Forget the #1 Pick, Just Win

Do I care if the Browns win any of their last five games? Yes. To be honest, a potential 6-10 record seems more important for the team’s future than the opportunity to get the #1 pick in the draft. That might sound crazy amidst the excitement the #1 pick brings, but there are three reasons I would rather not win the right to make that pick:

1) Historically, the Browns have had no good fortune in Round 1 of the NFL draft. You would have to go all the way back to 1991, when the team chose one of the best safeties I’ve ever seen in Eric Turner, to find a guy the Browns picked in round one who carved out a Pro Bowl career and actually lived up to his potential. As far as the overall #1 pick, not many would line up to extol the success we had in 1999 and 2000 with the Tim Couch and Courtney Brown picks. Throw in the fact that out of the last 10 picks we’ve made, only 3 players are still on the current roster. Based on these observations, the less we tie up in a high pick in terms of money and expectation, the better off we are.

2) Confidence is the biggest motivator for future success. This team needs proper motivation. Motivation to take serious steps in the offseason to prevent this type of losing season from ever happening again. The great thing about our schedule is that we can steal some wins but maintain some level headedness about it considering the level of talent of our upcoming opponents. Honestly, there may be no way we can beat San Diego and Pittsburgh. But, wins over Kansas City, Oakland and Jacksonville can leave the fans happy enough to walk away from 2009 without too much unresolved anger but not let the organization off the hook for making tough GM, coaching and personnel decisions.

3) Opportunities abound when you are managing picks in the first round that aren’t #1. We saw just this year how a #5 pick could be used to multiply bodies, even if the jury is still out on the players that pick garnered. Truth be told though, this team needs to reload in major ways across the board and multiplying the times your team gets to the podium is essential. That is why the last five games matter. Our future depends on it. The players and coaches should think about that when they suit up over the next few weeks. What they do matters. All the work they have put in during practice and the hard lessons they have learned on game day should have prepared them for this push. Time to talk is over; finding ways to win has to begin.

Not to mention that these last few games may be the only chance some of the players on this roster have to ensure jobs in 2010. Brady Quinn, Jerome Harrison, Brandon McDonald and a few others have to prove they are up to the challenge. Fans need to see growth in their ability to compete at this level. Mediocrity may be good enough to be a backup, but going forward we have to find and develop guys who can make plays, make Pro Bowls and make this team a perpetual playoff contender.

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4 Responses to “Forget the #1 Pick, Just Win”

  1. Cobra says:

    If the do squeak out wins of the 6-3 variety such as the Buffalo game then you can keep ’em. Two pathetic teams spinning their wheels and going no where. These are as painful to watch as the losses.

    If they can actually show some kind of potential, even against similarly bad teams such as Detroit, then those games are entertaining. They instill hope for the future by showing us flashes of what’s possible.

    Sadly, though, this Cleveland team is so woefully outmatched by almost every other team there essentially is nothing to cheer for. When an awful Lions team erases a 24-3 deficit against you you realize it was all a facade. The only positives to hope for is the other team being penalized cause that’s our only hope for a first down.

    So, Mr. Norton, you are dead wrong. Regardless of history, this team needs draft picks. Good, high, picks and lots of them. Even if we trade the #1 pick we can get several other high picks in return. We already traded all our skill away for draft picks. I say keep stocking them up. The team needs completely re-built.

  2. Todd says:

    We DO need these wins. Unless Quinn starts throwing INTs like DA, he needs a complete year to learn & develop. This cannot be accomplished on the sideline. Our 11 picks can be turned into 4-5 game changing players.

    It will be difficult to trade out of the #1 spot. Lerner is (I hope) going to spend big $ on our new “Czar” of Cleveland football & picking from 8 on down would be more beneficial to garner 2 (maybe 3?) picks in the 1st round. He has deep pockets.

    Most of our “starters” are backup personnel. We need the game changing players that nearly 60% of the league (during round 1) obtained last year.

    These players, whatever order you want to put them in, need drafted this year. Mostly on Defense. Quinn, at this point, seems to be able to manage a game decently.

    Build the Defense first and the Offense to follow. The Bucs & Ravens did it with average QBs (Brad Johnson & Trent Dilfer) & outstanding Defenses.

    All this is a moot point if we do not have the coaching personnel in place. Ruling with an iron fist never works as a HC. A HC with apathy, fire & passion is what this team needs. One that can relate to players from rookies to seasoned vets. The only ones available that come to mind are Gruden, Shanahan & Cowher. There may be others, but this is the general idea nearly all teams focus on.

    As always, Go Browns!!!

  3. Matt says:

    The number one pick in the draft would be a good benifactor, we could trade our 2nd and 4th round picks for the nnumber two pick in the first round and get Tim Tebow And a great cournerback or safty

  4. Chris says:

    Matt, don’t talk to me about Tebow coming in here. Don’t get me wrong I want to see the guy rip at up at the next level and make all the critics look silly. But Tebow and Claussen and Bradford and McCoy and the whole lot of the QB crop can kiss my posterior.

    If we can’t get traded down from whichever pick we have, get me a potential defensive captain and get him to me NOW!! We need intensity on this team in the worst way. And it’s the defense that needs it most. If we end up with a QB first in April, that screaming you hear coming the coast will be me. Until we can stay healthy and get a right side of the line that measures up to our left side, no QB is going to be worth jack spit on our roster. Be that Quinn, be that Anderson or be that one of the pretty boys from college. Let’s get some defenders who make opponents keep theirs on the field. Then we can talk about QB’s and offensive skill guys. Until we can get a defense that doesn’t force the offensive to over-extend themselves, talk of the Tebows of the world is academic.

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