On Saturday, I posted about the Cleveland Browns being projected to have the youngest starting offense and defense in the NFL for 2013. There are many pros and cons to being so young, but can one of the cons be that players hold a sense of entitlement? In an article by Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he added some logic behind the Browns adding a couple of players -- including Brandon Jackson at running back and Brian Hoyer at quarterback -- despite appearing to have enough talent at the position prior to their signings:
9. When the Browns see veterans such as Brian Hoyer or Jackson available and the price is right, they will sign them -- especially if they are under 30. They believe some players here had a sense of entitlement, so adding a few new faces raises the level of competition.
At first, this might seem to conflict with what Joe Banner said back in March, when he indicated that the team was not interested in any "short-term fixes" when it came to veteran players. That doesn't mean they aren't interested in some mid-age-range-players who they feel could have some underrated value left in the tank.
Hoyer is 27 years old. Thaddeus Lewis was not a threat to take Brandon Weeden's job. Jason Campbell could have been viewed as a backup to Weeden. But, adding two new quarterbacks might be something that lingers more in the back of Weeden's mind. Even if it gets him to prepare just a tiny bit more heading into training camp, that could be what the front office wants.
Jackson is also 27 years old, the same age as Chris Ogbonnaya and just a year older than Montario Hardesty, but he has the most NFL experience. In a group where there is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to the backups, maybe the coaching staff feels that the likes of Hardesty, Ogbonnaya, and Dion Lewis will step up more when they see how a veteran like Jackson conducts himself. The injuries to Trent Richardson place a higher priority on blocking, too, which Jackson would seem to be the best at.
In a way, I think you could also look at Davone Bess as a guy who was added to prevent a sense of entitlement among the receivers. I truly feel that the front office and coaching staff love what they have in Josh Gordon and Greg Little, but they also don't want their heads to get lost. Funny enough, Bess is also 27 year olds. Are there any other 27-year old free agents on the market?
Even though the defense is young, I think there is less of a need for veteran players there. D'Qwell Jackson and Paul Kruger are more than enough to anchor the linebackers in terms of attitude. The secondary has T.J. Ward and Joe Haden, while the defensive line has Ahtyba Rubin and Desmond Bryant. Defensive coordinator Ray Horton probably wants to get a lot of these guys while they are young so players don't develop an attitude like Darnell Dockett.