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PSA Reminder

PSA Reminder

PSA:  Don’t Forget it’s Silly Season

Now there are reports of the Browns drafting Leonard Fournette or Mitchell Trubisky with the first overall pick.  There are also musings of the team putting a trade down “in play”.  This is a friendly reminder that this is not the truthful season.

It is not time to overthink this Browns’ fans.  When the Browns have made monumental moves historically – they were not announced in the media two weeks before the draft.  The same could have been said about other teams.

I fully expect the Browns to make move during the draft weekend; however it will not be the type of trade being announced in the media.

I am ready and eager about this pending draft, but I am not concerned about what the team may or might not do.

Expect other news to come out over the coming weeks regarding the Browns.  Remember, however, don’t believe everything report you hear.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2017 in NFL Draft, Players

 

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Thoughts about #12

Thoughts about #12

What I’m Thinking about Number Twelve

No, I’m not referring to the suspended wideout for the Cleveland Browns.  Instead, I am taking a deeper look at the second selection of the franchise – the twelfth overall selection.  It would only make sense that they choose Myles Garrett with the first overall choice – hopefully Sashi Brown and company pull the trigger on the defensive end.  That brings us to the huge question, what to do next?  Below are some options:

Best Offensive Weapon

This would likely be either tight end O.J. Howard or wide receiver Mike Williams.  Despite having Gary Barnidge, Seth DeValve, and Randall Telfair – the Browns could still use an improvement at the tight end spot.  Howard is gigantic (six foot, six inches – over 240 pounds), athletic, and could really help the Browns’ offense.  Underutilized in college – I have a sneaking suspicion that Hue Jackson would know how to best incorporate the athlete.

Seeing Terrelle Pryor depart in free agency, the Browns ought to look at an option to replace the wide receiver.  Williams appears to be the hands-down (save a few Corey Davis fans) best option in the draft.  The former Clemson wideout is rather tall (over six foot, three inches) and large (just under 220 pounds) but is not the fastest of athletes.  In the NFL, it is more about running proper routes and being at the right place at the right time.  The Browns could do a lot worse than Mike Williams with the twelfth choice.

Pick a Falling Defender

Though a less likely scenario, this could still be an option.  It would likely be the result of a few quarterbacks being taken in the top ten picks of the draft – leading to others sliding down the draft board.  Jamal Adams and Malik Hooker are the two top safeties and many are anticipating on both going well before the Browns are on the clock at twelve.  It would be rather tempting for the orange and brown to snag one of that duo up (provided they are available).  Judging for the team’s free agency attempts to secure Tony Jefferson and Bradley McDougald – it would appear that they are not confident at the safety spot.  The Browns can still get a Budda Baker or Obi Melifonwu in the second round, who would be great additions.

Go for the Quarterback

Ahh, the five-hundred pound elephant in the room – what to do with the most important position in sports?  The Browns clearly need a franchise quarterback, but what is their plan?  Will all options be available in the twelfth choice, and if so do the Browns draft their signal caller?  Or will the choose a guy later to develop and compete with Cody Kessler and the other quarterback on the roster (be it Brock Osweiler or someone else).  Personally, I like Mitchell Trubisky the best, but would ok with either Davis Webb or Patrick Mahomes in the later rounds.  I am greedy though, and would rather have the Browns pick Trubisky with their third-first round pick (after trading up).

Conclusion:  Assuming there are no trades made by the franchise (which could be a huge leap) – I hope the Browns take option number one with their second choice.  The NFL is an offensive league and the team needs more playmakers, especially to help out their signal caller.  They are fortifying their defense with Garrett and can complement the standout with solid secondary choices in rounds two through seven.

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2017 in NFL Draft, Players

 

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On the the Next Phase: QB Talk

On the the Next Phase: QB Talk

Time to Move on

The Cleveland Browns need a franchise quarterback on their roster (I understand that this is a grossly obvious statement).  Having said that, there is no inconceivable reason as to why they should pick up an underachieving free agent signal caller.  Sashi Brown and company must focus on the draft instead of finding a guy who will not do anything of substance on the field.  Let’s review what I’m referring to.

Jimmy Garrappolo Situation

It appears that a trade scenario is dead – rumors of the Browns offering a reasonable pair of second round draft picks and being
turned away was all I needed to hear.  Giving up any more than that is insane and an awful decision for the Browns to surrender top choices for such a big question mark.  For that reason, the Browns (and more importantly the media) should look for answers in other directions.

Colin Kaepernick and Baggage

First, there is the kneeling during the national anthem last season – and the response that many NFL fans have given the quarterback.  However, the reason why I do not want Colin on this team is that he is not a viable professional quarterback.  Colin’s better days are behind him, and he appeared to be a quarterback on a team that caught lightning in a bottle.  The 49ers ran a zone read offense and were the benefactors of others not having a tremendous amount of film on the quarterback.  The same cannot be said in 2017 – thus the Browns must stay away.

Noise about Geno

Fortunately, Geno Smith is not signing a contact to come here and play football.  Like Kaepernick, Smith cannot play the position in the NFL and therefore will not be needed in Berea, Ohio.  I understand reporters want to write stories about what they are hearing – but picking up a known failure in the league is just a silly decision.

Draft and Two Routes

That leaves us with the 2017 NFL Draft – the Browns can go one of two ways.  The first is to secure a quarterback in the first or second round (and tab them as their franchise quarterback), or they could choose a guy in the middle rounds to develop into a viable option down the road.  For the first option, I am going back and forth between Mitchell Trubisky and Deshaun Watson.  Via the developmental route – Davis Webb and Patrick Mahomes are two athletes who I would feel comfortable with.  I hope Sashi and company know the correct path and select the right guy.

Conclusion:  I am done hearing about the Cleveland Browns scouring the free agency market for guys to come in and be members of this team. Frankly, that market has dried up and the backup in New England is not
coming here.

The franchise’s fortunes should be clearer the weekend of April 27th through the 29th.  I cannot tell you who the front office will choose – but the best signal caller would be ideal.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Free Agency, NFL Draft

 

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Cleveland Browns Free Agency Takeaways

Cleveland Browns Free Agency Takeaways

Browns and Free Agency

Well, the Cleveland Browns made several moves this offseason – and I feel they made their team much stronger.  Giving up the most sacks in the NFL last year was not acceptable and the front office responded.  I would like to believe the team will now be able to forget about departed Alex Mack and Mitchell Schwartz from 2016 and have a new cast upfront that can keep the pocket clean, as well as open holes for Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson.  Let’s look further into the acquisitions.

Kevin Zeitler

The highest paid guard in NFL history now resides in Cleveland.  The injury to John Greco at the end of last season might to have helped facilitate this move, as the veteran’s health status remains up in the air.  Zeitler should help the Browns’ running attack tremendously – which will benefit the guy under center (whoever it is).

JC Tretter

He’s had a bit of an injury history, but provided he remains healthy with the orange and brown – they might have found Cam Erving’s replacement.   I would expect Tretter to hold his own in the middle; being surrounded by Zeitler and Joel Bitonio will assist the new acquisition.  This is an under-the-radar pick up, but one I fully support.

Kenny Britt

The Cleveland Browns secured either a number two or three wide out on this roster with the signing of veteran Kenny Britt.  Like Terrelle Pryor, the former L.A. Ram hauled in over 1,000 yards in 2016.  While this is not a high-end signing (as he should average 750 yards and three touchdowns), the wideout should help improve the wide receiving unit more than Andrew Hawkins did.  Britt’s size of 6’3” is something that should not be taken lightly – a large target for a quarterback is a great thing.  More depth should be added at this position in the draft.  I understand he has had his person issues earlier in his career, but he appears now as a better locker room guy than they athlete who departed for Washington DC.

Osweiler Trade

Buying a second round draft pick for $16 Million (or about $8.5 Million after you remove Robert Griffin’s salary – due to his release) makes a ton of sense.  The Browns have a bit more flexibility when it comes to assets to trade and still have a possible guy to trade (in Brock) for additional selections.  It will be interesting to see what comes after this deal – but making this shrewd decision was brilliant.  The Browns are ahead of the curve and this type of transaction is foreign to the sport (but not the NBA).

Conclusion:  I like what the Browns have done to this point – they solidified their offensive line and acquired additional opportunities down the road.  The contract extension for Joe Bitonio was included in this – as he should be back to solid form once he becomes fully healthy.  The biggest question remains is where will they get their quarterback?

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2017 in Free Agency, NFL Season

 

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NFL Scouting Combine – First Reaction

NFL Scouting Combine – First Reaction

What’s Going on During the NFL Combine – Early Negativity

On the first day of on the field competition, no one really stood out as performing exceptionally well on the gridiron.  Instead, there were medical or physical issues with multiple guys that could lead to evaluations that might hurt their draft stocks.  Obviously (whether that happens or not), that will be up to front offices and how they react/value this information.  Also, a couple of athletes will not be participating due to injury or illness.  Let’s take a deeper look into these situations.

Everyone Doesn’t Love Reuben

Linebacker Reuben Foster – billed as a top ten draft selection since last season ended, was dismissed from the combine after an altercation with a hospital employee (presumably during his medical assessment).  This is clearly not a good look for two reasons; it shows a bad side of his behavior and not being able to control his emotions.  Additionally, did Foster have something to hide regarding his health?  I still think he will be a fine investment, but he will likely slide in the first round of April’s draft.  Personally, I don’t feel that the Browns should go for him with the twelfth choice.

Leonard Packing on the Pounds

Many were surprised at running back Leonard Fournette weighing in a 240 pounds as a running back.  Despite this (and explaining himself as retaining water weight) he ran the forty yard dash and drills pretty well.  I cannot confirm that teams will drop him as a result of him “not being prepared” for the combine – but perhaps he drops below Dalvin Cook as an option.  Running back is not a position of need for the Browns – unfortunately they do not have the luxury of loading up there.  Thus, Fournette will not be an option for the orange and brown if still on the board (during their second pick).

Hooker is Hurt

These injuries occurred prior to the combine, but now they are coming ahead for the former Ohio State safety.  Malik Hooker had shoulder and groin surgery several weeks ago – causing the star to miss time prior to the draft.  Will clubs see this as a guy who is injury prone?  Or will they see it as Hooker trying to be fully healthy before entering the league?  I would be on board with taking the star at number twelve, provided he drops that far.  The Browns need a tremendous safety for their defense and Hooker fits that description.  His injuries do not worry me at this point.

Barnett’s Unavailability at Indy

Just coming down is the news that pass rusher Derek Barnett will not be performing due to him being sick.  That should obviously not affect his draft status, as these things happen.  I would not be surprised to be an exceptional player in this year’s draft – but assuming the orange and brown select Myles Garrett with the first overall pick, they will not take Barnett with their second choice.

Conclusion:  I am eager to see the signal callers and wideouts perform in today’s action.  The Browns need to improve in these areas and I would like to hear about positive news coming from Indianapolis.

 

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Two Rookies and Two Different Opinions

Two Rookies and Two Different Opinions

A Tale of Two Quarterbacks

I find it rather fascinating that two young men in the identical situation have two completely mindsets – at least to what the media
and fans are privy to.  Nonetheless, a pair of athletes chose to speak about their draft potential and where they want to play in the National Football League.  Will this mean anything in the big picture?  Possibly not, especially if the Cleveland Browns do not select either candidate in the upcoming draft.  Let’s look into the differing attitudes.

First up:  Deshaun Watson

On the heels of Myles Garrett stating he wants Jerry Jones to trade up and draft him to become a member of the Dallas Cowboys, a former Clemson quarterback all but reiterated these sentiments.  Whether Garrett and Watson were joking or not, the slight of the franchise in northeast Ohio is obvious by those who support the orange and brown.  (This is not even including the Senior Bowl snub by the quarterback, after Hue Jackson contacted the athlete to participate in Mobile,
Alabama).

Watson said at an awards ceremony that the Cowboys should trade both Tony Romo and Dak Prescott to the Browns so he could become the next signal caller in Dallas.  Again, whether he was being honest or not, turning off a rabid fan base is not a wise move for a guy wanting to break into the league.  Personally, I do not think Watson will translate to an excellent quarterback in the NFL – he does not possess a tremendous deep ball and his overall ability in the pocket could use improvement.  Could that change with great coaching?  Sure, but I still have my doubts.

Second Option:  Patrick Mahomes II

Meanwhile, the former Texas Tech signal caller said he is doing everything he can to be the number one overall selection and would love to learn from head coach Hue Jackson.  I understand it is not realistic that this will occur, but that does not mean the Browns will refrain from taking Mahomes at all (perhaps in the second round).  I have my reservations about Mahomes as well, as spread quarterbacks in the NCAA historically do not translate to the next level.  The signal caller will have to learn how to understand a complicated play book, read defenses, look off wide outs and hit the second or third options (to name a few things).

Perhaps I am being a bit harsh on the guy, but the jump from the collegiate level to the professional game is a significant one.  I suppose I could be on board with drafting this guy – provided the Browns address the quarterback via another route (i.e. Jimmy Garappolo or another veteran).  His attitude is definitely refreshing and I hope he makes it in the NFL, regardless of where he is selected.

Conclusion:  In another slow period of the year, the quarterback position makes news in Cleveland, Ohio.  Two options are making their feelings known about being chosen by the Browns – one said he would rather not go there, while the other embraced it.  I would prefer Deshone Kizer or Mitch Trubisky at this point, but perhaps Patrick Mahomes could be an under the radar choice in April.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2017 in Free Agency, NFL Draft, Offseason, Players

 

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The Time to Pay is Now

The Time to Pay is Now

The Browns Have Money – They Must Use It (Wisely)

The Cleveland Browns have over $100 Million under the salary cap heading into the 2017 season.  It’s one thing to be frugal spenders in the NFL, but this is getting out of hand.  I understand going all “Dan Snyder” and focusing on attracting older veterans whose better days (in the league) are behind them is not the way to go.  However, the team must improve tremendously from last years debacle and one way to do this is to sign (or re-sign) some quality, younger veterans who can make an impact now.

Terrelle Pryor Free Agent

Yes, the wideout had just one solid season for the Cleveland Browns.  No, was not astronomical either.  However, Sashi Brown and the front office would be extremely wise to lock up a talent on the edge for two primary reasons.  One, the Browns desperately need a target on the field who can be a reliable option opposite Corey Coleman.  Should the team take Mike Williams or O.J. Howard – even better.  This receiving unit would be one of the better ones in the league.  Additionally, the Browns will more than likely be breaking in another guy under center next fall.  Who would you rather see him throwing to – a tall, athletic playmaker like Pryor or a roster devoid of a guy like that?

Quarterback Plan

There are basically two schools of thought regarding how the franchise will handle the position under center this offseason.  They can either draft their guy for the future in the first round or acquire a veteran signal caller and accompany him with a later round option.  I frankly don’t believe the team will select a quarterback with the twelfth overall selection in this year’s draft – so I feel they will go with the second route.  Now, what can they do?  Personally, I prefer a pocket passer (Jimmy Garoppolo) to a primary runner who can throw (Tyrod Taylor).  If the Browns hear a reasonable offer – no first round picks surrendered – they should pull the trigger on the Patriots’ quarterback, pick a Davis Webb or Patrick Mahomes in the middle rounds, and couple them with Cody Kessler on this roster.  This would be light years ahead of last season’s quarterback room.

Conclusion:  It’s time to see wins for the orange and brown; making smart signings is a way to accomplish this task.  Securing Terrelle Pryor, scooping up Jimmy Garoppolo, and acquiring a reliable defensive starter (likely in the secondary) would be an excellent start to the 2017 free agent period for the Cleveland Browns.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2017 in Free Agency, Offseason, Players

 

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