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Browns rookie report: Week One

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Posted Sept. 13, 2011 @ 7:07 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

Here's a rundown of notable performances by rookies in Cleveland's Week One loss to Cincinnati: 

DT Phil Taylor — He was the standout of the Browns' rookies Sunday, notching six tackles. Taylor's pass-rush ability has stood out of late; his hit on Bengals QB Andy Dalton knocked Cincinnati's starting passer from the game. Taylor also made a noticeable impact in the third preseason game at Philadelphia with the pressure he generated. If he can be a consistent all-around player — run-stuffer and pass rusher — his play is going to quickly start generating widespread notice.

OLG Jason Pinkston — The fifth-round pick from Pittsburgh, who moved into the starting lineup when Eric Steinbach suffered a season-ending back injury, remains the starter on the depth chart entering Week Two after his regular-season debut vs. Cincinnati. The Browns rushed six times off left guard for 22 yards, and neither of the two sacks allowed by Cleveland were on Pinkston.

DE Jabaal Sheard — Sheard, the Browns' starting right end, was credited with three tackles, with two going for a loss, including a stop of Bengals RB Cedric Benson on a 2nd-and-goal play from the Cleveland 1. Sheard didn't have a sack, and he was penalized for a neutral-zone infraction, but it was a solid start for the second-round pick, a collegiate teammate of Pinkston.

WR Greg Little — Little didn't start but was targeted three times in the passing game, catching one pass for 12 yards. He also delivered a thundering block on Bengals P Kevin Huber on Josh Cribbs' 21-yard fourth-quarter punt return, though the force of the blow knocked Little into Cribbs and inadvertently blunted the chances for an even bigger gain. Little is a player to watch with the Browns' passing game looking inconsistent and lacking punch at times on Sunday. He's an intriguing talent.


Other rookies: OLB Quinton Spears (appeared as reserve), RB Armond Smith (did not play), TE Jordan Cameron (inactive).

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