Andrew Gilman

Don’t blame Roberson, blame Presti …. and a few other notes

Don’t blame Roberson, blame Presti …. and a few other notes

The Cleveland Browns have the first pick and the fourth pick of the upcoming NFL draft. The Browns also have the first pick and the fourth pick of the second round, too.

The Browns are also lacking a capable quarterback, unless you’re in the “DeShone Kizer can take this team to the playoffs” camp.

We all know teams love to take quarterbacks with high, first-round draft picks because the culture of the NFL says, if you don’t have a quarterback, you aren’t going to be successful. But perhaps the Browns need to change their culture. Trade the first pick. Trade the fourth pick. Let some other team take a chance on whether Sam Darnold or Josh Allen can develop into a playoff-type quarterback. Cleveland hasn’t had the best track record of picking quarterbacks, so why not go with the safe route?

First-round picks also cost more money. They also come with a lot of pressure. Trade away these high picks, save some money, stockpile mid-round picks and develop the team at a reasonable price – then go find a quarterback. A first-round quarterback comes with undo pressure – the pressure to play him early and the pressure to succeed. The Browns don’t need more of that.

According to cleveland.com, since 1999, 45 quarterbacks have been drafted in the first round. Only 16 have a winning record. Only 17 have won a single playoff game. Chances are, a first-round quarterback selection doesn’t equal success. Meanwhile, the Browns have been terrible picking quarterbacks, going with Johnny Manziel, Tim Couch, Brandon Weeden and Brady Quinn, who have combined to go 31-69 as starters. So, the idea the Browns will get this year’s quarterback correct is unlikely. Trade the picks. Take Mason Rudolph deeper into the draft. Load up with linemen. It’s a safer play …

… We’ll never know, but you gotta wonder if Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger regrets the way he’s handled Trae Young this season. Hard to blame Kruger, especially early on, when Young and the Sooners were the talk of the nation and off to a 14-2 start with Young leading the way. Kruger came on our show here and said he had never handed over an offense to a player like he was doing with Young. It did seem like a lot of trust, but it also seemed to work. Until it unraveled. What started so positively ended with a first-round loss in the Big 12 tournament and eight losses in 10 games. OU went 4-11 over its last 15 games, mainly because players stood around waiting to see if Young would throw them the ball. Young’s play held the Sooners hostage. He was so good early on, when he started struggling, Kruger and the Sooners had no choice but to let it play out. …

 

… Great moment on Wednesday when Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat showed up at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.¬†Check it out. Wade walked through the school and spoke to students and teachers in the cafeteria. No one seemed to mind Wade not sticking to sports. …

… Hard to believe the Thunder season has hinged, and now seemingly fractured, because of the Andre Roberson injury. Now, sure, the Thunder are better when Roberson is in the lineup, but it’s not like they were winning every game with Roberson.

But that’s not the point. The point is, three superstars, three All-Stars, three Hall of Fame players can’t repair their season when a role player goes out? The disruption seems to be to the team’s chemistry. Now, OKC was built to be better offensively this season, so you’d think the Roberson injury wouldn’t be as big a deal, but it’s been such a problem that since the injury the Thunder have gone 1-7.

You’d think with the dynamic personalities of these three stars, the Thunder would be able to figure out how to repair this issue, but that’s what happens when you throw three personalities together on one team and treat it like it’s a fantasy football roster. The fact the Thunder haven’t figured out how to get past the Roberson injury is a Sam Presti problem. When you have a team filled with larger-than-life names and egos, you don’t know what you’re going to get. What the Thunder have, in turn, got, is a team void of an identity and real leadership. That shouldn’t happen with three Hall of Famers. …

 

Andrew Gilman

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