Two Birds, One Stone: The Case of Brodney Pool

Samuel IngroAnalyst IDecember 2, 2009

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 31:  Brodney Pool #21 of the Cleveland Browns walks off the field during a timeout against the Houston Texans on December 31, 2006 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Texans defeated the Browns 14-6.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Four concussions in five years.

Brodney Pool has definitely been a marked man with his aggressive hits and over-the-middle coverage.

In the last two years, Pool has made huge steps in becoming one of the better safeties in the league, despite an atrocious secondary in Cleveland. Much of those poor stats, however, are padded by the big plays given up routinely by cornerback Brandon McDonald.

It all leads up to the big question: What to do about a man taking so many head injuries? It's not safe to have him play, it's entirely possible he could suffer long term damage if he takes another big hit.

Mangini has suggested looking into a special helmet with more protection. Great thought, too little, too late. That should have been a priority after the head injury in the preseason game.

Pool is just another in the long line of players injured this year. Often times they've been unnecessary and reckless, like in the case of James Davis, and now, Pool.

We can complain about players dropping balls, but in all fairness, it's coaching that has dropped the ball the most this year. Your players that lay themselves on the line for you week after week need protection above all else.

So what is there to do? Pool's tough, there's no question that he'll be back in uniform next season if there's any possible way the doctors allow it.

The special helmet is a great start. Pool needs more protection around his head, but playing safety, he's always going to go full bore and continue to put himself in danger.

The only reasonable answer is to kill two birds with one stone.

Brandon McDonald needs to sit down. Bench McDonald and convert Pool into a cornerback. His coverage skills far surpass all his other traits as it is. 

In 2006 when he started 8 games at cornerback in place of injured Leigh Bodden, he had 54 solo tackles and 13 assisted tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception, and 7 pass deflections.

Having Pool opposite of Wright opens up the safety position for Mike Adams to get some reps and locks down the other corner position. 

This takes care of the injury concerns by moving him into a coverage role instead of forcing him to jeopardize his health by flying around in the middle like a madman.

Adams is a suitable replacement, hard hitting, and a hard worker. He'll fill in fine for the rest of the year.

Next draft, take Eric Berry of Tennessee in the first round and Darrell Stuckey of Kansas in the third round. This takes care of the safety positions.

Simple solutions, better coaching, and a healthy team. This isn't rocket science Mr. Mangini.

Run a lap, you've earned it.