Kelly is expected to interview with the Cleveland Browns after his Oregon Ducks compete in the Fiesta Bowl against Kansas State on Thursday. Rapoport says the interview will likely be on Friday or over the weekend. The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot confirmed the report, and she says the interview is expected to be on Friday.

Rapoport also says Kelly would not require total control.

Browns CEO Joe Banner and team owner Jimmy Haslam reportedly are in Arizona, which is where the Fiesta Bowl is taking place. They reportedly interviewed Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton for their job, which also satisfies the Rooney Rule. The team fired head coach Pat Shurmur and GM Tom Heckert earlier this week.

Kelly accepted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers job last year before ultimately deciding to return to Oregon for a fourth season. Based on that knowledge plus his willingness to talk to teams, it seems like a strong possibility that he ultimately decides to jump to the NFL.

Kelly took over a strong program from Mike Bellotti in 2009 and led the Ducks to even more success. He has led the program to four straight BCS bowl games, including two Rose Bowl appearances and a national championship game appearance. He has pioneered an extraordinarily fast-paced offense that he would likely try to install wherever he decides to go if he leaves.

If I were in Kelly’s situation, the Browns are not a team I would be eager to coach. I would definitely want to work with a more proven, mobile quarterback. Carolina seems like it would be a great fit for him.