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News from Yahoo.com and ClevelandBrowns.com
News from Yahoo.com and ClevelandBrowns.com
The Miami Dolphins' defense is among the best in the NFL, and now the offense is doing its part as the team looks to move over .500 for the first time this season.
Chet Gresham takes you through the Targets and Touches from Week 7 of the AFC.
(The Sports Xchange) - Michael Sam, who first made headlines earlier this year as the first openly gay NFL player, as of Tuesday afternoon is no longer an NFL player. The Dallas Cowboys waived the rookie defensive end from the practice squad to make room on their roster to sign second-year linebacker Troy Davis. Sam was drafted in the seventh round in May by the St. Louis Rams but failed to make their 53-man roster at the end of the preseason. He then was picked up by the Cowboys and added to their practice squad. ...
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The Panthers announced they've released longtime defensive back Charles Godfrey and signed guard Chris Scott.
The Browns' Week 7 loss to the previously winless Jaguars has generated discussion about a change at quarterback. ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio says the starting job in Cleveland is still up in the air, with pros and cons for both Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel, but it's time for Mike Pettine to start making decisions.
Since getting cut by the Seahawks in August, Pryor has also worked out with the Browns and the Buccaneers.
BEREA, Ohio (AP) -- - Browns coach Mike Pettine brought a shovel to work, not a sledge hammer.
The Houston Texans already have surpassed their 2013 win total. They've been a competitive 3-4 club, with three of the four losses coming by one score. They've done so with No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney having missed six straight games and more than half of the one game he did appear in. The Texans have forced 15 turnovers this season, which — incredibly — already has surpassed the 2013 total of 11. Things, you could say, are slightly brighter in Houston than they were a year ago when the team opened with two straight victories and then collapsed for 14 straight losses. [ Join FanDuel.com's $2.5M Week 8 fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 21,905 teams paid ] But we all know there's still a lot missing. It's easy to pin the Texans' limitations on one man. Ryan Fitzpatrick, the unlikely placeholder at quarterback, has been no different than most observers have expected him to be based on his itinerant track record: effective enough for him to keep a job but maddeningly ineffective for a team that wants to win games via the turnover battle, clock management and game massaging. Right now, Fitzpatrick is a back cracker. He's the chiropractor who gives you temporary relief until you get up out of the office and limp home in tears, with more nerve pain than you walked in with. Five of Fitzpatrick's seven interceptions have come from inside the Texans' own 20-yard line. Those picks have led to 24 points for the opponents. Those points shouldn't be on the defense. He also hasn't been effective at the ends of halves. In the final two minutes of first and second halves of games, Fitzpatrick has thrown two picks and taken three sacks on only 27 dropbacks. Fitting both of those categories Monday night was the inexcusable interception in traffic that ended up in the hands of the Steelers' Brett Keisel. That pick fueled the Steelers' incredible end-of-half flurry that won them the game. It has been the same story most games. Once the opponent realizes that Arian Foster is really the guy they need to stop, Fitzpatrick can sling a few balls, get Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins involved, but the inevitable game-tilting mistake is just around the corner. That's the thing: Fitzpatrick's stats charm casual observers into the whole he's not that awful routine, as he has more passing yards (on fewer attempts) than Cam Newton; more yards per attempt than Aaron Rodgers; a better completion percentage than Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco and a host of other starting quarterbacks. But the mistakes and limitations are what undercut most of what he does. They are what hold this team back from taking the proverbial next step offensively. Every time the TV broadcast shows Bill O'Brien looking down at his Denny's menu of play calls, you almost think he's saying to himself, Hmm, what can't I call here? The Texans certainly know he's not the future, but is Fitzpatrick even the present? We're not aiming to pick on the hirsute Harvardian here, but the Texans had to know what they were getting when they signed him, and that's on O'Brien and GM Rick Smith. What you've seen from Fitz-pick-trick this season is exactly what he has done through his career, now with his fifth NFL team since 2006, having been released by the previous four. There have been calls to the bullpen for Ryan Mallett, who joined the team via trade just before the start of training camp, or for Tom Savage, who barely averaged five yards an attempt in the preseason and has yet to attempt a regular-season pass. Those calls are misaligned. Oh, sure, finding out if Mallett (he of the four career regular-season attempts himself) or Savage can play might not be a bad idea at some point. But it is both haunting and telling that Fitzpatrick likely remains the Texans' best chance right now. A win next week at Tennessee puts them at 4-4 and, at least according to logic, in the race for a playoff spot. But we all know that's not likely to happen. This Texans team has other limitations certainly, and even a major upgrade at quarterback isn't going to magically whisk those away. But it certainly would put the defense in fewer precarious positions and help take advantage of the limited but potent offensive assets the team does have. That solution won't come until 2015, and the options might not be plentiful to be honest. Potential free agent Brian Hoyer leads a shockingly mediocre crop at the position, and his connection to O'Brien from their New England days will lead to a lot of speculation of a match in Houston should the Cleveland Browns opt to crank up the Johnny Football machine next season. But the draft might not be the perfect salve, either. Maybe O'Brien would see something in Michigan State's Connor Cook if he declares, but Cook's inconsistencies have a startlingly Fitzpatrick-esque look to them, and the pricetag still certainly could cost them a first-round selection. Later options that might intrigue the team include East Carolina's Shane Carden and local product Bryce Petty from Baylor, but neither are likely first-year saviors either. What then? Could the Texans — GULP — be forced to go another season with Fitzpatrick (or Mallett or Savage, equal parts gulp themselves) as the opening act for a yet-to-be-named headliner? If so, the reviews for the O'Brien Variety Show might get a bit ugly. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm
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