It’s safe to say the Browns are among the more surprising teams in the NFL — after a stunning 31-10 victory over the Steelers on Sunday, Cleveland sits at 3-2, good for third place in a competitive AFC North. According to Football Outsiders’ advanced metrics, the offense is the key to success for the Browns so far, as it ranks second in DVOA; the team’s defense lacks far behind, placing 29th in DVOA. Let’s take a look at a few notes out of Cleveland:
- After Jason Cole of Bleacher Report stated in a video that quarterback Brian Hoyer wouldn’t be interested in an extension while Johnny Manziel was still on the roster, Hoyer decided to watch the video himself, and spoke out on the situation. “It couldn’t be further from the truth,” Hoyer told reporters, including Tony Grossi of ESPN.com. “There’s no accurate information in it. I’ve never talked to [Cole] in my life. From here on out, my main focus is Jacksonville. If you guys want to talk about that, you can talk to the guys upstairs or my agent…”
- For his part, Cole claims that he confirmed the report with three members of the Browns organization (Twitter link via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer).
- Meanwhile, Linta says he hasn’t discussed a new pact between Hoyer and the Browns since the spring, and he understands that management probably wants to see Hoyer continue to produce before offering him a fresh contract. “The ball is in their court,” Linta told Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. “We’re willing to wait until the end of the year to see how it plays out.” ESPN’s Ed Werder reported this afternoon that the club has “zero interest” in entering negotiations with Hoyer’s representatives.
- The Browns, who had Manziel rated higher on their draft board, never intended to take Blake Bortles with the No. 4 overall pick, and was shocked when the Jaguars selected the Central Florida product with the third pick. “I think it surprised a lot of people that he went there,” head coach Mike Pettine told Cabot. “I think a lot of the league was surprised when you just kind of looked at the mocks and what was going on, and assessing who was going to take one. I thought they covered their tracks well. We knew that they liked him, thinking maybe, he could’ve potentially gone to them later in the draft, but he was a kid that was high on our board.”