The Browns are not the train wreck that some believe.


Note: On NNR today Ziffles & I discuss the Browns situation, the NFL’s issues and the SB. The podcast is on

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports wrote an article detailing his view of the Browns team issues. While I really enjoy reading his articles, I disagree on several points he made.

We disagree on the departure of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and QB coach Dowell Loggains. When Shanahan put in or was forced to play Johnny Manziel the OC tried to use the RG3 read option offense rather than design something specifically for Manziel. The problem was that Manziel had never run the read option at Texas A&M. Shanahan should have known that and designed something with which his QB would have been more comfortable.

Add to that the total disintregration of the mechanics of QB Brian Hoyer. Shanahan and Loggains were either unable to fix the problem or were unaware of the mechanical flaws. That is inexcusable. But I do think the Browns should have gotten a draft pick or two from whatever team signed them.

There was a comment about the firing of Mike Holmgren. As I said here before Mike was hired, he was the wrong choice. He had been stripped of GM duties in Seattle because he was terrible at drafting. He should have been prosecuted for theft for getting paid that much.

The Browns did blow the Josh Gordon issue by not providing a babysitter after the 2013 season. That could have prevented some of his problems. The new GM Ray Farmer missed on his 2 first round picks last year. Manziel is a disaster. Even if the Browns new staff fixes his mechanics, his lack of dedication to putting in the work that is required is a problem. Checking into rehab is the first thing he has done I can support. While I believe that new OC John DeFilippo has the experience to fix the mechanics of Manziel, I have very little faith in the rest of the offensive coaching staff recent hires.

Farmer also picked CB Justin Gilbert who was a problem child in college and continued his issues with the Browns. He also seems to have problems dedicating himself to improvement. Farmer should drafted a WR in 2014 because that position the deepest it had been in years. Even in the 4th round there were quality guys avaiable and he knew that Gordon was facing another major suspension.

The bottom line is that the Browns have a good defense and parts of a decent offense. The things they lack are an NFL quality starting QB and wideouts with speed and size. Hoyer is a quality backup but will likely not return. Manziel is a disaster but the Browns may not have a better option. No good free agent QB would want to throw to the WR corps the team has. There is no QB in the draft that is NFL ready that I trust although Brett Hundley is close and should be available with a late 1st round pick. The best bet for the Browns would be trying to get Hoyer back for at least a year.

So the Browns will likely start Manziel. With the 2015 schedule including the AFC and NFC west we are likely to hear the following: “With the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select…”

That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN

NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on Thanks for your support.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on

He also edits .

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

The Browns are not the train wreck that some believe. by

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