Sunday, June 18, 2017

Browns need to be embarrassingly bad again

Let us be perfectly honest here about the 2017 Cleveland Browns.

The National Football League has become a quarterbacks league. If you have a quarterback who ranks anywhere from very good to exceptional, you have a great shot at not only making the playoffs, but advancing into February.

Teams that do not have a quarterback who fits that description, there will be no postseason. Only hope, in most cases, for the future. Color the Browns one of those teams.

That is why they must come close to replicating their disastrous 2016 season. It is their only chance to draft a quarterback whose collegiate credentials give them a chance to finally land their elusive franchise quarterback.

Brock Osweiler, Cody Kessler and DeShone Kizer are merely warming the job until that quarterback is ready to step onto the professional football stage. They are not the future of this team.

All three will play this season. The nature of the position, especially with this team, strongly suggests that is inevitable. A combination of injuries and poor play virtually guarantees it.

In order to be in position to draft their quarterback of the future, the Browns absolutely must lose as many games as possible in the upcoming season to insure qualifying for the top pick once again.

There are three quarterbacks in the next college draft who will sport far better credentials and talent than the top three in the most recent draft. And yes, that includes Kizer, who isn’t nearly ready to step in and be a pro and whose selection this year will be considered a mistake in the future.

Of those three college quarterbacks, only one stands out. His name is Sam Darnold from USC. And while UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Josh Allen of Wyoming present strong credentials, Darnold is clearly the top dog in this class.

All you have to do is look at what he did to Penn State in the last Rose Bowl as ample evidence. Yes, it was only one game, but sneak a peek at what he did after taking over as the Trojans’ No. 1 quarterback early in the 2016 season and you’ll have all the proof you need to see why he is special.

Right now, it looks very much as though three teams with dramatic quarterback needs will battle for Darnold’s services. You root for one of those teams. The others are the Los Angeles Rams and New York Jets, franchises located in major NFL markets, both figuratively frothing at the prospect of drafting him.

Those are the teams the Browns have to beat in the race to the bottom of the league and the top of the draft. They host the Jets in game four on Oct. 1, a game they must lose in the event tiebreakers are required to decide draft position.

The Rams and Jets are bad teams. The Browns are awful, especially on offense, but getting better, especially on defense. The downside is if they experience another season like the last one, it is highly likely coach Hue Jackson’s job will be in jeopardy.

Owner Jimmy Haslam III is renown for his knee-jerk reactions in the past with regard to his head coaches. A second straight embarrassing season could trigger another of those knee jerks.

That would be a mistake.

Jackson deserves a chance to work with a quarterback who gives him an honest chance at success in Cleveland. He didn’t have that chance last season and this season’s quarterbacks class in Berea does not provide much hope, either.

This franchise has waited long enough for its franchise quarterback to come along. One more season of abject futility won’t hurt any more than the 18 that preceded it, especially with a Sam Darnold lurking.


  1. Hi Rich. Great to hear from you again. I can't disagree with you more. Every single year teams, players, fans and media are hyping up some young QB who isn't that good and teams are tanking in return of this.

    THink about all the jobs that are at stake, millions that the owner will lose from dejected fans and sponsors. I can't help to think this article is foolish because of the history of the QB position and who we think is good end up being bad and who we think is bad or meh end up being good.

    ALso, we have a young talented QB who we need to see instead of already putting doom and gloom on him

    1. Hi HIram,

      Think back to when the Indianapolis Colts had the top pick in the draft twice and selected Peyton Manning and then Andrew Luck. Both were quarterbacks with special qualities.

      Quarterbacks with special qualities -- the it factor -- do not come along often and when they do, it's good to be in position to grab them.

      Sam Darnold is one of them. Did you watch him play at all last year? If not, I suggest you watch some footage on line, especially his work in the last Rose Bowl against Penn State.

      As for DeShone Kizer, I cannot disagree with you more. He was so bad at Notre Dame last year, his coach benched him for a bit.

      He has a strong arm and not much else. He will thrill you one minute and break your heart the next. He will be the next inconsistent quarterback for the Browns unless they get smart and maneuver to get Darnold.

      And you will definitely see him this season. Injuries and poor quarterbacking will make this another three-quarterback season.

  2. I concur with Hiram... In addition to needing to see Kiser Rich, there is nothing too say Kiser can`t be a franchise QB, absolutely NOTHING. Franchise QB Size hands included, Arm & so far looks like he has football IQ...Maybe we caught lighting in a bottle, hardly the right time for you too bring out your Crystal Ball...

    1. Unk,

      Don't listen to what the coaches are saying. They are not going to downgrade players publicly. What you read and hear is nothing more than coachspeak. It is meant to sell tickets.

  3. What a lame as boring doom and gloom article. Come on man. You have no idea what the guys can do until you see them play. This is the type of article that would have had Dak Prescott packing groceries instead of making a super bowl run in 2018.... Watch the game with your mind not your heart man.

    1. Welcome I-M,

      You suggest I watch the game with my mind and not my heart. I do. Most fans don't.

      My heart wants the Browns to recapture a storied past that made them one of the best franchise in then NFL. My head says they are years away from making that dream come true.

      They need a quarterback. A special quarterback. And one will be available next year.

      If the Browns had drafted Dak Prescott last year instead of Cody Kessler, the Browns still would have won only one game.

      The Browns, you see, did not have a strong offensive line and a rookie running back named Ezekiel Elliott. They made Prescott a much better quarterback.

      The Browns will be better this year on defense, as I mentioned. The offense will not be better. If anything, it will be just as bad as last season.

      You correctly call it gloom and doom. A Sam Darnold can change that in a hurry.

  4. Respectfully disagree. The Brown's record is completely irrelevant to the question whether they can get the #1 pick. No other team in the NFL has the ammunition in stocked 1st and 2nd round picks to make a trade for the #1 than the Browns.

  5. No amount of draft picks will secure the top pick unless the team with that pick wants to trade. And if that team wants the best quarterback on the board, guess who wins that battle.

    Next time pls sign you name or your post will go unanswered.

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