In Cleveland, football season consists of two parts: The regular season, when games are actually played, and the draft season, which sometimes starts in the middle of the fall, because the Browns are usually struggling.
Part of the draft season is the constant search for the “franchise quarterback”, something the brown and orange have lacked since the days of Bernie Kosar.
This winter, with Brian Hoyer a free agent and Johnny Manziel teetering on the edge of his professional career, the search for the quarterback is in full bloom.
As GM Ray Farmer said after the season ended, most teams don’t have elite QBs, so most team have to figure out a way to win without one. That’s the boat the Browns are in today.
It is ridiculous to listen to some of the theories espoused by fans in this regard.
Some are willing to suffer through a 1-15 season in order to get “the guy”.
First, it doesn’t appear that an Andrew Luck type (and that’s the type of guy you are looking at) will be available in the 2016 draft.
Others are willing to overpay for a veteran, even an injured one like Sam Bradford of the Rams. Yesterday, we heard 92.3’s Dustin Fox talk about giving up the 19th overall pick for Bradford, who has played seven games in the last two seasons combined.
That’s crazy in our books. Would we give up a third or fourth round pick for the former first overall pick? Yes, but dealing a first rounder (not to say Farmer would consider this) is typical of what the Browns have down over the years.
They are talking themselves into bad decisions. Remember that two of our elite passers, Ben Roethlisburger and Aaron Rodgers, fell to their respective teams. They didn’t trade up to get them.
On the other hand, the Browns seemed to talk themselves into Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden, and Manziel. They were intrigued, but not “in love” with any of them, meaning there wasn’t a consensus within the organization that these were the guys to make Cleveland a winning team.
So, what should the Browns do this off-season? Well, we would look to upgrade the spot by bringing in a veteran, trying to find someone better than Hoyer.
Maybe Jake Locker or Matt Moore, or perhaps work a deal for Philadelphia’s Nick Foles or Bradford. However, we wouldn’t give up a first rounder in either deal, nor would we think their current teams would expect one.
As for Hoyer, remember that despite all of Manziel’s unpreparedness to play in the NFL, at least some in the organization thought they were better off with the rookie than Hoyer going into the Cincinnati game. That’s how bad Hoyer played in the weeks leading up to that contest.
It is up to the coaching staff and personnel department to figure out a way to win with average quarterback play. Want a role model? Look within your own state, where the Bengals do it on a year in, year out basis.
A strong running game and a solid defense can win you many football games, just look at Seattle, who has a chance to defend its Super Bowl title next week.
Yes, Russell Wilson is a very good QB, but he is at least third on the list of reasons as to why the Seahawks win.
Do the Browns need to upgrade at quarterback? Of course, but it’s time they stopped passing on better players to pick people just to take them. It’s like they are a desperate high school senior right before prom.
Farmer and Mike Pettine has accumulated a lot of solid players at other positions. Maybe they should be dominant at other spots to cover for the weakness behind center.