2011 Cleveland Browns Season
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2011 Cleveland Browns Season
2011 Cleveland Browns season
Head coachPat Shurmur
General managerTom Heckert
OwnerRandolph D. Lerner
Home fieldCleveland Browns Stadium
Local radioWTAM · WMMS
Division place4th AFC North
Playoff finishDid not qualify
Pro BowlersT Joe Thomas

The 2011 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 63rd season as a professional sports franchise and its 59th season as a member of the National Football League (NFL). The team had hoped to improve on its 2010 season, where it finished with a record of 5-11 and placed third in the AFC North, however, the team was eliminated from playoff contention in Week 14. This season marked the second season under the leadership of team president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert, as well as the first season under head coach Pat Shurmur. The Browns played all of their home games at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio.


Personnel changes

On January 3, 2011, one day after the 2010 season, the Browns fired head coach Eric Mangini. In two seasons with the Browns, Mangini had a record of 10-22 and a disappointing 2-10 record against division opponents.[1]

On January 13, the team hired former St. Louis Rams' offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur to replace Mangini as head coach. Shurmur served as the Rams' offensive coordinator from 2009-2010, and was an offensive assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2008. This is his first opportunity as an NFL head coach.[2]

On January 21, Shurmur made his first addition to the coaching staff, by hiring Dick Jauron as defensive coordinator. Jauron, who most recently served as the Philadelphia Eagles' secondary coach, has served as defensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 1995-98, head coach of the Chicago Bears from 1999-2003, and head coach of the Buffalo Bills from 2006-09.[3] Jauron replaces Rob Ryan, who became the defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys.

On January 25, the Browns hired Chris Tabor as special teams coordinator. Tabor most recently served as the Chicago Bears' assistant special teams coach from 2008-2010.[4] Tabor replaces Brad Seely, who became the special teams coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers.

On January 31, the Browns added four new coaches to their staff. The Browns hired former Oakland Raiders defensive line coach Dwaine Board as defensive line coach, former Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Billy Davis as linebackers coach, former University of Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple as quarterbacks coach, and former NFL wide receiver Mike Wilson as wide receivers coach.[5]

The rest of the Browns' position coaches were retained from Mangini's staff. The Browns have not hired an offensive coordinator, as Shurmur intends to call the offensive plays for the team.[6]

Scheme Changes

This season marks the Browns' transition into the West Coast Offense of Coach Pat Shurmur and the 4-3 defense of defensive coordinator Dick Jauron.

Roster Changes

Free Agency

Pos. Player Tag 2011 Team Signed
DE Titus Adams UFA
RB Mike Bell UFA Lions August 9[7]
OLB Marcus Benard ERFA Browns July 29[8]
ILB Titus Brown ERFA Browns August 3
ILB Blake Costanzo UFA 49ers August 3[9]
K Phil Dawson UFA Browns F[10] July 29[8]
SS Abram Elam UFA Cowboys August 3[11]
TE Greg Estandia UFA
ILB D'Qwell Jackson UFA Browns March 3[12]
DE Jayme Mitchell UFA Browns August 1[13]
TE Evan Moore ERFA Browns July 29[8]
FS Sabby Piscitelli UFA Chiefs August 4[14]
DE Derreck Robinson UFA Browns July 31[15]
OLB Matt Roth UFA Jaguars August 12[16]
DE Brian Schaefering ERFA Browns July 29[8]
TE Alex Smith UFA Browns August 1 [17]
DE Robaire Smith UFA
FS Nick Sorensen UFA
WR Chansi Stuckey UFA Cardinals July 29[18]
ILB Jason Trusnik UFA Dolphins July 29[19]
FB Lawrence Vickers UFA Texans August 3[20]
QB Seneca Wallace UFA Browns March 3[12]
G Floyd Womack UFA Cardinals July 31[21]
CB Eric Wright UFA Lions July 31[22]
G Billy Yates UFA Browns July 29[8]
Player re-signed by Browns

F The Browns placed the franchise tag on Dawson

Pos. Player Released 2011 Team Signed
LB Eric Alexander July 28[23]
LB Eric Barton February 9[24]
LB David Bowens February 9[24]
DE Kenyon Coleman February 9[24] Cowboys July 29[25]
QB Jake Delhomme July 28[23]
TE Tyson DeVree July 28[23] Colts July 31[26]
DT Shaun Rogers February 9[24] Saints March 1[27]
TE Robert Royal February 9[24]
T John St. Clair February 9[24]


Pos. Player 2010 Team Signed
RB Brandon Jackson Packers July 29[8]
P Richmond McGee Bears August 3[28]
CB Dmitri Patterson Eagles August 2[29]
FS Usama Young Saints July 29[8]


Date Trade Partner(s) Player(s) Traded Player(s) Acquired Notes
July 29 St. Louis Rams 2012 conditional 7th round Draft Pick G John Greco [13][30]

2011 Draft class

Round Pick Player Position College Signed Notes
1 21 Phil Taylor Defensive tackle Baylor August 2[31] From Kansas City[32]
2 37 Jabaal Sheard Defensive end Pittsburgh July 29[8]
59 Greg Little Wide receiver North Carolina July 29[8] From Atlanta[33]
4 102 Jordan Cameron Tight end USC July 29[8]
124 Owen Marecic Fullback Stanford July 29[8] From Atlanta[33]
5 137 Buster Skrine Cornerback Chattanooga July 29[8]
150 Jason Pinkston Offensive tackle Pittsburgh July 29[8] From NY Giants via Minnesota[34]
7 248 Eric Hagg Safety Nebraska July 29[8] Compensatory selection

The Browns did not have a 3rd[32] or 6th round selection.[34] The Browns traded their original 7th round selection[35] but later received a new 7th round selection as a compensatory pick.

Undrafted free agents

Pos. Player College Signed Cut
OLB Derrick Addai Kentucky State July 29[36] August 3[28]
G Dominic Alford Minnesota July 26[37] September 3[38]
DT Kyle Anderson Georgetown College July 26[37] August 28[39]
DT Andre Carroll Delaware State July 29[36] September 3[40]
WR L.J. Castile Delta State July 29[36] September 3[40]
CB James Dockery Oregon State July 26[37]
OLB Archie Donald Toledo August 3[28] September 3[38]
DE Jabari Fletcher Appalachian State July 26[37] August 28[39]
T Calton Ford Norfolk State July 29[36] September 3[40]
TE Evan Frosch TCU July 29[36] September 3[40]
CB Carl Gettis Missouri July 26[41] September 3[38]
OLB Eric Gordon Michigan State August 3[28] September 3[40]
CB Darian Hagan Cal July 29[36] August 28[39]
LB Benjamin Jacobs Fresno State July 29[36]
WR Chris Matthews Kentucky July 26[37] September 3[40]
WR Juan Nunez Western Michigan July 26[41] August 28[39]
T Jarrod Shaw Tennessee July 29[36] September 3[38]
RB Armond Smith Union College July 29[36]
OLB Brian Smith Notre Dame July 26[37] September 3[38]
OLB Sidney Tarver Tennessee State July 26[37] September 3[40]
QB Troy Weatherhead Hillsdale College* July 26[37] August 28[39]
K Jeff Wolfert Missouri July 29[36] August 28[39]
MLB Alex Wujciak Maryland July 26[37] August 3[28]

* Weatherhead also played for the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League.

Uniform changes

On June 16, it was announced that the Browns would be wearing white jerseys for all home games. The Browns had previously worn white at home during the 1950s-1980s and again in the early 2000s.[42] Because the home team for all Browns' away games chose to wear their colored jersey, the Browns wore the same uniform for all 16 games for the first time in franchise history (although the Browns wore their brown jerseys for three preseason games).





The Browns' preseason schedule was announced on April 12, 2011.

Week Date Opponent Result Record Game site NFL.com
1 August 13 Green Bay Packers W 27-17 1-0 Cleveland Browns Stadium Recap
2 August 19 Detroit Lions L 28-30 1-1 Cleveland Browns Stadium Recap
3 August 25 at Philadelphia Eagles L 14-24 1-2 Lincoln Financial Field Recap
4 September 1 at Chicago Bears L 14-24 1-3 Soldier Field Recap

Roster Moves

After the third preseason game, all NFL teams had to reduce their rosters to 80 players. On August 28, The Browns released eight players, the majority of them being undrafted free agents.[39][43]

After the final preseason game, all teams had to reduce their rosters to 53 players. The Browns released 25 players and placed two players - RB Brandon Jackson and G Eric Steinbach - on injured reserve. Notable players released include QB Jarrett Brown and DB Coye Francies.[38]

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Record Game site NFL.com
1 September 11 Cincinnati Bengals L 17-27 0-1 Cleveland Browns Stadium Recap
2 September 18 at Indianapolis Colts W 27-19 1-1 Lucas Oil Stadium Recap
3 September 25 Miami Dolphins W 17-16 2-1 Cleveland Browns Stadium Recap
4 October 2 Tennessee Titans L 13-31 2-2 Cleveland Browns Stadium Recap
5 Bye
6 October 16 at Oakland Raiders L 17-24 2-3 O.co Coliseum Recap
7 October 23 Seattle Seahawks W 6-3 3-3 Cleveland Browns Stadium Recap
8 October 30 at San Francisco 49ers L 10-20 3-4 Candlestick Park Recap
9 November 6 at Houston Texans L 12-30 3-5 Reliant Stadium Recap
10 November 13 St. Louis Rams L 12-13 3-6 Cleveland Browns Stadium Recap
11 November 20 Jacksonville Jaguars W 14-10 4-6 Cleveland Browns Stadium Recap
12 November 27 at Cincinnati Bengals L 20-23 4-7 Paul Brown Stadium Recap
13 December 4 Baltimore Ravens L 10-24 4-8 Cleveland Browns Stadium Recap
14 December 8 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 3-14 4-9 Heinz Field Recap
15 December 18 at Arizona Cardinals L 17-20 (OT) 4-10 University of Phoenix Stadium Recap
16 December 24 at Baltimore Ravens L 14-20 4-11 M&T Bank Stadium Recap
17 January 1 Pittsburgh Steelers L 9-13 4-12 Cleveland Browns Stadium Recap


Bold indicates division games.

Game summaries

Week 1: vs. Cincinnati Bengals

The Browns began the season with a division game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals struck first, with two Mike Nugent field goals and a Jermaine Gresham touchdown reception. Down 13-0, the Browns struck back, with Colt McCoy completing two touchdown passes to give Cleveland the lead at halftime. Phil Dawson gave the Browns an insurance field goal, but late in the fourth, Bengals backup QB Bruce Gradkowski caught the Browns defense slow out of the huddle and hit A. J. Green for a 41-yard touchdown that proved to be the game winner. With the 27-17 loss, the Browns started the season 0-1.

Week 2: at Indianapolis Colts

The Browns took on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2, with both teams looking to rebound from losses. The Colts moved the ball well early, but had to settle for two Adam Vinatieri field goals to take a 6-0 lead. The Browns answered with an Evan Moore touchdown reception from Colt McCoy. The Colts briefly regained the lead on another Vinatieri field goal, but the Browns responded with a Peyton Hillis touchdown run to take a 14-9 lead into halftime. The Colts added another field goal in the third, but the Browns scored 13 unanswered points in the fourth to put the game away and defeat the Colts 27-19. With the win, the Browns improved to 1-1.

Week 3: vs. Miami Dolphins

The Browns faced the Miami Dolphins without their leading rusher Peyton Hillis in a Week 3 matchup. The Dolphins took an early lead, converting a Colt McCoy interception into a 7-0 lead on a touchdown pass from Chad Henne. The Browns tied the game on a touchdown pass from McCoy to Joshua Cribbs. The Dolphins took the lead again on a Dan Carpenter field goal, and took a 10-7 lead into halftime. The Browns again tied the game in the third with Phil Dawson's field goal. The Dolphins added two more field goals, and had the Browns down six points in the final minutes. McCoy led the Browns down the field, and hit Mohamed Massaquoi on a 14-yard touchdown pass to give the Browns a last-minute, 17-16 victory. With the win, the Browns improved to 2-1 and it also became the first season since 2007 to where the team was actually at least a game above .500.

Week 4: vs. Tennessee Titans

With the loss, the Browns dropped to 2-2, heading into their Week 5 bye.

Week 6: at Oakland Raiders

With the loss, the Browns fell to 2-3.

Week 7: vs. Seattle Seahawks

With the win, the Browns improved to 3-3.

Week 8: at San Francisco 49ers

With the loss, the Browns fell to 3-4.

Week 9: at Houston Texans

With the loss, the Browns fell to 3-5.

Week 10: vs. St. Louis Rams

With the loss, the Browns fell to 3-6.

Week 11: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

With the win, the Browns improved to 4-6.

Week 12: at Cincinnati Bengals

After being swept by the Bengals for the first time since 2009, the Browns dropped to 4-7.

Week 13: vs. Baltimore Ravens

With their 7th straight loss to the Ravens, the Browns fell to 4-8.

Week 14: at Pittsburgh Steelers

With the loss, the Browns dropped to 4-9. And as a result they officially clinched 4th-place in the AFC North.

Week 15: at Arizona Cardinals

With the loss, the Browns fell to 4-10 and finished 1-3 against NFC Opponents.

Week 16: at Baltimore Ravens

With their 8th straight loss to the Ravens, the Browns fell to 4-11.

Week 17: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

With the loss, the Browns finished the season 4-12 and last place in the AFC North.


AFC North
(2)Baltimore Ravens 12 4 0 .750 6-0 9-3 378 266 W2
(5)Pittsburgh Steelers 12 4 0 .750 4-2 9-3 325 227 W2
(6)Cincinnati Bengals 9 7 0 .563 2-4 6-6 344 323 L1
Cleveland Browns 4 12 0 .250 0-6 3-9 218 307 L6


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  2. ^ Withers, Tom (January 13, 2011). "Browns' hire Pat Shurmur". Associated Press. Retrieved 2011.
  3. ^ Withers, Tom (January 21, 2011). "Browns name Dick Jauron defensive coordinator". Associated Press. Retrieved 2010.
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  11. ^ "Cowboys sign SS Elam". Archived from the original on 2012-04-05. Retrieved .
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  33. ^ a b On Day 1 of the draft, the Browns traded their 1st round pick (No. 6, used to select Julio Jones) to the Atlanta Falcons for their 1st (No. 27, traded to Kansas City), 2nd (No. 59, used to select Greg Little), and 4th (No. 124, used to select Owen Marecic) round picks, as well as the Falcons' first and fourth round picks in 2012.
  34. ^ a b On day 3 of the draft, the Browns traded their two 6th round picks (Nos. 168 and 170, used to select DeMarcus Love and Mistral Raymond, respectively) to the Minnesota Vikings for their fifth round pick (No. 150, used to select Jason Pinkston).
  35. ^ In March 2010, the Browns traded their seventh round selection (No. 209, later traded to Detroit) to the Seattle Seahawks for QB Seneca Wallace
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  45. ^ http://www.steelersdepot.com/2011/12/steelers-week-17-sunday-game-against-browns-flexed-to-415-kickoff/

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