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Browns Steal OL From Jets Practice Squad


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Hance (6-5, 310) originally signed with the Buffalo as an undrafted free agent out of Northwestern in 2019. He's also had stints with Washington and Jacksonville, where he went to high school.

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35 minutes ago, jetsrule128 said:

Blake Hance Watch

 

Game 1-VS Steelers-INACTIVE

 

Should Have Stayed With The Jets 

yes this player should have stayed with the Jets where he would have been 

*checks notes*

not on the active roster at all 

1 game check even inactive rookie minimum is more than the dude makes on Psquad the whole season 

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This is probably a nothing burger, and he may not fit in the scheme. 

But it is not a great look when a team with one of the best OL in the NFL, if not the best, takes an OL from the PS of a team with a below-average OL.

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2 minutes ago, jetsrule128 said:

From the Jets practice squad to playing in a playoff game 

I’m really enjoying the Blake Hance updates. Thanks buddy.

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The Jets OL was the envy of nobody. This guy couldn't bump down any of the backups who couldn't bump down any of the Jets' bad starters. 

So this theft seems a bit like stealing the hair clippings from a barber's floor. 

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Although he made it all the way to the final cut, Jacksonville High School graduate Blake Hance didn’t make the 53-man roster with the Washington Football Team in 2019. But he did catch the eye of offensive line coach Bill Callahan, who wanted desperately to find a way to keep him.

So when Callahan, now with the Cleveland Browns, needed a lineman heading into the playoffs, Hance seemed like the perfect fit.

 

Hance could play in his first NFL game ever this week after the Browns signed him to their active roster last weekend. Hance will wear No. 62 as Cleveland (11-5) takes on Pittsburgh Sunday night (7:15 p.m., NBC) in the first round of the AFC playoffs. It’s the first time the Browns have qualified for the playoffs in 17 years.

Hance, a 6-foot-6, 310-pound offensive lineman, is in his first NFL season out of Northwestern University. Originally signed by Buffalo as an undrafted free agent in 2019, he spent the 2020 season on the Jets’ practice squad.
 

There’s a familiarity with the offensive line coach,” said Mark Grounds, who coached Hance at JHS. “That means there’s a familiarity with the techniques and the calls that they make because (Callahan is) running very similar stuff in Cleveland. In talking with Blake through texts, his agent has been told that there’s interest to sign him after the season. And when (the Browns) had some COVID situations arise, as well as some injuries, they needed to sign somebody to the active roster, so he was the logical option for them.”
 

Grounds learned Hance had been signed through texts and emails from friends. The coach immediately reached out, and the two exchanged messages.

weekend.

“I got ahold of him right away, and he said he was on his way to Cleveland, and signed to the active roster,” Grounds said. “It’s exciting for him, and his family, and all the hard work and support that they’ve put in as he’s chasing the dream of being on an NFL roster. From a high school head coach and our program, we’re excited to have somebody officially make it in the NFL.

“So excited for him,” the coach said. “Just such a great young man. Can’t wait for him to get back here after the season and get a chance to spend some time talking to him.”
 

 

Hance is the first player Grounds has ever coached who has made an active NFL roster during a season. JHS grad Dalton Keene also signed a pro contract but was hampered by injuries.

“They’re big-bodied athletes,” Grounds said. “Blake was a tight end for me who was converted to an offensive tackle at Northwestern. He played in the Big Ten, started almost every game of his career, and had an excellent career there. Also, you think of Northwestern, you think of smart, adaptable athletes, so, I mean, I think there’s a skill set there that makes him attractive in the NFL.”
 

Hance helped start the Northwestern football team on a path of success. His senior class amassed more wins at NU than any other up to that point.

“He’s just one of those guys — he’s humble, he works hard, he’s coachable, and obviously has the mental capacity to pick up plays and complex schemes … just an all-around good person, first; good student, second; and good football player, third,” Grounds said.
 

Grounds said other players would say Hance was a great teammate back in high school.

“He was always supportive of other people, other people’s success, and was really pretty humble with the amount of success that he had — as are so many of our really good players,” Grounds said. “They’re really humble and appreciative of the recognition they get for being Crimson football players, but they’re always willing to help their teammates and the community. And Blake was one of those.”

Grounds followed Cleveland, with quarterback Bernie Kosar and legendary coach Marty Schottenheimer, back in the ’80s.

 

80s.

“It’s historically a very, very rabid fan base,” Grounds said. “And to have success — I think they said 2002 was the last time that they made the playoffs, so 18 years waiting to make the playoffs … I think it’s going to be a very, very excited community that has been hungry for success with the Cleveland Browns. And now to get that .. Blake being there to be a part of that, even though it’s the last part of the season — man, what an experience.”

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On 1/2/2021 at 2:53 PM, Greenbloodblitz said:

Oh no not Blake Hance! Do you mean THE Blake Hance? World beater Blake Hance!? OMG this changes everything. I'm calling my therapist..

The name made me think of Blake Spence. Now I have an extreme case of agita. Jets . . . Denver . . . felt hopeful. Scratch that. Chest pains. 

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There is a good chance that Jacksonville High School graduate Blake Hance will make his NFL debut this weekend, in a playoff game for the Cleveland Browns.

After signing with Cleveland over the weekend, Hance was listed as the second-string right guard on the Browns’ depth chart on Wednesday.

For the past two seasons, Hance has been a member of one NFL team or another, on the practice squad. He spent 2019 with the Jacksonville Jaguars and 2020 with the New York Jets.

That all changed this past Sunday, when Hance was signed away from the Jets’ practice squad to the Cleveland Browns’ active roster — immediately extending his season.

“It has been a weird year,” Hance said. “Because of that, some people have gotten opportunities while some people have lost opportunities, like rookies who didn’t get the same chances like they would have in the past. I know while COVID has been crazy, it has also created some opportunities. I don’t necessarily know that this opportunity I got was a direct result of something COVID-related, but it was definitely exciting to get the call, especially when I thought my season was going to end the next day.”

Initially, Hance was listed as inactive on the Browns’ roster, but only because he had just been signed. When the former Crimson tight end got the word, he jumped in his car and drove from New Jersey to Cleveland. He was able to join his new teammates as they celebrated earning a spot in the playoffs with a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at First Energy Stadium.

“To get the call and go to Cleveland and watch them clinch a playoff spot and now prepare for the playoffs is pretty special,” Hance said. “It is a cool way to get first exposure up on the active roster.”

By traveling to Cleveland by himself, Hance avoided any COVID-19 wait times that would have been enforced if he had taken a flight.

“Because I traveled alone and didn’t take any public transportation, I didn’t have the same out time,” Hance said. “Saturday morning I tested in New Jersey, and Saturday night I tested in Cleveland. Sunday morning, I picked right back up on the regular daily testings, so I was able to avoid the five- or six-day period.”

The playoff berth is the Browns’ first in 18 years. Cleveland last made the playoffs in 2002, coincidentally falling to the Steelers 36-33 in a Wild-Card game.

Hance, who graduated from Jacksonville in 2014, was a tight end and receiver for the Crimsons. From there he went to Northwestern University, where the Wildcats moved him to offensive line, and he excelled. After five years at Northwestern (Hance redshirted his first season), he graduated with a degree in economics in 2018 and followed that up with a master’s degree from Northwestern’s business school in management studies in 2019.

Hance was planning to go into finance, but that was put on hold when he signed his first professional football contract with the Buffalo Bills shortly after the 2019 NFL Draft.

“I had plans that I was working on in college that were finance-related,” Hance said. “I am hoping that those don’t come up too soon. I will probably be doing something in that field.”

His tenure with the Bills was short; Buffalo released him a few weeks later. Hance then signed with the Washington Football Team and stuck with Washington through the end of training camp, all the way to the final cut. But the former Crimson was once again released.

With the season starting, Hance signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad. He was with the Jaguars’ practice squad for all of the 2019 season.

“At the final roster cuts, I was released again,” Hance said of his time with Washington. “Then I went to Jacksonville on the practice squad. I stayed there all last season and re-signed with them and was there all the way through (2020) training camp, and was released at the end of training camp.”

The difference between players on the practice squad and the rest of the team is that practice squad players do not suit up for games. An NFL team consists of 53 players on the active roster, of which only 46 suit up on game day. The practice squad consists of 10 players.

“The practice squad essentially does everything the same as the active roster, but doesn’t suit up for games or play in games,” Hance said. “That is the biggest difference. All the same meetings and same practices. You lift even more as it is kind of a developmental role. You run scout team in practice, so you run the plays that you’re going up against in the coming week.”

The Jacksonville High graduate stuck with the Jaguars throughout the offseason, only to be released before the season started. He wasn’t without a team very long, though, as the New York Jets inked the former Crimson to their practice squad.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, NFL practice squads were increased to 16 players in 2020.

As the Jets’ season was coming to a close, change was coming. The day before the Jets’ final game of the season, Hance signed a new contract, with the Cleveland Browns. But this time the contract was for the active roster, not the practice squad.

“The day before what I thought was going to be the last game (of the season),” Hance said, “Cleveland signed me off of the Jets’ practice squad to their active roster.”

Cleveland is a new team for Hance, but he has some history with his new offensive line coach, Bill Callahan. When Hance was with Washington, Callahan was the team’s offensive line coach and assistant head coach. Callahan joined the Browns in January 2020.

“I have been with this same offensive line coach from when I was with Washington,” Hance said. “Luckily, I am pretty familiar with a lot of it. Nothing is completely brand new, except for some terminology. It is certainly a lot to digest.”

Callahan has been coaching in some capacity, either in the NFL or at the collegiate level, for the past 41 years. Hance said he learned a lot from Callahan during his time with Washington.

In college, Hance was a tackle for Northwestern, but in the NFL, he has played primarily at guard and center. Even though he’s listed at right guard on the Browns’ depth chart, Hance believes in his ability to play all five spots on the line and is ready to do whatever Cleveland asks of him.

Sunday, if Hance is among the 46 players who suit up for the game, he will have the opportunity to play in his first NFL game, in the Wild-Card round of the playoffs, against the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the Browns’ biggest rivals.

 

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