Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 9/18/13
“I think the proof in that will come as we keep playing. I think that people are going to see that we need to play hard and prepare and do everything that we can every week. Coach is going to do everything that he can to support that. I think they’ll see as we go out on the field that that is not the case.” -Joe Banner Well except for this week of course. This week on the road, starting third string quarterback Brian Hoyer, and with Chris Ogbonnaya and Bobby Rainey the only actual running backs on the roster it would be hard to say that the team is really putting itself in the best position to win. Rainey was brought in on September first, when the Browns were awarded him from the waiver wire. He spent the preseason with the Ravens where he ran for 89 yards on 23 carries and a pair of touchdowns. The second year back from Western Kentucky has never had a carry in a regular season game. Chris Ogbonnaya was moved to fullback at the start of training camp. He likely will get the bulk of the action Sunday. Even if Willis McGahee comes in tomorrow and wows the front office with his physical condition, it would be difficult to image him seeing much action this week. (McGahee suffered a torn MCL and had a compression fracture to his right tibia last season in Denver.) Why do I bother talking about the Vikings game when this Trent Richardson trade is obviously about the future? Because that’s next game. Because I for one can’t fathom talking about the 2014 NFL draft before the third week of the regular season. Because I was excited for this year, and now it seems that was foolish. “I think we’ve both said that this wasn’t something negative about Trent, as much as it was the value we think we got in terms of what we feel we need to do to move the franchise forward and get it to where we need it to be, and that we thought that the (running back) position does well to do that.” -Joe Banner Nobody really knows what Trent Richardson’s ceiling is. He has struggled with injuries. He has run tentatively at times. He struggles in protection schemes. He has also shown flashes of being a really good back who can make defenders miss and run over others at times. Is that kind of player only worth a mid-twenties draft pick? Is that the kind of league we are looking at now? Possibly. It is possible that no other team would have given a first round draft pick for Richardson. It’s possible that Jim Irsay is the only owner desperate enough to take a chance on Richardson, and give up a decent pick to do it. I have a hard time believing that if this group thought that highly of Richardson they would have limited his touches in the preseason and the first two games, and they certainly wouldn’t have traded away a player they thought could be a foundational player. The Browns now own a pair of picks in the first round, the third round and the fourth round. In addition they have their own pick in the second, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. Seven picks in the first four rounds of the draft should provide the Browns with the ammo they need to move anywhere in the draft they want and get the franchise quarterback that this group has been talking about since it took over. “The opportunity as an organization was there for us to have a chance to get better, ultimately, and I felt like it was the right decision overall.” -Rob Chudzinski I hope that Rob Chudzinski’s confidence in this front office is warranted. Not just confidence that Michael Lombardi and Joe Banner will draft well and bring in quality offensive free agents, but confidence that they will stick with him when those players are in house. The NFL is a what have you done for me lately business. You don’t have to go back far in Cleveland’s past to see that trend. Pat Shurmur: 32 games. Eric Mangini: 32 games. Romeo Crennel: 64 games. Butch Davis: 58 games. How many wins do you think the Browns are good for in 2013? Anyone still optimistic enough to say six? With an 0-2 start, losing Brandon Weeden for who knows how long and losing Trent Richardson to the Colts would anyone care to take the over? This 2-14, or 3-13 is going to be on the head coaching resume for a long time. I hope you are behind the move, and I hope the front office is behind you when the fans are screaming about losing five or six division games again. I hope that whatever quarterback they take is the franchise player that can really play and play quickly. “We have to earn their belief and trust in the decisions we’re going to make as a group, and I don’t expect them to trust that until we prove that the trust is well placed. So, I understand the skepticism for now. We have to do what we think is right, move the franchise forward and get it to where we want it to be.” -Joe Banner It’s a tough sell. It’s a tough sell for a fan base that has been waiting as long as the Cleveland fan base has been waiting. Every new group that comes in asks for patience. This year there were supposed to be leaps forward. Trust is earned when you tell the fans the real reasons for the moves that you make. Trust is earned when you start rewarding the fans by trying to win the games on this year’s schedule. As always, I hope I’m wrong about this. I hope that the team finds a way to win games this season, because I’m just really tired of losing.
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