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Looking at whether the Browns will add a wide receiver

Brian Robiskie, Josh Cribbs AP

With a nondescript depth chart at wide receiver and a young quarterback that could use reliable weapons, we thought the Browns should look for a solid veteran wideout in free agency this year.

Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer doesn’t think it will happen.

“I don’t see the Browns making a move on any receiver in free agency,” Grossi writes. “They already have a cast of thousands at the position and have consistently expressed confidence in the receivers on their roster.”

Consistently expressing confidence in public is par for the course.  Expressing that confidence by leaving this young group alone is another matter.

Yeah, we know the Browns love rookie Greg Little.  They have still never seen him take a snap against pros.  Their other young players — Mohamed Massaquoi, Brian Robiskie, and Carlton Mitchell — have either been inconsistent or consistently unproductive.  Josh Cribbs is not an every down wideout.

The Browns have a lot of options at receiver, but they are making life tougher on Colt McCoy if they count on only the young guys.

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24 Responses to “Looking at whether the Browns will add a wide receiver”
  1. clownsfan says: Jul 4, 2011 10:46 AM

    They are thin/inexperienced/inconsistent @ WR. However I would rather they add a RB to compliment/spell Hillis. Yeah we’ve got Hardesty but he’s got bum knees & we can’t afford to “hope” he bounces back.

  2. brownsfn says: Jul 4, 2011 10:52 AM

    Tony Grossi is an i d i o t…there is no way the Browns don’t pick up a vet to help this receiving corp…this isn’t Mangini running the team anymore…these guys know what they are doing…

  3. tashkalucy says: Jul 4, 2011 10:53 AM

    The Browns receivers are young and the organization invested high draft picks in them.

    In the Magini/Daboll offense their role of blocking for a runner coming out of the backfield or downfield for the TE or RB after they caught a pass seemed to be far more important than being a receiver.

    The NFL is not touch football where guys go out and the QB hits who’s open. Rather it’s a league where plays are designed to get receivers open. Bill Walsh did this with the West Coast Offense, and subsequently Mike Holmgen and others have as well.

    The Browns approach of giving these guys a year in the pass friendly WCO to determine if a few of them can be long-term receivers for the team is a reasonable strategy. They are still in an early rebuild and there is no reason to give up on a WR only to have to use an asset (draft choice or player in trade, free agent signing) to take playing time away for a player that may be better then one they bring in. They have other needs needing to be addressed.

    1. Teams are built from the lines out and on defense. The past few years the Browns have been doing just that.

    2. When has Eric Mangini developed a quality WR? The Mangni/Daboll offense [sic] was the worst I’ve seen in over 50 years of watching the NFL. (The Romeo Cranell offense was the 2nd worst.)

    Lets give the WCO (an outgrowth of the Paul Brown offense that Bill Walsh developed in Cincinnati at Browns request) a chance in Cleveland before quitting on young, talented offensive players.

  4. dave1961 says: Jul 4, 2011 11:03 AM

    We had a clueless offensive coordinator in Daboll and a ballboy as a head coach that ran a prehistoric scheme. For all you clueless football fans you better hide your cookies cause this season will be the Season of Redemption.

    With Tom Heckert, a wizard at GM of pulling off masterful 1 sided trades and finding hidden gems in the draft, the Cleveland Browns are gonna strike hard and fast in free agency like UFC Champion.

    The Browns are gonna cram those terrible towels down the throats of the senior citizen Steelers, then make Ray Lewis look like rag doll on the turf after Hillis knocks the stuffing outta him.

    And Joe Flacco looks about as good as Rick Mirer behind center. As he does his “You can’t win Rocky” impressions in the playoffs. We are gonna ram the rock down both these old folks teams this season, just likew we kicked the cream of the crop, Patriots and Saints and handed them their lunch.

    Game on…. we aren’t going down anymore in Cleveland….

  5. ppdoc13 says: Jul 4, 2011 11:13 AM

    three names that will make the Browns into a Superbowl winning team – Terrell Owens, TJ Whosyourmama, and Dante Stallworth. Hell, they’d take the Browns all the way to 5 wins this year.

  6. Ricardo Grande says: Jul 4, 2011 11:20 AM

    Rosenthal sez:

    “Their other young players — Mohamed Massaquoi, Brian Robiskie, and Carlton Mitchell — have either been inconsistent or consistently unproductive.”
    ————
    Two points to consider, Gregg:

    1) The West Coast Offense is a much better fit for the strengths of McCoy and the receivers you mention. Brian Daboll simply SUCKED at taking advantage of their skills in his game-planning and play-calling (LOL!).

    2) I don’t know how you can lump Carlton Mitchell in there, since he rarely saw the field. You can’t be “unproductive” if not given the chance to produce, can you? He’s a burner…

  7. tashkalucy says: Jul 4, 2011 11:39 AM

    “2) I don’t know how you can lump Carlton Mitchell in there, since he rarely saw the field. You can’t be “unproductive” if not given the chance to produce, can you? He’s a burner…”

    You see guys like Austin in Dallas and at least a dozen more in the NFL that take years before they develop, and get any real playing time.

  8. mrfrostyj says: Jul 4, 2011 12:02 PM

    I disagree with anyone who puts down at least the 2010 Browns recieving chore. From the games I saw they didn’t get the ball thrown to them to make plays even when they were open (Which Massaquoi specifically was alot). When they did get the ball the few times they did they made plays pretty easily. It’s not the receivers fault that two of the Browns 3 starting QB’s used the closest open man on almost EVERY pass play (TE Ben Watson). Senaca Wallace consistantly overthrew longer passes and Colt McCoy would rather take off running himself then pass to an open man downfield last season.

    Browns management probably sees what I see as well. A young recieving chore capable of over achieving but not being abled to until they have a QB comfortable enough to use them. The only QB comfortable enough to even attempt to do it for Cleveland last season was Delhomme (who’s #1 and #2 targets were Massaquoi and Robiski)and how many games did he play?

  9. CKL says: Jul 4, 2011 12:33 PM

    I do think Mo, Mitchell and Robo have talent and I think Little does as well but I don’t think it would hurt to have a “vet wr at the end of his career” type guy to show them the little things that make WRs great. From what I understand Robo and Mo have great work ethics and are good teammates and intelligent kids. I think they would take well to having a guy like Torry Holt or someone like that around . Even BB brought in Holt and Patten to help the young kids. Neither of them made it through camp but their advice, example and mentoring was important.

  10. bensstinkyfingers says: Jul 4, 2011 12:53 PM

    The Browns will be fine if they don’t pick up another WR. although having a reliable veteran would be smart to help groom the young guys. Greg Little is a beast and he can be a Nice #1 if he plays as hard as he did in college. It takes 3 or 4 guys to take that guy down. The Browns are stockpiling some Hard nose Blue collar toughguys -Hillis, Taylor, Marecic, Little Etc. I can envision Little steamrolling that Palomolu chick, and Hillis burying Ray Lewis’s wrinkle old keester 5 yards deep in the endzone. It’s looking rough for the rest of the AFC North this year. Go Browns!

  11. tashkalucy says: Jul 4, 2011 1:05 PM

    CKL,

    This mentoring stuff is oftentimes like “he’s good in the clubhouse” in baseball. Sounds great, doesn’t count for much.

    The Browns had one of Holmgren’s old receivers from Seattle in camp last year. How’d that work out?

    Look, the Browns have a head coach/offensive coordinator whose calling ti the West Coast Offense. They have a position coach for he receivers. Both Holmgren and (former offensive coordinator) Gil Haskell will be helping out during practices.

    No veteran WR is going to come in and lead the Browns to the Super Bowl this year. These young WR’s need practice time and playing time.

  12. tashkalucy says: Jul 4, 2011 1:08 PM

    “The Browns are stockpiling some Hard nose Blue collar tough guys……”

    Kudos to Holmren and Heckert. The Browns are in a physical division and they’re bringing in physical players……finally.

  13. hedphurst says: Jul 4, 2011 2:01 PM

    Lance Moore, Mark Clayton, Kevin Curtis, or Brandon Stokely would be good targets to sign if they go after a free agent. They could all be mentors to the young WRs we currently have, and none would be a big risk, or create problems if they don’t end up getting playing time (if the “young, inexperienced, inconsistent” group progresses enough to remain the starting group).

  14. hedphurst says: Jul 4, 2011 2:12 PM

    @tashkalucy:

    “No veteran WR is going to come in and lead the Browns to the Super Bowl this year. These young WR’s need practice time and playing time.”

    Agreed, but a veteran presence that the QB knows will always be in the right place at the right time can help the whole offense. I firmly believe that much of the 2007 Browns’ offensive success was because Joe Jurevicius was there to be a reliable short-to-mid-range target for Anderson, and a steadying personality in the WR meetings.

    Having a vet simply to “be there” is a waste of a roster spot. If there’s a guy who can still contribute on the field, though – that’s a different story. Having Engram on the team for the preseason last year wasn’t a bad idea, but he didn’t show enough to get on the field. I think somebody like Lance Moore or Mark Clayton could provide the leadership and mentoring abilities as well as be a legitimate contributor on game days, while not requiring “#1 WR” treatment that could hinder the youngsters’ development.

  15. Soulman45 says: Jul 4, 2011 2:20 PM

    The Brown Shirts will be O’K when he!! freeze over they need a D-line and L-backers they can’t stop a anybody.
    the change from a 4 – 3 to a 3 – 4 take players that fix the system none is their.

  16. 4512dawg4512 says: Jul 4, 2011 2:34 PM

    Bring in T.O!

  17. clintonrb says: Jul 4, 2011 2:49 PM

    they still need a wideout

  18. 52sackmachine says: Jul 4, 2011 2:57 PM

    The Browns could do a few things at WR to help there team.

    1. They could go out and sign T.O.
    2. They could trade for Chad Ochoccinco
    3. Holmgren knows how good the packers were, he could make a play for James Jones.
    4. Search the waiver wire for available wideouts that they feel fit there system. And could help there offense.
    5. If Shurmur fails to win a game in the first 6 weeks , Holmgrem should take over!..Maybe go get Favre, and talk Antonio Freeman to come out of retirement, along with Robert Brooks, and Bill Schroder.Even Bubba Franks would be a nice target for old number 4…lol, and if you want a running back to complement Hillis, there is Dorsey Levens, Shaun Alexander, and Samkon Gado. .Wishing the browns to finish third in the division I hate the bungles!.

  19. homerk says: Jul 4, 2011 5:20 PM

    They can have James Jones. I do believe he’ll be a free agent. Probably the best FA WR on the market.

  20. therevdewitt says: Jul 4, 2011 6:24 PM

    James Jones is good, but he’s not a #1 WR. The Browns WR needs are largely exaggerated. We have several serviceable #2 and #3 receivers. We just don’t have a real #1. And the WR depth chart is deeper than this article indicates. The strategy Holmgren and Heckert seem to be employing is to have a wide variety of WRs competing with each other for playing time, optimizing their skill sets. We just need a couple to emerge now, and at least one to emerge as a true #1 or find a true #1 elsewhere.

  21. real sportswriters wanted in Cleveland! says: Jul 4, 2011 11:32 PM

    Tony Grossi is proof that Cleveland needs decent sports writers like it needs legitimate wideouts. Terry Pluto is about it. Tony Grossi should have been traded for two college journalism interns to be named later long ago.

  22. MVQB7 says: Jul 5, 2011 12:50 AM

    I will give Heckert credit. I think he has made some very ballsey moves and picks cleaning up the collective mangini-savage-crennel-daboll clustermuck. I am not ready to drink the Shurmur kool-aid yet. But I think McCoy at least has brought a positive vibe to the offense.
    The defense still needs a major overall. The receivers need to step it up. I agree they need another running back in case Hardesty doesnt pan out.

  23. paulbrownsrevenge says: Jul 5, 2011 1:17 AM

    Greg Little can, and will be our #1. Robiskie and Massaquoi will be very productive, fundamentally sound players. A guy no one really talks about is Evan Moore. This guy is very versatile. Awesome hands, solid blocker. a great backup tight end. One of my favorite Browns. A lot of people are talking up this Jordan Cameron kid. We will see, people get excited about Physical attributes, some guys are workout freaks and can’t play, some guys just have natural football instincts and are not as physically gifted. I.E. Jim Leohnard (jets). I can’t remember the last time I was this Pumped about my Browns!!! prolly in 99′, something tells me this season will go better than that one.

  24. lbcoach34 says: Jul 5, 2011 9:13 AM

    They could use a WR veteran to impact practice habits, and how to become a pro – but the talent looks decent in paper…also the passing game is affected by the TEs and RBs as well – one, I think Cribbs will improve his WR prowess in this scheme, 2 – Watson, and Moore are studs at the position, Cameron, Hillis, Hardesty and Marecic can also be dangerous – I like the prospects for the offense – the defense is the big concern to me

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