AFC North division matchups will highlight the Cleveland Browns schedule in their 62nd season in the National Football League. The league announced its 2014 slate on Wednesday.
CLEVELAND BROWNS 2014 REGULAR-SEASON SCHEDULE:
DATE OPPONENT - SITE - NETWORK - ET
Sun., Sept. 7 at Pittsburgh Steelers - Heinz Field - CBS - 1 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 14 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - FIRSTENERGY STADIUM - FOX - 1 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 21 BALTIMORE RAVENS - FIRSTENERGY STADIUM - CBS - 1 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 28 BYE WEEK
Sun., Oct. 5 at Tennessee Titans - LP Field - CBS - 1 p.m.*
Sun., Oct. 12 PITTSBURGH STEELERS - FIRSTENERGY STADIUM - CBS - 1 p.m.*
Sun., Oct. 19 at Jacksonville Jaguars - EverBank Field - CBS - 1 p.m.*
Sun., Oct. 26 OAKLAND RAIDERS - FIRSTENERGY STADIUM - CBS - 4:25 p.m.*
Sun., Nov. 2 TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS - FIRSTENERGY STADIUM - FOX - 1 p.m.*
Thurs., Nov. 6 at Cincinnati Bengals - Paul Brown Stadium - NFLN - 8:25 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 16 HOUSTON TEXANS - FIRSTENERGY STADIUM - CBS - 1 p.m.*
Sun., Nov. 23 at Atlanta Falcons - Georgia Dome - CBS - 1 p.m.*
Sun., Nov. 30 at Buffalo Bills - Ralph Wilson Stadium - CBS - 1 p.m.*
Sun., Dec. 7 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS - FIRSTENERGY STADIUM - CBS - 1 p.m.*
Sun., Dec. 14 CINCINNATI BENGALS - FIRSTENERGY STADIUM - CBS - 1 p.m.*
Sun., Dec. 21 at Carolina Panthers - Bank of America Stadium - CBS - 1 p.m.*
Sun., Dec. 28 at Baltimore Ravens - M&T Bank Stadium - CBS - 1 p.m.*
*Subject to NFL flexible scheduling, game times are subject to change
Quotes from Head Coach Mike Pettine on the 2014 Browns schedule:
“This is always an exciting day in the NFL. I think it really drives home that the season is literally just around the corner. The next milestone we’ll hit is obviously the draft.
“Browns at Steelers in Week 1, in your first game as an NFL head coach? It doesn’t get any better than that. I love this division.
“Looking at the schedule, we’ve said we want to be the toughest team on the field. We’ll get a good taste of our division early on, with three of our first five against the AFC North, which has been for quite some time one of the NFL’s best divisions. We’re building our team to compete in the division, so hopefully we can get off to a good start.
“I look forward to returning to Buffalo in late November. That late-season stretch also jumped out at me a little bit. The NFL’s about overcoming adversity, and we face a big challenge with four of our final six on the road.
“I can’t wait to put our team out in front of the Dawg Pound Sept. 14.”
For just the second time since the club’s return in 1999, the Browns will open on the road when they travel to Pittsburgh on Sunday, Sept. 7. Cleveland will face the Bengals in Cincinnati in prime-time action on Thursday, Nov. 6. The Browns will close the regular season at Baltimore on Sunday, Dec. 28.
The Browns open the home portion of their schedule when they host New Orleans (Sunday, Sept. 14) and Baltimore (Sunday, Sept. 21) for back-to-back contests at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Although Cleveland’s bye week is Week 4, its earliest since 2005, three out of four teams that had the Week 4 bye in 2013 made the postseason.
For the third consecutive year, Cleveland will close out the regular season with two road games as it faces Carolina at Bank of America Stadium (Sunday, Dec. 21) and Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium (Sunday, Dec. 28).
The last time the Browns opened and closed the regular season on the road was in 1995. In addition, the Browns will play four of their last six games on the road.
All games will air on the PNC Bank Cleveland Browns Radio Network, including the team’s three flagship stations 92.3 The Fan, ESPN 850 WKNR and 98.5 WNCX.
Cleveland Browns 2014 season tickets are now available. Fans can purchase season tickets by calling (440) 824-3434, toll free at (888) 891-1999 or online at www.ClevelandBrowns.com. The Cleveland Browns ticket office is located on the south side of FirstEnergy Stadium, and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
For the first time, flexible scheduling may be applied in Weeks 5-10. During that period, flexible scheduling can be used in no more than two weeks by shifting a Sunday afternoon game into primetime and moving the Sunday night game to an afternoon start time.
Also, for the first time, a select number of games are being “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences.
“Flexible scheduling” will be used in Weeks 11-17 as it has been in recent years. In Weeks 11-16, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights. A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to Dec. 28. The NFL schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17, but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into primetime.
NOTES ON THE BROWNS’ 2014 SCHEDULE
at Pittsburgh | Sunday, Sept. 7 | 1 p.m. | CBS and vs. Pittsburgh | Sunday, Oct. 12 | 1 p.m. | CBS
· This will mark the sixth meeting between the clubs in a season-opener and first since 2007. Pittsburgh owns a 3-2 record against Cleveland in season-openers.
· The Browns are 27-34 in season openers, but have dropped their last nine.
· This will mark the second time since the club’s return in 1999 that the Browns will open the season on the road.
· Pittsburgh leads the series 65-57, but the Browns own a 36-25 advantage in Cleveland.
· Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is a native of London, Ohio, and played football at Ohio State before being drafted by the Browns in 1959.
· WR Josh Gordon tied a Browns record with 14 receptions against Pittsburgh on Nov. 24, 2013. Gordon recorded a then-franchise record 237 receiving yards and added a touchdown.
· QB Brian Hoyer dressed for two games with the Steelers in 2012, but did not play.
· Pittsburgh QB Bruce Gradkowski (2008), RB Miguel Maysonet (2013) and K Shaun Suisham (2010) spent time in the Browns organization.
vs. New Orleans | Sunday, Sept. 14 | 1 p.m. | FOX
· Cleveland holds a 12-4 advantage all-time against New Orleans, including a 4-2 record at home. This will mark the Saints’ first game in Cleveland since Sept. 10, 2006.
· Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was the Browns’ defensive coordinator from 2009-10.
· New Orleans TE Benjamin Watson (2010-12) and DB Trevin Wade (2012) are former Browns. Watson led Cleveland in receptions (68) and receiving yards (763) in 2010. Wade was a seventh-round pick in 2012.
vs. Baltimore | Sunday, Sept. 21 | 1 p.m. | CBS and at Baltimore | Sunday, Dec. 28 | 1 p.m. | CBS
· Cleveland captured a 24-18 victory over the Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on Nov. 3, 2013, snapping Baltimore’s 11-game winning streak. Baltimore leads the series 22-8.
· Head Coach Mike Pettine began his NFL coaching career in Baltimore and spent seven years (2002-08) with the Ravens. He spent his final four seasons (2005-08) coaching the outside linebackers after working as a defensive assistant in 2004 and serving two years (2002-03) as a coaching assistant/quality-control coach.
· Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome was selected by the Browns with the 23rd overall pick of the 1978 NFL Draft and was a Hall of Fame inductee in 1999 after playing with the team from 1978-90. After his playing career, Newsome got his start in the front office with the Browns’ pro personnel department from 1991-95.
· LB Paul Kruger was drafted by Baltimore in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He played four seasons with the Ravens before joining the Browns as an unrestricted free agent in 2013. In 2012, he led the Ravens with nine sacks during the regular season and 4.5 sacks during the postseason, including two in Super Bowl XLVII.
· K Billy Cundiff appeared in 38 regular-season games with the Ravens from 2009-11. He earned Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro status after making 26 of 29 field goals and all 39 extra points in 2010.
· DL Ishmaa’ily Kitchen was an undrafted free-agent signed by the Ravens in 2012.
· On his first NFL play, LB Barkevious Mingo recorded a 9-yard sack of Joe Flacco at Baltimore on Sept. 15, 2013.
· Offensive line coach Andy Moeller (2008-13), running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery (2008-13) and strength and conditioning coach Paul Ricci (1999-2007) have all coached for the Ravens.
· Defensive line coach Anthony Weaver was a second-round pick by Baltimore in 2002 and spent four years (2002-05) with the Ravens.
· Baltimore associate head coach/special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg coached the Browns’ special teams from 2001-06.
· Ravens defensive line coach Clarence Brooks served in the same capacity with the Browns in 1999.
· Ravens assistant secondary coach Chris Hewitt served as an intern with the Browns in 2001 through the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship Program.
· Ravens senior personnel assistant George Kokinis began his NFL career working in the Browns scouting department (1991-95) after serving an internship with the team’s operations department. He also served as general manager for part of the 2009 season.
at Tennessee | Sunday, Oct. 5 | 1 p.m. | CBS
· Cleveland owns a 33-28 advantage against Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers franchise, including an 18-13 record on the road. The Browns’ last game in Tennessee was on Dec. 7, 2008.
· Tennessee defensive coordinator Ray Horton was the Browns’ defensive coordinator in 2013.
· In addition to Horton, Titans defensive backs coach Louie Cioffi (2013), assistant defensive line coach Nick Eason (2004-06 as a player, 2013 as a coaching intern), defensive quality control coach Cannon Matthews (2013), offensive assistant Luke Steckel (2009-12) and assistant offensive line coach Mike Sullivan (2001-04, 2007-08 and 2013) all spent time with the Browns organization.
· LB Kamerion Wimbley was a first-round pick by Cleveland in 2006. He played four seasons (2006-09) with the Browns. In 2006, he set a franchise rookie record with 11 sacks.
· Quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains spent eight years (2006-13) with the Titans. He served as the offensive coordinator in 2013 and for the final five games in 2012.
at Jacksonville | Sunday, Oct. 19 | 1 p.m. | CBS
· This marks the Browns’ sixth game against Jacksonville in the last seven years. During the span, Cleveland owns a 3-2 record. Overall, Jacksonville leads the series 10-5.
· WR Josh Gordon set a franchise record with 261 receiving yards on 10 receptions with two touchdowns against Jacksonville on Dec. 1, 2013. Gordon recorded a 95-yard touchdown catch, the longest play from scrimmage in the NFL in 2013.
· RB Chris Ogbonnaya recorded his only career 100-yard rushing game after he totaled 115 yards against Jacksonville on Nov. 20, 2011.
· LB Quentin Groves was a second-round pick by the Jaguars in 2008.
· Assistant secondary coach Bobby Babich is the son of Jaguars defensive coordinator Bob Babich.
vs. Oakland | Sunday, Oct. 26 | 4:25 p.m. | CBS
· The Browns have won eight of the last 11 games against the Raiders, including a 20-17 victory at Oakland when the teams last squared off (Dec. 2, 2012). Cleveland has won its last two home games against the Raiders, but Oakland leads the all-time series, 11-9.
· Raiders LB Kaluka Maiava (2009-12) and DB Usama Young (2011-12) are former Browns. Maiava was a fourth-round pick and Young tied for the team lead in interceptions (three) in 2012.
· DL Desmond Bryant (2009-12) and LB Quentin Groves (2010-11) are former Raiders.
vs. Tampa Bay | Sunday, Nov. 2 | 1 p.m. | FOX
· In eight overall games against the Buccaneers, the Browns won the first five, but have dropped the last three. Cleveland holds a 2-1 advantage at home against Tampa Bay.
· Buccaneers OL Shawn Lauvao was originally a third-round pick by Cleveland. He spent four seasons (2010-13) with the Browns and appeared in 53 games with 44 starts before signing with the Buccaneers as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
· Tampa Bay OL Oniel Cousins (2011-13) and RB Bobby Rainey (2013) also played for Cleveland.
· Tampa Bay defensive line coach Joe Cullen (2013), tight ends coach Jon Embree (2013) and offensive line coach George Warhop (2009-13) were all on the Browns’ coaching staff last year.
· Browns tight ends coach Brian Angelichio (2012-13), secondary coach Jeff Hafley (2012-13) and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan (2004-05) were all on the Buccaneers’ coaching staff.
· LS Christian Yount appeared in seven games with Tampa Bay as a rookie in 2011 before joining the Browns.
at Cincinnati | Thursday, Nov. 6 | 8:25 p.m. | NFL Network and vs. Cincinnati | Sunday, Dec. 14 | 1 p.m. | CBS
· Cleveland is 4-6 in Thursday night games, including a 37-24 victory over Buffalo last year at FirstEnergy Stadium on Oct. 3. The Browns are 21-29 in prime-time games.
· The Browns and Bengals have met twice (1983 and 1986) in Thursday night action with the series even at 1-1.
· The Browns and Bengals have split the season series each of the past two seasons, with the home team emerging victorious each time. Cincinnati leads the all-time series, 43-38, but the Browns own a 24-16 mark in Cleveland.
· Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown was the Browns’ first head coach and general manager. He coached the Browns from 1946-62. Brown helped Cleveland capture four AAFC championships (1946-49) and three NFL titles (1950, 1954-55). He registered a 111-44-5 record in the NFL with the Browns. He later founded the Cincinnati Bengals and became their first head coach and general manager. Brown coached the Bengals from 1968-75 and recorded a 55-56-1 record.
· DB Joe Haden recorded a career-high two interceptions, including his first touchdown on a 29-yard return at Cincinnati on Nov. 13, 2013.
· WR Andrew Hawkins was acquired by Cleveland as a restricted free agent in 2014 after three seasons with the Bengals. Hawkins appeared in 35 games with Cincinnati, totaling 86 receptions for 995 yards with four touchdowns.
· FB Chris Pressley appeared in 33 games with 17 starts for the Bengals from 2010-13.
· OL Reid Fragel was a seventh-round pick by the Bengals in 2013 and spent the first eight weeks of the season on the Bengals’ practice squad before being signed to the Browns’ active roster.
· Bengals QB Jason Campbell (2013), QB Josh Johnson (2012) and RB Cedric Peerman (2009) all spent time with the Browns.
vs. Houston | Sunday, Nov. 16 | 1 p.m. | CBS
· The Browns own a 2-1 advantage at home against the Texans. This will mark Houston’s first game in Cleveland since Nov. 23, 2008. The Texans lead the series, 4-3.
· RB Ben Tate was selected by Houston in the second round of the 2010 draft. He spent four years (2010-13) with the Texans, where he ranked third on the franchise’s all-time rushing list with 1,992 yards in 40 games. Tate led the Texans last year with 771 rushing yards and signed with the Browns as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
· Houston defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel was the Browns’ head coach for four seasons (2005-08). In 2007, the Browns won a franchise-record seven consecutive home games en route to a 10-6 record.
· Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan spent four seasons (2006-09) with the Texans, the final two as offensive coordinator. In 2009, the Texans led the NFL in passing yards (4,654) and ranked fourth in total offense (6,129), both of which set franchise records.
· Offensive quality control coach Richard Hightower (2006-08), assistant strength and conditioning coach Derik Keyes (2012) and wide receivers coach Mike McDaniel (2006-08) coached with the Texans.
· Houston RB Dennis Johnson and LB Paul Hazel were on the Browns in 2013. Johnson was signed off Cleveland’s practice squad on Oct. 28.
at Atlanta | Sunday, Nov. 23 | 1 p.m. | CBS
· The Browns are 10-3 against the Falcons, including a 5-1 mark in Atlanta. This will mark the Browns’ first game in Atlanta since a 17-13 victory on Nov. 12, 2006.
· Falcons assistant head coach/wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie was on the Browns’ coaching staff from 2001-06. He served as interim head coach for the final five games in 2004. His son Brian was Cleveland’s second-round pick in 2009.
at Buffalo | Sunday, Nov. 30 | 1 p.m. | CBS
· The Browns lead the series, 11-7, with a 5-3 mark in Buffalo. This will mark the Browns’ seventh game against the Bills in the last eight years. During that span, Cleveland is 3-3, including a 37-24 victory on Oct. 3, 2013.
· Head Coach Mike Pettine spent the 2013 season as Buffalo’s defensive coordinator. Pettine implemented an aggressive defense that set a franchise record with 57 sacks, second-most in the NFL in 2013 after Buffalo tied for 18th in the league with 36 in 2012.
· In addition to Pettine, Browns linebackers coach Chuck Driesbach, assistant linebackers coach Brian Fleury, defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil and defensive line coach Anthony Weaver were all on the Bills’ coaching staff in 2013.
· WR Travis Benjamin set a franchise record with 179 punt-return yards, including a 79-yard touchdown, against Buffalo on Oct. 3, 2013.
· Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was a Browns scout from 1993-95.
vs. Indianapolis | Sunday, Dec. 7 | 1 p.m. | CBS
· The Browns lead the all-time series 15-13, but the Colts have won the last four meetings in Cleveland. The Browns’ last home victory against Indianapolis was a 23-17 decision on Sept. 19, 1988.
· Colts head coach Chuck Pagano’s first job in the NFL was with the Browns. He served as Cleveland’s secondary coach from 2001-04.
· Colts special assistant to the head coach Rob Chudzinski has had three stints with the Browns. He has served as head coach (2013), offensive coordinator (2007-08) and tight ends coach/interim offensive coordinator (2004).
· Indianapolis RB Trent Richardson was selected by the Browns with the third overall pick in 2012. He set a Browns rookie record with 950 rushing yards, while scoring 12 total touchdowns. He was traded to the Colts for Indianapolis’ 2014 first-round pick on Sept. 19, 2013.
· Colts LB D’Qwell Jackson was Cleveland’s second-round pick by the Browns in 2006. He appeared in 97 games with 96 starts over eight seasons (2006-13), compiling 891 career tackles, 11½ sacks, eight interceptions, seven fumble recoveries and five forced fumbles.
at Carolina | Sunday, Dec. 21 | 1 p.m. | CBS
· This will mark the fifth meeting between the Browns and Panthers and just the second in Carolina. Cleveland’s only other game in Carolina was on Oct. 8, 2006. The Panthers lead the all-time series 3-1.
· Carolina quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey played for the Browns from 2006-08, appearing in five games with three starts.
· TE Gary Barnidge was Carolina fifth-round pick in 2008. He spent five seasons (2008-12) with the Panthers before signing with the Browns as an unrestricted free agent in 2013.
NOTES ON THE BROWNS’ 2014 PRESEASON OPPONENTS
at Detroit | Aug. 9 | 7:30 p.m. | WKYC
· Head Coach Mike Pettine will make his unofficial Browns debut when Cleveland kicks off the 2014 preseason in Detroit.
· Cleveland has faced Detroit more than any other team in preseason play with 45 meetings, including a 24-6 victory last year at FirstEnergy Stadium on Aug. 15. The Lions hold a 24-20-1 edge in the all-time preseason series.
· WR Nate Burleson spent the past four years (2010-13) with Detroit. During that time, he recorded 194 receptions for 2,083 yards with 12 touchdowns.
· Detroit S Don Carey was drafted by Cleveland in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL Draft. FB Jed Collins (2008, 2010), T Corey Hilliard (2012), DT C.J. Mosley (2009) and T J.B. Shugarts (2013) each spent time with the Browns.
· Running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery spent the final season of his nine-year playing career with Detroit. He appeared in seven games for the Lions in 1985. He later served as the Lions’ running backs coach from 2006-07.
at Washington | Aug. 18 | 8 p.m. | ESPN
· This will mark the Browns’ first game on ESPN since 2009 (Nov. 16 vs. Baltimore) and first preseason contest on ESPN since 2008 (Aug. 18 at New York Giants).
· The two clubs haven’t met in preseason action since Aug. 24, 2001. The Redskins hold an 8-3 advantage in the all-time preseason series.
· Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was the Redskins’ offensive coordinator from 2010-13, helping the team capture the NFC East title in 2012.
· Wide receivers coach Mike McDaniel spent the past three seasons with the Redskins, first as an offensive assistant (2011-12) before serving last season as wide receivers coach.
· Offensive quality control coach Richard Hightower spent the past four seasons with the Redskins, first as assistant special teams coach (2010-11) and then as assistant defensive backs/assistant special teams coach (2012-13).
· Washington outside linebackers coach Brian Baker spent the 2013 season in the same role with the Browns.
· Redskins OL Shawn Lauvao was a third-round pick by the Browns in 2010. He appeared in 53 games with 44 starts before signing with Washington as an unrestricted free agent this past offseason.
· Washington QB Colt McCoy was a third-round selection by Cleveland in 2010. He appeared in 24 games with 21 starts, registering a 6-15 record as a starter. He was traded by the Browns in 2013.
vs. St. Louis | Aug. 23 | 8 p.m. | WKYC
· This will mark the 29th meeting between the clubs in preseason action. Cleveland opened the 2013 preseason with a 27-19 victory at FirstEnergy Stadium on Aug. 8. The Rams hold a 14-13-1 advantage in the all-time preseason series, but the Browns have won four of the last five meetings. The Browns and Rams were preseason opponents for 22 consecutive seasons spanning from 1953-74.
· The Rams actually played in Cleveland, where the franchise began, from 1937-45, opting not to compete with Paul Brown’s new AAFC team.
· Running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery began his coaching career with St. Louis, spending nine years with the team. He coached the Rams running backs from 1997-99 and 2003-05, while serving as tight ends coach from 2000-02.
· OL John Greco was drafted by St. Louis in the third round of the 2008 draft. He played three seasons (2008-10) with the Rams and appeared in 26 games with four starts before being traded to the Browns during training camp in 2011.
· FB Chris Ogbonnaya was drafted by St. Louis in the seventh round of the 2009 draft. He appeared in two games with the Rams in 2009.
· St. Louis offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is the son of former Browns Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer (1984-88). The elder Schottenheimer recorded a 44-27 record with the Browns and helped the team capture three AFC Central titles.
· Rams assistant offensive line coach Andy Dickerson spent two years with the Browns, first as defensive quality control coach in 2009 and as an offensive line assistant in 2010.
vs. Chicago | Aug. 28 | 8 p.m. | WKYC
· The contest will mark the 11th straight year that Cleveland and Chicago will face off during the preseason finale. During that span, the series is even at 5-5, but the Browns hold an 18-11 all-time edge in the preseason. Cleveland topped Chicago, 18-16, at Soldier Field to close out the 2013 preseason.
· Bears head coach Marc Trestman spent two seasons with the Browns, first as quarterbacks coach in 1988 and then as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach in 1989. Cleveland advanced to the postseason both of those years, including an appearance in the AFC Championship game in Trestman’s final season with the club.
· Chicago defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, an Ohio native, was the Browns’ defensive backs coach from 2005-07 and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2008. During Tucker’s tenure in Cleveland, the Browns ranked fifth in the league with 73 interceptions.
· Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor was an assistant special teams coach for the Bears from 2008-10. Over that three-year period, Chicago led the NFL in total return yards (6,570) and kickoff-return yards (5,415), and registered six total kick returns for touchdowns, which tied for second-most in the league during that span.