Thursday, April 4, 2013

A re-imaging in progress

The bloodletting continued the other day. A few more members of the Browns last season became former Browns.

Colt McCoy was traded. Chris Gocong and Usama Young were released. In some cases, it was addition by subtraction.

The official count of the pillaging now stands at 14 men gone from last season’s roster. And you can bet there will be a few more before the tourniquet is finally applied.

No longer wearing the Seal Brown and Orange are McCoy, Young, Gocong, Kaluka Maiava, Frostee Rucker, Sheldon Brown, Scott Fujita, Joshua Cribbs, Phil Dawson, Reggie Hodges, Mo Massaquoi, Alex Smith, Juqua Parker and Ray Ventrone.

On the bubble are Brandon Jackson, Owen Marecic, Montario Hardesty, Oneil Cousins. Only one, most likely Hardesty, will survive that group.

A number of marginal players who saw little or no action last season and who, quite frankly, do not fit into the club’s plans for 2013 and beyond, will be gone before training camp starts in July.

This team is not being tinkered with. Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi and Rob Chudzinski are taking a scythe to it. Wisely not touching the roughly 16-man core roster, the trio is slowly but surely re-imaging the product.

It appears as though the second-youngest team in the National Football League last season will become the youngest once all the pieces and parts are in place by the first weekend in September.

Chudzinski promised a quick and aggressive team on both sides of the football. The coach believes the key to winning football is putting as much pressure on the opposition as possible.

Getting rid of some of the veterans (young and old) the club counted on last season almost insures that Browns fans will see a style of football this season unlike any they have witnessed since the resurrection in 1999.

All of which bodes well for the future. That assumes, of course, Banner and Lombardi choose wisely and make shrewd moves during the college draft later this month.

Jettisoning some of the waste (deal with the hyperbole) and generally cleaning up the roster to make way for the newcomers can’t hurt. We’ve seen our share of shakeups and roster reconstructions, anyway. What’s one more?

You never know when one of them is going to be the one that finally points the Browns in the right direction. One of these years, they are bound to get lucky.


  1. Hey Rich,
    Of the 14 players jettisoned, the only one that may have been worth keeping was Dawson, and not for sentimental reasons, he is a fine kicker and may have 1 or 2 more good years left. The only other player I would like to have seen them keep was the one you left out, Ben Watson. Not much after the catch, but good route runner and hands, and effective in the Red Zone, without him the TE cupboard is bare. The rest were back-ups and special teamers at best. Now let's get rid of Marecic and the addition by subtraction will be complete.

  2. Oops. Forgot about Watson. You, sir, are entirely correct. Good catch. There's a good reason I keep you around.

    Watson was serviceable at best. The Browns, especially in a Norv Turner offense, need someone more dynamic. More game-changing. I love Zach Ertz from Stanford more than Tyler Eifert from N.D. in this draft. If he's there late in the first round, the Browns should trade up and get him.

    As for Dawson, I'm guessing the thinking was if they were going to clean house, why not go all the way. Kickers are relatively expendable. Turns out to be a case of good timing for Dawson.