By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor
You’ve got questions and comments that you submit to the Browns’ official Facebook and Twitter pages. Here’s what I have to say about what you say:
Gary – I’m tired of this “trust me” crap. We trusted the last few regimes. While I’m more than happy to be patient, the contradictory personnel movements lead me to believe there is no real plan in place other than to blame others. You don’t demand respect. You earn it.
Gary, I fully agree with your final point. Respect can only be earned.
However, I disagree with the premise that the Browns’ administration is asking for blind trust. I also don’t buy that the team’s plan is based on blaming previous decision-makers.
It’s about people who have deep-rooted beliefs in how to properly assemble a successful franchise and install offensive and defensive schemes that work. They’ve had success in other places following the approach they are taking with the Browns. They can call upon that experience.
Mike Holmgren saw it work in San Francisco, Green Bay, and Seattle. Tom Heckert saw it work in Philadelphia.
So when they speak confidently about their plan, it isn’t a case of false bravado. They truly believe in what they’re doing because they’ve witnessed the results.
I can appreciate your being wary about having trusted other regimes only to be disappointed by what they put on the field. You rightfully have adopted a “show-me” perspective. When it comes to trusting the administration of a club that has gone so long without delivering an acceptable product, I wouldn’t be quick to simply take someone’s word at face value, either.
But that’s not what this administration is selling.
John – The next few years provide hope. Brandon Weeden is going to surprise and Trent Richardson will play well, as expected.
Yes, John, I strongly believe there is plenty of hope for the Browns in the next few years.
However, I don’t know how big a surprise it would be if Brandon Weeden plays “well,” depending, of course, on how you’re defining it. If it means desperately needed improvement at quarterback and more wins, then I expect him to do precisely what the Browns’ brass expects him to do.
If that comes as a surprise to anyone, it is only based on the fact Weeden is 28. Subtract six years from that, with the same production at Oklahoma State, and he easily would have been a top-10, if not a top-five, pick.
Richardson playing at the level expected of the third overall choice and one of the more dominant running backs to emerge from the college ranks in recent years is crucial to the Browns’ chances for success.
However, I would contend that nothing will do more to help make the Browns better faster than Weeden performing at an equally high level. His play has a chance to do wonders for the Browns’ much-maligned receivers and make every aspect of the offense, including play-calling, look significantly stronger than a year ago. He’ll do that with his quick release, his accuracy, and the velocity of his passes that should be able to make it through those tight windows of coverage before they close.
Dave – I really hate to say this, but the Browns’ offense will fall apart this year. Richardson, though a great athlete, cannot fix all problems.
Dave, despite his draft status, I don’t think Richardson was brought in to fix all of the Browns’ problems. Of course, he is a hugely important cog to the efforts of repairing the offense.
But I highly doubt that Pat Shurmur is putting all of his eggs in the basket of a single player or a single aspect of his offense. He knows that won’t work.
The Browns aren’t losing sight of the fact that Richardson is a rookie and needs a little time to develop, just as any other player. They know he must have an opportunity to learn and absorb all that he needs to know about the offense and about what he will be facing from NFL defenses. The expectation is that he will contribute plenty sooner rather than later, but it’s a gradual process.
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