Browns v. Giants — Preseason Observations

  • Majority if not all preseason games are glorified practices and can get boring really quick and this game was no exception. However, being the first game in Cleveland since last year, it was nice to see football again in First Energy Stadium
  • Once again most starters were sitting out so it was primarily backups and then 4th stringers for most of the game.
  • Demetric Felton (7th round pick) will definitely make this team, he is versatile and can serve as emergency running back if needed. I also think D’Ernest Johnson will be 3rd back behind Chubb and Hunt. He hasn’t done anything to lose the role.
  • Case Keenum is reliable backup, but nothing else.He had some throws that were behind guys and even his first attempted touchdown to Higgins was late. He made up for it with a better throw to Hodge for the Browns first score. Case in point (pun maybe intended), Browns need Baker healthy and sharp because its quite a drop in talent and skill.
  • The running back, wide receiver and tight end rooms are super competitive. The Browns started their 4th and 5th string tight ends and those guys didn't disappoint. They probably won’t make the team, even with Steve Carlson injured for the season as Browns may make Johnny Stanton, backup fullback more of a passing H-back tight end. That is one of many roster decisions to be made over the next two weeks. Good luck Andrew and Kevin haha
  • Speaking of WRs, Hodge makes it along with Higgins. I see Landry, Beckham and Peoples-Jones as top 3, Higgins coming in around 3 or 4 depending on personnel and Hodge mainly filling special teams role but also receiver role where applicable. Star studded group, if everyone stays healthy.
  • As I wrote on Twitter, Browns need better pass rushers behind Myles and Clowney, its quite a steep drop. Some guy named Joe Jackson was providing pressure and that's saying it lightly. Malik McDowell was dominating 4th stringers late in game, but not sure how good he truly is. Porter Gustin didn't play, Takk McKinley is still dealing with personal issues off field, so maybe Browns try to string it out, but they better hope neither Myles or Clowney get hurt and miss time.
  • Yes preseason games have backups and very vanilla basic schemes, but it seemed, for second game in a row, the offense flowed better than the defense. Not taking much from it, but just interesting to see for another game. I’m still not a fan of Joe Woods as defensive coordinator, but not gonna work in a shoot during preseason, especially with backups playing majority of time.
  • By Tuesday, 8/24 roster cuts come (think its 70), then a week later roster trimmed to 53 with practice squad roster of 8–10 guys. Going to be some interesting and surprising cuts all over. I think there are some end of roster guys possibly getting opportunities and others who have already played off the team. As noted above, think the biggest decisions will come on back end of running back and receiver room. Hot take — Jo Jo Natson doesn't make it and Felton is primary return guy
  • Browns finish up preseason next Sunday against the Falcons. I believe some of the starters will play and really I’d prefer they play a quarter (a few possessions) just to get sharp. There will be a two week layoff until season opener. While there was some argument of not having preseason due to last year and team playing well, they did look out of sorts and uncomfortable in opener against Ravens. Yes it was implementing new systems on all sides, but still.
  • I expect Baker, Landry, Chubb, Njoku and some of the offensive line to play at least a series or two. Defensive side, maybe Myles and Clowney, depending on injury, but I would be surprised if they let a lot of guys sit. If guys are healthy at least give them a game rep or two, it will be important long term and I think Stefanski knows that.
  • After next weekends game, doing predictions for the season, should be a fun and weird one, since there are 17 games this year. First pressure packed season since 2019, so hopefully team is better suited this time around. GO BROWNS!!

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