April 16, 2014

What do you make of Brandon Weeden? – Cleveland Browns Roundtable

WFNY_roundtable

Craig: The takeaways from this week’s game seem to be setting the tone for the rest of the season. We’re going to continually look to define Brandon Weeden. On one side there will be those who seem to defend him out of hope, those that will bash him out of preemptive judgement, and those that continue to sit and watch and take it all in.

Where are you guys on Brandon Weeden at this point? Do you still have hope and expectations of Weeden that he can be the Browns quarterback? Have you given up on the guy and just wish the Browns could move on right now? Are you in the middle hoping that Weeden somehow proves to be a decent placeholder?

Andrew: Well, first things first, it’s been one game. I have to keep telling myself that, because every last fiber of my instinct is telling me that what we saw is reality. [Read more...]

Browns Outlast the Jaguars 14-10 In Nail-biter

The Cleveland Browns offense passed the eye test today.  That is something that we haven’t been able to say about this team this year.  The team was going up against a depleted Jaguars defense that got even more banged up during the game, so save the punch and pie for now.  They didn’t blow the roof off the stadium with scoring either.  Still, they moved the ball.  They spread it around to guys like Josh Cribbs, Jordan Norwood, Greg Little and Mohamed Massaquoi.  The offensive line protected Colt McCoy pretty well and opened enough holes for 4th string runner Chris Ogbonnaya to go for 115 yards and a TD.  It is exactly what the Browns needed at this time of the year with the schedule coming up.

A lot of people were angry that the Browns won today because of the impact on the NFL draft.  I understand that line of thinking, but it isn’t very useful from a pragmatic standpoint while running a professional football team.  You make your plays in the draft by accumulating picks, not by losing intentionally.  Every time you put your team out on the field you have to try to win.  Anyone who expects the Browns to field a team week-in and week-out without attempting to win has no respect for the players as competitors and professional athletes.  While it might seem like sound strategy, a team can’t tank on purpose without also impossibly hurting their culture long-term and possibly irreparably.  Back to the Browns win though. [Read more...]

Browns Enjoy Flexibility at the Six Spot

In contrast with the NBA, the prevailing notion over the past decade in the NFL draft is that the number one pick is a burden.  It saddles what is already a terrible team with an unproven player, often a quarterback, that uses up a disproportionate amount of the team’s cap space.  Browns fans know this as well as anyone – watching their team consistently miss at the very top of the draft has left the team languishing for a decade.

The past two drafts, however, the Browns found themselves at the 5 and 7 spot with the overwhelming front office and fan favorite targets – Aaron Curry and Eric Berry – off the board and just out of reach (missing out may have worked out for the best, but there was certainly an unsatisfactory feeling on draft day when they came off the board).  This April, the Browns once again find themselves in that exact range, with the 6th overall pick.  While we’re right in the heart of the evaluation process, with the mix of needs and prospects for teams choosing around them, the Browns should have a ton of flexibility on draft day to either fill a position(s) of need or move picks.

[Read more...]

Ohio State’s Pryor Under Fire

Terrelle PryorThe numbers weren’t very good. Pryor completed just 5 of 13 passes for 87 yards with a touchdown and a pick last Saturday. That still is good enough for a 104 QB rating (double what the Browns are getting these days) which may be more of an indictment of how unreliable that particular stat is. The offense failed to do anything well. Five times Ohio State went 3 and out. Add to that Pryor’s interception on third and ten, and another whopping six play drive that covered 11 yards and you get an abysmal seven drives covering 27 yards.

The running game was stuffed on Saturday, as Wisconsin employed a USC style strategy- load up the box and dare Pryor to beat you with his arm. Force him to make quick reads and put the ball downfield. It worked for the Trojans. Of course it might have worked for Wisconsin too, had OSU not returned two picks and a kick back for touchdowns.

We keep hearing about how well Pryor and the offense in general look in practice. If you remember, we heard all spring about Terrelle’s progress and in particular his arm strength. We have yet to really see it translate to the field. He certainly doesn’t float the ball quite like he did last year. I’ll give him credit for that. Most of his passes do have more on them. That doesn’t mean that they are particularly on target, or that he is throwing to the right read. [Read more...]