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Is Weeden the God-send that the Cleveland Browns really need? Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

Where Will Browns Land In the AFC North In 2012?


Earlier this week, we looked at the QB’s of the AFC North and who has a chance of having a great statistical season.  So far, Ben Roethlisberger is leading that poll, and surprisingly Brandon Weeden is a far away second with Flacco taking third and Andy Dalton bringing up the rear.  Given the forum this blog takes place in, I’m not surprised that Ben is leading, but is Brandon Weeden really poised to have a better season than Flacco or Dalton according to our voters?  This surprising result got me thinking and led me to the question – How good are the Browns and how well will they do in the division?

Last season, the Browns had an atrocious offense ranking near last in every category, but they were better on defense.  They were 2nd only to the Steelers (ranked 1st) against the pass and were 5th in points.  However, they were 30th against the run by allowing an average of 147.4 yards/game… ouch.

Peyton Hillis, who made the cover of Madden, was cursed with a very luke warm season – one that was very different from his 1,100+ yard season the year prior.  He’s made his way over to the Chiefs, and the Browns will look to Montario Hardesty, Brandon Jackson and rookie Trent Richardson from the ‘Bama to step up and lead the running game for the Browns.  Richardson will more than likely fill that role immediately.  His stellar play his final two years on the Tide got him drafted 3rd by the Browns, and they will be on their knees hoping he will be the answer for a running game that ranked 28th in rushing yards/game.

We already know of Brandon Weeden and the drama bound to happen at camp between current QB Colt McCoy and the rookie.  McCoy wasn’t the answer for the Browns for the last two seasons.  Will Weeden be ready to even compete for the starting job?  My guess is yes given how poorly things have gone the way for the Browns.  Oh right, and the guy is 29.  If you aren’t going to have your 1st round pick investment, who happens to be a year shy of 30, taking the snaps, then why are you even trying to manage a football team?

The Browns defense looks to be good again this season.  They made good late round picks this year in DL Billy Winn out of Boise State and LB James-Michael Johnson out of Nevada.  LB Scott Fujita is suspended for the first three games of the season due to his ‘role’ in Bountygate, which may not be much of a concern against the Eagles, Bengals and Bills.  Jabaal Sheard will be looking to emerge again this season as the teams sack leader.  He had one hell of a rookie season, and at 255lbs, Sheard is quick off the snap even though he is undersized for a DE.

Their schedule is very similar to the rest of the AFC North.  And, while playing the Colts used to be a worrisome thing, the Horseshoes might be still finding their stride with rookie Andrew Luck and the rest of the almost entirely new offense by the time the Browns roll into town.

So, I can’t believe I’m saying this but…. the Browns actually have a chance to make a run at the North.  Gulp.  That was harder to say than you think.  The Steelers and Ravens, who usually duke it out for the top spot, have the potential of falling hard and early this season.  Their schedules are front loaded with some tough games, and the Steelers have an early bye that could cost them late in the season.  If the Browns can stay consistent and make it to say 9-7, then they have a shot of at least tying for the division.  It’s doubtful that things will play out that way (come on you Brownie Homers, you didn’t think I’d really commit myself to that level of disillusion?!), but there is always the off handed chance that the offense gets behind a rookie QB and an already good defense gets even better with their run stopping capabilities.

So where WILL the Browns end up in 2012?

Where Will The Browns Land In The AFC North In 2012?

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Tags: Baltimore Ravens Brandon Weeden Cleveland Browns Colt McCoy Featured Pittsburgh Steelers Scott Fujita Steelers

  • SeanOD

    I must say that as writers who should be very objective about their subject matter it is a shock to see Weeden ranked as a #2 qb in the AFC north. 3 other QB’s are proven and have put up great statistical numbers as well as having led their teams to the playoffs. Weeden, an unproven rookie, needs to take a snap in the NFL before he can even begin to be considered in the same ballpark as the other quarterbacks in the north. Let me know what you think about this post. I’m certainly not trying to bash the Browns, but you really have to take what I said into consideration.

  • craig.nicepickcowher

     @SeanOD Not sure why you are critical of ‘us’ as writers.  I posted the poll earlier in the week and mentioned the results in this post.  No ‘opinion’ , just stating the results.  Look for yourself.
    With regards to Weeden, I completely agree with you.  It would be like placing McCoy 2nd during his rookie season.  Guys can look good on paper and in college, but the NFL is a totally different level.  Some are cut out for it.  Others are not.  Even at 29 he will have many ‘rookie’ mistakes.  We’ll see where the chips fall after Week 17.
    However, I wouldn’t go as far as saying the other three QB’s have all had GREAT statistical numbers.  And as we know – great stats doesn’t make you a great player.  Period.

  • SeanOD

    @craig.nicepickcowher @SeanOD Ok that’s fine however it is rediculous to rank a rookie ahead of ANY veteran no matter what numbers they put up. Stats don’t matter except for rookies because THEY HAVE NO STATS. Plain and simple, these rankings are rediculous and this website needs to have more objectionable writing. As a long time writer, I must say that the material I have read is more than sub-par. Maybe you should find a different angle and you will be taken more seriously. This is just extending from professional courtesy.

  • craig.nicepickcowher

    I don’t think you understand the article nor understand what you, yourself are saying.  Now that’s rIdiculous.  If this particular article is not your cup of tea, fine.  I’d keep reading to see the other posts on this BLOGGING website.  It’s pretty top notch and objectionable when it needs to be – this is a Steelers blogging website afterall.  Usually a good writer will do a little more investigating before forming an opinion like yours.  But, that’s just extending from professional courtesy….

  • Writerandmom

    @WebEdPaul My computer searches&destroys black & gold mastheads, but I perservered since it was you! Nice but I still like #TheRealMcCoy!

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  • DW

     @SeanOD  @SeanOD Wait, as a “long time writer” did you just spell ridiculous with an “e?” As a “long time writer” did you just say objectionable when you meant objective? As a “long time writer” did you say “stats don’t matter except for rookies because they have no stats” when what you meant to say is “stats only matter in regard to veterans as rookies have no stats?” As a “long time writer” did you just fail to see that this entire article is NOT an opinion but a review of how others responded to a poll and an observation of those results? As a “long time writer” are you really clear on who’s writing here is sub-par or who is at greater risk for not being taken seriously? You know, just as a professional courtesy…

  • SeanOD

    @DW Wow, you guys are some angry people. I kind of feel bad for you. This will be my last comment as I have better things to do than to continue this banter with the both of you. I really do hope that for the sake of your website, you get your act together.

  • DW

    @SeanOD@DW
    You said,
     
    “…these rankings are rediculous and this website needs to have more objectionable writing.”
     
    “…because THEY HAVE NO STATS.”
     
    “As a long time writer, I must say that the material I have read is more than sub-par.”
     
    “Maybe you should find a different angle and you will be taken more seriously.”
     
    Your critique as a “long time writer” which, as written, is indicative of some kind of expertise and/or authority is suspect. The writing you submitted as an example of your expertise is poorly written by any standard of writing hence your expertise as a “long time writer” is questionable.
     
    I felt no anger as I wrote my response, none as I read yours and none as I type this now. Any anger you experienced isn’t coming from this end.
     
    If you’re going to author a response and take the stand of an expert (what else would an “extension from professional courtesy” imply?) you should expect and be prepared for others to questions that expertise if it is not evident in your presentation. If you find the heat of such a retort too intense for your liking and perceive it as anger perhaps you’ve chosen the wrong venue in which to challenge the work of another.
     

  • craig.nicepickcowher

     @SeanOD  @DW I agree with DW – there’s no anger or hostility here.  You yourself should be prepared for a retort when you challenge the professionalism and integrity of a site like this.  As one who touts himself as a ‘long time writer’ then you should be able to have some grasp of literary comprehension – which you don’t with your loosely based comments on how this article should be interpreted.
    I appreciate your concern about this website – but we’re doing just fine, and I think we’ll be fine without you.  But, feel free to venture back – any and all are always welcome.