OBR Daily Blog 2/3

The same season the Steelers are back in the Super Bowl, Bill Belichick is coach of the year. Of course.

OBR Podcast – Post-Script
Dave Kolonich on February 3rd, 2011 AT 5:56 PM

In case you missed it, the OBR Podcast was back on the airwaves last night. 

Among the topics covered were the state of the Browns heading into the early stages of the offseason, the new arrivals among the coaching staff, the possibility of a lockout and some draft prospects on the horizon.

OBR Podcast – February 2, 2011

As a bit of a post script, one thing is clear….

Or in the words of Don Delco, "it all comes down to talent."

While the arrival of a new head coach and defensive coordinator signals a shift in overall team philosophy, the naked truth is that the Browns desperately need to add some playmakers this offseason – regardless of scheme.

Offensively, this is a team that made some minor strides in 2010, but still lacks any type of an outside threat.  The identity of this offense will be difficult to change, as Peyton Hillis and Ben Watson were the only consistent contributors last season.  For a new passing offense to emerge, at least one wide receiver needs to arrive via the draft.

Of course the question here becomes, is wide receiver a first-round priority?

Taking a wideout with the sixth overall pick is a risky proposition – and one that may not be justified this year.  While there is some nice talent at the top of draft, including Julio Jones and A.J. Green, neither player could be considered anything close to a lock.  Further down the list, there are some intriguing second-round prospects, including Leonard Hankerson, Titus Young, Torrey Smith and Jon Baldwin.  However, every Browns fan knows the lineage of recent second-round receiver selections, including the likes of Andre Davis, Quincy Morgan, Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi.

Last night, Lane Adkins hit on the reality that the Browns also need to reform an aging defensive front seven.  Regardless of a scheme shift, the only certainties on the current roster include Ahtyba Rubin, Scott Fujita and possibly Chris Gocong.  Simply put, talent is needed everywhere.  From adding some traditional defensive ends to talent all over the linebacking corps, GM Tom Heckert has some serious work to do.  In this sense, Brent Sobleski hit on Missouri's Aldon Smith as a potential target.  But again, the same question regarding the wide receivers has to be asked:  is this the best option at number six?

Perhaps a quick glimpse at the recent drafts of the Philadelphia Eagles – where Heckert was heavily involved before coming to Cleveland – could provide the answer.  The Eagles have invested heavily in drafting both offensive and defensive linemen at the top of the draft, before devoting second and third round picks to the offensive skill positions.  Of course, it's worth noting that the Eagles have drafted in the later portions of the first round – something foreign to the Browns over the past decade.

But then again – to channel Adkins – much bigger problems are on the horizon beyond the draft.  There is a great chance that a labor lockout leaks into the Spring months, which could easily derail any momentum the Browns may find in April.  While I'm not ready to call the looming lockout a crisis for the Browns, it's discomforting to think of a new coaching staff trying to implement a lot of fresh terminology among a roster that will look dramatically different once the season actually begins.

As for the labor strife – look for this topic to vault to the forefront of all post-Super Bowl talk.  For a quick primer on the issues involved, check out the following link:

NY Times – What's At Stake In the NFL Labor Talks

And in the meantime, we'll all become honorary Packers fans this weekend.

Speaking of which, here's Part Two of my Super Bowl pick:

Being that the Karma of Big Ben is the most powerful force in the NFL universe, the luckiest QB to ever play the game will likely throw seven interceptions, break two major bones, get arrested at halftime and impregnate half the viewing audience – then of course will somehow win his third Super Bowl title, before being elected Governor of Pennsylvania. 

Just a hunch.

5:44 PM

Stop with the Favre Questions Already: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has enough to worry about try… http://bit.ly/hEQIKl

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on February 3rd, 2011 AT 7:00 AM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for February 3rd from 06:34 to 06:36:

8:38 PM

Vote for our friends at DraftBreakdown.net in the About.com “Best Draft Blog” awards. They deserve it! http://t.co/v75beHq

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