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Browns could become relevant again

The Cleveland Browns have been to the playoffs once since returning to the league in 1999.  That was 10 years ago.  In 2007, they almost made it to the postseason.  Since then, nothing.

But they’ve found a way to get some attention this offseason, via a first-round draft that resulted in the arrival of running back Trent Richardson and quarterback Brandon Weeden.

Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com joined PFT Live on Monday to talk about the impact of the decisions to trade up for Richardson and to take Weeden notwithstanding the presence of Colt McCoy on the roster.  If you’re interested — or if you’re not — the segment appears below.

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30 Responses to “Browns could become relevant again”
  1. tomeffnbrady says: Apr 30, 2012 7:17 PM

    im not the best at math….. but something seems wrong here.

  2. muckfodell says: Apr 30, 2012 7:27 PM

    I surely hope so…

  3. cmahdavi says: Apr 30, 2012 7:30 PM

    Any discussion regarding the quality of the browns organization being in anything other than in a rebuilding mode curiously occurs mostly before any actual games that count are played…

  4. gobills716 says: Apr 30, 2012 7:31 PM

    Pulling for the Brownies. Us rust belt folk gotta stick together. It’s us against the world. You got a stud RB, stud LT, stud MLB. Let’s just hope Weeden can step in day 1 and make an impact. I’m making the trip down there week 3.

  5. thehouseofho says: Apr 30, 2012 7:41 PM

    Am I the only one who thinks the Browns may have been better off drafting Coby Fleener and one of the Stephen Hill/Alshon Jeffery/Rueben Randle trio instead of Weeden and Schwartz?

  6. rams1999 says: Apr 30, 2012 7:43 PM

    Rams will be more relevant this season as they will compete for the division.

  7. nineroutsider says: Apr 30, 2012 7:44 PM

    They made the playoffs in 2002 and played an epic game against the Steelers. You don’t remember Kelly Holcomb? It was a wild game!

    Sunday January 5, 2003
    AFC Wildcard: Pittsburgh Steelers 36, Cleveland Browns 33

    I remember it well as the 9ers played the Giants in a wild wildcard game as well that weekend.

  8. eegwaybeegway says: Apr 30, 2012 8:06 PM

    They became relevant when they named Chili their OC. Adrian Peterson’s best years came in Chili’s offense, and I see some of the same coming from Richardson.

  9. blacknole08 says: Apr 30, 2012 8:07 PM

    Nineroutsider, yea it was snowing and Tommy Maddox was the QB for the Steelers too lol. Browns were actually winning for most of that game.

    Browns had a good draft, but it will still be tough in that division and the NFC East on their schedule.

  10. Max says: Apr 30, 2012 8:10 PM

    Cleveland and Seattle made poor decisions.

    Cleveland traded alot to move to 3 to get Richardson, ok I can look past that,because Trent is a great prospect and Tampa has shown they had a Running Back need by drafting Martin at the end of 1st. So it is plausible to assume Tampa was talking to the Vikings.

    But Weeden at 22? I am not against Weeden but CLE did not maximize the value of their draft position at all. The Pats traded up twice at the end of the first round, the Vikes traded up once and the Bucs trade up as well, CLE should have been one the teams to trade with these three teams. Instead they stood still @ 22, when they could have still gotten Weeden at the end of the first round or 2nd round. They could have have easily gotten an extra 3rd rounder.

    What they did, that is not smart. Look at the draft board who else was going to spend a first round pick on a QB between picks 23 and 32? MIA got Tannehill, SEA got Flynn, no one else was going to choose QB in the first, Weeden would have been there for them in the 2nd round.

    Seattle is in the same boat, I like Irvin, but Pass Rushers were the depth position in this draft, so there is no need to reach for one particular player. They should have traded down again to the mid 20s, Irvin would probably still be there in the mid 20s and if not, Mercilus and Perry would have been there.

    Cleveland and Seattle wasted a lot of value in the early part of this draft, that is why so many other teams had a great draft!

  11. couldntthinkofaname says: Apr 30, 2012 8:10 PM

    rams1999 says:
    Apr 30, 2012 7:43 PM

    Rams will be more relevant this season as they will compete for the division.

    ______________

    Rams1999, let’s just be happy with any improvement we see this season. Let Fisher and Snead build the team. We’re looking up three teams right now. We made some good picks, so let’s just enjoy the fact that for the first time in years, we have a legit coach and GM.

    Same with the Browns. Let the people you have in charge build the team. You’re division is brutal and it’ll take a couple more years before you can even think of contending.

  12. oldbrowndawg says: Apr 30, 2012 8:11 PM

    As always, the real story of the effectiveness of this draft will be written about 2 years from now. As has been the case the last 2 years, the Browns added some very good football players up and down the draft this year. They are now one of the youngest teams in the NFL and that’s a good thing.

  13. nineroutsider says: Apr 30, 2012 8:14 PM

    I forget to mention (OK, didn’t forget but figured my comment would get flagged per usual) – how the heck can you run a football blog and keeping writing that the Browns haven’t made the playoffs since returning to the league? I remember the game…it was a snowy, wet day looked like a day for defense and Holcomb/Maddox had a Brady/Manning type showdown. It really was a great game worth remembering!

    That entire wildcard weekend was truly wild. Do a quick check before spinning up a post. Accuracy should be as important as throwing out content! A lot of us will catch you on this stuff and you should feel a little embarrassed. It’s not like I’m calling you out on grammar here or your poor math.

  14. Max says: Apr 30, 2012 8:18 PM

    Poor decisions by CLE and SEA.

    Cleveland traded alot to move to 3 to get Richardson, ok I can look past that,because Trent is a great prospect and Tampa has shown they had a Running Back need by drafting Martin at the end of 1st. So it is plausible to assume Tampa was talking to the Vikings.

    But Weeden at 22? I am not against Weeden but CLE did not maximize the value of their draft position at all. The Pats traded up twice at the end of the first round, the Vikes traded up once and the Bucs trade up as well, CLE should have been one the teams to trade with these three teams. Instead they stood still @ 22, when they could have still gotten Weeden at the end of the first round or 2nd round. They could have have easily gotten an extra 3rd rounder.

    What they did, that is not smart. Look at the draft board who else was going to spend a first round pick on a QB between picks 23 and 32? MIA got Tannehill, SEA got Flynn, no one else was going to choose QB in the first, Weeden would have been there for them in the 2nd round.

    Seattle is in the same boat, I like Irvin, but Pass Rushers were the depth position in this draft, so there is no need to reach for one particular player. They should have traded down again to the mid 20s, Irvin would probably still be there in the mid 20s and if not, Mercilus and Perry would have been there.

    Cleveland and Seattle wasted a lot of value in the early part of this draft, that is why so many other teams had a great draft!

  15. bengalguy says: Apr 30, 2012 8:24 PM

    I find it very hard to call the Brownies “relevant” again, just because of there draft!
    Also, lets not talk about the Browns in the playoffs, when they are clearly years behind the Steelers, Ravens & Bengals!!!

  16. Deb says: Apr 30, 2012 8:24 PM

    Not sure about Weeden, but Trent is a beast. The Browns were a threat with Hillis in the backfield, and Richardson is a significantly better addition on and off the field than Hillis. He was everything we asked of him at Bama–without any hint of prima donna. The guy is like a human freight train, and he can catch. Love what my Steelers have done in the draft, but everyone in the division would be foolish to assume this will be the same old Browns.

  17. donjuan1906 says: Apr 30, 2012 8:38 PM

    When will people stop saying Cleveland gave up too much to move up to the #3 spot to get Richardson? They only gave up a 4th, 6th and 7th round picks, when they already had 2 picks in the fourth and 3 picks a piece in the 6th or 7th, Then they turned around and got the guys they would have drafted in those position in free agency (Johnson Bademosi, Garth Gerhart, and Jermaine Saffold)

    Now if you want to talk about giving up a lot – look at the Redskins and RG3 – (3) first round and (2) second round picks!!!!!!! But to say Cleveland gave up too much to secure their guy, is a serious overstatement for the second best player in the entire draft.

    Good deal to ENSURE a blue chip player.

  18. pmars64 says: Apr 30, 2012 8:40 PM

    As a Browns fan, I’m encouraged, overall, by this draft and the direction of the franchise. I’m not sure about Holmgren and his ego, but they admitted their mistakes with McCoy and Hardesty and tried to rectify these problems in this draft.

    I think they didn’t have much choice but to draft Weeden. They HAD to do something at QB. McCoy’s a great kid, but he has limited skills. Also, Weeden will be coached by Shurmur who did wonders for Bradford in his rookie year. Bradford regressed under McDaniels.

    Do I think they’ll move up in the division standings this year? No. I don’t even think they’ll have a winning season. But I do think they’ll be more competitive. Last season, they took Pittsburgh down to the wire in both games, scared Baltimore in their second game, and outplayed Cincy in both games last year. Now, each of these rivals look to have had good drafts, so the gap may not have closed much, if at all, but the Browns will be better.

  19. ppdoc13 says: Apr 30, 2012 8:40 PM

    Now PFT is doing the same thing that the Browns fans have been doing for years. They have the Browns winning games before the season starts. Interestingly enough, it has been very quiet from the Browns fans lately. Maybe learned helplessness really works.

    Cleveland will be relevant when they start winning games against the Steelers and the Ravens. And doing so consistently. Until then, they are the doormat of the AFCN and will continue to inhabit that zone until their owner starts caring more about his football team than his soccer team.

  20. bluewinger says: Apr 30, 2012 8:56 PM

    This guy Grossi has more of an understanding of what is going on with the brownies then Holmgren.

  21. kronix7 says: Apr 30, 2012 9:02 PM

    How long have the Browns been in rebuilding mode again?

  22. believelandcleveland says: Apr 30, 2012 9:14 PM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fji2EeqkcZs .. dam thats all I have to say lol

  23. amgdds says: Apr 30, 2012 9:21 PM

    Uhhhh no. Brandon “smokin the” weeden is a hack. I could have thrown 3,000 yards to Blackmon.
    Colt “how many fingers am I holding up” McCoy is a few Advil away from joining the concussion lawsuit.
    And Trent richardson might as well tear his own acl now and save a preseason of hope.

    The browns…pffft.

  24. anhdazman says: Apr 30, 2012 10:26 PM

    Get serious. With McCoy, it’s going no where. As for the “older” QB, count how many older QBs drafted and becoming a success in the NFL. Only Kurt Warner had success. And even he wasn’t a guy that wasted most of his early years failing in baseball. Failed baseball players just don’t have what it takes to catch up as NFL football players later in their career.
    WRs in Cleveland are still pathetic.

  25. anhdazman says: Apr 30, 2012 10:28 PM

    Lets just say Cleveland ruined their 2012 season when they failed to go after RG3. This isn’t the smart saver section at your local grocery store. You’re that close to a Franchise QB, you should have went after it.
    So expect to be in play for another Franchise QB in 2013. You’ll be in the rear looking up at the Bengals, Ravens and Steelers. Again.

  26. callmecynical says: Apr 30, 2012 11:00 PM

    As a life time Browns fan suffering through the experience of being one of the few NFL teams fans never to enjoy a Super Bowl APPEARANCE, I have to say that I have mixed emotions. They should have kept Hillis AND drafted Trent R. They desperately need playmakers to complement Josh. The verdict is still out on Holmgren. Yeah, 2 super bowl appearances look good, but DAMN he’s still dealing with the Browns. It looks like both the Steelers and Bengals drafted well so the Brownies may still be on the outside looking in for another few years.

  27. shlort says: Apr 30, 2012 11:48 PM

    I think the Browns made some strides in the right direction this draft. I believe Tweeden is as good as any passer taken in this draft. He has the advantage of maturity to put him maybe ahead of everyone else going into the season. Playoffs this season? No way, but they will be better.

  28. bayoor75 says: Apr 30, 2012 11:58 PM

    Taking Weeden was a stupid gamble, especially when they will have the same set of WRs and OLs.

  29. mrfrostyj says: May 1, 2012 3:21 AM

    Browns were relevant as soon as they drafted Richardson. Doesn’t matter who QB’s. Browns defense gave up the 5th fewest points in the NFL last season. If they can muster up 2 touchdowns a game they probably would have been in the playoff hunt toward the end of the season. Browns biggest issue was a non existent right side of their offensive line and no running game. Guess what they drafted? Seeing as how the other 3 teams in their division barely beat them with 0 offense, it’s safe to say they could be in the AFC North hunt if Richardson lives up to the hype.

  30. td40 says: May 1, 2012 1:19 PM

    bengalguy says:
    Apr 30, 2012 8:24 PM

    Also, lets not talk about the Browns in the playoffs, when they are clearly years behind the Steelers, Ravens & Bengals!!!
    ————————————————
    You gotta love it. Steelers fans talk trash with the best of them- and they can do that because their team has basically earned it, like it or not. Ravens fans can get a little obnoxious,-but again, when your team does more winning than losing, you’re gonna have loudmouth, chest-beating fans, and that’s ok… It’s part of football fandom. I get it.

    But Bengals fans? OMG, they are just plain ridiculous. Here’s a team that has had THREE (that’s 3) winning seasons (that means above .500) in the last TWENTY FIVE years. Know how many winning seasons the Browns have had in the past 25 years? Six… and did I mention the Browns didn’t even exist for 3 of those 25 years?

    The point I’m making is that, as a Browns fan, I’m always willing to put up with trash talk from Steelers and Ravens fans because their teams’ accomplishments actually warrant trash talking, but Bengals fans are just too funny. After a few garbage seasons in a row, they have a freak year last year and get lucky with a QB who looked pathetic at the beginning of the year, managed to pull it together enough to squeak into the playoffs (where they were immediately and unceremoniously destroyed) and now Bengals fans feel like they are “years ahead” of where the Browns are. Bwaaa ha. Not really.

    Oh, the comedy. Keep dreaming.

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