The Browns proved last night that they are indeed a hot mess and that got me thinking…
What would I do about this if I were Joe Banner?
How would I address the problems that currently decimate this Cleveland Browns franchise?
Clearly, things aren’t right and need plenty of fixing, so what could I do to turn this franchise around?
Well, I guess this is my plan.
First and foremost, I would keep Rob Chudzinski. This is the guy to do the job in Cleveland, there’s no doubt in my mind. You can see it in his attitude week after week. The guy gives his best no matter the circumstances, takes risks and never gives up- as evidenced last night. Jimmy and Joe did a phenomenal job with this hire and it’s something I wouldn’t even consider changing.
My next order of business would be to get rid of Greg Little and Josh Gordon as soon as possible. You might be rolling your eyes or clicking out of this article, but I’m absolutely serious.
Josh Gordon is an absolutely talented player, but the kid has far too much maturing to do if he’s ever going to be an NFL player. The bottom-line is, the return you could get for him would be much more valuable than the growing pains and the waiting period that you’re going to have to put up with.
Greg Little is much the same way. Little parties like he’s a Pro Bowler and plays like he’s a Pop Warner week in and week out. He’s not a good route runner, he doesn’t have great hands and, obviously, he has to continue to mature if he ever wants to be useful in this league.
I would package the both of them up and get another first rounder and a third rounder or get a third rounder and another slot receiver.
The return on these guys is much better than the production you’re going to get. In a league that’s all about value, that trade is a very easy one to make.
My next order of business would be to address the backfield and it’s seemingly endless array of issues.
First of all, I would sign a fullback. To this moment, I still don’t understand how Chris Ogbonnaya has become the Browns fullback. He’s small and can’t block a soul- essentially the opposite of what you want in a fullback. I would sign Lawrence Vickers as a stop gap and find the best fullback in the 2014 draft and pick him up early. I don’t understand how the Browns expect to have efficiency out of the backfield without a fullback? It makes absolutely no sense.
Other than that, however, I love the McGahee signing and I think Ogbonnaya could be a quality backup for now. Obviously, that position needs to be heavily addressed in the future- thank you Mike Holmgren- but for now, the McGahee/Ogbonnaya tandem should be plenty efficient.
Then, finally, we come upon the worst of any of the situations. A situation that continually haunts the Browns year in and year out- the QB carousel.
Brandon Weeden is done. There’s no future for him in this franchise. That was evident last night. He’s simply too old and too slow to get anything done.
While Brandon does have a howlitzer of a right arm, with good size and pocket presence, his feet are atrocious and he’s too slow to effectively move in the pocket. His mental capacity seems to be draining and his inability to cope with the media and Browns fans is now nearing it’s peak.
In other words, he’s toast.
With Weeden done, the Browns have a decision to make: what do we do about this season. Realistically, the Browns could hover around .500 with a halfway-competent quarterback thanks to their defense. The question is, however, is that a worthwhile venture- grabbing a free agent QB- with no true franchise QB answer in sight?
No, it’s not.
In regards to us, the viewers, the rest of this season is going to suck. I still think that Weeden should be the guy. At least under Weeden, the Browns will struggle enough to where they’ll be in a good position to draft the quarterback of the future.
For all of the Campbell people out there- don’t even think about it. Do you really want an older, slower quarterback that’s thinner and has less of an arm than Brandon Weeden leading the Browns the rest of the way? You shouldn’t. There’s a reason that Weeden has played so much and there’s a reason that Hoyer jumped him when Weeden went down. Jason Campbell is BAD, there’s no other way around it.
Play Weeden, tank and give Joe Banner the opportunity to hand select the Browns next “franchise” quarterback.
The last thing the Browns want is to finish in the middle of the road when there are so many offensive issues at hand that need addressing. Let Weeden finish this tank job and finish his professional sports career with two full NFL seasons under his belt.
When it’s all said and done, the Browns will be better off that way.
As for the defense, I would keep the status quo minus the linebacking situation. The Browns are continually burned by tight ends and it’s thanks to the massive decline of Craig Robertson as a pass defender.
I would at least give Tank Carder a shot to see what he could do in pass coverage. It couldn’t be that much worse than what Robertson is doing now.
Overall, as you can see, I think the defense is set, but the offense needs a MASSIVE overhaul. For so many years, the Browns emphasized their offensive line as the foundation of their offense.
That’s great, but when the offensive line isn’t blocking for anybody, what good does that do?
The Browns haven’t had a legitimate playmaker since Braylon Edwards and look how that turned out.
Offensively, Jordan Cameron, Davone Bess and Gary Barnidge are the only offensive “skill” players worth keeping for the long haul. Everyone else should find their way out of town.
That fact, however, is absolutely putrid.
Joe Banner has made some good decisions during his Browns tenure- Barkevious Mingo, Trent Richardson, Rob Chudzinski- but still has a long way to go before turning this franchise around.
Continue to stockpile draft picks, find THE quarterback, find offensive talent and continue to take this franchise in the right direction.
That’s what I would do, if I were Joe Banner.