Don’t Chase Talent


Trading Up is a Bad Idea

Many Browns fans seem to be growing in excitement at the prospect of trading up to get Manziel in the first round of the draft this year. This is a bad idea, and it has nothing to do with Manziel’s ability or lack thereof, to succeed in the NFL. Even if Manziel turns out to be the greatest NFL quarterback of all time, in terms of draft strategy it would still be a bad idea.

I know what you are thinking. “If he wins a championship, then who cares what we had to trade to get him? You’re dumb, bro” That is true, if he brings a ring to Cleveland, then I’m all for it. The problem is, you have absolutely no idea if Manziel, or any player at any position will help win a championship. Sure scouts take a semi-scientific look at a player’s physical, mental, and emotional attributes, and sometimes they get it right.

When all that poking and prodding and evaluating is done, and all the picks are in, there are still way more future busts than there are future Pro Bowlers. In fact of the current 32 starters, only 8 of them were drafted in the top 4 overall picks in their draft year. Now compare that to the number of quarterbacks in the last decade who were selected in the top 4 and were total busts, or are about to be busts.

Those are long odds. Trading multiple picks, especially multiple first round picks to go from number 4 to number 1 (regardless of the player) is just poor math. You are basically going all in on just one guy, when statistically, and historically speaking, that guy probably will not accomplish much.

The Draft is a Lot Like the Lottery

This is even more accurate when drafting a QB. Sure there is some science to it, but there are too many variables. Rarely do you get a guy who is going to be an absolute sure thing or an absolute sure bust.

When you are trying to win the lottery you want more lottery tickets, not fewer. Trading multiple picks to move up to get 1 guy is a lot like trading multiple lottery numbers because you are quite certain you know what the winning Powerball number will be.

Great teams, teams that are well run and generally successful on the field, always seem to find themselves trading down. The Patriots for example, have a system, they go out and get the best guy available for that system or they trade down and get multiple selections thus getting more shots at winning the lottery. Sure many of those picks are still busts, but they have increased their odds of drafting yet another future Pro Bowl player.

Déjà vu All Over Again

Many browns fans seem to be certain that trading up for Manziel (or any QB) is the smart move. I understand the desire to finally fix the profound lack of stability at the quarterback position for the last 15 years. Yet the organization has tried this before and it has led to some amazingly awful moves by front office personnel whose names we still curse to this day. Remember when the Browns traded up to get Brady Quinn? Remember when the Browns took Weeden, McCoy, or even Tim Couch because they were the best quarterback available?

The organization has done this before, it has ended terribly and we as fans grew very bitter at how poorly run this team seems to be. Now many of us turn around and are champing at the bit to trade up to take Manziel (or any QB for that matter). This is not an argument for or against any one player either currently on the Browns’ roster or that may be in the future.

Great Teams Don’t Chase Talent

Simply put, wanting to get a QB just for the sake of finally having a good QB at the expense of logic and reason is precisely the kind of impatience that has led the Browns organization into one contractual quagmire after another. Admittedly, patience is hard when your favorite team finishes 4-12 every single year. Patience and sound, long-term strategy are essential in building a winning team not impulse and recklessness.

If there is a QB on the board at #4 and the Front Office is quite confident in his abilities, then go for it. If a QB is on the board at #4 but does not seem promising, then do not draft that player just because he is a quarterback or because he is the best quarterback available and you really want a QB. Jamarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, and Akili Smith were also the best quarterbacks available when they were selected.

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5 Reasons Why Bernie Kosar Should Be Calling The Plays


Some people might think i am crazy for even considering this, or they think i was out all night with Bernie drinking “All the damn vodka”. But here are my 5 reasons as to why the old gun slinger should be calling the plays in 2014.

1.  Johnny Manziel would benefit greatly!

If you sit and listen to Bernie slur and stumble over his words during the preseason and are able to make out the garble that he is talking, the man knows how to play the QB position. With a young rookie QB pegged to start his tenure in the land of the dying quarterback, Bernie would keep Manziel”s head out of the clouds and his eyes down the field in the face of a Steelers pass rush. The Browns need someone to help Johnny out when it comes to reading a defense, going through his progressions, and most of all winning!

2. Familiar with his surroundings

Since the 80’s Bernie has dealt with the wind, the snow, and the cold that blow in off the shores of Lake Erie. He knows the way an offense has to operate in Cleveland and has won, and won a lot in his years in Cleveland. The Browns for years have hired and fired this coach and that coach and haven’t so much as even opened up the back door to take a look at the tall, lanky curly haired, possibly a little intoxicated man in the back yard that goes by the name of Bernie.

3. Hungry for a winner

Bernie has been in Cleveland for years and is a true fan of the Browns. He bleeds orange and brown and just like the fans, is hungry for a winner like yesterday. He has sat back and watched the past regimes botch draft after draft, fall head over heals with a coach who doesn’t know his ass from the endzone, and the front office and owners hire the likes of Michael “By no means related to Vince” Lombardi. Bernie would not let this team quit in the 4th or hang their head when they are down by 7 with two minutes left in the 4th.

4. A great eye for talent

During the preseason he gets to watch all of these backups and nobody go out and try and impress the coaching staff playing against a bunch of other nobody’s. But to Kosar they aren’t a bunch of nobody’s they are a bunch of guys who are going out and busting their asses and showing they are somebody’s. Well unless you are the St.Louis Rams or the parents of their players. He knows a winner when he sees one and would take a little nobody guy from some hole in the wall school and push him to get every ounce of talent out of him as he could.

5. Last but not least…….The fans love Bernie!

The fans remember the days of Bernie going out and side arming passes in the face of a rush, the long bombs down the field, and all the W’s he put up for the brown and orange. No matter if he seems a little slow or maybe has a hint of vodka on his breath, the fans still know that he is the last glimmer of once knowing what winning was. They still line up to get a picture with Bernie whenever they have a chance, they still cheer him on in the city and know that he will always be a Cleveland Brown for life. Most of all he relates to the fans, he knows how much we have all been through, all the heartache, the betrayal, the lies of the team being built into a “Winner”, he knows that Cleveland wants and deserves so much better, to be relevant and a powerhouse in the league again. To play games in December and January that have meaning behind them and the sound of the crowd roaring on a frigid windy day on the shores of Lake Erie, that’s what we all want as browns fans right?

That’s my opinion as to why Bernie should be the new OC for the Cleveland Browns in 2014…..

Hey a guy can dream right?

Cory Napolitano

Ranking The Senior Bowl Prospects That Should Wear Brown and Orange in 2014


So this is a 8 player list of the players from the 2014 Senior Bowl that stood out to me that Cleveland should consider with the picks they have in this years upcoming draft. Feel free to tell me your thoughts on the list hope you enjoy.

8.  Chris Borland ILB Wisconsin

Borland reminds me so much of Kiko Alonzo from Buffalo. The guy is relentless and doesn’t stop until the whistle blows; and even then he is still trying to remind you that you just got lit up. He is a smaller guy and lacks the big time speed, but he is sideline to sideline on every play and is a really solid replacement for Craig Robertson who got burnt in coverage all season long. He is an under the radar guy who didn’t get a lot of exposure due to all the other big names in the Big 10 this season.

7.  Dee Ford DE Auburn

Dee Ford proved a lot of people wrong that he was too small to play the position by winning MVP honors in the Senior Bowl. He has a quick burst off the edge and gave Zack Martin a workout the entire game. He is a Dwight Freeney type in his style of play with his quickness, burst and size. He will most likely go earlier and may have even worked himself into the late first early, or second round, but if he falls because scouts are still weary of his size he would be a steal as a developmental player later down the road.

6.  Keith McGill CB Utah

McGill could go pretty high after his showing in the Senior Bowl because the long tall corners are the new talk of the NFL secondaries. Look at what the Seahawks have done with the “Legion of BOOM”. Cleveland needs help across from Joe Haden, there is no way around that, and they have to draft a corner at some point. Buster Skrine, for his size and as young as he is, held his own for the most part across from Haden. The thing is, Skrine works better in the slot where he isn’t on a 6 foot something WR. McGill showed he has good hands and can ball out when called upon. I know it could be a stretch here, but if he is on the board in the later rounds Cleveland should really give him a look.

5.  Charles Sims RB West Virginia

Sims is a small guy, but he has no problem busting a DL in the mouth and letting you know he means business. He only had one year at West Virginia and he made it count. Rushing for over 1.000 yards and 11 touchdowns, he isn’t a guy that seems to be high on anyone’s draft boards, but he is a great sleeper in the later rounds and could become a solid starter at the next level. Sims has the kind of build of a Michael Turner; in that short bowling ball kind of runner, and he should still be on the board in the very late rounds depending on his combine showing.

4.  Josh Huff WR Oregon

Huff reminds me of a more polished Tavon Austin in his height and speed. From what I witnessed during the week of the Senior Bowl practices, the guy can flat-out go get the ball, which is something Cleveland doesn’t have in the slot. No Devon Bess, I didn’t say “pot” I said “slot” sorry if I got you excited. If you still don”t understand I guess you could probably go ask Brandon Weeden. But back to Huff he runs clean routes and has strong hands when it comes to going after the ball, and he moves the chains. With a fully loaded draft at the WR position it is likely that he falls to at least the 4th maybe even 5th round.

3.  Jimmy Garopollo QB Eastern Illinois

Some people may not see him as a polished QB, or even one that should be drafted before the 4th or 5th round. But this guy is an absolute steal if we could get him in the 3rd round and give him a few years to develop behind Brian Hoyer. I know I have Carr as number one on this list but its Cleveland, and can you really have too many QB’s on a team that has searched for “The One” since Bernie Kosar got shipped out-of-town. To answer your question, no. No, we truly can’t have enough. The way I see it, I would rather have three capable, winning QB’s on the roster than a thirty something rookie and a 32-year-old washed up journeyman.

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2.  Zack Martin OT Notre Dame

This is the kind of smash you in the mouth “bloody your nose” lineman that coach Pettine needs to draft and move inside next to All-Pro LT Joe Thomas. He is a versatile lineman who can be plugged in on almost any spot on the offensive line. The Senior Bowl is a great place for him to show off how good he is and the toughness that he has in the trenches. Martin is quickly soaring up draft boards and could be a steal late in the first round or possible even the beginning of the second, and would fill a void on the line for the next decade in Cleveland.

1.  Derek Carr QB Fresno State

I know. The last name just screams bust right? Well my friends, this is not David Carr, this is the little brother with the strong-arm, the great field vision, and the arm to throw in December on the shores of Lake Erie. Sure he comes from a smaller school that doesn’t get the exposure that “Johnny Football” gets but the guy does one thing right and that all Cleveland fans want…..WIN!

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Brian Hoyer A Top 10 Quarterback So Far?


So, I was digging around in the numbers a little bit, and I found some interesting statistics on Browns QB Brian Hoyer.  In his two starts this season, Hoyer has put up 590 yards passing and 5 touchdowns.  Now, I was trying to get a fair guage of the Browns passing offense when compared to other teams in the league, and so decided to factor Brandon Weeden out and just go with what Hoyer has done.  So, if we take Brian Hoyers average over his two games and factor them out over the full four games played so far, the numbers actually are a little shocking.

 

First, lets look at the Top Ten QB’s in the NFL based on their passing yards through the first four weeks:

1.  Peyton Manning, DEN  – 1,470

2.  Drew Bress, NO          – 1,434

3.  Matt Ryan, ATL          – 1,330

4.  Matthew Stafford, DET- 1,262

5.  Ben Roethlisberger, PIT- 1,231

6.  Robert Griffin III, WAS – 1.202

7.  Philip Rivers, SD         – 1,999

8.  Matt Schaub, HOU     –  1,193

9.  Eli Manning, NYG        – 1,148

10.  Sam Bradford, STL    – 1,093

29.  Brian Hoyer, CLE       – 590

 

Now, if we take the average Hoyer would have had over four games, it looks like this:

1.  Peyton Manning, DEN  – 1,470

2.  Drew Bress, NO          – 1,434

3.  Matt Ryan, ATL           – 1,330

4.  Matthew Stafford, DET – 1,262

5.  Ben Roethlisberger, PIT- 1,231

6.  Robert Griffin III, WAS – 1.202

7.  Philip Rivers, SD         – 1,999

8.  Matt Schaub, HOU     –  1,193

9.  Brian Hoyer, CLE       –  1,180

10.  Eli Manning, NYG        – 1,148

 

 

As you can see, Hoyer easily jumps in to the Top 10.  But wait, there’s more.  Check out Hoyer’s current TD total vs the current Top 10:

 

1st.  Peyton Manning, DEN – 16

2nd.  Phillip Rivers, SD        – 11  

3rd.  Drew Brees, NO          – 10

4th-Tied.  Tony Romo          –  8

Matt Schaub

Aaron Rodgers

Jay Cutler

Matt Ryan

9th-Tied.  Tom Brady          – 7

Alex Smith

18th-Tied.  Brian Hoyer    – 5

 

Now, again, you take Hoyer’s average over his two games played and spread it over over the entire four game season thus far, and its a wow factor:

 

 

1st.  Peyton Manning – 16

2nd.  Phillip Rivers      – 11  

3rd-Tied.  Drew Brees  – 10

Brian Hoyer   

5th-Tied.  Tony Romo   –  8

Matt Schaub

Aaron Rodgers

Jay Cutler

Matt Ryan

10th-Tied.  Tom Brady     – 7

Alex Smith

 

Now, I don’t think I’m way off base with assuming Hoyer can average about 300 yards passing and 2.5 touchdowns per game.  There was plenty of opportunity in both the Miami and Baltimore games for a competent QB to lead drives on those defense, particularly the Ravens defense which is in shambles.  He may have struggled a bit more against Miami, but again his quick release would have kept him from taking all those sacks that Weeden took.  And from the numbers, you can see that Hoyer would very easily be a Top 10 NFL quarterback with his performance thus far.

On The Browns Interest In Alex Smith


49ers testing Browns’ interest in Alex Smith – AFC North Blog – ESPN.

 

The rumors have been floating for several months now, and we’ve all probably gotten a little tired of hearing them.  Alex Smith to the Browns.  As it appears that the speculations and rumors are turning into a testing of the waters, lets break down the pro’s and cons of this possible move.

Pro:  Alex Smith is a better starting Quarterback right now than anyone on the Browns roster.

Yes, sorry Weeden junkies, Alex Smith is better.  He’s proven that, and I don’t think we need to keep debating it, because its an accepted fact in the NFL.  Alex Smith is more productive, has more experience, has more years left in the league, and knows how to run an offense.  Period.  He would be an immediate upgrade over Weeden and McCoy.

Con:  The 49ers have elected to not release him, and will only accept a trade involving draft picks.

Granted, I really would like to see Smith start for us over Weeden, but I’m loathe to give up draft picks, ever.  If it was a player swap, cool, but man I hate seeing us lose valuable young potential.  While we know what we’re getting with Smith and don’t know how draft picks will turn out, it still bugs me.

Pro:  Smith brings experience and respectability to the offense.

The experience part is self explanatory, he has 7 years of NFL experience to Weeden’s 1.  The respectability comes in that Smith is a proven NFL starting quarterback. Sure, he lost his job in San Francisco, but that’s really not a slight on him so much as its a compliment to Kaepernick.  Smith was having his best NFL season prior to getting benched, and putting up very good numbers.  Statistically, he was poised to finish as a top 10 quarterback by seasons end.

Con:  Alex Smith has a ceiling, and he’s reached it.

Look, you’re not going to get many surprises from Smith.  He’s pretty much peaked.  He’s not an elite NFL passer, and isn’t going to be.  So, if the logic that you need an elite QB to win a championship is fact, then we won’t get there with Smith.  He’s going to be a good, Chad Pennington type starter for most of his career.  A good, not great, quarterback.

Pro:  Alex Smith is still a good working Quarterback.  And Smart.

Look, just because he’s not elite doesn’t mean he’s not good.  In fact, he’s very good.  He’s developed into being better than at least half of the quarterbacks in the NFL.  That’s really not that bad.  Its better than anything we’ve had in Cleveland since I’ve been alive honestly.  He doesn’t make mistakes.  He doesn’t turn the ball over.  Sure, he’s cautious, but so what?  I’d rather a guy take an in-completion or check down than throw a pick six.  And again, be realistic Browns fans.  Don’t be that unemployed, sloppy fat guy who keeps telling yourself you’re going to land a ten.  We’re not, at least not until we show we can be a viable franchise in the NFL.  Smith could get us over that hump.  He’s not a ten, but he’s probably a seven, and that’s damn sure better than what we have, have had, or probably could land at this point.  So be realistic.  Be reasonable.  Don’t be that guy.

 

Shawn’s Rants – Don’t Get Your Hopes Up On Flacco To Cleveland


Alright fellow Browns fans.  It’s time to have a little heart to heart.  It’s time to get back to reality, and out of this world where some people have legitimate hope that Joe Flacco might leave Baltimore and come to Cleveland.  I’ve watched as the quiet whispers grew into hushed conversations, the hushed conversations grew into indoor voices, the indoor voices grew into shouts, and now the shouts are becoming some sort of weird cult like chant.  Lets reason together, shall we?

Its not going to happen.  First, because there is no way that Baltimore will let it.  Even if (big IF) the Ravens were unwilling to pay Flacco his money (they aren’t), there’s not a shot in hell that they’d let him come to Cleveland.  I hear you, he’s going to be a free agent.  Not if they pull a sign and trade type deal, which given Flacco’s value on the open market and the Raven’s excellent relationship with their franchise quarterback, it’s not hard to see both sides agreeing on.  Second, because Flacco doesn’t want to leave Baltimore, and he sure as hell doesn’t want to play for the Browns.  For all the things I dislike about both Flacco and the Ravens, neither he nor their front office is stupid.  They both know they’re better off staying together, even if it means cutting other players to create more cap space.  What you’ve seen so far is the Browns getting played again by the media and the agents behind closed doors, where we are unkindly played as sort of an unknowing puppet to help someone get the contract they want (see Chip Kelly).  Flacco probably wouldn’t sign with Cleveland even if it was a viable option, but it sure does help put pressure on the Ravens to give him the contract he wants (or close to it) if it seems like a real threat.  The only victims there are the salary cap in Baltimore (and players cut because of it), and the easily manipulated fans in Cleveland.  Think about it for a minute.  There are teams other than Cleveland with a need at Quarterback who could afford to pay Flacco the same money Cleveland could.  Have you noticed how you don’t hear about THOSE teams being rumored as a landing spot for Flacco?  Why do you think that might be?  Oh, because the Ravens fan base is far less willing to lose Flacco to a Division Rival than to any other team in the League.  That’s right.  Because it puts a ton of pressure on the Ravens to get a deal done, the deal Flacco wants, by creating this sense of urgency that he “COULD END UP BEATING US IN CLEVELAND OMG OMG OMG”.
It’s not going to happen.  Flacco wants to play in Baltimore.  He just wants to get every dime out of them that he can.  The Ravens are not willing to lose their franchise quarterback, who just performed historically well in the playoff run that ended up with a Super Bowl win and an MVP for Flacco.  They’ll posture, spread rumors on both sides, and eventually get a deal done.  Cleveland will once again be on the outside looking in, wondering how things turned against us.
Don’t let yourselves be pulled down this path again.  Let’s get back to reality, and look at real options to upgrade over Weeden.