With a lot of turnover, Browns have work to do

Associated Press


Count the Browns in as one of the happier NFL franchises Monday, now that the lockout is over. Within hours of the new agreement being reached, the team announced that single-game tickets for all preseason and regular-season games would be available on Aug. 6, with prices beginning at $35.

The Browns, coming off a 5-11 season, will have a decidedly different look this year under new coach Pat Shurmur. He will transition the Browns to a West Coast offense, and will move the defense from a 3-4 alignment to a 4-3.

“Stick with the plan and we have to be aware of how it is different this year,” Browns president Mike Holmgren said on Saturday at a fan rally. “If we feel we’re having bad practices because guys are making too many mistakes that they shouldn’t make, we’ll probably have to tone it down a little bit. Until they show us that they can’t absorb it, it’s full speed ahead.”

The Browns will open the preseason vs. Green Bay on Aug. 13 at home. They will open the regular season vs. Cincinnati at home on Sept. 11.

There is optimism abound in Cleveland, as fans seem to have shouldered up to Shurmur and his new approach. The city has also found a spot for second-year quarterback Colt McCoy, who will open camp as the No. 1 for the first time.

“One of the things that I think we’ve all learned about him, in a very short period of time, is that he is a tremendous leader and kind of a charismatic kid,” Holmgren said. “The players follow him and they like him. He’s the quarterback.

“We have some good leaders on the football team and we needed that this offseason.”

McCoy played in eight games last year. He completed 135 of 222 passes for 1,576 yards and six touchdowns. He was intercepted, however, nine times, and was sacked 23 times.