So, one day we get the signing of an older gentleman quarterback, and the timing leads a few people (The OBR and Cleveland Frowns) to guess that the move was made at 6:00 PM on Saturday as a way of potentially avoiding the news cycle. Now, at the same time a day later, the Browns unleash some more moves on the sports news scrolls all over the nation. If you haven’t heard, the Browns traded both Brady Quinn and Kamerion Wimbley today. Let’s try to make some sense of this. At this point, I am not going to try and convince anyone that these moves are good or bad. Instead, I want to try and get inside the heads of the Browns’ front office and coaching staff.
First, let’s talk about Kamerion Wimbley because it might be a bit easier. After a year of coaching Kamerion Wimbley and after checking tape on Wimbley’s improved play this season, the Browns still felt like it wasn’t worth keeping Wimbley around. Maybe it has something to do with the depth of the draft. Maybe it has to do with the acquisition of Matt Roth a year ago. Maybe it is the fact that Wimbley has failed to prove himself to be more than just a physical freak with only one pass rushing move and a general inability to play in coverage and that he was in the midst of a 6 year $24 million contract. Probably a combination of all of these factors. So, the Browns get the 6th pick in the third round of this year’s draft. Wimbley was a first round pick, but it is easy to see that he hasn’t lived up to his draft slot. Some of that is Wimbley’s fault and some of that is probably the Browns’ coaches over the years.
Now, for the move that everyone will be talking about for years to come. The Browns traded Brady Quinn to the Denver Broncos for third year fullback Peyton Hillis, a 2011 6th round pick, and a conditional pick in 2012. Obviously we won’t know whether the Browns got enough for Quinn for some time. Anyone who says they know today is guessing. In order to see, we will have to see the results of Peyton Hillis’ career in Cleveland and Brady Quinn’s career in Denver, not to mention the conditional picks. The bottom line is this. Mike Holmgren, Tom Heckert, and probably Eric Mangini and staff all must have been in relative agreement that Brady Quinn doesn’t have it and never will have it. How else can you explain all the moves?
You could argue that maybe the new regime just believes Brady Quinn is the wrong style quarterback for this team going forward, but the drastic amount of changes that have taken place with so little playing time for Quinn as a Cleveland Brown really leads me to believe that this group of NFL evaluators just think Quinn doesn’t have “it.”
So, now we know the fate of the team. We know that the Browns are taking a flyer that Jake Delhomme might be able to regain some of his previous form with another year of healing under his belt from surgery. They are betting that if he fails, they are in a better position with backup QB Seneca Wallace. I can almost guarantee that they have a few names in mind in this year’s draft that they think are good bets to guide this team forward beyond the next season. Who knows? Maybe the Browns see their guy with the #7 pick?
Jake Delhomme is a gamble to be sure. Don’t judge the Browns’ new regime too harshly on their talent evaluation based on the fact that they signed Jake Delhomme. Just remember that he is a veteran, he was available and he probably wasn’t this regime’s first choice. The Browns are hoping they can get Delhomme back to form for a year or two as a stop-gap. If they could have gotten Kolb out of Philly, I am guessing they would have. Delhomme isn’t our ideal choice to play QB knowing what we know today. I am assuming it is the same with Holmgren and Heckert.
Also keep in mind that the Browns have already attempted to upgrade their run blocking with Tony Pashos. In trading Quinn they acquired a fullback that is capable of running the ball in Peyton Hillis. Also keep in mind that his running as a larger back will be in striking contrast to that of Jerome Harrison. I don’t expect him to be a pure blocking back like Vickers. The point is that I think the Browns are going to really work on building a balanced attack with the running game.
You know how I said before I wasn’t going to try to tell you how to think about these deals right now? That is kind of true, but I am still going to provide a few other things that I think are important as we enter the draft period. First of all, for example, as I have said before, arguing against Jimmy Clausen because he went to Notre Dame and so did Brady Quinn is intellectually lazy. It is pretty meaningless and an invalid argument. You can say that Jimmy Clausen is garbage and you don’t want him as a Cleveland Brown, but the school he attended is not a valid argument. Brady Quinn went to Notre Dame and was from Ohio and had mild amounts of success at Notre Dame. Jimmy Clausen is from California and is known for his rocket arm. They are two completely different players.
Also try to remember that very little about this Browns offense worked last season. We all sat around blaming Mangini and Brian Daboll, both of whom deserved some of the blame. At the same time, we were looking at the talent on the field and wondering why they couldn’t get anything more out of them. Well, now a completely new set of eyes in Holmgren and Heckert are here looking at the game tape and making drastic moves. Aren’t you kind of happy that they looked at Browns game tape from this past season (as bad as it was) and decided to make drastic changes? Just think about that for a while.
I know change is painful, but this team needs a lot of it. Every move that Holmgren and Heckert make won’t be right, obviously. Let’s just hope that the philosophy is correct and each move propels the team in a direction that will lead to overall cohesive team development.
Small update courtesy of @MikeAmmo on Twitter… Peyton Hillis highlight tapes… maybe this will make you feel good about acquiring him.
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