It’s hard to have an opinion on the Cleveland Browns.
Think about it for a moment without resorting to any kind of jokey retort or blatant insult… It’s hard isn’t it?
That’s because when you think of an NFL team, you think of how they did in previous seasons, what kind of legacy they have and what stand out players they are blessed with. But with the Browns this is slightly difficult.
Let’s bring you up to speed. Peyton Hillis, undeniably a talent that has waned due to the Madden curse and a blow in confidence from his home side, was unceremoniously dumped by the Browns and has been a yo-yo player since.
Pat Schumur was fired, probably quite rightly. Rob Chudzinski was brought in, along with Michael Lombardi in early 2013. One year on both were dropped for Mike Pettinne and Ray Farmer.
The Quarterback debacle has now ended with former first round draft pick Brandon Weeden given the boot along with veteran hanger-on Jason Campbell.
So if I asked you what the Browns are about, you would understandably have a hard time telling me.
Their new fascination in possibly signing one of the three most wanted QBs in this years draft is as obvious as a basketball player wearing stiletto heels.
Weeden’s exit isn’t purely due to his lackluster performances in a hodge-podge team. It was written on the wall as soon as he mentioned that he wanted to have a chance at a team that would achieve things.
Now take from that what you will, but it’s obvious that the backroom and coaching disharmony resonated pretty resolutely on the field.
For two of the past three years you could say that Cleveland was a QB experiment and for the last year, it was one that went heavily wrong.
You couldn’t really refer to the team as anything but that really and it seems that they are yet again going to go down that route. But is that really the identity of this team?
If you’re going to go for a new rookie QB and build your franchise around him you have two options:
1) You pick the QB that is most suited to your current players and set up so that they can get in quickly, be comfortable in your system and get the best out of your team.
2) You pick the QB that you want to build a franchise around and acquire other talent that you think will suit their skills and work a system around them.
Now as the Browns appear to want to build a new team by getting rid of their QBs. Maybe they’ll try to find one that will fit in to their system in free agency like Matt Schaub if he is released.
But that begs the question of what the system even is? We have a new untested coach who is formerly a defensive coordinator. We have a complete change in the team’s leadership structure both on and off the field.
The Browns at the moment are a team with without an identity, without any recognizable talent in regards of impact players and, more alarmingly, no real impression of a plan.
That may sound a little bit harsh as this is going to be effectively a brand new team again. But all we’ve seen in this off-season is that they are preparing for the future in regards to the leader of the offense.
We have seen very little action from any other positions within the team, free agency moves, draft rumors or trades. Which would suggest that apart from QB, the Browns are happy with what they’ve got, or are unwilling to invest in changing it.
I fear that it may be the latter of the two and if you’re a Browns fan, there’s going to be a ropey two seasons or so ahead where you will need a big leap of faith.