News

Print
RSS

Browns’ coach, draft and free-agency talk

Posted Jan 6, 2014

Senior Editor Vic Carucci answers fan questions from the Browns’ official Facebook and Twitter pages, and Daily@ClevelandBrowns.com.

You’ve got questions and comments that you submit to the Browns’ official Facebook and Twitter pages, and Daily@ClevelandBrowns.com. Here’s what I have to say about what you have to say: 

Beechman says: “Hey, Vic, why not Mike Shanahan? Please, no Johnny Football!!!!!”

I say: I realize that Shanahan has name recognition going for him in a big way, Beechman, but that’s about all he has at this point.

A lot of years have passed since he won those Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos. Yes, he did lead the Washington Redskins to the playoffs after the 2012 season, but that team’s dramatic regression a year later did much more than prompt his firing. It also raised serious questions about his ability to manage an extremely challenging situation involving his quarterback, Robert Griffin III, and the resulting team-wide ramifications.

Griffin might have made it tough, if not impossible, for Shanahan to do right by him with the offensive scheme that he and his son, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, put together and Kyle’s play-calling. Perhaps RGIII’s struggles to read defenses and consistently throw the ball effectively contributed to his running more often than was good for his health, whether by design or default.

But there was a disconnect between the head coach and the quarterback, and I believe it was up to the head coach to fix that. The fact he didn’t is the single-biggest reason he was fired.

On that basis, alone, I don’t see Shanahan as being the right choice for the Browns, who will be building their future around a couple of young quarterbacks: the rookie they will likely select early in the draft and Brian Hoyer, who only has three career starts.

As for Johnny Manziel, I hate to break this to you, but I strongly believe he is someone in whom the Browns have a great interest and I would not be the least bit surprised if they draft him in the first round.

I think there is a whole lot to like about the guy. He is an incredibly dynamic talent who is exciting to watch and has the ability to find a way to make plays when they aren’t there.

Will is run-around, ad-lib routine work as well in the NFL as it does in the college ranks? Probably not, but that’s where coaching comes in. Regardless of which quarterback the Browns draft, they need to find the right head coach or the right offensive coordinator (especially if the head coach is defensive-oriented) or both to maximize the skills of a young passer.

William says: “We aren’t going to let the Pro Bowlers wander off, right? Contracts for everyone!”

I say: I hope not, William, but that remains to be seen.

As far as I know, center Alex Mack, who is a Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection, and T.J. Ward, who is an All-Pro selection and Pro Bowl alternate, are still slated to become free agents.

Obviously, in lieu of a long-term agreement, the Browns could place a franchise tag on one of them to make sure he doesn’t enter the open market. That would secure the player for one season and, at the very least, buy some time until a longer-term deal (which would be the preference for both sides) is worked out.

My sense is that agreements can always be reached before the free-agency period begins, and the Browns, with more than $30 million in salary-cap room, don’t feel any particular pressure to have to get something done to make sure that both players’ new salaries would fit under the cap.

It would also seem logical to wait until the new head coach is hired and a staff is put in place to see what sort of schemes will be utilized as a result, and how that might impact all of the players on the roster. You never know what ties coaches might have with players from other teams who could become available via free agency and fill potential holes created by free-agent losses.

>>Carucci’s Call is presented by Revol Wireless. Save With Us.

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, for Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com.

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/viccarucci or by e-mail at daily@clevelandbrowns.com or by calling 855-363-2459.

Recent Articles