Sunday, September 1, 2013

Browns' spinning wheel out of control

As the player personnel merry-go-round spins merrily, so, too, does the Browns’ roster.

See ya L. J. Fort, Brad Smelley, Brandon Jackson, Kellen Davis, Caylin Hauptmann and Jarrod Shaw. We hardly knew ye.

Howdy running backs Bobby Rainey and Dennis Johnson, tight ends MarQeuis Gray and Keavon Milton, offensive lineman Patrick Lewis and inside linebacker Brandon Magee.

Hang in there, newcomers, but don’t get too comfortable. Your stay in Cleveland might be shorter than you think if the Whack Squad of Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi, Ray Turner and Rob Chudzinski has anything to say about it.

The ride to the season opener will be bumpy and perilous for any member of the team who does not have a starting position locked down.

Given the moves the front office quartet has made in the last 24 hours, one might think they gather in the bunker and throw darts at a board loaded with the names of players released or waived by other National Football League teams.

The latest (and, most likely, not the last) round of moves keeps the tight ends roster at four, offensive linemen roster at an amazing dozen and linebackers roster at 10, and swells the running back corps to four.

This crazy, almost incomprehensible player movement has to cause some concern among the fans. It’s almost as though the front office does not know what it is doing. Despite the optimistic picture Chudzinski paints when speaking of the newest Browns, there appears to be no rhyme or reason for the number of moves.

To say the Browns’ roster is fluid is an understatement. It’s a veritable flood.

The biggest surprise cuts were Jackson, mainly because there is absolutely no depth behind Trent Richardson, and Smelley, whose versatility as a tight end and fullback was thought to be valuable. Guess not.

Then again, wasn’t it Tom Heckert Jr. who brought Jackson to Cleveland and drafted Smelley? Hmmm, you don’t suppose . . .

With the season opener less than a week away, there is no way the Browns can put together a running game without wearing down Richardson. Who is going to replace him when he needs a breather? Rainey and/or Johnson? They can’t expect to know Norv Turner’s offense in four days of practice. Chris Ogbonnaya? Who plays fullback then?

You can expect Brandon Weeden to put the ball in the air at least 70% of the time against the Miami Dolphins in the opener. And a majority of those throws will go to the tight ends.

Looking at the big picture, there will be a certain segment of Browns Nation that will praise the moves and lend support to the front office. The club’s spin doctors will help you see that. That gives birth to blind faith.

“They certainly know a lot more about what they are doing than you or anyone else does,” the sycophants will cry. “They do this for a living. We have to trust them.”

No you don’t. The mercurial manner in which they currently operate is more a cause for concern than elation. 


  1. But, we're going to have SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Many Draft Picks Next Year! Sigh.

    1. Of course, How silly of me. Can't wait for the 2014 college draft. Only 16 more games, the playoffs, the Super Bowl and the combine and free agency before it's here.

  2. It does seem very strange, but what's to get upset about? Stirring the pot on the last 6 roster spots on a last place team?

    1. This team has very little speed, very little quickness, a disturbing (OK, so I exaggerate) lack of depth at running back and wide receiver and a questionable secondary. There's also seems to be a severe lack of what they want to do.

      Other than that, what's to complain about?