Cleveland Browns open season today
For the 13th time in the past 14 seasons, the Browns will open the regular season at Cleveland Browns Stadium when they host the Philadelphia Eagles on today, September 9 at 1:00 p.m. The game will air on FOX (WJW-TV 8) and on the Browns’ ﬂagship station, WMMS Radio (100.7 FM) as well as a network of afﬁliates throughout Ohio.
This will mark the ﬁrst time since 1969 that the Browns open the regular season against the Eagles. Philadelphia leads the all-time regular season series 31-15-1, but the Browns hold a 17-6-1 advantage in Cleveland. The Browns are 27-32 (.458) all-time in season openers, but have lost their last seven.
Today will mark the fourth time in the last ﬁve seasons that the Browns will open the season against an opponent from the NFC. Cleveland ﬁnished the 2012 preseason with a 2-2 record. Since 2004, the Browns have ﬁnished preseason play .500 or better in seven of the last nine years.
In Pat Shurmur’s ﬁrst year as Browns head coach, he helped develop a draft class in which all eight members saw action in the regular season, three of whom started all 16 games. It was the ﬁrst time that three rookies from the same team started all 16 contests since the 1983 San Diego Chargers. Under Shurmur’s guidance, the team committed just 19 turnovers in 2011, which tied for the fourth-fewest in the NFL and was the fourth-lowest total in franchise history.
Overall, the defense ﬁnished the season ranked 10th in the league in yards allowed, a 12-spot improvement from the previous year. It marked the ﬁrst time the Browns ﬁnished in the top-10 in total defense since 1994 when they ﬁnished seventh.
During the offseason, Brad Childress was hired to serve as offensive coordinator after most recently spending ﬁve seasons (2006-10) as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. Childress and Shurmur spent six seasons (1999-2005) coaching the offense together on the staff of the Philadelphia Eagles. Childress brings 33 years of coaching experience on both the collegiate and professional levels to the Browns.
In fact, the Browns have one of the most experienced coaching staffs in the NFL. Seven members of the staff previously served as a head coach, either at the professional or collegiate level, including each of the team’s three coordinators. This includes Childress, defense coordinator Dick Jauron and Senior Assistant - Defense Ray Rhodes, who each previously served as head coaches in the NFL.
The Browns enter 2012 with one of the youngest teams in the NFL as the roster is comprised of 15 rookies, one ﬁrst year player and 11 players in their second season. Of the 15 rookies, nine of them were selected by Cleveland during the 2012 NFL draft and one during the Supplemental Draft. Five rookies (RB Trent Richardson, QB Brandon Weeden, RT Mitchell Schwartz, DT John Hughes and SLB James-Michael Johnson) are slated as starters.