Browns start rebuilding process under Shurmur, release six veterans

I started laughing when I wrote that title.

Start rebuilding process? Haven’t the Browns been rebuilding since 1999? Hahahaha…ahhhhh, their fans deserve better.

The Browns’ latest rebuilding project has started under new head coach Pat Shurmur, who on Wednesday night released veterans Shaun Rogers, Kenyon Coleman, John St. Clair, Robert Royal, David Bowens and Eric Barton. Most of those players were considered “Eric Mangini guys,” so it’s not surprising to see that they were let go.

By parting with those six players, the Browns will save roughly $16 million next year. The biggest name is obviously Rogers, who struggled with injuries last year and played in only a third of the team’s snaps. He was due a $5.5 million salary as well as a $500K roster bonus so even though he’s versatile enough to play in a 4-3 (which the Browns will switch to under Shurmur), he wasn’t worth the coin in the end. He turns 32 in March and it’s clear that the Browns want to get younger on defense, so parting with him makes sense on paper.

Under former defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, the Browns finished 22nd in total defense last year, 18th against the pass and 27th against the run. Considering they were on the field a lot thanks to a horrendous offense, those numbers could have been a lot worse. But at the end of the day, the Browns are changing schemes and weren’t going to keep players that Mangini had brought in to fit his defense.

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Chad Pennington has been solid for young Dolphins

Chad PenningtonThe knock on Chad Pennington his entire career is that he has a noodle-arm and can’t complete passes over 15 yards. But in the Dolphins impressive 25-16 win over the Bills on Sunday, Pennington proved that there is something attached to his right shoulder.

Pennington completed 22 of 30 passes for 314 yards and a touchdown against an underrated Buffalo defense and his 46-yard pass to Ted Ginn on the first play of the game set up a Anthony Fasano touchdown to put Miami up 7-0.

I was definitely skeptical of the Pennington signing in the offseason because I felt the Dolphins weren’t giving their young signal callers a chance to compete. But Pennington has been great for a young Miami squad and at 3-4 they’re certainly in the playoff hunt in the AFC, albeit a long shot.

The Bills really blew an opportunity to stay ahead of the Patriots in the AFC East. Trailing 17-16 at the start of the fourth quarter, Trent Edwards was intercepted, which Miami eventually turned into a field goal. On their next possession, Edwards fumbled and although Miami didn’t turn the turnover into points, they pinned the Bills at their own three-yard line and then sacked Edwards for a safety. Then down 25-16 with less than four minutes to play, Robert Royal fumbled, which allowed the Dolphins to run out the clock.

This was a disappointing step back for a Bills team that was building momentum after beating the Chargers last week.

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