It has been evident all year long that there is a disconnect between the front office of the Cleveland Browns and the people who cover the team.
There is no question that the Browns’ front office is trying something that really hasn’t been done since the Dallas Cowboys after Tom Landry was fired, and Jerry Jones bought the team and hired Jimmy Johnson as head coach.
After last season, they decided to release older players who were making big money, and accumulate draft picks.
To do that, they needed to trade down in the 2016 draft, and in doing so, passed up on several players who made an immediate impact this season, namely Ohio State products Ezekiel Elliott and Joey Bosa.
They had 14 picks in 2016 and will have 13 more next spring, as they try to lay a foundation for the future, one that hasn’t been laid before.
Of course, this is difficult to sell to a media that has covered a team that has made one playoff appearance since 1994. They are exposed to this everyday and to be sure it gets old, covering loss after loss, with seemingly a new head coach and new promises every other year.
At yesterday’s press conference with Sashi Brown, Paul DePodesta, and Hue Jackson, you could hear the conflict with the questions that were asked.
And there was one article today addressing the “arrogance” of Brown and DePodesta after a season in which there was one win.
Look, we aren’t a genius, but here is what we feel the Browns plan is:
They wanted to rid the roster of high-priced veterans with no upside to their careers, and replace them with young players who will get better with experience. We are talking about guys like Karlos Dansby and Donte Whitner.
To do that, they wanted to accumulate extra draft choices in the 2016 draft to fill the holes on the roster and lay a foundation for the future. To do that, they made a decision to get out of the top ten picks, and therefore passing on some elite talents.
Whether they did that remains to be seen, because unlike some folks, we aren’t going to make rash judgments on first year players.
However, we do see promise in Corey Coleman, Emmanuel Ogbah, Carl Nassib, Derrick Kindred, Seth DeValve, and Shon Coleman.
With those young players in place, now the front office will try to use the four picks they have in the first 50 selections to pick some impact talent to go along with the ’16 draft class.
That’s why we are under the belief that they will not trade down from the first overall pick. They may trade down from #12 if they think they can get the player they want by moving down slightly.
They also understand they need a quarterback, but they aren’t going to draft let’s say the 50th best player at #1 or #12. They are going to be true to their draft board.
Which, of course, is something they should be doing.
The media is in love with quarterbacks. Most of them pooh-poohed Carson Wentz before last year’s draft, but after Wentz played well in his first three games (including one vs. Cleveland), they hammered the front office for trading down.
This isn’t to say what the front office is doing will work, but it should be given a chance before it is condemned. They’ve tried mixing veterans with young guys, bringing in some vets for leadership, etc.
Guess what? It hasn’t worked.
Why not tear it down and start completely over? And don’t blame these guys for mistakes made by past regimes.
It’s not difficult to understand. Would it be too much to ask for the media to open their minds?