|2011 Cleveland Browns season|
|Head coach||Pat Shurmur|
|General manager||Tom Heckert|
|Owner||Randolph D. Lerner|
|Home field||Cleveland Browns Stadium|
|Local radio||WTAM · WMMS|
|Division place||4th AFC North|
|Playoff finish||Did not qualify|
|Pro Bowlers||T 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.
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.
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.
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. 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. 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.
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.
|RB||Mike Bell||UFA||Lions||August 9|
|OLB||Marcus Benard||ERFA||Browns||July 29|
|ILB||Titus Brown||ERFA||Browns||August 3|
|ILB||Blake Costanzo||UFA||49ers||August 3|
|K||Phil Dawson||UFA||Browns F||July 29|
|SS||Abram Elam||UFA||Cowboys||August 3|
|ILB||D'Qwell Jackson||UFA||Browns||March 3|
|DE||Jayme Mitchell||UFA||Browns||August 1|
|TE||Evan Moore||ERFA||Browns||July 29|
|FS||Sabby Piscitelli||UFA||Chiefs||August 4|
|DE||Derreck Robinson||UFA||Browns||July 31|
|OLB||Matt Roth||UFA||Jaguars||August 12|
|DE||Brian Schaefering||ERFA||Browns||July 29|
|TE||Alex Smith||UFA||Browns||August 1 |
|WR||Chansi Stuckey||UFA||Cardinals||July 29|
|ILB||Jason Trusnik||UFA||Dolphins||July 29|
|FB||Lawrence Vickers||UFA||Texans||August 3|
|QB||Seneca Wallace||UFA||Browns||March 3|
|G||Floyd Womack||UFA||Cardinals||July 31|
|CB||Eric Wright||UFA||Lions||July 31|
|G||Billy Yates||UFA||Browns||July 29|
|Player re-signed by Browns|
F The Browns placed the franchise tag on Dawson
|LB||Eric Alexander||July 28|
|LB||Eric Barton||February 9|
|LB||David Bowens||February 9|
|DE||Kenyon Coleman||February 9||Cowboys||July 29|
|QB||Jake Delhomme||July 28|
|TE||Tyson DeVree||July 28||Colts||July 31|
|DT||Shaun Rogers||February 9||Saints||March 1|
|TE||Robert Royal||February 9|
|T||John St. Clair||February 9|
|RB||Brandon Jackson||Packers||July 29|
|P||Richmond McGee||Bears||August 3|
|CB||Dmitri Patterson||Eagles||August 2|
|FS||Usama Young||Saints||July 29|
|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|||
|1||21||Phil Taylor||Defensive tackle||Baylor||August 2||From Kansas City|
|2||37||Jabaal Sheard||Defensive end||Pittsburgh||July 29|
|59||Greg Little||Wide receiver||North Carolina||July 29||From Atlanta|
|4||102||Jordan Cameron||Tight end||USC||July 29|
|124||Owen Marecic||Fullback||Stanford||July 29||From Atlanta|
|5||137||Buster Skrine||Cornerback||Chattanooga||July 29|
|150||Jason Pinkston||Offensive tackle||Pittsburgh||July 29||From NY Giants via Minnesota|
|7||248||Eric Hagg||Safety||Nebraska||July 29||Compensatory selection|
|OLB||Derrick Addai||Kentucky State||July 29||August 3|
|G||Dominic Alford||Minnesota||July 26||September 3|
|DT||Kyle Anderson||Georgetown College||July 26||August 28|
|DT||Andre Carroll||Delaware State||July 29||September 3|
|WR||L.J. Castile||Delta State||July 29||September 3|
|CB||James Dockery||Oregon State||July 26|
|OLB||Archie Donald||Toledo||August 3||September 3|
|DE||Jabari Fletcher||Appalachian State||July 26||August 28|
|T||Calton Ford||Norfolk State||July 29||September 3|
|TE||Evan Frosch||TCU||July 29||September 3|
|CB||Carl Gettis||Missouri||July 26||September 3|
|OLB||Eric Gordon||Michigan State||August 3||September 3|
|CB||Darian Hagan||Cal||July 29||August 28|
|LB||Benjamin Jacobs||Fresno State||July 29|
|WR||Chris Matthews||Kentucky||July 26||September 3|
|WR||Juan Nunez||Western Michigan||July 26||August 28|
|T||Jarrod Shaw||Tennessee||July 29||September 3|
|RB||Armond Smith||Union College||July 29|
|OLB||Brian Smith||Notre Dame||July 26||September 3|
|OLB||Sidney Tarver||Tennessee State||July 26||September 3|
|QB||Troy Weatherhead||Hillsdale College*||July 26||August 28|
|K||Jeff Wolfert||Missouri||July 29||August 28|
|MLB||Alex Wujciak||Maryland||July 26||August 3|
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. 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.
|1||Green Bay Packers||W 27-17||1-0||Cleveland Browns Stadium||Recap|
|2||Detroit Lions||L 28-30||1-1||Cleveland Browns Stadium||Recap|
|3||at Philadelphia Eagles||L 14-24||1-2||Lincoln Financial Field||Recap|
|4||at Chicago Bears||L 14-24||1-3||Soldier Field||Recap|
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.
|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|
|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|
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.
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.
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.
With the loss, the Browns dropped to 2-2, heading into their Week 5 bye.
With the loss, the Browns fell to 2-3.
With the win, the Browns improved to 3-3.
With the loss, the Browns fell to 3-4.
With the loss, the Browns fell to 3-5.
With the loss, the Browns fell to 3-6.
With the win, the Browns improved to 4-6.
After being swept by the Bengals for the first time since 2009, the Browns dropped to 4-7.
With their 7th straight loss to the Ravens, the Browns fell to 4-8.
With the loss, the Browns dropped to 4-9. And as a result they officially clinched 4th-place in the AFC North.
With the loss, the Browns fell to 4-10 and finished 1-3 against NFC Opponents.
With their 8th straight loss to the Ravens, the Browns fell to 4-11.
With the loss, the Browns finished the season 4-12 and last place in the AFC North.