The Browns' Hard Knocks

SWC75

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#1
The Cleveland browns will be on “Hard Knocks” this season. The Browns are familiar with hard knocks, having had an awful 4-44 record the last three years but they’ve had a potentially great draft with QB Baker Mayfield, CB Denzel Ward and RB Nick Chubb, (too bad they couldn’t also get Nick’s cousin Bradley). It’s been my perception that the Browns have had a lot of close losses in that time and that rather than being totally uncompetitive, they have just found ways to lose: blown leads, mistakes at the wrong time, crazy plays, etc. I decided to chart their 44 losses by margin of defeat to see what it looked like.

Cleveland Browns 2015 Game Log | Pro-Football-Reference.com

Cleveland Browns 2016 Game Log | Pro-Football-Reference.com

Cleveland Browns 2017 Game Log | Pro-Football-Reference.com

By 1- 0
By 2- 1
By 3- 8
By 4- 2
By 5- 1
By 6- 3
By 7- 1
By 8- 0
By 9- 1
By 10- 0
By 11- 1
By 12- 1
By 13- 1
By 14- 6
By 15- 1
By 16- 2
By 17- 4
By 18- 1
By 19- 1
By 20- 2
By 21- 4
By 22- 0
By 23- 0
By 24- 1
By 25- 1
By 26- 0
By 27- 0
By 28- 0
By 29- 0
By 30- 0
By 31- 0
By 32- 0
By 33- 0
By 34- 1

16 of the 44 losses were by a touchdown or less. 7 of the 44 losses were by 3 touchdowns or more. Of the 17 games lost by 14-20 points, they led in one going into the fourth quarter, were tied in another and were within a touchdown two other times.

I’m not predicting a playoff run but the Browns may start winning their share of those close games and surprise a lot of people.
 
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#2
There's no good reason they shouldn't contend for the playoffs. Better roster than Baltimore & Cincy. Even if Tyrod is only the 24th or so best qb that's a massive upgrade from 78th or whatever Kizer was. To be terrible again Hugh Jackson would have to be as bad as everyone says - which a week ago I was skeptical but after seeing Hard Knocks, maybe he is.
 

Briancuse

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#3
Its hard to believe that Hue Jackson still has a job, if your going to change a culture of losing and embarrassment, keeping a coach who is 1-31 is tough to do.
 

RF2044

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#4
Its hard to believe that Hue Jackson still has a job, if your going to change a culture of losing and embarrassment, keeping a coach who is 1-31 is tough to do.
Context: he only took the job [after the meddlesome owner had fired several GMs / coaches after 1 year stints] if they got behind the notion that the team was devoid of talent -- which it generally was -- and needed to be torn down and rebuilt through the draft. During the interview process, Jackson outlined a 3 year plan for the rebuild, and wouldn't take the job unless the owner agreed to giving him latitude [and time] to purge the roster and start fresh, emphasizing that there would be no shortcuts, and that the process couldn't be half-arsed.

So, people can point to 1-31, but the reality is that the owner got behind the tear down, they loaded up on draft picks the past few years and have now substantially increased the talent on both sides of the ball, and it is time to see the results on the field.

If they struggle this year, then he should be gonzo. But I saw a story on the NFL network that indicated that they were down by 6 or fewer points with 5 minutes to go in the fourth quarter of something like 10 games last year. They couldn't close, with no QB, but they weren't as bad as what you might expect.

Again, with a capable veteran QB [to say nothing of a promising #1 overall draft pick], it's time to start winning.
 

Briancuse

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#5
Context: he only took the job [after the meddlesome owner had fired several GMs / coaches after 1 year stints] if they got behind the notion that the team was devoid of talent -- which it generally was -- and needed to be torn down and rebuilt through the draft. During the interview process, Jackson outlined a 3 year plan for the rebuild, and wouldn't take the job unless the owner agreed to burning the roster and starting fresh, and we're at the end of that period heading into this season.

So, people can point to 1-31, but the reality is that the owner got behind the tear down, they loaded up on draft picks the past few years and have now substantially increased the talent on both sides of the ball, and it is time to see the results on the field.

If they struggle this year, then he should be gonzo. But I saw a story on the NFL network that indicated that they were down by 6 or fewer points with 5 minutes to go in the fourth quarter of something like 10 games last year. They couldn't close, with no QB, but they weren't as bad as what you might expect.

Again, with a capable veteran QB [to say nothing of a promising #1 overall draft pick], it's time to start winning.
All fair points and I am not putting all of it on Hue, obviously that franchise is a mess, but if your trying to start over 1-31 is hard to live down. I know it was to bring in Parcells, but Rich Kotite was what like 4-28 in his 2 years with the Jets, they had to get rid of him.
 

IthacaBarrel

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#6
Context: he only took the job [after the meddlesome owner had fired several GMs / coaches after 1 year stints] if they got behind the notion that the team was devoid of talent -- which it generally was -- and needed to be torn down and rebuilt through the draft. During the interview process, Jackson outlined a 3 year plan for the rebuild, and wouldn't take the job unless the owner agreed to burning the roster and starting fresh, and we're at the end of that period heading into this season.

So, people can point to 1-31, but the reality is that the owner got behind the tear down, they loaded up on draft picks the past few years and have now substantially increased the talent on both sides of the ball, and it is time to see the results on the field.

If they struggle this year, then he should be gonzo. But I saw a story on the NFL network that indicated that they were down by 6 or fewer points with 5 minutes to go in the fourth quarter of something like 10 games last year. They couldn't close, with no QB, but they weren't as bad as what you might expect.

Again, with a capable veteran QB [to say nothing of a promising #1 overall draft pick], it's time to start winning.

Gotta get 6-7 wins this year and turn Baker loose next season one would think. I don't think Tyrod is any great shakes but he truly is a professional and a great guy to have tutoring a young QB from a work ethic / pro type of background. Funny, in the first episode when H Jackson was asking Baker if he got in when Tyrod did and he was clearly a couple hours behind Tyrod that day. Weird that he really didn't push too hard.
 

RF2044

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#7
All fair points and I am not putting all of it on Hue, obviously that franchise is a mess, but if your trying to start over 1-31 is hard to live down. I know it was to bring in Parcells, but Rich Kotite was what like 4-28 in his 2 years with the Jets, they had to get rid of him.
I get where you're coming from. I think this is a lot more like the 76ers and less like Kotite, though, in the sense that they took it on the chin to amass talent, knowing it was going to suck in the short term but pay off long term.

All of the sudden, the Browns have a bunch of talent and really good skilled players. They haven't had a quality QB--literally--in the 19 years sine the franchise came back, and now they have two.

I'd be shocked if they don't win at least 7 games this year. I'd be less shocked if they won 9 or 10 than i would be if they won > 6.

There is no doubt that 1-31 is a brutal stretch, but their approach has been methodical and purposeful. They kept trading down to load up on future draft picks, and it netted them Baker Mayfield. Jury's still out, but after years of ineptitude, they finally picked a strategy and worked towards it.

Hard to ever make progress if you are starting over every 2 years, which has been their pattern.
 

Briancuse

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#8
I get where you're coming from. I think this is a lot more like the 76ers and less like Kotite, though, in the sense that they took it on the chin to amass talent, knowing it was going to suck in the short term but pay off long term.

All of the sudden, the Browns have a bunch of talent and really good skilled players. They haven't had a quality QB--literally--in the 19 years sine the franchise came back, and now they have two.

I'd be shocked if they don't win at least 7 games this year. I'd be less shocked if they won 9 or 10 than i would be if they won > 6.

There is no doubt that 1-31 is a brutal stretch, but their approach has been methodical and purposeful. They kept trading down to load up on future draft picks, and it netted them Baker Mayfield. Jury's still out, but after years of ineptitude, they finally picked a strategy and worked towards it.

Hard to ever make progress if you are starting over every 2 years, which has been their pattern.
I don't see how they win 7 games they are in a tough division and they have to play the nfl south. They will be improved not sure I see 7 win talent. I like Mayfield but they dropped the ball on darnold he's the best qb prospect.
 
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#9
What I got out of the first episode is that I really feel for Hugh Jackson and the losses he recently suffered. That said I find him extremely unimpressive on the leadership side. Seems to get along well with the players, but beyond that I didn’t see anything that told me he would have them winning ball games.
 

RF2044

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#10
I don't see how they win 7 games they are in a tough division and they have to play the nfl south. They will be improved not sure I see 7 win talent. I like Mayfield but they dropped the ball on darnold he's the best qb prospect.
We'll see -- the draft is certainly not an exact science, but I think they are happy with Mayfield.
 

RF2044

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#12
Maybe they could have had darnold and Chubb.
I saw a thing on NFL Network around the time of the draft that discussed why they didn't select Chubb. Apparently, they had 25 or 30 near sacks, where the quarterback was able to release the ball a fraction of a second before the pass rush got there. That's the reason they went with a cornerback at number four, because they need coverage to improve. The problem was not the pass rush, it was that the quarterback was able to get rid of the ball before the pass rush got there.

I don't say this in any way is a knock on you, Brian, but that's why some people are fans and others are player Personnel front-office types who understand the strategy they're trying to execute.

Darnold isn't a sure thing, no QB prospect is. So might as well pick the one who fits what you're trying to do better.
 

Briancuse

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#13
I saw a thing on NFL Network around the time of the draft that discussed why they didn't select Chubb. Apparently, they had 25 or 30 near sacks, where the quarterback was able to release the ball a fraction of a second before the pass rush got there. That's the reason they went with a cornerback at number four, because they need coverage to improve. The problem was not the pass rush, it was that the quarterback was able to get rid of the ball before the pass rush got there.

I don't say this in any way is a knock on you, Brian, but that's why some people are fans and others are player Personnel front-office types who understand the strategy they're trying to execute.

Darnold isn't a sure thing, no QB prospect is. So might as well pick the one who fits what you're trying to do better.
Pass rushers are like pitchers you can never have enough of them. Thats how the giants beat the unbeatable pats. You have to get to the qb.
 

RF2044

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#14
Pass rushers are like pitchers you can never have enough of them. Thats how the giants beat the unbeatable pats. You have to get to the qb.
I'm certainly not going to argue the value of pass rushers.

BUT its important to recognize that the Browns already have two extremely good, young DE's who excel at pass rush -- including last year's #1 overall pick in the draft. So they bolstered another position instead, where they got more strategic bang for the buck.

My opinion only, but I think the top of the draft might have unfolded a little differently if so many teams hadn't angled to get into the top couple of picks with eyes set on QBs. I think the Browns might have preferred to go with a non-QB at #1, expecting the QB they favored to still be there at #4. But when all of those teams started making moves to climb, they decided not to mess around and took their preferred QB at #1, since QB has been such a figural need for so long. Then, I think they got the guy they valued higher than Chubb at #4.

Just because Mel Kiper mocks somebody to #1 or #4 doesn't mean that's where they should get drafted.
 

SWC75

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#16
What I got out of the first episode is that I really feel for Hugh Jackson and the losses he recently suffered. That said I find him extremely unimpressive on the leadership side. Seems to get along well with the players, but beyond that I didn’t see anything that told me he would have them winning ball games.

He's got two hard-ass coordinators. Maybe he doesn't feel like he has to be the same way. A lot of coaches have a gentlemanly demeanor and know they can get away with it because of who they hired to be on their staff.
 
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#17
He's got two hard-ass coordinators. Maybe he doesn't feel like he has to be the same way. A lot of coaches have a gentlemanly demeanor and know they can get away with wit because of who they hired to be on their staff.
Not looking for him to drop the hammer. More looking to him to do more than just cheer lead.
 
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#19
He stopped a practice to demand everybody do things faster. Very Babers-like.
I saw that last night. That was good. I was more impressed with how he addressed the team afterwards.

The response to the Callaway situation didn’t impress me.
 

STEVEHOLT

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#20
I saw that last night. That was good. I was more impressed with how he addressed the team afterwards.

The response to the Callaway situation didn’t impress me.
yeah, it was zero accountability. basically sounded like he bought the BS story about the joint being old. the "punishment" was to play the entire game.
 

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