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Commitment to non-Excellence.

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Can’t say he didn’t warn us.

We’re not going 13-3 next year.

Can’t disagree, Jimmy.  That fate seems well-settled now.  With the league’s smallest salary cap number and a draft that failed to address any team needs, there is indeed little chance for thirteen wins.

But with a team who has been speaking down to us about building through the draft, and that we should avert our eyes from the Mike-Brown-esque payroll… the trading out of this year’s draft is the NFL equivalent of Berea dragging their ass on our carpets.

Haslam-Banner preaching practice is fine and dandy but, if you don’t mind, let’s not act like striving for the Super Bowl this year would have been so absurd.  Let’s challenge the premise of ‘We must suck more before we can be good.’  There is plenty of precedent for poor teams to improve year-over-year.  Hell, here’s a list  of sub .500 teams* who won the Super Bowl in the following year.

Joe Banner on your living room carpet.

  • 2000 Pats, 5-11; 2001 SB Champs
  • 1998 Rams, 4-12; 1999 SB Champs
  • 1980 Niners, 6-10; 1981 SB Champs

Even a Super Bowl appearance would be a goal worth having:

  • 2002 Panthers, 7-9; 2003 SB loser
  • 1999 Giants, 7-9; 2000 SB loser
  • 1997 Falcons, 7-9; 1998 SB loser
  • 1995 Pats, 6-10; 1996 SB loser
  • 1987 Bengals, 4-11; 1988 SB loser
  • 1980 Bengals, 6-10; 1981 SB loser

Just wanted to set that straight.  No.  We don’t have to suck in order to build and grow.  We do, though, need to address problem areas on the roster during the off-season.

Buster+Skrine+Cleveland+Browns+v+New+York+QYYvAWcpvonx

Problem: 5’9″
Solution: sign 5’9″ FA CB and draft 5’9″ CB.

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What were the team needs and how were they addressed?

We’ve bludgeoned all these in earlier posts:

  1. Cornerback is manned by Buster Skrine and his size limits his abilities.
  2. Free safety was handled ineffectively by Usama Young.
  3. Guards include competent Jason Pinkston whose health is still questionable and below average Sean Lauvao.  2014 UFA, journeyman John Greco shapes up as the top guard.
  4. Tight end has unproven Jordan Cameron.
  5. Fullback has no starter.
  6. And the [needless] adoption of Horton’s 3-4 created a need at ILB, now covered by undrafted FA Craig Robertson.

That’s six positions of need.  And we’re not even dealing with MKC’s assertion that we need two starting WRs or other noise about kickers and punters and quarterbacks.

How have the needs been addressed?

  1. Ignored dozens of CBs in free-agency, including at least ten who would be taller than any currently on the roster.  Signed 5’9″ Chris Owen to one year contract.  Drafted 5’9″ Leon McFadden in the third round who is equally short and considerably slower than the current liability at CB, Buster Skrine.  (No offense Buster.)
  2. Cut Usama Young.  Ignored safeties in FA.  Selected a safety in the sixth round who is currently re-habbing a blown Achilles.
  3. Drafted Tackle** Garrett Gilkey with pick #227.
  4. Signed two back-up tight ends in FA, neither of whom are known to exploit the center seam which is sought after now for the tight-end-as-a-weapon role.
  5. Unaddressed.
  6. Unaddressed.

By my math, that’s zero success at upgrading positions of need.

And in case you missed the Banner ass-drag-across-your-carpet that was the 2013 draft, they drafted a pass-rusher in the seventh round.  One more bird flipped toward any fan who pays attention to team needs.

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Twitter schoolmarms.

In the face this bald failure of the front office to tend to needs, one of the more peculiar but wholly predictable phenomena of the Browns Fan Experience started up yesterday on twitter and will proceed for the next several weeks:

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Pig, meet lipstick.

  • Application of lipstick to this pig;
  • Scolding of the great unwashed who have the temerity to critique Berea.

Like it’s not bad enough to be served this shit sandwich.  Now comes the fratricide.

In the past I might have engaged Hiram on his bizarre tweet.  This though, I’ve found, does not change minds.  Engaging these perspectives only results in smirking commentary about stepping away from the I-480 bridge.  Nope.  Leave the schoolmarms alone you unreasonable _fan_.

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Who knew Bill Belichick was on twitter reading my posts?

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C’mon Kanick.  What about Mingo?

We did have the sixth pick in the draft.  Surely that will help the team, right?

Well… I guess kinda.  Maybe.

Mingo does play a position in football and was effective in college.  But in spite of ESPN’s analysis, it’s hard to see that Mingo’s uncertain role with the Browns addresses an immediate need.  We have a defensive end who is 23 and had 15 sacks in the last two years.  If you don’t like Jabaal Sheard, that’s ok, but it’s hard to see how the most promising pass rusher on the team who is still on a rookie contract and is showing positive trajectory became the team’s top priority to be replaced in this draft.

Nope. Not here.

In fact, after signing Kruger, Bryant, Groves in free agency to fix the one unbroken part of last year’s team, one would think that the defensive front has had enough investment.

Berea and the schoolmarms will remind you that you can’t have too many passrushers but we know this is bullshit.

The net is:  the #6 pick in the draft will play in a sub package.

.

Meanwhile the six needs coming out of last year were not tended to.  In fact, the teams’ needs have been willfully ignored through traded away draft picks and the hoarding of cap space which -likely- will NOT be used in extensions or next year’s free agency.

If you’re sanguine with that… congratulations, you’re a Browns fan.

As for me, this is the worst off-season I can remember.  And even Jimmy Haslam’s committment not to win thirteen games doesn’t make me feel better about it.

.

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Edit to add:  Schoolmarm does strike me as needlessly harsh (though I expect most get where I’m coming from).  Shall we say   … optimists?

As I said in yesterday’s post:

But fine… we’re fans and you can tell us anything and we’ll believe it because we HAVE TO.  So… ok:  CAN’T HAVE ENOUGH PASS RUSHERS.  Fine.

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Rich Passan, new to me.

40 years at PD?

As an out-of-towner (since 1979), I miss a lot of the local media.  Don’t know how I missed Rich Passan, but his takes on the draft speak for me.  See his nuts-on review of the last three days here-Mingohere-3rd round and here-overall draft.

(What’s the backstory on Passan?  The three pieces he cranked out in the last three days were interesting and more on point than anything I’ve seen on cle-dot-com in three years.  I must be missing something.)

.

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* Here’s a list of the .500 teams who made SB the following year:  2008 Saints, 8-8; 2009 SB Champs; 2006 Giants, 8-8; 2007 SB Champs; 1999 Ravens, 8-8; 2000 SB Champs; 1981 Redskins, 8-8; 1982 SB Champs; 2007 Cards, 8-8; 2008 SB loser; 1998 Titans, 8-8; 1999 SB loser; 1993 Chargers, 8-8; 1994 SB loser; 1988 Broncos, 8-8; 1989 SB loser.

.

**  Ryan Miller showed us that the transition from college tackle to NFL guard is no sure thing.  (MUTE SOUND FIRST.)


34 Comments

  1. Kosar Outranks Clapton says:

    I consider this to be the worst off-season in years, for all the reasons expertly detailed in the article. My concern is that due to the upgrade in the coaching staff, which is roughly on a par with upgrading from a paper airplane to the Starship Enterprise, this team will possibly be able to pull out maybe 8 wins this season, and LomBanner will crow about what clear experts they are while not actually coming even close to upgrading the talent like they could/should have. If they then continue that non-upgrade trend, if we’re lucky the team will tread water for a year or two based on what talent is already on the team (mostly supplied by Heckert), while everyone else around us gets stronger, and inevitably we’ll nestle right back into that basement suite while Pittsburgh and Baltimore and now even a rapidly improving Cincy are duking it out in the playoffs…

    The hope is that next offseason they’ll do better, but when Mike Brown blows your doors off in the draft, it’s hard not to get a little nervous looking forward to the future with LomBanner in charge of personnel…

    • jimkanicki says:

      yeap. the ‘throw-jumpballs-to-gordon-little’ offense will yield more wins and banner-lombardi will claim ‘improvement.’

      also: high irony factor going on with banner claiming gordon as part of this draft. everything i read before said they were bull that they didnt have a 2nd round pick and no one has been effusive in praise for gordon. good to know he’s their guy,, now.

      and yes, cincy crushed their draft. not sold on dalton or marvin and even so, see them as the division champs.
      Eifert+Hunt=WIN BENGALS

  2. tmoore94 says:

    I also wonder if fans were so prepared for the Browns to do something stupid – draft Geno Smith at No. 6 or trade that pick for Ryan Mallett – that subconsciously the criticism or questioning of what the Browns really did hasn’t sunk in.

  3. dg736 says:

    Looks like a Mangini draft; overinvestment in what already works, total ignorance of the remaining needs. Mingo might be ok, and if he’s not the whole draft is a misfire. I CANNOT believe we only drafted one defensive back. Berea is incompetent and they traded away 2 picks for a one-round upgrade of each in 2014, so those two picks can be screwed up also, we just have to wait a year for the mistakes to take place. If the revamping of the defense determined these selections, the FO is really dumb. Instead of improving, they are just changing. And I’ll guarante if they trade Rubin or Sheard the whole morale of the D will corrode. Like trading Mike Babb in 1988, the whole offense crumbled and BK got killed. Some guys you JUST DONT TRADE. Good luck to all us long suffering Browns fans, my heart is broken over this draft. Iceberg dead ahead……..

  4. I want to try and tackle some of the actual draft decisions but I can’t shake the feeling that it is NOT business as usual in Berea.

    We sat on so much cap money we made the guy in Cincy look good…and that guy charges players for bloody socks.

    Are we trading out of picks because we can’t afford to sign draft picks because the owner is worried about cash flow? (I know that the obvious rebuttal to this is paying Bess this weekend but it just seems weird)

    The flip side of this is that if Mingo has 10 sacks this fall everyone will praise this draft.

    This team is still MUCH better going into next year due to a young roster having a year under their belt and Shurmur not being anywhere near Berea.

    My 2013 draft summary is this. They have been convinced by Chud and Turner and maybe some other issues with the owner to give Weeden one year. If he fails they have to ammo to go get Bridgewater or Boyd. (I like Boyd better which may put me in the minority)

  5. tmoore94 says:

    I’m in the middle on all this. The Mingo pick is going to turn out to be a good one, plus it seems as if Ray Horton is going to run a variety of defensive fronts and packages so there could be more opportunities for Sheard and Mingo to be on the field together than in an old-school, Mangini-like 3-4.

    Offenses are changing so much and being able to bring pressure from a variety of spots – and rotate players without significant drop off – is more important than ever. The Browns are younger, tougher and quicker on defense now; hopefully that is a good thing.

    Willing to wait and see on the McFadden pick. I know people want to mirror what Seattle is doing with their secondary, but as Bill Barnwell pointed out this week at Grantland, when teams try to follow they end up failing. (You can’t just draft two tight ends and think you are going to do what New England does, for example). Drafting a corner back because he fits a height requirement doesn’t necessarily mean that player is any good.

    I worry about McFadden when the Browns face the Ravens, who can line up Jacoby Jones (6-2, 220) and Torrey Smith (6-0, 205). Not so much when they face the Steelers (Antonio Brown is 5-10, 186 pounds, and Emmanuel Sanders is 5-11, 180 pounds) or Cincinnati (Andrew Hawkins is 5-7, 180 pounds and Joe Haden will cover the 6-foot-4 A.J. Green).

    If McFadden can play he can play.

    The rest is a bit off. Low-round picks rarely make an impact so if you can turn a 5th into a 4th and a 4th into a 3rd, you may increase your chances of getting a better player. But the Browns seem to need players more than picks, so we’ll see. And while 7th-round picks are basically just there to take up space during training camp, it seems like Lombardi was working a little too hard to prove how smart he is by going after Division 2 players.

    But better to do that in the 7th round than the first, I suppose.

    It’s nice that Banner and Lombardi say they have a plan, but too many fans seem to be getting excited that they say that. Having a plan is not the same as having a successful plan and while it is nice that the Browns will have several selections in the opening rounds next year, there’s no guarantee they will use those assets correctly.

    I may have just talked myself in circles about four different ways, but there you go.

    • jimkanicki says:

      re cincy, you’re forgetting sanu and marvin jones, both north of 6-2 i believe. they also might line up gresham and eifert together.. heaven forbid our CBs have to match up on them. in either case, balt and cincy will certainly gameplan specifically to gain those matchups on the short CBs. it’s not trivial; it’s a glaring weakness. (imo.)

      ive been seeing on twitter the blithe writing off of 4th/5th round picks so i took a quick look-see on last year’s playoff teams. a fast review revealed some pretty major contributors to winning teams: pitta l.mcclain goldson melton dumervil o.daniels nicks j.evans bushrod ninkovich sherman chancellor r.bryant.

      you raise an interesting point that i’ve neglected. offenses are changing. next year prepare for another change courtesy of philly: the non-stop up-tempo.

      question: when the league goes all up-tempo.. how are the rotational defensive schemes going to respond when sub packages are negated? imo, need more 3-down players.. less rush specialists, less nickel-slot CBs.

      • tmoore94 says:

        I threw Hawkins in there for Cincy because he had the second-most receptions among WRs last year.

        Got nothing for you on tight ends; the last time the Browns successfully defended a tight end was when Mike Ditka was in his prime, so … that’s a topic for another day.

        Sure, 4th and 5th round picks can contribute, the question becomes can Lombardi find those types of players? Maybe Banner realizes if the Browns have more selections in round 1-3 that lessens the chance of Lombardi screwing something up.

        As for sub-packages, if you have to limit your defensive substitutions, wouldn’t that argue for having players like Sheard and Mingo, who can both rush with their hand on the ground and (presumably, hopefully) from a stand-up position? That would give you versatility in your defense without having to make a substitution.

        Hopefully that all doesn’t matter because the opposing quarterback won’t have time to throw.

        And we’re all forgetting the points the new Chud/Turner high octane offense is going to produce this year as the scoreboard lights up like a progressive slot machine at Dan Gilbert’s casino.

  6. NeedsFoodBadly says:

    Normally I’m all in on the Browns post-draft masochistic self-flagellation but this year, I’m either A) too exhausted for it or B) actually legitimately pleased with how it turned out.

    We picked up a cornerback who yes, is short, but gets high praise. We’ve possibly created a defensive unit that can control the line of scrimmage which is actually pretty damn important. Mingo doesn’t fill every hole we had – but if all goes according to plan, we don’t have to worry about the d-line much for a few years. Depth is good.

    We acquired assets which could turn into something special next year – a star quarterback if we need it. An 8 foot defensive back. A donkey that can kick field goals.

    I’m going to put on my schoolmarm dress here and say that it’s naive to think that a new regime would come in and not want to build their own solid foundation for future winning. I think they’d love it if we went to the playoffs next year. But they’re not fools, and they understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day. We didn’t play .500 ball last year. We have Jason Campbell, not Tom Brady, waiting in the wings.The goal is to build a stable foundation that will allow this team to compete for quite some time. Yeah, it sucks to hear about another building project – but this time, it’s not Randy Lerner waiting to disinterestedly blow it up every 2-3 years. We might actually get the chance to see this project go through! (if, y’know, the Browns don’t get sold if Haslam ends up in Club Fed). (And also, parenthetically – I didn’t see what flack you, internet Jim Kanicki, were getting on twitter, but I hope you don’t consider a polite difference in opinion as fratricide. A diversity of opinions is good!)

    We’ve had a hell of an offseason. Bess was a masterstroke. Flipping picks for higher picks is great strategic thinking. Last year, we were shackled by the incomparable incompetence of Pat Shurmur’s dinosaur-era WCO, which hamstrung some guys who can get it done on offense. I think we could be pretty decent next year. Not enough to contend for the division yet though, unfortunately. But we should be better. This draft did not make us worse.

    • jimkanicki says:

      im not naive in my reaction to a new regime letting their pride overtake common sense when it comes to wanting ‘their guys’ in ‘their system.’ i’m simply non-plussed.

      arent they fools? why do you assume they are not? was not heckert a fool to not re-sign vickers and replace him with marecic? it’s the very definition of fool. it appears the new folks are walking the same path wrt rubin. he’s just our best d-lineman and THATS who they want to replace?

      these football men need to earn my deference. and that’s only because ive seen to many bad football men make obviously dumb moves and contented myself with ‘they get paid for this, they must know what theyre doing.’ nope… not necessarily. and in particular, when the ‘my system’ trumps objective evals, it’s been a problem.

      • NeedsFoodBadly says:

        I think it goes beyond wanting “their guys” as regards this draft.

        I don’t know if the Berea braintrust consists of fools. I haven’t seen the team they assembled play a game or a season yet, so most of my judgement remains in reserve. I didn’t have high expectations for Banner or Lombardi, so perhaps that is why I am more pleased this Sunday – after all, we didn’t trade up for Geno Smith or something similar. Heckert isn’t with the organization anymore, so how Vickers plays into this is irrelevant to me (although clearly Marecic was a mistake – but no one is 100% perfect). Also, regarding Rubin – I haven’t seen anything regarding replacing Rubin so unless they do it, I’m not particularly worried. It would be a mistake if they did it.

        These guys need to earn my deference too – but they also need to earn my scorn. And no evaluation is objective other than putting together a perennial championship contender, or winning Super Bowl ring, ultimately.

  7. reepjp says:

    I’m not a DB, never played or coached DBs and quite honestly don’t usually watch DBs during a game until a ball is thrown.

    This may sound dumb, but other than jump ball situations and instances where a QB is so good he can thread the needle AND deliver a ball just out of the DBs reach, is there THAT much advantage to a CB being tall? What if you can make up for it with “ups”? What if you’re 5′-9″ and have the wingspan of a 6′-2″ guy? Even a 6′-1″ CB you desire still has to make up 4-5″ on the big WR, so does it really make a huge difference?

    • jimkanicki says:

      via phone so brief: see yesterday’s post. big jump in taller receivers (and CBs) in few past years. success of Seahawks indicates a value. I’m most interested to see how the Bucs do this year with their major investment in an all-big dback field.

  8. MadElf says:

    And I just cleaned that f’ing carpet. After reading the “hey, know’s” and “wait a minute’s”, schoolmarm seems most apt. The next couple of years will be talked about years from now in the same depressing tones as The Move. And it started with The Draft. You can hang your hat on that.

  9. zarathustra says:

    I respectfully disagree with much of this. Your position is based on what I believe to be the flawed premise that the team’s 2012 was much better than it actually was. An alternate view is that this team is teeming with needs and it would be irresponsibe–not to mention impossible–to fill them all in one offseason. The d-line was only a relative strengh last year. Regardless of anyone’evaluation of sheard, if he is your best pass rusher you are fucked. Ravens, 49ers, broncos, patriots, giants, texans. Off the top of my head these are the best defensive fronts in football. They are all now perrenial contenders. Was the browns front seven last year close to these teams? They may still have a way to go, but are they closer to these teams now? The seahawks have the best defensive backfield in the game and I love them, but that is the only top defense that doesn’t have holes in their secondary. I wanted milliner. The year before that I wanted claiborne. Years before that I wanted patrick peterson, berry, and haden. I promise you nobody values dbs more than I do, but the front seven is also important and they decided that should be the point of emphasis in yr one. And it is year one. It sucks, but it is. And none of those teams that you mentioned above did so with first year coaches.

    • jimkanicki says:

      meh. i dont think there was a better four man DT rotation than rubin-taylor-hughes-winn. it was apparent in the games taylor-rubin got to play together.

      my point is less that sheard is great and more that he is NOT a hole needing the investment of the 6th overall, especially when the pick has holes in his game (edge setting, getting off blocks in run d.).

      as for the seahawks, take note of the buccaneers. got barron last year, banks this year, plus goldson, plus revis. i think they’re smart. as i linked to yesterday, there were ~30 WRs 6’4″ and taller five years ago; last year there were 50. WRs are getting taller. browns needed to respond to this.

      it’s one thing to be meh on milliner at #6. but, per banner, a trade back was available and x.rhodes could have been acquired with it. and of course there’s the dozens of free agent CBs that might have been signed.

      • zarathustra says:

        I won’t disagree about the best four man dt rotation, but that is hardly carrying a team the playoffs. The rest of the defense was really bad. This year they have gotten better. Still not good enough, but better. And if you accept that they are operating with a different time horizon than you then the extra picks and abundant cap space next year is something to celebrate. This team had two pro-bowlers and have lost 10+games for years now just because sheard hasn’t been a total bust doesn’t mean that he is good enough and his position is not a need.

        • jimkanicki says:

          try this on:

          berea plan: kruger, bryant, groves, mingo, mcfadden;
          kanick plan: k.lewis, keller, k.rhodes, ogletree, winter. (note: NOT ellerbe or levitre as they were quite expensive and i am assuming there was SOME number that wouldve persuaded lewis to come to CLE vs his hometown NO.)

          my way upgrades CB, TE, FS, ILB, OG.
          their way added redundancy to OLB, DT and failed to address CB, FS, TE, OG, or ILB.

          i think my way is a playoff team and still a young playoff team and would leave enough cap to extend mack and ward. their way leaves a big pile of unused cash for 2014 and writes off 2013. i mean.. i think there’s good reason to be peeved.

          • Zarathustra says:

            But what would your plan do to the cap in later years as opposed to the Berea plan? We are coming from different places on this in a lot ways. I don’t think they are going to make the playoffs next year, but I think they will be better, perhaps much better. They have added the best offensive coordinator of the past 20 yrs–one who caters to the strengths of our current qb and they have improved the defensive front–whether this was money well-spent is another matter entirely–to better met the needs of new(much better) defensive coordinator. So the offense should be better(maybe much better.) I believe the defense will better as well. So we will have a team in year one that should be improved in all areas that has done nothing to sacrifice their long-term flexibility–a la Butch Davis.
            Moreover, I think you may be misjudging the league a bit. How many teams have no holes? Maybe 49ers and maybe Seahawks. Otherwise all teams have holes. Even the good ones. By being great in some areas you can afford to have holes in others. Many of the successful franchises are built on great defensive fronts. The Browns are attempting to build a great defensive front. Whether they will prove successful remains to be seen.
            Ultimately, my issue with your position is not so much that I think it wrong it wrong, but that you are operating with too much certainty regarding your forecasting skills.

            • NeedsFoodBadly says:

              I want to co-sign everything you’ve said here.

            • jimkanicki says:

              here’s the thing: the rollover cap space must be consumed on new players in the following year.. it’s not like your phone rollover minutes. if i had any sense that they were saving it up to throw it at jay cutler or jimmy graham, i’d feel better about it. but i don’t think that’s what they’re doing. so.. it’s like their taking their timeouts into the locker room. there WERE places to spend this year and would have helped us to compete this year.

              i can accept the patience argument if it’s a real re-build and nothing can be done to improve. but that’s not the case here.

              oh. and wrt defensive fronts and how they can create great teams,, i agree.

              • Zarathustra says:

                You are right. Cap space doesn’t rollover like cell phone minutes. But when you start using cap space you are starting a clock that expires in 3-4 when you have to make tough decisions. If you do not time this clock properly with the your current roster and the appropriate time horizon you end up in cap hell prematurely. This is death. Because the negative ramifications of this you are better off being there a year late than a year early if you are team like the Browns–who, regardless of disagreement on degree, were bad. This may not have to be a full re-build like we have seen in the past, but it still is a rebuild to a certain extent and this is year one. I know it sucks that it is year one yet again, but it just is.
                If you are concerned about how the federal probe may affect our future expenditures I get that, but I think to this point there is no evidence that they won’t spend when necessary so I think you are misjudging a strategic move regarding the salary cap as a larger indictment on the nature of the ownership that I believe is still premature.

              • NeedsFoodBadly says:

                If they don’t use the cap space next year, you have a point. But right now, it’s still there to be used. Why would you assume they won’t? (Excepting your theory of Haslam being cash-poor, of course)

  10. Ben says:

    Were we really a good draft away from the playoffs? No. Is next a years draft projected to be better than the one we traded out of? Yes. Did we already have young talent at the positions we decided to avoid drafting? Yes. Draft Grade- B+

    • jimkanicki says:

      see.. i just disagree with this. consider how hamstrung the offense was with shurmur.. remove that and we’ve got two very good WRs and a QB with the arm to get it to them. we have a six man d-line rotation -winn-rubin-taylor-hughes-sheard-bryant- as good as any in the league. steelers are in decline and the ravens lost a half-dozen starters. so .. i actually did not think playoffs were an unreasonable goal provided holes were patched.

    • dan says:

      A year ago Holmgren was proclaiming that the Browns would be “a lot better than 6-10.” Since 7-9 would be the minimum amount a team could be better than 6-10, that sure sounded like a team that he was predicting would go 8-8. I didn’t believe him, but that’s what he said. And this year, even after the draft, Banner was promising that the team would have “conspicuous improvement.” Meanwhile, every year there are teams that are as bad or worse than the Browns that go to the playoffs the next year. Last year, for example, Indy, Minnesota and Washington (2-12, 3-13, and 5-11 the year before) all made the playoffs. There’s no reason why the Browns can’t do the same thing. They have holes. Fill them and get better.

  11. I really don’t understand what happened.

    The Browns are building through the draft, yet the strategy this year is to NOT draft many players. So, this means that:

    a) the quality of this year’s mid-round draft prospects was so impossibly low that Banner and Lombardi decided to just wait until next year.

    This can only mean that:

    b) every other team in the league who did draft players in these rounds are complete suckers.
    c) and as for those teams who actually WANTED to trade up and draft players (Colts and Steelers – two likely playoff teams), they are the absolute biggest suckers in the league.

    Then, the players the Browns actually DID draft include:

    1. As Kanicki says, a “sub package” pass rusher (with the 6th OVERALL PICK!!!!)
    2. A smallish corner (some think this is a bigger issue than others)
    3. An injured safety and some Division II players

    Remember that whole idea that teams win based on their past drafts (i.e., a team now is only as good as their 2009 or 2010 draft): Can you only imagine where the Browns will be in 2015 and 2016?

    • jimkanicki says:

      let me say this on the trade-outs and offer a plausible reason for them:

      jerry reese jumped up in the 4th to take ryan nassib with pick in front of us;
      seahawks jumped up in 5th to take 6’2″ CB t. simon with pick in front of us.

      i think it possible that both of those players were being targeted and browns got scooped (and had no plan b). makes more sense than punting for no reason, anyway.

      • jpftribe says:

        This is exactly my theory as well. The reason Lombardi didn’t show for the presser was because he was too furious trying to find out who leaked the picks.

      • jpftribe says:

        And…
        Barrett Jones was available with their 4th round pick. If not for injuries, he goes 25-45. How is that not value for a late fourth rounder. Fischer is high fivin his FO.

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