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Scouting Report: Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns (2015 Record: 3-13)

2016 Matchup:

Patriots at Cleveland Browns | Oct. 9, 2016 1:00 P.M.

CURRENT TEAM STATUS:

UPDATED 10/4/16 (Paul Perillo)

Things aren't getting any better in Cleveland with Hue Jackson off to an 0-4 start. The Browns are the only team in the league still waiting for their first victory, and having to face an angry Tom Brady returning from his suspension isn't exactly the easiest way to get it.

"Not fun at all," Jackson told Cleveland.com when asked about having to deal with Brady's return.

It will be even less fun doing so with a rookie third-string quarterback making his third-career start. Cody Kessler actually hasn't fared too badly in his first two appearances in place of the injured Robert Griffin IIIand Josh McCown. Kessler completed better than 67 percent of his passes in losses to Miami and Washington and put enough points on the board to win each time.

The Dolphins loss in particular was tough to take since it came down to three missed field goals by Cody Parkey, including a 46-yarder at the end of regulation that would have won it. The Browns eventually lost in overtime. Parley did rebound by making both of his attempts (from 46 and 51 yards) in last week's loss to Washington.

One bright spot has been the play Terrelle Pryor, who's been used as a Wildcat quarterback while also serving as the Browns top receiver. Pryor has 19 receptions for 290 yards and a touchdown so far this season.

UPDATED 9/22/16 (Paul Perillo)

The Hue Jackson era in Cleveland hasn't exactly gotten off to a strong start. The Browns not only lost their first two games but lost a pair of quarterbacks in the process. Robert Griffin III started the opener but was placed on injured reserve a day later with a shoulder injury. Josh McCown got the nod the following week and was felled by a shoulder injury of his own. That left rookie Cody Kessler at the helm in Week 3.

The quarterbacks weren't the only Browns lost to injury. Rookie wideout Corey Coleman, who enjoyed a huge day in a Week 2 loss to the Ravens, broke his hand at practice a few days later and is on the shelf for 4-6 weeks, which means he will likely miss the Patriots game. Starting center Cameron Erving suffered a bruised lung while defensive end Carl Nassib is dealing with a broken hand of his own.

UPDATED 7/25/16 (Paul Perillo)

The NFL announced on July 25 that wide receiver Josh Gordon has been reinstated to the league, but will still need to serve a four-game suspension to open the season. The ruling came just six days after Commissioner Roger Goodelland Gordon met in New York. Gordon will be allowed to take part in training camp and the preseason after missing all of 2015 while suspended.

The reinstatement means that Gordon will be able to report for training camp with the Browns. Gordon will be allowed to attend team meetings during the suspension according to NFL.com.

Assuming Gordon stays out of trouble, he and Tom Brady will both return in Week 5 in Cleveland when the Patriots take on the host Browns. Including the first four games of 2016, the troubled Gordon has been suspended for 31 games during his career.

UPDATED 7/19/16 (Paul Perillo)

The Browns made an interesting addition earlier this month when none other than Chad Johnson (aka Ochocinco) announced via Twitter that he'd be spending part of training camp working with Cleveland's receiver. Johnson has a good relationship with new Browns coach Hue Jacksonfrom their time together in Cincinnati, and Johnson reached out to his former offensive coordinator. Johnson is not officially part of the team's coaching staff but will serve as an instructor during camp. Former Browns running back Earnest Byner will serve in a similar advisory role with the team's running backs, a task he performed during the offseason as well.

UPDATED 05/10/2016 (Paul Perillo)

The Browns continue to search for the right formula for success and Hue Jackson is the latest coach tasked with those duties. He became Cleveland's ninth head coach since the franchise returned in 1999 and the sixth since 2008. The front office was also overhauled in the offseason as Sashi Brown (VP of football operations) and Paul DePodesta (chief strategy officer) took over for departed GM Ray Farmer. 

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That group is attempting to rebuild a Browns roster with significant holes. Understanding the task at hand, the new brain trust swung four draft-related trades, the most significant of which allowed the team to drop from No. 2 to No. 8 while adding three picks including a 2017 first-rounder, and wound up with 14 picks overall in the 2016 draft.

New offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton did not get a rookie quarterback until the third round (Cody Kessler), however, and will likely be forced to try to resurrect the career of Robert Griffin III, who arrived as a free agent after a disappointing stint in Washington. Griffin will have rookie first-round pick and fellow Baylor product Corey Coleman to work with at receiver, as well as Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson out of the backfield. He won't likely be getting back another Baylor alum, Josh Gordon, though, as the gifted wideout continues to serve his suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

On the other side of the ball, new defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who is back for his second stint in Cleveland in the position, has some holes to fill. The Browns lost safeties Tashaun Gipson and Donte Whitner and linebacker Karlos Dansby in the offseason. The Browns did sign linebacker Demario Davis but Horton will have hands full trying to piece together a defense in the physical AFC North.

KEY PERSONNEL MOVES:

Free agents signed:
QB Robert Griffin III (Wash.)
LB *
Demario Davis
(NYJ)
G Alvin Bailey (Sea.)
S Rahim Moore (Hou.)
LB Justin Tuggle (Hou.)
CB Jamar Taylor (trade-Mia)

Free agents lost:
C Alex Mack (Atl.)
WR Travis Benjamin (SD)
S Tashaun Gipson (Jax)
T Mitchell Schwartz (KC)
QB Johnny Manziel (unsigned)
WR Dwayne Bowe (unsigned)
DL *
Randy Starks
(unsigned)

Draft class:
WR Corey Coleman (1st)
LB Emmanuel Ogbah (2nd)
DL Carl Nassib (3rd)
T Shon Coleman (3rd)
QB Cody Kessley (3rd)
LB Joe Schobert (4th)
WR Ricardo Lewis (4th)
DB Derrick Kindred (4th)
TE Seth DeValve (4th)
WR Jordan Payton (5th)
OL Spencer Drango (5th)
WR Rashard Higgins (5th)
DB Trey Caldwell (5th)
LB Scooby Wright (7th)

KEY INJURIES:

There are no major injuries to report at this time.

TEAM LINKS:

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