Johnny Back-up is very, very real. ESPNCleveland.com Browns blogger Tony Grossi of did a 10 question segment with Cleveland GM Ray Farmer, and there were some enlightening moments for fans. Farmer is obviously excited about all of his draft picks, but he indicated Browns fans should watch out specifically for Joel Bitonio to surprise us all in good ways. He called out Terrance West as someone who might also be able to contribute right away. And of course, he talked about Johnny Manziel and his prospects for starting the season right away and what that would mean. This is how it sounded.
Tony Grossi to Ray Farmer: “If Johnny Manziel is our starting quarterback in game one, it would mean that…”
Ray Farmer: “somebody got hurt.”
Tony Grossi: “I guess I can guess who that would be.”
Ray Farmer: “Maybe.”
None of this is to say that the Browns GM can predict the future, but it’s good to know that here in May with a few months to go before training camp that the organization actually thinks they should go with the experienced hand to start the season. Once again, it’s a large part of the massive departure of the last few years where it felt like “development” was more important than trying to win football games. Instead of competitions for roster spots, the Browns crowned Brandon Weeden—twice. It was a failure, but at least when the Browns brought in Jake Del Homme you got the feeling that they actually wanted to try to win right away. That’s why as I’m excited about Johnny Manziel, the fact that Browns are recognizing an experienced, effective veteran should (SHOULD) give them a better chance to win out of the gate.
Farmer also said that he was happy the team stuck to their board rather than over-emphasizing needs, something that is good to hear as drafting for need is how you end up with Mohamed Massaquoi, Brian Robiskie and Greg Little in the second round. Nobody needs a replay of that.