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3 Things to Watch: Hall of Fame Game between the Jets & Browns

While Joe Thomas gets inducted, the Hall of Fame Game may not have many fireworks

USFL: JUN 17 Pittsburgh Maulers at New Jersey Generals Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This week, we will finally get to watch an NFL game. Granted, it’s preseason but it’s better than nothing. Thursday night in Canton, Ohio, the Cleveland Browns will take the field to play against the New York Jets in the Hall of Fame game.

Preseason games might not be a big deal to some fans but it is a big deal to others. It gives us a chance to see how the team looks in specific situations, how new players look on their new teams and see the overall gauge of how the team is collectively. Cleveland had a busy offseason improving the team and fans will be anxious to see how the team looks on Thursday night.

Don’t expect much playing time from the starters on either team

As usual, don’t expect the main guys for Cleveland or New York to play heavy minutes in a meaningless game. Why? The main reason is you don’t want any of your star players to suffer a season-ending injury.

Considering that the players are going through a strenuous training camp, it doesn’t do much justice to make them play an entire half. One series or one play will suffice and the coach will pull them. The starters will likely go through warm-ups and once kickoff starts they will be in either their street clothes or dressed in uniform but without their helmets on.

Expect players who are on the roster bubble or rookies to get extended looks

For the rookies or guys trying to make the 53-man roster by week 1, it is imperative that they get enough reps for many reasons. If players are cut, they will have film out there that will allow them to get another opportunity to land on another roster in either the NFL or CFL.

For the Browns, multiple players who are firmly on the roster bubble are creating their own audition tape. Wide receiver Anthony Schwartz, defensive tackle Tommy Togiai and safety D’Anthony Bell could have their work cut out for them if they want to make this roster.

As for the rookies, it’s necessary that they get their first taste of NFL game action. We are likely to see wide receiver Cedric Tillman get some reps with the 2nd or 3rd, and quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson to get reps with the 3rd team. O

n the offensive line goes, center Luke Wypler and offensive tackle Dawand Jones could get reps with either the 2nd or 3rd team or potentially both. On the defensive side, look for defensive end Isaiah McGuire, defensive tackle Siaka Ika, and cornerback Cameron Mitchell to get their first action

Expect vanilla “simple” schemes on both offense and defense

Considering how the Browns have made changes to their offensive and defensive personnel and systems, don’t expect Cleveland to showcase the new things they have been working on during training camp.

Offensively, head coach Kevin Stefanski likely has some new formations and concepts he has been working on and he would rather save them for the regular season. We have seen glimpses of the Browns offense featuring wide receiver Elijah Moore in the backfield in OTA’s a few months ago so it’s likely we won’t see that.

Defensively, coordinator Jim Schwartz has some new packages he is working with. Could we see those packages in the preseason? Not likely. Expect a ton of base defense and pretty simple coverages for the players to execute. No need to showcase your new stuff in a meaningless game.

What are you looking forward to in Thursday’s game?