Front office – D
For the first time since I started watching football I have no idea if the Front Office went into the season expecting to lose and accumulate draft choices or believed they could be a competent team that would scrap to a 500 record with a outside shot at the playoffs.
I was skeptical to say the least on the Richardson trade and although the Browns have no running game I’m not sure Richardson could have really helped. He has rushed for 228 yards in 5 games in Indy and has not averaged more than 4 yards a carry in any game this season. So getting back a first round pick was solid.
The trade rumors surrounding Josh Gordon became ridiculous. Was Joe Banner really going to trade easily the Browns most productive WR they drafted since their return for a 3rd or 2nd round pick? I understand the off field issues Gordon present's, but the guy averages over 20 yds per touchdown reception for his career. With the offense struggling to find play makers you trade your only on?
Going into the season with Weeden as your starter was a mistake. Jason Campbell had a decent game against KC, a decent game. It was still better than any game Weeden has played this season by far let alone Brian Hoyer's positive play.
Head Coach – C
I love Chud's aggressiveness on offense. The Browns have went for it on 4th down 17 times this season including a 4th and 15 in Green Bay. When the Browns get the players they want in place on offense that mentality will really pay off.
Being in the locker room I am able to observe the players attitudes during the week and after tough loses and good wins. It's a solid locker room no matter what. Players take responsibility, Defend teammates, and most importantly believe they should be winning now.
In today's NFL the most important position hands down is the Quarterback. This is where the grading of Chud gets sketchy. Did he have any say in going into the season with the QB situation the way it is? Maybe, but the bottom line he is the head coach so he gets the blame for who starts at QB. The Browns Quarterback position for the season and the future is a big question mark and could make or brake Chud's status.
Offense – D
I believe I made my feelings evident on the QB situation in the reviews of the front office and head coach so we wont go into that any further. On second thought, Brandon Weeden was sacked 21 times in 5 games. I thought professional QB's had to have an “internal clock”?
The Browns are 26th in rushing which means there are 6 teams that have a worse running attack than them. McGahee was a good sign after the Richardson trade, but obviously is not the long term answer.
Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron are solid building blocks for the passing game with a chance of being All Pro at their positions. Greg Little is a good blocker, but he plays WR. Devon Bess has been a bust thus far this season culminating with his 3 drops and muffed punt in KC.
Joe Thomas is Joe Thomas. Mitchell Schwartz had a rough start, but has come around a bit and the line as a whole has played better.
Defense – B-
This part of the team has been very frustrating for me. The one consistent thing the Ravens and Steelers have had that the Browns have not was stopping the run. Through the first 4 games I really believed the Browns joined the class of the division in this aspect, but they have softened in recent weeks. Third downs are a debacle and listening to Defensive Cord Ray Horton saying they are looking into it and just have little issues to clean up is getting old. Although I do believe Horton is a good defensive coach.
Mingo is a solid situational player at this point with a big motor. Phil Taylor is solid in the middle which is key in the 3-4 scheme the Browns run. D'Qwell Jackson leads the team with 70 tackles per usual.
I really like the way Horton uses TJ Ward. The more he is around the line of scrimmage and not in pass coverage the better. Buster Skrine has made huge strides this year and Joe Haden is playing the best of his young career.
According to Ray Horton the Browns defense's best days are ahead so we will see.
Special Teams – B
Travis Benjamin is one of the best young returner's in the game if not the best, but we wont see him again until 2014 due to his torn ACL.
The fake punt in Minnesota was executed perfectly. Billy Cundiff has done a great job replacing the legend Phil Dawson making 12 of 14 FG attempts.