Home » Browns » Your 2013 depth chart.

Your 2013 depth chart.

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Here’s your depth chart.  You can read it same as me.  Pretty much the same amount of red and yellow as at the start of the off-season.  Good depth on the d-front.  Yay.

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Traded out of 4th and 5th rounds?  No biggie.

In case there’s any lingering confusion about the value of 4th/5th picks, here are alumni of those rounds who were significant contributors to last year’s playoff teams:

  • J.Rodgers, Nicholas (Falcons);
  • Sopoaga, Goldson (Niners);
  • Lang, Sitton (Packers);
  • Cousins, Riley, Lichtensteiger (Skins);
  • Wright, Sherman, Chancellor, Giacomini, R.Bryant (Seahawks);
  • Brinkley, Robison (Vikes);
  • Dumervil, Koppen, Tamme (Broncos);
  • Hernandez, Mesko, Gostkowski, Ninkovich, Lloyd (Pats);
  • Jones, Quin, Casey, O.Daniels (Texans);
  • Pitta, L.McClain, McPhee (Ravens);
  • Ballard, Mathis (Colts);
  • Boling, Atkins, Peko, Geathers (Bengals).

So let’s cool it on the jive that those picks don’t matter.

Walking away from that talent pool with all the red on the depth chart is tantamount to punting on the 2013 season.

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Browns weren’t going to be good anyway.  Better to save the draft picks for next year.

This is just not true.  I think with some hole-patching and a non-remedial offense the Browns could definitely compete for the division.  Hell, they may even compete in spite of the non-addressed holes.

It’s not unprecedented.  Here are 55 teams that went from 5-11 or worse into the playoffs next year.

  • Cards:  97, 4-12; 73, 4-9-1.
  • Falcons:  07, 4-12; 03, 5-11; 90, 5-11.
  • Ravens:  07, 5-11.
  • Bears:  04, 5-11; 00, 5-11; 1945, 3-7.
  • Bengals:  10, 4-12; 08, 4-11-1; 87, 4-11; 69, 4-9-1.
  • Browns:  84, 5-11;
  • Cowboys:  02, 5-11;
  • Broncos:  10, 4-12; 90, 5-11; 82, 2-7,
  • Lions:  98, 5-11; 96, 5-11; 92, 5-11;
  • Packers: 71, 4-8-2;
  • Colts:  11, 2-14; 98, 3-13; 86, 3-13; 74, 2-12;
  • Chiefs:  09, 4-12;
  • Dolphins:  07, 1-15; 69, 3-10-1;
  • Vikes:  11, 3-13; 67, 3-8-3
  • Pats:  00, 5-11; 93, 5-11; 81, 2-14; 75, 3-11
  • Saints:  05, 3-13; 99, 3-13;
  • Giants:  83, 3-12-1; 80, 4-12;
  • Jets:  05, 4-12; 80, 4-12;
  • Eagles:  99, 5-11;
  • Chargers:  03, 4-12; 62, 4-10;
  • Niners:  69, 4-8-2;
  • Seahawks:  09, 5-11;
  • Rams:  98, 4-12; 82, 2-7;
  • Bucs:  06, 4-12; 04, 5-11; 80, 5-10-1;
  • Titans/Oilers:  86, 5-11; 66, 3-11;
  • Skins:  11, 5-11; 06, 5-11.

.

The only thing we know for sure is this:  if you don’t draft in this year’s draft, you won’t improve this year’s team.  I think even the most positive thinking among the Browns fanbase could agree with this.

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Update:  Here’s Grossi’s take on the depth chart two days later.  We agree with Grossi; or Grossi agrees with us. 

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59 Comments

  1. Matt C says:

    Very nice write up. Just wanted to mention that on the Broncos list, you left off Wesley Woodyard & should probably highlight the own Browns addition of Billy Winn. In addition, most “Experts” stated teams would be crazy to give more than a 4th, MAYBE a 3rd for Supplemental Pick, Josh Gordon. Even Lombardi called the pick ignorant…. Now, they want to highlight Heckert’s selection as part of their draft process for the 13′ season! How Rich!

    Just to state 1…. Only 1 pick worthy in the 4th, Phillip Thomas came from Fresno State, an interchangeable Safety, who runs the exact same Pittsburgh Steelers defense. Yet, there was nobody available that could help that team? Sorry, I too just find it really hard to believe those picks were just shipped out. Most importantly, in a deep draft, I cannot believe we passed on a move with the Rams to add the 16, a 2nd, a 3rd, and a Day 3 pick. Mind boggling!

    • jimkanicki says:

      i did this small bit of research just for a look-see at rounds 4 and 5 specifically. (that’s why winn, woodyard, and anyone past round 5 aren’t on the list.) i wanted rebut some of the comments i’d seen praising the trade-out with a rationale that those picks usually don’t matter.

      it’s true they usually don’t matter.
      it’s also true there’s a correlation between picking up contributors late in the draft and overall success.

      and looking at draft, here’s my grossi-style re-do:
      3rd rd: brian winters;
      4th: sanders commings;
      5th: cooper taylor.

      i also wouldnt have taken armonty bryant for this reason: he’s a longshot to make the roster with the depth on d-line. so if he has a great pre-season he’ll be unlikely to clear waivers for the practice squad. so the pick turns into an audition for 31 other teams.

  2. zarathustra says:

    Now let’s consider that the browns followed the kanicki plan this offseason. They have added some very good players and filled more holes for sure. Higher probability of playoffs? Maybe. But what if brandon weeden only shows modest improvement or worse? Are the odds of making the playoffs still better under the kaninki plan? I don’t think so. In such a scenario I would argue that the banner/Lombardi plan better nurtures the long-term health of the franchise with extra draft picks and maintaining cap flexibility.

  3. zarathustra says:

    Re: the allusion to ted thompson and 4th round picks. Of course they are important. They are freaking vital. We not only have an extra fourth next year, but even better a third as well. Is it possible they want to set up a situation where they have extra picks every year a la Lombardi crony belichick? I think banner has pretty much stated this. Now you may not like how it is come about, but you can no way say they don’t value those picks when the entire strategy is based on accumulating more of them so that one day they may use them like a ted thompson.
    I promise you I value mid-round picks as much as you, though must say that the value you place on them is inconguent with your support of heckert, who outside of the very good trade with Atlanta was frickin’ awful wasting picks to move up the board

    • jimkanicki says:

      welp.. even ozzie is smart enough to value a good FB. his all-pro is a UFA at the end of the season. what does he do? FILLS THE NEED in the fourth round with a supposedly very strong prospect from harvard.

      in my new post you’ll see how other, accomplished, GMs tackled the draft and it’s very different from the banner way.

      sure i ding’d heckert for his trade-ups on taylor and hardesty and the reach for weeden. (even lauvao was a tradeup and the 5th rounder sacrificed is a starters for the vikes, mistral raymond). but he never traded-out of a draft.

  4. jpftribe says:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/cosell-3-4-4-3-concepts-more-personnel-163318715–nfl.html

    Really good read and some insight into the valuation of the top picks. Real bummer on Jaris Jones.

  5. drock8807 says:

    There is still an opportunity for the Browns to fill some holes (corner, guard) during training camp when rosters have to be trimmed down.

  6. tmoore94 says:

    I don’t think anyone would argue that you can go from 5-11 to the playoffs, but just presenting teams that information without any context stalls the discussion. (As the great Gus Haynes taught, everything needs to be put into context).

    How did those teams make the jump to the playoffs and, more importantly, what did they do the season after their playoff year? Did they have continued success, or were they a one-year wonder fueled by an easy schedule or the benefit of playing in a crappy division like the AFC West?

    Just look at Detroit in 2011. The Lions went 10-6 and everyone thought they were a team “on the rise.” But a quick look at the season revealed they won four games where they came back from 28 points down, the only time that has ever happened in NFL history. Clearly that was completely unrepeatable, so it was no surprise when the Lions went 4-12 last season.

    We were all here in 2007, that’s not what we want from the Browns.

    Would it have been better if the Browns had used their 4th and 5th round picks? Definitely. At worst, they could have drafted Shamarko Thomas in the 4th round, Baccari Rambo in the 5th round and Jamoris Slaughter in the 6th and one of them (hopefully) would have been able to play safety. The more picks you have the greater your improve your odds of getting a player, after all.

    There are players in every round that turn into productive players, but that doesn’t mean you should draft a quarterback in the sixth round every year just because Tom Brady is a Hall of Famer; the odds go down the lower you go in the draft. Time will tell if the Browns made a mistake by not selecting a player this year but, again, it wouldn’t have hurt to pick some more players this year.

    The draft is one of those areas where I wish the Browns would come out with more analytics to explain why they did what they did. I’m hoping they had good reasons for what they did – after all, Mike Lombardi worked for both Bill Walsh and Bill Belichick (he keeps it pretty quiet, though) – but there are no guarantees. As has been proven repeatedly over the past few years, doing things the Belichick way only works if you are Bill Belichick.

    As for Ward, he’s one of those players that gets more love from people outside of Cleveland (Pro Football Focus, for example) than he does from Browns fans.

    • dan says:

      Speaking for myself, I would rather have the Browns 2007 season than their 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, or probably 2013 seasons. I’m a simple man, and 10 wins is fine by me. That’s usually enough to make the playoffs, and if you don’t, it’s still more fun to watch than, well, you know.

      As for Detroit, the Lions’ last five seasons were: 0-16, 2-14, 6-10, 10-6, and 4-12. That sounds better to me than 4-12, 5-11, 5-11, 4-12, and 5-11. And, notwithstanding the fact that the Lions fell last year to a record where the Browns have been treading water for year after year, I still think the Lions are in a better position to finish with a better record than the Browns this year.

      • tmoore94 says:

        2007 was fun, no doubt, but that turned into bad trades, worst contract extensions and the general unpleasantness of 2008. The Browns don’t want to be in that situation again.

        It’s possible that the way that Banner and Lombardi and building the team is the right way and we just don’t realize it yet because we don’t know what the correct way looks like after years of misery.

        But it’s also possible, at least in the case of Lombardi, that this is going to turn into another mess. The pro-Lombardi crowd will try to tell you that Lombardi and Belichick developed a winning system together, but that overlooks the fact that when they worked together in Cleveland it really was worse than people want to remember: http://tinyurl.com/d4xpl7p. (And we won’t even get into the “top secret” game plans that Lombardi allegedly wrote for Belichick over the years).

        It also overlooks that with the exception of Tom Dimitroff in Atlanta, everyone from the Belichick tree has been a major failure once they leave the Patriots.

        We’ll see with the Lions, they play the AFC North this year so that will be a good test to compare them with the Browns.

      • jimkanicki says:

        agree. i’ll take my chances with the playoff team this year and risk a screwed up 2014.

        a tanked 2013 doesn’t obviate a screwed up 2014.

        on the contrary, a tanked 2013 is an leading indicator of a screwed up 2014.. because.. who punts on a season in april? that’s a brain trust you can rely on in 2014?

        play this out: 2013 goes badly and we DO draft boyd/bridgewater. know happens next: “he’s gonna need a year or two to learn the offense.” and we go through this again as browns fans somberly intoning peyton manning’s first year as a reason for more patience.

        it’s amazing how stockholm-syndrome-y browns nation has become. but maybe they’re smarter than us because we _are_ hostages and it _doesnt_ do any good to complain.. probably makes it worse.

          • jimkanicki says:

            so then browns fans should have the highest SATs and lowest BMIs?

            anecdotal evidences suggests otherwise…

            • NeedsFoodBadly says:

              Seems like more Browns fans are in the “I WANT IT NOW NOW NOW” camp…? But reality is always skewed by perception.

              • jimkanicki says:

                yeah, we’re a demanding bunch.
                we should really accept one playoff appearance (a loss) in 20 years with more grace.

                ps, this may or may not be a post today. ted thompson found five players worth picking in the 4th/5th.

          • dan says:

            Then there was the study where ten monkeys were placed in a room at one end with a banana at the other. Whenever a monkey went after the banana, a fire hose was turned on all of the monkeys. Soon, whenever a monkey went after the banana, the other nine would beat him up before the hose could be turned on. The researchers then took out one of the monkeys and put in a new monkey. Seeing the banana, the monkey went after it and was quickly beaten up by the other nine. After that monkey leaned from the beating not to go for the banana, another monkey was replaced. And another. And it kept going until you had ten monkeys in a room, all of whom would beat up any monkey that tried to get the banana, even though none of them had ever had the fire hose turned on them and knew why, or even if, something other than a beating would happen if they tried to get it.

            Moral of the story, even though some winning seasons don’t lead to long-term success, that’s no reason to avoid winning seasons.

        • NeedsFoodBadly says:

          Aside from my jackass wikipedia answer, I just don’t think you’re being realistic. If we’re given two false options: A playoff appearance (and loss) in 2013 followed by another five years of losing, or two years of losing and five years of playoff appearances, I know what I would take.

          I cannot stress enough that this is a different regime, so expecting the same rebuilding cycle isn’t fair until they actually do in two or three years. Building up ridiculous expectations based on exceptions to the norm is not realistic.

          It’s not stockhole syndrome. it’s actually a sober reflection of reality tempered by a little optimism for once, acknowledging we have new circumstances for this team. But y’know, call it whatever you want. I’ll wait for the two marshmallows, brother.

          • jimkanicki says:

            at what point may we employ historical data to this issue?
            every new regime wants their three years and every new regime sets out the same way with THEIR SYSTEM and OUR PATIENCE.
            after five misses in this same way, i think it’s not just fair to question the strategy, but insane not to. (definition of insanity which i know you know.)

            • NeedsFoodBadly says:

              We have a new owner. That’s the key factor. It’s funny that you’re willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to scamming customers, but you’ve already written him off as ready to blow the team up in three years. I’m willing to wait to see if that, y’know, actually happens or if this time it’ll be different. If the team was owned by ready-to-panic Randy Lerner, I likely wouldn’t be supporting some of these decisions.

              But it’s unreal to punish THIS “regime” for mistakes that previous regimes made when all the decision-makers have been replaced, starting at the absolute top.

              • jimkanicki says:

                you must be both bemused and conflicted (by the inconsistency of deferred gratification point) at calling for a new owner less than nine months after he arrived.

                it is high farce, for sure.

                ps, dont confuse my willingness to take note of police state actions with my skepticism re ‘joe banner: smarter than kevin colbert and ted thompson.’ very separate ideas and not related to one another in any way.

  7. Zarathustra says:

    RESPONDING TO RAMS THREAD FROM BELOW
    I don’t feel that they have marginalized Rubin and Sheard at all. You have watched tape of Horton’s defenses. There will be a lot of different looks and I believe both guys will be put into positions to excel.
    With the Rams thing it was not a typo (though I can certainly understand why you would think so as I think I have yet to post a comment without one.) 1/1/12 is the comparison because that is the roster the Snead/Fisher inherited in year one. That team improved substantially in 2012 and competed in a tough division–didn’t lose to sf–but maintained flexibility for this year and are poised to make another jump in 2013–though the division could hinder their ascent. Now they presumably believe they have a long-term answer at qb and we do not so it may not be a perfect comparision, but the reason I used them as a template is because they are an example how a (maybe) successful regime handles year one–which they were last year as the Browns are this year.

  8. zarathustra says:

    I am lombardi/banner:
    This place has been mismanaged for quite a while, but it could be worse. There are some decent players here. The problem is we have a question mark regarding the most important position in the organization and while the cupboard is not bare in what we believe to be the second most important are of a successful franchise we are going to have to add players if we will have any hope of getting it to the elite level of those successful franchises. It sucks, but there are opportunites to upgrade the qb position with any certainty this offseason. Consequently, lets work on improving the second most important area and not jump in feet first in free agency. History has shown that is probably not the best way to build for long-term success anyway. Those bills eventually come due, which is fine, but let’s hold off on starting that clock until we have more clarity regarding the qb. Moreover, we don’t really know how any of these guys will fit with new offensive and defensive schemes. Let’s see how things play out. There may even be some surprises and the answer to a need is already on the roster.
    It would be nice if there weren’t so much uncertainty with the most important position in the organization, but the previous guys devoted years to colt fucking mccoy and then pannicked with the second coming of john kitna in the first round last year. Jesus, I thought those guys were qb experts. WTF.

  9. dan says:

    So I’m walking in a field and there’s a lot of holes in the ground, and I see one hole, and next to a hole there’s a pile of dirt and a shovel, and I say, “there’s no way I can fill all of these holes today, I’ll have to do it tomorrow,” and I leave the shovel where it is and move on.

    There’s a real belief through each of the past several regimes that they need to run the team like it’s already a championship competitor. Thus, the constant cutting of players who are paid more than they are “worth” — as if that had some meaning — even though cutting them just creates more weaknesses, because good teams that fit have the weaknesses the Browns do can afford to cut players and replace them with the assets the Browns need to be using to fill existing problems. Then, surveying the number of problems, self-inflicted and not, the management throws up its hands, announces that it can’t fix all of these problems at once, and goes home, with an explanation that it would be unfair to judge them by the team’s output this year, because they’re working on a multiyear plan, and there’s no way that even slight improvement this year could be a sign of progress in a multiyear plan, because success this year, or the year after, would only sabotage the Browns’ chances of making the Super Bowl in 2023 or whenever the fans should be allowed to expect to see something worth their money, so just accept the never ending stream of 4-12 or 5-11 seasons until we have a Super Bowl team, because no team in history ever made the Super Bowl the year after a year when they didn’t win more than five games.

  10. jimkanicki says:

    reply to NFB thread below:

    i’m happy to represent the carpet dump crowd and frankly, thought my Brian Griffin gif was inspired. no props tho… ah well.

    i’m simply saying that ‘team improvement’ should be a given, not a goal. i’m meh on chud, frankly, and i think it’s crazy to gut the defense for a likely one-year DC. im horrified that [what i thought was] the strength of the team, the front four, needed so much investment. i’m not good with not spending time-bombed cap monies as a strategy.

    and i still think the team will be improved.

    did i think every hole should be patched? no. did i think some holes should be patched? yes. if you leave OLB out of it, i feel that they did not tend to any of the six holes i’ve been looking at. yeah sure, they may sign kerry rhodes. but thinking strategically, it calls into question the strategy. if i’m seeing taller WRs, CBs, and the seattle succcess.. why arent they? if greco is better than lauvao and pinkston is coming off a blood clot in his heart and mack is a pending UFA.. why no OG/C?

    it’s a given that we can’t make assessments until we’ve seen them play. as an example, i hate-hate-HATED john hughes in the 3rd rd last year. welp.. i was wrong.

    but this would be a boring blog indeed if we just said: hey, gotta wait and see. or worse: “hey, banner/chud say ‘Cant have too many passrushers and they’re the pros so i’ll defer to them.’” no, no, no… we’re in the business of blustery omniscience here on the sports blog interwebs. you new here?

    i’ve just stopped caveating everything i say with a time-will-tell disclaimer. it’s stipulated with everything written here. besides it’s squishy and less interesting. i’d rather stake out a position.

    my position is:
    1. the browns, by dint of having haden for four more games and not having shurmur and t-rich without broken ribs and g.little’s new-found focus on catching, are on the cusp of being a very good team, a contender.
    2. the front office is seeming to view the team as an expansion team in need a major overhaul requiring some three-four year plan.
    2a. i dont like that.
    2b. i think it’s a soft play by them and one that cynically allows them to claim victory on a six win season.

    that’s all.

    • NeedsFoodBadly says:

      Frankly, all this discussion became irrelevant now that Tim Tebow is on the market. Once we acquire him, All We’re Gonna Do Is Win so it’s looking like a 25-0 season next year, as we win so many games that some’ll count double.

      In all seriousness, I hear what you’re saying and I follow, and any further nitpicking of disagreement is unlikely to be productive at this stage. For my last piece I’ll say this (as it seems to be the root of our difference in opinion) – I AM willing to wait 2-4 years if it delivers an actual long-term contender over a flash in the pan one season wonder. I know as Browns fans we are all burnt out by that seemingly endless mantra, but our team is in a different position now, with a new organization (ignoring all the Federal investigation possible fallout). So it’s just as possible things will be different now, with a chance for real growth rather than a constant cycle of Lerner-mandated reboots. As soon as a new owner was announced, I was prepared for another painful season or two since I sorta figured it’d be this way. I take it for granted that NFL front office people will always want “their guys” and being angry about them doing so is like getting angry at rain for being wet. So I’ve already gone through the grief, bargaining, acceptance bit. Not saying you need to see it my way, just explaining how I reached my conclusions. I do see some light at the end of the tunnel. I very easily could be proven wrong but for any of us, it’ll take a few years to see what’s actually what – the proof of the pudding is in the eating, after all.

      And in any event, I am not (nor will I ever be) saying you can’t or shouldn’t criticize the Berea braintrust. It’s just that my perspective varies in this instance.

      • dan says:

        “I AM willing to wait 2-4 years if it delivers an actual long-term contender.”

        And why do you think getting better now is antithecal to building a long-term contender? We can talk about all of the sub-.500 teams that made the playoffs the next year, but if you think a .500-or-better team is more likely to make the playoffs the next year than a 5-11 team, shouldn’t improving to .500 this year be a goal? Why is the FO just shrugging their shoulders and saying, well, we won’t compete for the Supe Bowl this year, so why not have another 4-12 or 5-11 season with the same problems as last year? Why not go for 8-8? Wouldn’t going for 8-8 this year make the Browns more likely to make the playoffs next year than just treading water?

        • NeedsFoodBadly says:

          You’re aware that the Browns did in fact sign more than a few free agents and did draft some players this off season, right? They didn’t just shrug their shoulders. They actually acquired players. This is a thing that happened. W/r/t your hole analogy up top, they didn’t just put the shovel aside. They actually filled a few holes. So why are people acting like they didn’t? I can see being upset with the idea that we didn’t improve ENOUGH (even as that’s impossible to prove or disprove at the moment) but I cannot sanction the idea that the front office did NOTHING to improve. Because they did. That is incontrovertible.

          • dan says:

            Most of the changes on defense were to accommodate the system change. Most of the changes on offense were Davone Bess. So if the thing keeping the Browns from being 8-8 last year were purely system, then the system change and personnel changes necessary for that system change to work, plus a much-needed WR, should be enough to reach 8-8. If last year’s record was at all a reflection on the talent level of the team, I see little reason to believe that the decisions made this offseason were designed to improve the talent overall sufficiently to have a 3-game effect on the overall record. As usual, always happy to be wrong.

            What I know is what I thought, at the end of last season, the Browns needed, and what they’ve done, and how much the two have overlapped. I know I thought the Browns needed a new starting corner and a safety, and when the season ended I wouldn’t have thought that a 3rd round pick and a 6th round pick were all that was needed, and I’m not going to change that opinion just because the FO decided to rebuild the front seven instead. I thought last year going in to the offseason that the Browns needed a veteran WR, when the offseason ended I complained that they hadn’t added a veteran WR, and during the season it sure looked to me like, who knew?, they needed a veteran WR.

            If you think this is a successful offseason, fine, we won’t know until the season is underway, and so it’s sort of a stupid thing to argue about. But if you do think this is a successful offseason, two questions: (a) if I had asked you before the offseason began what you would expect from a successful offseason, would this have been your answer, and (b) what sort of a won-loss record in 2013 do you think would be a positive indicator of a good offseason?

            • NeedsFoodBadly says:

              a) No, but it would’ve been impossible to predict this offseason anyways. I buy into Kanicki’s idea that tall CBs are a good thing. But I also believe there are multiple ways to winning – there’s no one right answer. And again, the offseason isn’t over yet.

              b) A win/loss record without context isn’t indicative of much. Strength of schedule, injuries, etc. all have to be taken into account. I don’t think predicting next season’s W/L is productive or meaningful. But for something completely subjective, I expect next year’s team to be more fun to watch. If it’s a similar agonizing brand of football to last year, then I’ll be upset.

              • dan says:

                The object of the game is to win. Judging a team without using wins and losses as the first and most important factor is an easy way to deceive yourself.

                I’m not an expert in football, I can’t break down tape or tell you if your quarterback’s footwork on his seven step drop is right or wrong, but as a lifelong Browns fan, I am an expert in one thing: I know what a 4 or 5 win team looks like. 4/5 win teams are not uniformly terrible. They are just good enough, just often enough, with just enough streaks of doing well, that someone who wants to believe can look at the moments of success and say that those moments, and not the whole season, is the “real” team. This leads to the postseason motto of every 4/5 win team, that I’ve heard every year about the Browns for the past five seasons: “They’re better than the record indicates!” And I’ve given up believing it.

                The postseason motto, by the way, always leads to the preseason motto of the 4/5 win team the next year: “They’ll be better this year than last year, although the record might not show it!”

        • zarathustra says:

          I think you greatly underestimate the difficulty in managing the cap long-term. Also, 8-8 is a very real possibility this year and yeas that would make them more likely to make playoffs the following year–especially with an extra 3rd and 4th as well as a lot cap space.

          • jimkanicki says:

            good idea for a post… i may take a harder look at this. i’m not sure it’s THAT hard to slot your expiring contracts or allocate the spend in anticipation of next year’s UFA targets.

            and hell, if you DO screw it up maybe you win the super bowl and then have elvis dumervil be unable to work a fax and have arthur brown fall into your lap to replace the FA you hadnt set enough dough aside to sign.
            [fucking ravens. cripes.]
            [looks like i got 585 words into a 'Deconstructing Ozzie' post i never published. got bored/distracted at cary williams after reviewing his work on: LT, McKinnie C, Birk QB, Flacco TE, Dickson TE, Pitta OLB, Kruger ILB, Lewis CB, Williams SS, Pollard FS, Reed. maybe i'll pick that up again.]

            • zarathustra says:

              It is by no means impossible to manage the cap long-term. It can be made easier by having a franchise qb and years of good drafts to rely on though.

          • dan says:

            I think you’re overstating the problems in managing the cap. Good teams can put off the cap indefinitely by restructuring contracts to avoid ugly cap numbers, and every so often letting go of aging players or players who are nice but not essential (and can be replaced because, as a good team, you don’t have as many needs). In recent years the Pats, Colts and Steelers, to name three, have done this, and in past ages the 49ers did as well. Eventually some of those key players you kept restructuring retire and there’s a huge cap hit and all you have to comfort yourself is memories of all those championship games, but until Young retired and Manning got injured the 49ers and Colts were in it every year and I don’t doubt that the Pats and Steelers will be fine cap-wise until their QBs bid adieu.

            The problem of the cap is when bad teams pay players like they were on good teams. Since there’s no return on investment the team doesn’t want to restructure and give the player more years and money, and so the player eats up more and more cap room, until he has to be cut and the cap hit for that year is even worse. This is basically what happened with the Raiders and Richard Seymour. But if they had been good, an extension of the contract would have made sense for both sides and the cap number could have been brought down. Winning is, in essence, the cure for the cap.

  11. humboldt says:

    Your second point knocking down the non-competitiveness myth is essential.

    The continued existence of “a longitudinal building plan” is itself a vestige of an NFL era long passed. Yet in Cleveland we get management teams that offer us binary outcomes (non-competitive/competitive) and ignore the reality that franchises can be managed in ways that ensure baseline competitiveness from year-to-year in a league that *engineers* parity. A wildcard should never be out of reach to a team, and yet we are endlessly told to lower or even defer expectations. The whole thing is tiresome and redundant.

  12. zarathustra says:

    As I mentioned yesterday I think you are operating with too much certainty about what this browns season will look like. And with all due respect, the list of 55 teams presented is not provided with any grame of reference. If we knew how many failed to make the playoffs we would be in a much better position to calculate the realistic probability of this browns team making the playoffs. And of the successes, how many had first year coaches?
    All that being said, I expect to see marked improvement in 2013. Playoffs? Probably not. But in the nfl a lot of good teams miss the playoffs.
    Off the top of my head I think a good template to look at is last years rams. Much better under new regime, competetive in a tough division, extra draft picks entering year two.

    • jimkanicki says:

      i dont know why or how my point gets missed here.

      the premise offered by ‘optimists’ is: this season was gonna suck anyway, we wouldnt make playoffs, so why even try?
      my answer is: 55 teams have improved from 5-11 or worse to reach playoffs. QED.

      it is not outlandish to expect this team to be good and possibly playoff contenders. it is outlandish for the front office to set the bar as low as possible. the message is: WERE GONNA SUCK.

      well i’m sorry joe. not good enough. you dont get to declare WE SUCK and punt your draft. get back into your conference and do better.

      • NeedsFoodBadly says:

        As a schoolmarm, that’s not my premise at all. I think we will be better this year. We’ve improved through free agency and the draft, and we have coaches who can actually coach. Our promising rookies from last year have a season under their belts and most likely will improve. These are points of possible hope amidst the crushing doom and gloom that comes with being a Browns fan. If we don’t improve, I’ll be disappointed, but I’m not willing to write off next season as a foregone conclusion unlike (if I’m a schoolmarm) all the Negative Nancies proclaiming this as the WORST. DRAFT. EVAR. before they see a single down of 2013/2014 football.

        Zarathustra is right. That 55 number doesn’t have any context. So while it makes for an interesting data point, it’s hard to draw any conclusions from it. It could be a statistically insignificant blip. It doesn’t take into account new coaching staff. It’s just a number right now – it’s not objective proof of anything.

        You can declare “WE SUCK” all you want, but until we see these guys play some ball, you’re just as right as all us schoolmarms saying “MAYBE WE DON’T”

        • jimkanicki says:

          ground shifting and sophistry!!

          >>>I think we will be better this year.>>>
          you could do nothing and ‘be better’ under the rule of ’2nd year players tend to be better than rookies’ as well as an assumption that haden is off the adderall.

          >>>You can declare “WE SUCK” all you want, …>>>
          really? i declared this?
          “I think with some hole-patching and a non-remedial offense the Browns could definitely compete for the division.” –me, in post, on this page, about two scrolls above us, not a guy declaring WE SUCK.

          anyhoos, the question isn’t ‘will we be better?’ my god.. you’ve removed pat shurmur. OF COURSE YOULL BE BETTER.

          the question is, have you taken advantage of your resource to max the improvement?

          if you think sitting on the league’s highest cap number and punting two draft picks while there are six obvious positions of need is maxing out your opportunity to improve… well i disagree. good day sir. :-)

          oh and this: sometimes the doom and gloom is well-founded. i bit my tongue with ‘i hope theyre right’ when i hated the shurmur hire at the time. this go round, i’m going to say something when i see a prob and apologize later if i’m wrong.

          • NeedsFoodBadly says:

            To be fair, I’m not just addressing you. It’s sort of a blanket response to all the commenters who feel that LomBanner personally took a dump on their carpet last week and are cancelling their season tickets. I just don’t have the time or inclination to personally respond to all of them.

            But I’m confused by your own ground shifting and sophistry; you agree the team will be improved this year. The current crew has seemingly acquired more free agents with upside than I recall ever happening under Heckert, which is a good thing. As regards cap, we’ll have to agree to disagree, as all that money currently enjoys a Schrödingerian existence it that it has the possibility of both being spent and not-spent at some point in the future. As regards holes – you know we’ll be acquiring more players before September 8th.

            So why do you feel the sky is falling? Did you believe they could patch every single faulty position on this team in one year? Do you believe there will be no roster changes between now and the beginning of the season?

            So you don’t accuse me of shifting goal posts or whatever, let me make clear: I don’t think this was a homerun off-season. I can’t make that estimation until the off-season is actually finished, and I actually see some results on the field, in any event. But I am cautiously optimistic, and my point of view is that there’s a lot of Chicken Littles running around Cleveland blogs right now. Some guys are sick of losing. I’m sick of losing. I’m also sick of feeling like THESE BROWNS ARE THE WORST EVER AND WE ARE GOING TO SUCK FOREVER. So I’m going to feel good about the team for once and give myself a break.

            I invite you to come and join me in the hallowed fields of positive thinking and good spirits! It’s not that hard!

      • zarathustra says:

        Sure, it is possible. But how likely. I don’t think I have to tell you that I hold what you do in high esteem, but the harshness of your reaction seems excessive for a season that has not even begun–and for which the offseason will begin a new very soon.
        Time will tell if their process proves successful. But your mind seems completey closed to the possibilty it may. Was my rams comparison outlandish?

        • zarathustra says:

          Correct: hold you in high esteem.
          Fucking phones.

        • jimkanicki says:

          i missed the rams comparison. found it.

          i think the rams did great trading RG3 for picks. did great drafting ogletree. smart to get fisher. have killed it with 2nd rd picks laurinaitis and jjenkins. great pickup with barrett jones and even tj mcdonald.

          i bet if we looked that the rams pre offseason, we’d find x holes. and if we look now we’ll see x-y holes. in fact.. let’s do it:
          rams, 1/1/2013..
          b.gibson WR UFA, jackson RB UFA, r.mcintosh LB OLD, mikell FS BAD, kendricks TE BAD, richardson RT BAD.
          rams, now..
          long LT, cook, TE, ogletree, LB, mcdonald, FS, austin WR.

          sooooooooooooooooo…. (you see where i’m going with this?):
          RAMS HOLES BEFORE OFFSEASON: 7;
          RAMS HOLES SO FAR IN THIS OFFSEASON: 2.

          that’s all i’m saying.

          • zarathustra says:

            But rams 1/1/12 would be the comparison. And the browns have indeed addressed needs this offseason.

            • jimkanicki says:

              they filled the hell out of OLB, that’s for sure. but if we’re really looking at max-ing personnel, shouldnt we look at the converse as well? don’t they get docked for marginalizing rubin and sheard?

              ps, not sure how 1/1/12 rams roster relates to this offseason’s work. typo?
              pps, feel free to start us up top if you feel like chasing this rabbit around anymore. [feel free not to if i've worn you down.]

  13. jpftribe says:

    OK, let’s be fair about a couple of things:
    - browns had no OLB’s going into the offseason. Gocong and Sheard. Kruger, Groves and Mingo are all upgrades.
    - as a backup, I’ll take Campbell over McCoy or Wallace any day.
    - the only knock on McFadden is height. For a third rounder, that is a solid pick.
    -Bryant is a curious signing, but to give the benefit of doubt, he is an edge pass rusher to fill Sheard’s role as he converts. Neither Rubin nor Winn have his speed and quickness.
    - Bess and to some extent Nelson give them veteran WR hands in the slot.

    On the downside:
    - they did nothing in FA to address CB or Safety, and there was young quality to be had.
    - the only thing they did to address OL was a late 7th rounder
    - Davis at TE will be a bad signing.
    - they stayed pat at ILB
    - they did nothing to address FB

    On to the 4th and 5th
    You have to believe who you are going to take here is an upgrade to what you already have. They have a lot of,more so than most teams, young middle round picks on the roster. If you are going to take these guys and then cut them, then trading the picks makes sense.

    I liked Jones, Rambo and Kasa there. I think each of those guys would be an grade to what we have. So yeah, I don’t agree with trading those picks. However, Rambo has mixed reviews and Kasa would have been a project. With them already signing Davis and Barnridge, I can see them taking a pass there. But Jones, I don’t know why you don’t take a flyer on that guy.

    I believe the real truth is, they just didn’t know. They don’t know what they have on the roster today and what they are capable of in an actual NFL scheme. They didn’t know what they had on the board, because they’ve been scouted by and for H&H scheme. So, they punted.

    You can’t say they’ve done nothing. They are better today than December. I do think you can say they haven’t done enough.

    • jimkanicki says:

      ok, OLB was a position of need and they filled the crap out of it. two FAs, #6 draft pick, and the sheard conversion.

      meanwhile six other needs go wanting.

      and no, if your problem is a short CB it is not fixed with a short CB. we’ve been through this.
      * winfield and finnegan are the only two short pro-bowl CBs in last ten years.
      * number of 6’4″ WRs have doubled in five years.
      * success of seattle.
      * copycatting by tampa.
      * browns start no d-back over 5-11. (sry, 7th rounder eric hagg is 6’1″ and is slotted as the starting FS by ourlads.)
      i don’t know how to spin that into a positive. meanwhile brian winters was there in the 3rd and would be a sure starter, a sure upgrade over lauvao.

      backup QB? sure, i’ll give campbell a yellow over mccoy’s red-dot.

      davone bess? frankly.. i’m not impressed but a couple fins like him, so fine. yay, we got a backup WR who wouldve been cut by miami.

      4th/5th round… trading out is a punt on this year pure and simple. there’s not a FULLBACK available? here’s some names that wouldve worked for me:
      * i’m not sure i buy all the hype on shamarko thomas, but the steelers liked him enough to trade away a future pick for the first time in decades and we do need a safety.
      * barrett jones, i’m on record as wanting. there’s no backup for mack and as such mack has the team over a barrel for the contract extension talks. ‘hope he doesnt get injured; hope his agent is nice,’ i guess, is the strategy there.
      * landry jones? dont need a crystal ball to see that he’ll terrorize the browns in the near future.
      they couldve taken a flyer on johnathan franklin from ucla.. because ‘BPA’ and all that.
      * john simon wouldnt help this team?

      and quite frankly, with the mingo and mcfadden picks, with the ‘no thanks’ on the rams offer of 16 and 46, i’m not at all feeling great with how next year’s draft chips will be used.

      believe me or no, i am trying to be fair about this.

      • NeedsFoodBadly says:

        Small point, but don’t we still have Smelley and doesn’t he play fullback? I am fully aware that this isn’t a big deal, just trynna be accurate.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hey I’m with you on this. In fact I’ve said I think that not only did they punt, but someone leaked who they wanted and the Giants and Seattle humped Lombardi before he could make the picks.

        I’ll also say I am not enamored with Banner and he fucked up in the presser afterwards. First, he really took a shot at McNabb, which was sleazy, but second he called out the Steelers on the pick. If that turns into a pro bowl pick he not only looks like a dick, but a stupid one at that.

        • jimkanicki says:

          it’s a hell of a conspiracy theory, but yet, it’s not completely out of the question that the sport of ‘porking banner and lombardi’ provided solid entertainment for 31 other teams on saturday.

        • jpftribe says:

          Btw, that is me under anonymous, damn smartphones.

          Browns fired sr national scout today.

  14. Thanks for putting this together, Jim. Seeing it graphically like that really highlights what a catastrophe the secondary is shaping up to be — and now just imagine what it would look like after an injury to Haden or Ward.

    • And I don’t even think Ward is very good, it’s just that he’s the only guy besides Haden who can even attain mediocrity. Woof.

      • jimkanicki says:

        agreed on ward. that’s a dirty little secret no one talks about.

        • I wouldn’t go so far as to say that about Ward. He’s good – at least compared to what the safety position has turned into.

          Safeties like Ward are asked to support run, occasionally cover and occasionally blitz. He does this and for the most part, does an admirable job.

          However, because the position has become de-valued over recent years (i.e., five man backfields are becoming the base defense), Ward stands out for simply being above average.

          I say we neither overrate him or toss him under the proverbial bus – he’s good for what the position asks. The days of Troy Polamalu are over and honestly, most teams would love to have Ward right now.

          • jimkanicki says:

            i think ward’s tackling is suspect. he’s seeming like a hit-hard-with-shoulder-no-wrap-up-hope-they-fall-down guy and it was noticeable last year. at least, i noticed this.

          • WarbVIII says:

            I would like him better if it didn’t seem he was injury prone,took some better angles on tackling,and could catch the ball when he has his hands on it(on this last point Haden also needs work as does perhaps the the whole D and several players on O…fact is last year the only person I saw on D regularly catching a defended pass was traded to Philly right before we played them,and then it seems disappeared).

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