News

5 players who shined in Browns preseason finale

With the preseason finally in the books, the Browns are quickly turning the page toward the regular season and a trip to Philadelphia.

"It's time. It's the real guys. The grind starts now," head coach Hue Jackson said Thursday night following a 21-7 loss to Chicago. "What it's truly all about starts next Sunday in Philadelphia."

And the time for evaluation, he said, is over.

"Now it's about every week getting ready to play the game for wins and losses. It's not anything else. It's not evaluation period," Jackson said. "It's making sure we cross the T's, dot the I's and get ready to play. I think our guys will be ready to play."

As such, the Browns will trim the roster to 53 members by Saturday afternoon and soon after dive into their game plan for the Eagles.

In the meantime, here are five players who shined in the team's preseason finale.

LB Emmanuel Ogbah

After parting ways with veteran outside linebacker Paul Kruger, the Browns said they were eager to see how a bevy of young pass rushers stepped up Thursday night.

Among them is second-round draft pick Emmanuel Ogbah, who started on defense against the Bears and made the most of his opportunity.

Ogbah notched his second sack of the preseason and helped apply pressure on quarterback Brian Hoyer in the first half.

"It felt great, going out with my brothers; I'm just trying to do the best I can to help this team win every game," said Ogbah, who switched back to outside linebacker after a month at defensive end.

DE Carl Nassib

The third-round draft pick from Penn State has shined throughout the preseason and Thursday night was no different.  The rookie defensive end used his 6-foot-7 frame to bat down a pass at the line of scrimmage and played a key role on the pass rush all night.

"Carl is a funny guy. He reminds me of myself last year- high energy, always wants to be out there. That's the type of guy we need," second-year defensive lineman Xavier Cooper said.

"We have coaches pushing us back from being out there and that's a good sign that we are making progress because a lot of these guys are hungry to get out on the field and that's what we need."

Nassib, who totaled two sacks and two pass breakups in the preseason, on Wednesday was voted the winner of the Maurice Bassett award, given to the team's most outstanding rookie in training camp as voted by the local media.

Nassib, whom the Browns drafted in the third round in an effort to bolster their pass rush, was the 2015 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year after posting 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles-for-loss.

WR Taylor Gabriel

After catching six passes for 60 yards against the Buccaneers last week, the quick-footed wide receiver also proved he can be a weapon on special teams, returning a punt 37 yards against the Bears on Thursday night.

Gabriel, who finds himself in a talented and crowded wide receivers room, is competing for a spot on the 53-man roster.

"There are some very talented young men in that room, and obviously, all of them can't stay so someone is going to get some really good players," Jackson said earlier this week.

"At the same time, I know we will make sure that the guys we keep are the guys that we need to keep here that have a chance to help our football team."

LB Joe Schobert

Much like Ogbah, the Browns said they were eager to see how rookie outside linebacker Joe Schobert stepped up Thursday night. The fourth-round draft pick from Wisconsin didn't disappoint.

Schobert notched his first sack of the preseason and played a key role on special teams, something he's excelled at over the past month.

Schobert, who has taken reps with the first-team defense at different points throughout the preseason, said on Monday he's ready for the next step.

"I'm just going to go in and play my game. I think I do a lot of good things in pass coverage, pass rush, different things little change up from maybe some of the other things some of the other guys on the team have," he said.

"I'm just going to go in there and do my best. I'm confident in my ability."

LB Scooby Wright III

Another rookie linebacker who helped his stock Thursday night was Scooby Wright III. The seventh-round draft pick from Arizona notched four tackles, a sack and a big tackle-for-loss on fourth-and-goal at the goal line.

Wright, who is currently competing for a spot on the 53-man roster against the likes of fellow rookie Dominique Alexander and veterans like Tank Carder and Justin Tuggle, was one of several Browns newcomers who shined against the Bears.

"Those are the young guys. Those guys made some plays early. Our defense early did a nice job. Everybody is looking for the consistency," Jackson said.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising