Younger isn’t necessarily better
The Browns released Karlos Dansby Wednesday in the latest chapter of purging the roster.
One cannot adequately blame the Browns for releasing the quality inside linebacker. He’ll be 35 in November and earned a modest amount of money.
The latest iteration of the Browns’ front office apparently wants to lower the average age of the team. Releasing Dansby and signing free agent Demario Davis, 26, is a step in that direction.
But Davis, who knocked quarterback Josh McCown into the next week on the Browns’ first series of the season last year, is an improvement in only the age category.
Dansby was a leader of the defense. Was it a good defense? A solid defense? Not even close. “So how,” you rant, “can you say that about Dansby? He didn’t make a difference at all.”
In the overall picture, that is correct. But one man can’t do it all and Dansby had little to no help on that side of the ball. The pass rush was absent a large part of the time and anemic when it attempted to show up.
Was that Dansby’s fault? No. All he did in his two seasons with the Browns was lead the team in tackles (108) and solo tackles (62) this past season and rack up 93 tackles in his first season (finishing third on the team) despite missing four full games with a knee injury.
Whenever a big play was needed, the savvy Dansby was frequently on or very near the ball. His only problem was a defensive line that failed miserably in the run game and allowed opposing offensive linemen to get to the second level.
His departure is not a surprise given the Browns let four other key players escape in free agency. His exit – and there could be a couple more veterans leaving – pretty much seals the notion this bad football team is clearly in rebuild mode.
It’s one thing to build up to contender status and then peel back when a team gets a little long in the tooth and rebuilds. It’s quite another when the team perennially occupies the basement of the AFC North.
Releasing Dansby will not make the Browns’ defense any better. If anything, it made it worse. A lot worse. All of which portends another miserable season for the defense this year.
Now the release Wednesday of wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is an entirely different matter. That one could be seen coming for months. What a waste of time and money. Again, addition by subtraction.
It is hoped the current brain trust will not make the same kind of errors that have bedeviled this franchise for way too long.