Bills vs. Browns: What to watch for

Tyrod Taylor, Corey Coleman headline second preseason game Friday night

Daryl Ruiter
August 17, 2018 - 11:00 am

© Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports


Cleveland (92.3 The Fan) – Revenge will have to come in the preseason.

Receiver Corey Coleman returns to Cleveland 12 days after the Browns gave him to the Bills for a 2020 seventh-round draft pick while quarterback Tyrod Taylor faces his former Buffalo teammates after being traded in March.

Then there's Josh Allen, whom the Browns passed up with the first pick in the NFL draft to pick Baker Mayfield instead, but it will be Coleman and Taylor who will garner plenty of attention in the second preseason game Friday night at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Taylor is coming off an impressive preseason debut last week at New York against the Giants that saw him complete all 5 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown in 2 offensive series. Taylor is expected to play into the second quarter Friday night along with the other starters for head coach Hue Jackson.

While Taylor made it clear this week he harbors no ill will towards the Bills following the trade and he is focused on just preparing for the upcoming season, Coleman will likely have a bit of a chip on his shoulder as he makes his preseason debut for Buffalo.   

Other than Taylor and Coleman, here's a look at what else to look for Friday night:

The run game – An emphasis was placed on the running game this past week at training camp after the Browns totaled just 50 yards on the ground on 33 carries. Rookie Nick Chubb had just 11 yards on 15 carries but running backs coach Freddie Kitchens attributed it to a combination of his vision up field and the run blocking.

Offensive line – Cleveland continues to work with a make-shift offensive line with JC Tretter as the only starter from a year ago still playing the same position. Spencer Drango continues to fill in for Kevin Zeitler, out with a calf injury and expected back for Week 1, at right guard. Joe Bitonio and rookie Austin Corbett will get extended time working together on the left side of the line.

Baker's encore – Following an impressive debut against the Giants that saw No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield complete 11 f 20 passes for 212 yards and 2 touchdowns in 7 offensive series, Mayfield looks to build on it with another strong outing. While it's unclear if Mayfield will get as many offensive series with the starters scheduled to work into the second quarter he'll still get plenty of work. Jackson also plans to play veteran Drew Stanton in the fourth quarter once Mayfield's work is done. 

Discipline – The Browns look to cut down on the penalties after being penalized 13 times for 141 yards against the Giants. 

The weather – Thunderstorms are in the forecast this afternoon and evening.

Dez Bryant watch – Talks between the Browns and free agent receiver Dez Bryant continue Friday. Bryant began the visit with his agent on Thursday. Multiple sources have told 92.3 The Fan that Bryant has been very visible during the visit and appears to be enjoying what he sees. General manager John Dorsey in interested in adding the 3-time Pro Bowl receiver to the mix but both sides are working to see if there is a mutual fit.  

Last time – Preseason: Aug. 20, 2015 – Bills 11, Browns 10; regular season: Dec. 18, 2016 – Bills 33, Browns 13

Projected starters – Offense: WR Jarvis Landry, TE Darren Fells, LT Joel Bitonio, LG Austin Corbett, C JC Tretter, RG Spencer Drango, RT Chris Hubbard, QB Tyrod Taylor, TE David Njoku, WR Antonio Callaway, RB Carlos Hyde

Defense: DE Myles Garrett, DT Larry Ogunjobi, DT Jamie Meder, DE Emmanuel Ogbah, WILL Christian Kirksey, MIKE Joe Schobert, SAM Jamie Collins, CB Denzel Ward, CB Terrance Mitchell, FS Damarious Randall, SS Jabrill Peppers

Uniforms – White jerseys, white pants, helmets to remain without stripes

Broadcast information – Radio: 92.3 The Fan, 98.5 WNCX and the University Hospitals Cleveland Browns radio network. TV: WEWS NewsChannel 5, NFL Network (outside of the Cleveland media market).

Kickoff – 7:33 p.m. FirstEnergy Stadium