Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 2/21/12















We all know that the franchise mode in Madden is fun, and the detail-oriented amongst us loved NFL Head Coach. While these games may be fun, we all know in the back of our minds that nothing can replicate the feeling of sitting in our favorite team’s front office and having the ability to make the big decisions that will help the Lombardi Trophy wind up in our team’s trophy case in February.
 
Many of us may be adults, but we're never going to be too old to daydream about what we'd do if we had the opportunity to lead our favorite teams.
 
What would I do if I ran the Browns?

If I ran the Browns…
 
…The Browns would be major players in free agency.
 
There aren’t very many positive memories that Browns fans can take away from Romeo Crennel’s disastrous tenure as head coach of the Browns. The 10-6 season in 2007 was memorable, but since it didn’t lead to a playoff appearance, many Browns fans tend to forget about this season.
 
However, one notable characteristic of the Crennel regime that has been sadly absent in recent years was the Browns’ pursuit of high-profile free agents. During Crennel’s tenure as coach, the Browns signed a variety of talented free agents such as Eric Steinbach, LeCharles Bentley, Joe Jurevicius, Dave Zastudil, Ted Washington, and Willie McGinest. If injuries had not limited the success of many of these players, the Browns would have been a much better team.
 
This isn’t to say that the Browns’ recent free agent signings haven’t been bad. Players such as Scott Fujita and Dimitri Patterson have been solid contributors for the Browns.
 
However, the Browns have not pursued the type of talented, high-profile free agents that would help push the team into contention and dramatically upgrade the talent on the roster. Despite having an owner who has stated that he is willing to spend whatever it takes to improve the team and having multiple needs on both sides of the ball, the Browns have rarely been linked to the top free agents that will hit the market this season. Perhaps the bad memories of the Browns’ failures with high-profile free agents such as Andre Rison and Jeff Garcia have affected the Browns’ thinking with regards to free agents, but the Browns have rarely shown an inclination to pursue the type of difference-maker who will help the team return to the playoffs.
 
The Browns had one of the worst wide receiving corps in the league last season, and several talented wide receivers will be hitting the free agent market this spring. If I ran the Browns, I would pursue DeSean Jackson, Dwayne Bowe, Mario Manningham, Vincent Jackson, Robert Meachem, Marques Colston, Danny Amendola, and the other talented receivers on the market and I would not rest until at least one of them became a Brown. Who wouldn’t be ashamed to show up on one of these receivers’ doorsteps at the stroke of midnight when free agency begins with a blank check, a bottle of champagne, and a personalized jersey? This guy.
 
 
…The Browns would give Colt McCoy one more season at quarterback.
 
Finding a solid starting quarterback is harder than finding a four-leaf clover. Undrafted free agents like Kurt Warner have shocked the world and led their teams to the Super Bowl, while heralded No.1 draft picks like JaMarcus Russell and Tim Couch have failed to win a single playoff game or sustain any type of meaningful success on the field.
 
The Browns are no stranger to difficulties at the quarterback position, having started over 12 different quarterbacks throughout the 12 seasons since their return to the NFL in 1999. After Colt McCoy was drafted in 2010 and led the Browns to victories over the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots during his rookie year, some fans believed that McCoy was the Browns’ quarterback of the future. Unfortunately, McCoy’s consistent struggles throughout the 2011 season have put his future as the Browns’ starting quarterback in doubt.
 
Consequently, speculation that the Browns will draft a quarterback in the first round has run rampant in the Cleveland area in recent weeks. Recent reports indicate that the Browns may trade their two first-round picks to move into position to draft Robert Griffin III to be their quarterback of the future.
 
Admittedly, RGIII has potential and mesmerizing talent, but there is no guarantee that he will be successful in the NFL. Furthermore, the Browns have far too many holes on both sides of the ball that need to be addressed in the first round, and trading away one of their first-round picks for the opportunity to move up one or two spots would deprive the team of the opportunity to obtain badly needed talent.
 
The Browns had one of the worst wide receiving corps in the NFL last season, as well as one of the worst running back corps for much of the season when Peyton Hillis was out with injuries. McCoy may be a sincere and dedicated man of faith, but he is not a miracle worker, and to expect him to have succeeded with the talent on the Browns’ roster is absurd.
 
If the Browns bring in some veteran wide receivers and head into 2012 with Hillis on the roster and McCoy still struggles, the Browns should replace him after next season. However, given the circumstances that surrounded him last season, he deserves one more chance to show that he can be the franchise quarterback.
 
 
…the Browns would bring in Bernie Kosar as a coach.
 
Until Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert’s master plan comes to fruition, the Browns will be one of the NFL’s underdogs. Even when the Browns return to the place of prominence that they held during the 1980s—and they will—the Browns will most likely still be viewed as one of the NFL’s underdogs.
 
When fans think about some of the biggest underdogs that played in the NFL, they think of players like Doug Flutie and Drew Brees—guys who may not have had the measurables to be successful in the NFL but who proved all of their doubters wrong with their stellar play on the field.
 
Bernie Kosar is another of the NFL’s most famous underdogs. Kosar was not the biggest, fastest, or most physically talented quarterback, but his determination, intelligence, and courage helped will the Browns to a prolonged era of success during the 1980s.
 
Anyone who has heard Kosar’s commentary during a Browns preseason telecast knows that Kosar still remains a student of the game and can effortlessly break down game film. If Kosar would be able to impart even half of what he knows to whomever is behind center next season for the Browns, the offense would have the potential to improve dramatically.
 
Perhaps more importantly, bringing Kosar into the fold in an official, visible capacity would help reengage the Browns’ fan base, many of whom have fond memories of watching Kosar lead the team to victory in good old Cleveland Municipal Stadium. The mere sight of Kosar on the sidelines would provide an emotional uplift for any fan who remembers the days when Kosar would outsmart opposing defenses on a regular basis.

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