New talent selectors can build on what they have

Posted by Vic Carucci on February 20, 2013 – 7:06 pm

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:

Craig — Love the show; I listen to all of them. Thank you for what you do to keep us all informed. (Have they extended your contract or are you a free agent, too?) To my question: Every year, we are at the same juncture, picking sixth and lots of holes to fill again in the piece of Swiss cheese we know as the Browns. After the questionable draft and lack of impact players brought in through free agency, we really haven’t filled the necessary holes to make the team competitive in the AFC North. Under new ownership, management and coaching, will that finally improve our approach to plugging the holes and making us a winner?

Thanks so much for the kind words, Craig. And, yes, I plan on continuing to be a part of this club and hosting “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford” for the foreseeable future.

As for your question, I first would disagree with the premise that the Browns had a “questionable” draft last year or for the better part of the past three years, for that matter.

I think they’ve managed to put together a reasonably solid young core or players, and I think the new folks in charge of the football operation would generally agree with that. You’ve heard some of them say as much publicly.

No, the Browns have not acquired much in the way of impact players via free agency. I think there is reason to think that the team might be more aggressive in that area now, although I still believe that the best approach is to be selective with signing players from the open market and not getting someone for the sake of simply landing a “big game.” That strategy almost never brings favorable results.

It’s fair to think that new people making player-personnel decisions could do a better job overall of selecting talent. And while it is crucial to find quality players, the key to acquiring players via the draft and free agency this year is to find the proper fits for the new defensive and offensive schemes the Browns will be running.

The greater challenge exists on the defensive side, as the Browns make the transition from Dick Jauron’s 4-3 to Ray Horton’s 3-4. That means finding help at outside and inside linebacker, which is very doable.

Offensively, the Browns must get players who can operate within a more downfield-throwing, attack-oriented offense that coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner will put in place. My guess is that the Browns will be looking to enhance what they have among pass-catchers, particularly at tight end.

And it’s entirely possible, if not likely, that they’ll have an eye on picking up a quarterback or two.

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET, for Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com.

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/viccarucci or by e-mail at daily@clevelandbrowns.com or by calling 855-363-2459.


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