A healthy Jordan Cameron could be humongous for the Browns' offense
- The Browns' Pro Bowl tight end hasn't exactly made the anticipated splash many expected in 2014. It has everything to do with his shoulder.
- In two games this season, Jordan Cameron has three catches for 70 yards. Both of Cameron's receptions, a 40-yarder in Pittsburgh and a 23-yarder against Baltimore, led to points.
- According to ProFootballFocus.com, Cameron saw just 22 of the 68 snaps against the Steelers. After sitting out against the Saints, Cameron's snap count increased against the Ravens (52 of 61), but at times, he was gingerly favoring his injury.
- "You can't really protect [your shoulder]," said Cameron on Tuesday in the locker room. "I can't tell a guy not to hit me. It's just one of those things you go through the game and you can't be thinking about it because it will affect the way you play."
- During the bye week, Cameron said he got the proper rest and he's feeling like his old self again.
- Imagine what an increase in production from Cameron could do for this offense? Seven catches and 80 yards from the tight end won't just keep the chains moving – it'll open up doors everywhere. Andrew Hawkins will likely see less safeties doubling him over the top, meaning more one-on-one opportunities. If Cameron's effective, there will be more running holes on the outside with linebackers having to give up more space in case Cameron does blow by them. Cameron's biggest asset will be when the Browns get the football in the red zone. Instead of settling for the 36-yard field goals, the 6-foot-5, 249-pounder could return to causing matchup nightmares for linebackers and even safeties near the goal line.
Mike Pettine's message: Looking ahead on the schedule can be an NFL team's kryptonite
- Much has been made about the Browns' upcoming schedule: at the Titans (1-3), the Steelers (2-2), at the Jaguars (0-4), the Raiders (0-4) and the Buccaneers (1-3). We wrote about it on Monday: if the Browns play up to their capabilities, Cleveland should head into November with an above .500 record.
- When asked about looking ahead and predicting positive outcomes, coach Mike Pettine said "That's for fans and media only."
- Pettine wisely pointed out there have been no true dominant teams to begin the 2014 season and that everyone who follows the league had already marked last Sunday's Pittsburgh's game against Tampa Bay as a win for the Steelers. Anything can happen on any Sunday in the NFL. The cliché can be tiresome, so Pettine addressed looking ahead to the entire team in a meeting on Tuesday.
- "It is hard to win in this league, especially on the road," said the Browns' head coach. "We can't think about our schedule or look at our next opponent beyond Tennessee. That's just not how we operate. I think it is a dangerous thing. Hey, I talked about being confident at one and two, but it is so hard to win in this league. There's so much talent parity-wise that your mindset to me is equally important or more important than how you are physically."
- "Who says the schedule is favorable?" said Ben Tate. "That's something y'all come up with. We all get paid. We all are good athletes in this league. If you don't come to play, you're going to get beat."
Reinvigorated from the time off
- Karlos Dansby said during Tuesday's practice, you could tell the Browns felt refreshed. Defensive players were flying around, trying to get to the ball to make plays and really put an emphasis on over-communicating with each other.
- "We know what's at stake: it's a must win for us," said Dansby about the Titans game this Sunday.
- Jabaal Sheard brought up a good point about the bye week: Because of how draining training camp and the preseason become, the bye week doesn't exactly feel like it's early.
- "Getting my body back was my biggest key," said Sheard. "Those July and August months, sometimes your body gets banged up. I was feeling a little rusty, but I feel a lot better now."
- Andrew Hawkins said he focused the bye week more on the mental aspect. Hawkins wants to do a better job of recognizing coverages pre-snap, so he has a better idea of potential running lanes after the catch.
- For Joe Haden, it was about clearing his mind.
- "We now have 13 straight games," said the cornerback. "We know that we have to get this thing on a roll. I'm really honestly glad that we have the team that we do. I've got a whole new mindset and I feel refocused."