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Ken Carman: Learning From The Browns Mistakes, And Others

Author: Ken Carman | 92.3 The Fan

by Ken Carman

Listen to The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima, weekday mornings from 6 am-10 am

Let me start by saying this: Myles Garrett is great. If the Browns took him number one, I’d be an idiot to tell you that’s a bad pick because he’s really talented and the Browns need talent desperately.  I’ll say that to anyone who calls, tweets, comments, emails, whatever. They’re at the bottom of the barrel trying to climb out and are in no position this spring to get too choosy or cute.

Now that THAT is out of the way, on to the most pressing issue.

The Browns need a quarterback like you need air. They need a line to protect that quarterback, so thank God they have about a dozen picks this year (before compensatory choices) so they can get some quality to go with some of the players coming back, but the Browns need a quarterback.

Where that QB comes from, who knows? I’ve made my opinion known of Mitch Trubisky, but he has to declare first. Then comes the question on where to take him, and if the Browns can really have it all and take him with the second first round pick? There is also a question of whether the Browns would really be in the market for Jimmy Garoppolo. That option though is for an opinion next week.

2016 has been a year of reflection for Browns fans. It took years to bring the Browns to the brink of history. It’s not just one year of ineptitude that brought the Browns to this lowly state, and we’ve examined the biggest causes for that over this season. 2016 isn’t just for that, it’s also for learning from other teams and their strengths and mistakes.  The team I want to learn from is Philadelphia.

Looked at as the model for upcoming success in week one, the Eagles have fallen on hard times. Injuries have taken their toll. Tape has gotten out on Carson Wentz and now he finds himself trying to finish the season on a strong note while handing the Browns an even better pick in 2017.

On Tuesday, Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Enquirer wrote an opinion piece on Carson Wentz stating that Wentz shouldn’t play Sunday vs. Baltimore because of injuries on the offensive line, and the Ravens prowess for pass rushing. The article startled me. It was like I was reading us.

I brought up the article to Lima during the show Wednesday morning. As I expected he, and a lot of callers and listeners agreed with Ford about Wentz. It’s in this where I find the exact reason why we argue against quarterbacks in the first place.

It’s been so long since the Browns have been good that Murphy’s Law has become the law of the land. You’re telling me the day might come where the Browns draft a 6’3+ tall quarterback, who is 225lbs+, who has arm strength and some accuracy and we’re going to deny a chance to get better with that quarterback.

Fans are terrified of injuries, I get that, but coaches aren’t. The only reason a football player shouldn’t be on the field is if he doesn’t know the plays. Every game that a young quarterback plays is a chance to stand in with the team he’s supposed to lead through thick and thin. It’s a chance to learn something to be better in the future when there is something on the line. If healthy, that quarterback should play. Because NO COACH will ever coach to injury.

That’s a pretty passionate argument for a quarterback the Browns don’t have, but already I’m getting myself ready for it. When the Browns eventually do draft a quarterback, that guy more than likely be taking over in less than desirable conditions. If it’s a weak class, you’ll have to take that QB higher. He’ll have younger players around him, and he’ll have to pay his dues. Most quarterbacks have to deal with sporadic OL play, a weak WR corp, and a poor defense. Quarterbacks are taken to turn around franchises, and the Browns future quarterback will be no different.

History should be remembered, but bad luck should also be recognized. If any front office the Browns have could recognize talent across the line in a mid-later round pick, and find talent around a quarterback, any fan should be able to sleep a bit easier at night. Yet, you’re never going to be out of the woods.

Aaron Rogers has had hamstring problems. Tom Brady had a season ending injury when he actually did have a decent offensive line. Pittsburgh has brought their offensive line back to respectability and Ben Roethlisberger misses time every year. Troy Aikman’s career was ended by concussions and he played behind one of the greatest offensive lines in the history of the game. Derek Carr got rocked his first season in Oakland and still finished the year. All quarterbacks take hits.

All those quarterbacks don’t play for the Browns either. I can blame fate, but that logic stops me from making any draft choice…ever. It’s been 14 years since the Browns last playoff appearance. A lot (going back to that 2016 reflection) has gone wrong in a lot of places for that to happen. I could blame bad luck and be negative over anything about the Browns future now without much effort.

I pay attention to Philly and it scares  the hell out of me. No matter what there’s destined to be some overreaction, but calls to fire Pederson, and that Wentz is a bust or should be benched to preserve him so he doesn’t get hurt is lunacy, and that’s all by the media.

I’d hope that us in the media here would be a little more easy going but…yeah, I know the answer to that already.

In a perfect world, the Browns finish the season with one forgettable win, still get the number one pick, and get their own version of Mack-Carr. It still wasn’t that easy for the Raiders and I know well it won’t be anywhere that easy for the Browns.

I just hope you and I can handle it better than our friends in Philly when we get our guy.

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