Might Be Unpopular, But It’s Time For Hue To Go.

The Cleveland Browns played a competitive game for three quarters last Sunday in London, before their defense tired and they lost by 17 to Minnesota.

So far, that loss has been the highlight of the week.

Monday, the New England Patriots traded reserve QB Jimmy Garoppolo to another 0-8 team, the San Francisco 49ers for a second round pick.  The Browns had interest in Garoppolo last spring, but the Patriots didn’t want to make a deal.

Then came the fiasco on Tuesday, in which, supposedly the team was dealing two picks (2nd and 3rd rounders) to Cincinnati for their backup QB, A.J. McCarron.

Yes, a guy who sits behind Andy Dalton.

However, allegedly a paperwork snafu nixed the deal, which is good because it’s not a good trade for the Browns.

The organization is looking bad and it appears the coaching staff is leaking tales of organizational dysfunction to the media.

Our solution is simple.  It’s time to fire Hue Jackson.

There is an obvious disconnect between the front office and the coaching staff, and quite frankly in our opinion, Jackson isn’t living up to his end of the bargain.

Most football people felt the best way to protect a 21-year-old rookie quarterback would be to run the ball and play solid defense.  No one expected a .500 season, but that formula should get the Browns a few victories, an improvement over last year’s single win.

This is a football team that really lost one player who was a major contributor a year ago, WR Terrelle Pryor.  They added two free agent offensive linemen, a solid veteran CB in Jason McCourty, and three rookies who start, #1 overall pick Myles Garrett, S Jabrill Peppers, and TE David Njoku.

Yet, somehow they are worse.

The defense, which ranked 29th in the NFL in average yards per running play a year ago, now leads the league in that category.

To compound things, Jackson is consistently throwing the front office under the bus, claiming a lack of talent and needing to play “perfect football” to win.

Sashi Brown, Paul DePodesta, and Andrew Berry take the criticism for passing on Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson, but it has been reported that the head coach wanted Jared Goff last season, and wanted to draft Malik Hooker at #12 last spring, not Watson.

Meanwhile, the front office has overhauled a roster that was starting these players for most of the 2015 season–

Karlos Dansby, now 36 years old with Arizona
Donte Whitner, 32, no longer in NFL
Tramon Williams, 34, now with Arizona
Paul Kruger, 31, no longer in NFL
Randy Starks, 34, no longer in NFL

All those players started 14 games for Cleveland in 2015.

Is the front office perfect?  No, they let Mitchell Schwartz, now starting for perhaps the best team in the league in Kansas City, walk away.

They traded LB Demario Davis, who could help the current roster as well.

The roster isn’t a finished product.  The Browns still need help at quarterback and wide receiver, a stud running back, and help in the defensive secondary.

In our opinion the Brown and his crew know this, and this will be the focus of the off-season.

Jackson is supposed to be an expert on quarterbacks, but just what is that based on?  Who has he really made an top flite passer? Dalton?  Joe Flacco?  Certainly, not any of the men he has had with the Browns.

The Browns need everyone in the organization to be on the same page.  And right now, that is not the case.

We get it would not be a popular decision.  Jackson is well liked within NFL circles, while Brown and DePodesta are seen as outsiders.

But who has done a better job over the last two years?  It seems silly to reward the guy who seems to be coaching an offensive scheme for players he wishes he had, not the players currently on the roster.

JD

 

 

 

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Browns Keep Firing Long Passes, Lose Once Again

So, the biggest news of the week for pro football fans in Cleveland was that Kevin Hogan was named the starting quarterback, giving rookie DeShone Kizer time to watch and learn.

Surely, the way Hogan played in the second half last week, getting the ball to David Njoku, Seth DeValve, and Duke Johnson, would carry over to this week and we would see a more efficient offensive game.

And early on, it seemed to work.  Heck, the Browns even picked up two first downs on their first drive, an improvement from the usual three and out.

The Browns even tied up the game at 3 in the first quarter after pinning Houston deep in their own territory after a punt and getting a good return from Jabrill Peppers.

After the Texans scored on a deep pass, the Browns were moving again, mostly using the ground game to get the football in the red zone.

After Hogan overthrew the ball on first down, his next pass was another overthrow picked off by Johnathon Joseph and run back 82 yards for a touchdown.

That seemed to be the end of the running and short passing game.

And Hue Jackson’s squad dropped to 0-6 on the season with a 33-17 loss, and are now 1-21 during his tenure as head coach.

After that interception, Cleveland ran the ball just twice the rest of the first half, and that turnover occurred with 11:08 left in the second quarter!

Cleveland trailed 24-3 at halftime, and was lucky it wasn’t worse.  They got the ball back with slightly over three minutes to go in the half, and threw three passes, two of them deep throws, giving Houston the ball back with 2:33 left.

Luckily, the defense held.

Our point is if you are going to run that type of offense, there is really no reason not to play Kizer, he is more suited and has the bigger arm to throw the ball downfield.

As a result of this type of offense, the Browns were just three of 14 in third down conversions, a woeful 21.4%.  That doesn’t help the defense of course.

Duke Johnson, a player one of the Browns’ own coaches said is a threat every time he touches the ball, had five carries and caught three passes.

The two tight ends, Njoku and DeValve?  Both caught two passes.

Meanwhile, Jackson has his quarterbacks heaving 20-25 yard patterns on a week to week basis.

Thank goodness for Myles Garrett, who had another sack today, his third in two games, and had five tackles total.

We liked Deshaun Watson coming out of Clemson, but he didn’t do anything today that knocked our socks off.  He is just in a better system and has some playmakers surrounding him.

Texans’ coach Bill O’Brien didn’t ask his rookie to make a lot of throws outside the numbers, the way Jackson does with his passers.  Watson makes a lot of short tosses in the middle of the field.

Which is what we would like to see the Browns do with Kizer.

The one positive we can think of is Zane Gonzalez made a field goal today, a 41-yarder.  He needed that.

Another telling sign on the Browns coaching was 11 penalties.  Granted Cleveland has the youngest roster in the NFL, but the yellow flags are a constant issue.  Doesn’t that reflect on the staff?

We all know the definition of insanity.  Yet, Jackson doesn’t seem to want to do anything differently on offense.  He continues to chuck long throws to a mediocre wide receiver crew.

Name another team in watching other games that throws deep ball this often.

Bringing up the insanity thing again…maybe the fans fall in the same category.

JD

 

Decisions In Red Zone Cost Browns.

We are sure most of the focus of today’s 17-14 loss by the Cleveland Browns to the New York Jets will be on Hue Jackson’s decision to remove DeShone Kizer at halftime.

However, that shouldn’t mask the terrible coaching decisions made during the game.  Although the smile on fans’  faces after watching Myles Garrett, who recorded two sacks in his debut, shouldn’t be discounted.

Quite frankly, the Browns dominated this football game, particularly in the first half, which ended with Cleveland trailing 3-0.

In total, the Browns gained 419 yards offensively, compared to 212 by the Jets.  And they still lost.

With this one-sided statistical edge, Jackson should have to answer for a case of trying to be too cute offensively when his team got into the red zone.

The first time the brown and orange got inside the Jets’ 20, Cleveland ran an option pitch on third down, the first time the play has been used all year.

The pitch went off of Isaiah Crowell’s hands and was recovered by New York, so instead of at least three points (more on that later), the Browns were kept off the scoreboard.

Later, on the Browns’ next possession, rookie kicker Zane Gonzalez missed a 52-yard field goal.  More to come on that front.

The next time Cleveland got the ball close, on a 3rd down and three from the Jets’ four, Kizer threw an interception when it looked as if had he floated the ball over the safety, it would have been a TD pass to TE Seth DeValve.

Before the half ended, Gonzalez missed another field goal, this one much more makeable, from 39 yards.  It’s tough to keep missing opportunities to score points.

So, instead of 20 points possible in the first half.  Jackson’s team emerged with zero, a combination of crazy play calling, execution by the rookie QB, and poor special teams play, mostly by the kicker.

In the second half, Kevin Hogan, who completed 16 of his 19 throws for 194 yards and two touchdowns, seemed to have more rhythm with the attack, and also looked more amenable to getting the ball to the teams’ best offensive players:  Crowell, Duke Johnson, and tight ends David Njoku and DeValve.

But another curious decision came in to play.  Down 10-7 in the fourth quarter, the Browns had a 4th and 2 from the Jets’ three.  A field goal ties the score, and even with Gonzalez’ issues, he has to be counted on to make a 20 yard attempt, right?

Instead, the coach wasted a timeout, and ran Crowell up the middle, and he wasn’t even close.

That the defense, who was dominant for most of the day allowed a 97 yard drive didn’t help matters, but why not keep the momentum and tie the contest?

Cleveland ran 33 times today, but a closer look at the numbers shows than 10 of those attempts were by the quarterbacks.

Johnson had just nine touches, and produced 83 yards, including a 41 yard run after catching a screen pass.

Njoku scored his third touchdown in five games.  Why aren’t the Browns using him more?

Removing Kizer was the right decision in our opinion.  He was hurting the team’s chances at a victory.  He holds the ball to long and the inaccuracy he was plagued with in college is rearing its’ ugly head.

It’s time for the rookie to watch for awhile, and we would definitely start Hogan next week against the Texans.

He’s earned the gig.

Besides stubbornness, trying to show people how smart you are is our least favorite attribute in coaches.  Sometimes the obvious move is the right one.

Jackson has showed each of those things in the last two weeks.

JD

 

 

 

Five Wins Would Be Real Progress For Browns.

The Cleveland Browns open their 2017 season Sunday afternoon at First Energy Stadium against their rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Hue Jackson’s crew is coming off a 1-15 season, so hopes aren’t exactly high for a playoff spot, the first since 2002 for the brown and orange.

To some fans and people in the media, anything short of a post-season berth will be considered a failure, but we feel this will be a successful season, even without extra games, that is if the Browns, the youngest team in the NFL, start showing progress, and start to develop some star players.

First of all, the organization is seeing if they indeed have a young quarterback they can develop.  Second round pick DeShone Kizer will be the youngest starter in the league this fall, and here’s hoping Jackson can bring him along slowly by running the ball and playing defense.

Gregg Williams may be the most important free agent signing of the off-season, coming to Cleveland to be the defensive coordinator.  Williams has directed six top ten defenses (in terms of yards allowed) in 15 seasons heading up a defense.

He has brought an attacking style to the unit, and he has some potentially very good youngsters to work with, players like first overall pick Myles Garrett (who may not play in the opener), Emmanuel Ogbah, Christian Kirksey, Jamie Collins, and first round pick Jabrill Peppers.

The defense should be able to keep Cleveland in games this season, and that will ease the burden on Kizer, so he will not have to put the ball in the air 40+ times in many games.

Isaiah Crowell is another who should help in this regard.  Crowell fell just short of 1,000 yards a year ago, and with an improved offensive line, bolstered  by free agent signees Kevin Zeitler and JC Tretter.

We should learn about progress from last year’s draft class, which many considered a bust at various times during last season.

The following players drafted in 2016 are considered starters this season:  WR Corey Coleman, RT Shon Coleman, Ogbah, MLB Joe Schobert, and S Derrick Kindred.

Add Garrett, Peppers, Kizer, and K Zane Gonzalez to that quintet, and you have nine starters obtained in the last two drafts.

And that doesn’t take into account Peppers impact in the return game, another factor that should help an inexperienced passer.

We also expect TE Seth DeValve, WR Ricardo Louis, and DE Carl Nassib, three more players drafted in ’16 to get considerable playing time and make impacts.

If the Browns can get to five wins with these young players as central figures, the people hammering last year’s draft choices will have a lot of crow to eat.

The front office is still getting a lot of criticism from around the league, and we believe this is because they aren’t traditional “football guys”, and they are doing things a little differently.

For example, we’ve heard them getting toasted for making the trade for Brock Osweiler and a second round pick, the most important thing in the deal, because of the cap hit they are taking.

Then you realize the Browns are still over $60 million under that cap.

The key word for this Browns’ season is progress.  Progress in the win column, and progress of the players drafted a year ago.

The 2017 campaign could be the beginning of the rebirth of a franchise that has been down for many, many years.

JD

 

Browns Draft Athleticism For Most Part

After all the rumors about the Browns taking local favorite Mitchell Trubisky with the first overall pick, common sense took over and they selected pass rusher Myles Garrett with Texas A & M with the choice.

Garrett was at the top of most analysts draft boards, so Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta didn’t overthink it, they took the best player available, which you should if you have the first pick in the draft.

As we have written before, we have followed the Browns for over 50 years, and they’ve never had a dominant pass rusher.  Hopefully, they filled that need today.

As for possible scenarios talked about during the day of the draft, that is trading up from #12 for Trubisky, those plans were thwarted when the Bears moved up to #2 to take the Mentor native.

There were several potentially good players waiting with the Browns’ second first round choice, but instead of taking Ohio State S Malik Hooker or Deshaun Watson, they traded with Houston, who did take the Clemson QB.

In return, Cleveland picked up another first round pick in 2018 and received the Texans’ 25th selection this year.

This gives the Browns five picks in the first two rounds next year, and infuriated fans who wanted the team to take somebody, anybody.

When they finally picked at #25, they took versatile defender Jabrill Peppers from Michigan.

We would have to classify this as new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ new toy, as we would bet he will primarily be a strong safety, but he can be used near the line of scrimmage too, and also fills a need as a punt returner.

The best thing we can say about Peppers is he’s a football player.  He can be used all over the place, and he played at a big time program which this regime likes.

There was one more move to be made when Cleveland moved back into the first round to take the 29th pick to take Miami TE David Njoku, another freaky athlete.

Our guess is it will not be long before Gary Barnidge is let go by the Browns, as he is over 30 years old, and this front office doesn’t seem to want anyone of that ilk besides Joe Thomas.

What do all of these picks have in common?  They are phenomenal athletes.  If you watched the NFL Combine, you saw what Garrett can do.  He’s got speed, power, and great leaping ability.

Peppers played some tailback at Michigan as well as his defensive duties, and at the combine, did drills with the linebackers and the secondary players.

Njoku is considered a rare athlete, with speed agility and explosiveness.  He’s only 20 years old, so he can get bigger as he matures.

As for the quarterback, remember that the draft did not end last night.  There are still six rounds to go and the Browns have a lot of picks.

Second, even if Cleveland would have drafted a QB last night, we would have started Cody Kessler at the beginning of the season anyway.  And if they draft a guy today, there is no pressure to start him right away.

If you are one of the quarterback obsessed, we understand you are not happy with the what happened last night in regards to the Cleveland Browns.

However, if you are about adding talent to a football team that needs it, you are happy today.  The Browns have helped their defense, and whoever the starting quarterback will be in 2017.

JD

Draft Week Brings Out Crazy Talk

One week from now, the NFL Draft will be over, and as a by product, so will the endless talk about what the Cleveland Browns will do in the three day selection process.

And if they don’t draft a quarterback, fans will be sentenced to three months, until training camp actually opens, of hearing about how the front office passed on the “most important position in sports”.

By the way, it probably is, but we put it in quotes because of the righteous indignation media people use when talking about signal callers.

We’ve heard people say the Browns are sentenced to another 1-15 type season in 2017 if they don’t get a QB early in the draft.  That, of course, supports their notion that Cleveland has to take one with the first overall pick if they “really like the guy”.

Consider these names:  Joe Flacco, Andy Dalton, Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, and Carson Palmer.

Most people would consider these players as among the better quarterbacks in the NFL, correct?

None of them made the playoffs a year ago.

Why?  Because other parts of their team were found lacking,  Either the team’s defense was poor, or they didn’t have a sufficient running game, or their offensive line had gaping holes.

The point is, you have to have a complete team to win in the NFL, it isn’t enough to just have a great quarterback.

No doubt it helps considerably.  The only team that made the playoffs a year ago with shoddy QB play is the Houston Texans, and they continue to search for their guy.

Still, having a good player at that position doesn’t guarantee that you will make the post-season.  You still have to have solid players around the QB.

Remember, the Browns were 1-15 a year ago.  Clearly, they aren’t lacking only a quarterback, that’s why we stick with the premise that if you have the first overall pick, you have to take the most talented player, which by all accounts is Myles Garrett.

Also, our opinion is that the greatest improvement for a player is between his first and second seasons, because it becomes their job.  They get to spend the off-season getting bigger and stronger for the upcoming season.

The Browns have many holes to fill, they need secondary help, a tight end, a linebacker, and maybe another wide receiver.

So, while Garrett should be the pick at #1, the Browns’ front office still should address the quarterback spot at either #12, or with the first pick in the second round (#33).

We feel one of these three passers (Mitch Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes) will be there at #12, and since they have Garrett, they can afford to reach a little to take a QB.

If one of the three aren’t there, then Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta can take solace in grabbing another blue chip talent, either someone for the secondary or Alabama TE O.J. Howard.

And if they take a QB at #12, we would still plan on starting Cody Kessler against Pittsburgh in week one.  Let the rookie quarterback observe for awhile before throwing him in there.

There will no doubt be plenty of noise, misinformation, about what the Browns are going to do next weekend.  The good thing is a week from now, the speculation will be over.

Finally.

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

 

 

Browns Endless Search…For A Pass Rusher

As a follower of the Cleveland Browns since the mid 1960’s, we are acutely aware that it has been a long time since the team had a solid quarterback.

We are all aware of the great Otto Graham in the 50’s, and Frank Ryan was at the helm for the last Browns’ championship.  Ryan was acquired in a trade with the Rams, and took the Browns to the playoffs for the next few years.

He was followed by Bill Nelsen, picked up in a trade with the Steelers, of all teams, and Nelsen led the Browns to two NFC title games in 1968 and 1969, albeit on rickety knees.

Needing a replacement for Nelsen, Cleveland made the ill fated trade for Mike Phipps, dealing Hall of Fame WR Paul Warfield, and you can make the argument that deal signaled the end of the halcyon days for the franchise.

Since then, there were a few seasons of greatness from Brian Sipe, including one MVP season in 1980, and then Bernie Kosar arrived and so did three losses in the AFC championship game that will be remembered forever.

However, besides quarterback, there is another thing the Browns haven’t had even dating back to the mid sixties, and that is an elite pass rusher, someone opponents have had to game plan against.

Sure, there have been single years or maybe two straight years where Cleveland has had a guy who can get to the quarterback, but they’ve never had that “guy”.

There was Jack Gregory for a year or two, and the trade in 1980 for Lyle Alzado.  Later in the 80’s, Cleveland drafted Chip Banks, who had a troubled career here until he couldn’t get along with Marty Schottenheimer, who traded him to San Diego.

Courtney Brown was supposed to be that guy when he was the first overall pick in 2000, but his knees wouldn’t allow it.  Paul Kruger had one year (2014) where he had 11 sacks, but that was an aberration.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a guy you can depend on for 10 sacks every year?

That guy could be Myles Garrett.  Many of the draft gurus have compared him to Julius Peppers, and if he could be that, we’ll sign up right now.

Look at the Browns’ all-time sack leaders.  Clay Matthews is the leader with 62, but those were accumulated over 15 seasons.  Matthews should be enshrined in Canton, but he wasn’t known as a pass rusher.

The others in the top five are Michael Dean Perry (a nose tackle), Rob Burnett, Carl Hairston, and Reggie Camp.  The latter three were solid defensive ends, but weren’t players opponents were planning against.

Let’s go back to Peppers, who has accumulated 143.5 sacks in his career.  That’s more than double Matthews club record.  If Garrett can get half of that total if he is drafted by Cleveland, he would be the new record holder.

So, while we get the “quarterback hysteria”, wouldn’t it be nice to have someone who can put pressure on the other team’s passer?

As former Browns GM Ernie Accorsi once said, the two most important players in the NFL are the quarterback, and someone who can get to the other team’s quarterback.

JD

 

 

Is Browns’ Plan Working? We Say Yes.

We had a smile on our face last week when the New York Jets released WR Brandon Marshall and CB Darrelle Revis.

Obviously, the grin wasn’t because the players were let go, but rather the report attached to these roster moves, saying the Jets front office were considering going with a full blown rebuilding process, much like the Browns starting in 2016.

That would kind of fly in the face of the critics of Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta’s strategy.

Brown and DePodesta were widely second guessed for what they did with the Browns roster, mostly by the media, and mainly because they weren’t “football guys”, and they were doing something different.

You have to admit it’s kind of funny that another NFL team is said to be considering the plan to strip down the roster and start over.

It couldn’t have been too stupid of a plan then, right?

Today starts the free agency period for the NFL, and we will guess the Browns will be active, signing two or three should be starters with their massive salary cap space.

It has been reported they will sign WR Kenny Britt, who caught 68 passes for 1002 yards for the Rams, another team who had quarterback issues a year ago.  In 2015, Britt averaged 18.9 yards per catch.

Britt is 28 years old and presumably will replace Terrelle Pryor, who is a free agent.

It would not be surprising if Britt is the oldest free agent Cleveland signs.

The players the Browns are targeting are coming off their first contract, putting them in the 25-26 year old range.  They are experienced, but still in the prime of their careers.

And if you can fill two or three starting spots with free agents, in narrows the focus of the draft, so you can concentrate on specific areas of need.

For example, it would seem that the Browns need two or three starters in the defensive secondary.  If you sign a free agent (Johnathan Cyprien from Jacksonville?), then you can focus on cornerbacks and free safeties in the draft.

Or like another free agent, center JC Tretter from Green Bay, 26, who is reportedly signing with the Browns.  Tretter bolsters the offensive line, providing an anchor in the middle.

Another thing that humors us is the love from the writers who cover the Browns for Myles Garrett now that they saw the impressive workout from the pass rusher at the Scouting Combine.

You have to ask the question was this the first time they ever saw Garrett?  The national guys have been saying the Texas A & M product is the most talented player in the draft since the end of the college football season.

Now that they’ve seen Garrett’s combination of speed and power, suddenly, Cleveland should look for their quarterback with the 12th overall selection, instead of picking one first overall.

This is something we have been saying all along.  It would no longer be surprising if Mitchell Trubisky or Deshaun Watson still available when Cleveland’s turn comes up again at #12.

Certainly, fans would be very happy if the Browns could get one of those guys, right?

That’s why the best thing to do is what it appears the front office will do.  Take the best player at #1, and get the QB later.

JD