About the Author
Recent posts by Mike Wilkening
Here's a look at whose stock is rising — and whose stock is falling — after the Browns' 13-9 loss to Pittsburgh in the season finale on Sunday:
WR Joshua Cribbs — Set career highs in catches (seven) and receiving yards (91) in Week 17. The former collegiate quarterback has made strides at wideout throughout his career in Cleveland and caught 41-518-4 (all career bests) in his seventh NFL season. Cribbs also notched a team-best three special-teams tackles against the Steelers, and his 15 special-teams stops this season were a team high.
PK Phil Dawson — Hit all three field-goal attempts vs. Pittsburgh and connected on 24-of-29 tries on the season. Dawson, who turns 37 on Jan. 23, is the last remaining member of the expansion Browns, who began play in 1999. Slated to be a free agent, Dawson did little in 2011 to hurt his value for clubs looking for a solid field-goal kicker.
DE Jabaal Sheard — Recorded one of Cleveland's two sacks of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. The rookie from Pittsburgh finished the season with 8½ sacks, a team high. Six of Sheard's sacks came in the final seven games of the season.
QB Seneca Wallace — Completed just 16-of-41 passes for 177 yards with no TDs and one interception vs. Pittsburgh. After the game Sunday, Wallace reportedly said he would tell head coach Pat Shurmur he wanted a chance to compete for the starting job in 2012. While that could happen, he didn't give himself an edge on any potential competition in his three-game starting stint at season's end. The Browns didn't win any of his starts, and though he played well at times, he completed just 51.4 percent of his throws on the season.
WR Mohamed Massaquoi — Targeted nine times in the season finale, Massaquoi caught just two passes for 16 yards. Though he's started at least 11 games in each of his first three NFL seasons, he's never hauled in more than 36 passes in any of those campaigns.
The run defense — The Browns have to work to shore this up in the offseason. Pittsburgh racked up 161 yards on 36 carries on Sunday. Cleveland finished 30th against the run, with opponents averaging 147.4 yards per game on the ground.