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Saints vs. Browns: Simulating TE Jimmy Graham, and the End Zone Color Scheme - The Sunday Five

Neal Pate on Twitter

Good morning, Cleveland Browns fans, and welcome to gameday! Be sure to check out our game preview and prediction for the Browns' Week 2 matchup today against the New Orleans Saints. In this week's edition of "The Sunday Five," I take a look at the Browns trying to simulate TE Jimmy Graham in practice this week, what color scheme the team went with for the end zone, and more.

Bullet_mediumEarlier this week, the Browns signed TE Gurrell Robinson off the Denver Broncos' practice squad, and DBN's Tim Miller broke down the possible benefits of that signing. The Browns also made another move this week, though, by signing former Eagles WR Ifeanyi Momah to the practice squad. What stands out about Momah? He stands in at 6-7, 239 lbs. Talk about size! During the preseason, our Eagles affiliate wrote a lengthy article discussing the night and day improvement that Momah had made from their 2013 camp. To make room for Momah, the Browns released OLB Justin Staples from the practice squad.

Why sign Momah, though? Well, Chris Landrey of made a good point: the Browns probably brought him in "for the specific purpose of portraying Saints TE Jimmy Graham on the scout team." The Browns had also worked out two other tight ends (Chase Coffman, 6-6, and Kellen Davis, 6-7). Graham is 6-7, but in terms of speed, Momah runs a 4.4 and is considerably faster than the other tight ends at trying to portray Graham. We'll see if he sticks with the team beyond this week.

Bullet_mediumLast week, the Browns conducted a poll among fans to determine what color the end zones would be painted this year. The options presented were an orange background with brown lettering, or a brown background with orange lettering. The second option (brown background with orange lettering) received 67% of the votes in our poll at DBN. This week, team president Alec Scheiner confirmed that the brown background with orange lettering had won by a landslide! Here is a sneak peak of how it will look -- they've added a white outline to the lettering, which really makes it pop:

end zone patten, Marlon Moore and the kickoff game

Bullet_mediumIn last week's edition of The Sunday Five, I talked about how lackluster the stats have been for the Browns' leading rusher in season openers since 1999. The best mark had been RB William Green in 2003, when he had 21 carries for 86 yards (4.1 YPC). In 15 years of data, the Browns' leading rusher in the season opener had averaged 13 carries for 53 yards  (4.07 YPC). Last week, rookie RB Terrance West made history in the expansion era of the team, running the ball 16 times for 100 yards (6.3 YPC). Well done.

This week, with RB Ben Tate out, the only other running backs are RB Isaiah Crowell and RB Glenn Winston. Winston seems similar to the other backs, and when the 49ers released RB LaMichael James this week, head coach Jim Harbaugh actually said that releasing Winston before parting ways with James could be second guessed. We'll see if the Browns find a role for Winston this week, but it's pretty remarkable that all three of our running backs and our fullback are rookies.

Bullet_mediumLast week, I asked the DBN community to predict the first offensive play, first defensive tackle, and first touchdown scored of the season. The first offensive play was a run by Ben Tate for 2 yards to the right. The first defensive tackle was made by cornerback Buster Skrine. The first touchdown scored was a run to the right by Isaiah Crowell from three yards out. Here are the results:

First Offensive Play Winners: Chris Pokorny, theghostofseasonsfuture, Crawford_T,  tmptplayer,  Topanga Jeff, emily522, Tim A. Miller, BrownsFanAlways, Baudilio6, TheRootstock, North Coast Flea, Irish Brown, batard, Siberian Husky, BornAKardiacKid, HenryDawg, JustBob, Joe Ginley, V3K, Zach J Miller, Dawg Nuts each correctly predicted a run by Tate.

Of that grouping, Topanga Jeff, TheRootstock, and V3K each predicted a 2-yard run by Tate. Topanga Jeff got it exactly right by calling the run to the right side.

First Defensive Tackle Winners: Not a single person had Skrine. Boo!

First Touchdown Scored Winners: Unless someone was taking a stab in the dark, no one could have seen Crowell having our first offensive touchdown of the season.

Bullet_mediumIt's time to predict the inactives for today's game. Here are my guesses for the Browns' gameday inactives against the Saints (there are seven inactives required): RB Ben Tate, WR LaRon Byrd, TE Jordan Cameron, OL Vinston Painter, DL Ishmaa'ily Kitchen, OLB Barkevious Mingo, and CB Robert Nelson.

I'd love to be optimistic about Cameron and Mingo playing since they are only listed as questionable. Mike Pettine even labeled them as game-time decisions. However, when neither guy participates in practice during the week, how often do you see them play? With the return of WR Marlon Moore, there is no need for Byrd. Moore is a good gunner and could even assume the kick return role this week. Kitchen only played four snaps last week, and I think DE Desmond Bryant and DL John Hughes will be back. I have CB Pierre Desir being active this week since CB Aaron Berry was waived this past week.