Dawg Pound Journal: 3 Browns Players up for NFL awards


Three Cleveland Browns players have been nominated for NFL awards this week, after last Sunday's memorable 29-28 comeback victory against the Tennessee Titans.

And we need the Dawg Pound's help in making sure these players get their proper recognition.

Fed Ex Ground Nominee – Ben Tate

Tate's 123 rushing yards were a career-high. Even when the Browns trailed by 25 points in the second quarter, the coaching staff never wavered on their original game plan – pounding the rock with Tate. The 26-year-old, who is in his first season in Cleveland, had five carries of 10 yards or more in the game. Vote for Ben

GMC Never Say Never Moment Nominee:  Brian Hoyer's touchdown pass to Travis Benjamin in fourth quarter to put Browns up 29-28

Pressure? Does that word even exist in Hoyer's vocabulary? When the moment gets bigger, Hoyer is consistently proving he can lead pick apart defenses. In seven starts with the Browns, he has three two-minute, game-winning drives. With Bernard Pollard glued to his back, Hoyer fired a missile into the outstretched arms of Benjamin, putting the Browns ahead for good and into a tie for second place in the AFC North. Vote for Brian

Pepsi Rookie of the Week Nominee:  K'Waun Williams

When we reach the end of December and look back on the season, we very well could be looking at the Titans game as the emergence of a future key piece to the Browns defense. What we loved most about Williams' performance on Sunday was that he fought through adversity. Williams, playing nickel back extensively for the first time in his NFL career, was on the other end of a few big chunk plays from the Titans. But then in the fourth quarter he had a critical tackle on third-down and then had a key sack on Charlie Whitehurst with 20 seconds left, securing the victory. If the undrafted rookie from Pittsburgh keeps this up, we'll see his name up for this award again. Vote for K'Waun

Three things I wonder…

I wonder…if Benjamin's value to this offense is so important, that he should stop returning punts. When I stood on the field level in the fourth quarter at LP Field and watched Benjamin run routes, he looked and played much taller than his 5-foot-10 height would suggest. The 25-year-old's three touchdown catches in four games are more than A.J. Green, Desean Jackson, Eric Decker and Alshon Jeffery.  I'm obviously not putting Benjamin on their level, but his timely production in 2014 has possibly warranted the coaching staff to get him even more involved in the offense. We'll have much more on Benjamin coming Tuesday afternoon.

I wonder…if Armonty Bryant can use his strong performance against the Titans and blossom into the pass rusher we saw all preseason long. Bryant led all Cleveland defensive linemen with six tackles and walloped quarterback Whitehurst to the ground for a sack in the fourth quarter. The Browns defense is in desperate need of a defensive lineman to step up his game like Paul Kruger and Tashaun Gipson have. Bryant seems like a candidate prime to breakout.

I wonder…how electric FirstEnergy Stadium will be on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers? It's Tuesday and four people at my local grocery store were already wearing Browns gear. The buzz carrying over from the dramatic win in Nashville is substantial in the streets of Cleveland. The Browns are going to need every ounce of tangible energy to spur their defensive effort against the Steelers. Karlos Dansby will be the first to tell you the Dawg Pound was just as responsible for Cleveland's Week 2 win against the Saints as the players on the field. Can the Browns fans rise up to the challenge?

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