Leave Browns Alone…They Drafted a QB

Picking up where we left off after round one of the NFL Draft, any criticism about what Sashi Brown and the rest of the Browns’ management did on day one had to do if you are one of those who are QB-centric.

If you are a fan obsessed with the quarterback position, you bemoaned the fact that Cleveland didn’t draft Mitch Trubisky with the first overall pick (a massive reach), and then didn’t trade up for Patrick Mahomes II (very raw), or just sit at #12 and pick Deshaun Watson (our choice).

The lure of getting another first round pick was too much for the front office, and when it was all said and done, Cleveland still got two excellent athletes in Jabrill Peppers and David Njoku, who should have inside tracks to start in 2017.

We even joked that apparently the QB drama queens must have thought that the draft ended on Thursday although several good passers currently in the league (Drew Brees, Kirk Cousins, Russell Wilson, and the great Tom Brady) were picked after round one.

Those people can relax today because in the second round, the Browns drafted DeShone Kizer out of Notre Dame.

Kizer was expected to be a first rounder, so there is good value in the pick.  He’s also the big guy (6’4″, 233) that some feel is necessary to win the cold and wind of the AFC North.

The downside on Kizer is his Irish team went 4-8 a year ago, and he is inconsistent.  He appears to need a lot of work on his mechanics, which makes him a good pupil for coach Hue Jackson and his “quarterback whisperer” credentials.

We said before the draft that even if the Browns drafted a QB in the first round, that Cody Kessler should be the starter coming into the season, and the rookie should sit back, learn, and develop.

Remember, that at the beginning of the college football season, the consensus best two signal callers were considered to be Watson and Kizer.  Notre Dame’s losing season hurt Kizer’s stock.

There are also rumors about Kizer’s love for the sport, but perhaps he didn’t take well to Brian Kelly’s constant temper tantrums at practice and on the sidelines.

One thing we won’t know if would Kizer have stayed at ND had Kelly left.  There are some who speculate he would have.

No doubt Kizer is a boom or bust pick, but the same can be said about Trubisky and Mahomes.  The difference is the Browns did it on round two, which is what we have been advocating since the end of the season.

Cleveland also bolstered its defensive line with the pick of Charlotte DT Larry Ogunjobi, who may end the tenure of Desmond Bryant, another player over 30 years old in Berea.

He could be next to Danny Shelton at DT and join Emmanuel Ogbah and Myles Garrett on the Browns’ front four.

Ogunjobi played in the Senior Bowl, so Jackson and his staff got a real good look at him, and must have been impressed.

There are still picks to come today, but isn’t it refreshing to not hear the commentators saying the Browns have no clue as to what we are doing?

The media who wanted “football people” running the show must be thinking hard to themselves today.

Of course, these players still have to play, and the Cleveland Browns have to start getting better.

JD

Browns Could Take QB At #1, But They’d Be Wrong

The NFL Draft is two weeks away, and things are getting downright insane.

This week, in separate reports by national writers, the Browns are thinking about not taking Texas A & M pass rusher Myles Garrett with the first overall pick, because either Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta want to take a quarterback, or they want to take Garrett, and Hue Jackson doesn’t.

Of course, that got the quarterback hysteria that often occurs in Cleveland going again, supporting their argument with insanity.

Our favorite is that if the Browns really love somebody at the QB in the draft, then they should go ahead and pick him with the first overall pick.

By that logic, let’s say the front office like Cal’s Davis Webb a lot.  So they should take him at #1?  Even though he could quite possibly be there with the first pick in the second round?

That’s crazy.

Let’s look at the top quarterbacks in the NFL.

Here is our top five at the most important position in sports–

Tom Brady
Aaron Rodgers
Ben Roethlisberger
Matt Ryan
Drew Brees

What do all of those QBs have in common outside that they have all played in or won a Super Bowl?

That’s right, none of them were the first overall pick in the draft, and only one of them (Ryan) were picked in the top five selections the year they were drafted.

How is that possible if you have to take a quarterback with the first pick if you get the chance?

Here are five more names to ponder–

Andrew Luck
Philip Rivers
Russell Wilson
Eli Manning
Matthew Stafford

Three of those quarterbacks were the first overall pick, but the only one who went #1 and won a Super Bowl is Manning, who has won two with the Giants.

Luck was a consensus first overall choice, and he got as far as an AFC Championship Game, while the other first selection, Stafford, has never won a playoff game.

Wilson, who has gone to two Super Bowls, was a third round pick.

The point is despite the quarterback hysteria, you don’t have to use the first pick in the draft to get a signal caller who can take you to the playoffs consistently.

We aren’t ready to evaluate the passers taken early in the past two drafts (Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Jared Goff, and Carson Wentz) yet, although the first two would rank in the 11-15 range for us.

And for fans of Wentz, it is convenient they forget the 2-9 record in the middle of the season for the Eagles.  Look, he might wind up being very good, but right now, he’s a lower tier guy.

Let’s go back to the premise we have talked about time and time again.  If you have the first pick in a draft, you take the most talented player.  We said the same thing when the Cavs had the first pick in the NBA draft.

This year, the most talented player is Myles Garrett.  So, the Browns need to take him.

They have plenty of other picks in the top 100 choices to take a quarterback.  Use one of them to address that need.

JD

NFL Draft Can’t Come Soon Enough

One month from today, the NFL Draft will be history, and quite frankly, we can’t wait.

We also feel pretty confident that we will know who the Cleveland Browns are planning to start at quarterback, if not for the league opener, but at least in the not too distant future.

The biggest reason for this anticipated happiness is it will bring a close to the endless speculation as to who the Browns want at quarterback going forward.  Heck, if the franchise ever got a very good passer, sports talk radio might come to an end.

Until then, we are sure that Hue Jackson will be asked about or linked to every living breathing QB in the continental United States.  It’s just a matter of time before someone leaks on social media that Cleveland is trying to lure Joe Namath out of retirement.

And at least one sports reporter will go on the radio and pronounce they have a “good feeling” that Namath may be under center when the Browns open the season in September.

It borders on ridiculous.

By all accounts, the Browns will take pass rusher Myles Garrett with the first overall pick, filling a need the franchise has had for over 50 years.  Hue Jackson has gone on record as saying they will not trade out of the pick, so they are doing the smart thing here.

Again, we have always said if you have the first pick in the draft, then you take the best player.  Garrett is the consensus best player available on April 27th.

Now, it gets interesting.  We feel the Browns are looking for a QB, so they have to gauge if any team between #2 and #11 want one too.  The Jets could be worrisome, but we feel they are in the same mode Cleveland was in last year.  They want the first pick next year, so they may stay with old favorite Josh McCown and another veteran to get through 2017.

The one argument that drives us crazy is passing on a quarterback this year and putting your eggs into next year’s basket.

First off, the Browns probably aren’t going 1-15 again, the young players will get better, so at the minimum you are looking at a four win season, although we think it could be five or six victories.

With four wins, you aren’t going to have the first pick in the 2018 draft.  For the sake of argument, let’s say the Jets plan works and they are in the Browns’ shoes a year from now.

Do you really think the Jets are going to trade with the Browns, so Cleveland can draft Sam Darnold from USC?  Of course not, so at best you will be getting the second best quarterback in the draft.

Your whole plan would revolve around a team who already has a QB getting the first overall pick so they would be willing to trade with the Browns.  That’s kind of like eating a wish sandwich, isn’t it?

It appears likely that the best quarterback this year will be available in the #5-#12 pick range.  If the Browns really love one of the guys available this year (Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer, or Patrick Mahomes), they can trade up IF they don’t think they will fall to them.

In our opinion, since you are getting Garrett at #1, you can afford to take a small gamble with the second first round pick.

Anyway, in a month, all of the speculation will be done.  The crazy season will be over.

And then we can focus on the Cavs’ playoff run and the Indians trying to get back to the World Series.

MW

 

 

Slight Change In Browns’ Plan?

Looking at the current roster of the Cleveland Browns, one thing stands out, or should we say, the absence of one thing stands out.

Take a look at the experience column.  Three players have been in the NFL for more than 10 seasons.  TE Gary Barnidge and OL John Greco have been in the league for ten years, while stalwart T Joe Thomas has been in the league for 11 seasons.

This comes after the release of two veterans yesterday, QB Josh McCown and DB Tramon Williams were both given their walking papers, and actually, probably a year too late for both of them in our opinion.

If you look at the ages of the roster, those three, plus DL Desmond Bryant, P Britton Colquitt, and WR Andrew Hawkins represent the only players on the team that have passed the big “3-0”.  Colquitt is probably safe, but it would not be surprising if the other two were let go, before the new league year starts.

The significance of the releases of McCown and Williams is it frees up another $11 million in salary cap space for the Browns.  This is where the slight change in the Browns’ plan comes in.

Our guess is the front office is going to make a splash in free agency, and not like before when they signed guys like Donte Whitner and Karlos Dansby, players well past their prime, but brought in as culture changes.

Our belief is the Browns will go after some players finishing their first pro contract, players just entering the prime of their career to speed up the building process.  With a tremendous amount of money below the salary cap, an estimated $113 million, perhaps Sashi Brown and Hue Jackson can bring in three starters, plus the draft class which will include five picks in the first 65 players taken.

Those are guys you want.  Most of those guys are in the 25-27 years of age range, and signing them to a three or four year deal takes them through at the most age 31.  And that seems right in line with what the Browns plan is.

Get good young players and let them grow together, and hopefully you can win sooner than later.

It is hard to argue with that logic. It may just allow the Browns to fill six or seven spots in the starting lineup, and a few of those will be with players who have a track record in the league.

The point men for this will be Jackson and new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.  They will have to sell these players and their agents, that Cleveland isn’t the vast wasteland of the NFL and they are building something to last.

Of course, they will probably have to overpay to do this, but when you are $113 million under the cap, that’s not a big deal either.

And we believe that number will grow, because it would not be a shock if Bryant and Hawkins are cut soon as well.

It’s a subtle shift, but one that should speed up the process of winning.  And that is something we can all buy into.

JD

 

Our Annual Plea…Take Best Player With First Overall Pick.

Many people call the period between the college all-star games and the actual NFL draft the silly season because of all the rumors and draft speculation that is posted and talked about.

In Cleveland, the silly season usually manifests itself in many media members talking about getting a quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

And if you think the Browns should not take a QB with their first pick, which this year happens to be the first overall choice, then you are supposedly kidding yourself because the Browns will never win unless they get the franchise signal caller.

So, we would like to debunk a few myths.

First, we would not pick a QB with the first pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, but there is no question the Browns need a quarterback.  Our premise is the same as it has always been, if you have the first pick, you should take the consensus best player, which by all accounts is Texas A&M edge rusher Myles Garrett.

By the way, Cleveland has needed a pass rusher for virtually 50 years.  So, you can’t go wrong there.

Second, while it is true that outside of Houston, all the teams that made the playoffs had very good passers, having a good QB doesn’t get you into the playoffs.

New Orleans has Drew Brees, did they get in?  What about the Giants, who have Eli Manning?  The Chargers have Philip Rivers, surely they got in, right?

The answer in every case is no.

Again, we aren’t saying having a very good quarterback isn’t important, we are simply saying that you need to build around the guy too.  So, you need to have other good players besides a QB to win in the NFL.

The most ridiculous argument we hear is that if the Browns really like a certain player, then they should just draft him first overall.  They forget that the draft is like a game.  You judge where a player may be available, and take him as close as you can to that pick.

We are sure that the Patriots liked something about Tom Brady, otherwise they wouldn’t have selected him at all, but they didn’t take him with their first round pick.

Besides, the Browns have a ton of draft picks to move up if they get nervous about the player they want being chosen.

For example, we happen to like Deshaun Watson from the national champion Clemson Tigers as a QB.  No one has him being the first overall pick, so it would be a mistake to take him there.

All you are doing is pushing good players down to the better teams.

Maybe Sashi Brown and Hue Jackson can take him at #12, we would be alright with that.  But if they see or hear a team at #9 or #10 is interested, they have the picks to move up to #7 or #8 to select him.

And they would still have the consensus best player coming into the NFL this spring.

Perhaps their intel says Watson would be taken at around #25.  Then, they could take the best player on their board at #12, and then move up from the first pick in the second round to grab Watson at let’s say, #23.

You just don’t go crazy and pick the 25th best player in the draft with the first overall pick because you need a quarterback.  That’s a recipe for staying mediocre.

How many teams move up to a spot early in the draft to get a top notch quarterback anyway?

We know that Brady with a sixth round choice.  The Steelers got Ben Roethlisberger with the 11th overall pick, they didn’t trade up.

Matt Ryan was the third overall pick, but Atlanta didn’t trade up for him.  And the fourth team in the conference championships, Green Bay, got Aaron Rodgers because he famously fell to them in the draft.

The Redskins gave up a king’s ransom to get Robert Griffin III in 2012.  How did that work out for them?  The Rams and Eagles moved up to get Jared Goff and Carson Wentz last year.

The jury is still out.

The Vikings (Christian Ponder), the Jaguars (Blaine Gabbert) and the Bills (E. J. Manuel) all reached for quarterbacks in recent years, trying to get “the guy”.  How has that worked out?

We have every expectation that the Browns’ front office will upgrade the quarterback position by the end of the NFL draft, whether by taking a guy they really like, or trading for a young, up and coming player, like Jimmy Garoppolo.

They don’t need to use the first overall pick to do it.  In fact, in this year’s draft, it would be the dumbest thing they could do.

JD

 

 

The War Between The Browns & The People Who Cover Them.

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?

JD

 

Browns Get Win, Keep First Pick.

The very definition of win/win occurred Saturday afternoon at First Energy Stadium.

The Cleveland Browns avoided a winless season due to a 20-17 victory over the San Diego Chargers.  It was Hue Jackson’s first win as coach of the brown and orange, and the first time the squad won all year, including pre-season games.

The victory seemed to take the Browns out of their position to get the first pick in next spring’s NFL Draft, something many fans, including us want for the organization.

But later in the day, Cleveland got their cake and was able to eat it as well, as the 49ers, who took over as frontrunner to have the first overall pick, defeated Los Angeles.

So, the Browns got a win, and if they lose to the Steelers on New Year’s Day, they will have their choice of all the eligible college players next April.

A perfect scenario for Hue Jackson, Sashi Brown, and Paul DePodesta.

As for the game, the Browns seemed to do things differently on Saturday.  They seemed to stay with the running game more, as Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson carried 23 times combined for the game.

They ran some crossing routes, which have been absent lately.  And Robert Griffin III was efficient, although not spectacular (17 of 25, 164 yards) before leaving with a concussion in the fourth quarter.

They even controlled the ball, winning the time of possession battle on the day.

Defensively, the Browns even forced a turnover, their first in weeks, on an interception by Jamar Taylor.

There were still some warts, as you would expect on a 1-14 team.

Cleveland quarterbacks were sacked eight times, mostly because of their awful habit on holding on to the ball forever.  On the other hand, even though Chargers’ QB Philip Rivers threw 46 times, the Browns’ defense did not record a sack.

That is why many people think Cleveland should target Texas A & M defensive end Myles Garrett, the best pass rusher available in the draft.

And for those not seeing progress with the rookie class (at least two media members pan the entire draft on a weekly basis), several players stood out.

Emmanuel Ogbah had four more tackles, as did Briean Boddy-Calhoun.  Corey Coleman had two catches for nine yards, including a key third down reception for another rook, Cody Kessler, who replaced Griffin, to keep possession in the fourth quarter.

TE Seth DeValve also made a key 21 yard reception on the Browns’ second touchdown drive.

Remember, many rookies don’t hit their stride until they go through a season and an off-season conditioning program, because they don’t know how to prepare and survive an NFL season.  Our guess is we will see a lot more in 2017 from most of these young players.

We also like what we’ve seen from Mario Alford, the Browns’ new kick returner.  Alford doesn’t seem hesitant and gets good yardage when he decides to bring the ball out of the end zone.  Too often, the Browns were starting inside their own 20 yard line.

A little luck went the Browns’ way too.  Jamie Meder blocked a field goal in the fourth quarter, and San Diego’s Josh Lambo missed a 45 yarder as time expired as well.

Meder’s block wasn’t lucky, but how often do you see a field goal get blocked?

It’s likely we will see Kessler in the season finale against Pittsburgh, in what is really a meaningless game for both teams.  The Steelers are locked in an the #3 seed in the AFC playoff picture.

Hopefully, Jackson will play the game that way too.  It is better for the franchise to have the first overall pick in the spring, which the Browns will have by losing on Sunday.

JD

 

 

 

 

Defense Lets Down Browns Most In Latest Loss.

We have written and said this for several years, and many others who know pro football have said it too–if you can’t run the ball and stop the run, you aren’t going to be successful in the NFL.

And we say that, knowing full well that the league has put a major emphasis on throwing the pigskin.

The Browns came into the game knowing the Bills were going to run LeSean McCoy, and run him a lot, but they were powerless to stop it, as Buffalo gained 280 yards rushing, more than Cleveland gained in total, in a convincing 33-13 thumping in upstate New York.

The first two times McCoy carried he picked up more than 20 yards each time, a prelude to what kind of day it was going to be.

The other problem that has plagued the defense all season, covering the tight end, was also on display today, as Charles Clay caught 7 balls for 72 yards, including a 19 yard touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor.  Only one wide receiver caught more than one pass in the game for the Bills.

Still, after Robert Griffin III’s 18 yard touchdown run in the third quarter, Cleveland trailed 17-10 with plenty of time remaining in the game.

Unfortunately, the defense couldn’t sustain the momentum, allowing Buffalo to march 75 yards in six plays, and slightly over three minutes later, the Bills were back up by 14 points, and the game was essentially over.

You might think we are picking on Ray Horton’s unit, but it is only disappointment because the defense looked to be making strides the past few weeks, but today, they were dominated.

It was also disappointing that in situations where Taylor was in a passing situation, the Browns brought little pressure.  Most notably on a 3rd and 22, when Cleveland brought just four, and allowing a 23 yard completion.

The Browns had just one sack, by rookie Emmanuel Ogbah, who continues to impress.

Why not blitz more in obvious passing situations?  After all, it’s not as though a playoff spot is on the line.  The team is now 0-14, why not be aggressive.

It has now been four games since the Cleveland defense has caused a turnover.  It’s tough to win games that way, not giving your offense a short field to work with.

Speaking of offense, it has now been six weeks since the Browns’ offense has mustered 20 points.  Again, there is a good reason Hue Jackson’s team is 0-14.

Griffin put up decent numbers, nothing to show he should be the frontrunner as the starter going into next season.  He completed 17 of 28 throws for 196 yards, and did not turn the ball over.

It also baffling why Jackson doesn’t get the ball to his playmakers more often.  Terrelle Pryor caught four passes for 19 yards, although he did drop a pass near the goal line before Griffin’s touchdown.

Duke Johnson touched the ball just 10 times, five rushes, five catches, for a total of 93 yards.

It doesn’t seem the Browns use the same plays other teams do, like slant patterns.

This isn’t a question on the competency of the coaching staff.  We know the Browns don’t have a lot of experienced talent, but it seems like the staff is hesitant on featuring players.

For example, Isaiah Crowell gained 25 yards on a sweep in the first quarter.  That play wasn’t tried again, as far as we could see.

So, now there are only two opportunities for victory this season, the next game coming on Christmas Eve at home against the San Diego Chargers.

It will be interesting to see if Jackson will make changes at certain positions before that game.

JD

 

 

Browns Can’t Play Complimentary Football

It’s funny to hear fans and the media every week talking about how this is going to be the week the Cleveland Browns win their first game.

They come up with all kinds of reason for the win too.  Heck, the Browns were coming off the bye week and Hue Jackson is so familiar with the Bengals, so this will surely be the week.

And Robert Griffin III will be ready to go, and maybe he can recapture some of the magic from his rookie year.

Then, the opening kickoff comes, and all those theories can be flushed down the metaphorical toilet.

Griffin was wildly inaccurate in his first start since the opening weekend, hitting just 12 of 28 passes for 102 yards in the 23-10 defeat.  Only two Browns’ receivers averaged more than 10 yards per catch, Duke Johnson, who made a nice run after a short pass to gain 21 yards, and rookie TE Seth DeValve, who had one catch for 11 yards.

That’s it.

However, it didn’t help Griffin that as he came out for his second chance to move the ball in the game, his team was down 13-0.

It also didn’t help that the Browns had horrible field position throughout the first half.  It is his fault that the Cleveland offense didn’t cross midfield until after halftime.

The defense struggled early, allowing the Bengals to march right down the field on their opening drive and take advantage of a short field to put it in the end zone the second time they got the football.

All that said, there were good things to see defensively today.

LB Jamie Collins was in on 15 tackles and had a sack, and rookie Emmanuel Ogbah continues to shine with 1.5 sacks and pressured Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton on several other occasions.

The next step for the defense has to be creating turnovers.  Over the past few games, they haven’t done that, and that means for the most part, the Browns’ offense has to play a long field to score a touchdown.

Isaiah Crowell had a third 100 yard rushing game on the season, gaining 113 on 10 carries, with a long of 42 yards.  All in all, Cleveland gained 169 yards on the ground, a very good total.

Unfortunately, they allowed Cincy to rush for  213, including 111 by Jeremy Hill, who gashed the Cleveland defense for almost 300 in the two games between the teams this season.

Going back to field position, the Browns had horrible position all day, particularly in the first half.  Griffin’s only interception came on a flea-flicker from his own 1 yard line.

And no, we aren’t absolving him for throwing into triple coverage.

We would like to tell Ricardo Louis that if he can’t get the ball back to the 25, heck, even the 20 would be acceptable, then let the ball bounce into the end zone.  Starting around the 15 doesn’t help the offense.

We would also like to tell Ray Horton that covering the tight end is an option.  Tyler Eifert hurt the Browns again, with two touchdowns (one we was covered by Tramon Williams) and overall he had five catches on the afternoon.

So, now at 0-13, Hue Jackson’s squad travels to Buffalo to play the Bills, who may have a new head coach.

It will be interesting to see what reasons we will hear about why this week is the week for the first Browns’ victory.

JD

The Media & The Browns’ QB

It is fun to observe the media, both print and broadcast, cover the Cleveland Browns.  After every game, a segment of them, usually the same guys, seem outraged by the loss that occurred.

We don’t know what they were expecting.  Most people figured a two or three win season at best for the brown and orange, so losses shouldn’t be a surprise.

It is particularly funny to watch how the people who cover and comment on the Browns treat the quarterback situation, particularly this season.

Throughout training camp, it was clear that Hue Jackson was going to start Robert Griffin III unless he was awful.  He wasn’t, although he didn’t play too much in the pre-season, so we got the nod in the opener against the Eagles.

Griffin went 12 of 26 for 190 yards and an interception in a game the Browns trailed 13-10 in the third quarter before a bad snap which turned into a safety changed the momentum.

The former Heisman Trophy winner suffered a broken shoulder late in the 4th quarter, and based on that the media turned on him, saying it is clear that he shouldn’t be the starter and it was tough to find a scenario where RGIII would be back on the Browns’ roster in 2017.

Next came many in the media’s choice, good guy, good teammate Josh McCown, who started in week two vs. the Ravens.

The Browns had a 20-0 first quarter lead, but scored no more points after and McCown threw a late interception (after a terrible unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Terrelle Pryor).

And he broke his collarbone in the game.  In a nutshell, he was what we’ve come to expect about Josh McCown.

But he was now out and rookie Cody Kessler took the helm.  The people covering the team were sounding a death knell on the fate of the Browns.

Their fears were unwarranted. After a shaky first series, Kessler played well (21 of 33 for 244 yards) and the Browns had a chance to win in regulation, but new kicker Cody Parkey missed a field goal.

Kessler was good again the following week (28 of 40, 223 yards, a TD and a pick) and Cleveland was in the game until some 4th quarter turnovers caused a 31-20 defeat.

Now, everyone wanted to see Kessler the rest of the season.  Since the team was 0-4, he was the future.  Why not put him out there?

Except he got hurt against the Patriots after leading the Browns to a touchdown.

He returned to start the following week vs. Tennessee throwing for over 300 yards and two touchdowns, and was 9 of 11 against Cincinnati before suffering a concussion.

However, Kessler was reluctant to throw deep and his lack of arm strength had the scribes starting to turn against him.

When Hue Jackson benched him in the second half of the Thursday night game vs. Baltimore, many in the media started to sour on Kessler.

Unfortunately, McCown was dreadful in that game, and Kessler got another concussion in the next game against the Steelers.

That left McCown to play last Sunday and the media started thinking the best thing for the Browns might be to trot out Robert Griffin III for the rest of the year since he’s now recovered from his injury.

Their thinking is why not find out what you have in the former Redskin QB, who by the way, took his team to the playoffs as a rookie.

That’s what they should’ve been thinking from day one.  Griffin is still just 26 years old, so why not let him show if he can still play in the NFL, and can he make plays.

It shouldn’t have any effect on whether or not Cleveland should draft a quarterback next spring.

The point is maybe we shouldn’t pay any attention to what the people who follow the Browns think about the QB position.  They don’t seem to know anymore than anyone else about the position.

JD