Camp Preview – WR: Is depth the issue for the Cleveland Browns or the lack of a #1?

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This has been an oft discussed topic here over the past few months and I think this position could possibly determine the teams success more than any other position on the field. The Browns had the best receiver in football last year with some of the worst QB play in team history but that receiver is now sadly gone to drugs and stupidity.

I’ve posted a few negative articles on the lack of depth at wideout and each time I’ve gotten a response of immediate vehemence and anger towards my doubt of the team. Fans and other writers alike continue to point out Andrew Hawkins and Miles Austin as guys who can get it done and make Josh Gordons suspension less felt.

That’s just dumb.

Hawkins doesn’t even have 1,000 receiving yards in his career and he’s 28 years old. In other words, he’s a guy people keep saying has all this talent and he’s never really produced all that much.

Austin is 30 years old, always injured and had maybe two good years with the Cowboys and the rest he barely even reached the field. The guy is old and washed up and I just don’t see him bringing anything positive to this roster.

There are a few other names but they’re so unknown and even pathetic that I don’t want to go in depth into who they are and what they bring to the table. If you want to check out the WRs on the roster, read Eric Kelly’s post on “A deeper look at the Browns’ receivers”

For now, stay positive and excited about this team. They have young exciting QBs, talented RBs and big men that should make a difference on both sides of the ball. They do not, however, have much in terms of a receiver corp and I think that will come back to bite them.

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  • Dan D

    Every team in the AFC North has question marks on offense — OLine in Pittsburgh, RB in Baltimore and QB in Cincinnati (those playoff losses have to be getting into players’ heads by now).

    Browns need to stay conservative on offense, use their receivers to stretch the field just enough to make the run game effective, minimize turnovers and WIN UGLY! Lots of games (I’m counting 12) against mediocre offenses this year.

  • Kevin Gillikin

    You think the Browns will become a “ground and pound” team? Wouldn’t surprise me with Pettine and I think with Tate and West it could possibly work. Not 100% sold on the defense but they should be above average.

  • Dan D

    “Ground and pound” may be overstating things a little, but I’m certainly thinking Kyle Shanahan will want to be a run-first team to set up the pass.

    It sets up an interesting dilemma at QB. Do you want a game-manager like Hoyer who can throw for just enough yards to keep defenses honest and probably won’t make a lot of mistakes, but doesn’t scare defenses? Or do you want somebody like Johnny Football, who will make more mistakes but is a threat to break loose on any given play, either by running the ball or finding a receiver after plays break down?

    I kind of think it will be Hoyer, but I’m starting to get some confidence that the coaching staff will make the right decision.

  • Randy W

    They need to go after a true #1 receiver hard. I can only think of 1 guy that could take the opportunity to play with Manzeil and make it work. He older but still can play. Cleveland needs and has the cap space to sign Andre Johnson.

  • Kevin Gillikin

    Right there with ya Randy! That’d be a big time move!