Cleveland Browns Daily grades Ray Farmer’s offseason moves

Posted Apr 15, 2014

Cleveland Browns Daily grades Ray Farmer’s offseason moves

On Tuesday’s “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford,” co-hosts Vic Carucci and Nathan Zegura awarded Ray Farmer with their offseason grades based on the moves and signings made this offseason.

Scott Petrak, from the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram, awarded Farmer with his offseason grade, along with his thoughts on what the future moves of Farmer and company should entail.

CBD went around the NFL to touch on hot topics regarding the San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills, by speaking with Eric Branch, from the San Francisco Chronicle, and Joe Buscaglia, Bills beat writer for WGR.

Kevin Jones, from, reflected on his conversation with Mike Pettine, Sr., the father of Browns coach Mike Pettine, Jr., who has become the “godfather” of the Browns’ coaching staff. For Kevin’s complete article, visit

Here are some highlights:

Vic Carucci: “I feel very confident about this offseason. This merits the A grade on multiple levels. First of all, the Browns went into the offseason with specific targets on what they wanted to address position-wise and where they needed to upgrade. More than that, they found ways to upgrade the overall talent level with a core group of players who are ready to contribute now. With Alex Mack, they made a resounding statement that good players don’t get away from the Browns. That gives you faith that when it comes to the (Joe) Haden’s, (Josh) Gordon’s, (Jordon) Cameron’s and the stars on this team whose contracts are going to come up, the Browns will keep them. What I credit Ray Farmer and company with is having the vision and understanding on how to put this thing together. In terms of where they are in this offseason, now it is full speed ahead for the draft. I think the free agency shopping and targeting that is going on has pretty much concluded. What this team does next, whether at the quarterback position or elsewhere, is going to be draft-driven.”

Kevin Jones: “Mike Pettine, Sr. coached for thirty-three years in Pennsylvania and his record was 327-42. He really did some impressive things there and three current coaches for the Browns played under him (head coach Mike Pettine, Jr., defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil, and linebackers coach Chuck Driesbach). He said he is very excited that his son is the head coach now because he gets to focus on offense, and offense is (Pettine, Sr.’s) favorite. To sum it up, Pettine, Sr.’s program, was accountable. When guys left, they were the best players they were able to be. O’Neil said he knew how to tell the truth to players. He never faked it, he was always honest, and at the end of the day, players respected him. Pettine, Sr. said Cleveland is in their honeymoon stage now. Everyone is excited, but he knows that a coach is measured on wins. He’s excited for his son, but he knows the pressure he is soon to be under.”

Eric Branch: “There is no new news to report on as of today (on Aldon Smith) and the way things are going for (Colin) Kaepernick would seem to be positive if you are a 49ers fan. But really, as of today, it’s still a wait-and-see. The 49ers’ (signing wide receiver Brandon Lloyd) may be because the way he played against them in recent years. They have seen him at his best, but at this point, he’s a guy who is competing for a roster spot.”

Nathan Zegura: “I give the Browns a solid 93 for the offseason. They brought in a lot of guys who will help in the locker room as well as on the field and they did their spending very prudently. It’s about constantly building your roster and for the draft to be the lifeblood of your team. You have to draft players, develop them, and then retain them. You have to find and sign your own guys and in a nutshell, that is what Farmer has done this offseason. When you retain someone like Alex Mack, you make a statement that this is a team that is going to have a really good, solid nucleus of players, plus their ten picks in the draft. They are setting this thing up the right way for the first time in a long time. Can you solve everything in free agency? No. Should you try to solve everything in free agency? No. They need to build through the draft. They certainly plugged some holes where they were needed. Now they have to go in the draft and get the best guys they can.”

Joe Buscaglia: “The Donald (Trump) story is certainly making headlines. He’s playing to the crowd here in Buffalo in saying he isn’t going to move the team and he is the only candidate who has come out and said he wants the Bills and wants to keep them here. I would also look at someone like (Boston Bruins owner) Jeremy Jacobs. He has three sons, two of which don’t have any ownership stake in the Bruins. The Jacobs family is one of the best shots for the Bills to stay in Buffalo.”

Scott Petrak: “I would give Ray Farmer and the Browns a B. I like a lot of what he has done and don’t have many complaints, but the reason it’s not higher is that they still need a cornerback and they still haven’t addressed the quarterback position. They need to get a veteran quarterback to compete with (Brian) Hoyer, but keeping Alex Mack plays a big part on how I graded them. It was imperative that they kept Mack. That’s what good teams in this league do; they keep their own talent and they draft well. I still see the needs of this team being another receiver, another lineman – a guy who can compete at right tackle or at guard, and an inside linebacker. (Craig) Robertson played okay last year, but if you brought in another guy to compete with him, you could take a big step if you find the right one. If you are a rookie general manager, you are more apt to play it safe (in the draft). I’m not saying Ray will, but if you don’t love any quarterback and aren’t convinced that (Sammy) Watkins is the next Calvin Johnson, maybe you do trade back at four to get some more picks and that’s an alternative that Farmer may be considering.”

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