Behind the O-Line: Browns’ changes at OC, tackle aiding Mayfield’s play

By Nick Shook
Around The NFL writer
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Hue Jackson’s firing has been a turning point of sorts for a Cleveland Browns team that, at 2-5-1, seemed destined for another forgettable finish and top five position in the upcoming draft.

The Browns‘ offense was stuck in first gear at best in the final days of the Jackson era, failing to get much of anything going in the passing game. It was an alarming shift after a hot start for rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield. Cleveland braced for more disappointment as the seemingly eternally gray skies in the region set in for a long winter.

But then came a ray of sunshine in the most unexpected form of running backs coach Freddie Kitchens, an NFL veteran who was promoted to offensive coordinator for the first time in his career.

Since Kitchens’ promotion, the Browns‘ offense has taken on a new look, answering prolonged calls for more involvement of running backs in the passing game and injecting life into a unit that was left on life support not too long ago. His approach has been simple: Shorten the passing game and keep defenses honest. Continue reading

EP 18 – Thanksgiving! Favorite dishes, holiday football and the month ahead

Sean Barie and Nick Shook recap the thrilling Rams-Chiefs game, discuss a few NFL teams who are on hot streaks and where they might land come January. Sean breaks down his new relationship with a significant other (who’s a Browns fan!), McDev returns to stick a fork in the Eagles along with his picks, Story Time includes Hassan Whiteside’s journey with his assault rifle, the two update the College Football Playoff situation, Nick analyzes JR Smith’s excommunication from the Cavs (and how we got here)and Sean and Nick share what they’re thankful for. Rate and subscribe on iTunes and Soundcloud!

EP 17 – The Bell won’t toll, and does anyone have a chance against Alabama?

Sean Barie and Nick Shook recap the fallout from Le’Veon Bell not signing his franchise tag before the deadline, where he’s headed from here, the latest in the NFL and the newest College Football Playoff rankings. Sean introduces a new segment (with a shot at a former Browns coach) for you mixologists, McDev returns after watching his Birds choke on Sunday night with a fresh batch of picks in McDev’s Deals and Nick sings about a lobster stolen from, yes, Red Lobster. Everyone’s favorite Yinzer, Steely Phil, also returns for some enlightening banter. Rate and subscribe on iTunes and Soundcloud!

EP 16 – Election night in America: Would you vote for James Conner for MVP?

Sean Barie and Nick Shook recap the thriller in New Orleans between the Rams and Saints, the disappointment that was Patriots-Packers and Alabama’s dominance of LSU. The two make some college football playoff projections, Sean delves into hockey, McDev returns from his weeklong sabbatical with a fresh batch of picks in McDev’s Deals and Nick rants against the Lakers’ lack of patience. Story time includes a #FloridaMan wearing Crocs diving into — yes — a crocodile pit. Rate and subscribe on iTunes and Soundcloud!