Browns’ Biggest Problem Is Their Structure.

In the great debate regarding the Cleveland Browns, front office vs. coaching staff, we have been firmly committed as a member of Team Sashi.

That being said, if owner Jimmy Haslam felt adding GM John Dorsey meant adding a better talent evaluator to the front office to go along with Andrew Berry, we can’t argue too much.

However, it really doesn’t address the greatest issue with this football team, the coaching of Hue Jackson.

Jackson’s record of 1-28 as everyone knows, but our feeling is although the Browns need to add more very good players, especially at quarterback, to be a playoff contender, they have as much, if not more talent than other NFL teams who have managed to mix a win or two into their schedule.

The biggest problem is the ridiculous hierarchy Haslam has in place, with Dorsey, Paul DePodesta, and Jackson all reporting directly to the owner.  Name another NFL team with that set up.

We get that since Sashi Brown did not have a lot of NFL personnel experience, it might not be a good idea to have the coach report to him.

But, why not let Dorsey bring in a coach he can work with and let him be the coach’s boss?  That would seem put the coach and GM on the same page, a singular direction for the franchise that would be refreshing.

Besides, it would be a perfect time to do it too.  Most likely, the Browns will use the first overall pick in next spring’s draft to get a quarterback, making it a perfect time to move forward with a GM, coach, and QB.

The problem is Haslam likes to have everyone report to him so he can be everyone’s friend.  He owns the team, he can talk to anyone he wants, but the decision making capabilities should center around one person.

This also makes it easy to figure out who should take the blame.

If Jackson is brought back, the team runs the risk of having its new quarterback having to go through a coaching change during or after his rookie season.  That would seem to be counter to the development of the player.

As we now know, Jackson’s reputation as a molder of young signal caller is vastly overrated, in fact, we really don’t want the coach around Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, or whoever Dorsey takes at the top of the draft.

Also, you have to believe, in his heart of hearts, Dorsey would love to have his own guy in place as head coach, someone who shares his vision, and wants to carry out his plan.

It’s not like Jackson has shown much as the head coach either.  His main attribute is the team is still playing hard, which is something that 28 other NFL teams can claim.

He’s a self promoter who threw his front office under the bus on a weekly basis, has huge issues with clock management, eschews the running game even though he has a rookie quarterback, and his team lacks discipline.

Why would Dorsey want him to lead this team for another season?

The Browns should not be this bad.  Jackson’s team has lost when the QB played well, when the running game has been good, when the defense has been good.

However, there are two common themes:  Losing and Hue Jackson.

JD

 

 

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Who Takes Blame For Browns’ Latest Loss?

It was a tumultuous week for the Cleveland Browns, especially on Thursday when Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown was fired by owner Jimmy Haslam, and replaced later that day by General Manager John Dorsey.

Amazingly, Hue Jackson was given a vote of confidence by the owner and it was announced he would be back for the 2018 season, despite a 1-27 record during his tenure.

With Dorsey in attendance at First Energy Stadium, the Browns blew a two touchdown lead they gained late in the third quarter, and lost to the Green Bay Packers in overtime, 27-21, dropping them to 0-13 on the season, and 1-28 since Jackson took over last year.

We have maintained most of the year that the Browns were not as bad as their record indicated, and today was another example, as Cleveland dominated much of the first three quarters, but couldn’t come up with the victory.

Jackson’s team outgained Green Bay, and held the Packers to under 100 yards rushing for the game, but lost because they played not to lose after scoring to make it a 21-7 game, and because of another horrible turnover by DeShone Kizer.

After that last score, with 2:49 left in the third quarter, it seemed Gregg Williams’ defense went into prevent mode, allowing Brett Hundley to complete short pass after short pass, leading to a 13 play, 75 yard drive to close the gap to 21-14.

After the first drive of the contest, the Browns’ defense hadn’t allowed the Packers much, so we don’t understand the change in philosophy.  With three minutes to go in the game, we could understand it, but there were 18 minutes left.

It is worth noting that Jackson challenged a juggling catch, that clearly (on live look) appeared to be a catch, costing the Browns a timeout.

The score that tied the game was set up by a special teams’ gaffe, allowing Travis Davis to return a punt 65 yards to the Browns’ 25 with a little over two minutes to go.

Instead of pinning Green Bay deep in their own territory, they had a short field for the game tying score.

When was the last time the Cleveland special teams had a game without a glaring mistake?

Offensively, Jackson has talked all year about the lack of talent.

Granted, Josh Gordon just returned last week, but Isaiah Crowell, who had 121 yards on 19 carries, has been here all year.

Corey Coleman, criticized recently for being just an average player, caught five passes for 62 yards, and seems to be a good compliment for Gordon.

Unfortunately, TE David Njoku didn’t seem to be part of the game plan, catching just one pass for three yards.

Still, we saw some nice play calling.  The game opened on a play action pass on first down, with Kizer hitting Gordon for 38 yards.

We also saw a number of screen passes, and even a shuffle pass in the red zone, which Duke Johnson turned into a touchdown.

We wonder where that has been all season.

However, with a chance to win, Kizer tried to make a big play when he should have eaten the ball, and threw an interception, his second of the day, when Clay Matthews Jr. hit his arm, forcing the ball to go straight up in the air, where it was picked off by Josh Jones.

That led to the game winning TD in overtime, and the Browns’ 14th straight loss.

File this one into the list of games the team could have won this season.  It’s far too many for a team without a win.

There is talent on this football team, and thanks for that should go to the deposed Brown.  Unfortunately, the problem is poor coaching, and at least for the time being, that problem still exists.

JD

 

Front Office Or Coach, Who’s More To Blame For Browns.

The football fans of Northeast Ohio are at odds with each other.

Should the Browns keep the front office intact two years after Sashi Brown, Paul DePodesta, and Andrew Berry were put in charge of procuring players, and keep coach Hue Jackson, or should they keep Jackson and find a new director of football operations.

A third option would be to keep everyone in place for a third season.

Our opinion is that the front office stripped the team down to the bare bones following the 2015 season, and has started to put together a talented group of young players to grow and develop.

They haven’t addressed the quarterback position, but they will probably take care of that in this upcoming draft where they could have two top ten picks.

However, the offensive and defensive lines are strong, the linebackers are solid, and they seem to have a good group of tight ends.

This put them light years away from a couple of years ago when they simply weren’t good enough up front.

We have confidence that Brown and his cohorts in the front office will address the positions of weakness prior to next regular season.

Six players picked last season (2016) are currently starting:   WR Corey Coleman, WR Ricardo Louis, T Shon Coleman, DE Emmanuel Ogbah, LB Joe Schobert, and S Derrick Kindred.

Only Louis can be considered questionable of that group.

Four rookies are starting:  QB DeShone Kizer, DT Trevon Coley,  DE Myles Garrett, and S Jabrill Peppers.

Garrett looks like he is as advertised, a very good pass rusher and a guy who can make All Pro teams.

And don’t forget CB/S Briean Boddy-Calhoun, TE Randall Telfair, TE Seth DeValve, and DE Carl Nassib who have shown flashes.

Have all the front office’s personnel moves worked?  No, but name a team that is right 100% of the time in this area.

Our belief is that coach Hue Jackson is the bigger issue.

He started Kizer, a rookie and a second round pick from the opening game, but didn’t put in an offense that would’ve taken pressure off the kid, having him throwing downfield instead of running the ball and using a short passing game to help him out.

He also doesn’t seem to run the ball, Cleveland ranks 23rd in the NFL in rushing attempts, but is 12th in the league in yards per attempt.  Something just doesn’t add up.

Meanwhile, Jackson’s squad is next to last in yards per pass attempt but they throw the ball the 4th most times in the league.

These statistics seem to indicate a coach who is either trying to lose football games or simply doesn’t have a clue as to how to use his personnel correctly.

Football people say tight ends are a quarterback’s best friends, but Kizer doesn’t seem to have been taught to use them.  Rookie TE David Njoku has scored three touchdowns this year, but has caught just 20 passes, and plays less than 50% of the snaps.

Duke Johnson, another threat on offense, has caught 46 passes, the same number of rushing attempts he has on the season.  This means he doesn’t even get 10 touches from scrimmage per game.

Add that to clock management mistakes, accepting penalties when he shouldn’t, and a general lack of discipline, and the fingers should point to Jackson, first and foremost.

Can Jackson change?  He could, but we are skeptical because of the past.

The question we like to ask is this:  Would another coach have one, two, or even three wins at this point in the schedule.

If you answer truthfully, then you know where the issue is.

JD

 

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

 

 

 

Why Is Hue Held Blameless?

We understand how it goes when covering a team.  Reporters talk to the coaches everyday, and unless the coach is a total jerk, we are sure they develop a good relationship.

And when you cover the Cleveland Browns, and the front office representative, Sashi Brown is kind of condescending to the media, it is probably natural to support the coach when at all possible.

However, in watching the games, it is hard to see if objectivity is used, why the front office should be under attack.

One veteran media member said yesterday that the Kenny Britt signing is proof that Brown is over his head as Executive Vice President of the team.  What?

Wouldn’t the signing of CB Jason McCourty alone counteract the Britt acquisition?

And that’s not even bringing up getting Jamie Collins, Briean Boddy-Calhoun, and  Jamar Taylor in trades or guys brought in off the waiver wire.

While the “you have to have a football man in charge” people don’t want to admit it, the two drafts the Brown regime has overseen has more promising players chosen than most drafts in recent memory.

Another reporter wrote after Sunday’s loss to the Jets that Jackson couldn’t be blamed because Zane Gonzalez missed two field goals and DeShone Kizer turned it over twice in the red zone.  Huh?

He’s in charge, right?  He gets credit when players play well.

He’s developed the game plan that put in an audible for an option pitch near the goal line that resulted in a fumble.  The second turnover was simply an awful throw by Kizer.

Jackson is also the coach who didn’t put in a system to protect a 21-year-old rookie quarterback.  Look at the two quarterbacks most media members bring up as guys the front office blew it by passing on.

Carson Wentz is having a fine season for the 4-1 Eagles.  But his offense is also 4th in the NFL in rushing.  Deshaun Watson, passed over this season, is playing well too, but the Texans are 3rd in running the football.

The Browns rank 23rd in rushing and this past week gave their quarterback more carries than Duke Johnson had touches.

The failure to commit to the running game is on the coach, it’s not Sashi Brown’s fault.

In fact, Brown spent a ton of money on two offensive linemen, both of whom start for the 2017 Browns.

We also read someone bemoaning the players the front office let go, bringing up Alex Mack and Mitchell Schwartz.  Mack started in the Super Bowl, and Schwartz starts for the NFL’s best team in Kansas City.

Those are fair criticisms.

Then, Terrelle Pryor was brought up.  The same Pryor who has 13 catches for 186 yards on the season to date.  Heck. Ricardo Louis has 15 receptions for 204 yards.

Also mentioned?  Gary Barnidge, who isn’t on an NFL roster.

And of course, Joe Haden is always brought up.  Haden is still a decent cornerback in the NFL, but he no longer can match up with top receivers.  Stop comparing him to the memories of him four years ago before the injuries took their toll.

Yesterday, a member of the Browns’ broadcast crew admitted Cleveland has more talent than the Jets, the team that defeated them last Sunday.  They are now 3-2 on the season.

So, why can’t the Browns win some games?  We aren’t advocating firing the head coach because the organization can’t keep doing that.

However, it is time to start holding the coaching staff accountable.  Don’t protect him because he’s a good guy, and point the finger at someone who you don’t know.

JD

 

 

Panic Regarding Browns Is Unfounded…For Now.

The Cleveland Browns have started 0-2 once again this year, and we think it is a reflex for the fans and media alike to start thinking another disastrous season is ahead for the team.

While it is a possibility that Hue Jackson ends the season with a 2-14 season, we still think that the 5-11 mark we expect is still very much in play.

We know the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Browns’ opponent in the home opener are the favorites to win the AFC North, and for all we know, the Baltimore Ravens could be a 10 win team as well.

That’s why you can’t overreact to things after just two weeks.

The next four games come against opponents which should give people an idea if the Browns have indeed improved from the 1-15 mark a year ago, and being widely regarded as the worst team in the NFL.

Next week, Cleveland visits Indianapolis to visit a Colts team that is without Andrew Luck and has the same record as Jackson’s squad at 0-2.

They will be starting Jacoby Brisset, making his fourth career start, a far cry from Super Bowl winners Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco.

The Colts lost to playoff contender Arizona in overtime on Sunday, but were hammered by the Rams in week one.  Let’s just say the Browns’ foes are in a higher class than those teams.

Then come home games against Cincinnati and the New York Jets, both sitting at 0-2, the same as Cleveland.

The Bengals have already replaced their offensive coordinator, and have looked dreadful against the Ravens and Texans.

Meanwhile, the Jets are copying what Sashi Brown did a year ago, jettisoning many older players and collecting draft picks, probably in an effort to take a shot at the possible franchise quarterbacks coming out in the 2018 NFL Draft.

They are starting Josh McCown at QB, and their losses have been against another rebuilding team in Buffalo, and a pummeling by the Raiders.

Then comes another road game at Houston (1-1), a team whose win is against Cincinnati and they lost to another team that usually drafts in the top ten, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

These four opponents are more in the Browns’ “weight class” than the mighty Steelers and the perennial playoff contender Ravens.

This isn’t to say the Browns will win all four games, or even two of them, but they have a better shot at victories against this quartet than they did in the first two games.

And remember that Cleveland is starting a rookie quarterback, and it would be more the norm than not to expect up and down performances from a player just entering the league.

However, we would still like to see a more simplistic approach from the coaching staff.  We would like to see more of an emphasis on the ground game using an offensive line that the front office spent a boatload of money on.

For all we know right now, the Steelers and the Ravens could be two of the three or four best teams in the AFC.  If you can’t get some victories against the next four teams, then there will be reason for panic and concern.

Right now, Browns fans just need to relax just a little bit.

JD

 

 

Browns Continue To Get Younger

The Cleveland Browns cut down to 53 players today, although our guess is that the final roster will won’t be finished for several days.

A common theme since the beginning of last year has been youth.  If your name is not Joe Thomas, and you are over 30 years old, it is very difficult to make this roster.

After the end of last season, we speculated that Desmond Bryant and John Greco might have difficulty being with the team in 2017, and we wound up being correct.  Neither are still wearing brown and orange.

Besides Thomas, only two players have reached their 30th birthday, and one of them is the punter, Britton Colquitt.  Only CB Jason McCourty escaped the wrath of the organization’s obsession with Father Time.

Not that we disagree with what Sashi Brown, Paul DePodesta, and Andrew Berry have done.  They took over a football organization that made one playoff appearance since returning to the NFL in 1999, and never really tried to build through the draft.

From the first year Cleveland returned, they had players like Jerry Ball, Lomas Brown, and John Jurkevic on the roster.

The second and third year, they didn’t have many players over 30 on the roster, and they got to 7-9 in the third year (2001), and made the playoffs in 2002 at 9-7.

After making the playoffs, it seemed like that became the goal, and the organization started adding veterans every year, mostly guys nearing the end of their careers, players like Orpheus Roye, Ross Verba, Jeff Garcia, Trent Dilfer, Joe Andruzzi, Kenard Lang, etc.

Combined with not drafting well, and you can see why the franchise was floundering.

Brown and DePodesta stopped the madness, although many veteran football media people couldn’t see what they were doing.

Outside of Thomas, they unloaded veteran players who were no longer improving.  The only holdover was Thomas, a future Hall of Famer for sure.  And Thomas had to buy into the process, otherwise he would have asked out.

As of right now, 42 of the 53 players on the roster were brought in the past two years, and that doesn’t count players like Christian Kirksey, Joel Bitonio, and Danny Shelton, who are still young guys, but were drafted by Ray Farmer.

The new regime needs to has success, for sure.  We aren’t saying that Brown and DePodesta did the right thing after going 1-15 a year ago.

However, we do feel the team is going in the right direction, and fans shouldn’t be discouraged if the Browns go 4-12 or 5-11 this season.

Why?  Because they will be doing it with a very, very young roster that should continue to improve over the next three or four seasons.

And because the front office seems to be drafting better.  Knock on wood, but it looks like both first round picks, Myles Garrett and Jabril Peppers, can be impact players.

Last year’s choices look to be improved too.  Emmanuel Ogbah, Corey Coleman, Shon Coleman, Derrick Kindred, Joe Schobert, and Seth DeValve look like contributors.

The scouting department has found solid players like Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Tyrone Holmes, and Dan Vitale off the waiver wire.

Whether success comes in the next few years or not, what the Browns are doing is the right thing to do.

We have said it many times, the only thing worse than being a bad team is being a bad, old team.

The Cleveland Browns definitely cannot be considered the latter.

JD

 

 

 

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 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