BEREA — The Browns acquired three receivers over the weekend — half of the position group. Coach Hue Jackson has high hopes for the new arrivals.
“They can play. They can make big plays,” Jackson said Monday.
Sammie Coates (6-foot-1, 212 pounds) was acquired in a trade with the Steelers, and Kasen Williams (6-1, 219) and Reggie Davis (5-11, 170) were claimed off waivers.
“Coates can run,” Jackson said. “Williams has a knack for making plays on the ball anywhere and everywhere. He goes and gets the football. That is documented. That is seen. He does it as well as anybody I have seen.
“Then (Davis), he can run. He can run, make plays and score the ball from anywhere on the field. We need to continue to be more dynamic around our quarterback and give him chances to make bigger plays. Our guys went out and found some guys that we think can do that.”
The new additions will compete for playing time behind starters Corey Coleman and Kenny Britt and No. 3 Ricardo Louis. Jackson was adamant Louis will be the third receiver.
Jackson said he hopes Coates is active Sunday for the opener against Pittsburgh — “He is here for a reason” — and the coaching staff will work to get the new guys ready.
“We want to get them up and running,” he said. “You have to coach them and spend a lot of time with them.”
Jackson and cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Briean Boddy-Calhoun said they respected the unions representing Cleveland police officers and paramedics deciding to not carry the flag for the national anthem before the opener Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The protest is a response to 12 Browns players kneeling in prayer during the anthem for the preseason opener.
“I respect that,” Jackson said. “I have great respect for our police, and we have great relationships with them. They are entitled to say what they feel, just like I have always said about our players. I get it.”
Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, told WKYC-TV he was astounded Browns management allowed the protest by the players.
“I am not going to participate or work with management that allows their players to disrespect the flag and the national anthem,” Loomis said.
“That’s their opinion,” Taylor said. “If they want to do that or they don’t want to do that, more power to them.”
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams posted a message saying Loomis’ opinion isn’t that of all the officers, and that the Cleveland Police have been longtime partners with the Browns.
“I look forward to a continued partnership with our CLEVELAND athletes, our community and a great BROWNS season!!!!” he wrote.
WHO’S NO. 2?
Jackson will use the week to determine if Cody Kessler or Kevin Hogan will be the No. 2 quarterback behind rookie starter DeShone Kizer. Kessler opened camp atop the depth chart but slid, while Hogan moved up from No. 4 with a strong finish to the preseason.
“I am going to go through this week,” Jackson said. “As the game plan unfolds, I will make that decision who the backup quarterback will be.”
The decision will be for the long term.
“Once we make it, we are going to keep it that way,” he said.
Offensive lineman Zach Banner(6-8, 360) was claimed off waivers from Indianapolis. He was a fourth-round pick of the Colts in April after starting 38 games at USC.
** Rookie offensive lineman Rod Johnson, a fifth-round pick, was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury sustained in the preseason finale.
** Linebacker B.J. Bello and offensive lineman Travis Averill were signed to the practice squad. The Browns have four openings on the 10-man practice squad.
** Safety Ed Reynolds (knee) was released from injured reserve.
4 IS ENOUGH?
The Browns entered the week with only four cornerbacks on the 53-man roster — Taylor, Boddy-Calhoun, Jason McCourty and newly acquired Michael Jordan.
“We’ll be all right. Everybody’s interchangeable here,” Taylor said. “We’re going to leave that to Coach Hue and the defensive coordinator.”
Jackson said a cornerback could be added before the Steelers game, but if not the team will rely on coordinator Gregg Williams’ flexible scheme.
“We still might play with more safeties. We might play with more linebackers,” Jackson said. “We do a lot of different things. I think we are OK.”
The players elected captains: left tackle Joe Thomas, linebackers Jamie Collins and Christian Kirksey, Taylor and punter Britton Colquitt.
** Left guard Joel Bitonio said he’ll practice Wednesday and expects to play against the Steelers. He’s been sidelined since injuring his knee Aug. 15.