Cleveland Browns – an Outsiders Random Thoughts, Observations and Opinions

Some random thoughts, observations and opinions

1. I have little to no real knowledge of football. If I did, I would be making a living off of that knowledge. I am a casual fan and will actually go a whole weekend without watching the NFL. Hunting and fishing are very important.

2. I honestly don’t remember the day, but I saw Jim Brown play his last season. My Dad would take us to a football game and an Indians game almost every year. I’ve been a Browns fan as long as I can remember. I’ll be a fan forever. Grew up in Newark and have lived in the Austin, Texas area for almost 30 years.

3. I would happy to see the Browns be consistently above average. I won’t be satisfied until we win the Super Bowl.

4. I think Coach Holmgren is the best thing to happen to the Browns for a very long time.

In my opinion, there are 5 facets of running and organization and coaching a team:

Manage the talent

Acquire talent, maintain talent, pay talent, retain/release talent.

I think Coach Holmgren is one of the best at evaluating talent. I don’t know enough about the other aspects to have a real opinion. (see no. 1). However, I would not sign Peyton Hillis (or any other running back) to an ‘elite level’ of contract. Elite money is for QB’s, OL, DL and some DBs. All NFL players are elite athletes, but within their numbers you have – serviceable, good, very good and elite players.

In fact, when Coach Holmgren drafted Colt McCoy, I thought he had made a mistake. I figured Colt’s best chance for an NFL career was at safety. See No. 1. I underestimated Colts ‘it’ factor. My definition of the ‘it’ factor:

Your teammates have complete faith in you and give you’re their best effort at any point in the game. Under 2 minutes to play, it’s third and 18 and your team has every belief that together you can win the game.

No athlete wants to walk inside the lines and feel that a leader/best player is overmatched.


Being a teacher. Do players get better? Are they put in a position to succeed?

Game Day. Does everyone know their job? How efficient are your squads? Game time adjustments and game day schemes


Why you have an OC and a DC. Having a great scheme will hide a lot of flaws. I like to watch how Coach Belichick schemes in the NFL and I like to watch Coach Izzo scheme in college basketball. You play either one of those teams and by the next day your teams flaws will have be highlited for all to see.
Honestly, was not impressed with schemes. The defense was better on the line than the offense, so defensive scheme at least looked good. Without an O-line your offensive scheme will probably suck.

Public Relations

Kissing babies, talking heads, spin doctor.

All I have to say is that I’m glad Coach Holmgren said what he did and how he did in regards to the McCoy situation. Also, I would have loved to have seen his face when Colt went back in the game after 2 plays, AND I’d loved to been a fly on the wall the next day in his offices.

I sure hope Colt reminded his Dad that he is an adult and can handle his own business. My son is 28, he has given me ‘the talk’.

Motivation and ‘it’ factor

Everyone working towards a common goal. Gung Ho. Again, no real opinion, except that I think Coach Holmgren has ‘it’ and I really hope it is contagious.

Overall I like the management and coaches. I do hope Coach Shurmur has an educational off-season and really absorbs what Coach Holmgren has to offer.

5. Next Year! The Draft and existing talent.

Do I think Colt is the answer? Hell, I didn’t think he’d be a starting QB in the NFL. My guess is that if Coach Holmgren takes a QB in the first round, he’s pretty much decided Colt isn’t the answer. If he takes a QB late second or early third, or brings in a good free-agent – then he is on the fence and wants to see choices. If he starts calling Brett and flying to Mississippi in Sept. he probably has his house in Cleveland for sale also.

If it were me: I’d trade down. First Rounds are for OL, DL and elite skill players. When I dominate the line of scrimmage, I like my chances. Is Andrew Luck or RGIII an elite player? Right now – no. An elite QB would have Baylor or Stanford vs. LSU in the title game. Can either of them become elite players? I think so. Proper motivation, proper coaching, proper scheme should improve any athlete that already possesses the skill set necessary for that level of competition. I’ve seen more TV of RGIII much more than Luck but both have obviously impressed the media. If I wanted one of them – I would trade Colt (only because he probably has more trade value than Wallace), draft your savior, and bring in enough of a ‘name’ free agent to give the savior the opportunity to watch and learn for as long as possible.

An elite player can come from any draft position. A first round player usually means a serious commitment. Serious money, serious scrutiny, serious return on investment. If I were undecided at QB I’d probably spend two picks every year in the second/third round til I found what I wanted. Of course, I’d draft all skill positions in that manner.

I would also audition every undrafted tight end and linebacker available for the RB position. It seems that the position is evolving into a 2 or 3 type rotation – the small, fast, jitter-bug scat-back; the Prototype 6 foot, 200 lbs college star and the big bruising punisher. The punisher looks like an undersized tight-end or LB.

Give me two bruisers and one or two of the other and I can run the ball with my 5 first-round pro-bowlers. I think you could ‘coach up’ a 6’2″, 235 lbs. player with some speed. Teach him how to run off-tackle, how to pass-protect, and how to run wheel/swing/delay routes.

In my opinion (see no. 1) the NFL offensive strategy is to gain four yards per play.

At one end you have the ‘traditional’ pro offense. This offense believes they can gain 4 yards running the ball. Every down. And if you load the box they throw over your head. It doesn’t have to be a deep ball if the safety is playing LB depth.

At the other end you have ‘spread’ passing offense. The offense believes they can flood the downfield with receivers and throw the ball to a spot or to an open rec’r before you can get to the QB.

Approximately in the middle is the ‘west coast’ offense. They believe they can get four yards every time because you don’t know where the attack is coming from. Could be run, could be pass.

Any of the three can be successful if you control the line of scrimmage. Any of the 3 can be made ineffective if your defense can control the line of scrimmage.

I would not have a clue about who to draft, what round or any of that. I trust Coach Holmgren and can’t wait to see how the Browns move forward.

6. See No. 1

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