Jan 11, 2013; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski (center) walks off the stage after his introductory press conference with owner Jimmy Haslam III (right) and chief executive officer Joe Banner at the team

Browns Fall To Dolphins: 3 Off-Season Decisions Impacting the Results


Aug 8, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive end Barkevious Mingo (51) against the St. Louis Rams during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

This off-season the Browns started under their new regime with Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi and Rob Chudzinski under new owner Jimmy Haslam. The Browns had a large amount of cap space and all but their 2nd round pick in the draft. To say that the Browns had assets to make changes to their team is a understatement. The Browns made 2 quick moves by signing OLB Paul Kruger and DE Desmond Bryant. During the draft they made what seemed to be a small move, for very little draft considerations, to pick up Devone Bess. Yet there were moves that were made and not made that had a direct impact on Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins.

Signing Chris Owens Instead of __________

The Browns had, and have, an obvious need at the #2 cornerback position. Many CBs were available this off-season from star Darrell Revis, Keenan Lewis, Aquib Talib, Antoine Winfield, Dominique Rogers-Cromartie and Brent Grimes. The Browns sought after Grimes but were not willing to up the years and/or money to get him to sign with them instead of the Dolphins. The other starting CBs were either too expensive or too old for the current regime. While the Browns still have over $20 million to spare they did not value these players to improve the secondary. Because of that Buster Skrine and Owens were eaten alive by #2 receiver Brian Hartline. Joe Haden did a great job at shutting down big free agent signing Mike Wallace to only 1 reception but the game was lost on a out and up double move by Hartline on Skrine. Signing a upgrade could of had a big impact on Week 1′s loss.

Drafting Barkevious Mingo Over Dee Millner or Chance Warmack

With the #6 overall pick the Browns had many options to improve either their CB need as noted above or to solidify their offensive line with the strength needed for a quality run game. Millner was the highest rated CB and could of provided a solid #2 his rookie year and long term a excellent pairing with Haden. Guard Chance Warmack was considered an elite once in a decade guard, though he was drafted after Johnathan Cooper. Warmack would of slide directly in at one of the starting guard positions replacing O’Neill Cousins. As we noted this morning, Cousins was the Sadness Award “Winner” from yesterday’s game. Warmack, or Cooper, would of provided strength on the line to help open up run lanes and not had the penalties and physical mistakes the Cousins’ presence punished the offense with. In defense of the new regime Cousins is the 3rd or 4th selection to place that position and probably wasn’t in their plans when drafting this high.

“Competition” for Starting QB Job

The Browns opened up their new regime by stating that the QB job would be a competition. The Browns signed Jason Campbell and later Brian Hoyer to provide that competition. Observers noted that it was clear that Weeden was expected to win the job and was treated as the favorite from the start. Joe Thomas even noted that, to paraphrase, “I have eyes, I can see who is the starter” while the competition was supposedly in progress. Weeden was treated like a established starter and not pushed in many ways. In as much Weeden didn’t even play in the 4th pre-season game after a terrible game 3.  Had the Browns given a more open competition or played Weeden more in the pre-season perhaps he would of been more sharp or Campbell would be a veteran holding the place for a first round pick in 2014.

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Tags: Miami Dolphins Nfl Week 1

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  • Larry Tabata

    We all know we need a QB and we have a lot of young players , but we knew this before the kickoff. Lets hope they grow together as a team and better each week & we might be able to find a QB next year. I was hoping we would have got one this year but that ship has already sailed. Going to be another long year. Still hopeful with new ownership & coaches but can’t believe they got rid of Phil Dawson. That was the only solid unit on the team & they got rid of the single most productive player on the team. ????? Will watch every game and hope for the best. Go Browns!!

    • http://FactoryOfSadness.co Jared Mueller

      Larry,

      Thanks for the read. I am with you. Always hoping for the best and try to focus on the positives of Cleveland sports here. From what we understand, even from Dawson himself, the Browns made offers to keep him but in the end he decided to move on for similar money to go somewhere else to possibly win. While we could of spent more money on him, I am not sure he would of been happy with another regime change. Thankfully I think at least our front 7, TJ Ward and Joe Haden provide a base for a solid D. 1 more solid corner would finish the job on that side. A top QB in next years draft and a strong guard could finish off a solid young offense.