April 14, 2024

The 2013 Season
Record: 4-12

After firing Pat Shurmer, the Browns held a lengthy and thorough coaching search. Oregon head coach Chip Kelly emerged as the early favorite, and it seemed like a done deal. However, things fell apart, and Kelly ended up taking the Philadelphia Eagles coaching position. The Browns also interviewed former Arizona Cardinals  head coach Ken Whisenhunt, Syracuse University head coach Doug Marrone, Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien, Montreal Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman, and Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. The Browns finally made a decision, when they hired Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. The Browns then brought in offensive guru Norv Turner to be the offensive coordinator, and Ray Horton to be the defensive coordinator. Unlike the previous off-seasons, the Browns decided to spend big on free agents. The Browns spent big money to upgrade their pass rush, signing OLB’s Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves, along with DE Desmond Bryant. The 2013 draft was a thin one for the Browns as they ended up only selecting 5 players. In the first round, the Browns held the 6th pick. While many people expected the Browns to select CB Dee Milliner to pair with Joe Haden, the Browns once again decided to fortify their pass rush, selecting DE Barkevious Mingo. The Browns did not have a second round pick because they selected Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft, in the 3rd round, the Browns selected CB Leon McFadden, the Browns then traded their 4th and 5th round picks for future picks. The addition of Norv Turner to coach the offense was supposed to put Trent Richardson into the elite status of running backs, as Turner had previous worked with legends Emmitt Smith and LaDainain Tomlinson.

In week 1, the Browns held the Miami Dolphins to 20 rush yards, but still lost by a score of 23-10. Brandon Weeden threw 3 interceptions in the loss. It would be the 9th straight season that the Browns started off with a loss. Trent Richardson continued his early season struggles, rushing for only 58 yards in a 14-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in week 2. A few days after the loss, the Browns shocked the sports world by trading star running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for a first round pick. Fans were stunned, what were the Browns thinking? They had just traded their most explosive offensive weapon, were they tanking? So how did the team respond to the trade? Well, first off, they got Brandon Weeden out of the starter QB spot and inserted Brian Hoyer. Second, and most important, Josh Gordon returned from a two-game suspension. The Browns traveled to Minnesota to take on the Vikings. Brian Hoyer threw 3 touchdown passes to Jordan Cameron, including the game-winner with 51 seconds left, as the Browns would win by a score of 31-27. In his return, Josh Gordon totaled 10 catches for 146 yards. In week 4, Brian Hoyer and Jordan Cameron teamed up 91 yards and a touchdown in the Browns 17-6 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Week 5 brought a Thursday night matchup with the Bills. Early in the 1st quarter, Brian Hoyer scrambled for a first down, but when he was tackled, he landed awkwardly on his knee and was forced out of the game. Brandon Weeden took his place, but luckily the defense and special teams had his back. Travis Benjamin had a 79-yard punt return, and T.J. Ward had a 44-yard interception return, as the Browns won by a score of 37-24. The win pushed the Browns above .500, with a 3-2 record. There was bad news however, as Brian Hoyer, who was 3-0 in his starts, had torn his ACL and would be out for the season.

In week 6, against the Detroit Lions, Brandon Weeden threw the pass to end all passes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I_BIB14rPo. With the Browns down 24-17 in the 4th quarter, Brandon Weeden underhand flipped the ball 10-yards right into a Lions defenders hands. The Lions would win by a final of 31-17. Jason Campbell took the starting QB job in week 8, and threw for 293 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Kansas City Chiefs, but a late sack-and-fumble ended the Browns chances as they dropped the game by a score of 23-17. Jason Campbell continued his good play into week 9, where he threw for 262 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 24-18 win over the Baltimore Ravens, the win gave the Browns a 4-5 record heading into their bye week. Coming off the bye, the Browns headed to Cincinnati, and thanks to two Joe Haden interceptions had a 13-0 lead going into the 2nd quarter. However, the Browns imploded and by halftime trailed by a score of 31-13. They would go on to lose by a final of 41-20. In week 12, an injury to Jason Campbell forced Brandon Weeden back into action against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns would lose by a score 27-11, but Josh Gordon broke the Browns receiving record, hauling in 14 pass for 237 yards and a touchdown. In week 13, Josh Gordon became the first receiver in NFL history to have back-to-back 200-yard games; Gordon broke his own Browns record, by catching 10 pass for 261 yards and 2 touchdowns. His two week total of 498 yards is also an NFL record. However, Joe Haden allowed Jaguars receiver Cecil Shorts to collect the game winning touchdown, propelling the Jags to a 32-28 victory.

Josh Gordon took his show to New England in week 14, he didn’t have another 200-yard game, but he did have 7 receptions for 151 yards and a touchdown. Jason Campbell threw for 391 yards and 3 touchdowns in his return, as the Browns held a 26-14 lead with 1 minute left in the game. However, this in the Browns we’re talking about, and they somehow found a way to lose, as the Patriots were able to capitalize on an onside kick, giving them a 27-26 win. The loss dropped the Browns to 4-9 on the season. The would end the season losing their final 7 games to finish out the season with a 4-12 record. After one season coaching the team Rob Chudzinski was fired, along with both the coordinators, and both Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi were given the can. For the third straight season, the Browns would have to start from scratch again. There were some positives in this season, as the Browns sent 6 players to the Pro Bowl. Josh Gordon established himself as one of the best wide receivers in the league, leading the NFL in receiving yards with 1,646, breaking Braylon Edwards’s team record. Joe Haden also established himself as one of the top corners in the league, constantly shutting down the likes of A.J. Green, Calvin Johnson, and Antonio Brown.

**Did you enjoy the Season-in-Review series?  Tweet at @CST_Doje and let him know what you thought about it**

 

Pro Bowl: Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron, Joe Thomas, Alex Mack, Joe Haden, T.J. Ward
All-Pro: Josh Gordon, Joe Thomas

Offensive Stats
Total Points: 308 (27th)
Total Yards: 5,423 (18th)

Passing Yards: Jason Campbell – 2,015
Passing TD: Jason Campbell – 11
Passing Int: Brandon Weeden – 9
QB Rating: Brian Hoyer – 82.6

Rush Att: Willis McGahee – 138
Rush Yards: Willis McGahee – 377
Rush TD: Willis McGahee, Edwin Baker – 2

Rec: Josh Gordon – 87
Rec Yards: Josh Gordon – 1,646
Rec TD: Josh Gordon – 9

Defensive Stats
Total Points allowed: 406 (23rd)
Total Yards allowed: 5,319 (9th)

Tackles: D’Qwell Jackson – 141
Sacks: Jabaal Sheard – 5.5
Int: Tashaun Gibson – 5

— Chris Sladoje (@CST_Doje)

Photo via foxsports.com

Cleveland Browns: Season in Review

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2013

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