With the 2017-18 season officially over for the Cleveland Browns, it’s time for the speculation about the moves the team will make this offseason. As such, I’ll answer a few questions weekly, so send them in. This is Cleveland Browns Mailbag:
Q: Is Howard Wilson still on the team? – Brad, Grand Rapids, MI
A: Hi Brad, while this is an inside joke among the Facebook groups, he still is. He’s been on the PUP list nursing a fractured patella. The problem with an injury like this is that there’s no definite time table for a return. Wilson suffered it on May 13th, the second day of rookie mini camp. This leads to me believe in two things: one, that the Browns kept him out because they didn’t run the risk of him upsetting the injury and two, the extent of his injury was a lot worse than expected. Either way, expect Wilson to be back and trying to earn a job next season, especially if the Browns bring in a cornerback in the offseason.
Q: Who is the best offensive coordinator candidate out there, and would you be open to seeing John Fox as defensive coordinator? I don’t think Gregg Williams is all that everyone has him hyped up to be. – Matthew, Pepperell, MA
A: Hey Matt, at this point in time, I feel that the offensive coordinator job is still up in the air. The rumors I’ve heard so far are former Houston Texans’ quarterback coach Sean Ryan, and former Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive coordinator Ken Zampese. I feel the favorite could be Zampese as he was the quarterback coach under Browns’ head coach Hue Jackson while he was the Bengals offensive coordinator, and ultimately inherited the job once Jackson left for Cleveland. However, I wouldn’t rule out Ryan, as he’s held every offensive job in either the college or professional level, except for offensive coordinator.
As for the John Fox question, I don’t see it happening. Fox is 62 years old, and would probably rather not coach unless it was a head coaching job. This is a guy that went to two Super Bowls, meaning that there could be a job lined up in the future for him. Not to mention, Gregg Williams would have been fired already if that was the case. Williams’ defense didn’t lead to many turnovers and was a bit underwhelming. However, look at the improvement from last season: they went from the worst overall defense to the 14th overall defense, and this was with several key injuries. Considering this could be Jackson’s final year, that would also mean that if fired, Gregg Williams would go with him, unless it’s a midseason firing, but for now, I believe Williams safe.
Q: Do you think the Browns need to get Saquon Barkley at #1? – Norman, Sierra Vista, AZ
A: Hello Norman, I think that if the Browns want Barkley, it will more than likely have to be with the first pick. Early indications would have you believe thatNew York Giants who hold the second pick would draft UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, with Barkley being in their sights as well. Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts, who sit at the third pick, would more than likely take a halfback, as Frank Gore is approaching 35 years of age. If the Browns want Barkley, they’ll have to take him at number one. They’ll also have to live with the consequences if one of the quarterbacks goes on to have a Carson Wentz type of career.
Q: After a historic bad season, is there a feeling that the New management can turn it around next year? – Larry, Parts Unknown, US
A: LARRY!!! Well there is a feeling that management could turn it around. Looking at the moves they’ve made towards the front office, they’ve brought in some really knowledgable people that help alleviate doubts. This could take a year or two, but expect progress to be made, and expect the Browns to turn it around in some capacity. Remember, when you hit rock bottom, as the team did this year, there’s nowhere to go but up.
Q: There is plenty of talk about the QB position, but will the Browns take care of our secondary issues? – John, Parts Unknown, US
A: Well John, they more likely than not will. Considering that two of the biggest free agents on defense are defensive backs from the Los Angeles Rams, both of which previous played under Gregg Williams, I expect the Browns to make a run at either safety LaMarcus Joyner or cornerback Trumaine Johnson. There’s also some talk of the Browns looking at Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick at the number four pick, as well as Jaire Alexander, the cornerback from Louisville with a second round pick. I’m sure rumors will start flying in the next week so this is only the beginning, stay tuned.
Well that will do it for this week’s mailbag, get your questions for next week. I always open the forum on Tuesday, however you can ask any questions at any time in the comments. The cut off will be about 11:30 on Wednesday. Until then, I’ll see you next time!