OBR Daily Blog 1/21

Another cold, snowy day as the search for coordinators continue.

Hello and Goodbye
Dave Kolonich on January 21st, 2011 AT 9:18 PM

The Browns' 2011 coaching staff is beginning to take shape, as earlier today veteran coach Dick Jauron was hired to run the defense.  Jauron brings a wealth of experience to the defensive side of the ball, along with a degree of experience that new head coach Pat Shurmur is currently lacking.  Let's call this a nice sense of balance, as Shurmur's main priority would seemingly come in fixing a moribund offensive attack. 

While the merits of Jauron can be argued – mostly based on his last two head coaching jobs – his hire could prove critical to a unit that will likely face a high amount of personnel turnover during the offseason.

However, while the Browns have gained a quality coordinator, another has been lost.

SFGate.com – Brad Seely Hired by 49ers

Give some credit to new San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh.  A novice to the NFL's coaching ranks, scoring a coach of Seely's caliber is a major early accomplishment.  Seely is one of the best special teams coaches in the league – as evidenced by the Browns' stellar kick coverage units over the past two years. 



01/21
7:49 PM

Our friend Phil tells us you can vote for Peyton Hillis as the “Top Value Performer” at Vizio.com: http://t.co/hxNWogf

Press Release: Jauron Named Defensive Coordinator
Barry McBride on January 21st, 2011 AT 7:35 PM

The Cleveland Browns today named Dick Jauron as defensive coordinator, the team announced. Jauron has 26 years experience coaching in the NFL, including 10 seasons as a head coach. He spent 2010 with the Philadelphia Eagles as senior assistant/defensive backs coach.

“Dick is someone I have known for many years, who is an outstanding football coach and very well-respected around the league,” said Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur.  “He has a tremendous knowledge of the game and is an excellent teacher.   His experience in the NFL as a player, position coach, coordinator and head coach will be a huge asset to our staff and I am looking forward to having him as a member of the Cleveland Browns.”

“I want to thank Pat and the Cleveland Browns for this great opportunity,” Jauron said.  “There were many elements of this job that were attractive for me.  I have known Pat and his family for a long time, and in fact, I played for and coached with his uncle, Fritz.   I believe that with people like Pat Shurmur, Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert in place, this organization is building a solid foundation.  I can’t wait to get started with the Browns.”

Jauron guided the Eagles secondary as Philadelphia finished third in the NFL with 23 interceptions, including an NFC-high seven by cornerback Asante Samuel, who earned a Pro Bowl selection.

Prior to Philadelphia, Jauron spent four seasons (2006-09) as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills, which followed a two-year stint with the Detroit Lions. He joined the Detroit Lions’ staff in 2004 as defensive coordinator before serving as the interim head coach for the final five games of the 2005 season. Under Jauron’s tutelage, defensive lineman Shaun Rogers earned the first two Pro Bowl selections of his career and defensive back Dre’ Bly was tabbed as a Pro Bowler in 2004.

Jauron was head coach of the Chicago Bears from 1999-2003 and was named the 2001 Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year. That season, the Bears’ defense ranked first in the NFL in points allowed (203) and second in rushing yards allowed (82.1 pg) en route to a 13-3 record and their first NFC Central Division Championship since 1990.

Prior to his stint in Chicago, Jauron served as the defensive coordinator for the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars from 1995-98, helping lead the team to three playoff appearances in four years, including the AFC Championship game in 1996 and the AFC Central Division title in 1998.

Jauron began his coaching career with Buffalo, where he served as a defensive assistant in 1985 before coaching the defensive backs for the Green Bay Packers from 1986-94. In Green Bay, he helped mentor Pro Bowlers Chuck Cecil (1992) and LeRoy Butler (1993).

Jauron was a fourth-round selection of the Detroit Lions in the 1973 NFL Draft, and was also selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1973 Major League Baseball Draft. As a safety, he spent five seasons with Detroit (1973-77) and four with Cincinnati (1978-81). He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1974 as a punt returner after leading the NFC in punt return average (16.8). He appeared in 100 career regular season games and finished with 26 interceptions, including two returns for touchdowns.

A two-sport star at Yale University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history, Jauron set several school records, including most consecutive 100-yard rushing games (16). He attended Swampscott (Mass.) High School, where he was named one of the top-10 prep athletes of the 20th century in the state of Massachusetts by the Boston Globe. He also spent some of his childhood in Rensselaer, Ind., where his father was the head coach at St. Joseph’s College.

Dick and his wife, Gail, have two daughters, Kacy and Amy.

Dick Jauron’s Coaching Background:

1985                Buffalo Bills, defensive assistant coach

1986-94           Green Bay Packers, defensive backs coach

1995-89           Jacksonville Jaguars, defensive coordinator

1999-2003       Chicago Bears, head coach

2004                Detroit Lions, defensive coordinator

2005                Detroit Lions, defensive coordinator/interim head coach

2006-09           Buffalo Bills, head coach

2010                Philadelphia Eagles, senior assistant/defensive backs coach

2011                Cleveland Browns, defensive coordinator



01/21
5:38 PM

Browns have officially announced Dick Jauron as their Defensive Coordinator.


01/21
3:21 PM

@elfortney Browns fans have earned their cynicism, IMO. I think some folks will be skeptical until they see something succeed.


01/21
3:18 PM

@TryMeDawg Best Browns forums on the internets, in my humble opinion: http://t.co/C3Nag69


01/21
3:16 PM

@TryMeDawg Could have used some luggage, but I’ll live with that. Say it with me: GO BROWNS!!


01/21
3:16 PM

@patrick__martin After all the first-time OCs we’ve assigned to defensive-minded coaches, it’s nice to see some common sense applied.


01/21
3:12 PM

@TryMeDawg OK. Will I win some sort of valuable door prize? Some American Tourister luggage, perhaps? Mine’s getting ragged.


01/21
3:10 PM

@patrick__martin Disappointment seems to be more that the Browns preferred another direction for DC.


01/21
3:07 PM

Lots of disappointment in our Twitter replies about not landing Wannstache. Would seem a more dynamic choice,but Jauron’s experience helps.


01/21
3:06 PM

@TheBrownieBlog We blogged about that the other day. The team’s success depends more on the roster, though, and trends are positive there.


01/21
3:05 PM

@douglinley Statistically, Jauron’s defenses have been average. But Shurmur needs an experienced DC. Jauron is a fit for this staff.


01/21
3:04 PM

@geofflatulippe Things are heading in that direction. We haven’t heard of an agreement in principle yet, but suspect it will get done.


01/21
12:06 PM

SI’s Don Banks reporting that no new deal with Jauron is in place, but it could happen “soon”. Don’t book it until the name’s in ink, folks.


01/21
11:23 AM

According to unconfirmed reports, Dick Jauron will be taking over as defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns.

Initial Offseason Thinking
Don Delco on January 21st, 2011 AT 11:13 AM

For now, let’s set aside two things.

One, the question of who, if anyone, will become the next offensive and defensive coordinator of your Cleveland Browns.

Two, ignoring the growing chance that a labor strife will cause the loss of football in 2011.

Yesterday, I received a e-mail from a source I consider very knowledgable about the Browns, their needs and, most importantly, the available free agents and college players.

For years, this source has told me players the Browns need to obtain either via free agency or in the draft. The Browns passed on most of those players and most of those players turned out to have successful careers with other teams.

Without further adieu, I give you his initial off-season thinking:

“I tried not to go with the biggest name free agents because I think the Browns will have a hard time getting anyone to come here without over paying. I also took into consideration moving to the 4-3 defense, which it looks like they will.

I know that wide receiver is a huge need for the Browns. As good as A.J. Green or Julio Jones would look in the orange and brown, I will be upset if they take a wide receiver in the top 10. The player will be expensive, and how good were teams with stud No. 1 wide outs like the Cardinals, Lions, Bengals or Texans? Plus how many “elite” or high draft pick receivers do the Bears, Packers, Patriots, Steelers, etc. have?

I also looked at 4-3 defenses that impressed me. The main one I liked was the Giants from a couple years ago under Steve Spagnolo. That was the defense that beat up Tom Brady in the Super Bowl with pressure. They had two run-stuffing interior linemen, which the Browns would have, but used a triangle blitz with Osi Umenyora, Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka. Spagnolo moved them around between defensive end, outside linebacker and defensive tackle. Having multiple threats to get to the quarterback is essential.

Since, 1999, the Browns have only two pass rushers and just one at a time — Jamir Miller and Kamerion Wimbley. It’s easy to game plan to stop one threat, so I tried assemble a triple threat like the Giants.

“More talent at wide receiver and some depth at cornerback are still needed, but you can only do so much in one offseason. Improving in the trenches, changing defensive schemes and developing a young, aggressive defense that can get to the quarterback is more important. Receivers can come from anywhere.”

As for the actual roster, here is what he would do:

Release

Eric Barton (ILB), David Bowens (OLB), Jake Delhomme (QB), Sabby Piscitelli (S) and John St. Clair (OL).

Allow free agent to walk

Mike Bell (RB), Alex Smith (TE), Robaire Smith (DL), Chansi Stuckey (WR), Jason Trusnik (LB) and Eric Wright (DB).

Resign

Lawrence Vickers (FB): Great lead blocker. Was a college halfback and has the ability to catch the ball, as needed in West Coast Offense.

Seneca Wallace (QB): Established backup.

Abe Elam (S): Yes, this position needs an upgrade and he hasn’t played up to his billing, but not a good replacement option. Atari Bigby is hurt too often and others are too expensive for their worth.

D’Qwell Jackson (LB): (Resign for cheap.) He needs to prove himself and he is built to be a 4-3 inside linebacker.

Chris Gocong (LB): Can back up and fight for a starting spot in any of the linebacking positions.

Marcus Benard (LB): He can be a back up, pass-rushing linebacker.

Floyd Womack (OL): He can fight over the starting right guard spot and provide depth in the offensive line.

Free Agent Targets

Jared Gaither (OL): Right tackle has been a trouble spot on the offensive line for a couple of years. Why not finally solidify it? At 6-foot-9, 340-pounds and 24 years old with experience at both tackle positions, what is not to like? The Ravens will most likely lose him, as they have other pieces to fill and they have high draft picks at the tackle position.

Two defensive ends: Switching to the 4-3, the Browns have ZERO pass rushing defensive ends. My two choices: Cliff Avril and Ray Edwards.

Edwards (6-5, 268 pounds) is 26 years old. He had eight sacks in 2010, 8.5 sacks in 2009, five sacks in 2008 and five sacks in 2007. The Vikings have too many other players to resign. He has been underrated.

Cliff Avril (6-3, 260) is 24 years old, 8.5 sacks in 2010, 5.5 sacks in 2009 and five sacks in 2008. WIth 8.5 sacks on a Lions’ defense and only 24, he should start coming into his own.

Other DE options:

Charles Johnson (6-2, 275) is 24 years old and with 62 tackles and 11.5 sacks, he would be my first choice. However, after giving away Julius Peppers, I highly doubt the Panthers would lose another pass rusher.

Mathias Kiwanuka (6-5, 265) is 27 years old. He would be my second choice if it weren’t for his season-ending injuries last year and recent hip surgery.

Resign Matt Roth.

Wish list free agents (unlikely to obtain)

Chad Greenway: Outside linebacker for the Vikings. He is 6-2, 242 pounds, 28 years old and had 144 tackles this year.

David Harris: Inside linebacker for the Jets. He is 6-2, 250, 26 years old and is incredible against the run. The Jets can’t afford to resign him. He is somewhat of a liability against the pass and he won’t come cheap.

A Chargers wide receiver: Malcom Floyd or Vincent Jackson.

NFL Draft

First Round, Von Miller: The Texas A&M linebacker had 17 sacks as a junior. He would provide another threat to get to the quarterback while providing an upgrade at outside linebacker. Robert Quinn would be the second choice, but his year off and brain tumor in high school scares me.

Second Round, Torrey Smith: The Maryland product is a fast wide receiver that is a threat to go deep or break a big play every time he touches the ball. He provides more speed at wide receiver, he is a big play threat and he would improve talent at wide receiver. If he his gone, Joe Baldwin (Pittsburgh wide receiver) would provide a huge, reliable target.

Third Round, Best Available Cornerback

Fourth Round, Noel Devine: The West Virginia running back is not an every down back, but he can bring elite speed and is another big-play threat to an offense lacking playmakers. He’d be much like a Warrick Dunn in the West Coast Offense.


Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on January 21st, 2011 AT 8:00 AM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for January 21st from 07:28 to 07:31:



01/20
9:14 PM

(Subscriber) Inside Slant: Entering the offseason, the Browns roster is headed for another overhaul. http://bit.ly/hfRNmr

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on January 20th, 2011 AT 5:00 PM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for January 20th from 15:53 to 15:58:



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