There’s nothing concrete that I can point to that will make Browns fans feel any better heading into the final preseason game and then Week 1′s contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team has performed badly and it would appear that they’re completely unprepared to start the season. It would appear that this Browns’ preseason is worse than last year. A year ago, Brandon Weeden and company looked good for two games before faltering in the third game and sitting out the fourth. This year’s Browns have struggled for three straight games as Brian Hoyer and the Browns have looked mostly horrendous. All that said, I haven’t given up hope just yet and I feel like I want to provide a calm message with this team right now. [Read more...]
Even after last Monday night’s lackluster passing performances by Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel, head coach Mike Pettine called for an end to the quarterback competition, naming Hoyer the starter. Whether you believe the he “won” the job rather than had it handed to him, only one thing seemed clear: Manziel is not ready to start week one. While re-watching the game, the thing that struck me about Hoyer was his ability to stand in the pocket, go through his reads, and deliver the ball.
Against the St. Louis Rams, the opposing offenses must focus on neutralizing the pass rushers and staying in the pocket. However, with Robert Quinn and Chris Long rushing from the outside while Aaron Donals and Michael Brockers come up the middle, standing tall against the rush is a daunting task.
It’s been quite a while since I talked to Jon on the podcast, but I asked him to keep tabs on the NFL draft as a passive Browns fan who is married to a real Browns fan.
We ended up talking a lot about draft value, trades, Johnny Football, Josh Gordon’s impending suspension and the cultural moment of Michael Sam being drafted.
In addition we talked about the Miami Dolphins’ punishment of Don Jones for his two tweets about the Michael Sam kiss on television.
With the Indians playing the Tigers at 7:05 Thursday night, and the Browns taking on the Rams at 8:00, things could get a little messy downtown. The Browns issued a statement regarding parking and getting to the stadium.
“With an Indians game also taking place downtown, and people leaving work on a weekday, fans are strongly encouraged to arrive early, leaving enough time to park at least 30 minutes prior to the 8:00 p.m. kickoff.
Construction workers are resurfacing East 9th Street, which will affect inbound and outbound traffic. Please be patient and exercise caution.
Since there is a chance of rain in the forecast, please advise fans to wear rain gear. Umbrellas will not be permitted into the stadium.
In an effort to enhance public safety and improve stadium access, the NFL has implemented a new policy that limits the sizes and types of bags that fans can bring into the stadium. Fans are encouraged to leave bags at home or in their cars. Only clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags that do not exceed dimensions of 12 by 6 by 12 inches will be allowed. Fist-size clutch purses or a one-gallon clear, plastic freezer bag also are allowed. Backpacks, duffle bags, suitcases, seat cushions, briefcases, coolers and comparable containers are not permitted. More information: www.NFL.com/allclear.”
Those who went to Family Night last Saturday know that traffic was certainly an issue, and that event had just over 24 thousand fans.
I was reading an otherwise great article today at Grantland by Bill Barnwell that pointed out how bad a job Jacksonville Jaguars GM Gene Smith is at his job, when a snippet caught my attention. While talking about Josh Scobee and his contract from the Jags, a footnote said the following about Phil Dawson.
Given that kickers are incredibly inconsistent from year to year, I still suspect that the Scobee deal will end up looking bad in a couple of years. And yes, two other franchise kickers (Phil Dawson and Matt Prater) have also been perfect this year, but given that they were both below-average in terms of their accuracy last year before being franchised, does that really prove that kicker accuracy is a predictable thing?
Granted, Barnwell didn’t say anything about Phil Dawson and his abilities. He very well could have been speaking more to the value proposition of franchising a position like kicker where the return on investment is inconsistent. Then again, just in case he was besmirching the impeccably awesome name of Phil Dawson, I’ve prepared an over-reactive defense of everyone’s favorite Browns kicker. And honestly, why shouldn’t I considering the fact that pretty much every miss of Phil Dawson’s 2011 wasn’t his fault? [Read more...]
The Washington Redskins continue to haunt the Cleveland Browns during the off-season.
Per NBC Sports’ Evan Silva, The St. Louis Rams will reportedly shop long-time running back Steven Jackson this week as the 29-year-old bruising back is allegedly unhappy with his current contract. If Jackson is moved – with the reported price being a mid-round pick due to age, contract and mileage — the Rams would likely look to add Alabama’s Trent Richardson.
In an on-air broadcast, ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi speculates that the Rams, potentially feeling the running back could be gone by the time they select sixth-overall, could move up to the third, fourth or fifth spots in the draft, via the second-round pick they acquired in the deal with the Washington Redskins earlier this off-season.
The Redskins, in a legitimate duel with the Cleveland Browns, jumped to the second-overall selection — to select quarterback Robert Griffin III — by sending the Rams multiple first-round selections and a second-rounder for 2012. In late March, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher stated that the Browns were realistic trading partners with the Browns.
In the event that a team trades to the third spot in Thursday’s draft, the Browns would be forced to decide between USC’s offensive tackle Matt Kalil, LSU cornerback Mo Claiborne or Oklahoma State wide recevier Justin Blackmon. A trade down would also be a legitimate option with the Browns reportedly preferring staying in the top eight.
(Source: Evan Silva)
“But according to Rams GM Les Snead, that’s not the whole story. He confirmed to me Sunday what I’d heard the night the trade broke. Snead said he told all teams interested on March 8 that he was going to have the trade done by the end of that day, and he was going to ask each team to give its best offer for the trade. At that point, he said, after listening to all the proposals, he was going to take the best offer — unless the offer was not anywhere near what the Rams wanted for the pick.
Those were the rules, Snead said Sunday, that he made clear to each team. Snead asked for everyone’s best offer in individual phone calls. It’s unclear what Cleveland’s offer was, but Washington offered three first-round picks and one second-round pick. That offer, Snead said, was better than Cleveland’s offer. So he told Washington officials that they’d won the bidding and told the Browns they’d lost. At that point, Snead said, Cleveland tried to make another offer, and Snead said the window was closed; the Rams were taking Washington’s offer.”
Read the whole piece. It may be a little “he said, she said” but someone is most certainly not being honest about the exchange.
First of all, this is supposed to be at least somewhat realistic, so take that draft day trade with the Colts out of your minds. That isn’t even remotely possible, so I’m not going to entertain it. By the way, neither is Robert Griffin III dropping to the Browns.
With that, I think it is important to look at how big this draft is going to be in a non-abstract kind of way. So many people (especially this guy) have a tough time envisioning just how powerful it will be for the Browns to add at least three starters over the course of draft weekend. So let me paint a few scenarios using The OBR’s stupendous Mock Draft Muncher, which summarizes a great number of mock drafts into a consensus. The picks will never land exactly like these scenarios, but it is still as good a way as any to illustrate a point today.
Before I get to the dream scenario, let’s look at some of the base cases.
This is the case that the Muncher lays out right now. It would have the Browns adding RB Trent Richardson, WR Kendall Wright and QB Brandon Weeden in the first three picks. I don’t love the idea of drafting Brandon Weeden, but the rest seems nice. Some consider Richardson a reach, but he’s the best running back in the draft and he will be touching the ball 20 times per game, presumably. I could buy into that for a team that struggled so much running the ball last season. Right there you’ve added a starting running back, a wide receiver who will play lots and a mature quarterback that will at least push Colt McCoy in training camp. [Read more...]
Since the Browns were unable to secure the second pick in trade talks from over the weekend with the St. Louis Rams, we’ve slowly been piecing things together as to how it all went down. For a while there were conspiracy theories that the Browns offered just as many picks, but the Rams decided to go with the Redskins’ bounty. That didn’t make sense because the Browns have higher picks and more immediate returns with Atlanta’s pick in the 2012 draft.
Yesterday we learned that the Browns might not have actually offered the third first rounder that had been initially reported. Now with Peter King’s article this morning, we have yet another piece of information as to why the Browns maybe didn’t offer the extra pick that might have won the bidding war.
The Rams might have gotten more by telling the Browns what Washington’s offer was, but Snead had promised each side he wouldn’t play one bid against another but rather simply ask for each team’s best offer. Once Washington’s offer was better than Cleveland’s, the deal was done.
Another layer of the onion is stripped away and we find out that the bidding war might have actually been more of a sealed bid auction. The game theory probably played out where the Browns new they had a strong hand and they might have added a second round either for this year or next year. The Redskins also knew that the Browns had a strong hand so they decided to make sure they were over the top of the Browns by adding the second rounder and another first rounder to their offer.
Whether this makes Browns fans feel any better remains to be seen. If this account is true, it makes me feel a little bit better about the way the Rams conducted business in an attempt to be fair. If the parties had truly been pitted against each other, my perception is that the Redskins wouldn’t have stopped bidding if this was their blind offer.
Adam Schefter reported that the Browns were involved in the talks and had also offered three first round picks like what the Rams got from the Redskins. That report seemed confusing considering that the Browns had both a higher first round pick and a second first round pick in 2012. Common sense would tell you that the Browns’ were in a position to make a more attractive offer, and yet in the face of that offer, the Rams apparently chose the Redskins.
Others have indicated the Browns didn’t offer three first-rounders, including NFL Network’s Mike Lombardi, who told the Washington Post on Saturday that Browns sources told him they weren’t willing to invest that much.
Amidst rumors of favoritism between Jeff Fisher of the Rams and Mike Shannahan of the Redskins, this would make more sense. It is just too hard to believe that the Browns offered a seemingly superior package and the Rams chose to trade with the Redskins anyway. It seems much more likely that the Browns just weren’t willing to pony up quite as much as the ‘Skins.
We’ll probably never know for sure, but after Tuesday when trades can be announced it won’t matter. The chapter will officially be closed.
Now that RG3 is almost undoubtedly going to be a Washington Redskin, what should the Browns do? Log your responses here.
Jay Glazer is reporting via his twitter that the RG3 sweepstakes is over. After reportedly missing out on Peyton Manning, Dan Snyder and the Redskins have apparently ended any kind of bidding war that might have been taking place or looming.
Major scoopage: Redskins have agreed to a trade w Rams for #2 pick of draft. Rams and Skins swap first rounders this yr w Rams also getting 2 future #1s and additional picks.
I said on Facebook yesterday that if the Browns didn’t get Robert Griffin III that I will have wasted a large amount of time and words on the topic. Well, it seems that has come to pass.
If true, it will be interesting to see if the Browns ramp up efforts to acquire Matt Flynn or choose to stand pat with Colt McCoy and whoever might be available in the upcoming draft to play quarterback. While I bemoan the potential loss of a major prospect, it appears that maybe the Redskins offer was just a little bit too far on the side of crazy for me to be upset at the Browns.
In my mind, if this is true, we can legitimately start talking about the benefits of trading down.
It might be the most obvious thing ever, but it seems that we’ve been talking a lot of hypothetical game theory lately. The Browns are in a position of strength and if you were to believe the pundits around the sports world, they also seemingly don’t have enough to get a trade done with the Rams. We’ve heard rumors of the Redskins giving up their entire draft this year as well as multiple picks next year. We’ve heard that the Browns might need to trade three overall first rounders (two this year and one in 2013) in order to entice the Rams into giving them the #2. (Yes, I know some of you prefer to look at it like two first rounders and a swap of #4 and #2. Whatever.) How is it that the Browns could be in a bidding war and yet have a position of strength?
Let’s talk a bit about the Browns’ options. What is the worst thing that can happen if the Browns do nothing at all? Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin, Matt Kalil, Justin Blackmon, Morris Claiborne, Trent Richardson, and Riley Reiff are all in contention for the top four. I would say that Reiff and Richardson are longshots for the top four, but they’re certainly going to be somewhere nearby on most draft boards. (Although Richardson is falling fast, it seems.) Point being that if the Browns do not make any kind of trade, they will get one of these guys. More important is what the Rams get. [Read more...]
The Cleveland Browns host the St. Louis Rams in a Week 10 clash of last place teams. Pat Shurmur faces his old club, which is a lowly 1-7 and, save for the Colts, could very well be the worst team in the league. The Rams were simply not competitive in the first six weeks of the season, but have improved over the past two weeks with a win over the Saints and an overtime loss to the Cardinals. Quarterback Sam Bradford has had an unimpressive season thus far, and enters the game hobbled by an ankle injury. The Browns have plenty of injury problems of their own, as running backs Montario Hardesty and Peyton Hillis are both out, in addition to Mohammed Massaquoi and T.J. Ward. Our weekly “Browns Will Win If” preview can be found here.
The 1-7 Rams may be the Browns last, best chance for a W before they enter the rugged AFC North portion of the schedule. Follow along all afternoon in the comments section.
While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at email@example.com.
Potential Indians free agent target: “With LaPorta relegated to a bench role or in Triple-A Columbus to start next season and Santana entrenched as the everyday catcher the Indians need to find an everyday first base option for at least next season. Santana will still play some first base to keep his bat in the lineup, but the Indians need a player who can be counted on both defensively and offensively and has a proven track record. One such player is free agent Derek Lee. The Indians have yet to be tied to Lee in the offseason rumor mill, but he is exactly the kind of player they target in free agency. A player who is in the twilight of their career who still has some value and can be had on a low risk one year deal.” [Tony Lastoria/Indians Prospect Insider]
The Browns are coming off a thorough drubbing from which surgeons are still trying to extract the ball from down their throats where the Texans systematically ran it. The competition level gets a little lighter with St. Louis this week, and clearly there will be some, “Hey, you! I know you! I know you!” going on between Pat Shurmur and his former team.
St. Louis is down there with the Browns in terms of overall offense. They’re 23rd in the league with 314.1 yards per game. They are, however, slightly better on the run, at 18th in the league. The Browns’ defense got gashed on the ground, and will be without TJ Ward. Yikes. Without further ado…
The Browns Will Win If…
To the attention of Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert:
Someday, you may be sitting in a meeting when a suggestion is brought up to put together a video or ad campaign that resembles this:
It should go without saying, but let me say it anyway- please do not do this.
Really. It would be a pretty big slap in the face. Thanks.
(tip of the hat to @DonDelcoOBR)
(Update: The hiring of Pat Shurmur is official)
The hand-wringing and sniping reminds me of all that TV footage of Jets fans complaining about their team’s draft picks live on TV over the years. Point being, just because you don’t know anything about Shurmur doesn’t mean that he isn’t the right guy for the job.
“But he doesn’t have a track record that we can look at like Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher!” Neither did Mike Tomlin or John Harbaugh to name two men who we see a combined four times per year.
The pre-season continues tonight as the Browns host the St. Louis Rams at 7:30 p.m. It’s the home opener in the careers of Mike Holmgren and Jake Delhomme in the Browns organization and optimism is high after last week’s impressive victory at Green Bay.
Check out our “What We’re Looking For” post from a few days back for our thoughts on tonight’s game. Share your thoughts on the unfolding events in the comments below.