Real live meanderings from an actual practicing webdork!
It is only reasonable to allow each new Cleveland Browns brain trust to have an adequate amount of time to turn the franchise around. Butch Davis had several years. Savage/Crennel had several years, and now Holmgren/Heckert have had three years. The bottom line is not very encouraging, as the team is now 0-3 and unlikely to turn things around this Thursday in Baltimore. With the Giants bouncing back, the Browns could easily be 0-6 as they head to Indianapolis. By any measure, that result would be unacceptable, and the team's brain trust will have to be held accountable at the end of the year.
To me, the drafting of Richardson/Weeden/Gordon looks more and more like an incomplete Hail Mary pass by a desperate front office that had deliberately shied away from signing free agents for three years. While Richardson is the stud one would expect as the third pick in the draft, I've never been sold on the latter two, which look to me like moves that will hold the team back in future years. Weeden's upside looks limited to being a serviceable back-up QB, and Gordon, of course, is a huge project. You need more than that out of first and second-round picks. I was on-board with Heckert until this year, but was never sure why football man Holmgren was given the business side of the Browns organization. These points will be rendered moot soon enough.
I guess I'm in the group that would be best off not asking Mike Holmgren for playoff tickets when the opportunity arises.
On the upside, Billy Winn was a pretty nice later-round pick. So, kudos there.
The only reason this game was reasonably close was the injury to C.J. Spiller. Prior to that time, the Bills were running roughshod over the Browns and headed to a multiple-touchdown margin of victory. I would tend to ignore any claims that the Browns "have been in" all three of their losses. Without that shoulder injury, this would not have been as close as it was.
It appears that the quickly-written book on the Cleveland Browns is to have a spy on Trent Richardson on every play. If so, the Bills did it to perfection against the Browns, holding Richardson to 27 yards on just 12 carries, trying to force Brandon Weeden to beat them through the air. He may have averaged just over two yards per carry, but Richardson himself didn't play badly at all. He simply was overwhelmed by a Bills team that was keying on him on every play.
One will undoubtedly hear fans and sportstalkers comment on the fact that Richardson had just 12 carries, and point accusing fingers at Pat Shurmur and Brad Childress. There's something to this, but given the Bills' defensive strategy, there should have been opportunities to pass. Unfortunately, slight misfires from Weeden and dropped passes by his top two receivers wiped out what should have been a golden opportunity for Weeden to throw the ball. The Browns simply couldn't execute.
Why is it that the Browns third and fourth receivers, Massaquoi and Benjamin, are the two that are reasonably certain to actually catch a football? What's the over/under on Benjamin moving up the depth chart?
I'm sorry, but I don't hold out much hope that Little and Gordon will suddenly "get it" and become the targets that their physical prowess suggests that they could become. I've simply seen too many swings-and-misses at second-round wide receivers for the Browns to put my cynicism aside. It's not fair to them, but I'm not seeing those flashes I would want to see if either is truly going to break through. I'm just burned out on second-round wide receivers who never become legitimate number one targets.
When did Jabaal Sheard enter the witness protection program? Why has this not been reported?
Yes, I'm not fair to Sheard, who I suspect would be doing a little bit better if Phil Taylor was still in the line-up. I was just expecting him to be more of a disruptive force.
The one encouraging thing I'm pulling from this day is the slow emergence of Jordan Cameron as a receiving threat. We've heard so much about his potential for two years now, it's good to see him actually begin to emerge.
Also plusses: Owen Marecic failed to drop a pass to the fullback, and Alex Smith did not fumble the ball when in at running back. So, we've got that going for us. Which is nice.
Someone on the Cleveland Browns coaching staff needs to take a moment to pull Greg Little over to the side and offer the following advice. "Greg", he would say, "Optimally, you would want to do things in this order 1.) Catch the ball and then, 2.) Run with the ball. Once done running with the ball, do nothing else, or you look like an idiotic prima donna on an 0-3 football team. Kthanx".
When historians write about this game, they will undoubtedly comment on Phil Savage being so ahead of his time as to be able to see a time when Cleveland Browns Stadium would be rooting for Buffalo.