Receiver less pressing need for Browns

Posted by Vic Carucci on February 16, 2013 – 3:06 am

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:

Jack – The Browns need to get some better receivers and the O-line needs to hold the blocks a little longer. I added one touchdown to all of the games that the Browns lost last season, and you know what the record was? 9-7.

I agree that the Browns could use some receiver help, Jack.

Do I see it as a top priority? No. I think the Browns can find success in that area with the expected improvement and development of Josh Gordon and with Greg Little continuing to show the progress that he demonstrated through the second half of last season.

Gordon has established himself as a legitimate No. 1 receiver. Little is somewhere between a second and a third receiver, and needs to show more consistency to lock in his place. Travis Benjamin can be a game-breaking threat from the slot, although his greater impact will likely be made as a return specialist.

The Browns are better at receiver than they were a year ago, but they could use at least one more difference-maker. I’m always leery about making a big investment in that position in free agency. I think the Browns would again be able to help themselves there through the draft.

However, I see a far greater need for a dynamic pass-rusher at outside linebacker. After that, I think cornerback is another key area for the Browns to address. Although I would have no problem with the acquisition of a receiver, I think a playmaking tight end might present a more pressing need.

To your point about the offensive linemen needing to hold their blocks longer, that is particularly true with the more vertical passing game that new offensive coordinator Norv Turner is installing. Deeper pass patterns take more time to develop, which means the quarterback must wait a couple of more beats before releasing the ball … and that puts greater pressure on the line to maintain protection.

And your stat about adding a touchdown to the 11 games the Browns lost last season merely underscores how close they were in so many games. But as the saying goes, you are what your record says you are.

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