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Ask Matt

Posted Jun 16, 2011

Through Facebook, fans submitted questions and had them answered by ClevelandBrowns.com staff writer, Matt Florjancic.

This is the first installment of “Ask Matt,” where those who “LIKE” the Browns on Facebook have the opportunity to submit their questions and have them answered every Thursday on ClevelandBrowns.com.

Fred Betz asked “Are the Browns making any large changes on offense or defense? Players, new defense, more runs, more passing?”

A: The Browns are making changes on both sides of the ball in terms of schemes. They are switching to a West Coast offense and from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 alignment. In the West Coast offense, the short-passing game is emphasized in an effort to open up the rest of the field.

Defensively, the Browns will have one more defensive lineman and one less linebacker when they line up on the field this fall. They previously utilized a 4-3 defense from 1999-2004 when the team returned to the National Football League.

Trivone Curry asked: “Who’s looking like the starting QB this year?”

A: According to comments made during press conferences with Coach Pat Shurmur and the front office staff, second-year quarterback Colt McCoy will be the starter in 2011.

McCoy completed 135-of-222 attempts for 1,576 yards and six touchdowns against nine interceptions as a rookie in 2010. He was the second-leading rusher, gaining 136 yards with one touchdown on 28 carries.

McCoy was the starting quarterback in eight games and led the team to back-to-back wins at the reigning Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints (30-17 on October 24) and against the New England Patriots (34-14 on November 7).

Jeffrey J Giovinazzi wanted to know if the team is ready for the 4-3 defense.

A: The Browns spent their first two draft picks in 2011 on defensive linemen. They took Baylor tackle Phil Taylor (No. 21 overall) and end Jabaal Sheard (No. 37) out of the University of Pittsburgh.

Taylor was a second-team All Big 12 Conference selection as a senior and made 107 tackles, 5.5 sacks and collected one interception during his time between Penn State University and Baylor. He made 22 starts combined between defensive tackle (nine games) and nose guard (13).

Sheard was a pocket-collapsing end at Pitt, where he registered 19 sacks over his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, including a career high nine quarterback takedowns in 2010. Sheard had three multi-sack games as a senior, including two each against Miami, at Notre Dame and in a 20-3 win over the University of Louisville.

Don Holmes asked “What 2 players, the ones we don't hear much about on the team, one on offense and the other on defense, have a shot at really standing out in the NFL this season and making a name for themselves?”

A: Offensively, Shawn Lauvao was competing for a starting spot on the offensive line until an injury derailed the early part of his rookie season. He made one start at right guard in place of Floyd Womack in a November 21 game at the Jacksonville Jaguars and played in nine other contests.

Defensively, Marcus Benard has continued to be a pass-rushing specialist for the Browns and finished the 2010 season with a team leading 7.5 sacks for 33 lost yards. Benard made two starts in 2010 and improved on the 3.5 sacks he registered in just six games during his rookie season in 2009.

Joshua J. Reppart inquired about how Cleveland’s tight ends will be involved in the new scheme on offense.

A: Coach Shurmur came to the Browns after spending the previous two seasons in St. Louis. Under Shurmur’s direction in the West Coast offense, the Rams had three tight ends catch a combined 70 passes for 682 yards and seven touchdowns in 2010.

Daniel Fells led the way with 43 receptions and 391 yards. He also caught two touchdowns. Billy Bajema had two scores, while Michael Hoomanawanui led all Rams tight ends with three touchdowns.

Cole Holloway asked: “Will Greg Little have a chance to start right away, and if so, put up numbers for rookie of the year consideration?”

A: Whether Greg Little starts right away will be a decision made by the coaches based on his play during training camp and in the preseason games. In the past, Little has shown an ability to quickly adapt to changes. He started his college career at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill as a running back and made the switch to wide receiver.

Little’s physical style of play allowed him to average 11.7 yards-per-reception (724 yards on 62 catches) during the 2009 season.

Kate Fishley asked: “What are your thoughts on how Carlton Mitchell is progressing and is there any chance he can be a consistent big receiver for us next year while we wait on the kid from UNC to develop?”

A: The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Mitchell showed an ability to move once he got the ball in space. He played in five games for the Browns in 2010 and had one rush for nine yards and ran for a 26-yard gain on an end-around in a preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field last August.

Matt Eggers asked: “When are the Browns going update their uniforms and get a logo?”

A: Currently, the Browns have not announced any forth-coming changes to their jerseys. They will, however, wear white uniforms for home games in 2011.

Paul Crowley asked: “How comparable is the price of the Browns season tickets compared to the rest of the league?”

A: The Browns have one of the more affordable ticket options in the National Football League. We found that the lowest season-ticket price for the Cleveland Browns is $19 and according to our research, the next lowest price is $25 per-game for other teams, including the Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals and Rams.

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