ESPN gives Browns no respect

In one of the dumber features we’ve seen from ESPN, they decided to project out the NFL power rankings for 2015. Yeah, this seems like an idiotic exercise, but that’s ESPN these days. Everyone is desperate for content it seems.

Their panel of “experts” ranked the Browns 32 out of 32 teams. Here’s the write-up, though you’ll have to be an ESPN member to see the whole article.

Roster: RB Trent Richardson should be the best running back in the league in 2015 and young stars like LT Joe Thomas, DE Jabaal Sheard and CB Joe Haden should be in their prime. But there is still a lot of uncertainty with the Browns’ roster for the long term. — Williamson

Quarterback: Brandon Weeden has talent, but Cleveland will want to play him right away. The concern is if he struggles early. He’s older, but will they be patient with him if he takes time to adjust to the NFL game like most rookies? He doesn’t have more physical experience, just years. Bottom line: This is a totally unsettled situation headed into 2012. — Dilfer

Draft: If Weeden doesn’t pan out — and they probably feel compelled to know soon — the Browns will be set back. The draft isn’t the reason they’re this low; the Browns have made some really good picks. The problem is they’re still waiting on a good QB pick. It’s been a long time since they’ve had one. Weeden needs to be the answer, or they’re running in place. — Kiper

Front office: Color me skeptical of the Browns’ front office — and this organization isn’t exactly patient. Cleveland’s front office is now directly tied to Weeden’s future success. I can’t say that is the perfect position to be in. — Williamson

Coaching: Since rejoining the league, few teams have had turnover comparable to the Browns. So if things don’t improve in the very near future, what are the chances that this current staff retains its jobs for the next few years? Brad Childress has taken over the offensive coordinator job. With Richardson now to lean on, expect Childress to run the ball much more than the Browns did in 2011. — Williamson

So these geniuses assume that TRich will be the best back in the NFL and that the Browns have been drafting well recently. But they also realize that Weeden was just picked and they have no idea yet on how he will do. Then they assume that if things don’t improve we’ll see a change in the regime, even though Tom Heckert clearly has been doing a great job. Matt Williamson seems to be the dumbest of the bunch.

If Weeden pans out, this might end up being the dumbest ESPN article of the decade.

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Urban Meyer close to a deal with Ohio State

University of Florida head coach Urban Meyer stands on the sideline during the second quarter of their Southeastern Conference NCAA football game against the University of Georgia in Jacksonville, Florida October 31, 2009. REUTERS/Daron Dean (UNITED STATES SPORT FOOTBALL)

Everyone is reporting it now. SPORTSbyBROOKS.com got things going with a detailed report on discussions between Meyer and Ohio State. There was nothing new about the rumors of course, but Brooks had details on the status of the discussions. SI linked to it, and then ESPN felt compelled to ask Meyer during the Michigan game yesterday about the rumor. Meyer issue a non-denial “denial” that only fueled the story even more. ESPN then issued their own report on the discussions between Meyer and Ohio State, but unlike SI they wouldn’t credit Brooks.

Bottom line – this looks like it’s going to happen. Luke Fickell isn’t going to be the head coach next year, and the Buckeyes have clearly targeted Meyer, and he seems to want the job.

Joe Haden has arrived

Cleveland Browns’ rookie Joe Haden at rookie mini-camp

I have to admit I was happy when the Browns selected Joe Haden. I saw him being interviewed the week prior to the draft on ESPN and he came across as a great kid. Check out the video above where Haden is being interviewed during the Browns rookie mini-camp, and you’ll see that same positive attitude.