Mar 202013

FileCleveland_Browns_logo,_2006_to_presentAt this time of year we read about the winners and losers in free agency and analysts like to project how these additions or subtractions make teams better or worse. I am not one to say this team won and that team lost. Rather, I look at signing free agents as an opportunity to give the appearance of improvement. For instance, on paper the Baltimore Ravens look to be headed for a significant nose dive while the Miami Dolphins should be markedly better. Will this happen, I don’t know. This all leads me to provide some in depth “analysis” of my beloved Cleveland Browns.

They made some free agency noise, especially with the signings of Paul Kruger and Desmond Bryant. To be honest, I do not know if these moves are going to help the Browns at all. Rather, in examining their signings, it is clear that the new regime was not impressed with the previous administration and their approach to defense. The signings of Paul Kruger, Quentin Groves, and Desmond Bryant show that the new coaching staff believes there were a significant amount of holes to fill on defense.  As a fan, I thought that the offense needed a lot more of an overhaul. Clearly, Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi, and Rob Chudzinski clearly disagree as they have only signed a backup tight end, Gary Barnidge for the offense.

I thought the Browns were going to sign a corner, a linebacker, wide receiver, and a quarterback to start free agency. Surprisingly, they did not go offense which is the biggest area for concern. Overall, I believe the Browns were able to fill holes and better their team. Now, will that translate to wins? I have no idea because there are too many what ifs at this point in the off-season. I believe a better assessment will take place post draft and pre-training camp. I have a feeling the Browns are going to make some dramatic moves prior to training camp. This is more of a hunch or reading tea leaves than any direct knowledge that I have gleaned.

All in all, free agency is a crap shoot. Some teams have benefited greatly over the years.  In the end, I applaud the Browns for addressing weaknesses they believe they need filled immediately, but I am not ready to jump on the bandwagon and say the Paul Kruger signing makes them a playoff contender. Hell, at this point the Browns do not have a kicker or viable punter on their roster. In the end, free agency is fun to talk about and imagine what if. It is not until they play the games that we find out if the risk was equal to the reward.

Nov 192012

I did not want to see a complete reboot of the Cleveland Browns after this year, but after another loss, I can not stand it anymore. The Cleveland Browns need to fire Pat Shurmur today. Let Brad Childress or Dick Jauron coach the team. Shurmur is completely clueless. His play calling, lack of control over game management, and inability to play to the strengths of his football team should cost him his job. The Browns have lost 12 straight on the road, are sitting at 2-8, which puts Shurmur’s overall record at 6-20. While I will concede that the Browns are a better football team, I do not believe that is because of Pat Shurmur. Tom Heckert has drafted extremely well for this team and I believe he should be retained. I recognize with a new owner in Jimmy Haslam, that most likely will not occur, but I would think long and hard about Heckert. He knows talent, now he just needs a person to coach it.

This is the most disheartened I have ever been as a Browns fan. I am disgusted by the apparent lack of coaching ability of our head coach. Here is an example. On fourth and 1 with about 1:50 left in the game at the Dallas one yard line, Sherman called a fade to Jordan Cameron. He is the third tight end on the Browns, who has caught seven passes in the last seven games. He has no touchdown receptions on the year. Instead of running the ball with the 3rd overall pick, Trent Richardson, or play action, he called this play. An incomplete pass out of the end zone. This is just one of 15 examples I can give from this season. The most frustrating aspect about Shurmur is that he gives no explanation or appearance of being bothered by mistakes. Instead, his line is “we need to correct them.” That works with a coach of great respect like a Bill Belicheck or Tom Coughlin, not Pat Shurmur. It is time to cut ties with Shurmur and begin looking for a coach that will use the talent appropriately and change the losing atmosphere found in Cleveland. Please, Jimmy Haslam, just end the nightmare now and rid us Browns fans of Shurmur.