*Lots of games to cover and moving faster than editors can keep up with, so forgive any typos, etc. 2,000+ word articles on preseason games ain’t easy. Going for quantity over quality to get the news out ASAP.
The Browns wrapped up an impressive preseason (4-0) with a 25–0 shutout of the Chicago Bears. I would argue that the Cleveland Browns are a better team than the Bears in every phase of the game except the most critical one – quarterback. And thus the Bears will have a better record than the Browns in 2017…and their future looks brighter too.
The quarterback that is going to get everyone in Cleveland management fired within two years, and rightfully so, is not their current awful starting quarterback DeShone Kizer. Let me re-emphasize that the media loves this guy and had him as their top QB for much of the early pre-draft process. He hit on a couple lucky long throws in Week two of the preseason and they’re all-in in love. He is going to be such a disaster in Week 1. The quarterback that is going to get the entire Browns’ management team wiped out in less than 700 days was sitting across the field…he actually started this game for a cuppa coffee – Mitchell Trubisky.
If Mitchell Trubisky had been drafted by the Browns and pushed right into the starting lineup day one, as most rookie franchise QBs seem to be these days, given the Browns solid enough offense and emerging defense – the Browns could have flirted with .500 or better this year. Instead, they’ll scratch out 4–5 wins because the quarterback can’t stop turning the ball over. The Browns have left themselves no other answer because all they have is Cody Kessler in reserve – and that Hue Jackson’s fault…and that’s why he needs to be fired. It’s his fault as much as anyone else’s what this quarterback situation has devolved into.
Trubisky is a Cleveland native, long-time Browns fan that would’ve been a story that wrote itself. He would’ve made the Browns playoff contenders within two years with title hopes soon after. Instead, the Moneyball-is-dead group did what NFL people always do – they listened to the media groupthink and passed up on a franchise quarterback. I don’t care how good Myles Garrett is — Mitchell Trubisky’s come around once every few years if you’re lucky.
Everyone in the media downplayed and mocked Trubisky for 7+ months of the year of our Lord 2017. And then in his pre-season debut, he was so Golden, so obvious…and we haven’t even scratched the surface yet…that ‘They’ all abandoned their 7+ months of nonsense and I’ve gone into hiding. I’m gonna keep shining a spotlight right in their eyes. The same people telling you tidbits on everything fantasy we’re telling you Trubisky was a stupid pick by the Bears. They ain’t saying that now. The groupthink stupidity drove Cleveland, once again, into being ‘Cleveland’. It’s a shame because there’s actually a lot of nice pieces coming together there otherwise – but you can’t roll out the worst quarterback starting Week 1 in the NFL and expect to go anywhere. It’s a shame.
All that to say – the Browns had a nice preseason, but it’s not going to matter in the regular season because their ticket to the top was on the other sideline in this game. It will haunt them for a decade.
Fantasy player notes…
— Trubisky had a cup of coffee couple of series in this game for reasons that reinforce that John Fox is one of the worst at coaches in the NFL. Why in the world you put your franchise quarterback, one who most everyone now sees as gold, even the haters – why put him out there in the meaningless Week 4 preseason game with backup to the backups protection and weapons – it makes no sense. Especially when the Browns are running with a few second-team defenders who would be starting for other teams or will be starting for the Browns in a few weeks. And especially when the opposing defensive coordinator is a known psychopath who is been suspended once already for bounties on players. Do you think he has any problem trying to make your rookie QB squeal? But go ahead and take your custom Corvette offroading.
Late hit penalties on Trubisky in this game = 1. One too many.
— There was a great cautionary tale playing out in this game when you kind of look at it with this current week’s perspective…
Jeremy Langford (5-11-0) wrapped up another garbage preseason with another uninspired performance…one that got him released by the team over the weekend. This is the same Jeremy Langford analysts were pushing at you as an RB1 this time last year. From hot, young RB talent THEY all loved and pushed as an RB1 – to now one year later is sitting on the Baltimore Ravens practice squad.
Anyone can make a scouting mistake – it just so happens this one was signed off by every man, woman and child in football analysis last year. How far off was the Langford call? You also have to remember that because THEY loved Langford THEY had to tear down Jordan Howard to go with it. How could someone so pedestrian as Jordan Howard come near the presence of luxurious Jeremy Langford? And because THEY pushed this nonsense and because John Fox is a moron – he followed right along with the crowd. Langford was a protected species last preseason and Jordan Howard was playing in this meaningless Week 4 preseason game — taking media speculation bullets on whether he’d even make the roster or not. Everyone bought into it and wrote off Howard. You redrafted Jordan Howard on my advice and many of you dropped him by Week 2…only to see him become arguably the best rookie running back of 2016 two weeks later.
In exactly 4 weeks last season the entire media and fans were proven wrong about Langford v. Howard. A year later one is the face of a franchise and the other is the face of the Ravens practice squad. That’s how fast things can change when teams and analysts back lesser talented players — eventually, the desire to win rules over groupthink and on-field changes are made. So how much patience are you willing to have with Samaje Perine taking out Rob Kelley in a similar fashion this year?
The same media is denigrating Perine in the same exact manner today – and Rob Kelley is worse talent than Langford. It’s only a matter of time. Don’t take my word for it – just follow the media is always wrong about everything logic.
— The more I see of rookie IDP Larry Ogunjobi 3 tackles, 1 sack), the more in love I am. We had nice scouting grades on him at College Football Metrics pre-draft but weren’t sure if the NFL/Cleveland would buy it/use it. They did — and the Browns are working him with the second team…but just like the previous discussion – it’s only a matter of time before Ogunjobi is starting. When he does, the Browns may have the single most talented young defensive line and all the NFL.
If they only had a quarterback…
If they only had a shutdown corner…
If they only had a great head coach for this young unit…
— What Hue Jackson sees in Matthew Dayes (10-31-0-2-25-/4), I have no idea…but you can always count on Hue to see the fork in the road of talent options and choose to stick a spoon up his ass. Terrell Watson is dumped, now emerging in Pittsburgh…and Matt Dayes was drafted on purpose and Hue cannot get enough.
How I pray somehow Watson scores 2 TDs opening day as Joe Haden returns a pick six in a 50-0 win over Cleveland by the Steelers in Week 1…and Joe Schobert has 24 tackles…
— David Njoku (2-28-0/3) was working with the dregs of society in this game. I still don’t get the appeal besides he looks sleek in his uniform.
— Speaking of weak TEs…Adam Shaheen (3-19-0/4).
My initial scouting was right on. Looks great in shorts and t-shirt practices, instantly slows down to Mr. Roboto on the field. Everything he does is stiff and slow.
At the same time, MyCole Pruitt (3-63-0/3) still looks like Jordan Reed 2.0 (and was cut again).
Does anyone besides me watch these games in the NFL personnel departments?
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