Why is everyone getting bent out of shape because ProFootballWeekly ranked the Browns #32 in its preseason power rankings?
OK, maybe not everyone, but more than a few members of Browns Nation are upset because the Web site had the temerity to award the coveted bottom-of-the-barrel spot to Cleveland.
OK, not coveted. But one has to wonder if the Browns, who seemingly have made positive strides with their off-season moves, warrant something a little better than last place in this contrived poll.
Of course they’re not the worst team in the National Football League. But Mike Florio and his minions had to put someone in the bottom slot and the Browns, whose reputation isn’t exactly the most sterling in NFL circles, seemed to be the right patsy.
Was it done to elicit a vitriolic response? Probably. It received a disappointing (for PFT) 14 responses, only one of the vitriolic variety.
Florio has to know the Browns play one of the toughest schedules in the NFL this season. He also has to know the club will be much better on offense after its draft and subsequent pick of Josh Gordon in the supplemental lottery.
There is no question Cleveland will not be a pushover this season because of that offense. In the past few seasons, the Browns did not possess the capability of coming from behind.
With the likes of Brandon Weeden, Trent Richardson, Mitchell Schwartz and maybe (maybe) Gordon, they will never be that far out of a game.
The last time the Browns were able to say that was when Derek Anderson and the 2007 Browns racked up a 10-6 record. They were never out of a game that exciting season.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, that very well could be the case this season. And that’s what makes PFT’s choice rather puzzling.
The 2012 season could wind up so exciting, Florio and his minions will look back on the #32 pre-season PFT power ranking they assigned Cleveland and wonder where they went wrong. Then they’ll sit back and chuckle.
That’s the beauty (and fun) of putting together such a ranking. No games have been played. No practices have been held. Every team has a spotless record at this point.
No one should take the ranking seriously. The Florio group doesn’t. Not really. Neither should you.