- The hidden man behind Art Modell and Cleveland’s darkest day (The Athletic) - On Nov. 6, 1995, Art Modell stood on an airport runway in Baltimore and revealed to the world that the Browns were leaving Cleveland. Everyone condemned Modell; Sports Illustrated famously placed him — sucker-punching a Browns mascot — on its cover. But the player with the most to gain was the one nobody really noticed: Al Lerner.
- Browns GM Andrew Berry proud of O-line (The Beacon Journal) - When Andrew Berry replaced John Dorsey as the general manager of the Browns in January, securing better bodyguards for quarterback Baker Mayfield became one of Berry’s primary objectives. Through eight games this season, it appears Berry has succeeded in upgrading both tackle positions to assemble a stellar offensive line.
- Baker Mayfield has strung together two straight encouraging outings heading into second half of the season (cleveland.com) - With his back against the wall and his long-term future hanging in the balance, Baker Mayfield has strung together two encouraging performances as he heads into the second half of the season.
- Browns still lead the NFL in takeaways after 8 games (Browns Wire) - Through eight weeks, no team has created more opposing turnovers than the Cleveland Browns. The team has recorded 14 takeaways in eight games.
- Could the 49ers move on from Jimmy Garoppolo? (ESPN) - Given what has happened, the biggest issue facing the San Francisco 49ers next offseason is what they decide to do about their quarterback situation.
- Jon Gruden defends Raiders’ handling of the virus (Las Vegas Review-Journal) - Raiders coach Jon Gruden doubled down Friday afternoon on his previous claim that the franchise is doing an “excellent job” combating the coronavirus pandemic. This, a day after the NFL fined the organization $500,000 and Gruden an additional $150,000 for repeated violations of the league’s coronavirus protocols. The Raiders were also stripped of a sixth-round pick, becoming the first franchise this year to lose draft capital as a result of protocol violations.
- Barring setback, Christian McCaffrey on track to face Chiefs (panthers.com) - Running back Christian McCaffrey has not been activated to the 53-man roster, but that move could be coming soon. The All-Pro made it through Wednesday’s practice fine and continued to move well on Thursday.
- Bill Belichick culpable for Patriots’ decline (NFL.com) - The phrase hangs on a sign in the New England Patriots’ facility. It has been Bill Belichick’s calling card since his arrival in New England at the outset of this millennium, with the head coach constantly hammering home this mantra to players, coaches and staff members. It’s a call for accountability that has defined the Patriots’ two decades of domination. Observers envy New England’s ability to avoid excuses in the face of adversity and compete for the Lombardi Trophy, year in and year out.