Baltimore (x2), Cincinnati (x2), Pittsburgh (x2), New York Giants, Indianapolis, Denver, Washington. Those are either playoff or playoff caliber teams. That's 10 games out of 16. Dallas and San Diego are two very talented teams (arguably more talented than Cleveland.) Philadelphia and Buffalo are two teams we should have (and could have beat.) But we didn't. We did beat an Oakland and KC team that we should have beat.
We went 5-11 this season, which (on the scoreboard) is only one more win than last year, but against an (arguably) much tougher schedule. Despite starting a Rookie QB, RB, RT, WR on offense (as well as a 2nd year WR who didn't play in college the previous year). Our defense is loaded with a big mix of young players and veterans.
Look, I'm not saying we shouldn't fire Murmer. He's not an ideal HC. He has a lot of issues with the game plan...with half-time adjustment. But we don't need to blow this entire team up. Heckert has drafted a lot of good viable NFL players, some of who look to be stars moving forward. On offense, I like what I see out of Richardson and Gordon. Little has big play ability as well. While Schwartz had some problems early on, I think he's a fine addition at RT for us. On defense, I loved what I saw out of Billy Winn, Hughes and Sheard on the DL. JMJ looks like he could become a genuine starter at LB for us for years to come...and not just because we're the Browns. Haden is a good cover corner and Ward is a crusher at safety who isn't terrible in coverage. Travis Benjamin looks like a legit special teamer who can make some plays for us in the offense as well. Yes, he misfired on a few picks. Name one GM who hasn't.
I'm normally an overly optimistic Browns fan. But I really don't like the direction the rumors say this regime is heading. I hope I'm wrong. I really do. But I just don't see it.