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Old 12-29-2012, 09:23 PM   #1
Hawaii 5-0
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Default Cleveland Browns will start 3rd string QB Thad Lewis

Cleveland Browns QBs Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy, RB Trent Richardson all ruled out with injuries; Thad Lewis to start at QB



Quarterback Thaddeus Lewis will make his first NFL start on Sunday for the Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Rick Osentoski, Associated Press)

By Mary Kay Cabot, The Plain Dealer
on December 28, 2012

BEREA, Ohio -- Browns quarterbacks Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy have been ruled out of Sunday's season finale in Pittsburgh with sprained right shoulders, and third-teamer Thad Lewis will make his first NFL start.

Running back Trent Richardson is also out because of a sprained left ankle. Richardson, who broke Jim Brown's team rookie rushing record (942 yards in 1957), finishes the season with 950 yards on the ground. Montario Hardesty, who is averaging a team-high 4.6 yards per rush, will make his first start of the season.

Lewis will be the 18th quarterback to start a game for the Browns since 1999, which ties the Dolphins for the league high in that span, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

"It's exciting," said Lewis, who was signed Monday off of the Browns' practice squad. "Once you get the official word that you're starting, it's a blessing for a childhood dream come true. It's an opportunity, and you have to go out and make the best of it."

Lewis will face the Steelers' No. 1 ranked defense, which is No. 2 against the run and No. 1 against the pass.

Last week, in a 13-10 loss to the Bengals, the Steelers sacked Andy Dalton six times and produced three takeaways -- two interceptions and a fumble recovery.

"Part of my childhood dream was to be a starter one day in the NFL," said Lewis, who was signed by the Rams as an undrafted rookie out of Duke in 2010. "Who it was against, I didn't have a visual of that. But it's a challenge, and if you don't like challenges, then you're in the wrong sport. It's a great challenge for this offense to go against the No. 1 defense and try to be successful."

The reps Lewis has received in practice this week were the first for him since training camp. He made the team out of camp, but was waived after five weeks and re-signed to the practice squad, where he practiced at different positions on the scout team.

"This week has been great," said Lewis, who was coached by Browns coach Pat Shurmur in St. Louis when Shurmur was the offensive coordinator. "I wouldn't call it thrown into the fire, I'd just say it's an opportunity to display what you can do. I've been here the whole 17 weeks, and it's been the same playbook through camp and I've had an opportunity to rep plays that I take mental reps on every week."

Shurmur has been impressed with Lewis' command of the offense during practice this week.

"He's done great," Shurmur said. "He's been preparing himself to play all year, even though he wasn't on the active roster. We anticipate, and what we expect is that he goes out and plays winning football."

Shurmur said he won't reduce the playbook for Lewis, who has been schooled in Shurmur's offense longer than Weeden and McCoy. If Lewis can't finish the game, newly signed Josh Johnson, a fifth-year pro, will replace him. Johnson, a fifth-round pick of the Bucs out of the University of San Diego, spent four seasons in Tampa Bay and one in San Francisco.

Lewis said he won't be overly concerned with Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who has knocked out three Browns with concussions the past two seasons: McCoy, Josh Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi.

"No, not at all," said Lewis. "You've got on pads. You've got on a helmet and shoulder pads and if a guy is going to hit you or if you get hit, that's what the pads [are] for, to protect you. You've got to be tough at the quarterback position, you've got to get up, shake it off and move on to the next play."

He will be aware, however, of Steelers Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu, who sat out the first meeting in November with an injury.

"He's not going to be the typical guy," said Lewis. "He's going to be the rule-breaker. You have a certain coverage. You think a guy should be there. Troy's supposed to be in two-man, he'll come down and take your [crossing routes]. You have to keep an eye on 43."

Hardesty, who has made only four career starts, gets the chance in Pittsburgh he's waited for all season. Brandon Jackson, who has been inactive most of the season, will be active for the first time since the opener.

"I still feel like there's a lot of stuff that I haven't shown yet in the NFL that I want to show," Hardesty said. "I'm just excited about playing more and getting an opportunity to show what I can do on the field."

Last week, the Steelers held the Bengals to 14 yards on 16 carries.

"I think now you're seeing the explosive Montario Hardesty," said running backs coach Gary Brown. "You're seeing the guy that can make people miss. He has the burst, he has all those things when he was coming out of Tennessee that we liked. So now it's his turn to put on a display as a starter, and I anticipate he's going to play well. I'm excited for him."

http://www.cleveland.com/browns/inde...andon_w_2.html
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cleveland Browns will start 3rd string QB Thad Lewis

How do we lose this game?
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cleveland Browns will start 3rd string QB Thad Lewis

Quote:
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How do we lose this game?
we don't. Vegas currently has us favored by 10 points, I think we cover the spread easily.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Cleveland Browns will start 3rd string QB Thad Lewis

Lets crush the clowns!
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Cleveland Browns will start 3rd string QB Thad Lewis

Richardson will be inactive too.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: Cleveland Browns will start 3rd string QB Thad Lewis

Easily I think.

The Browns are playing for pride against a team they hate. The Steelers, are just, well . . . . kinda' playing as of late....

And I will add my layman's ananlysis:

Our so called offense, that should be putting up 30 points a game easy is barely breaking into the twenties. The most notable feature of the offense dropped balls, interceptions, and fumbles in the closing minutes of the game. It does not get any worse than that. Couple that fact with our oddly rated number one D that also gives up most of it's points and falls apart in the fourth quarter and we get the perfect situation for the Browns and a loss. Yes, it is that bad for the Steelers right now.

If the Browns can win the turnover battle, which is not that hard, and can keep it close up until the 4th quarter they can win, and easily.

I am not sick of this team losing, I am sick of them losing in the manner they do. Going out and losing with a solid effort is acceptable. Losing week after week the way they have is not. This team deserves whatever comes to them today. If they play hard and win, they will have earned a victory. A pointless one, but a "W" non-the-less. If they lose, they earned that to. If they lose by a fluke, that would be par for the Steelers this year.

All that talent, a #1 D, and a top 5 stat QB all gone to waste. Next season can't come quick enough.

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How do we lose this game?
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: Cleveland Browns will start 3rd string QB Thad Lewis

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How do we lose this game?
We'll find a way...
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:31 AM   #8
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Default Re: Cleveland Browns will start 3rd string QB Thad Lewis

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How do we lose this game?
8 Steeler games this season have come down to a FG to win the game in the final seconds.In those games we were 3-5. So I fully expect a 13-10, 16-13 type of game.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:40 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cleveland Browns will start 3rd string QB Thad Lewis

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8 Steeler games this season have come down to a FG to win the game in the final seconds.In those games we were 3-5. So I fully expect a 13-10, 16-13 type of game.
Hey ya never know if Ben plays Todd may tell him hey Ben, go out and use your own plays this game as its our last one this year. So we could possibly have a 4 touchdown lead going into halftime.


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Old 12-30-2012, 10:45 AM   #10
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Default Re: Cleveland Browns will start 3rd string QB Thad Lewis

Browns 12
Steelers 6

OT pic6
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