Ask Shawn: Thursday, October 24th Edition


Brad Asks:  When will the Browns be better than mediocre? What is the chance that Josh Gordon gets traded after the game this week?

The short answer is when they get a quarterback who can deliver consistently average-above average results on a weekly basis.  This team has the goods on both sides of the ball to compete with any team in the NFL right now.  The defense has a ton of depth, the front seven is one of the best in the league, and the secondary (which we all thought was going to be a weak point) has developed into the strongest part of the defense in my opinion.  Gipson/Ward are two of the hardest hitting safeties in the NFL, Joe Haden continues to be a shut down corner, and Buster Skrine has really stepped up big time.  On the offensive side of the ball, there are quality skill position guys (Cameron/Gordon/Bess), and the offensive line remains one of the most dependable units in the NFL.  They’ve looked weak at times, but mainly when Weeden has been in, because of how much extra time he stays in the pocket.  The running game is a weakness that needs to be addressed, but with Dion Lewis coming back and some combination of free agency (think Ben Tate) and the stock of 2nd/3rd/4th round picks we have, the Browns should be able to build the running system they want.  What I’m hoping happens is that Hoyer gets healthy, takes the reigns next year with a 1st round draft pick QB backing him up, with Campbell in the 3rd spot.  Long term, that’s how we’ve got to build this team to be successful.

As far as Josh Gordon goes, I’d say its really a toss up at this point.  The Browns would be wise to avoid a lot of the fan chatter and make the decision based on whether or not they honestly think Gordon can stay off of drugs.  He’s failed a drug test every single year since 2009, and he’s been kicked out of two colleges, in addition to being nailed twice for failing tests in the NFL.  He’s a big risk either way, and if they can really get a 1st/2nd round pick PLUS a player of quality for him, I’m betting they pull the trigger before the deadline.

Shane Asks:  What’s the odds we trade our million draft picks this year to draft a qb second or third? And will it johnny manziel? What other top qbs are reallt in the draft this year? Maybe good ol braxton miller..

I don’t think we’ll see Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi overreach on this draft.  Trading off a bunch of our draft picks just doesn’t make sense to me, especially when you consider how deep this draft class may end up being.  You could end up with Bridgewater, Boyd, Mariota, Hundley, Manziel, McCarron, Mettenberger, Murray, and Derrick Carr all going in the first 3 rounds (if they all end up declaring).  That’s a deep group of quality QB’s to chose from.  The thing is with that, there are a ton of good developmental picks that I could argue for making in the later rounds as well (Stephen Morris, Jimmy Garoppolo, Kenny Guiton, Tommy Rees, Connor Shaw, Bryn Renner, Logan Thomas), and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Browns snag one or more of those guys in the later rounds.  My point is, you don’t really need to waste picks in this QB draft.  The Browns could end up getting a Hundley or Mariota or Mettenberger in the mid/late first round without too much surprise.  I don’t think the Browns will take Manziel, mainly because I don’t think he fits with the front offices vision of their dream quarterback.  

Joe Asks:  Why are the browns seldom using the very explosive Travis Benjamin?

I think Weeden being back has probably hurt Travis Benjamin more than anyone else on the Browns offensive roster (outside of maybe the offensive line and Jordan Cameron).  The best plays to use Benjamin on are short routes where he can get into space and create serious issues with his explosive speed.  Think about the designed offensive plays we’ve seen Benjamin get big yards on so far this season.  Short screen, open space on the right side of the field, results in a 42 yard gain.  End around reverse, defense bites, Benjamin ends up 44 yards down the field.  The thing is, Weeden couldn’t make those type of screen throws.  The plays that gives Benjamin the space to make those big explosive gains just don’t work with a QB who can’t finesse the ball in to space.

James Asks:  If available in the draft will they pick up Clowney before a QB?

I highly doubt it.  The only way I see them taking anything but a QB with their top pick is if their first choice is off the board.  Then, I think they’re likely to pull the trigger on one of the better WR’s in this draft, especially if they end up trading Gordon.  Probably one of either Mike Evans (A&M), Marqise Lee (USC), or Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt).  I’d expect most of their defensive picks to come with their loaded 3rd and 4th round picks, where they can fill in a lot of their roster with depth.  They don’t need defensive guys to come in and start day one, where on offense having a new QB/WR could prove more of a day one type need.

Aaron Asks: My question for you is now with him at the helm albeit he is better then Weeden obviously how man games to you see us winning this season n now? Also in your opinion is this the best overall team he played for?

You really have to look at the schedule for that answer. We probably lose Sunday, but if Campbell plays decent there’s probably 4-5 more wins on the schedule. We should finish 7-9 or 8-8.

I think the Washington team he played for was terrible, the Oakland team was better offensively but not as good defensively. Campbell was pretty consistent on both teams. He’s never really gotten a fair shot in his career in my opinion.

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