Dawgs By Nature (highlights of the week that was):
- NFL Draft INSIGHT: JL Skinner III would complete the Browns safety room (Barry Shuck) - Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz likes to keep five safeties on his roster instead of the usual four. Newly-hired safeties coach Ephraim Banda will get this group into a menacing group that opposing offensive units are going to hate pretty quickly. So, here’s a great young addition to this group that will smack heads in Bosie State Broncos JL Skinner.
- NFL rule changes include players now being able to wear No. 0, and tripping penalties being personal fouls (Chris Pokorny) - A few days ago, we wrote an article talking about the resolutions that were passed at the NFL Annual League Meeting, including there only being one cutdown date now. There were also some rule changes that passed, though. None of them appear to be major rule changes that will change the face of the game. The proposal that could have changed the game — involving doing a fourth down play in lieu of an onside kick — did not pass. Here is what the owners did approve.
- Browns NFL free agency: Positive grades continue to come in from national media (Jared Mueller) - Part of the NFL’s offseason cycle is grading moves. Much like is done immediately following the NFL draft, NFL free agency gets grades quickly. So far, we have seen a lot of cautious love sent Cleveland’s way. Sports Illustrated is the latest national organization to give the Browns free agency haul a positive grade.
- Haslams ‘committed’ to renovating FirstEnergy Stadium (Thomas Moore) - The Cleveland Browns have played in what is currently known as FirstEnergy Stadium since returning to the NFL in 1999. So it should come as no surprise if Cleveland owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam are looking around the league and wondering what about the future of FirstEnergy Stadium. Since buying the Browns in 2012, the stadium has undergone about $120 million in renovations to add new scoreboards and escalators and reduce the number of seats, but it remains the same functional stadium along the shores of Lake Erie.
- Meet the Browns’ Marquise Goodwin: Olympian, star receiver, sprinter, tragedy-stricken father (Barry Shuck) - The Cleveland Browns were very busy in free agency this year. GM Andrew Berry took the essence of the inherent weaknesses from that disappointing 2022 season, then signed some key bodies to fill those roles. All of these guys have their own stories regarding their football life, trials and tribulations, successes, and failures that have placed them into an orange helmet. But wide receiver Marquise Goodwin has a message to tell.
- Why Denzel Ward will benefit from Jim Schwartz’s defense (cleveland.com) - There will be high expectations for the Browns’ defense in 2023, thanks to the hiring of Jim Schwartz as the new defensive coordinator. Schwartz brings 30 years of NFL experience anchoring top defenses in the league. Among players who can benefit from Schwartz’s defense is cornerback Denzel Ward, who was underwhelming last season. But why will Denzel Ward benefit from Schwartz’s defense?
- Browns ‘will be as supportive as’ can be for Joe Thomas’ Hall of Fame enshrinement (Beacon Journal) - The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week is going to be a major event for the Browns organization. The Browns will play the New York Jets in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 3 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Two days later, they will have their first enshrinee from the post-1999 expansion era be inducted when offensive tackle Joe Thomas goes in as a member of the Class of 2023. However, coach Kevin Stefanski couldn’t necessarily commit to the team being in attendance for Thomas’ enshrinement ceremony when asked at the NFL’s annual meetings Monday.
- NFL Draft: Five Day Two Prospects I Like For The Cleveland Browns (OBR) - The Browns likely won’t have room for eight rookies, so finding a trade that gets a 2024 pick in return will allow them to potentially get more value from a pick next year when they only have six picks and when they know more about what they currently have on this roster and when they need an influx of youth. Here are some favorite day-two prospects for the Cleveland Browns in the 2023 NFL Draft.
- Shad Khan encouraged about Jaguars’ future: ‘I think we’ve cracked the code’ (NFL.com) - The strides made during Jacksonville’s memorable 2022 campaign has Jaguars owner Shad Khan brimming with excitement.
- Lions bringing well-rounded receiving corps into 2023 (ESPN) - Numbers don’t lie. Offensively, the Detroit Lions were one of the most dangerous teams in the league in 2022, with the unit averaging the fifth-most points per game (25.71) in the NFL. And although there were other contributing factors, the passing game — spearheaded by quarterback Jared Goff — led the way.
- 49ers’ Brock Purdy: ‘It looks like I have a robotic arm’ (The Mercury News) - Brock Purdy’s recovery from elbow surgery is “going as planned,” even if that means his support brace “looks like I have a robotic arm.”
- Ranking Jets’ most likely NFL draft outcomes: Trades, targets and the Aaron Rodgers factor (The Athletic) - The New York Jets’ offseason has been dominated by two topics — if they would be getting Aaron Rodgers from the Packers in a trade, and (now) when they’ll be getting him. Even if he’s not on their roster yet, Rodgers will be at some point. The Jets’ draft plans — assuming the trade happens before the draft — will crystalize once he’s in the building. But they obviously have to start planning now.