Is anyone else bummed that we'll have to say "Progressive Field" instead of "Jacobs Field" from now on (pfft...like that'll stop me from calling it "the Jake")?
What's that? This is Dawgs By Nature, not Let's Go Tribe? Very true, but there was actually a point to me bringing up the opening statement; to ask a contrasting question about some big news with the Cleveland Browns.
Is anyone else bummed that we'll have to look at a new defensive coordinator on the sidelines next season? After the misery our defense suffered this season, I certainly can't complain about the decision. If you haven't figured it out by now, reports have come out today that the Browns will decide to let Todd Grantham explore other options, ending his three-year stay with the team. Nothing harmed Grantham more than Derek Anderson and the Browns' offense taking off this season. The past several years, the biggest questions were "why can't we get a good quarterback" or "why does our offensive coordinator call such dumb plays"?
Those questions didn't exist this year. Consequentially, the questions shifted to the defensive side of the ball. "Why isn't Kamerion Wimbley getting to the quarterback enough?" "Why aren't our linebackers adapting to the 3-4 system effectively yet?" "Why does our defensive line still blow?" The Browns front office still had to make a bold decision to let go of the man they just gave a two-year contract extension to in June, and the man that many fans once hoped would be the successor to Romeo Crennel.
The Browns' defense allowed 402 points this season, an average of over 25 points per game. You don't know how annoying it was to see that we were the 32nd ranked defense in the league when I typed up the gameday previews each week. However, you should know how annoying it was to hear analysts and commentators constantly state "the Browns have the league's worst ranked defense." Most importantly, you should know how annoying it was to watch the product we were putting on the field.
Here's how I see it: the Browns brought in a new offensive coordinator last season, who worked very well with the talent he had and the free agents that were brought in. Now, it's time to take the same approach with the defensive side of the ball: get someone new calling the plays, and give him some big-named to mediocre free agents to work with. Maybe we'll strike gold again.
According to the Plain Dealer, defensive backs coach Mel Tucker Jr. is a frontrunner to take over for Grantham, but outside candidates may be considered for the job too. It's hard for me to comment on Tucker; overall I think he's done a good job with the defensive backs he's worked with the past two years. We saw the improved play from the safety position, and despite injuries at cornerback, youngsters like Brandon McDonald and Eric Wright filled in nicely. That shows that Tucker knows how to make adjustments in the secondary.
Unfortunately, the secondary hasn't been our weak link the past two seasons. Can Tucker make adjustments to the defensive line and our linebackers? Only time will tell (if he gets the job).
By the way, I'd also like to close off on a statement I felt was well written by the OBR's Barry McBride. It relates to the fact that Grantham was not "fired", as so many media sources were so willing to jump out and report: