By Dan Williams @Dan_Wi11iams on August 20, 2014
Monday night was a chance for the new-look Cleveland Browns to showcase their improvement on a national broadcast. Unfortunately, Cleveland did not look sharp as a team, but did have several players who looked good on the field and played well on an individual level. Here are five players who stood out for the Cleveland Browns in Week 2 of the preseason.
Although his time playing was spent in the fourth quarter against players in mop-up time, undrafted rookie Connor Shaw looked great leading the Browns' offense. Shaw completed eight of nine passes for 123 yards, including a Hail Mary touchdown pass as time expired that set Cleveland up for a chance to win the game with a two-point conversion. Shaw is projected to be on the Browns' practice squad, but could get looks from other NFL teams.
Possibly the Browns' defensive MVP a year ago, third-year pro Tashaun Gipson has picked up right where he left off in 2013. On Monday night, Gipson accounted for three tackles, but came up huge when he intercepted a ball that sailed from Kirk Cousins and returned it 43 yards deep into Redskins territory. Gipson and fellow safety Donte Whitner will continue to play integral roles in Cleveland's attacking defense.
Throughout the short preseason, the Browns have been unable to consistently move the ball through the air. But unlike a year ago, Cleveland has shown the ability to open running lanes and pick up nice chunks of yardage on the ground. RB Ben Tate carried the ball 10 times for 51 yards, and broke off a 19-yarder in the process. The Browns have been doing a great job of establishing the run, but must work on their air attack.
When head coach Mike Pettine brought Leonhard into training camp, it was widely thought that he would be able to provide guidance to the younger defenders in the meeting room and possibly help out on the field. In Monday's game, Leonhard did a lot more than that when he racked up five tackles, and an interception returned for a touchdown that temporarily gave the Browns the lead in the fourth quarter.
Rookie linebacker Chris Kirksey is currently in a positional battle with fellow inside linebacker Craig Robertson for the starting role alongside veteran Karlos Dansby. Both Robertson and Kirksey played well, but Kirksey showed up in his second NFL game, amassing eight tackles with five of them being solo. Kirksey is projected to backup Robertson, but the coaching staff will have tough decisions to make if he continues to apply pressure.
April 26, 2015 by Brian Kalchik
Here is what the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft should have looked like. Read More
April 26, 2015 by Nick Sardina
Jake Fisher is one of the best pass blockers in the 2015 NFL Draft. Fisher could play either tackle spot in the NFL and is likely a second-rounder. Read More
Eddie Goldman is a physical, run-stuffing defensive tackle who should be selected in the second half of the first round during the 2015 NFL Draft. Read More
Paul Dawson is an instinctive, playmaking linebacker who wins with intelligence and technique. Read More
Ameer Abdullah is a versatile running back and should make an immediate impact in the NFL as a third-down back. Read More
Cedric Ogbuehi has the athletic ability and quick feet that translate to an effective left tackle in the NFL. Read More
Here are the grades for each of the Texans' 2009 draft picks. Read More
Here are the individual grades for the Texans' draft picks in the 2010 class. Read More