Cleveland Browns: Tank Carder


Then: Jabaal Sheard, D'Qwell Jackson, Paul Kruger, Barkevious Mingo, Craig Robertson, Tank Carder, Quentin Groves (injured).

Now: Kruger, Mingo, Karlos Dansby, Chris Kirksey, Robertson and in some situations Sheard.

Danbsy replaces Jackson, and based on size and attitude he could be an upgrade. That has yet to be seen, though. Kruger was a highly paid free agent a year ago and had a solid season but not a great one with just 4.5 sacks. The jury remains out on whether he is worth the big contract the previous regime gave him. Sheard will line up at linebacker, but said he's more of a defensive end this season. The new coaching staff has a lot of faith in Mingo, a guy they almost drafted in Buffalo the year the Browns took him. The most interesting thing to watch about this group is how they will be used. Mike Pettine promises a lot of different personnel groups and formations, all to cause deception.

The positives: Dansby brings a certain attitude and something something to the locker room that was lacking a year ago. The group is solid, if not spectacular.

The negatives: The Browns must find a second starter inside to go with Dansby. Initially it seemed that Kirksey might be the guy, but when Groves was released Pettine talked about using Kirksey more outside. The Browns must find that second starter.

Previously: Quarterback, running back/fullback, wide receiver, tight end, offensive line, defensive line.

Coming: Secondary, coaching staff, front office.

Injury report: Robertson misses practice

November, 20, 2013
Cleveland Browns inside linebacker Craig Robertson walked through the locker room with a brace on his right knee, but he did not practice Wednesday as the team prepared for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Robertson hurt his knee in the loss to Cincinnati. He tried to return, but couldn't.

He has started every game at inside linebacker. Defensive coordinator Ray Horton has said that Robertson's abilities in coverage and against the run allow the Browns to do different things.

Robertson ranks third on the Browns with 70 tackles. With him out, Tank Carder moves into the lineup alongside D'Qwell Jackson. Carder has one start in two seasons with the Browns.

Coach Rob Chudzinski said the defense will "generally" be able to do the same things with Carder.

The Browns also announced that Armanti Edwards was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury. Edwards had signed with the Browns on Oct. 29 and had shared time with Davone Bess returning punts.

Upon Further Review: Browns week 11

November, 18, 2013
A review of four hot issues from the Cleveland Browns' 41-20 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals:

Injury report: Inside linebacker Craig Robertson had an MRI on an injured knee today. Robertson hurt the knee in the first half, and though he tried to return he could not stay in the game. He has started aside D'Qwell Jackson all season. Tank Carder replaced Robertson against the Bengals.

Play count: It might mean nothing because the Browns fell behind in the second quarter and had to throw a lot (Jason Campbell threw 56 passes). But Chris Ogbonnaya was on the field for 46 plays and Willis McGahee was on the field for just 13. Ogonnaya also was the Browns' leading rusher in yards and attempts. The Browns won’t give up on McGahee, but they might be moving more toward Ogbonnaya.

Boggles the mind: In the second quarter the Bengals had the ball for 3:42. The Browns had it for 11:18. Cincinnati scored 31 points, the Browns 0. That's what happens when a punt is blocked, another tipped, and the offense commits two turnovers. Those four plays were the difference between a close game and a 21-point loss.

To the points: Every point scored in the game went to the North end zone, away from the Ohio River. Why that was the case remains a mystery. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski gestured palms up when asked, as if to say he didn’t know. The wind was from the South, Chudzinski said, but it wasn’t significant enough to affect the game to the point that all the scoring would have been in one direction. To Chudzinski it was just one of those quirks of the game.