ESPN analyst John Clayton, “The Professor,” visited Browns camp last weekend and liked what he saw of the young offense:
Thanks in part to last year’s Julio Jones draft-day trade, the Browns are making a bold youth movement on offense. Greg Little, Josh Gordon, Travis Benjamin, Trent Richardson and quarterback Brandon Weeden form one of the boldest renovations on offense this league has seen in years. I like the long-term prospects. Former coach Eric Mangini cleaned out what were perceived to be problems in the locker room but left the offense lacking athleticism and speed. The young Browns offense looks potentially explosive and exciting, even though it may take a year or two to become efficient.
Read the whole thing, which includes a note on how the coaching staff “is working in more five-step drops for Weeden, a sign of confidence in the blocking and the talent at wide receiver.” And yes of course, when an NFL franchise lands extra first and second-round picks in a trade, and adds them with first and second-round picks it already had, plus an advance on next year’s second round pick, and uses all five on offensive players, four in one draft alone, it makes for an extraordinarily bold renovation by any definition.
Even better for Clayton that he mentions Mangini here as well, because it might not be a coincidence that what’s only now being lauded as an extraordinarily bold renovation has followed so shortly after widely criticized decisions like the ones to part ways with Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow Jr., and the one to pass on Mark Sanchez in favor of a trade down to land one of the few Pro Bowlers to come out of the weakest draft this league has seen in years.
In other news, never underestimate the range of Dan Gilbert’s willingness to manipulate other peoples’ idiocy for his own short-term personal gain, no matter how small and petty (special thanks to Steve and nj0 for their work in the comments here).
And finally the quote of the day is from the Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot, on a compliment that Pat Shurmur gave Colt McCoy for his performance with the second-stringers at yesterday’s football practice:
“Funny what a little coaching in a new system can do for a guy.”
Hope everyone has a great Thursday.