ON Saturday in downtown Ohio, many brave Browns fans were out in force in the single degree temperatures parading. It was hilarious, but it was an ugly reminder that the Cleveland Browns are still the laughing stock of the entire North American sporting community. Becoming the second team to go winless through 16 games leaves them with very little reason for positivity or promise moving forward. So I’m here to fix that.
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THERE is no easy way to fix a franchise that has a near two-decade streak of coming up short ever since re-enting the league in 1999. First things first for the Browns to get better is they need consistency and by consistency I mean in the front office. As comical as it that they have kept Hue Jackson at the helm after his 1-31, yes, 1-31 record in the last two seasons they MUST stay with him. If the Browns start out 0-4 or 0-6 and let Jackson go it will make no sense. There is no point firing him midseason if that happens, otherwise, they are just back at square one.
NOW Jackson can’t do it on is own and they can’t keep shuffling the deck and hope for a different result. These president’s, CEO’s, GM’s and so on need to be hired and left alone. Firing one or all of them after two seasons due to a lack of results is just a waste of time and money. This franchise needs to have consistency around it if it is going to begin the slow climb back up the NFL food chain. The hiring of John Dorsey as their new Gm should prove to be a solid choice and he needs to be given free reign over at least three or so season to turn things around.
Image from crainscleveland.com
SOME may think this isn’t the answer, but really what other hope do they have? It’s not like things can get any worse over the coming seasons. They need to allow these guys time to gel and to develop younger players and start to build rather than just rotating people who get the finger pointed at them.
OK so the front office and coaching crew are intact, just. Now it’s time to look at the on-field product. Move number one is to get a god, damn quarterback. Der. This is no revelation, but there actually is a recipe to deliver this type of guy. If they are to find their franchise guy then they to develop a serious Competition for the starting role. That means they must get rid of Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan. Thanks for trying, but you guys aren’t NFL calibre quarterbacks, I’m sorry it’s time to go.
DESHONE Kizer had moments in his rookie season and who knows he might be their future starter, but for the Browns to get serious they need to bring in a veteran and a young guy/ That means that players like Kirk Cousins, Alex Smith or a Sam Bradford type via trade should be high up on their shopping list. Bring in a pro who has been around for a few seasons and let him set the tone, followed up by Kizer and a rook.
REGARDLESS of who the quarterbacks they bring in are Alex Smith, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Baker Mayfield, whoever, they need to have guys that are going to compete. Then and only then will they be able to build for the future. And if they strike out on all the veterans on offer? Then take multiple QB’s in the draft. Now I wouldn’t use the first overall pick on either Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold, I think the smart thing to do would be to take Saquon Barkley or Minkah Fitzpatrick first and then look to the quarterbacks from there.
AND if they miss out on Rosen AND Darnold or they feel like these guys aren’t the answer, no sweat just take the next two best guys available. Who cares if they ‘reach’ and take two guys who are projected to be 4th or 5th rounders, they MUST, get a quarterback in the draft that they feel will help turn things around. There may not be a guy that they absolutely love, but they need to find that competitor who is going to try his ass off from day one.
THERE is a chance that they end up with DeShone Kizer and two guys who aren’t much better than Kessler and Hogan, but it’s a gamble they have to take. Considering they have 12 picks in the upcoming draft, they will have plenty of picks later on to target other pieces to help plug and fix the rest of their roster, so they can’t afford to get fancy and hope the guy they want is still on the board later.
Image from ftw.usatoday.com
I thought that the Browns would win around 3-4 games last season at the start of the year and let’s be honest a few injuries hurt them throughout the year. Therefore, with more stability, a competition for the starting role at quarterback and a few guys healthy again I will probably predict a similar result in 2018. ‘Fixing’ the Brown isn’t a process that will happen overnight. Sticking to this blueprint though will put them in good stead and if not, it can’t get much worse, so it’s worth being patient.
Banner from the3pointconversion.com