Ten Steps To Rebuilding The Browns: It Starts With Quinn
Welcome to Cleveland football, another season, another failed rebuilding attempt.
Not all has been a waste however, bright spots have formed with the development of Mohamed Massaquoi and Kaluka Maiava, the compiling of eleven draft picks, the addition of Jason Trusnik and Chansi Stuckey, and the unloading of Braylon Edwards.
At over the halfway point in the season, the talks of next season have already started. Soon it will be the hiring of a Head of Football Operations, a team assessment, and then the 2010 draft.
In the draft, Cleveland has wasted far too many first round picks on quarterbacks. Let's face it, odds are good they are never going to find the next Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. Honestly, it's entirely possible there never will be one again.
With college offenses being built so strongly now on the spread design, predicting which quarterbacks will find success in the NFL is like finding a needle in a haystack.
As much as I'm hesitant to say it, building around Quinn is the only way to do it. He's a game manager and limits his turnovers.
Whether or not he ever becomes an elite passer remains to be seen, but he could be built around in the same way as QB's like Kyle Orton, Chad Pennington, Joe Flacco, etc.
1. Bring in Mike Holmgren for GM and Head of Football Operations.
Along with being a great football mind, Holmgren is a well known quarterback groomer. Helping develop passers like Joe Montana, Steve Young, Brett Favre, and Matt Hasselbeck. Having him as a leader could bring along Quinn's development more than anything.
2. Bring in Charlie Weis for offensive coordinator.
Weis knows how to get the best out of Quinn and more importantly is a proven offensive coordinator. Weis not only coached Brady at Notre Dame, but spend four successful seasons with Tom Brady in New England as the coordinator there. Getting Quinn comfortable and giving him the people to help him find success is vital to finding life in Cleveland's offense.
3. Release Derek Anderson to end the controversy.
By popular opinion and terrible performances this year, Derek Anderson has effectively taken himself out of the running for franchise quarterback. To end the controversy finally, Derek Anderson must be released or traded at the end of the season.
4. Bring in a veteran quarterback mentor.
Bringing in a veteran to mentor Quinn is another important step, a great fit that knows Mangini's system would be Chad Pennington. He's a free agent at the end of the year and coming off shoulder surgery won't garner much excitement around the league, making him a knowledgeable and suitable backup.
5. Tighten up the defense with S Eric Berry in the first round.
By my estimates Cleveland should be looking at the No. 3 to No. 5 pick in the draft this year, with likely wins pending over Kansas City and Oakland. Allowing this first round pick to be used on defense, instead of yet another quarterback as predicted by most mock draft boards, is huge in the rebuilding process. A shut down safety like Eric Berry of Tennessee, or defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska, would help immensely.
6. Draft Golden Tate in the second round.
Golden Tate of Notre Dame, is supposed to go high in the in the early second round. He's familiar with Charlie Weis' system and draws comparisons to Steve Smith and Hines Ward by scouts. Lining up Tate across from Massaquoi could potentially be a combination to rival Fitzgerald-Boldin someday.
7. Draft a power running back in the third round of the 2010 draft.
Getting a run game started takes a lot of pressure off a young quarterback and struggling offense. While it's a big need, James Davis has untapped potential and will be back in uniform next season, so the need isn't as great as a first rounder, a third will do. In the third round, there are a handful of solid backs scheduled to still be available. Johnathon Dwyer, Montario Hardesty, Toby Gerhart, and Evan Royster. Although with as good as Gerhart's been this year, it's unlikely he'll still be around.
8. Trade a 2011 fifth round pick to Miami for TE Anthony Fasano.
Quinn's former tight end at Notre Dame with reliable hands. Fasano plays for Miami but hasn't been very productive in their Wildcat offense, it's entirely possible they would give him up for next to nothing. While not putting up the best numbers in Miami, a return to an offense led by Charlie Weis and run by Brady Quinn, could instantly restore his value.
9. Draft TE Anthony McCoy of USC in the 2010 fifth round.
Although having Fasano would be nice, having a second tight end like Anthony McCoy would be great. Mangini typically employs a two tight end scheme, and having two blocking, pass catching tight ends would be nothing but good news for the offense.
10. Tighten up the offensive line with RT Ciron Black (LSU) in the third, and RG John Jerry (Ole Miss) in the fourth.
Finally it brings us to the problem of the offensive line, Ciron Black and John Jerry are big boys who've made their career on some of the best lines in college football. Locking down the right side of the line would put the last piece of the puzzle in order. A line of Thomas, Steinbach, Mack, Jerry, and Black would be one anybody could be proud of.
Always up for your opinions, what do you think Cleveland needs to do to get back to respectability?
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