For some reason, the previous post of this got deleted, so let’s try again.
The Pound Wants To Know: “@kosmobrown: The owner, gm, coaches, & overall philosophy has changed. Is it fair, or even make sense, to compare to the previous regime?”
Shawn Says: Let me preface this by saying that the final comparison will be done over the long term. If this regime posts consistent losing seasons, then the differences are mute. That said, I think that there are some things we can see now. The biggest to me is what MarkR mentioned in his take on the Browns Free Agency post. Targeted Aggression. This regime seems to be far more aggressive, both in their approach to building a coaching staff, signing players, and in their on field philosophy. They bring in Chud and Norv to run the offense, two guys know for setting up fast offenses that will push the ball down the field. They bring in Ray Horton, who builds his entire defense on attacking the QB/ball. The Browns for my entire life have been painfully conservative on offense, and infuriatingly set on bend-dont-break/prevent defense. The aggressive approach is definitely refreshing to me.
The Pound Wants To Know: How has Brandon Weeden looked in OTA’s?
Shawn Says: Surprisingly good. His release is much quicker, his accuracy has looked better, and his long ball looks great. That said, its no pad/no contact practice. Still, he seems to be in good timing with the receivers, particularly Gordon and Benjamin.
The Pound Wants To Know: How worried should Browns Fans be about Josh Gordon facing a one year suspension?
Shawn Says: Cautiously optimistic. Granted, Gordon has a history of violating the leagues substance abuse policy. That said, I think sitting two games and losing four games worth of pay should help him get his mind right. That, and I have a feeling Chud will keep him accountable.
The Pound Wants To Know: Can the Browns make the playoffs this season?
Shawn Says: Sure, they can. Will they? I wouldn’t bet on it. I do think the defense will be top five or ten in the league, and will be fun to watch. I think the offense is going to show improvement, and possible slivers of being really fun. I’m excited to see T. Rich play a full season, and the top five WR’s make me smile a bit. I think Gordon is the real deal, Little is a solid #2, and Bess/Nelson will be productive. I think Benjamin could show flashes of excellence, if he keeps improving his route running. His speed is ridiculous.
That said, I just don’t buy that Weeden is the guy. That, and this is a young group still. They will make mistakes, they will turn the ball over. But they will be better this season. Think 6-10 or 7-9.