NFL Preseason Preview: Green Bay Packers at Cleveland Browns
The featured NFL preseason game on NFL Network tonight will be a match between the defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers and the rebuilding Cleveland Browns. This is obviously a contest between clubs in vastly different phases of development, but I like a lot of the things that have been happening with the Cleveland Browns over the past few years, and I think that they have left their "woe is me" days behind them. From the top Mike Holmgren has reshaped this team's attitude and dynamic. The hiring of coach Pat Shurmur will inject an exciting offense into a town that is thirsting for one.
Josh Cribbs - Client - Cleveland Browns
The Green Bay Packers on the other hand are riding high after winning the Super Bowl and don't look to have lost a step in the off season. Head Coach Mike McCarthy is returning a lot of his starters from last year, and none more important than quarterback Aaron Rodgers who, I think, will actually get better this year. It's perfect for me that NFLNET decided to feature this game tonight as I have a pair of clients both playing wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns who are both great fun to watch: Josh Cribbs, who is also the Browns elusive and NFL Record holding return man, and Jordan Norwood. I also share two clients on the Browns with Peter Schaffer in Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas and rookie first round pick defensive lineman Phil Taylor.
Phil Taylor - Client with Peter Schaffer - Cleveland Browns
Like I said above, the Packers are returning a lot of starters. This club is led on offense by Rogers and their defense runs through the dynamic and imposing Clay Matthews III (whose father coincidentally was a stand out player for the Cleveland Browns.) I look for the Pack to play their starters no more than a few series, and then sit back and treat the game like a practice and use the time to evaluate their young guys who might not necessarily make this Packer team this year, but who will be developed for the long haul on the practice squad.
The Browns on the other hand are the second youngest roster in the NFL this year and Coach Shurmur has a lot of question marks that will need to be answered during the preseason. I expect to see Browns starting quarterback Colt McCoy play into the second quarter at least, and only Josh Cribbs among the receivers will get a break. The Browns have been quietly putting together a lot of the missing pieces, and I am very interested to see how far they've come since last year.Continued on the next page