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3 Big Takeaways: Joshua Dobbs builds another efficient preseason performance

Dobbs received the bulk of snaps at QB in the second preseason game and kept the offense moving 


The Browns fell 21-20 to the Eagles in their second preseason game Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Here are three things that stood out from the loss:

Dobbs commands offense with efficiency

For the second straight week, QB Joshua Dobbs looked in control and efficiently operated the offense as he vies for a backup role behind Jacoby Brissett.

The Browns opened the game with their backups and kept picking up first downs and scoring points with Dobbs throwing — and running — the ball in their first four drives. Each of them ended with an opportunity to score points, starting with an entertaining first sequence that featured a 36-yard run from Dobbs.

With no receivers open, Dobbs escaped a tackler in the pocket who grabbed and ripped part of his undershirt. Dobbs evaded the sack and didn't stop running, though as the Eagles chased him to the left sideline. He stayed in bounds and managed to squeeze a few more yards to the end of the run after juking around another tackler.

The play was an excellent example of his athleticism, and he followed it up with a 7-yard scamper into the end zone.

"I knew I was going to stay in bounds," Dobbs said about the 36-yard run. "I saw the linebacker coming over, and I was like, 'All right, it's a foot race, and if I can get around him, I have a shot.' Everyone stopped, but I kept going … It was a good play."

Dobbs finished 14-for-20 with 141 yards and rushed four times for 47 yards with one touchdown before his day ended midway through the third quarter. He's gone 24-for-33 with 249 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in two preseason games.

No Browns QB has played more in the preseason than Dobbs, and he's certainly built a strong case for the Browns to keep him as their backup for Brissett when Week 1 arrives.

"I thought 'Dobbsy' has given us some really good reps going all the way back to the spring and through training camp," head coach Kevin Stefanski said. "He's done a great job running the huddle, and he's very, very athletic. That shows up in games more than it does practice because you're not allowed to be tackled in the orange jersey. Always good to see him making plays with his feet."

Check out photos of the Eagles against the Browns in week two of the preseason

Bell settles in nicely in NFL debut

WR David Bell knocked off any nerves he might've felt in his NFL debut when he caught a 22-yard pass from Dobbs in the second quarter.

The nerves — and frustration — might've come back when he dropped a pass three plays later down the right sideline.

"I was real hard on myself," Bell said, "but Dobbs came over and said, 'I'll come back to you on these next few drives.'"

Dobbs fulfilled that promise and hit Bell with two more passes before his day ended. Bell secured both of them and looked like the sure-handed, smooth receiver the Browns believed they drafted when they picked him in the fourth round from Purdue.

"He did a nice job," Stefanski said. "I know he wants that one play back. It's his first time out there in an NFL game, albeit in the preseason, but I'm sure there's a couple jitters out there. We made a couple plays, and I think he's a young guy that will continue to get better."

Sunday was the first time Bell played because of a foot injury that sidelined him the first week of training camp. He's gradually worked back to full speed since, and he felt the two joint practices the Browns had against the Eagles before Sunday were the two most beneficial work days he's had since his return.

"The joint practice was amazing," he said. "It makes practice life a lot more exciting, going up against a different opponent instead of your teammates. It was good work out there."

York's leg power is undeniable

K Cade York wasn't perfect on Sunday, but he did provide a couple examples of how strong his leg is.

York nailed a 50-yard field goal in the second quarter that still had plenty of air beneath it when it split the uprights. The Browns gave him a chance to nail a 55-yard field goal in the third quarter, but the kick bounced off the right goal post.

Still, the ball carried a lot of distance. It hit about halfway up the right stanchion and would've been good from much further than 55 yards had it traveled slightly to the left.

"It felt good off the foot," York said. "I honestly thought I made it until I looked up. It was a good hit, it just went right off the upright."

York, a fourth-round rookie from LSU, is the Browns' only kicker and already has his spot on the 53-man roster secured. He's gone 5-for-5 on extra-points and 2-for-3 on field goals in the preseason and was one of the top standouts from training camp, unofficially missing three of his 36 total attempts during field goal periods.

He drilled several kicks beyond 50 yards in those periods, and some of his booming field goals appeared to have the power to be good from 60 yards, if needed.

Even though he missed the 55-yarder, he still felt comfortable kicking for the first time in a real-game setting in his new home.

"It felt like college, honestly," he said. "It didn't feel too different at all. It was a good experience."

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