Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 11/4/14

Getting any kind of commitment from an NFL head coach prior to roster cutdowns is a miracle. This is not to criticize Pat Shurmur. There is a lot of football and a lot of moving pieces between now and the opening week against the Philadelphia Eagles. One piece that won’t be moving is Scott Fujita serving his suspension. One of the biggest questions the Browns needed to answer this training camp – even before Chris Gocong’s injury – was who would start in Fujita’s place during his three game suspension. According to Pat Shurmur today, it seems like James-Michael Johnson is on track.

(On if James-Michael Johnson is ready to start at linebacker if they don’t have Scott Fujita)- “I think the production that he has given us in the games so far points to the fact that he may be a starter for us this year. He has a chance. Again, I don’t want to make any proclamations at this point, but I think he will continue to improve as well. I said it after the game, but I thought that young linebacking core did an outstanding job against Green Bay.”

(On Johnson has progressed through training camp)- “He’s getting better. I think you see his run fits are better. He matches up better in coverage. He runs to the ball extremely well. I think as he dives in on the match-ups of the team we’re playing, and can pick up little pointers as to whether it’s run-pass, or where they’re going with the football, he’ll even be better.”

Johnson looked good and active in the game against Green Bay. It’s just a pre-season game, but that’s great news for the Browns and Browns fans. It sure beats the alternative. Plus, if it translates well into the regular season, it would be quite a score to get such quick value from a 4th round draft pick (120th overall) in his first season in the league.

[Related: Browns Veterans Return, Continue to Praise the Kids]

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Aaron Rodgers buys TVs for Packers teammates

Harbaugh smiled when asked about Michigan's bday tweet

Jackie Robinson West Little League accused of cheating

Police: Fire that burned down McClain's home 'suspicious'

Furniture store will refund purchases if OSU wins title

What each NFC team in the hunt should ask for from Santa

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Is SI ashamed to mention Jameis Winston on its cover?

Kobe Bryant disappointed Lakers didn't get Rajon Rondo

Niners OT Anthony Davis takes shot at offensive coordinator

Report: Josh Smith expected to sign with Rockets

Cullen Jenkins unhappy over his roughing the passer fine

Bochy: Peavy trade was best in-season move of 2014

WATCH: Blazers announcer botches Damian Lillard call

WATCH: P.K. Subban disguises himself, surprises kids for Xmas

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Packers game is a career defining moment for Stafford

A look inside Jason Grilli's contract with the Braves

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

WATCH: Bahamas Bowl ends on insane Hail Mary play

Mike Yeo slams Wild for not having 'winner's attitude'

Michigan St. QB, Ohio State TE have awkward Twitter exchange

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each NFL Week 17 game

The 40 greatest Christmas-related names in sports

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

WATCH: Announcer botches call

Police: McClain fire 'suspicious'

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

Bahamas Bowl ends on crazy Hail Mary

49ers OT Davis takes shot at coordinator

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each Week 17 game

40 great Christmas-related sports names

Nick Mangold and dealing with feelings as a sports fan

Ibaka, Aldridge ejected for scuffle

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Nick Young on Kobe-less win: He needs to pass

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.