Red Right 88

Life as a Cleveland Sports Fan

Should the Browns go defensive in the draft?

We had an interesting conversation during Sunday’s playoff games on Twitter with Ben Cox and Mark Skog about what the Browns should focus on in April’s NFL draft.

Ben threw out the idea that the Browns should use free agency to make the offense at least average, and then focus on defense in the draft to help build a killer defense. The thinking being, it doesn’t matter if your offense is just OK if the other team can’t score.

We have to say we are intrigued. The idea of picking LSU’s Morris Claiborne with the No. 4 selection, building a secondary of Claiborne, Joe Haden and T.J. Ward, and then adding a linebacker or defensive end at No. 22, is a plan that we can get behind.

With the NFL turning into more a passing game every year, and the AFC North featuring quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco and Andy Dalton, working on building the best defense in the division could be a road to success that the Browns should consider taking.

Just look at what happened to the Saints and Packers this weekend. Despite having high-octane offenses, both teams are now home for the off season.

In fact, according to Cold Hard Football Facts, here are Drew Brees stats in the Saints last two playoff losses:

  • 40-of-64, 462 yards, 4 TDs, 32 points
  • 39-of-60, 404 yards, 2 TDs, 36 points

And the Packers secondary was torched for most of the game against the Giants, especially Tramon Williams, who was thrown at eight times and allowed seven receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns.

Still don’t think defense is important?

***

Lost in all the talk about the 49ers win on Saturday against New Orleans and how great Jim Harbaugh is as a coach, is the fact that despite forcing five turnovers, San Francisco still needed a last-second touchdown to win the game.

It seems as if you should have an easier time winning if you get that many turnovers; probably 99 out of 100 NFL coaches would come out on the winning side – of course, the one who wouldn’t is Eric Mangini, who lost to Jacksonville in 2010 despite seeing the Browns force six Jaguar turnovers.

***

Now the “name coach” Jeff Fisher has accepted the head coaching job in St. Louis, he is putting together his staff.

Fisher is reportedly going to hire Brian Schottenheimer as his offensive coordinator and Gregg Williams as his defensive coordinator.

New Orleans’s defense ranked 28th in the league under Williams and the Jets’ offense ranked 21st under Schottenheimer.

We’re starting to see why Fisher missed the playoffs 11 times in his 17 years as coach of the Houston/Tennessee franchise.

***

With the Packers losing on Sunday, that’s now six years in a row that the defending Super Bowl champion hasn’t won a playoff game the following year.

Starting in 2006, the Steelers missed the playoffs twice after winning the Super Bowl, and the Colts, Giants, Saints and Packers were all one-and-done the year after winning.

(h/t Bob Papa, Sirius NFL Radio)

***

Finally, the Kansas City Star is reporting that Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli has brought the arrogant, entitled way of doing business with him from New England.

According to the paper, which interviewed more than two dozen current and former employees, who suggest that intimidation and secrecy are among the Chiefs’ principal management styles.

Among the sophomoric antics from Pioli include telling people they were no longer allowed on certain floors of the team’s headquarters and employees in offices that overlook the field must close their shades during practice.

Check out the story here, it’s worth your time.

Sounds like the Browns dodged a bullet when Pioli turned them down and went to work for the Chiefs instead.

(Photo by The Associated Press)

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