Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

A Case for Morris Claiborne

Forget Trent Richardson, Justin Blackmon, Ryan Tannehill or Brandon Weeden.

If the Cleveland Browns want to win, they need to draft LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne.

How do we know this? Because while big-time offenses may sell tickets, they don’t win championships.

Cold Hard Football Facts found that 53 teams in pro football history scored more than 30 points a game in a single season (46 from the NFL, three from the AAFC and four from the AFL). Of those 53 teams, 39 did not win a championship.

Of those 53 teams, 31 of them have played in the past 50 years and only five won championships – the 1991 Redskins; 1994 49ers; 1998 Broncos; 1999 Rams and 2009 Saints.

So while the Browns definitely need to do something to help the offense, they don’t need to do it with the fourth pick in the draft – the offense can wait its turn.

The Browns need to continue to work to build a defense that can bring the pain and shut down the Steelers, Ravens and Bengals. Pair Claiborne with Joe Haden in the secondary and suddenly the linebackers don’t look so suspect.

Pair Claiborne with Haden and suddenly Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco and Andy Dalton don’t have anyone open, which allows Ahyta Rubin, Jabaal Sheard, Phil Taylor and Frostee Rucker more time to make their life miserable (instead of the other team making Browns fans miserable).

If the Browns can keep the other team off the scoreboard, then the offense won’t be under so much pressure and any improvement – no matter how minimal – could start showing results in the standings.

Let the draft “experts” and other people get excited about offensive weapons – defense is where it’s at.

Two weeks and counting to draft night.

***

If you like him so much, you take him: So Colts owner Jim Irsay thinks Tannehill “is a hidden gem in this draft, a quiet secret who was always sneaking up to #3″?

Good, then let him draft Tannehill with the first pick.

***

Two words to remember: JaMarcus Russell: With all the hype about Tannehill and how is supposedly climbing up toward the top of the draft, it would do Browns fans well to remember the hype surrounding JaMarcus Russell.

According to Pro Football Talk, former Baltimore coach Brian Billick said Russell – one of the biggest busts in NFL history – was the player the Ravens liked the most in the 2007 draft.

“We did a pretty decent job, and obviously they continue to do a phenomenal job in Baltimore, with Ozzie Newsome and his group,” Billick said. “JaMarcus Russell was the highest-rated player I’ve ever seen on any of our boards. So we all missed on JaMarcus Russell. Make no mistake.”

Something to keep in mind.

***

Johnny Damon, huh?: The Cleveland Indians are reportedly in talks to sign 38-year-old outfielder Johnny Damon (if you believe Damon the deed is already done).

Damon hit .261 with 16 home runs and 73 RBIs in 150 games last season with Tampa. He would presumably platoon with Shelley Duncan in left field.

“Well, absolutely, I mean, that’s what Cleveland has offered me and I need to go out there and show people I can still play there,” Damon said on MBL Network Radio. “Right now Shelley Duncan is the starting left fielder. I know they are going to rotate me in and give him a breather but, you know, I also understand this game, too. If Shelley Duncan is on fire at the plate he’s going to play and if I am they are going to find a place for me. So I’m going to go there and re-join a few former teammates – Shelley Duncan, Derek Lowe, Casey Kotchman – and go and try to have as much fun as we can and try to win some ballgames.”

Of course, Damon only played 16 games in the outfield last year, hasn’t been a regular outfielder since 2009 and our 8-year-old daughter has a stronger throwing arm.

But the Tribe is batting a league-low .179 so they need to do something with the offense. Of course, the season is only five games old and Damon will need a few weeks to get into shape … so we’re not totally sure what the team is thinking here.

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One thought on “A Case for Morris Claiborne

  1. Anonymous on said:

    +1

    GB was losing 36-34 games until Caper showed up as DC and then 2 years later they won a SB. Ditto NO until Gregg Williams arrived (yeah bounty gate)and buitl their ZD.

    Best weapon against pass happy teams is a D to make them face 3rd and long on every series!

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