Editors Note: OurTurf Football has had a great, long-time friendship with Russell Baxter and we were honored when he asked a few of our writers to do team season previews for his website, PFG Vibe/ProFootballGuru. OTFB’s Kate Arhar wrote up her thoughts on the upcoming season for the Cleveland Browns. The article was originally published on Aug 27, 2019, and can be seen here.
Even with a first-time head coach, new offensive coordinator and new defensive coordinator, the Cleveland Browns have never engendered higher hopes among their fans than they have in this off-season. While a 7-8-1 record is not usually something to give one much hope, the Browns were a combined 1-31 for the two previous seasons.
Their woes at the quarterback position are the stuff of legend – and ESPN film reels. But the drafting of quarterback Baker Mayfield seems to have changed all that. For the first time in my memory, and I’ve been following the Browns since 1975, the talent on this roster may actually be up to the challenge of meeting the fans expectations.
Week 3 of the NFL Preseason may just be an indication of how the entire season will finish up in the NFC South.
The New Orleans Saints had a commanding victory, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers squeaked one out with a game-winning field goal and both the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers struggled to find any offense at all.
Panthers QB Cam Newton suffered a foot injury and while x-rays have come back negative, seeing him in a walking boot has to put quite a bit of fear into the hearts of Carolina fans!
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.
As the 2019 season rolls around most teams already have their potential face of the franchise ready to go for interviews and team representations. But is that one player, chosen by the front office, the true face of the franchise?
Many times teams get it wrong. They put a player in that role whom they feel fits “the mold”. They assume he is the one everyone wants to see.
But what constitutes earning the right to be the face of the franchise? Does it always have to be a quarterback? Or should the face of the franchise be of the one who truly represents the team?
With the dog days of summer upon us, and very little news coming out of the NFL, there is one story I’ve been following. Running back Duke Johnson wants out of Cleveland.
During the off-season, Johnson asked the Cleveland Browns to trade him. He was feeling like the Browns just didn’t want him anymore. Hearing that the Browns had put Johnson on the trading block before the running back had even asked about a trade was sort of a hint. Johnson has become so adamant about wanting out of Cleveland that he fired his agent Kristin Campbell and hired Super-agent Drew Rosenhaus.
It’s been a while since we’ve talked about the Baltimore Ravens here on Our Turf. So, I scoured the internet to find someone who I could ask about the Ravens. I came up with “The most ELITE Raven’s blog on the internet”, The Baltimore Feather! He was gracious enough to let me pick his brain about the 2018 AFC North champions. Here’s our chat!
SG: John Harbaugh. They extended him over the offseason, and a lot of people felt that he could be on the move. How do you feel about that?
The Baltimore Feather: John Harbaugh’s extension was well deserved. His win of the AFC North after changing quarterbacks and offensive schemes mid-season makes him look like a football wizard. Many people were convinced at the bye week that Harbaugh would depart from Baltimore after 2018, but his playoff push saved him from that fate.
I think the extension and the vote of confidence from the Ravens brass are well deserved and the right move for the organization. Harbaugh is one of the best coaches in the NFL, and it would be a terrible mistake to let him go.
I joke about it, but it’s a reality I live with every day. Oh, by no means is it severe or life-altering for me, so I don’t mean to belittle the condition. But it is something I’m open about even if I’ve learned to live with being uncomfortable at times.
For example, I want almost all numbers to be even. If I pump gas and it ends on an odd number – or one I think is just weird – I’ll pump a bit more until it hits a number I like. My family loves to put the TV volume on an odd number and wait to see how long I can leave it there before I grab the remote and pop it up or down one just to be even.
When I eat, I try to chew the same number of time on each side. When I walk, if I step on a yellow line in a parking lot with my right foot, I will do a little jig dance and try to hit the next one with my left foot before going back to dodging them altogether. (I think you’re getting the idea.)
If I can’t “even things up,” then so be it. But it will make me a bit uncomfortable for a while.
We don’t talk nearly enough about the Bengals here at OurTurf, so I figured I’d reach out to the experts. In my search, I came across Ace Boogie on Twitter. He’s a Bengals analyst and host of New Stripe City on YouTube. The perfect person to talk to! I asked him 5 questions to get the lowdown on Bengals Nation.
Me: How did the Bengals do in the draft?
Ace: I think the sense around the NFL is that the Bengals did great. I’d have to agree with this because they really attacked fixing one of their biggest weaknesses by drafting [tackle] Jonah Williams. [Tight end] Drew Sample was a bit of a head scratcher, but overall I think they did great. They were able to fill needs, add depth, and add character. One thing that changed was that they didn’t target any players with off-field issues and went after team captains.