Quarterback controversy is never in short supply for Cleveland Browns fans. But this year, the selection of Baker Mayfield at #1 seems to be even more of an issue than ever.
I’m sure I’ll get a lot of heat for saying this, but as fans, it’s our own fault. Too many folks simply believe whatever is told to them by the local media, don’t think or research for themselves, and just regurgitate the “Hot Take of the Day” that they heard on the radio or read on twitter.
As football fans, we’ve all seen the HBO series “Hard Knocks,” or at least heard about it. An announcement should be coming soon on which team has been “volunteered” to share a behind-the-scenes look at their preseason operation. While this show definitely has it’s share of drama – player cuts, closed-door coaches in conversation – it also lightens the mood with the hilarious Rookie Talent Shows.
I have to think the Cleveland Browns, with all their woes and newly drafted quarterback Baker Mayfield, are at the top of HBO’s “Wish List” as to which team will be featured. As a reporter, I’d love to see all the things that are normally beyond my access. As a fan, I have this perception of a “Hard Knocks Curse” that make me wary of having the Browns be chosen.
With a couple moves that shocked most of the fanbase, the Cleveland Browns selected Quarterback Baker Mayfield first overall and Cornerback Denzel Ward fourth. I’ve already decided that “Barker” Mayfield will fit right in with the Dawg Pound crowd, and for a team that seemed anti-Buckeye the past few years, the addition of Ward should thrill Ohio football fans.
The rumors that Mayfield would be the top pick started a few days ago and that seemed to prove to be correct when Roger Goodell announced his name at the podium. And choosing a Buckeye is always popular. The big question will be, can two players involved in one of the most talked about college games of the year – “FlagPlantingGate”- become teammates instead of rivals?
Merry Draftmas! I don’t know about your town, but here in Cleveland, the NFL Draft Talk starts around Thanksgiving, permeates every college football game played during Bowl Season and continues through tomorrow. We over-analyze ever player, statistic, combine exercise, Wunderlick test score, and physical measurement. (Hand Size Matters!)
Next, we listen to every interview available, soak up any social media comments and proceed to dissect the character and intent of every player. We use these things to promote the guy we like and to destroy the guy we don’t. We compare them all to former players in an attempt to make our case For or Against drafting them. And we all behave as if our opinion means something. HA!
Last season it was about defenses and backup quarterbacks. It was calm, cool, collectiveness of backup QB Nick Foles who lead the Philadelphia Eagles to a long overdue Super Bowl trophy. All 31 teams were put on notice after that and the QB carousel has been in full swing since the start of free agency.
Just in case some of you have been under a rock, here are the QB changes that have occurred in the past two-weeks of the quarterback matrix.
After a lengthy, but meticulous process, former Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins is now a Minnesota Viking. Washington traded with the Kansas City Chiefs for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a 2018 third-round draft pick, making QB Alex Smith a Washington Redskin. Smith signed a four-year, $94 million extension with Washington, while Cousins signed a three-year $84 million fully guaranteed contract.
As the 2018 edition of the NFL Combine winds down, we in Cleveland are embarking on our yearly visit to Quarterback Drama Town. While everyone agrees that the team needs to address this position NOW, the Combine numbers and game film from Saquon Barkley have opened the door to the question: Must the Cleveland Browns take a quarterback with their first pick in the draft?
As the free agent period approaches, one of the hottest names and biggest difference makers for a franchise is Kirk Cousins. I think it’s safe to say that, with the signing of Alex Smith, Washington will not be putting a Franchise Tag on Cousins which means he can start looking for his next team on March 14th.
There are quite a few teams desperately searching for a franchise quarterback, but are they all viable options at this point? Do they have the money to pay Cousins the huge contract he wants? Do they have the cap space? Are they the type of organization that he would want to play for? Let’s look at the front runners…
Times, they are a-changin’. And so is the Cleveland Browns front office. With so many hires these past few months, here’s the current list so you can keep track at home!
With four games remaining in the 2017-18 season, the Browns fired Sashi Brown and replaced him at General Manager with John Dorsey. The brilliance of the timing was not lost on me. First, they avoided a bidding war as the New York Giants were about to shake up their organization. Second, Dorsey was able to see for himself what was going on with the team in the locker room, at practices, during games. These are key things for a G.M. to see in order to evaluate both the talent and the coaches!
The Chicago Bears have little to show for a dismal 2017 season. There was so much promise entering a somewhat easy schedule, only to be beaten down by injuries and a questionable coaching staff.
In the past four years, the Bears have lived in the bottom of the NFC North. Lead by two head coaches, (John Fox and Marc Trestman) three offensive coordinators, (Aaron Kromer, Adam Gase, and Dowell Loggains), and five quarterbacks (Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley, Mike Glennon and Mitchell Trubisky). At least, for now, Trubisky is moving forward to next season.
But as silly as this sounds, it is now a matter of dignity for the Bears to beat the Cleveland Browns on Christmas Eve. They were already bested by the then 1-9 San Francisco 49ers by one point. The 49ers have managed to keep that momentum going winning four more with their future quarterback in Jimmy Garappalo.
However, the Browns are 0-14 and are looking to win at least one game this season. But it can’t be against the Bears. It just can’t.
I think my breathing might JUST be returning to normal today. Some people like close games, but if you’ve been reading my column for anytime, you know I can’t stand them! Two weeks in a row winning in overtime? NOT fun for me!
Sundays OT win was the third overtime win of this season – never before has that happened in Green Bay franchise history. Never before have the Packers won more than two overtime games in a single season. Another record? Sunday was the first time in Green Bay history that the team has won back-to-back games in overtime.
The Packers got a walk-off win for the second straight game when wide receiver Davante Adams ran for a 25-yard touchdown in overtime after first tying the game with 17 seconds left. At this point, Adams has to be one of the best receivers in the entire league.