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The Banner Plan.

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The floggings will continue until morale improves.

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I wrote a post Thursday/Friday that was triggered by the Trent Richardson trade.  It was emotional, hot, angry, pleading, salty.  But yet it seems its point was not made effectively.  I’ve read several responses to it where the reaction centers on the trading Trent Richardson (and what value the Browns got for him).  That not just misses the primary point it ignores a whole section with a boldface heading that says, “Richardson trade *is* good value.  But that’s not the problem here.”  So let me try again and do better this time.

Joe Banner’s plan is a figurative keelhauling of Browns fans.  You have been harnessed and thrown over the bow of the smokey oil slick of a 18th century whaling ship that is 2013 Berea.  You will be pulled up from the stern after a long salt-water immersion-waterboarding and scoured by the thousands of barnicles on the vessel’s hull under water level.  You will emerge in 2018 proven worthy and absolved of past misdeeds.  If you aren’t dismembered or drowned by the process.

Still too allegorical?  Ok.

Joe Banner is writing off the next three/four years on a 50-50 bet that the team will be better then; on the much smaller chance that the Browns-with-Joe-Banner’s-guys will show up in the playoffs in 2018.

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OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG.

You think Trent Richardson is the start?  You think Teddy “My-God-Teddy-Bridgewater” Bridgewater is the end game?

Smarten up and grow up, you foolish child Browns fan.

Trent Richardson heralds the midpoint of the first step in the process:  be just good enough to be competitive but just bad enough to lose.  Bad enough to lose every game, that is.  The Trent Richardson trade is the part where the strategy is non-verbally, formally announced to Browns fans.  “Hey Browns fans, this is Vegas.  Yeah, you’re not gonna be favored in a game until December and even that Jets game is looking iffy.  Just thought you’d want to know.”

Fans are waking up to the reality of a tanked season and that is why they are pissed.

Fans are not pissed because (the possibly/probably overrated) Trent Richardson was traded for a first round pick in 2014.  They’re pissed this transaction crystallized several vague thoughts for them:

  1. We’re really not trying?  Damn Kanick was right:  we’re REALLY not trying.  TRich may not be all he’s hyped, but he is our best offensive weapon or so we’ve been programmed for the last two years and if he’s not our weapon then who the fuck is?

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    If you think Joe Banner holds on to Reggie Wayne after the Peyton Manning trade, you’re simply not paying attention.

  2. The Colts organization embodies all the Browns are not.  You say they got lucky with Andrew Luck.  No doubt.  But they’re supposed to be a crap team this year, just ask anyone at Grantland.  This is the team that brought “regress to mean” into the football fan’s lexicon.  In the face of the staggering analytical analyses of joyless stat nerds masquerading as football people, the Colts say:  “Eff that, we ain’t regressing, we would we?”  Colts have $3M in cap space which is also approximately their 2012 rollover amount.  The Colts just acquired the third pick in last year’s draft to go with their #1 pick.  The Colts are doing all they can to win.  And as to the trade itself, who’s to say TRich doesn’t turn into Steven Jackson playing for a playoff team… Marshawn Lynch seemed to improve after he left Buffalo.
    • Sidebar to all who believe Banner’s cap horseshit and think not competing and spending this year is sound financial planning and to do otherwise will condemn the Browns into a morass of cap hell:  Colts 2014 cap is 30th in the league, $82M
  3. And finally, they’re pissed because it’s dawning on them that this is just the start of the gutting.

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Just the start of the gutting.

It was Kolonich who got me thinking about the idea that this is just starting.

Richardson was probably only the beginning of this new reboot.  I can’t imagine Gordon, Little, Schwartz, Weeden (obvious), Lauvao, Pinkston, etc. survive into 2014 and beyond.  Not to mention Mack, Rubin, Ward and possibly even Haden.

For those who didn’t figure this out way back in January, we’re in the beginning stages of a total reset.  Just like Savage wiped out Davis and Mangini wiped out Savage and Heckert wiped out Mangini, and so on and so on. (more…)

Banner to Browns fans: EFF YOU; National Wags to Browns fans: Smarten up and be patient longer.

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Skins get mobile QB now with blown ACL.
Rams get Michael Brockers + Janoris Jenkins + Isaiah Pead + Alec Ogletree + Stedman Bailey + Skins’ 2014 first round pick.
Remarkably, most think the Skins won that trade.
Remarkably, some still think the Browns whiffed on this deal.
This is one of the many ways betting everything on a first round QB can go wrong.

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Looking for at least one post that doesn’t tell you how fucking smart Joe Banner is?  Just one write-up that doesn’t tell you, Mr. Browns Fan, that you’re a petulant child for expecting a competitive team this year?  One piece that calls bullshit on the Banner regime’s performance to date?  And what in the hell does the Carmen Policy era have to do with any of this???

Look no further.

Three items today and I’ll sum up the Kanick take up top for you:

  1. Trent Richardson trade.  (Yes, it’s good value.  Don’t care.  You punted the season and didn’t have to.)
  2. National types and local schoolmarms telling us a 1-15 season is smart.  (General disdain for media lapdogs telling every Browns fan who expected a season of improvement that we’re idiots for being pissed.)
  3. Since when did a high draft pick become a guarantee of team success?  (The myth of magical first round QBs exposed.)

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Richardson trade *is* good value.  But that’s not the problem here.

I actually think Browns got good value on T-Rich.  I haven’t been a Richardson fan and I’ve pointed out why on several occasions.  Basically, I think he runs soft.   Got no Beast Mode.  Stops before contact.  Been like this since his Bama days.  See below and below that.

So I’m ok with the value received in return for the trade.  I would also say the Browns got good value on their auction of 2012 draft picks.  Browns also have an efficient payroll structure as demonstrated by their $25M in cap space.

None of these “good management practices” add up to even an attempt at winning football in 2013 and thus these “smart moves” amount to a steaming crap in the middle of the Munilot.  All of these moves say, “We assume you will continue coming to losing games because we’ve improved the ‘fan experience.'”  Banner don’t care if he wins this year, next year, or the year after that.  (Has anyone heard a timetable or a tangible goal for this organization?)  All I read is that he has to get ‘his own guys’ on the roster like that’s normal.  (He’s no Don Shula.*)  To expect him to win Heckert’s guys is unreasonable.

I say bullshit.

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Don’t think the Browns could have competed this year?  Really?

Think again.

You know how this could have played out in 2013?  If Berea actually wanted to win this year?  If Berea actually gave a more fucks about their fans than their god damn office furniture and the murals, my god, the murals?

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Would you look at how proud he is?
Hey Joe: NO ONE GIVES A FUCK ABOUT THE BEREA WALLS.

Because this is a formula that was available to Banner thanks to the pristine salary structure bequeathed him by Tom Heckert.  It goes like this:

You had six holes (CB2, OG, LB, FS, TE, FB), they’re now all patched.  You’ve got your o-line set for the next five years.  You’ve got two lock-down CBs.  You’ve added speed at LB.  You’ve got a playmaking TE.  And you’ve got your QB.

Tell me that’s not a playoff team.

How hard was that? (more…)

Breaking faith with Browns fans.

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Speaking only for myself:  I found my Browns fan experience yesterday largely unchanged from past years.  How was yours?

The CSAT numbers can’t be good; perhaps a note to the VP of Fan Experience is in order.

Because, I kid you not, the Browns can afford such an executive although apparently they cannot afford a probowl, never-missed-a-start center.  (We’ll get to Alex Mack.)

After an off-season featuring the implementation of new office furniture and the adoption of analytics-to-improve-personnel talk (if not use); after healthier cafeterias and improved stadium cell service; after the junking of the dinosaur 4-3 defense in favor of the the current preferred turbo/hybrid attacking aggressive 3-4; after prudently eschewing free-agency use in favor of building through the draft (albeit next year’s draft); and dee-jays don’t forget dee-jays … it turns out that when you don’t significantly improve the roster of a 5-11 team, they continue to look like a 5-11 team.

And yet in yesterday’s #CheddarBay work, our generally savvy pickers threw down a collective 39 points on the Browns versus one point on the Dolphins.  It goes to show how the reportage on the Browns has been wanting for objective, sober analysis.

The question I have is who let you down more:  The Banner regime and its dedication to window dressing or the Cleveland sports media and its fawning over it?

They both thought you were pretty dumb; they’re soon to find out you can be pretty pissed before lapsing into wholly apathetic.  It’s a longshot but:  the Browns and their sycophantic reporters are actually at risk of losing the best sports fan base in the country.

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I’ll work the media angle today.

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Stop me if this looks familiar.

I’m not going to dig into the problems we saw yesterday.  Thin offensive line?  Pass rush not a panacea?  Vulnerable secondary?  Nope, I’ve done some work on the problematic talent acquisition strategy of this off-season.  Just some.  Here’s a taste of what’s been written here at Kanick and you can dive into it at these links:

2013 Brown preview (Indifference); TRich, Dancing Bear; The Fallacy of Attacking 3-4 defensesHaving a short secondaryParsimonious Joe BannerAlex Mack, Y U NO SIGN HIMNo one cares about Berea’s makeoverJoe Banner’s window-dressing strategyNorv Turner, paid gun for hireGimmicky defenses reliant on personnel packages for specific down/distances are soon to be obsoleteShort d-back issue not tended to in draftThe lunacy and hypocrisy of trading out of the fourth and fifth rounds after eschewing free-agency with the ‘Build through the draft’ mantraShort d-backs (with math)Drafting redundant pass-rusherCommitment to non-ExcellenceHow did a front line with Taylor, Rubin, Sheard become a focal point for renewal? Short d-backs (Kerry Rhodes please)Explaining salary cap rollover and Banner’s hoarding of sameWhat a smart draft looks likeILB depth (draft Alec Ogletree)Defining the needs of the team and addressing them through free-agency and draftO-Guard depth (sign Andy Levitre)Short d-backs (sign Keenan Lewis); Why the 4-3 is inherently better.

No since I’ve done that already, today it’s worth looking at how people who are actually paid to cover the team are serving their readers.

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An ominous beginning.

The day started on a sour note with a La Canfora’s tweet.

If any paid media member so much as asked Joe Banner about Alex Mack in a salary cap context, let alone got a meaningful response, I surely missed it.  As it stands, I’m pretty sure that some guy with a blog in NH is the only one asking the obvious question:  what the hell are you doing with $30 million in unused cap while Alex Mack is about to become the best and pretty much only UFA Center to hit the market in six months? (more…)

Browns 2013 preview: The year of indifference.

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The Cleveland Browns had five wins last year.  They’ve had four wins or five wins in each of the last five seasons.  The recent Browns teams have been pursuing mediocrity in vain.  Average would be a step in the right direction for 2013.  Trending upward would be something to be excited for.  Fill some holes, get some luck, and who knows, maybe playoffs.  It’s happened before.

But instead ennui has set in.  The offseason preceding the 2013 Browns season saw another new regime and another spewing of horseshit from another group of carpetbaggers.  To wit:

  1. The Browns were active in free agency signing one big name, two big contracts to bolster the strongest part of the 2012 team, the front seven.  At the close of free agency, the Browns had the most cap space available but rather than spend it, Berea spewed horseshit about not wanting older players, not wanting too many new players, not liking available free agents, and wanting to build through the draft.

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    Actually drafts players in fourth round. What a maroon!

  2. The Browns draft saw them bypass an opportunity to swap their #6 pick for #16 and #47 in order to draft a player to bolster –even more– the strongest part of the team, the front seven.  Horseshit spewing ensued with bromides including “can’t have too many pass rushers.”  Even more bold, by trading out of rounds four and five, the Browns insinuated that they’re smarter than the league in general and, in particular, smarter than 2x SB Champ GM, Kevin Colbert (Steelers) and last year’s Executive of the Year, Ryan Grigson (Colts).  After all, those two fools actually wanted to draft players at our slots.
  3. The draft shenanigans included horeshit about not wanting too many young players on the team since it was already young.  But that too is now revealed as yet still more horsehit because here we are today at the waiver deadline… and yep, they got younger.  From Grossi:

    The cumulative effect of the transactions was that the NFL’s second-youngest roster – as of Saturday night – was made younger and less experienced.Less than 24 hours after the “final” roster cut, the following players were sent packing:  Running back Brandon Jackson (27 years old), tight end Kellen Davis (27), linebacker L.J. Fort (23), offensive lineman Caylin Hauptmann (22), offensive lineman Jarrod Shaw (25) and fullback Brad Smelley (24).They were replaced by:  Tight end MarQuies Gray (23), running back Dennis Johnson (23), offensive lineman Patrick Lewis (22), linebacker Brandon Magee (22), tight end Keavon Milton (23) and running back Bobby Rainey (25).

  4. And finally there’s the never-ending crowing about renovating offices and painting the Successories catalogue on your walls as though this is somehow something your fans care the slightest about.

There’s really no way to look at this off-season and derive that even the modest goal of “average” is a Berea goal for the ’13 Browns.

For me, and for other fans, it’s become something of a chore to muster optimism that this could be the year.  Berea ain’t trying to win this year; why should I try to get fired up?  So I’ve tuned out this Browns team and the Browns regime.  They want to punt this year, fine.  They want to talk in circles, fine.  I’ll go watch the games and root for them like I always do.  But the continued insults to my fandom’s intelligence has left callouses and I’m more indifferent to the opening of this Browns season than any I can remember.

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The structure of the preview is this:

  1. Talent acquisition review (comparing depth chart now to end of last season).
  2. Positional review (state of each position, assessment of Browns’ execution of their GAP/SWOT analyses).  (Scratch the SWOT analyses.  Indiff.)
  3. Coaching changing.
  4. Outstanding/unresolved issues (turds). (more…)

The curious case of Alex Mack.

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Banner says: earn it.
Probable outcome: the Berkeley grad says eff-you, challenge accepted, and buh-bye.

The problems with the Mangini-era drafts have been well documented.  (Not even gonna link.)  But less widely acknowledged is that he won the Sanchez trade.

The actual trade was the Browns’ #5 pick in 2009 (Sanchez) for #21 (Mack), #52 (Veikune) plus Jets vets Coleman, Ratliff, and Elam, plus two trade-backs for late picks (Davis and Francies).  Never mind that the Seahawks saved Mangini from himself by taking Aaron Curry at #4.  Never mind that he traded #17 (Freeman) for the #19 (Maclin) before settling on #21.  Seems foolish to talk about Percy Harvin being taken with the pick after Mack… can you imagine Harvin in the Shurmur offense?  Hell, never mind that six of the seven players coming the Browns way are no longer factors in the league.

Alex Mack straight-up for Mark Sanchez is a win.

Since 2009 Alex Mack has started every game at center for the Browns.  That’s 48 in a row; rather a major accomplishment for an NFL player.  In so doing, Mack has gained a reputation as being one of the top five centers in the league.  We won’t cite the pro-bowl appearance since that was an injury-replacement on the third team.  But still pro-bowl appearance and effectively 4th team AFC center in his second year.  In short:  Mack has done all that could have been expected from him.  In fact, he’s exceeded reasonable expectations.  (Here’s one re-draft of the 2009 first round that rates only Brian Cushing ahead of Mack for best value.)

Mack is a UFA at the end of this year.

Why are the Browns’ dragging their feet in extending his contract?  Why are the Browns leaving the door open for him to leave as a free-agent?

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Rating Mack.

I’m not the guy who pours through the game tape looking at footwork, push, low center of gravity, knee bend, and explosive hands.  And don’t even start with the fluid hips talk, I have enough of an internal struggle with hand-size measurements.

No I prefer to find reputable evaluators and defer to them.  If that means the dreaded Pro-Football-Focus ratings, so be it.  Matt Miller is one such resource.  Here’s rating of centers Bleacher Report*:  Alex Mack #4.  It goes:

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All-pro and 2009 draft classmate Max Unger proved it *after* signing an extension. AFTER. Because if he had proved it *before* he’d have been more expensive and possibly playing for Mike Munchak.
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Is anyone listening?

1. Chris Myers, Texans
2. Mike Pouncey, Dolphins
3. Max Unger, Seahawks
4. ALEX MACK, Browns
5. Jonathan Goodwin, 49ers
6. John Sullivan, Vikings
7. Nick Mangold, Jets
23.  Matt Birk, Ravens, retired.  Well come back to this.

Not buying Miller?  Here’s what Pat Kirwin has to say in his o-line ratings:

1. Maurkice Pouncey, Steelers
2. Ryan Kalil, Panthers
3. Chris Myers, Texans
4. Max Unger, Seahawks
5. Mike Pouncey, Dolphins
Honorable mention:  Alex Mack

One more link and this one is to local DawgPoundDaily: (more…)

How I would renovate Berea.

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Berea renovations and hoping for osmosis.

Brent Stehlik, Browns EVP-Revenue, tweeted out a picture last week showing how the some of the renovations of Berea are coming along.  The latest renovation was one of the first orders of business for the Banner regime after taking over.  As it was for the Mangini era prior to that.  And by the Lerners in 1999.  All this for a facility built just over 20 years ago.

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Lou Groza Drive, Berea.

The building, which originally opened in August 1991, was renovated in the spring of 1999, while further renovations and expansion commenced during the 2009 offseason.  The most recent improvements include an expanded locker room, a lobby restoration that pays tribute to Browns’ Hall of Famers and a complete renovation of the cafeteria, video room, and meeting rooms, including a new 2,300 sq. ft. auditorium featuring 120 theater seats.

It’s been hard for me to capture my reaction to the investments the latest regime has put forward in Berea.  I’m not against eating healthy, so what’s the harm in improving the cafeteria?  Maintenance of the physical plant is important for any business, so why not spruce things up?  It’s not my money, it doesn’t eat cap space, what’s the problem?

I part company with the goodness of all this when these improvements are presented to the Browns’ customers (us) in a guise of “look what we’re doing for you.”  The logic that it’s “for us” relies on a very broad set of guides for “implementing culture change.”  That is, comfortable environs make for happier employees make for successful organizations leads to winning football.  It’s stretch, for me.  If this is all “for us,” what’s next?  Pictures of Norv Turner’s new Escalade?  Quinton Groves’ new house?  They’re now happier and they’re Browns’ employees… should we the fans expect to be treated to some selfies in front of garages?

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“Look and feel.”

So…, I’m not quite on-board with the embrace of renovations as being meaningful accomplishments of the new leadership team.  But Joe Banner wants me to think this is progress:

Everything we do — the type of foundation we’re going to have, the type of events we’re going to run in the community, the renovation of the offices upstairs … there’s going to be a completely different look and feel. Over the next couple of years, for instance, we’re going to change the logo and uniforms in a way that will respect the history but will be forward looking. We’re going to do a major renovation project at the stadium, too, the details of which are still to be determined. So it’s going to be a completely different place.

If culture change is what’s being sought, what is the new culture exactly?  It looks like they’re missing the mark or haven’t defined one.  What’s the new “look and feel?”  From here, the message reads:  You athletes –and also you VPs of Fan Experience– are super special and sixty years ago the Browns were really good.  By dint of having signed a contract with the Browns, you are heir to the mantles of Otto Graham and Jim Brown.

In other words, the renovations seem to me a furtherance of the entitled athlete thing and not at all useful if “culture change” is the goal.

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More than a club.

Wrong message.

The message should be:  you have to earn it.

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Browns ≠ Barca

To the right is the tunnel from FC Barcelona’s lockers to their pitch.  It seems the Browns made have taken their design cues from here.

That’s a problem.

Barca has earned their tunnel.

  • 22 La Liga winners;
  • 12 UEFA Cups;
  • 2 FIFA Club World Cups;
  • Countless international stars from Rivaldo to Ronaldinho to Messi and now Neymar.

The 2013 Browns have earned nothing.  They’re NOT part of something special until they create something special. (more…)

Joe Banner is gonna fix your uniforms with focus groups.

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One of these teams was founded in 1931. But all look like expansion teams from the 90s. /focus grupe’d

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Ooops, my bad.  New Jags logo.

Why do seemingly reasonable men turn into pompous asses when they take charge of the Browns’ operations?

  • Carmen Policy.  Wins four Super Bowls as CEO with the 49ers; abruptly quits as Browns CEO under a cloud.*
  • Mike Collins.  Marketing executive pulls sloppy back-channel power play to fire GM Phil Savage, gets fired himself.
  • Mike Holmgren.  SB winning coach can’t be bothered coaching, wants to learn the CEO side of the business and wades into Port of Cleveland parking contract negotiations.

And now this guy Banner.  It’s time for Joe Banner to follow the advice command he’s given to the rest of Berea and speak less.  Because he had quite an interview with Clark Judge Wednesday.  He leads off with a stunning display of ignorance and gracelessness:

Julio+Jones+Jacksonville+Jaguars+v+Atlanta+16q4wTRtSSTx

… future draft picks.

New York Jets vs. St. Louis Rams

Was traded for…

Everybody talked about a long-term plan, but when’s the last time the team traded for a future draft pick? When’s the last time the team said, ‘We may not have position ‘X’ with the best player this year because there’s nobody in the marketplace who’s that good, and we don’t want to waste all the future cap money just so we win six games instead of five?

I don’t know Joe, two years?  three years?   This is awkward, Joe … but … The Mark Sanchez trade?  The Julio Jones trade?  I’m not even going to link them, but they were in the news.  You can look them up via Google.  Yeah, I know you don’t Joe.  Ask that IT guy who’s a security risk.  He’ll help you with that.

As far as cap space, is not cap space truly wasted when it evaporates into the ether?  It’s a good thing you have all those analytics-y math-y smart guys over there.  Maybe one of them can explain to you that cap space dollars are not like cellphone rollover minutes.  And as much as you say not spending cap monies is smart, it’s dumb.  It puts your team at a competitive disadvantage.

But today is not about pointing out the obvious, i.e., NFL player payroll at $130M is usually better than a player payroll at $100M.  Because buried later in the interview we find out …

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Joe Banner is gonna fix our logo and uniforms with focus groups.

New, forward-looking, and energetic.
Yet still 55-75 since the change.

That’s right.  FOCUS GROUPS!  

From the same Judge interview we find this:

Q: But everyone has a plan when they go in. What’s yours and why do you think you can do what others before you have not?

Banner: Over the next couple of years, for instance, we’re going to change the logo and uniforms in a way that will respect the history but will be forward looking.

Q: You’re going to change the uniforms? How do you think that will fly with a loyal fan base?

Banner: We promise that the helmet won’t change. We promise the new look will respect the history. We’re going to do a lot of focus groups. We’re not going to put something out there that we haven’t done a lot of research on. It’s not going to be anything radical, I can guarantee that. But it will be new, forward looking and energetic (!!). It will reflect what we want the franchise to be.”

I’ve got your focus group right here, Joe. (more…)

Flog that pony.

If adding Revis and Goldson to last year’s 7th overall, Barron, wasn’t enough, Mark Dominik added 6’2″ Banks at #43 in this year’s draft.  The wisdom of d-backfield investment will be tested this fall in Tampa.

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I’ve been at this short d-back thing for months.  I know it seems like I’m beating this horse and I promise, I’ll let it go once my twitter timeline can go 24 hours without telling me that Leon McFadden was a smart pick.  More precisely, that McFadden represents addressing the issue at cornerback.

My problem is that I keep finding data that confirm what my gut already knew:  when you’re the 26th shortest d-backfield in the league, you’re not addressing the problem by becoming the 32nd shortest.

Without even talking about whether or not drafting a rush linebacker at #6 after signing two FA OLBs and converting a third so you’ve just drafted your fourth OLB at six overall… without even going there, let’s review the d-backfield thing.  Let’s review the number one need of this off-season.

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This whole exercise began with a simple observation.  A basic truth.  Water is wet.  Sky is blue.  Buster Skrine is short.  Short cornerbacks struggle against tall receivers.  There are more tall receivers in the league.

WRs 6′ 3″ or taller who started three or more games:

It just seems to me that a 5′ 9″ sorry, 5′ 9.5″, CB is going to have problems no matter how fast he is or how many games he started in the WAC.  I’m surprised this is controversial.  So I decided to look at the data.  How are other teams dealing with a short backfield? (more…)

Who won the draft? The usual suspects.

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Clockwise from top left: Giants fans, Steelers fans, Packers fans, Ravens fans.

Kanick didn’t like the Browns draft.  Offered up some reasons why… but it turns out I, as an expert, am not persuasive.

Instead of flogging that dead horse, I thought it’d be interesting to compare the Banner draft with some other GMs.  Other, proven, really good*, GMs:

  • Jerry Reese (Giants GM, 2007)
  • Ted Thompson (Packers GM, 2005)
  • Kevin Colbert (Steelers GM, 2000)
  • Tom Dimitroff (Falcons GM, 2008)
  • Ozzie Newsome (Ravens GM, 2002)

How did they approach their draft?  Did they look for holes in their roster and fix em?  Did they go for luxury picks (a.k.a, BPA)?  If so, in what rounds did they ‘splurge?’

And as an academic matter, I’ll add in the needs assessment for the teams that I derived by looking at their depth chart on April 5.  It’s not comprehensive..  but if I can identify a need, it’s probably a need.

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I’ll just cut to the chase.  All of these GMs who are smarter than me, you, and -if we’re looking at the records- Joe Banner,

They share these commonalities in their drafts.

  • They addressed team needs in their first two rounds.
  • None of their top picks will un-seat a young productive player.
  • Their first rounders are projected as immediate three down starters.

The Browns’ draft can’t tick the box on any of these goals.

[Note:  I did NOT cherry pick these five.  These were the first five GMs that came to mind as the best.]

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Always good to draft your iconic logo.

Jerry Reese (Giants GM, 2007).  
LB, O-line, S

1 19 Justin Pugh T
2 49 Johnathan Hankins DT
3 81 Damontre Moore DE
4 110 Ryan Nassib QB
5 152 Cooper Taylor S
7 225 Eric Herman G
7 253 Michael Cox RB

No one had Pugh rated that highly but Reese is the guy who ‘reached’ for Jason Pierre-Paul.  And it addresses a need with Diehl’s age (and DUI).  Protect the franchise QB.  Smart.

Marvin Austin has been disappointing and Hankins looks like a shot fired across the bow.  Getting a top five player on game film in the 3rd is good; getting a possible franchise QB in the fourth is good.

And the need-addressing safety is 6’4″. (more…)

Your 2013 depth chart.

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 3.07.52 PM
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. (more…)