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Opie's Opus Part IV

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Opie's Opus Part IV

Unread postby consigliere » Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:49 pm

Great piece again by Mansfield.....

For those of you scoring at home, that’s 7 wide receivers, 11 defensive backs, 9 linebackers, 4 running backs, 2 quarterbacks and TWO offensive linemen to fill 5 positions. That’s two out of 38 draft picks. That’s what has to change, not over investment in round one where you need to land your game changing difference-makers; guys who score touchdowns and guys who stop touchdowns.


Now that's what I am talking about. Very well explained point, and 110% agreed on from this corner.

Also, it is amazing how so many guys have struggled here on the line, yet they go elsewhere and become decent players (O-Hara, Fowler, Faine, Oben, and others. You damn right it is the coaching....and seeing how we have a Texans castoff as the o-line coach, how is this going to change anytime soon? I don't care if we maneuvered and were able to get Joe Thomas, Levi Brown, and two other top o-line prospects in this draft....if you don't have the coaching to get this guys to play up to their potential, then you are left with what we have seen the last 8 years here.

(In Jesse Jackson voice…) It is an outright lie that the Browns haven’t invested in the offensive line, and that this can only be rectified via drafting Joe Thomas. In year one we should have had a decent line. This is where Clark invested on offense. He plucked Dave Wohlabaugh from Parcells for starters, a solid if not physically dominant center who started for nearly a decade on Sunday, much like Hank Fraley. Next was Lomas Brown, a former top ten draft choice who is one of the very best left tackles not names Pace, Boselli or Ogden over the past 20 years. Brown had enough mileage in his tank to start for a Super Bowl team after leaving the Browns as a player disgruntled by an incompetent coach and staff. Orlando Brown was a good run blocker/below average pass blocker whose career ended in a manner freakish even for the bad news Browns. You combine that group with Jim Pyne and any warm body and there is no way they should have been that bad.


Butch invested heavily with Ross Verba and Tre Johnson, and had Wohlabaugh and Roman Oben as holdovers. If healthy and focused that is 80% of a good offensive line. Think about it: that’s three players good enough to start on super bowl teams. Verba was a former number one draft pick out of Iowa, good enough to start as a raw rookie at left tackle protecting Brett Favre’s blind side. He comes to Cleveland, gets divorced, and thinks he’s Hell Angel Sonny Barger and white thugs himself out of the NFL. Only in Cleveland. Roman Oben was a productive player for the Jets, dinged his knee and under-performed in Cleveland despite trying to tough it out. Butch gets impatient, fans call him soft, and the next year we see Roman starting on the Tampa Bay Super Bowl champions. Tre couldn’t get past chronic knee problems and a young guard / center named Shaun O’Hara is ignored and released. The very next year a young tackle is signed from the Rams named Ryan Tucker, who for the next several years is the best fake Browns lineman we’ve seen. Imagine an OL of Oben, Verba, Wollabaugh, O’Hara, and Tucker in front of a sane William Green and healthy, developed Couch. Again, on paper, this is hardly what we got.


Spot on again. Every offseason I hear people make mention to the Browns needing to pay attention to the o-line.....but every year it appears this is the one position they spend 80% of their time on in FA. It is the one position they have spent the most amount of time on - BY FAR - in improving every year in FA since they returned.

Again, as Mansfield noted, the problem is that they have limited it to just acquiring FA lineman. They need to start drafting guys in the middle parts of the draft and developing them. The problem is two-fold, as not only are they avoiding developing young potnential o-line prospects, but they also have had awful coaches teaching what young players they have picked up in the draft as well as the vets in FA.

Oh, and the third part of the trifecta could be that unbelievable string of bad luck: Orlando Brown, Verba and Lecharles all have had freak things physically or mentally happen to them that seems to only happen here.

Those of you Frye apologists who want to blame it all on the offensive line, save it. I am John McEnroe, and you’re the ref with bad eyesight.


:lol:

mostly, Charlie is the Browns’ Casey Blake and he is to drives what Casey is to rallies. How many fumbles, slow reads, floaters, and noodle armed inaccurate tosses can you folks stand before the coffee is smelled and disturbs your slumber?


Perfect comp. Both are okay players, and would be nice in a backup role....but frustrating as hell to watch play everyday.

Charlie Frye is the NFL equivalent of 2AM beer goggles on a lonely Saturday night out. When you’re blowing better than a .15 and that creature who could pass for a Chris Farley Gap Girl all of a sudden looks like a viable option. Cinching your replica number nine jersey with a belt ain’t the answer, my peeps. Order another Jaeger bomb and get out the Brooke Burke Maxim issue when you get home instead.


Charlie Frye is a disaster as a starter. In four or five years, if he sits and watches and works very hard, perhaps he can play a little. But now? Watch him. His throws are later than Stockard Channing in Grease (that’s for you Brucie baby, from a former “buster” caller on WBBG in the day. Welcome back home! We luuuuuuuv yah Drennan!). He has a below average arm. He’s not as elusive as he thinks he is. What he is, is a third round long shot from a small football school who was rushed into service by a perfectly rotten organization who failed him. He’s the second coming of Stoney Case. He’s had what, 19 starts as an NFL quarterback, and he shows absolutely no improvement or hint of success actually playing the position of NFL quarterback. He does something when he runs around, but it’s not playing NFL quarterback. Put him out of our misery as a starter. Since he’s a homeboy fan, let him stay as a back up. He’s better than Dorsey.


Man, this says it best about Charlie. Anytime someone tries to tell me that Charlies is anything different, I'm just cutting and pasting this as my answer from now on.

Just a great piece....and rivals the "Thumb Up THey Ass" Steelers piece from a year ago.
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Unread postby pup » Tue Apr 17, 2007 5:48 pm

Great piece again by Mansfield.....


I agree, 100%. In fact, it nearly changed my mind.

But it didn't.

I agree there are multiple ways to build your offensive line. One of them is through FA and late draft picks. I know this because I have lived with it, every season since 1999. It hasn't worked.

It really doesn't matter which running backs you have, who your quarterback is and who he throws the ball to, if you cannot block someone. That was the game of football 50 years ago, and it is football today.

If we are going to go into those first 5 games with Shafer, Steinbach, Fraley, Coleman and Tucker we are in trouble. Again. The right side of that line is putrid. They couldn't block St. Eds or Ignatius.

Now throw Thomas in that mix. Shift Shafer to the right and have a battle between Coleman, Andruzzi, Tucker, Butler, Sowells or anyone else to start at RG. Throw in another mid-late pick and you have 2 spots between the 4 losers at RG and the later pick. That means depth. Novel concept, I know.

If you draft a QB, you are going to kill him if you play him. If you aren't going to play him, then you still have something else to accommpplish because you are going to need a vet QB to start in front of him. Becuase if you have Frye/Anderson, then you get nothing in 2007 from the top of the draft and you are running the same of people out there with one of them. Great. Maybe we will take Jake Long next year.

If the choice is Adrian Peterson? Well, it would be awfully hard ro complain. I started this train ride with him as the best possible choice. I have not cooled on him, I have just placed o-line as a bigger priority. Learn the ropes from Jamal, and be ready to be a beast in 2008. At least he will do something to make us better this year as well.

Oh well. It leads to some enjoyable debate and nothing we say makes one bit of a difference anyway.
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Unread postby consigliere » Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:09 pm

I believe an o-lineman picked in the second round will have nearly just as much impact as Joe Thomas at #3. There just is not that much of a dropoff from Joe Thomas to #2-#5 on the o-line rankings where you are losing that much value if you hold off on o-line help until rounds 2 and/or 3.

I don't believe you can say the same about QB and RB.....which, to me, it has to be one of Peterson, JaMarcus, or Quinn with the pick. And, considering it takes a few years for a QB to settle in, and good RBs can play virtually from Day 1....and the 2008 Draft appears loaded with stud RBs and we likely are in the Top 10......I still am steadfast we have to gamble on the QB and take Quinn or Russell.

I wonder if had we drafted Tony Mandarich in 1999 (pretend he was avaiulable) and he tanked like Couch did, if we would be instead gunshy about taking another tackle and many would be pining for the QB.

Thomas may be the safest pick, because really, in the last 15 years OT taken on in the Top 10-15 have mostly been good and there has been a low bust rate. My contention still is, though, that we can get a talent almost as good as Thomas with our 2nd rounder.....you can't say that at QB and RB.
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Unread postby pup » Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:24 pm

I believe an o-lineman picked in the second round will have nearly just as much impact as Joe Thomas at #3. There just is not that much of a dropoff from Joe Thomas to #2-#5 on the o-line rankings where you are losing that much value if you hold off on o-line help until rounds 2 and/or 3.


I find that very hard to believe. I don't really know, but history tells me great LT's are a different breed. I am not a scout and have never seen Tony Ugoh play. That is Phil's job. If he does it right, and one of these 2nd/3rd guys is good enough, then I will be happier than a pig in shit. But it will have to be proven to me.

I don't believe you can say the same about QB and RB.....which, to me, it has to be one of Peterson, JaMarcus, or Quinn with the pick


The QB's are not even going to play, so they do nothing for this team this year. I know you hate Romeo, but you cannot possibly hope that we get 16 Sundays of 2006 again, can you?

I still am steadfast we have to gamble on the QB and take Quinn or Russell


gamble :?: :?:

Is there an organization in professional sports that can afford to gamble less than the Browns? You really want them to gamble? I don't. Take the surest thing, at a postion of need.

I wonder if had we drafted Tony Mandarich in 1999 (pretend he was avaiulable) and he tanked like Couch did, if we would be instead gunshy about taking another tackle and many would be pining for the QB.


I wonder if we had drafted Chris Samuels in 2000 if Tim Couch would still be here?
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Unread postby mistero » Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:16 pm

It's the chicken and the egg thing.

Put me down on the side of the egg. I think our line will be plenty good with a real RB (Lewis) and a real QB (Russell/Quinn).

Look how much better the pass protect was with Anderson. The ball was out quickly and the blockers knew where he was setting up to pass from, makes it a lot easier. 2/3's of our sacks were on Frye's skittish behavior.
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Unread postby consigliere » Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:35 pm

Pup wrote:The QB's are not even going to play, so they do nothing for this team this year. I know you hate Romeo, but you cannot possibly hope that we get 16 Sundays of 2006 again, can you?


See, this is where you and I have probably have a wide gap in our thinking. Dude, 2007 is already completely written off for me. I'm banking on 4-5 wins. I believe, for this org to truly get better, they need to develop a long term plan of 2-3 years to get this org back on solid footing. No more spackle and duck tape jobs like in previous offseasons. Don't try to fix everything in one offseason.

I'd much rather prefer the org take a long term approach with building this team than patching holes and trying to make a run for it in 2007. I'd rather go young, work on development and evaluating in 2007, and go full bore into 2008 as the year we try to contend for the playoffs and win 9-10 games.

Which is why I am puzzled why RAC is still here. I mean really, this should be a rebuilding year, and a stepping stone to 2008. All that keeping RAC is doing, is making that hop to the stepping stone a little longer and possibly pushing contention back to 2009 instead of 2008.
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Unread postby Guest » Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:15 pm

Yep...an incredible piece, and one that really got me thinking as well.

Need the REAL QB in the first round...or AP or Calvin if both of them are gone.

Then go after the best lineman (that's not a center) at the top of the second round.

And if a potential starter at CB or DL isn't there...get another o-lineman in the third.
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Unread postby BadBecks » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:52 am

No matter who we take in the first round, RG is the line's biggest hole right now. I'm looking forward to (ok, praying) we see something along the line of Ben Grubbs or Blaylock in the 2nd round.

If they address that need, then I'll calm down considerably after they draft Brady Quinn. Of course, this is a dyslexic theory I suppose.
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Unread postby yogi » Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:54 am

Which is why I am puzzled why RAC is still here. I mean really, this should be a rebuilding year, and a stepping stone to 2008. All that keeping RAC is doing, is making that hop to the stepping stone a little longer and possibly pushing contention back to 2009 instead of 2008.


RAC is building our D. And I think this is the year you will see a big improvement as some of the things he's worked on the previous 2 years start to pay dividends in a big way.

The O has been given to Chud. He will run it as he the way he explained to Phil and RAC when he was interviewed.

I don't know that RAC will win another ring here as HC of the Browns but I'll put money down that when he leaves our D will be a top 10 D. Hopefully our O will only be a year or 2 behind.

Yep...an incredible piece, and one that really got me thinking as well.

Need the REAL QB in the first round...or AP or Calvin if both of them are gone.

Then go after the best lineman (that's not a center) at the top of the second round.

And if a potential starter at CB or DL isn't there...get another o-lineman in the third.


All true Mitch. We need 2 key players on O and 2 key players on D. If CJ is there at #3 he can be our ticket to possibly fill all 4 holes in one fell swoop.

My dream scenario would be landing Quinn at 7 or 8 and getting 2 second rounders to make 3 in total. We then get our CB, OL and DL based on BPA when we pick at 36, and approx 40, 44.
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Unread postby consigliere » Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:33 am

yogi wrote:RAC is building our D. And I think this is the year you will see a big improvement as some of the things he's worked on the previous 2 years start to pay dividends in a big way.


You sure?

I'd say Phil Savage gets more cred as far as building the defense goes with guys like Wimbley, Jackson, Williams, etc. Now, Romeo is the one calling and coaching up the schemes, but the building of this defense is mostly Savage and the previous regimes work. I'm not sure any other defensive minded coach that was here would get much different results from this defense.

FWIW, I always have felt RAC was way over-rated when it came to his Def Co abilities. How much of his success at NE was the players and Bellicheck?
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Unread postby pup » Wed Apr 18, 2007 10:08 am

See, this is where you and I have probably have a wide gap in our thinking. Dude, 2007 is already completely written off for me. I'm banking on 4-5 wins. I believe, for this org to truly get better, they need to develop a long term plan of 2-3 years to get this org back on solid footing. No more spackle and duck tape jobs like in previous offseasons. Don't try to fix everything in one offseason.

I'd much rather prefer the org take a long term approach with building this team than patching holes and trying to make a run for it in 2007. I'd rather go young, work on development and evaluating in 2007, and go full bore into 2008 as the year we try to contend for the playoffs and win 9-10 games.

Which is why I am puzzled why RAC is still here. I mean really, this should be a rebuilding year, and a stepping stone to 2008. All that keeping RAC is doing, is making that hop to the stepping stone a little longer and possibly pushing contention back to 2009 instead of 2008.


T - I hear ya. I just think there is a chance you can do both. Not get to 12 wins in '07, but 7 should be a real goal. Well, if you get nothing out of this first pick, that ain't happening. Once you build a real team and have the o-line in place, and a solid RB, and good WR's and TE's, the QB can come and make an immediate impact. If you take the QB, then it is another year of nobody getting better, because nobody has any better players around them.

I just don't think the Quinn/Russell are all that GREAT. They are better than what we have, but with QB's, if you are taking one at #3, they HAVE TO BE GREAT. There is more damage to be done by being wrong on a QB at #3 than any other postion they would take.

If Phil is right and I am wrong (which is the way it should be), then that is great. Remember, I wrote about that fact. I do not know the player most likely to be great for us. I don't see it in the QB's. If Phil does and he is right, I will be much happier than if Phil is wrong and I am right. Trust me.
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Unread postby swerb » Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:42 am

It just sucks having so many holes.

Barring a trade down for extra 1st day picks, no matter what the Browns do ... people will be able to make highly educated arguments as to why the Browns filled the wrong holes at #3, #36, and #67.

If you stay at #3, there's no way you can take Joe Thomas. But you then have to commit to the OL at #36 IMO.

I get what Pup's saying. What happens if you pass on Thomas, and Jarvis Moss is there at #36. Or Aaron Ross.

Still, I'm more comfortable going QB/APete and almost HAVING to go OL at #36, then I am taking a guy at #3 that I feel is half a tier, if that, above an OL I can get in the 2nd round.
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Unread postby pup » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:20 pm

I get what Pup's saying. What happens if you pass on Thomas, and Jarvis Moss is there at #36. Or Aaron Ross.


Or even worse...what is Grubbs and Sears are both gone?
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Unread postby jb » Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:34 pm

Pup wrote:
I get what Pup's saying. What happens if you pass on Thomas, and Jarvis Moss is there at #36. Or Aaron Ross.


Or even worse...what is Grubbs and Sears are both gone?


Blaylock can play, perhaps either RT or RG . I love guys like Blaylock in the draft. The kid was nailz at Texas, but becasue he is 6'3" as a RT prospect instead of 6'5" all of a sudden he's damaged goods and has to be a guard.

Horseshit.

Anyhow, I think the real debate is OL or CB with pick two.

Like Swerb says, sucks having more holes than Tony Montana.
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Unread postby e0y2e3 » Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:40 pm

Just passing by, but I wanted to say that Opies Opus IV is "whomp-there-it-is-Kriss-Kross-make-you-wanna-jump-gettin-jiggy-wit-it-dead-as-nails-accurate" racktastic.

Not a single arguable point (although your never-ending hate for BE is still a bit premature in my book).

Good shit man.
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Unread postby jb » Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:42 pm

e0y2e3 wrote:Just passing by, but I wanted to say that Opies Opus IV is "whomp-there-it-is-Kriss-Kross-make-you-wanna-jump-gettin-jiggy-wit-it-dead-as-nails-accurate" racktastic.

Not a single arguable point (although your never-ending hate for BE is still a bit premature in my book).

Good shit man.


Hate early.

Avoid the rush.
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Unread postby HoodooMan » Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:04 pm

The kid was nailz at Texas, but becasue he is 6'3" as a RT prospect instead of 6'5" all of a sudden he's damaged goods and has to be a guard.

IIRC, when I went through every team's starting OTs recently, there was one OT shorter than 6'4--Jennings, I think, at SF. 63 out of 64 were 6'4 or taller. Height & arm length matters, mayn.

Which is why you also have to be wrong about Sowells staying at RT. ;)
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Unread postby jb » Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:21 pm

HoodooMan wrote:The kid was nailz at Texas, but becasue he is 6'3" as a RT prospect instead of 6'5" all of a sudden he's damaged goods and has to be a guard.

IIRC, when I went through every team's starting OTs recently, there was one OT shorter than 6'4--Jennings, I think, at SF. 63 out of 64 were 6'4 or taller. Height & arm length matters, mayn.

Which is why you also have to be wrong about Sowells staying at RT. ;)


I get that butt we're talking one inch my brother. One inch. If dute can ball he ball.

BTW - It is the Browns talking about Sowells, not me.
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Unread postby HoodooMan » Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:34 pm

I get that butt we're talking one inch my brother. One inch. If dute can ball he ball.

Well, if it's only one inch, and that one inch is so insignificant why is it that so few OTs under 6'4 are starting in the NFL?

I was curious, so I looked it up again, and here's your distribution:

6’3: xx
6’4: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
6’5: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
6’6: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
6’7: xxxxxxxxxx
6’8: xxx
6’9: x

(Locklear in SEA is your other 6'3 guy, though without looking it up I'm almost certain he was originally drafted as a guard, and I'm pretty sure it was in the 3rd round)

Nothing wrong with taking a shot on a guy who's 6'3 who can almost assuredly play well at OG if/when he fails at OT, but I don't think it would be a good plan to draft a player high on day one who doesn't fit the physical profile of the position you're depending on him playing.

I think Blalock's height is mostly irrelevant for us, though. Whether or not the switch is made this year with the lame duck coaching staff, the way I see it, the direction our OL personnel is taking points at a zone blocking scheme in our nearish future, and that's the reason I don't think we'll be looking at Blalock.

Think about it:

-Shaffer was a bit of a disappointment in our power scheme--wouldn't it make sense for us to adjust to his strength in order to avoid wasting the investment in this guy?

-Steinbach is a perfect fit for a ZBS--which would better explain why we made him our first FA OL priority over better scheme/skillset matches like Dielman, Dockery, or even Davis.

-We're rumored to be interested in OG Andy Alleman out of Akron, who PFW says is a perfect fit for a ZBS.

BTW - It is the Browns talking about Sowells, not me.

I know, I know. I just think it either means he was such a dismal failure at OG that they've already completely given up on him there and his move to OT is the equivalent of a failed pitcher's desperate attempt to develop a last minute knuckleball, or it means that once he fails at OT, he'll be moved again and he'll take a 2nd shot at OG.
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