Shortly after the season ended, I asked the rest of the DBN staff to provide me with their top three wishes for the offseason. I put no restrictions on what people could ask for, but even so there's some overlap between lists. Given the situation at QB I think that's understandable. The Browns have turned into a team on the cusp of contention, with a small handful of obvious areas for improvement. As you'll see, however, there's more than one way to bridge that gap into playoff football. Presented here are the staff's lists, feel free to let us know what we missed in the comments.
- Get Josh Gordon a baby sitter. Dallas did it with Dez, do the same thing with Gordon. Hell, add one in for Manziel too.
- Sign Suh. Would change our defense.
- Draft two pass rushers
- Real, capable QB competition in the draft or FA.
- Improvement on the trenches using 3-4 of the first two days of the draft. (D-line outside Desmond Bryant are replaceable, and OL depth)
- Big, physical WR. Expect Gabriel, Hawkins, and Austin to form the core of next years WR group. Need a big boy that can learn and develop slowly. Something in the mold of Deandre Hopkins, Alshon Jeffrey, or Michael Floyd.
- No more suspensions/fines.
- DeVante Parker
- DLine/edge rusher
- Draft a G/C, sign a veteran RT
- Sign a big, veteran WR with good hands
- Release/trade of Manziel in favor of a true pocket passer with a good arm
- Don't let need drive our draft. Guys a lot of people loved in the draft like Aaron Donald didn't fit our needs. But we see every year that you need depth to win in this league. Our coaches can find a way to get good players on the field. Donald made the pro bowl and even though another corner would have been nice, Gilbert didn't do much.
- Continue to build the lines. This is where our team succeeds or fails, as many of you have pointed out.
- Create competition at every position. If guys really are team cancers, we need to be able to bench, trade, or cut them. I actually saw a lot of promise in Johnnys game, but it wont turn into skill unless he works. If he doesnt want to work, he can gtfo or rot on the bench. Get him a baby sitter if we can, if not let him sit. Same with Josh.
- Blunt and honest assessments when the coaching staff and front office evaluate the players and position groups early this offseason. That way, they accurately identify team needs. I don't want anybody showing favoritism, making unrealistic projections, sugarcoating it, or wearing rose-colored glasses. This is an IRS audit, not a State of the Union Address.
- BFT Pettine. In any interaction he gets with the players, I want Mike Pettine to stay true to his "Blunt Force Trauma" reputation and keep the players accountable. Play like a Brown or get out of town.
- I want Ray Farmer to continually reassess his player evaluations rather than sticking to outdated pre-draft evaluations. I also want him to make cold, calculated moves with the contracts he hands out. No A.J. Smith or Bruce Allen impersonations.
- A franchise QB. Until you have one, and you will know when you do, you have to keep trying to get one.
- For Haslam to reduce his influence on player personnel decisions to absolute zero.
- Maturity, accountability, and cohesion from anyone in the lockerroom who needs that sort of attitude adjustment.
- A plan at quarterback. A plan that does not include a competition. I am not necessarily saying I want Manziel to be named the starter, but I don't want any uncertainty at the position going into next year.
- Ndomukong Suh. Adding his presence in the middle would instantly elevate our defense to one of the best in the league.
- Another option at wide receiver. I wouldn't be opposed to using a first round pick on a receiver. I love Josh Gordon, but he can hardly be counted on, and I don't think a receiving corps of Hawkins and some other stuff is going to get it done.