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Observations on the Browns - from PA (a KC Chief's fan)

 
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nicfre


Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Posts: 324
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:12 pm    Post subject: Observations on the Browns - from PA (a KC Chief's fan) Reply with quote

First of all I want to say that all in all, Browns fans have to be the most long suffering and loyal fan base in the NFL. I live in Northwestern PA, so I hear and see a lot about the Browns in print and on TV. I live smack dab in the middle of the Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Buffalo trifecta – so those 3 teams are all I hear about around here. My take on the Browns organization is that basically since their re-inception, their front office has been one of the most inept in the NFL. As far as I can see, the front office has never presented a clear direction of where the team was going. And some of their decisions, in my opinion, leave a lot to be desired. Last year they trade with Detroit to select Kellen Winslow, who held the pick just in front of them to select a player that Detroit showed some interest in (which I think was a smokescreen – I think that Detroit wanted Roy Williams all along). What organization basically from day one makes it fully aware that they are targeting one player in the first round? Detroit played the cards right and forced the Browns hand. The Butch Davis regime had some of the worst drafts I can remember. Then the players that he did draft and bring in where used in very suspect ways. Davis drafted a possible character issue player in William Green and then low and behold, he has off the field issues and has shown flashes of being a quality back, but overall has not done much. Then he is used in a running back rotation. This is just one example that I noticed. Players had no idea what their role was or what direction the team was going in.
Then the Browns draft a 35 year old scrambling quarterback to a large contract. Jeff Garcia at this point is strictly a band-aid..a back-up from here on out. But the fact that the front office signed Garcia to be their starting quarterback highlights another problem. The reason they signed a scrambling quarterback who is more effective throwing on the run outside of the pocket is because the Browns have one of the worst offensive lines I have ever seen line up in the NFL. I would watch several games with my Browns fans and was always surprised complete anonimity of the offensive lineman that where inserted as starters (because of injuries I know in some cases). But, and some Browns fans may disagree with these next few statements, Ross Verba is the best offensive lineman the Browns have before this free agent signing period. Jeff Faine is probably the second best. All the rest are merely warm bodies with the possible exception of Kelvin Garmon. But Verba is a right tackle talent-wise, not a left tackle. When you look back at the Tim Couch era, I always thought Couch had a lot of talent…he had a good skill set for a young quarterback. But when you are behind one of the worst (if not the worst) offensive lines in the NFL, it limits your effectiveness to say nothing of what that does to your confidence. Plus at the time, William Green was going through some off the field issues and was not much of a factor in the running game. The front office knew they could not revamp a horrible offensive line, so the cheapest, quickest way to upgrade the offense was to get a player who could move outside the pocket and throw on the run when he was inevitably flushed from the pocket. But even Garcia wasn’t effective. And what did he complain about? His talents not being utilized in an offensive scheme based on a mobile quarterback. The coaching staff – specifically Butch Davis was completely in over their heads both in game planning, in coaching and in talent evaluating. That coaching staff, in my opinion has set the organization back several years. That being said, hiring Romeo Crennel and Phil Savage were two of the best decisions the Browns organization could have possibly made considering their position. It is going to be several years before the Browns organization can right the ship. I don’t think the Browns should go with a quarterback this year in the draft. A free agent quarterback that will provide leadership is the best route to go this year. There is not a truly franchise quarterback in this years draft. I see the top three teams in this draft being in a similar position next year. There are going to be some good quarterback prospects next year starting with Matt Leinart.
I don’t see the Browns being able to trade down with any team and still get fair value for pick #3. I personally would target the defense in the first round (Derrick Johnson, Shawne Merriman, Antrelle Rolle, Pac-Man Jones). Then in the second round I would draft the best offensive lineman available either a tackle or guard. Kalif Barnes will probably be gone by your second round pick, but if he is available I would definitely consider drafting him. David Bass rates as one of the best and safest picks at the guard position. He should be there when you pick in round 2 and would make the interior of your offensive line solid along with Jeff Faine and Joe Andruzzi.

Would you guys be happy with this draft?
First Round Pick (#3) Derrick Johnson, LB, Texas
Second Round Pick (#34) David Baas, G, Michigan
Third Round Pick (#67) Ronald Bartell, CB, Howard
Fourth Round Pick (#97) Robert McCune, LB, Louisville
Fifth Round Pick (#130) Bob Pettit, T, Pittsburgh
Sixth Round Pick (#161) Antonio Bryant, DT, Alabama
Seventh Round Pick (#194) Ben Emanuel, S, UCLA

Like I said, it is going to take several years to see a big improvement, but with Crennel and Savage the potential is there to become a good football team with direction – something you guys haven’t had in a long time because of a very poor front office. Am I pretty close in my analysis?
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dawgdish


Joined: 20 Jan 2005
Posts: 2344
Location: Brooklyn, NY
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you have some valid observations, nicfre - especially re: the poor drafting, Butch being in over his head, and especially the most longsuffering fan part! About your suggested draft, I think the 3 spot is slightly too high to grab DJ, but Baas in the 2nd round makes perfect sense.
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docc2183


Joined: 12 Jan 2005
Posts: 240
Location: Cleveland
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice...that's all I have to say about that.

Anyways, the draft is nice, but I'd consider a few different things.

1.) DJ is probably going to be the pick if he's there, but Ronnie Brown's name has been coming up since the combine, plus DJ might get drafted #2. Either or, I think we win either way.

2.) I like Baas, he's a blue collar guy and would be a welcome addition next to Faine and Andruzzi in the middle. However, if we get Cozey Coleman or another solid OG, then we need to draft a corner there. Someone like Webster or Jackson would be nice.

3.) Bartell showed well and has nice attributes. If we take a corner in round 2, he probably won't be the pick.

4.) Heard good things about McCune, so if he's there, we could use another LB.

4b.) As a result of GW being traded, we now have the # 120 pick. Here we need to go for a OL, if not sooner. Hopefully Mike Munoz will drop, but I'm not holding my breath.

5.) Bryant seems much more realistic at this spot and could be groomed to play NT for us.

6.) If we hadn't drafted a QB, maybe we could look for one here. The guy out of Harvard might not be bad. This might also be used as compensation if we try to sign RB Chester Taylor from B-More.

7.) BPA, plain and simple.

God, I hope we make some trades and add more picks. Only 1 OL, 1 DB, we need more depth. If we could trade with SD for #12 & #28, we'd be so happy. But, I think if we had the draft you laid out, we'd be in pretty good shape. I think many people would be happy with that draft.
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nicfre


Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Posts: 324
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dawgdish wrote:
you have some valid observations, nicfre - especially re: the poor drafting, Butch being in over his head, and especially the most longsuffering fan part! About your suggested draft, I think the 3 spot is slightly too high to grab DJ, but Baas in the 2nd round makes perfect sense.


Thanks for the props. Is Crennel definitely going with a 3-4 defense this year? If so, would you consider taking Shawne Merriman at #3? He really bulked up for the combine, going from 245 lbs to 270 lbs. He would be a good outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme. But I personally think that #3 is too high for Merriman. I am a big Derrick Johnson fan myself, I hope he drops to #15 - which I seriously doubt. If he did that would be great. But if he is gone I see us taking someone like Carlos Rogers or Justin Miller at #15.
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dawgdish


Joined: 20 Jan 2005
Posts: 2344
Location: Brooklyn, NY
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nicfre wrote:
dawgdish wrote:
you have some valid observations, nicfre - especially re: the poor drafting, Butch being in over his head, and especially the most longsuffering fan part! About your suggested draft, I think the 3 spot is slightly too high to grab DJ, but Baas in the 2nd round makes perfect sense.


Thanks for the props. Is Crennel definitely going with a 3-4 defense this year? If so, would you consider taking Shawne Merriman at #3? He really bulked up for the combine, going from 245 lbs to 270 lbs. He would be a good outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme. But I personally think that #3 is too high for Merriman. I am a big Derrick Johnson fan myself, I hope he drops to #15 - which I seriously doubt. If he did that would be great. But if he is gone I see us taking someone like Carlos Rogers or Justin Miller at #15.

I guess I'm still waiting to see how it all shakes out with everybody's campus workouts, but I want us to take whoever is rated at the top player in the draft at that point, regardless of position (if we don't trade out of the spot, which is my #1 preference). In my mind, at this point that could be Ronnie Brown...but we've got a ways to go yet.
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nicfre


Joined: 01 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1.) DJ is probably going to be the pick if he's there, but Ronnie Brown's name has been coming up since the combine, plus DJ might get drafted #2. Either or, I think we win either way.


Ronnie Brown really did have a good combine. I think he jumped ahead of Cedric Benson as the top runningback prospect at this point and I think barring any poor performance at Auburn's Pro-Day, Miami will look really hard at Brown with pick #2


2.) I like Baas, he's a blue collar guy and would be a welcome addition next to Faine and Andruzzi in the middle. However, if we get Cozey Coleman or another solid OG, then we need to draft a corner there. Someone like Webster or Jackson would be nice.

Jackson would be a solid pick in the second round, but I have to admit I am not a big Corey Webster fan. I think both Webster and Bryant McFadden are overrated. Either of those two might slip into the third round. Every year it seems there are a couple of players that really drop alot lower than initially expected.

3.) Bartell showed well and has nice attributes. If we take a corner in round 2, he probably won't be the pick.

If you guys could get Bartell I really think he would end up being a steal. He has really good size at 6'2" and over 200 lbs, plus he has the speed to stay with the receivers. He isn't just a big corner that will have to adjust to the new coverage rules. He really impressed me at the combine.

4.) Heard good things about McCune, so if he's there, we could use another LB.

McCune is a physical specimen and it seems to me he was in the military for a time. The down side to his military service is I think he is 26 years old..which is pretty old for a draft prospect, but his skill set makes him an intriguing choice - alot of potential.

4b.) As a result of GW being traded, we now have the # 120 pick. Here we need to go for a OL, if not sooner. Hopefully Mike Munoz will drop, but I'm not holding my breath.

I forgot about the Warren trade. Another example of one of Davis' missed opportunities. But I can't say much, we have Ryan Sims on our team and he hasn't exactly panned out.

Another possibility in the 3rd or 4th round if you wanted to look at adding a quarterback prospect is Andrew Walter from Arizona State. He has all of the physical tools and has a cannon arm. He will need around 2 years to learn and gain experience, but if he slipped to the 4th round I think along with Bartell, he would be a steal. It all depends on how he performs at Arizona State's Pro-Day since he couldn't do any passing drills at the combine because of a shoulder injury.
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ditchdigger


Joined: 09 Jan 2005
Posts: 17115
Location: Gahanna, OH
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spot on.

With one exception. Ryan Tucker is our best offensive lineman, but he was injured last season.

Just a small example of the disorganized chaos that has gone on in Cleveland the last six years. When Phil Savage came in, he found out that there were about as many different types of grading systems within the team's scouting department as there were scouts. I guess the reasons were that Dwight Clark didn't know what he was doing and Butch just didn't care about what some scout said, he was going to take HIS guy no matter what.

It's so relieving, as a Browns fan, to know the people in charge actually know what they are doing.

I think if we stay at #3 we have to get Ronnie Brown or Shawne Merriman. The QB pressure Merriman brings immediately makes him more valueable than DJ. As Peppers90 has been saying on this site for a while, he is Julius Peppers, Jr. The fact that he can line up as an end in the nickel package makes him more useful than DJ, IMO.

But I would pass on him if Ronnie Brown was on the board. The complete package at running back. Speed, size, catching, blocking, team player. We passed on Ladanian Tomlinson, we can't pass on Ronnie Brown.
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DaBrowns41


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 22934
Location: Reynoldsburg, OH
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that Crennel is def. switching to the 3-4... That would be nice.. I like Adam Terry with the 2nd round pick...
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