Like fans, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco might need a program to figure out who is going to be on the field for the Browns Sunday afternoon at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The uniforms are still the same but the players wearing them are much different after the Browns essentially gutted the roster – especially on the defensive side of the ball – this offseason.
“I don’t recognize a lot of the guys over there to be honest with you,” Flacco said.
Flacco joked about knowing Joe Haden and that’s about it. While the Browns boast 8 new starters on defense head coach Hue Jackson hopes a few of those players personally introduce themselves to Flacco throughout the game.
“My plan is that I hope he gets to know some of the other guys here by Sunday, up close and personal possibly,” Jackson, who doesn’t think the lack of familiarity will help his team, said. “But I know Joe. Joe is scouring every bit of tape that we have had to find any opportunity to do whatever he can do to help his football team. We are young. I think we all know that. At the same time, we feel good about the guys that are back there playing.”
It might not matter.
There is no team more that Flacco enjoys playing against more than the Browns. He’s 13-2 against them.
“It is always good coming to Cleveland,” Flacco said.
Jackson is counting on those unknown defenders to make the trip less enjoyable to look forward to in the future.
Legends Club – The Browns will add 2 members to the team’s ‘Legends Club’ during alumni weekend which kicks off Friday with their annual golf outing. Defensive back Thom Darden and linebacker as well as current judge Dick Ambrose comprise the class of 2016.
Darden was selected No. 18 overall in the 1972 NFL Draft by the Browns and played in 128 games, collecting a franchise-record 45 interceptions for 820 yards and 2 touchdowns while registering 9 fumble recoveries. During his career, he also returned 45 punts for 285 yards and helped Cleveland reach the postseason in 1972. He earned his first Pro Bowl selection in 1978 after posting a career-high 10 interceptions, tied for the most by a Browns player in a season.
Ambrose was selected in the 12th round (290th overall) of the 1975 NFL Draft. He appeared in 116 games at linebacker for the Browns, recording 5 interceptions and 9 fumble recoveries. Ambrose, whose hard-hitting style of play earned him the nickname “Bam Bam,” led the team in tackles for 5 consecutive seasons. He was the Browns’ co-captain in 1982 and the NFL Players Association’s union representative from 1983-84 and helped propel the Browns to the postseason in 1980 and 1982. A member of the Cleveland Bar Association and the Ohio State Bar Association, Ambrose has served as a judge of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas since 2004.
Sunday morning the Browns will also unveil the statue of Jim Brown prior to gates opening for the home opener.
Quote of the Day – “My brother has never eaten a booger. I went back and looked at the whole [tape]. I actually saw it live and then put it into review, threw the red flag, put it into review, went back and watched some slow-motion. It definitely was a nose rub, nothing came out and a fingernail chew. I think it is important that we set the record straight on that.” Ravens coach John Harbaugh on his brother, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, who was caught on camera going nose to mouth during a game over the weekend.
Injury Report – DNP: LT Joe Thomas (not injury related); LIMITED: CB Marcus Burley (groin), S Derrick Kindred (ankle); FULL: WR Terrelle Pryor (shoulder), LG John Greco (back)