Browns Should Be Patient With Baker

Philosopher George Santayana is credited with saying “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

This couldn’t be more apt for the Cleveland Browns right now.  Once the team drafted Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft, fans and media alike have been wondering when the rookie from Oklahoma will become the starting quarterback.

We continue to hope the Browns’ coaching staff and front office will resist the temptation to put Mayfield in there, at least until perhaps the last four games of the season.

We understand that other quarterbacks have moved right into the starting lineup for their teams over the past few years, guys like Carson Wentz, Jameis Winston, and Marcus Mariota, but there was unique circumstances here.

First, none of the teams those QBs played on did not win a game the year prior, nor did any of them win just one game over the past two seasons.

GM John Dorsey brought in Taylor because he’s a professional, putting up a 22-20 record as a starter over three seasons in Buffalo.  He should start the season, and if he is putting up some wins, why wouldn’t Hue Jackson stay with him?

It’s not like all quarterbacks drafted high start as rookies, either.  Sure, the quartet we mentioned did, but from last year’s class, Patrick Mahomes didn’t start until the last week of the season.

From the 2016 class, Jared Goff didn’t start until a little over the halfway point in the season.

And last season’s rookies that did start weren’t really replacing quarterbacks as good as Taylor.  Mitch Trubisky took over after Mike Glennon started the first four games and put up more than 20 points just once.

Deshaun Watson took over in the first half of the first game for Tom Savage after he was awful in a 29-7 loss to Jacksonville in the season lidlifter.  Savage was 6 for 13 for 62 yards and was sacked six times when he was benched.

Look, we understand that Taylor isn’t Tom Brady or a player who would ever be ranked in the top ten of QB’s around the league.  However, he’s got a much better track record than Glennon or Savage.

With a very young team, the Browns need a veteran presence at quarterback to start the season off.

And even if Mayfield plays lights out during the exhibition, fans and media alike will have to remember he will probably be playing against a bunch of players who will likely not be on NFL rosters come week one.

This is not to doubt the ability of Mayfield, who we liked coming out of college, and we have no reason to not trust Dorsey’s selection as the future franchise quarterback of the Cleveland Browns.

Another argument used to rush the first overall pick into action is his age.  Heck, he’s 23, you’ve got to get him in there.  Mayfield is 23, not 33.  Even if he doesn’t play at all in 2018, good QBs are playing into their late 30’s these days.  It’s conceivable he could still play for 15 years.

The Browns have had a history of starting signal callers too early.  DeShone Kizer was clearly not ready.  Neither was Cody Kessler, Johnny Manziel, or Brandon Weeden.

Why not try something different and have the rookie watch and learn a bit before putting him on the field.  We also understand that Mayfield is a competitive guy and wants to play as soon as possible.

That doesn’t mean the Browns should go ahead and put him in there before he is ready.  The best plan is for him to sit and watch for awhile.  There is no reason to rush the process.

JD

 

 

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Browns Adding Players At Important Positions

Browns’ GM John Dorsey has been full of surprises during this NFL Draft.  Well, surprises to the fans and draftniks out there, at least.

Our guess (and reports have indicated this) is that Dorsey has known for a long time who he wanted and who he would take with both the first and fourth picks, and because they were different players than the national media reported, some people are disappointed.

We have always believed we will trust the professional talent evaluators until they give us a reason not to.  That’s why we won’t second guess the front office’s choices this week.

Besides, we like Baker Mayfield as a quarterback.  Yes, we would have preferred UCLA’s Josh Rosen, but said we wouldn’t have a problem with him, Sam Darnold, or Mayfield.

As for the pick being a reach, most mock drafts we saw had Mayfield going no later than at pick #3 to the Jets, so taking him two picks earlier isn’t a big deal.

The Heisman Trophy winner is accurate and has a strong arm.  The biggest rap on him is his height, so he most definitely can become an elite quarterback.  That said, we would still have him sit most, if not all of his rookie season, so he can learn the pro game before taking the field.

He’s 23 years old, not 28 or 33, so if he doesn’t play this season, it is quite possible he could be the Browns’ QB for 10-15 years if his performance merits.

In our opinion, the next most important position on defense after pass rusher is cornerback, so we understand the selection of Denzel Ward at #4.

Many thought the Browns really liked NC State pass rusher Bradley Chubb, but we think the Browns’ brass were impressed with Emmanuel Ogbah, and decided to go with someone who can guard wide receivers.

This goes along with what Dorsey did in free agency, when he added TJ Carrie, Terrance Mitchell, and E.J. Gaines, pretty much turning over the position.

Besides, we remember the last time the Browns were a perennial contender, their defense was built around two shutdown corners, Hanford Dixon and Frank Minniefield.

Friday night, Dorsey added to one of the team’s strengths selecting Austin Corbett, interior lineman from Nevada.  This was the Browns taking the best player left on their board.

After correctly passing on Saquon Barkley in round one, by taking Nick Chubb from Georgia.  Chubb will join Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson to form a running attack Hue Jackson can have confidence in.

WR Antonio Callaway (4th round) has had all sorts of issues in his collegiate career, but if (and that’s a big if) he can stay out of trouble, he has first round talent.

LB Genard Avery is great get in round five.  He should play in the middle and could be a leader on special teams.  He should be a contributor in 2018.

As we said previously, until given reasons otherwise, we trust the Dorsey and his staff of talent evaluators who have a proven track record.  We also reject the notion that Mayfield and Ward were reaches.

Both of them were considered among the best, if not the best player available at their respective positions.

So relax Browns’ fans.  They are better today than on Wednesday before the draft started.  The bigger question is will the head coach get the most out of this group?

JD

 

Browns Can’t Gamble At Quarterback This Time.

In about two and a half weeks, the Cleveland Browns will select their potential future franchise quarterback with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Forget about the mock drafts which have Cleveland taking Penn State RB Saquon Barkley, when the best signal caller you have had since returning to the NFL in 1999 is Tim Couch, you need to address the position.

By the way, that’s not a slight at Couch, who was battered and beaten during his time here because the offensive line was not built at that time.

Really, the last time the Browns have had a QB who ranked in the top ten in the league was when Bernie Kosar was behind center.  That was 25 years ago.

We disagree with those who say GM John Dorsey should take a passer who has the biggest upside.  After going 1-31 over the past two seasons, and having a void at the position for years and years, we feel you have to take the player with the highest floor, and in our opinion, that player is UCLA QB Josh Rosen.

Rosen was considered one of the three best passers coming out of high school, and basically has held that ranking throughout his college career.

The scouting report on him has him as the most natural pocket passer, with great mechanics and a tight spiral.  Since we believe the most successful NFL teams win with pocket quarterbacks, we would seem to be a player who will be a solid pro passer.

We wouldn’t be overly upset if Dorsey selected USC signal caller Sam Darnold, because he’s only 20 years old, and has a lot of upside.  His biggest strength is accuracy, but he had turnover issues last year in college.

Baker Mayfield is another player we like, but we worry about his upside since he is turning 23 years old on Saturday.

The NFL media is drooling over Wyoming’s Josh Allen, because he’s 6’5″ and can throw the ball 70 yards in the air.  However, accuracy is of the upmost importance in the NFL, the ability to throw receivers open.

That’s the rap on Allen.  We believe the national draft pundits are trying to be the guys who are touting the next Carson Wentz, the guy from a small school who becomes a big NFL passer.

Perhaps Allen will be the next Wentz or the next Ben Roethlisburger, but what if he’s the next Derek Anderson or Paxton Lynch? In our opinion, you cannot take that chance with the first overall pick in the draft.

Yes, the Browns have upgraded the position for this year by getting a solid veteran in Tyrod Taylor.  But that doesn’t mean you can gamble at #1.

After all these years with no quarterback, you simply must get someone who will be able to handle the position for the next ten years.

Rosen may not seem like a guy who wants to play here, but if Dorsey and the front office like him, they need to sell him that things will be different now, and this is a team that can grow together with young players like Myles Garrett, Emmanuel Ogbah, David Njoku, and the others picked in the last two years along with this draft class.

This is not the time to gamble.  You have Taylor for this year and maybe the next, but all that does it buy time for whoever you take to develop so he can take over.

It’s not time to take a project.  Take a quarterback who has played against the best college competition.

JD

 

Browns Handling QB Correctly. Finally.

Over the past few seasons, the Cleveland Browns have played a form of Russian Roulette with the quarterback position, and although that’s not the only reason for being 15-65 over the last five years, it’s a good place to start.

In 2013, Rob Chudzinski started the season with second year pro Brandon Weeden as the starter, and when he went down, Brian Hoyer, who at that point had made one NFL start was thrust into action.

When Hoyer was lost for the season, it left Jason Campbell, who had some experience, but also never started an NFL game again after that season.

The next season, then new coach Mike Pettine went with Hoyer to start the season, with rookie Johnny Manziel in reserve.  With Hoyer’s season started to go south, and the Browns were in playoff contention, Pettine’s only choice was to start Manziel, who was known more for his improvisational skills at Texas A & M.

In 2015, the Browns signed Josh McCown to be the starting QB, but even though they knew the veteran’s history, that is frequently injured and an extreme losing record, the backups for him were Manziel and Austin Davis, a third year player with eight career starts in St. Louis when Sam Bradford was injured.

The following year had two frequently hurt guys, McCown and Robert Griffin III on the roster with two rookies, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan backing them up.  After the two vets were injured, predictably, Kessler wound up playing way too much for a third round draft pick.

And last season, Cleveland started DeShone Kizer, another rookie, this time picked in the second round, with Hogan and Kessler in reserve.

This is another change with GM John Dorsey being involved, and it is welcome to say the least.

Dorsey traded for Tyrod Taylor, a seven year veteran, although only 29 years old, and a player who was his team’s starter for the previous three seasons.

As you read above, that has not been the case in any of the last five seasons.  In that span, the Browns had oft-injured veterans who hadn’t started in at least a year, save for McCown in ’15, and he was coming off a 1-10 season in Tampa Bay.

Taylor was 8-6 as a starter last season, and is 22-20 over the last three campaigns.

We are very confident Cleveland will be drafting a QB with the first overall pick next month, and so they are not in the situation of having to start a rookie if Taylor has to miss a game, they signed Drew Stanton on Sunday as a free agent.

Stanton is 34, and has never been a full fledged starter in the NFL, but he did start 13 games for the Cardinals in the last four seasons, and registered a 9-4 record in those starts.

He’s not a long term solution for sure, and his numbers over that span aren’t anything to write home about (51.1% completions, 15 TDs/15 interceptions), but he has experience, and once again, means Hue Jackson will not be forced to play the guy who will be the future of the franchise before he is ready.

All that is left is for the organization to resist any temptation to play the rookie if the 2018 starts poorly.

That’s a habit that needs to be broken.

There is now experience at the most important position on a football team, and credible people for the rookie to learn from.

That’s a welcome change from the past five seasons.

JD

 

 

Free Agency Frenzy Improves Browns

Since last Friday afternoon, GM John Dorsey is remaking the Cleveland Browns with a series of trades and free agent signings.

He attacked the biggest weak points on the team, and in doing so, he didn’t touch the organization’s biggest draft assets, their picks in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft.

There are critics on the deal for QB Tyrod Taylor, which cost the team the highest pick they gave up, the first pick in the third round, but if you think of that pick as the Browns’ sixth draft choice, it makes a lot of sense.

Taylor is the antithesis of what Cleveland has had at quarterback for much of the recent past, he takes care of the football.

In the midst of all this talent acquisition though, came the loss of the Browns’ best player, Joe Thomas.

An perennial all pro, Thomas will head to Canton and the Hall of Fame in five years.  It is a shame that he never got to play in a playoff game during his time in brown and orange.

Dorsey addressed the offensive line and the secondary in the first days of free agency.

In the defensive backfield, he signed CB T.J. Currie (from Oakland), who should claim a starting role and CB Terrance Mitchell (from Kansas City), who will provide depth at the position.

We also feel strongly that one of Cleveland’s first five picks will be used on another cornerback, perhaps Ohio State’s Denzel Ward.

Dorsey needed to replace Thomas on the offensive line, and perhaps T Chris Hubbard from the Steelers, who wasn’t a starter, but played well when pressed into duties with Pittsburgh last season.

Hubbard, 26, could get a crack at replacing Thomas at left tackle, or perhaps Shon Coleman could move there, or one will be drafted.

The only other free agent that will likely be a front line players will be RB Carlos Hyde, who replaces Isaiah Crowell, who went to the Jets.

Hyde is a bigger back, the kind we believe the coaching staff prefers.  He can pound in between the tackles, which really Crowell was better at too, but Hue Jackson seemed intent on running him outside.

He’s also a better receiver.  All in all, it’s probably a wash, and look for the Browns to add a running back in the first two rounds of next month’s draft.

The rest of the signees were about building depth, most notably DE Chris Smith from the Bengals, and after the last two seasons, Dorsey needed to have options when the injuries which inevitably hit an NFL team come around.

All in all, this free agent class doesn’t really affect how the front office will view the draft.

The Browns will still be looking for a quarterback, a running back, another pass rusher to pair with Myles Garrett, a left tackle, and cornerbacks.

Outside of running back, those are perhaps the most important positions on the football field.  And the Browns are looking for great players at those spots, guys who impact the game.

You generally can’t get those people in free agency, meaning right now, we like the new GM’s approach at this time of the year.

JD

Browns’ Reboot Begins Big Time

As NFL teams started making moves last week, the cynics out there were making subtle jabs at Browns’ GM John Dorsey for not being involved.

On Friday, Dorsey basically told those people to shut up.

The GM started the procedure to get the brown and orange to a competitive level with a trio of moves and left the five picks the organization has accumulated in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft intact.

First, he traded a 4th this year and a 7th in 2019 to Miami to get WR Jarvis Landry, a three time Pro Bowler.  The Dolphins are over the salary cap and wanted to dump the receivers’ salary and Dorsey was happy to take him off Miami’s hands for a relatively cheap price.

Landry was averaged 100 catches per season in his four years with the Dolphins and gives the Browns a reliable target, one who will catch the football.

True, Miami targeted him a lot, and his average yards per catch is low, but he is only 25 years old and to get him for nothing higher than a fourth rounder is a feather in the new GM’s cap.

Next Dorsey showed he’s the guy in charge of things in Berea by trading the 65th overall pick next month for QB Tyrod Taylor.

Taylor is the perfect bridge quarterback for the Browns, holding the position for whoever the team selects with the first overall pick in April.  And make no mistake, they will pick the future franchise QB in the draft.

Taylor is the antithesis of what Browns’ fans have seen over the past two seasons, meaning he takes care of the football.

He’s 29 years old, has a 22-20 record as a starter (with Buffalo), and he led the league in interception percentage last season at 1.0%.

He’s not a gunslinger, barely throwing for over 3000 yards in his best yardage years, but he does not make the crucial mistake.  Plus, he’s mobile too, rushing for more than 427 yards in each of his three seasons as the Bills’ starter.

He will allow whatever rookie is drafted to sit and watch for awhile.  Fans who think this trade will give Cleveland the option of not drafting a QB with the first overall pick are crazy.

It also shows the GM is in charge as the team didn’t go after Hue Jackson’s guy, A.J. McCarron.

And with the next move Dorsey made, the Browns might be looking for another passer too.

He sent last year’s starter DeShone Kizer to Green Bay for CB Damarious Randall, a former first round pick, and a swap of draft picks in the 4th and 5th rounds.

The best thing for Kizer is to watch for awhile, and he will get that opportunity in Green Bay.  Even if Taylor were to get hurt this season, it wouldn’t have been good for the Browns to put Kizer back in.

His confidence had to have been shattered by last season’s disaster.

Randall has started 30 games in the NFL in three seasons, picking off 10 passes, and defending 32 more.

He is the first piece in rebuilding a secondary that is currently a weakness for the Browns.  We believe another piece will be added with one of the five picks Cleveland has in the firs two rounds, and also with a high priced free agent, maybe the Rams’ Trumaine Johnson.

There are rumors that Randall may be moved to free safety with the Browns, who have said Jabril Peppers will move to strong safety.

It was a day the Browns started to get better, and there are rumors another big move will come before the free agent signing period gets under way.

The asset accumulation period is over, and the talent acquisition phase has kicked in for the Cleveland Browns.  Hopefully, the days of one win in two years are over.

JD

 

 

 

Browns’ Draft Thoughts

In two months, the endless draft talk regarding what the Cleveland Browns should do after a pair of horrific seasons which netted one win in 32 games.

Looking at the draft, we agree with the notion that former Browns GM Ernie Accorsi has said, the two most important positions in pro football are quarterback and a guy who can get to the quarterback.

Certainly, the brown and orange need a passer.  They haven’t had one since Bernie Kosar was unceremoniously released in 1993.

They got a guy who can get to the QB last season in Myles Garrett, but like pitching in baseball, you can never have too many pass rushers.

We think Emmanuel Ogbah can develop into a great bookend with Garrett, but we think GM John Dorsey will look for another player who can get to the opposing team’s passer.

Still, we feel the offensive and defensive lines are the team’s strengths, although the Browns have to be on the lookout for Joe Thomas’ replacement whether or not he retires prior to next season or not.

Besides quarterback, in our opinion, the biggest needs for the organization are the secondary, including linebacker, and running back.

We would also say that anyone who feels the Browns can pass on a passer with the first overall pick are crazy.  Again, it’s been 25 years since Cleveland has had a top 10 quarterback in the NFL.

Which one of the college QBs would we take?  The guy who has the highest floor, the one who has the lowest bust factor.  We think that is Josh Rosen.

Rosen was the premier prep quarterback coming into college as a freshman, meaning he was at the top of the class then, and he has maintained that position.

That said, we like Baker Mayfield a lot too.  And if Dorsey and his cadre of talent evaluators think he is the answer, then we would have no problem with the Browns selecting him.

After all, if they are right, then the Browns are a step closer to competing for a Super Bowl.

There are a lot of draft “experts” who rate Penn State running back Saquon Barkley as the best player in this year’s draft.

While we certainly have seen running backs help teams transform into winners the past two seasons with Zeke Elliott in Dallas and Leonard Fournette in Jacksonville, we don’t put Barkley in the same category.

Barkley is a home run hitter, but we have questions as to whether he can take the pounding of getting 20-25 carries every week in the NFL.

Besides, this year is purported to be a deep running back draft, so you can get a solid back with one of your second round selections.

We would be more intrigued with CB/S Minkah Fitzpatrick from Alabama, DE Bradley Chubb from NC State, or CB Josh Jackson from Iowa, all of whom would fill a big need for the Browns.

We would probably look for Thomas’ replacement with one of the four selections the Browns have from pick #33 through #65, as well as one of the spots they didn’t fill with the fourth overall choice.

Trading down?  We would stay away from that, in fact, we would probably look to trade back up for another first rounder.

If they would consider moving down, it should only be to drop two or three slots, so you can still get the guy you like.

There will be plenty of speculation between now and April 26th, particularly this week with NFL Draft Combine going on.  Although, none of the candidates have played a game since January.

There.  We got that out of our system.  No more draft talk until at least April.

JD

Browns QB Shouldn’t Just Be Jackson’s Decision

There is no question the Cleveland Browns are looking for a quarterback, and after a 1-31 record the past two seasons, that’s the correct decision.

You can make a very good argument that the best QB play the Browns have had over that span is from Cody Kessler, who faces an uphill fight to make the roster in 2018.

The list for GM John Dorsey may have gotten a little bit longer the other day with the news of Cincinnati backup passer, A.J. McCarron was declared an unrestricted free agent.

Of course, the Browns famously had a deal worked out for the free agent at last season’s trade deadline, reportedly giving up a 2nd and 3rd round pick, but the paperwork was not turned into the league office in time, so the transaction did not go through.

There are media members saying there is a very good chance McCarron will sign with the Browns when the free agent signing period opens, because coach Hue Jackson wants him and the front office should accommodate that request.

That’s ridiculous!

First, we have nothing against McCarron, who could prove to be a fine bridge quarterback until whoever the Browns take in round one is ready to play.

Our objection to the proposed deal was the cost.  Those two picks were too high of a price for McCarron, who hasn’t started a game since 2015, and his high in passing yards in his three NFL starts is 200 yards.

But signing him because that’s who Jackson wants is beyond laughable.  The coach has a 1-31 record with Cleveland, and it is quite likely the only people on the planet who would have kept him on for a third year with an NFL team are Jimmy and Dee Haslam.

He should have very little credibility, and his voice should just be one in the group of Dorsey’s new front office.  Also, new offensive coordinator Todd Haley should be able to be part of the decision making process as well.

Let’s get off of this “quarterback whisperer” reputation that Jackson is supposed to have.  Has Kessler, DeShone Kizer, and Kevin Hogan made any progress at the position in the past two years?

Jackson was the offensive coordinator in Washington in 2003.  His quarterbacks were Patrick Ramsey and Tim Hasselbeck.  They were 5-11.

In 2007, when Jackson was OC with the Falcons, the QBs were Joey Harrington, Chris Redman, and Byron Lefwich.  Atlanta was 4-12.

He was the QB coach in 2008 and 2009 with Baltimore, coaching Joe Flacco, but sorry, Flacco is not an elite passer.

With the Raiders, he had Jason Campbell and traded a king’s ransom for Carson Palmer.  Both seasons ended in a .500 record for Oakland, the first with Jackson as OC, the second as head coach.

And of course, with Cincinnati, he had Andy Dalton and McCarron, in two playoff seasons, which got him the gig with Cleveland.

Not exactly a list of Hall of Famers is it?

Really, our point here is simply to point out that Dorsey and the rest of the talent evaluators shouldn’t be doing anything because Hue Jackson wants it done.  He hasn’t earned that gravitas.

If Dorsey and his group think Chase Daniel, Kirk Cousins, Tyrod Taylor, Case Keenum, or anyone else available to the Browns is a better option than A.J. McCarron, then that’s who they should sign.

And then get grab your possible franchise QB in the first round of April’s NFL Draft.

JD

Browns Should Draft QB At One, No Matter What.

Well, the Super Bowl was held last Sunday and that means the real football season for fans of the Cleveland Browns is here…

The NFL Draft.

The next two and a half months will be filled with speculation as to which one of the quarterbacks entering the NFL this fall does GM John Dorsey like the best.

And make no mistake about it, the Browns should and in our opinion, will draft a signal caller when the draft meeting opens on April 26th.

There are many fans with the thought if Dorsey can sign (or trade for, depending on what Washington does) Kirk Cousins, then they can use the first and fourth overall picks on other needs.

We feel that would be a mistake.

Cousins has had a decent NFL career, starting 57 games and compiling a 26-30-1 record in those starts.  Yes, we know win/loss record isn’t a very good way of judging QBs.

The former fourth round pick out of Michigan State has a career 93.7 passer rating. completing 65.5% of his throws, with 99 touchdowns, compared to 55 interceptions.

His average yards per attempt was 7.6 in 2017, ranking in a 9th place tie with Ben Roethlisburger in that category.

But is Cousins one of the best in the NFL?

We would rank him just outside of the top ten, which compared to the play the Browns have had at the position over the last 20 years, would make him Otto Graham.

However, we would not pass on a chance for greatness because we had a guy who might be better than average.

We have no idea if any of the quarterbacks coming into the NFL this spring will be great, but we know that Kirk Cousins isn’t great, nor will he ever be.

Here is who we would rank ahead of the potential free agent passer:  Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Roethlisburger, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Matthew Stafford, and Russell Wilson.

And by the end of next year, you may have no choice but to add Carson Wentz and Jared Goff.  Also, if Andrew Luck is healthy, he’s yet another addition to the list.

The Browns would be better served seeing if Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, or Baker Mayfield can become elite NFL starters than signing Cousins and not adding a QB at the top of this year’s draft.

What if one of those passers became another Rodgers?

Signing Cousins would mean a four or five year commitment to him, which doesn’t work for drafting your future franchise quarterback with the first overall pick.  That’s why we would stay away from him.

We would prefer Dorsey draft his guy at #1 and then stash him away for at least a full season, and maybe another half season beyond that.  Let the rookie learn the game, so when he does go in there, he’s as prepared as can be.

Bring in a veteran (not Josh McCown, please) who can hold down the spot and give you a professional performance for a year or two.  Perhaps someone like Tyrod Taylor or yes, Chase Daniel, a player Dorsey is said to like.

Hopefully, you never are in this position again, and that’s why you have to take a QB.  We would favor taking the guy with the highest floor, or the player with the least “bust” factor.

But you have to take the chance to have greatness.  Use the first pick on a quarterback.

JD

 

Browns Make Changes. That Can’t Be Bad.

The Cleveland Browns make a lot of news for an 0-16 football team.  It’s bad enough the ownership decided to bring back a head coach that has won a single game in two seasons, so if they were totally standing pat, it would be a greater concern.

Since John Dorsey was appointed the GM, the Browns have added more executives well respected in the football industry to their front office, hiring Alonzo Highsmith and Eliot Wolf away from Green Bay.

Although we thought Sashi Brown got a raw deal from Jimmy Haslam, we cannot complain about bringing people with solid credentials in.

Some in the media have been critical that more people from the past regime have not been let go, but that’s just silly.  Why wouldn’t you want as many qualified people as you can involved with building a team that has reached depths in terms of losing that no team in NFL history has seen.

Our guess is Dorsey came in, and much to Hue Jackson’s chagrin, didn’t find a bunch of idiots in the front office, so he kept them around.  We believe the reporter spouting this opinion is echoing the comments of the head coach.

As for the coaching staff, Jackson has yet to give up play calling duties, but he has brought in Adam Henry (who worked on his staff in Oakland) as wide receivers coach, and Ken Zampese (who worked with him in Cincinnati and was fired two games into the 2017 season) as quarterbacks coach.

Running game coordinator Kirby Wilson was let go, but the way the head coach eschews the running game, this position could be considered superfluous.

Rumors emerged yesterday that Mike Mularkey, just let go as head coach of the Tennessee Titans, may come aboard as offensive coordinator.

Mularkey liked to run the ball as head coach of the Titans, especially the last two seasons, but in eight years as a coordinator, his offense finished in the top ten in rushing offense just three times (2001 and 2002 in Pittsburgh, and 2008 in Atlanta).

He did finish in the top ten in scoring offense five times in those eight years.

It would be interesting if Mularkey comes aboard if he can get Jackson to run the ball more often.  In 10 of his 14 years as head coach or offensive coordinator, his teams have been in the top half of the league in running attempts.

The game plan should not be changing, though.  We would go out and get a competent veteran quarterback, one that takes care of the football.  That was DeShone Kizer’s biggest weakness this past season, and he really didn’t progress in that area as the season went on.

Then draft your future franchise guy with the first overall pick.  You have the guy who has been rated the best QB since he came out of high school in Josh Rosen.  You have the guy who was the darling of the college football world after last season in Sam Darnold.

And you have the Heisman Trophy winner in Baker Mayfield.

Don’t overthink it, take one of them and let them learn behind the veteran for at least a season.

Bringing in good front office people is great.  Making changes to the coaching staff is fine.  However, until they start winning football games, it’s all a bunch of noise.

JD