Instead, I will point out an interesting question that a friend of mine raised yesterday.
When the Browns fired Eric Mangini, many thought that Mike Holmgren had his dream guy all lined up and ready to go. At least at this early stage, that doesn’t seem to be the case. The Browns are certainly offensive coordinator-heavy at this point. One thing is for certain: the Browns will have a new looking offense (to us, anyway) next season. Even if Brian Daboll hasn’t been given his walking papers yet, you can be sure he won’t be back.
But what about Rob Ryan?
I have an off-the-wall prediction based in nothing but my version of entertainment. Rob Ryan will get hired by Al Davis and the Raiders. Why stop the cycle of insanity now? I’ll admit that I have no basis for this what-so-ever, except that I think HBO should definitely load up the “Hard Knocks” cameras and do the only suitable sequel to last year’s train wreck with the New York Jets.
Wide receiver is going to be a position of need this off-season. How many receivers the Browns choose to pick up is a debate worth having. I have some names for you to start the process. Obviously the trade market and draft prospects will come into focus at a later date, but here are some free agents I would be interested in exploring.
- Steve Breaston is not expected to be back in Arizona. Even with a QB carousel in Arizona this year, Breaston caught 47 balls for 718 yards. Only one TD, but even Larry Fitzgerald only had six touchdowns this season, down from 13 the year prior. Breaston probably isn’t a true #1 receiver, but he is probably a bit better than your average #2. Lastly, signing Breaston would prove once and for all that we don’t hate Michigan players once they hit the NFL.
- Mike Sims-Walker is not expected to re-sign in Jacksonville. Sims-Walker is similar to Breaston in that he probably isn’t a true #1 receiver. Even still, in a down year, he caught seven touchdowns with 43 receptions on 562 yards over 14 games. Sims-Walker can be explosive though. He had over 150 yards in one game this season against Dallas, and 105 against San Diego. The prior year, Sims-Walker had three games over 100 yards, two more at 91 yards and one with 81 yards.
- Plaxico Burress is expected to be back in the league this year and the Browns have very little to lose. Why not offer to be the host city for the Plaxico Burress career reclamation project? You have to think that Plaxico will be determined to prove he can still play and also stay out of trouble. Of course some outlets have already said the New York Giants could very well give Plaxico a second chance, so this could be a waste of typing.
Everyone I know loved Clay Matthews growing up. He will always be an iconic player in Cleveland and probably the epitome of the word “linebacker” for the rest of my life. I understand that his legacy increased the consternation when the Browns failed to draft Clay Matthews III who is lighting it up in Green Bay for the Packers. Still, it seems overly nit-picky to sit around claiming that the Browns “missed” when they selected Alex Mack at 21 with Matthews being picked at 25.
I am a bit tired of it, honestly. The Browns make enough mistakes, without needing to label clear victories as the opposite. Alex Mack plays a position that doesn’t provide much glory. He keeps his name out of our mouths against some of the best nose tackles in the league. He also managed to keep from fumbling like crazy as he worked with three different QBs for extended periods this season.
Clay Matthews is great, but you don’t need to cut down Alex Mack to say that. There’s no telling how Clay Matthews III would have looked on the Cleveland Browns. I tend to agree that he would have looked great, but then again, so does Alex Mack.
So keep hammering away at that second round if you want, but leave Alex Mack alone.