Ask Shawn – October 21st, 2013

You know the deal.  You ask the questions, I tell you the painful truth.  Let’s get in to it.

Bruce Asks:  Will Josh Gordon be in a Browns uniform after the trade deadline?

I think so, yeah.  I’ll give you my reasons.  First, I don’t think that anything short of a first round pick is going to get the deal done, and I just don’t see many teams willing to part with their first round pick for a guy who’s facing a full year suspension for his next substance abuse infraction.  He’s had issues with drugs since he was in college, failing multiple tests over multiple years.  Its a big gamble to make with a first rounder.  Second, I don’t think the Browns really want to deal him.  His ceiling is pretty high, and he showed himself to be a top level talent when he had a decent QB throwing him the ball.  I think the window to trade Gordon has passed.

Jeremy Asks: What about the qb position? Will we have a qb on the field next week?

A real QB you mean?  Probably not.  We’ll have either a Brandon Weeden or a Jason Campbell, more than likely Weeden.  Do I think the Browns will sign a free agent or make a trade for someone?  Again, probably not.  If they were going to make a move, they really should have done it by now.  The coaching staff has known with certainty for longer than we have exactly what Brandon Weeden is.  They didn’t pull the trigger on replacing him until he was injured, and even then they were extremely slow to name Hoyer the starter.  For some reason, they are stuck on Weeden.  It’s getting harder and harder to surmise why, but it is what it is.

Joe Asks:  Everyone is concerned about the quarterback position but what happened to the defense…? Will we get back on track?

I know not everyone buys my explanation for the defensive struggles over the past two weeks, but I still subscribe wholeheartedly to the idea that Weeden’s struggles and the offense’s struggles in general are taking a massive toll on the defense.  The obvious reasons being the time on the field, but it goes deeper than that in my opinion.  The defense knows a few things for fact.  One, the offense isn’t going to help them out.  Two, they are going to be put into bad field situation after bad field situation all game long because of a lack of offensive progress.  Three, and I’m going to make this as clear as I can, a bad Quarterback infects an entire team.  Brandon Weeden is an infection on this ball club.  Quarterback is the most important position on the field, and when your quarterback is the worst in the NFL, it is going to damage the morale of the entire team.  In short, I think the defense only starts to really get back on track when the offense can start pulling its weight.  Don’t hold your breath.

Its All Tribe Asks:  Could the Browns trade for Kirk Cousins?

Sure, they could.  I don’t see it happening though.  The Redskins probably aren’t all that interested in shopping Cousins because of the likelihood that RGIII will end up hurt again.  Even if they are, they’re better served by waiting until closer to contract time for him.  They’ll still be able to trade him, and they’ll probably maximize his value that way.

Jim and Todd Ask:  Why, for the love of God haven’t the Browns started Campbell yet??

Welp.  That’s the million dollar question this morning, isn’t it?  I’ve said for a few weeks that I think something is wrong with Campbell, either physically or mentally.  He’s really not that different a quarterback from Weeden, from a skill set point of view.  Big arm, accuracy problems, lacks mobility.  The things we’ve seen Campbell do in the past that are better than Weeden though are important.  Better at making reads, better at avoiding sacks (not much, but still better), and better at managing an offense.  We’ve seen that Campbell can do these things on a couple different teams.  That, and Campbell has not, to my knowledge, ever thrown an underhand pass.  Still, the Browns coaching staff seems to know that its hard to bench a QB twice and ever hope to have him be productive again.  If they pull the plug on Weeden and start Campbell, they will have reached the point of no return.  I think a lot of this comes down to that.  Are they willing to go with Campbell for the duration of the season?  A QB change now has to be final.

Rob Asks:  Why haven’t we called Beanie Wells?

I think the Browns got the stop loss guy they wanted in McGahee.  What they really want to do is sign Ben Tate next offseason, and get Dion Lewis back.  Running a three back set with Tate, Lewis and Oby would be a pretty solid group.  Norv’s offense is built less on a physical style back like Beanie and more on speed guys like Lewis and Tate, and guys who can catch the pass out of the backfield like Lewis and Oby.  Speed and passing are the hallmarks of a Norv Turner offense, and Beanie just really wouldn’t fit.


Part II of the questions from today:

@Death_Apollo asks:  Will we finally try to trade for a QB?  We desperately need one.  Or do the Browns punt and wait on the draft, ending season?

My gut tells me if they were going to make a move to sign a free agent QB or trade for one, they would have done it already.  How would waiting any longer, or even this long, help us?  It wouldn’t.  It would leave us looking very desperate.  Make no mistake, the worse Weeden looks, the more we would have to pay to get a decent QB from anywhere in the league.  And, as important, the more weeks go by, the less time a new QB has to learn the Browns system, minimizing how long they could be effectively used.  My gut tells me we’re going to be left waiting for the draft on this one.

David asks:  When and where do the browns hold tryouts for quarterback…somebody needs to step up Falco style asap.

I think Brian Hoyer was our Falco.  Him going down makes it feel pretty improbable to me that we’re going to catch lightning in a bottle again this year.

Sandie asks:  Why is weedon such a f up ??

Welp.  I hate to be THAT guy, but I’ve been saying Weeden was not a starting caliber Quarterback for over a year now. I said it the day he was drafted.  I said it throughout all last season.  I said it during the draft and free agency.  I said it again when before they traded Colt McCoy.  I said it again when they signed Jason Campbell.  Weeden is not a good quarterback.  He is never going to be a good quarterback.  He’s not even going to be average.  Ah, if only I ran the show over at Browns HQ haha.

Mike Asks:  Is hoyer in on film study? Seems like he could help Weeden with pre snap reads or something.

At the moment, Hoyer is not involved in any team activities.  He’s still recovering from surgery, and since he’s on the full IR, his ability to be involved is extremely limited.


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