Mike Holmgren enjoys pain. This is the only explanation for why he continues to talk about the Browns’ draft so candidly.
The Browns had a glaring need at wide receiver that wasn’t addressed until the fourth round, meaning it essentially wasn’t addressed at all. They had three of the first 37 picks, yet Holmgren and GM Tom Heckert still managed to leave the draft without one of the top players at a deep position, and a position of need. We’re not even mad, we’re impressed, because that takes true negligence.
Holmgren must surely be aware of his surroundings, and the building angst around the Factory of Sadness. Despite the optimism after getting a potential game-breaker in Trent Richardson and the excitement surrounding a quarterback who’s arm doesn’t resemble a piece of traditional Italian food, there’s still apprehension towards the team’s wide receivers.
If Holmgren wants to keep hyping Greg Little, and convince a fan base that Weeden’s presence alone will improve a young and blossoming receiving corps, then he’s free to pursue that strategy, and possibly make the plans for his own funeral procession. But Mike, this isn’t how you do that…
“We will never know for sure but between the time we picked and the time we got to 22 there was a lot of discussion as you might imagine in our room and as players were coming off of the board. We liked Kendall Wright a lot. And we knew wide receiver was an area that we were going to try and hit in the draft one way or the other but then we also like the quarterback a lot. The decision in essence was made for us. Kendall was taken before us and so it became pretty easy to take the quarterback.”
Wright went to the Titans at No. 20, but between the Browns’ pick at No. 22 and their next time on the clock only 15 picks later at No. 37, two of the draft’s other top wide receivers (A.J. Jenkins and Brian Quick) came off the board. Then when Cleveland passed on a target for Weeden at No. 37 and instead selected Mitchell Schwartz to address their offensive line, they let Stephen Hill, Alshon Jeffery, and Rueben Randle fall to other eagerly waiting hands in the second round.
The franchise clearly wanted to move in a different direction at quarterback following a stagnant year under Colt McCoy. But if a wide receiver was such a high priority that Holmgren was hoping for Wright to drop just two more slots, then why take Weeden in the first round? Weeden was a questionable first rounder at best, and since the needs at quarterback were minimal among the other teams picking late in the first round and early in the second, he would have easily been available at No. 37.
Holmgren is having a far more difficult time justifying his reach for Weeden in the first round than he would have had he called the names of, say, Jenkins or Quick, two receivers who came off the board only a short time after the Browns’ new quarterback.
Now instead he’s stuck talking about a need that’s still glaring brightly.
And now you want to know the rest of the story…
- After a fun day filled with more waffles than your average Toronto Maple Leafs home game, the Minnesota State Senate passed the Vikings stadium bill, which is certainly a major step forward, but there’s still a large gap to bridge. That gap is, of course, a monetary one, as there’s an $80 million difference between the House and Senate versions of the bill. A conference committee will now attempt to resolve the difference, an exercise that’s always smooth and easy in politics. [USA Today]
- The latest vision for Los Angeles’ new stadium was unveiled yesterday. Now they just need a team, so no rush on that stadium bill, Minnesota. [Los Angeles Times]
- So, Chris Carter, you’re telling us that Buddy Ryan used bounties, and you also issued bounties personally? Phfff, crazy talk. Next you’re going to say something about a Polish goal-line. [Bleeding Green Nation]
- Some intelligent fellow in Mississippi robbed a bank because he was angry about his failed NFL dreams. [Busted Coverage]
- Michael Vick spent a day beating 11 year olds in chess during a tournament organized by the Eagles Youth Partnership program. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
- Dominique Foxworth wrote a column for USA Today, and he wants you to know that even though the NFLPA is supporting the four suspended Saints players during their fight against their penalties, the union still really cares about the health of its members. [column]
- Larry Fitzgerald thinks that Roger Goodell’s hand was forced during the bounty mess, and he had to throw several phone books at the Saints players and coaches. [SB Nation Arizona]
- The NFL justice system is quite circular, and redundant. [Sports Pickle]
- Ryan Braun and Aaron Rodgers opened a restaurant together that will specialize in American cuisine (see: steaks, and other fatty substances). [Total Packers]