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With the NFL season well underway, it’s time to dust off an old favorite. It’s time to bring back the Cleveland Browns Dawgie Bag! You can submit your questions by commenting on the Facebook post calling for your questions or writing to the BrownsTown USA Facebook inbox anytime! Without further ado, let’s get started!
Should the Browns sign Clay Matthews? – Robert, Parts Unknown
Hello Robert! The easy answer to that question is no.
To expand on to it, you have to ask the question, what does he ultimately offer to this defense? Granted, he does have a wealth of experience and he did play in a Super Bowl. The problems are his scheme fit and his play style.
Last year with the Los Angeles Rams, he had eight sacks and two fumbles playing linebacker. That may sound impressive but Los Angeles used him mainly for blitzing. He’s not really the stand up linebacker his supporters claim him to be.
It also doesn’t help that his whole career, he’s played a 3-4 set. Cleveland runs a 4-2-5, with the occasional 4-3 thrown in there. To sign him and use him as a linebacker wouldn’t make sense. If Cleveland wanted to get rid of defensive end Olivier Vernon and rotate Matthews there with Porter Gustin and Adrian Clayborn, that may be a better fit. Other than that though, not seeing that as a good fit.
Will Jimmy Haslem and company leave the current coaching staff in place longer than 1-2 years? – Ted, New York
Ted, this is often the million dollar question: will they leave this grouping alone? Signs point to yes.
When the Browns resigned running Kareem Hunt to a two-year deal, on top of his current one year deal, it signaled that they have a window of opportunity. Realistically, between this year and 2023, they’re expecting at least an AFC championship or Super Bowl appearance.
After 2023, several big contracts including quarterback Baker Mayfield, running backs Nick Chubb and Hunt, cornerback Denzel Ward and others will be up and the franchise tag can only be used on one person.
Unless something drastic happens, like defensive end Myles Garrett unexpectedly retires or Mayfield suffers a career ending injury, this plan probably won’t change. Yes, the same was said with former general manager John Dorsey but going against advisors and making Freddie Kitchens head coach burned a bridge and caused distrust.
This linebacker core has been awful. Is there a way to fix it? – Carter, North Olmsead, OH
Carter! What’s happening? Contrary to popular belief, the linebackers haven’t been all that bad (except for one). Sione Takitaki has played the run well and Malcolm Smith has looked good overall.
That leaves B.J. Goodson, who hasn’t been good. Where Takitaki and Smith have earned over 60.0 grades from Pro Football Focus (average to above average), Goodson so far has a 42.1, which lands him below average and teetering on poor.
The numbers also don’t lie. There’s a stat right now that between him and cornerback Tavierre Thomas, they’ve allowed 24 completions on 28 targets for 231 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 133.5. Those are unacceptable and with Mack Wilson coming back from injury, it’s easy to see who will lose playing time.
Will it help completely? Probably not but it’s likely going to fix some things. Baby steps, right?
Maybe this has to do with safety Grant Delpit being out for the season but why is Andrew Sandejo still out there? He hasn’t looked good at all. – Matt, Philippines
Matt, hope you’re doing well down there. The reason Andrew Sandejo is still out there is because he’s your most reliable option at this juncture for free safety. Sheldrick Redwine is the back up and probably should get some playing time but seeing him make plays in practice and in a game are two totally different things.
That’s also not to mention, Sandejo has been in the league for a while and has started in the league for a few years, so he adds veteran leadership in a pretty young secondary.
All of that said, Redwine should be given reps in games and see how he holds up in this defense. He’s very much overlooked because of his fill-in time last year when Damarious Randall got hurt. He had moments of struggle but he overall didn’t look terrible. Plus if he doesn’t look any better, you could always swap out for Sandejo again.
One other option is to try cornerback Greedy Williams back there. LSU defensive backs can be interchangeable between safety and cornerback as we’ve seen with Kansas City Chiefs’ defensive back Tyrann Mathieu. What makes this easier is that you can keep cornerback Terrence Mitchell, whose been playing well, in the line up.
Maybe this is just me playing Madden, but it’s worth a shot. What could it hurt at this juncture?
Why won’t the Browns trade Odell Beckam Jr.? – Jason, Akron, Oh
Jason, this question has been floating around social media for weeks to months to a year. Probably the best way to answer it is with a question of my own: why would they?
Fans seem to get so caught up in the media circus that follows and surrounds Beckham that it detracts from what he’s doing on the field. He’s a deep ball threat that can beat single coverage with ease. Meaning they have put a second guy on him and it means one less person in the short to middle passing ranges.
He is one of the reason why wide receivers like Khadarel Hodge and Rashard Higgins, and running backs like Chubb and Hunt are so valuable. That one less defender allows them to get extra yards after catch or in case of a draw, allows him to block (which he’s done very well).
The drops are definitely an issue and maybe he’s targeted too much but trading him would now would a mistake. You wouldn’t get much, maybe a day two pick in the draft, but he’s worth more than that. This isn’t Madden where you can offer a trade and swindle the computer or full on convince the rest of your league that “this guy is good, look what I did numbers wise with him.” This is real life: trading isn’t easy, especially trading in a pandemic, which complicates things even more.
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