Cleat Geeks

NFL Report Card: Cleveland Browns

 

Our NFL report card for the 2015-2016 season will be assigning a letter grade to each of the 32 teams and offering an explanation why that grade was chosen. After the evaluation, we will point out one specific area the team will need to address this off-season. Want some extra credit? Comment down below what grade YOU would give the team, and tell me on Twitter (@FantasyFlurry) your thoughts on the team’s report card for that day!

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This season for the Browns was yet another year the franchise would like to forget. The drama-filled season offered little for the fans to be happy about, and it ended with a 3-13 record. The Browns organization as a whole handled the Johnny Manziel situation extremely poorly. Now that the season is over, they are washing their hands clean of Mr. Manziel, and he will no longer be an issue for them. One somewhat bright spot for the offense was tight end Gary Barnidge. He has been a career back-up in the NFL, but he emerged as a solid starter in his eight season. Barnidge played all 16 games and caught 79 passes for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns. There was one other pass-catcher for the Browns that was mentioned plenty this season, but it was for all the wrong reasons. The team signed Dwayne Bowe last off-season to a two-year $12.5 million contract. Well, he caught only five passes for 53 yards. This was not because he was injured or a circumstance like that, it was because he is Dwayne Bowe. I can sum up the offense in six words: I feel bad for Joe Thomas.

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The once respectable Browns defense has faded away. All that was left was a concussed Joe Haden, and a bunch of other slow players that didn’t play very well. Even before his injury, Haden was not playing to the level that we are used to seeing. This defense gave up 128.4 rushing yards per game and generated only 29 sacks, which was the 5th-worst in the league for both. There really is no excuse for the absence of a pass rush considering the draft picks and free agents they have brought to Cleveland in recent years.

This team decided to hit the reset button yet again. Coach Mike Pettine and General Manager Ray Farmer were both fired before all of the week 17 games were even finished. The organization decided to name Hue Jackson as the new head coach. Jackson did a heck of a job in Cincinnati this past season, so we will see if he can get Josh Gordon back on track and turn this team around.

Final Grade: D-

 

Biggest Off-Season Need?

The biggest need for the Browns isn’t exactly a brain-buster. This team desperately needs a quarterback. Not only does this quarterback need to be skilled, but he has to be a respectable leader in the locker room and on the field. Whomever they bring in to play at the quarterback graveyard, I wish him the best of luck. He will need it.

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