BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – The most shocking thing about the Browns roster on Monday wasn’t that Joe Haden or John Greco are no longer on it.
Or that they only kept 4 cornerbacks.
It’s that the Browns have 4 quarterbacks on their 53 to begin the 2017 season.
All the jokes about how the Browns go through quarterbacks like water or candy on Halloween aside, having 3 on the active roster is a stretch let alone 4, but head coach Hue Jackson explained that the decision was one that was made for the very short term.
“I think it will be temporary,” Jackson said. “I think we are taking a look-see at a guy. How it is all going to unfold, I don’t know. We will get to that here, I am sure, by the end of the week.”
The Browns claimed former Ravens quarterback Josh Woodrum off of waivers Sunday while also electing to keep both Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan behind rookie starter DeShone Kizer.
Adding to the intrigue is the fact that Jackson still hasn’t determined who his No. 2 QB behind Kizer will be.
“What we are going to do is, obviously, we practice [Wednesday] so I am going to go through this week. As the game plan unfolds, I will make that decision who the backup quarterback will be,” Jackson said.
Counting on Coates? – The Browns acquired half of their receiving corps over the weekend including Sammie Coates in a trade with the Steelers.
So what are the Browns getting in Coates?
“A guy that can run fast,” Jackson said. “I think you guys know I like guys who can run and run fast and make plays down the field. He is a special teams player, as well. He has some of that capability. Here is another big, fast guy that we get a chance to see if he can make the plays I think he can.”
Jackson hopes that Coates’ speed will help him catch on in Cleveland better than he did in Pittsburgh after leading the league in dropped passes in 2016.
Coates had just 2 catches for 14 yards and was targeted 18 times over his final 9 games for the Steelers after starting the year with 19 catches for 421 yards where he was targeted 31 times in the first 5 weeks of the season.
He played with 2 broken fingers on his left hand that led to the drop in production.
“It is just a mind thing,” Coates said. “You have to concentrate a little bit more and you have to catch it a certain way. That was the biggest difference was trying to figure out where to catch the ball without hitting your finger again.”
Joel Good To Go – Left guard Joel Bitonio’s knee is fine and he will play in Sunday’s opener against the Steelers.
Bitonio injured his left knee during practice on on Aug. 15.
“I didn’t think it was serious, so I wasn’t like, ‘Gosh, this really sucks.’ And it was preseason,” Bitonio said. “I was thankful it wasn’t Week 3 or 4. The training staff told me what it was and we could be ready for Week 1.”
The Browns’ rebuilt first-team offensive line has yet to take a snap together in a game situation but Bitonio isn’t concerned
“There’s definitely a little bit of a factor in that, but Joe and I have gotten tons of reps together through the years and JC and I started camp. We were doing pretty well. It’s definitely not ideal, but we’re going to practice this week and we’re going to go out there and play on Sunday.”
Respect For Protest – Jackson was asked Monday for his reaction to the union chiefs of both the Cleveland police department as well as EMS saying over the weekend that their members will not participate in holding the flag during the national anthem Sunday prior to the opener with the Steelers.
“I respect that,” Jackson said. “I have great respect for our police, and we have great relationships with them. They are entitled to say what they feel, just like I have always said about our players. They are entitled to say what they feel, and I respect that. I get it.”
Their boycott is in response to 12 Browns players kneeling and praying during the anthem on Aug. 17 in response to the racial and political strife currently enveloping the country.
More Roster Moves – The Browns current 53 is hardly the final 53.
On Monday the Browns claimed offensive lineman Zach Banner off waivers from Indianapolis and placed offensive tackle Rod Johnson (knee) on injured reserve.
They also added linebacker B.J. Bello and offensive lineman Travis Averill to the practice squad and released defensive back Ed Reynolds II from injured reserve.
Captain, My Captain – Jackson announced the team captains Monday, which were determined by votes by players: left tackle Joe Thomas, linebacker Christian Kirksey, linebacker Jamie Collins, cornerback Jamar Taylor and punter Britton Colquitt.