Setting the standards for Browns debate

I don’t know if it would make some people happier if I just claimed that the Browns aren’t trying to win. I won’t do it. Despite Chuck Booms claiming Randy Lerner wants to wash out the fan base so he can move the team to London (Yes, he really said that this morning and if he was joking it wasn’t even half way) I am not one who thinks this front office is just in it for a paycheck.

So, what are they doing?

That’s a more than fair question. It is something that I’m constantly trying to figure out, by the way. I think sometimes I get a bad rap as someone who “co-signs” for everything the Browns are doing. The way I look at it, I’m just trying to figure out what the intentions are. For me, that starts with the basic assumption that the Browns desire to get better and do the what they think is best to accomplish that goal. If we’re starting anywhere else in the conversation, we just don’t have much to talk about.

So don’t mistake this as me saying I agree with everything the Browns are doing. I don’t. I thought it was a bad idea to come into last season with that group of receivers. At the same time, it was important to understand that the Browns thought that the group was going to be good enough just by switching offenses and adding Greg Little. I was the one who suggested that Brian Robiskie maybe should have been cut during training camp. I think that’s a pretty big disagreement with the team. Even worse was allowing Pat Shurmur to go into his first season without an offensive coordinator, but I don’t want to rehash every single time I’ve ever disagreed with Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert.

The important thing is that I don’t think they’re trying to tank. I don’t think they’re satisfied to just collect their paychecks. I think they enjoy their paychecks, but isn’t that all the more reason they’d want to set up their next ones?

That is the perspective I come with when looking at the lack of free agent signings. When Matt Flynn goes to the Seahawks for $10 million guaranteed, I assume that Tom Heckert really didn’t believe in Matt Flynn, or at least didn’t think he was a marked improvement over Colt McCoy. That’s not to say that he’s right about it, but to think that he’s in it to punish Browns fans just isn’t one of the possible conclusions for me.

There’s a fine line between trying to understand what the Browns are attempting to do and agreeing with it all. Trying to understand what their goals are seems constructive. Assuming they have a devious plot to alienate Browns fans and move the team to London doesn’t.

  • Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your input.

    I’ll be sure to ask you what you think of his plan after next season.  And, to be fair, I will ask the same question in 2015. 

  • mgbode

    i am on record here as stating i wanted to re-sign Hillis.  you know that.  I would definitely have signed him for 1yr $3mil and taken my chances.   Obviously, either he wouldn’t have done that with us or he was such a pain that our FO wouldn’t do that for him.  It’s done.

  • He did say he would give us a home-town discount.  But yes, we agree that they should have signed Hillis and that that was a foul-up on H&H’s back.

  • DontbringLBJback

    Burnett lives in Gehenna?  Huh, thought he lived in Ravenna.  🙂

  • cmm13

    You sound like Harry Potter.

  • DontbringLBJback

    You’re dead right, Steve.  4 wins would be a surprising (Bengals, Colts, Skins, Chargers???).  Gosh, we might be looking at 2-3 wins.  Ok, now lets add RGIII to the mix.  Still 2-3 wins.  He has no one to throw to other than Little, we gave up all our draft picks.  Ok, now lets add Matt Flynn, Peyton Hillis, Justin Blackmon (and 2 more starters at #22 and #37), and Dallas Clark (this actually could have been a realistic scenario).  I think we’d be competing for the division title… at least 10-11 wins.  Just my opinion.

  • porkchopexpress

    Ask away,  and if they ultimately fail, I will respond as you do when confronted with facts that impede your opinion.  I will change the subject, create strawmen, or simply ignore things that would contradict what I want to think.  (I see this plan in action as you still don’t have a list of teams that became successfull going big on free agency while still building a team core)

    Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the blueprint on how never to be proven wrong

  • mgbode

    I was taking the sarcastic post and continuing to pile on the sarcasm.  I apologize for not using sarcastic font.

  • Max

    been about 15 years myself, but to this day I still use it when confronted with a word I don’t know. My wife found me very helpful when she was in law school

  • Actually, if the Redskins improve as I think they will I will provide a good example so you can clam up and suck on your thumbs some more.

    Boy I bet you love 4-12 seasons…your heart is all a pitter-patter waiting for September to roll around.

  • Prior to what you may have been taught, there was history before 1993.  🙂

  • cmm13

    I have the high score on Oribasibubblevania at my local arcade.

  • cmm13

    I like how because you and mgbode agree that Hillis should have come back it’s a foul up on H&H.

    As if H&H forgot to call you or include you in the email chain on whether or not they should re-sign him or not.

    You can only say it’s a foul up if:

    A. Hillis rushes for 1200 yards this year
    B. His replacement on the Browns is a complete dud

    You can’t say it’s a foul up if:

    A. Hillis never returns to his 2010 form due to the calcification of the tendons/muscle and turns out to be a 6 game “flash in the pan” 3rd string RB.

    See the thing is about all of these offseason moves is you cannot say with pure conjecture they were correct/incorrect until the actual season has been played.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Truly prophetic!

  • First of all, if Lerner pulled this crap, somebody would shoot his a– for sure! jk..but seriously! what ever H&H are doing, I’m guessing that behind the scenes they are working feverishly to make damn good and sure that this Brown’s football team is gonna be competitive for years to come and by 2016-17 we will be preparing for a super bowl, and no my bong water doesn’t need changed

  • Ok, sure.  If he doesn’t pan out, then yes, it wasn’t a bad plan NOT to sign him.

    If he does work out for KC (who has Berry so Hillis will not be the feature back), then I imagine you’ll admit they were dead wrong, right?

  • No one will ever beat you, either.

  • Ritz

    I get the plan. I understand what they are doing.

    But what if the plan sucks because there are so many holes and no way to hit on any draft pick.

  • cmm13

    exactly right.

  • mgbode

    Berry plays S.  Charles is their RB.  Not sure if he’ll be healthy, which is why they picked up Hillis.

    and, since we don’t know everything that happened, its hard to say it was a foul-up.  seemed to be more on Hillis from the Silver article (still mad we had players blabbing to him).  possible he was just disenfranchised and both sides needed that break. 

  • mgbode

    WOLB, FS, RB, WR2, RT, QB – those are our biggest needs.  if we decide that it’s not worth getting a non-elite-tool QB, then we have 5.

    Clear up the defense with stop-gaps in FA and we have 3 picks to address the other 3 “absolute, critical” need positions (yes, we have other needs, those ones are the biggest).

    Erin Henderson – WOLB and available.  Probably $2mil/year or under with upside.

    FS is a bit trickier unless we really like Hagg (I don’t think we saw enough of him to judge one way or the other)
    Atogwe – too injured recently to rely on.
    Chris Hope – eh.  old guy who could fill in for a year if needed.
    Deon Grant – not sure that he’s better than Usama Young really.
    Kareem Moore – under the radar guy.  could do worse.

    or find a FS in the 3rd round or so in the draft (draft looks weak there too though)

  • Ritz

    I like the analysis… But maybe I am wrong but I want to upgrade the guards, I want tons more WRs, etc.

    The way I see here, I am good with the following and that’s it, the rest needs to be upgraded:

    WR2 – Little (he is not a 1)
    TE (maybe)
    LT – Thomas
    C – Mack
    LDE – Sheard
    DT – Rubin and maybe Taylor
    CB 1 – Haden
    SS – Ward

    And that’s it

  • Ritz


    MLB: Jackson

    That leaves a QB, two WR and an RB (we need game changing speed), Two guards, a tackle, a DE, one or two LBs, a corner and a FS.

    That means hitting in almost every pick in the next few years

  • Ritz

    *every draft pick

  • porkchopexpress

    You should really change your name to Scarecrow.  You know cause of all the strawmen… (rimshot)

    First off, So I should clam up now, because the Redskins MIGHT be have a better record than the Browns next year???  The only argument I’ve made is that it is better to build through the draft than making huge free agent signings or trading away the house for a pick. 
    But it doesn’t matter because even if the Redskins stay flat or improve by a win you will have  a ready made reason why your point is still proven or you will drop that point without defending it and move on to something else.  You are like the T2 of arguers.  You twist, conform, or simply melt into whatever position suits you to keep being right in your own mind.
    Return to your bubble young lad, the real world is no place for dreamers like you.

  • cmm13

    Just my opinion but TE is actually the one position that has a log jam of talent at it.

  • Ritz

    I like Moore a lot, but Watson is not that young and there is absolutely no way to know if Cameron will be that good. But yea, I am not really worried about our TEs.

    My point is that if the position is average like TE, then upgrading is a good thing. That being said, yes TE is not a position of need right now.

  • Modellsux

    I have a feeling we will be reciting Pater Noster quite often.

  • Who’s using strawmen now?  Also ,when did I ever say WE MUST SIGN ALL FREE AGENTS.  I said we should sign at least one serious free agent to upgrade our poor, poor team.  especially the offense and ESPECIALLY in the “year of the free agent wide receiver.”  They sat on their hands for some stupid reason.  You cannot build exclusively through the draft and even if they miraculously get Blackmon, Kalil and Richardson, wouldn’t it also be nice/prudent to have a veteran free agent presence at a skill position to guide these youngsters?  You know better than that.

    You know, fans like you are part of the reason that the Browns are terrible.  You accept whatever the “experts” tell you no matter what. 

    You should always question what has happened, especially if what is happening sucks.  The Browns suck.  There is no other way to look at it.  These experts have not improved the team.  Why trust them further?  Because they have big names? 

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    We’re having a discussion that’s the purpose of this blog.  Relax a little.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Not worth the time no matter what you say that’s why I just ignore it and let ’em rant that I didn’t respond.

  • Henry Brown

    “the Emirates”? I don’t even watch or like soccer and I know this team is Chelsea.

  • Henry Brown

    Honestly don’t know how Holmgren and Heckert find the strength to go to work in the morning with all the idiot media heads and fans who don’t think they want or are trying to win.

  • Big Z

    Yeesh. What is with Pete Carroll and these QB decisions!?