Great Article from Terry Pluto
ROCHESTER, N.Y -- Scribbles in my Cleveland Browns notebook as they prepare to practice Monday with the Buffalo Bills:
1. The thumb injury to Connor Shaw that requires surgery is a reminder that quarterbacks get hurt. Or at least, Browns quarterbacks get hurt. Last season, Johnny Manziel was a starter for six quarters before his season ended with a hamstring injury. Brian Hoyer reclaimed his starting job, then injured his shoulder. That led to Shaw starting the final game of the season.
2. In 2013, Hoyer was given a chance to start when Brandon Weeden was injured. Then Hoyer suffered a season ending knee injury in his third game. Weeden came back... I'll just stop.
3. But in 2012, Weeden was the starter for most of the year, then was hurt in Game 15. Colt McCoy took over, and he was injured in that game. That led to Thad Lewis starting the final game of the season at Pittsburgh. Lewis is now the third quarterback with Shaw possibly out for the season.
4. Which brings us to Terrelle Pryor. The former Ohio State and Oakland Raiders quarterback has returned to action after missing 12 days with a hamstring injury. The goal is for him to make the Browns as a wide receiver and a general athlete who can gain yards when he has the ball in his hands. But Shaw's injury is a reminder that Pryor would be valuable as an extra quarterback. He did start nine NFL games with Oakland in 2013. He gives the Browns depth at quarterback.
5. The last time Lewis played in an NFL game was in 2013, when he started five times for Buffalo. Lewis was 2-3 as a starter with four touchdown passes and three interceptions, competing 59 percent of his passes. I believe he is a decent backup.
Shaw's injury is a reminder that Pryor would be valuable as an extra quarterback.
6. This is a huge week for Pryor. If he can look good in the practices against Buffalo -- along with Thursday preseason game against the Bills -- he can make a huge case to be on the roster. This team needs more athletic playmakers, and the quarterback experience also a major plus.
7. Buffalo is having a real quarterback competition. Coach Rex Ryan has said Tyrod Taylor will start against the Browns on Thursday. He played at Virginia Tech from 2007-10. He was a backup in Baltimore from 2011-14, throwing only 35 regular season passes in four years behind Joe Flacco. He is battling Matt Cassel and E.J. Manuel for the job.
8. Last year, the Bills were 9-7 with journeyman Kyle Orton as the primary starter. He took over for Manuel. Orton has retired.
9. I'm curious to see if Josh McCown looks good this week because Buffalo has a rugged defense. McCown has been impressive, and Manziel has been improving. Buffalo is a good test for both.
10. I wonder if veteran tight end Rob Housler will make the team. He has been underwhelming in practice. He signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract. That includes his $750,000 signing bonus -- so that's the only guaranteed money. Gary Barnidge has emerged as the early starter at tight end. The coaches like veteran Jim Dray for his blocking. Undrafted rookie E.J. Bibbs has impressed. Bibbs played at Iowa State last season, catching 45 passes -- eight for touchdowns.
11. It's also a big week for the Browns running backs. The job is wide open for Isaiah Crowell or Terrance West. At some point, Duke Johnson (hamstring) will be back -- but someone can establish himself as a starter right now. These practices and the games with the Bills will help the coaches sort out the running backs.