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Unread postby furls » Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:55 am

Great article Chris! I particularly liked this paragraph:

It's a natural reaction. Fans and media seem to think it's the big name playmakers that will come in and turn a team around. Without thinking about the innerworkings of a football team, these people seem to think a big name QB or RB from college can come in and instantly turn around a decrepit situation as if they were a superhero.


Why is it some teams seem to be able to plug anyone they want in at running back and get a 1000 yard rusher, while the Browns have only had one in eight years with a bunch of different backs? It is no coincidence that Browns also throw a patch work offensive line out there every year.

This year the Browns have spent a ton on the line, but could you imagine if they got one more stud? I keep hearing that Steinbach could move to LT, but if a guy dominates a position are you really best served by hoping he will be adequate somewhere else? Kevin Shaffer has played LT his entire career. He was a pretty good LT when he played for a left handed quarterback. That would make him a weak side LT, going against probably a bigger, slower seven technique DE. He is no longer responsible for the QB's blind side and will get matched up with generally the lesser of a teams two DE's. (guys like Julius Peppers generally line up on the strong side). This makes Shaffer a better RT, provided he can get the "reversed" footwork down.
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Feh

Unread postby jb » Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:28 am

Look, I have no issues if we draft Joe Thomas. I think i'd be pretty stoked, and I think the OL could actually have the talent to stop sucking. I think Shaffer can play ORT, but I don't know that because he never has. He seems to have the size. If we draft Thomas I'm gonna be pretty satified.

I also think it is a MUST we take a tackle or guard on day one and another in rounds 4 or 5. I agree that Mother CooKoo can't even be pencilled in , let alone be counted on.

It is this line of reasoning I can't buy into:

First, there is no evidence at all that you need to overpay at OLT with a draft resources to win a title. You don't need a great OLT. You need a pretty damn good LINE. What you need to win a title is a great defense, the ability to run when you want, and a playmaking QB to get you over the hump. Guys like Gary Zimerman and Matt Light have won 4 times the titles as Tony Boselli, Pace and Ogden combined; and Pace owes his ring purely to hot-shot skilled position players and Ogden to the D and a powerful run blocking line, not the pass protection afforded by his play at OLT.

Here is where I really take issue:

While visions of Robert Gallery may pop into people's head when thinking about Thomas, another Big Ten Tackle with All-World ability, Thomas isn't the same player as Gallery. While the massive Gallery has under-performed at the NFL level, Thomas is smaller...more athetic, and much more of a technician than Gallery.

There is no credibl;e way to build up Joe Thomas by running down Robert Gallery.

People all raved about Gallery's technique and athleticism. He was a converted tight end. He's 12 whole pounds heavier than Thomas at the same height. But he's "much bigger"? He was labelled every bit the can't miss as Joe, probably moreseo. Dittoe on Bryant McKinnie, BTW.

Guess what?

They missed.

They missed as hard and as much as Tim Couch and Courtney Brown with none of their mitigating factors. An OLT doesn't need a good rest of the team to play well. Their underperformnace is solely on their ass.

Joe Thomas is a great prospect. But I don't connect JT to Gallery or McKinnie anymore than I would to Boselli or Pace; just as I don't connect Brady to Rick Meier or Peyton Manning. This is all completly fallacious reasoning.

Joe Thomas is a great prospect. So are Brady and JmR and AP at their positions. And a great QB or RB prospect is always, always, always, always more valuable than a great OLT prospect. It is like the sun rising in the east.

It is a no-brainer, like playing chess. A queen or rook is more valuable than a knight. A franchise QB is more valuable than the greatest OLT ever conceived.

The questions for this year's draft are pretty simple.

Who is the best pure prospect available when we pick?

What are our needs and who fills them with the biggest bang for the buck?

What are the chances we'll have the opportunity to fill our needs this way again?

Hey, I want A Pete, but even I'd answer myself this way:

1 - JmR
2 - Brady Quinn
3 - A Pete
4 - C Johnson
5 - JT
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Unread postby furls » Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:43 am

And a great QB or RB prospect is always, always, always, always more valuable than a great OLT prospect. It is like the sun rising in the east.


Bust rate is much higher on the QBs and the league is bleeding good veteran RBs which inherently devalues both positions. Now, I do agree with the assumption that you really cannot count on getting your "franchise QB" outside of the first round. Tom Brady is the exception not the norm. I am not sure if Brady Quinn or J-Mark is the guy, but there is one kind of subtle side effect to drafting one of them... it almost assures us that the Browns will suck for another year as these guys learn the ropes getting the Browns another early pick.

Here is my kind of nightmare scenario:

The Browns draft Joe Thomas and he is a bad ass! and Charlie Frye gets all kinds of time to throw. The Browns finish 7-9 or so and everyone says, "Wow, look at how much Charlie Frye improved." When in fact he still sucks, he just had more time to suck less. THe more I look at Frye, the more I realize that he is not the guy that will take the Browns ANYWHERE.

I guess more and more I am starting to hope for a trade down or BQ (even as much as I hate ND).
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Unread postby consigliere » Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:25 pm

Furls wrote:Here is my kind of nightmare scenario:

The Browns draft Joe Thomas and he is a bad ass! and Charlie Frye gets all kinds of time to throw. The Browns finish 7-9 or so and everyone says, "Wow, look at how much Charlie Frye improved." When in fact he still sucks, he just had more time to suck less. THe more I look at Frye, the more I realize that he is not the guy that will take the Browns ANYWHERE.


Agreed.

And apply that to RAC as well. The team plays well enough, 7 wins, to save him for yet ANOTHER year.
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Unread postby yogi » Sun Mar 25, 2007 3:31 pm

Hey, I want A Pete, but even I'd answer myself this way:

1 - JmR
2 - Brady Quinn
3 - A Pete
4 - C Johnson
5 - JT


My, you're gonna be easy to please! (at least until 1Pm or so on 4/28 ).

The only way Phil can "F'' this up in your view is to not show up!

Seriously, I'm greedy. I'd take any one of those 5 listed above with a trade down that gives us another high 2nd rounder.
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Unread postby cweiz32 » Sun Mar 25, 2007 5:24 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys. I wish I had more time to debate. JB, you make some good points on your end, but when it comes down to it...I'm just one of those people that believes a good line takes presedence over skill position players. With that said, if Joe Thomas is ranked among the top prospects overall, as he is, I'll go with stacking the line over taking our chances with a injury risk at RB, or trying to insert another young QB into our Offense.
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Unread postby Dozen » Sun Mar 25, 2007 5:29 pm

I'm just one of those people that believes a good line takes presedence over skill position players. With that said, if Joe Thomas is ranked among the top prospects overall, as he is, I'll go with stacking the line over taking our chances with a injury risk at RB, or trying to insert another young QB into our Offense.
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I do agree about getting our Oline better but just because a guy is 1-2 at his position doesnt make him a top 10 pick. 1st rd is BPA or you are reaching.
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Unread postby yogi » Sun Mar 25, 2007 6:28 pm

I'm all about spending resources and draft picks for a superior OL.

But it doesn't HAVE to be a 1st round pick. You can get All-Pro centers and guards in the second through 4th round. I'll take 2nd or 3rd tier OTs that can be had in FA or lower rounds such as Romen Oben or Matt Light or Kareem McKenzie.

Franchise QB's rarely ever happen outside of the 1st round.
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Unread postby jb » Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:44 pm

cweiz32 wrote:Thanks for the feedback guys. I wish I had more time to debate. JB, you make some good points on your end, but when it comes down to it...I'm just one of those people that believes a good line takes presedence over skill position players. With that said, if Joe Thomas is ranked among the top prospects overall, as he is, I'll go with stacking the line over taking our chances with a injury risk at RB, or trying to insert another young QB into our Offense.


Brah, know that I respect yer take, just that I disagree. So I'm jsu sayin' and goin round the outside. Not dissin yah. Hope you have time to mix it up later this week.

A great OLT does not = a good OL. If anything, you get capped out on one player. The great Rams' O teams come to mind. They had to farnchise & pay Pace, and then were forecd to let Tucker go when he was entering his prime, and John St Clair was a POS. He got Warner killed.

I just don't see how the Browns can allocate the cap spaces to the OL with JT and not get imbalanced on $ allocated to OL. Shaffer is paid, and LeCharles & Steinbach are getting hellijack.
Last edited by jb on Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby jb » Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:45 pm

Consigliere wrote:
Furls wrote:Here is my kind of nightmare scenario:

The Browns draft Joe Thomas and he is a bad ass! and Charlie Frye gets all kinds of time to throw. The Browns finish 7-9 or so and everyone says, "Wow, look at how much Charlie Frye improved." When in fact he still sucks, he just had more time to suck less. THe more I look at Frye, the more I realize that he is not the guy that will take the Browns ANYWHERE.


Agreed.

And apply that to RAC as well. The team plays well enough, 7 wins, to save him for yet ANOTHER year.


I have far more faith in Frye's ability to suck that either of you.
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Unread postby HoodooMan » Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:04 pm

What are the chances we'll have the opportunity to fill our needs this way again?

I don't like this question, because the answer is: really, really good if we take the wrong player, regardless of position.

It wouldn't bother me if Phil decided to pass on A-D/P because he doesn't think he's a great RB prospect, but it would sure bother me if he decided to pass on him for a QB because he was worried that by going with A-P/D he'd never have a shot at a franchise QB prospect again.

Whether we need a QB more than a LT or a RB or anything else is practically irrelevant at #3 overall. Take the one you feel has the best chance at living up to #3 overall expecations, and pass on the others. Period.
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Unread postby jb » Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:12 pm

HoodooMan wrote:What are the chances we'll have the opportunity to fill our needs this way again?

I don't like this question, because the answer is: really, really good if we take the wrong player, regardless of position.

It wouldn't bother me if Phil decided to pass on A-D/P because he doesn't think he's a great RB prospect, but it would sure bother me if he decided to pass on him for a QB because he was worried that by going with A-P/D he'd never have a shot at a franchise QB prospect again.

Whether we need a QB more than a LT or a RB or anything else is practically irrelevant at #3 overall. Take the one you feel has the best chance at living up to #3 overall expecations, and pass on the others. Period.


I'd never advocate ignoring overall rating/BPA and picking an obviously inferior prospect, but to dismiss need and value is unrealistic, doncha think? In fact, I'll make a case that an OLman can NEVER live up to number 3 overall anymore than Janakowski could live up to his.

There is no such thing as a safe pick IMO Bow. They can all bust. Coutney Brown was the safest pick - ever. You know the story. You draft upside and you know how rare a top QB is to find.

Whether Brady Quinn is a legit franchise on the level JT is an OL prospect isn't for me to say. That's Phil's call. But if he is - IF - then you are nuts to pick an OLman over a QB. Flat out nuts. You don't get the opportunity very often.
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Unread postby HoodooMan » Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:36 pm

There is no such thing as a safe pick IMO Bow. They can all bust.

While true, people (not necessarily you) often seem to use that kind of statement to mean something else.

Like: "There is no such thing as a safe pick IMO Bow. They all have just as good a chance to bust as anyone else [WARNING, WARNING, DRAFT CLICHE ALERT!], because the draft is a crap shoot."

The draft is not a crap shoot. There is a skill to evaluating talent. And while I have no way of proving whether or not the majority of (or any of) the busts at the tippy top of the draft were made in the name of need over rating, doesn't it seem reasonable to assume that when some external factor (need, signability, marketability, etc.) intrudes upon the process of evaluating talent that your chances of hitting on a prospect decrease as a result?

Whether Brady Quinn is a legit franchise on the level JT is an OL prospect isn't for me to say. That's Phil's call. But if he is - IF - then you are nuts to pick an OLman over a QB. Flat out nuts.

I'm witchoo on that.

But I don't think you can make the blanket statement that no OT can live up to #3. I'd agree, though, that the NFL has probably gone from undervaluing the position to overvaluing it in the past 15 years and more should be demanded of an OT prospect before he's considered worthy of a Top 5 or even Top 10 pick. You had to be joking with the kicker analogy; even OG isn't fair. How about safety &/or TE? Maybe even DT.
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Unread postby jb » Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:28 pm

HoodooMan wrote:There is no such thing as a safe pick IMO Bow. They can all bust.

While true, people (not necessarily you) often seem to use that kind of statement to mean something else.

Like: "There is no such thing as a safe pick IMO Bow. They all have just as good a chance to bust as anyone else [WARNING, WARNING, DRAFT CLICHE ALERT!], because the draft is a crap shoot."

The draft is not a crap shoot. There is a skill to evaluating talent. And while I have no way of proving whether or not the majority of (or any of) the busts at the tippy top of the draft were made in the name of need over rating, doesn't it seem reasonable to assume that when some external factor (need, signability, marketability, etc.) intrudes upon the process of evaluating talent that your chances of hitting on a prospect decrease as a result?

Whether Brady Quinn is a legit franchise on the level JT is an OL prospect isn't for me to say. That's Phil's call. But if he is - IF - then you are nuts to pick an OLman over a QB. Flat out nuts.

I'm witchoo on that.

But I don't think you can make the blanket statement that no OT can live up to #3. I'd agree, though, that the NFL has probably gone from undervaluing the position to overvaluing it in the past 15 years and more should be demanded of an OT prospect before he's considered worthy of a Top 5 or even Top 10 pick. You had to be joking with the kicker analogy; even OG isn't fair. How about safety &/or TE? Maybe even DT.


Not joking; making a valid point. You can't draft the best longsnapper ever higher than round 7. :P :-P :razz:

TE's score points. If you have the right guy and there are no other good prospects, then yeah, like you wrote about OLmen, you might find pick 3 acceptable.

I can't ever conceive of an OG going over Steve Hutchison. Guy was a monster coming out and ruled at the SR Bowl.

Safety? Hmmmmm...... Bona Fide shut down corner who could give you a strategic advantage? Yeah. Saftey? Not seeing it. Fullback? Never. Ever.

In general, I'd have one HELL of a time ever drafting outside this profile in the top 5 picks: QB , RB , DE & DT for a 4-3, RB , OLB for a 3-4, WR and CB.

Like what you wrote about overvalueing after undervaluing. I see ILB's as ludicrously undervalued these days. IIRC Tommy Nobis, Dick Butkis and Lee Roy Jordan were alll very, very high picks and all worth it.

Rayenthal would have been worth a #1 overall.

Oh, and it is an educated risk. Calc the oddds all you want and make wise decisions, it still is a crapshoot. YMMV.
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Unread postby mattvan1 » Tue Mar 27, 2007 4:00 pm

It will be interesting to see what Savage does, in a draft that possibly breaks the apparently fragile psyche of Jammies and has him ready to pull the escape handle and bail. Great theater. My POV

No brainer - CJ
Middle of road, safe (as safe as you can be in a crapshoot)- Thomas, AP, Adams
Huge risk, possibly huge reward - JRuss
Stay away - Quinn, Branch

If I am Savage, I grab either CJ or AP, unless I want to really roll the dice and then grab Russell, but I'm just not lovin the big man. If both CJ and AP are gone, and I pass of Jamarcus, I am not afraid to trade down (easier said than done) to grab some second round picks and look at filling needs.

Agree with earlier comments that Savage has already invested enough on the O-Line. I won't be shocked if it's Thomas, but it would be a mild surprise.
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Unread postby jb » Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:41 pm

Good to see you grab a vine, Matt. Don't be a stranger. What's crackin?

Lot's of hype about Phil being willing to go all out for JaMarkus when a fishwrap quotes Phil as asking the media to tone down the connections and interest.

Would Phil pay the coin it'll take to pick up JaMarkus?

BTW - I'd love to see Chud's playbook and see how much down-the-field passing is in it. It'd tell yah a whole lot about Frye's immediate future.
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Unread postby consigliere » Wed Mar 28, 2007 10:00 pm

JB wrote:BTW - I'd love to see Chud's playbook and see how much down-the-field passing is in it. It'd tell yah a whole lot about Frye's immediate future.


I'm of the belief now, that no matter what, the Browns are going to ensure themselves that they get Russell or Quinn. I just think it is clear as day it will be a QB with the first pick. Especially with Chud re-creating the entire offense. Anyone want to rehash the Chargers passing game and what they did? Obviously the offense was centered around LT....and Gates was heavily involved in the passing game. But, what sort of passing offense was it? Down the field? West coast? I never really saw a Chargers game all season except for the Browns one, and that was mostly the LT show.

Also, what was the Miami U passing game like with Dorsey? I forget. Dorsey lacks arm strength, but did he still throw down field often to Winslow, Johnson, Shockey and Wayne? Just wondering, as I would assume Chud's time with SD and Miami will heavily influence what type of passing game he uses, and what assistants he worked under.
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