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In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the category “Ryan Tannehill”

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.

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Odds & Ends with the Browns

We all know Cleveland Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson can make a tackle – after all he led the AFC last year with 158 of them – which is one of the reason’s the team rewarded him with a five-year deal with $19 million guaranteed.

But how many of those 158 tackles had true value? Well, according to Pro Football Focus, not as many as Browns fans might like for that kind of money.

According to the site, Jackson had 94 tackles – 19 more tackles than any other linebacker – in run defense. Sounds good so far.

But Jackson was on the field for a ridiculous 511 snaps where the opposing team ran the ball, meaning he recorded 18.4 percent of his tackles against the run, dropping to fifth overall in the league. Still not bad.

Jackson led the league with 52 stops (the site takes into consideration down and distance when accounting for a positive tackle) but that was only two more stops than Kansas City’s Derrick Johnson, who had 50 stops on 20 less tackles.

So when you get to the money stat, the Run Stop Percentage which measures how often a defender was responsible for stops in relation to how often they were on the field, Jackson doesn’t even make the Top 20 in the league.

Something the Browns may want to work on if they hope to improve on their 30th-ranked run defense.


Sticking with the stat game, Pro Football Focus looked at which wide receivers pick up the most yards per route they run.

And it’s no surprise the Mohamed Massaquoi was at the bottom of the list, gaining a meager 0.93 yards per route run, good for 104th in the NFL.

Interestingly, Jordon Norwood scored out at 1.60 yards per route run, picking up 268 receiving yards on 167 snaps. Not great by any stretch, but a definite improvement over the disappointing Massaquoi.

Looking at those numbers, it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise if Massaquoi’s time in Cleveland comes to an end soon after the draft.


According to Peter King in his Monday Morning Quarterback column, the Dolphins are showing serious interest in Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

King writes that “club officials, including GM Jeff Ireland and coach Joe Philbin, dined with Tannehill in College Station Wednesday night, then spent about 90 minutes with him on the greaseboard Thursday after the workout.”

Sounds like Tannehill could draw some trade interest if the Dolphins decide they must trade up for him. And the Browns should be right in the middle of it, although there’s little reason to think they would be the ones moving up to take Tannehill.

(Photo by Getty Images)

The Game is Afoot

It’s the NFL off-season, which means rumors, speculation and misdirection are the currency of the land until the draft on April 26.

And the Cleveland Browns are going to be in the thick of things, probably right up until they – or someone – makes a selection with the fourth pick of the first round.

The only thing we (may) know for certain is the Browns will not make an attempt to move up to No. 3, as there are four players after quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III who would fill a major need on the Browns. General manager Tom Heckert told The Plain Dealer that there are five players the Browns would be comfortable selecting with their first pick.

Because of that, the team may be willing to trade down – just not too far.

“We’re most likely going to stay at No. 4 and we know we’ll get a really good player there,” Heckert told the paper. “But there’s about five guys we really like, so we would consider trading down — but probably only to five, six, seven or eight.”

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