The 2012 Season
Record: 5-11

The Browns’ offense in 2011 was absolutely putrid, so the Browns hired former Vikings head coach Brad Childress to be the team’s new offensive coordinator. The previous year, the Browns did not have an OC, as head coach Pat Shurmer did all the play calling. With Childress in, Shurmer could focus on the team as a whole. In free agency the Browns made a huge, I mean absolutely huge signing, when they inked DE Frostee Rucker (I’m being facetious here folks). The Browns also signed another DE, Juqua Parker, and that’s it, yep, the Browns signed two players in the offseason. In the draft, Andrew Luck was the consensus #1 overall player, and was expected to be taken by the Colts. The Rams held the #2 pick and did not need a quarterback, which left the Browns and Redskins in a bidding war for Robert Griffin III. The Rams gave the ultimatum, whichever team gives them the best first offer will get RGIII. The Browns offered the #4 overall pick, and 2 future first round picks, however, the Redskins offered the #6 overall pick, tow future first round picks, and their second round pick. Needless to say, the Redskins made the trade with the Rams and drafted RGIII to be their QB of the future. With the Browns out of the RGIII sweepstakes, they focused their attention on Trent Richardson and Justin Blackmon.

On draft day, the Browns moved up from the 4th pick to the 3rd pick to draft running back Trent Richardson. Richardson was hailed as the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson. The Browns also held the 22nd pick in the draft, and surprised everyone by drafting 28-year old QB Brandon Weeden. NFL experts said that had Weeden been 22 or 23-years old he would have been a top-10 pick. Some other notable players drafted were Mitchell Schwartz (OT, 2nd round), John Hughes (DT, 3rd round), Travis Benjamin (WR, 4th round), and Billy Winn (DT, 6th round). The supplemental draft came along, and for the first time since 1985, the Browns selected a player in supplemental draft. They selected a troubled but talented receiver, Josh Gordon. The Browns used a second round pick on Gordon, meaning they would lose that pick in the next draft. The biggest news of the offseason came on August 2nd, when it was announced that team owner Randy Lerner had sold the majority interest of the Browns to Tennessee businessman and minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jimmy Haslam (Haslam was forced to sell his stake of the Steelers). Haslam purchased the Browns for $1 billion, and was given approval by the NFL on October 25th to take over as owner.

The season started on September 9th, at home against the Philadelphia Eagles. For the 8th straight year, the Browns would start the year off 0-1, as the Eagles would win in comeback fashion 17-16. Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardon both struggled mightily, but Richardson was able to deliver the hit of the year on Kurt Coleman, when he trucked over him so hard his helmet fell off, here’s the video: The good news for the Browns was that there was nowhere to go but up. Week 2 showed fans that the Browns had some big future potential, Brandon Weeden threw for 322 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Trent Richardson ran through multiple Bengals defenders as he totaled 145 yards and 2 touchdowns. However, the Browns did lose by a score of 34-27, but the future looked bright. The Browns would go on to lose their first 5 games, until a week 6 match up against the Bengals. Brandon Weeden threw for 2 touchdowns, including a 71-yard pass to Josh Gordon, as the Browns would be victorious by a score of 34-24. The win gave the Browns a record of 1-5. It’s hard to believe, but in week 7, Brandon Weeden actually outdueled Andrew Luck, but Luck got the last laugh, as the Colts would win by a score of 17-13. In week 8, Trent Richardson ran for 122 yards and the Browns’ only touchdown in a 7-6 win over the Chargers; the weather conditions took the passing game out of the equation and the Browns rode Richardson to victory. Coming out of the bye, the Browns made a trip to Jerry World (Dallas) to face off against the Cowboys. The Browns defense racked up 7 sacks on Tony Romo, but costly Buster Skrine pass interference penalties proved too much, as the Cowboys would come back and win in overtime by a score of 23-20. The loss gave the Browns a 2-8 record.

In a week 12 match up against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Browns were able to come away victorious thanks to forcing 8 Steeler turnovers, including 5 fumbles, as the Browns would win by a score of 20-14. After the game, team president Mike Holmgren stepped down from his position. In week 13, the Browns traveled to Oakland to face off against the Raiders. The Browns had a day offensively, totaling 475 yards, as Brandon Weeden threw for a career high 364 yards, and Josh Gordon hauled in 6 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown in a 20-17 win. In week 14, the Kansas City Chiefs opened the game with a Jamaal Charles 80-yard touchdown run, however, that would be all the Chiefs would muster in a 30-7 loss to the Browns. Trent Richardson accounted for 2 touchdowns, as the Browns improved their record to 5-8 on the season. Riding a 3-game win streak, the Browns would face off against the Kirk Cousins led Washington Redskins. The Browns went into halftime with a 14-10 lead, thanks to two Trent Richardson touchdowns, but the second half was a different story. The Redskins scored 28 points in the second half and pulled away from the Browns, winning by a score of 38-21. The loss snapped the Browns’ 3-game win streak and gave them a record of 5-9. In a 34-12 loss to the Broncos in week 16, both Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy were injured, forcing 3rd-string QB Thad Lewis in the starting role for the Browns last game of the season against the Steelers. With Weeden and Richardson both out with injuries, the Browns never really stood a chance, and lost the season finale by a score of 24-10, giving them another disappointing season at 5-11. After the season, both Tom Heckert and Pat Shurmer were fired, as the Browns would again have to start all over next year.

Pro Bowl: Josh Cribbs, Phil Dawson, Joe Thomas
All-Pro: None

Offensive Stats
Total Points: 302 (24th)
Total Yards: 5,028 (25th)

Passing Yards: Brandon Weeden – 3,385
Passing TD: Brandon Weeden – 14
Passing Int: Brandon Weeden – 17
QB Rating: Brandon Weeden – 72.6

Rush Att: Trent Richardson – 267
Rush Yards: Trent Richardson – 950
Rush TD: Trent Richardson – 11

Rec: Greg Little – 53
Rec Yards: Josh Gordon – 805
Rec TD: Josh Gordon – 5

Defensive Stats
Total Points allowed: 368 (19th)
Total Yards allowed: 5,821 (23rd)

Tackles: D’Qwell Jackson – 118
Sacks: Jabaal Sheard – 7.0
Int: Sheldon Browns, Usama Young, Joe Haden – 3

— Chris Sladoje (@CST_Doje)

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Cleveland Browns: Season in Review
















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