|Gregg Williams is my new hero. I believe in him an his defense, and defense alone might cause the Browns to win a few games.|
It's not possible to project much in Pro Football, but if you predict the Browns are going to lose a lot of games, it's usually a safe prediction. This year, I think they had the talent to win about 7 or 8 games. But the plan is to collect young talent, above the desire to win. The Browns are seeking to get excellent draft position, by getting rid of veterans like Joe Haden, Terrelle Pryor, John Greco, Cameron Erving, Stephen Paea, Gary Barnidge, Josh McCown, RG3, DeMario Davis, Brock Osweiler and, probably, Joe Thomas. I expect that Thomas will go for a second round pick later this year. That is simply too much to give away.
The Browns have added key draftees in Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers, DeShone Kizer and David Njoku. Jason McCourty, Calvin Pryor, J. C. Tretter and Kevin Zeitler are the main free agent additions. That's a lot of talent, but there were a lot of losses also.
One of the most controversial decisions is to start DeShone Kizer in his first year. It's almost unheard of for a 21 year old to succeed in his rookie year. I hope I'm wrong, but I think Kizer is going to have a rough time for the first year. I don't see him as the first successful 21 year old quarterback in the NFL. To the contrary, he was very rough at Notre Dame, and probably needs work on fundamentals. Last year we had one of the NFL's worst defenses versus the run. The front seven consisted of Ogbah, Shelton, Meder, Collins, Kirksey, Davis, and Cam Johnson. This year it will be Garrett, Shelton, Coley, Ogbah, Collins, Schobert and Kirksey. In other words, Meder, Davis and Johnson out, Garrett, Coley and Schobert in. That seems like a very significant change. It will be much harder to move the ball against us, and we have some significant new players in McCourty, Calvin Pryor and Jabrill Peppers in the secondary. I look for major improvement on defense.
My guess is that the Browns will be competitive in most of the games that they play. However, the Front Office has established that they don't mind losing, and so I suspect that this attitude will permeate to the individual players.The nature of football demands that you try your best to win as many games as you can every year, and I think the Coaches and players will be worn down by the Front Office's plan to weaken the team in order to generate high draft pics. Accordingly, I can see the Browns blowing several games that they should win.
This team looks like a 4 win team, which will put them in good position for the 2018 draft, which is shaping up to be the richest draft in NFL history. I believe that there will be at least five quarterbacks that will project as first round draft picks, and the Browns will probably pick one up, just as the Chargers (for example) felt compelled to draft Philip Rivers even though they had Drew Brees at the time.
Will Hue Jackson survive the year? Maybe, but he's in a bad situation with the General Manager giving away his star players to teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers. Coach Jackson will try his best, but he's only human. There may come a time when he can't co-exist with the tanking Front Office.