News from the AFC North

 

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Week two of the NFL Preseason has gone and plenty of questions have been left unanswered for the teams in the AFC North.

All four teams (Ravens, Bengals, Browns and Steelers) seem to have locked on to their starting quarterback. It’s going to be the position battles that most intrigue fans during training camp and the preseason. At last wide receiver Antonio Brown and his helmet issues are no longer a problem in this division! Good luck with that, Oakland!

But there were two really heartbreaking losses this week in the death’s of former Bengals running back Cedric Benson and Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake.

Let’s see what’s been going on in the North….

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Do quarterbacks have to be leaders?

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter

 

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

I’m taking a break from my quarterback series to discuss a trait found in some quarterbacks. Leadership.

Leadership has come into question quite a bit in the past month or so, especially among the quarterback position.  Specifically Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger,   whose leadership skills have recently been called out.

Of course, this could be just some silly, off-season stuff to keep us talking.  If so, I fell for it. But it did get me to thinking, do quarterbacks really have to be good leaders?  I don’t think it’s a true requirement.  Respect, yes.  Leadership skills? I’m going to go ahead and say no, and this is why.

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Browns get key piece in Odell Beckham Jr.

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

As a fan of the Cleveland Browns, I am often on the wrong end of trades or free agent signings.

But things have started to change for this team, and for once they were on the winning side of a deal!

While I have some sympathy for New York Giants fans, it’s every fan for themselves in the NFL. And the addition of Pro-Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., has definitely lifted my hopes from having a winning season to now having playoff and – dare I say – Super Bowl aspirations.

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NFL Free Agency – Quarterback Roulette

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

As we near the end of the first week of 2019 NFL Free Agency, Quarterback Roulette seems to be the name of the game.

Many familiar faces have found new homes, while some are still sitting on the bench, waiting to see where they will land.

I guess if former NFL QB Johnny Manziel can get kicked out of Canada and land on the roster of the American Alliance of Football’s Memphis Express…. then there’s hope for everyone!

Let’s take a look at the QB moves from this week!

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Browns beat Broncos; end 28 year losing streak!

Kate Arhar
Cleveland Browns Reporter

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

Browns 17 – Broncos 16

It wasn’t pretty by any means, but for the first time since 1990, the Cleveland Browns beat the Denver Broncos in Mile High Stadium.

Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield is everything fans have waited for these long, lonely years. While many questioned General Manager John Dorsey’s pick of Mayfield in the 2018 NFL Draft, week after week he is proving why he was the right choice.

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Browns face Chiefs in first test after coaching changes

Kate Arhar
Cleveland Browns Reporter

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Chiefs 37 – Browns 21

Its been tumultuous week here in Cleveland. On Monday, head coach Hue Jackson was fired. While fans speculated on the timing and on when offensive coordinator Todd Haley would be named as interim coach, the announcement came that Haley was fired also.

This leaves defensive coordinator Gregg Williams as the “last man standing” in this year’s edition of “Cleveland Browns Coaching Survivor.” Not sure if you can call being put in charge of this team a personal victory, but Williams had his hands full facing the insanely productive Kansas City Chiefs offense and their incredibly talented quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

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Cleveland Browns: shoulda, coulda, woulda

Kate Arhar
Cleveland Browns Reporter

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

Browns 14 – Chargers 38

Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit was one of my favorite movies. What does that have to do with football? Well, stay here with me just a moment…

There is a scene when Rita (Lauryn Hill) is talking to her mother (Sheryl Lee Ralph) and mom says “But there are a lot of talented people right down there on the streets singin’ their ‘shoulda-coulda-woulda’s.'”

Of all the lines in that movie, it’s one that really stuck with me. And after the blistering loss the Cleveland Browns took this week from the Los Angeles Chargers, it seems like the perfect theme to recap the game.

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Browns fans finally get a Victory Monday

Kate Arhar
Kate Arhar, Cleveland Browns Reporter

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Cleveland Browns 12 – Baltimore Ravens 9

The wait is finally over!  Browns fans get to enjoy their first Victory Monday in a very long time…. two years in fact.

While it took their third overtime game to get a Sunday win, the Browns did it in their usual thrilling, heart-attack inducing, pretty darn lucky and maybe a little ugly fashion. Add to that the fact that it was a division game and, well, fans are going crazy right now!

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The drought is over: Browns WIN!

Kate Arhar
Kate Arhar Cleveland Browns Reporter

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Browns 21 – 17 Jets 

BROWNS WIN! BROWNS WIN! THE DROUGHT IS OVER!

Never let it be said that I bury the lead! So many things to talk about regarding the Cleveland Browns vs the New York Jets Thursday night game but I figured I’d start with the most important fact of all – BROWNS WIN!

635 days since their last victory. 1,413 days since their last win on a Thursday night. 30 quarterbacks since their return in 1999. Three games into the season and they’ve scored 21 points in all of them. These are just a few of the fun and crazy and sometimes heartbreaking numbers that belong to the Browns.

Hopefully, one of those numbers – 30 QBs – will be held for the next 10+ years. Due to an injury to Tyrod Taylor, fans finally got to see the number one pick from the draft, Baker Mayfield, and they were not disappointed.

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Cleveland Browns: First Look at Baker Mayfield

Kate Arhar
Cleveland Browns Reporter

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

While everyone knows that the Cleveland Browns finished a dismal 0-16 last year, few fans remember that they went an undefeated 4-0 in the preseason.

Does the preseason matter? Not really.  But there are still important lessons to be learned, schemes to master and starting position battles being fought.

Preseason Week 1, the Browns traveled to New Jersey to face the New York Giants and their rookie running back Saquon Barkley.  The game began with a couple solid series’ and seven points from veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

After trading with Buffalo to acquire Taylor in the offseason, Browns Head Coach Hue Jackson told everyone he would be the Starting QB for this year. And then Baker Mayfield was drafted #1 in April and the speculation began.

Did the three-quarters Mayfield played meet fans expectations? Is there a QB Controversy AGAIN in Cleveland? You make the call.

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