Was the the most “Browns” type start to a Browns season you could imagine? We’re used to seeing the Browns stumble year after year in opening games, yet the storylines this year are worse than usual.
And naturally, the national media is piling on (who can blame them). Colin Cowherd manages to offer all the simplistic criticisms of the Browns in this short video clip above, calling them the worst-run franchise in the NFL and proclaiming RG3’s career to be over.
The new Browns regime passed on Carson Wentz, so of course Wentz ends up getting the start in the opener against the Browns and plays very well.
The Browns were in the game in the third quarter when Cameron Erving launched a snap over RG3’s head for a safety.
After that, the Browns collapsed, and RG3 struggles the rest of the game until breaking a bone in his shoulder in garbage time on a freak play as he tried to run out of bounds.
As Browns fans we’re used to this misery, but this time I don’t think the sky is falling, though we all knew this team would have struggles this season.
I like the new regime and their approach. Pundits like Cowherd can rip the Browns organization, but this regime isn’t responsible for past mistakes.
Sure, passing on Wentz may end up haunting them, but we have to see how this plays out. Wentz had one good game against a Browns defense with many new faces, though he certainly showed the arm talent many scouts noted before the draft.
Meanwhile, the Browns did get an impressive haul of draft picks for trading down (and then trading down again), so any evaluation of their strategy will have to wait several years. The regime also grabbed more picks this preseason as they let go veterans who didn’t fit into long-term plans. Nabbing a fourth-rounder for a punter was particularly impressive.
I’m excited to see how the young kids develop. Carl Nassib looks like a beast. Corey Coleman has had some issues with drops but seems to have the speed and quickness needed at receiver. Terrelle Pryor looks like a real weapon as well. I can handle watching a young team lose if you see talent developing for the future.
I was also excited to see if the RG3 flier could work out. The kid has a great arm and could keep defenses off balance with selective use of his legs. But he clearly had issues reading defenses and running a pro offense. I feel for the kid getting hurt again, though now we’ll see a more traditional passing attack with Josh McCown. This might give us a better look at how the young wide receivers can develop.
Cowherd probably has a point that Cody Kessler doesn’t have the arm to play on the AFC North. The Browns may have wasted a 3rd-rounder on him. Hue Jackson may prove everyone wrong by developing Kessler, but Kessler had a rough preseason in the limited time he played with the third teamers. He obviously deserves much more time, but let’s hope McCown can stay healthy and guide this young team through the rest of the season.
Despite this brutal start and some possible mistakes, I’m still optimistic about Hue Jackson and the front office.