Q & A with a Cleveland Browns expert

Sep 18, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker (82) catches a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker (82) catches a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

If you haven’t heard by now, the Tennessee Titans have a game against the Cleveland Browns at home on Sunday.

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I have seen the Browns here and there, but if we are at the point in the season where if I told I had time to watch all of the opponents games before their matchup with the Titans, I would be lying.

So, what better way to get info on the Browns than by asking an expert. The expert I talked to is Ryan Rosko of Factory of Sadness.

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  • Here is our quick Q&A from earlier this week:

    Will Lomas:

    The Cleveland are last in the league in point differential, with -61. As a guy who really wanted Hue Jackson in Tennessee, is this an offensive scheme problem? More on the defense? Or do the Browns just not have the right guys right now?

    Ryan Rosko:

    Browns head coach Hue Jackson is the right person for Cleveland. It does not look that way now, but in time (hopefully), people will see why.

    This is not an offensive scheme problem. Instead, it is a talent/depth and experience problem. Cleveland is gutting the roster and there are not that many veterans the Browns can rely on. Sure, there are guys who have been in the NFL for multiple years, but most of them can only be seen as stop-gap players… not leaders.

    Cleveland is playing with very little on offense and working with only one good offensive lineman (left guard Joel Bitonio is out with a foot injury) does not help. The Browns are building through the draft, so it will take some time for both the talent and experience aspects to make an impact on the roster.


    The Tennessee Titans are one of the worst teams in the NFL at home, if the Browns are going to get their first win this season in Nashville, which player other than Pryor should the Titans be afraid of?


    Given what Tennessee has in their front seven, I expect them to stop the Browns’ running game. That said, tight end Gary Barnidge should make a difference Sunday.

    He has posted solid numbers this season, but has yet to produce the stats Cleveland saw last season (specifically with the touchdowns, 9 last season 0 this year). This is the week that Barnidge could get back to 2015 level of play. 


    Last year the Browns killed the Titans with a flurry of aggressive defensive play calls and forced Marcus Mariota to throw it under pressure. Do you think that will be the game plan going into Sunday?


    To an extent I do. We should see some of that throughout the game, but I wouldn’t say confidently that will be the focus. Despite Cleveland’s talent and depth issue, they need to find out a way to stop tight ends. This week, the Browns will have their hands full with Delanie Walker. 

    The more aggressive they are, the greater the chances could be that Walker will make big plays. Walker wouldn’t have to worry about various linebackers and/or safeties on said aggressive plays. Tennessee has yet to use running back Derrick Henry to the extent many expected by now.

    If Cleveland can greatly limit Walker, I would expect them to force the Titans’ running game, involving Henry to make a difference. Still, Marcus Mariota is a very talented athlete and he can beat teams in so many ways. Given Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s background, aggressive play is a given, but doing so in a cautious manner because of Mariota should occur.

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    On paper, Cody Kessler seems to be the Browns best QB and a welcome surprise to that team. How does he look to you?


    I agree, Cody Kessler has been a surprise. However, he has still only played sparingly this season. There is a lot he has to work despite making the occasional play. Being a rookie quarterback in the Browns current offense hurts him, but he can play in the NFL.

    That said, by no means do I view him as Cleveland’s answer at quarterback or a starter in general. Things can change some time down the road in a couple of years. As of now though, Kessler is going to be a better spot starter and second string quarterback, rather than a first string signal-caller. Even if he had wide receivers Corey Coleman and Josh Gordon available, my opinion would not change any time soon.


    Last year the Browns made a decision to let Mitchell Schwartz and Tashaun Gipson walk in free agency, presumably to get some coveted 2017 NFL Draft picks. If they land a 3rd and a 4th for those picks, do you think it will be worth it? Have their replacements played well enough where you think that was a smart decision?


    Letting go Mitchell Schwartz and Tashaun Gipson was the wrong move. Understandably, Cleveland is building with draft picks, but they need quality veterans too. Had Schwartz stayed with Cleveland, the majority of their offensive line would be solidified. Gipson is not a top safety in the NFL, but he is a quality safety. It was tough seeing Cleveland moving on from both of them. Safe to say, moving on from them was not wise.

    As far as replacements go, I’ll put it like this: Regardless of the linemen or safeties on the roster who plays right tackle or free safety, none of them are as good as either Schwartz or Gipson. Third and fourth round picks are tempting because that is the start where they build rosters. Still, there are more important ways to have/acquire talent than picks.

    Sure, the picks will add to the talent portion, but Cleveland needs to stop taking one step forward, while taking two steps back. Had even one of them stayed, Cleveland would not be as frustrating as they are too watch.


    Finally, with everyone seemingly on the chopping block, would you rather keep Joe Haden and continue to build around him in the secondary, or would you trade him?


    I’d keep Joe Haden. If he were to be moved on from, there would be no legitimate veteran close to Haden’s level to lead. I would not be surprised to see him being dealt since Cleveland’s front office would move him in a second. Yet, in a few weeks if we see any Browns player traded, my bet would be Thomas.