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 have to say:
D-ASH – Please don’t overly praise Trent Richardson. We don’t need another “decision” to deal with. He’ll get praise when he earns it.
D-Ash, I fully agree that praise must be earned and I go along with the idea that it’s always a little risky to hype up a player before he actually has played an NFL down. That can lead to all sorts of problems, the biggest of which is the player getting so caught up in praise that he loses his focus on doing all of the work necessary to be successful.
Another factor is the player’s mindset. How will he react to over-the-top praise? It’s fair to say that Trent Richardson has heard plenty of praise through his entire football life, especially during his time at Alabama and the weeks and months leading up to the draft when any number of people called him one of the best players (if not the best) to emerge from the college ranks in many years.
It’s understandable and acceptable that there is going to be a great deal of excitement among Browns fans and a fair amount of gushing by them and the media about Richardson. And it’s up to him to handle it. I believe the player should have the bulk of the responsibility to prevent it from going to his head rather than putting it on fans and media to keep their enthusiasm in check.
Handling praise and criticism is, in fact, a large part of what he is paid handsomely to do.
THOMAS — Why does Vic refuse to criticize players? Also why are the receivers going to be better? Whenever people are asked they just say, “they’ll be better,” and please don’t simply say because of the QB, because the receivers struggled to get open, dropped easy passes and didn’t have the breakaway speed required to beat defenses.
Thomas, I don’t agree that I refuse to criticize players. It was pretty hard to be complementary of any aspect of a team that lost 12 games last season.
Now, if you’re looking for me to flat-out rip a player on the team, then, no, you probably aren’t going to read or hear that from me. But I’ll never hesitate to tell you when I don’t like something I see from a player or someone else.
As far as how the Browns’ receivers are going to improve, I don’t subscribe to the “they’ll-be-better-just-because” school of thought. I do need to see it before I believe it.
But I do believe that better quarterbacking will make the receivers better. Specifically, a quarterback who has enough accuracy and velocity to consistently make throws through those fast-closing windows in coverage. Specifically, a quarterback who throws a catchable ball, one that the receivers can grab in stride. Specifically, a quarterback such as Brandon Weeden.
I believe the addition of senior assistant coach Nolan Cromwell, who has extensive background as a receivers coach, will make the Browns’ receivers better.
And, although you probably won’t like this answer, but I simply can’t envision as many drops as there were last season because it was such a ridiculously high total and I refuse to believe it can happen two years in a row.
You want more reasons? The addition of speedy rookie Travis Benjamin, the noticeable improvement in physical conditioning of the incumbent receivers, the likely vast upgrade that Trent Richardson will bring to the running game.
LOUIS- What are the chances of us acquiring a veteran wide out before season starts?
Slim to none, Louis.
I have no sense whatsoever that the Browns’ decision-makers share the popular public opinion that more help is needed at receiver.
They truly like the receivers they have. They truly believe that the incumbents will show improvement as the rest of the offense gets better. They truly believed that Travis Benjamin will provide the big-play dynamic that is needed.
MICHAEL — I will like whatever we do as long as we win. Football may well be a diversion from life and there are way more important things, but I am fed up with us being so consistently bad year in and year out. As Al Davis used to say, “Just win baby!”
You’re right, Michael.
In the NFL, winning isn’t an option. To use another quote, this one from the title of an excellent book about Bill Parcells when he was coaching the New York Giants, there are “no medals for trying.”
I believe the pieces are being put together to turn the Browns into far more pleasant diversion for you and other fans.
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