My Preseason Fearless Predictions Revisited

Back on May 14, I posted my “10 Fearless Predictions for This Coming Browns Season.” Since the season is pretty much over, I thought it would be fun to revisit them and see how good (or bad) I did.

Ready? Let’s fire up the Wayback Machine.

#1)      Johnny Manziel is named starting QB at some point in the season, either due to injury or winning the QB competition outright, and the NFL flexes at least one Browns game into Sunday Prime Time.

I am going to say I got this half correct. Johnny Manziel was named starting QB, but the Browns were not flexed into Sunday Night Football.

2)      The 2014 draft will produce four starters by season’s end: Joel Bitonio (who will start Game 1), Justin Gilbert, Terrance West and Johnny Manziel. And maybe even Christian Kirksey.

Got this one right. The 2014 draft produced 4 starters: Joel Bitonio, Terrance West, Johnny Manziel and Chris Kirksey. Ching!

3)      Leon McFadden does not make the team, just a year after being taken in the third round. McFadden struggled mightily in 2013 and never seemed to be able to adapt to the speed of the game. If he makes the roster, I’ll be stunned.

Leon McFadden did not make the team. Cha-ching!

4)      Three of these undrafted free agents will make the roster: QB Connor Shaw from South Carolina, RB Isaiah Crowell from Alabama State, WR Willie Snead from Ball State, WR Chandler Jones from San Jose State, or WR Jonathan Krause from Vanderbilt.

Well, I got this one almost half right. Isaiah Crowell made the team and Connor Shaw was signed to the practice squad. So, half right.

5)      And with the inevitable addition of one or more WRs that get cut by other teams or the Browns trade for, Greg Little gets dropped. Pun intended.

Greg Little was cut. Cha-cha-ching!

6)      Two players that were signed injured and never played, S Jamoris Slaughter and WR Charles Johnson, will finally take to the field in training camp. And then get hurt. And then get cut.

I got this one mostly right. Slaughter was cut and so was Johnson.

7)      This will be Jordan Cameron’s last year in the Brown and Orange. Enjoy it.

TBD but I’m confident that I’m right.

8)      Neither Ray Farmer nor Mike Pettine will be fired at the end of the season. Whoa! Now that IS a fearless prediction!

Also TBD, but I’m still confident that I’m right.

9)      The losses will not enter into the double digits this season. Double whoa! Even fearless-er!

Right on this one! At the worst, there will be 9 losses, 7 wins. Cha-cha-cha-ching!

10)   Josh Gordon will receive a suspension, but not for the entire 16-game season. I just can’t imagine the league banning the guy who led all receivers the previous season. (In receiving yards, not joints smoked.)

Right again. 10 game suspension. Cha-cha-cha-cha-ching!

Hey, I even surprised myself on this one, but I did pretty well. So far, 7 right, with two TBD.

Go Browns!


This Is The Story Of Johnny Rotten

The Neil Young song, “Hey Hey My My” certainly puts my thoughts to music after watching Johnny Football’s horrendous debut.

“There’s more to the picture than meets the eye.”

There is more to the picture. Manziel was awful in his NFL debut. I think the coaches knew he wasn’t even close to being ready, which is why he never won the starting job in camp, never won it during the season, and only got the job after Brian Hoyer stumbled badly.

“You pay for this, but they give you that.”

We paid to see an NFL team play the Bengals. What we got was a JV high school team play the Bengals.

“Is this the story of Johnny Rotten?”

Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns

Yes, it was.

“You’re Tearing Me Apart!!”

Well now I just don’t know what to think. I’m so confused and torn about this Browns’ team. Things change quickly in the NFL. A few weeks ago it seemed like Hoyer and the Browns were unstoppable and we’d all go skipping gleefully into the playoffs. While that still might happen, we find ourselves awaiting word today whether the Manziel era will begin in Cleveland. Here are my thoughts:

1. At this point, I don’t really care who the QB is if they produce wins. I’m glad I’m not Pettine today. His decision will either make him look like a genius, an over reactor, or gutless.

2. Hoyer is the hometown good guy. Handles himself professionally, it is so hard to root against him. At times seems unstoppable, he has really struggled lately, but he has quarterbacked 7 wins this season. To a Brown’s fan that is huge. He runs the offense as designed. When it works, they win and occasionally when it doesn’t, they find a way (Atlanta). I just think this is who he is, some days (drives) he’s got it, other days (drives) he doesn’t. So far, he’s produced more wins and for that I am thankful.

3. Manziel is the great unknown. An exciting play maker and rifle arm, no doubt. Obnoxious, cocky kid that if he didn’t play for the Browns, I almost wouldn’t want to see him and what he represents succeed. When I watch him play, he looks like a great college QB, and I don’t know if that will work in the NFL long term. He looked great on that one drive, but that is what is supposed to happen when you bring in a QB for a “spark”. It is something different and has a better shot at working short term. His second drive was horrendous.

4. Has any other 7-5 team within shot of the playoffs ever changed starting QBs without injury? What Pettine has to decide is can the offense work as designed? Is Hoyer the reason it isn’t working? If the answer is No the first or Yes to the second. He should start Manziel. Manziel may give them the better shot at “making” something happen. It is all going to be improvised, which could turn out really good or really bad. The pattern to beat the Hoyer led Browns is out there, Manziel may make it harder for the other team to game plan.

5. With that being said, I think Hoyer should be given the chance to finish what he started. If he succeeds it will be great, if not, we’ll know who he is and it makes the Manziel decision easier next year. I also see nothing wrong bringing Manziel into games when Hoyer is struggling. Doesn’t mean he should start the following week. Hoyer isn’t a hall of famer, but he has done a good job with what he’s been given. Give him these last four games and let him write his own place in Brown’s history. Live and die with the results and probably go with Manziel next year either way

6. I’ve contradicted my first point, haven’t I? See, I told you I don’t know what to think.