Building the Browns

Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by akutozo, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. akutozo

    akutozo Baby, I'm a Brown.

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    This thread is designed to take a look back at the progression of the Browns rise from worst team in the NFL to a capable contender, the evolution of myself as a coach and how the Browns have impacted the league.

    Prior to the start of the file, I was given the opportunity to announce my own team and did so here. The Browns were a laughable franchise with potential. A strong offensive line (Thomas, Mack, Bitonio) and a solid secondary (Haden, Williams, incoming legacy player Adenji) with an underwhelming offense. As people found out quickly, however, the Browns new owner took rebuilding very seriously.

    The biggest takeaway from this was the trade of Joe Haden to the Titans, which gave the Browns the ammunition to begin forging what could be potentially the best overall group of drafted players this cycle. As you can see here, the Browns first season was so terrible they stopped bothering to update everyone on just how bad it was.

    Finishing as worst in the league, we saw the edition of the Cleveland Blues hit the stores in the offseason, The Browns immediately traded their #1 overall selection to the Cowboys for a horde of draft picks. While one of the best QB prospects this entire cycle, Jimmy Russel, was being drafted as HaW's first selection of that very cycle the Browns knew that they could not field a competitive team without the talent to surround the QB, ultimately focusing on acquiring building blocks of the future.

    An offseason review reveals the trading continue, with a heavy emphasis on building a powerful, destructive defense. Season 2, the Browns moved from 2 wins to 5. Woopity Doo. However, they were still 100% focused on rebuilding the team and put the final touches on a Browns team that would take the North by storm in season 3.

    Following the terrible season 2 finish, which was entirely expected, we saw a huge offseason for the Browns. The Browns had managed to put themselves in the position to do whatever they wanted, with 8 picks in the top 3 rounds and picking up free agent sharpshooter Drew Brees. Once again, the Browns played voodoo with draft picks and walked away with 3 starting players and horded the rest of their picks into the next seasons draft.

    The Browns finished season 3 11-5, losing in the wild card to the Steelers in quite possibly the most heart breaking loss in HaW history: an intercepted 2 point conversion ran back all the way, allowing the Steelers to win by exactly 1 point.

    The Browns took some time afterwards to calm down, and proceeded to completely dominate the next draft. All and all, the Browns took away a starting QB, 2 starting CBs, a starting WR, their backup QB of the future, a depth end they traded for a SS HB, and a corner that was ultimately traded for a starting offensive lineman. Completely reloaded, the Browns hit the playoffs 10-6, losing in the wild card after starting LT Joe Thomas got injured in w14, triggering a drop from 10-3 to 10-7 (WC Loss).


    With 2 games left in season 5, the Browns are 8-6. A few narrow losses in the books, and a shot at the playoffs for a 3rd season in the row a real possibility it's fair to say I'm incredibly proud of the team I have built and have 0 regrets with the wheeling and dealing it took to build this team. This team is a testament to the hard work, dedication and persistence of wanting to compete in the league.

    Even more importantly, it's just 1 story of dozens, with dozens more like it for every single member of HaW who has spent their time, energy and given their attention to building a fun, enjoyable league. Despite the ups and downs, it's been one hell of a ride.

    I'd love to hear how you built your team, but it's not a requirement. Hope you enjoy the content, and hope we can keep more coming your way.
     
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  2. RaiderRed90

    RaiderRed90 Rage Fiend

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    I would do one of these but i don't remember everything I've done lol
     
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  3. akutozo

    akutozo Baby, I'm a Brown.

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    Season 1: Jimmy Russel.
    Season 2: No draft picks.
    Seaso 3: Julius Thomas.
    Season 4: No draft picks except a first that iBO blew.
    Season 5: Vontaze Burfict and traded to get Lenerick Jordan.
    Profit.


    There you go man.
     
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  4. RFF

    RFF Walk On

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    Houston Texans Franchise Summary

    • 2015
      • Named Tom Savage the starting QB and decided we could live with developing Savage as our long-term franchise QB. Kept an eye out for franchise QBs to fall in the 2016-2018 drafts in case an elite prospect fell later in the 1st, but otherwise targeted other positions.
      • Two main priorities were building the aging & porous secondary and beefing up the offensive line.
      • ID'd & started developing young prospects Jaelen Strong, CB Kevin Johnson, SS Lonnie Ballentine and MLB McKinney as key long-term starters.
      • Held onto draft picks and kept quiet in the trade market. Swung low-level trade for TE James Hanna who, while only a depth player, has been a key situational player in the run & pass game out of 2 & 3 TE sets. Also dealt NT Vince Wilfork for an extra mid-round pick. Picked up Jeremy Langford as a potential heir to Arian Foster who remains a key piece of my 1-2 punch at RB.
      • Resisted the urge to tank for better draft position when lack of initial coaching acumen & having the worst starting QB in the league contributed to a rough 2-6 start. Kept trying to win games instead, went on a win streak, finished season 9-7, but missed playoffs in a tough AFC.
    • 2016
      • Drafted two immediate starters who have since developed into my LT & #1 CB
      • Again kept quiet in trades and held onto draft picks.
      • ID'd several major holes (another CB to replace aging starters Jonathan Joseph & Kareem Jackson, additional OL help including successor to aging Duane Brown, a successor to Arian Foster, starting TE, improved WR depth, NT, improved pass rush) to address in free agency & the draft.
      • Finished sim season 6-10 with a number of holes still to fill.
    • 2017
      • Swung my first two impactful trades in the 11th hour just before the 2017 draft: trading down out of the ~12 spot to pick up two late firsts and an extra 2nd, and then packaging three 2nd rounders to trade back up to #15 overall. End result was 4 of the first 41 picks in the draft. Used those four picks plus an early third to pick up a whopping five impact players from the 2017 draft, all of whom are now either key starters or nominal backups who play major snaps in a key role (e.g. Marshall). This was the offseason I had been waiting for to take the talent level of the team to the next level.
      • Traded for DeAnthony Thomas early in the season to give the team that dangerous playmaker who could line up in the slot, out of the backfield, and return kicks.
      • Started off the season 5-1 in 1st place of the AFC South before GM/HC Francis had to take a leave of absence from the team for the duration of the season due to personal reasons. Red-hot starts for rookies Hull & Vaughan came to a screeching halt, and the two in the end turned in slightly disappointing rookie seasons statistically.
    • 2018
      • For the second year in a row, Texans management traded back in the draft, this time from the #13 spot to pick up two late firsts. Came away with two players who are now key starters, plus a solid coverage LB who subs into certain formations on passing downs. CB Brandon in particular, now in his 2nd season as a pro, has developed into a major component of the Texans defensive scheme, with the size & athleticism to guard big WRs on the outside in man, while able to jam smaller route runners at the line.
      • Houston made its first splash in Free Agency this offseason, finally addressing the WR position by adding veterans Torrey Smith and Justin Blackmon. Smith has played primarily out of the slot in 2018 and into 2019. They also signed receiving back Theo Riddick, who can punish LBs in the passing game and can even line up wide at times to create personnel mismatches.
      • By now Savage had finally developed into a legitimate--albeit not star caliber--starting QB, capable of making all the throws to run the kind of offense Houston envisioned. He still didn't have a mastery of the finer points, dealing with pressure or running the play action fake, and his deep ball accuracy was among the poorest in the league. None the less, it was enough for the improved Texans to finish 10-6 on the year and make the playoffs for the first time before falling to Tennesee in the wild card round.
    • 2019
      • Before the 2019 draft, Houston uncharacteristically pulled the trigger on a huge win-now move. They dealt most of their key draft picks away in an effort to land superstar QB Aaron Rodgers, as QB was the lone remaining spot that Texans brass felt needed an improvement. Given his age and the huge signing bonus he required to extend his contract, this was not a small risk, but Texans felt like he had at least two years of elite play left in him. Instantaneously the Houston offense transformed into one of the most lethally efficient units in the league. Although it's over-simplification to lay this all on the feet of Aaron Rodgers, and there were some initial bumps (read: INTs) as he adjusted to an aggressive new offense with new weapons that could stretch the field in a multitude of ways, there's no arguing that he's made the biggest difference.
      • Houston also traded for MLB Denzel Perryman prior to the 2019 draft, leaving them with no meaningful selections. Although not as versatile as some, Houston specifically was looking for a bruising run-stopping ILB with the size to play in their 3-4 to replace an aging Brian Cushing and beef up their depth at the position. This has proven to be a fortuitous move since the season-ending injury to their three-down ILB McKinney has launched Perryman into the primary ILB role for the rest of the year.
      • Free agency brought in veteran CB Chris Culliver, who lines up in a host of dime & nickel formations, allowing the Texans to gladly line up against 4-wide sets with a healthy & unpredictable mix of man and zone.
      • Although lacking Rodgers' star power, the Texans' early-season trade for former first-round pick WR Phillip Dorsett has also moved the needle. Although he's #4 on the depth chart, pairing up a true field-stretching deep threat with Rodgers' elite accuracy has proved to be a well-made match.

    Rodgers notwithstanding, the Texans are overall a young team with extra draft assets in the bank to maintain & improve their overall talent level for seasons to come. A number of investments in the future have finally come to full fruition this season: in particular a defense without any holes that can truly adapt to a variety of styles, and an offense that now boasts dangerous playmakers at every position.
     
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  5. RaiderRed90

    RaiderRed90 Rage Fiend

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    Ok I'm gonna sit down and try to do one of these. RFF and akutozo got me pumped
     
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  6. Woody

    Woody Walk On

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    Good stuff, gentlemen
     
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  7. Freakskull

    Freakskull Lobsters are mermaids to scorpions.

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    cannot awesome this thread enough - its the look back over many seasons that makes this league so much fun for me. Last cycle, I created my "perfect" team, with all the pieces I wanted, but we never won a playoff game. I was still proud of my team building and limited success.
     
  8. akutozo

    akutozo Baby, I'm a Brown.

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    Lets see your own summary for this cycle!
     
  9. Freakskull

    Freakskull Lobsters are mermaids to scorpions.

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    OK I'll put my list of drafted players here (since hskr8128 showed me how easy it is)

    Draft #1:
    James Griffin PIT TE Avg 25 6'4'' 247 76 OVR A miss when trying to get a SS TE, but he was a late round pick
    Matt Marshall PIT LG Star 25 6'5'' 312 90 OVR Hit on a great addition to the line
    Tyrone McCoy PIT RE Avg 25 6'6'' 270 71 OVR positional player.

    Draft #2:
    Ryan Bars PIT TE Star 24 6'5'' 264 96OVR My favorite pick of the cycle.
    Armond Taylor PIT CB Avg 23 5'10'' 184 86OVR Drafted to be a #3CB, but so good he has the #2 spot locked down
    Dan Landrum PIT QB Avg 24 6'0'' 211 85OVR Second rounder, insurance policy became Dan the man.
    Jaron Floyd PIT LT Avg 25 6'4'' 314 70OVR Backup

    Draft #3
    Femi Love PIT HB Avg 24 6'0'' 216 65OVR Plays better than his ratings, good bruiser.
    Stuart Cook PIT CB Star 24 6'0'' 183 81OVR A luxury at #3, a player that could easily be a #2 on some teams.
    Tre Patton PIT RE Star 24 6'5'' 312 80OVR Another happy addition to the defense

    Draft #4
    Bennett Rosemond PIT LOLB Star 22 6'2'' 221 72OVR Lucky to have a SS LB in the wings - captain of my special teams
    Chase Matthews PIT MLB Star 21 6'0'' 243 82OVR Got talked into him... glad I was. Took Timmons' job

    I have 3 more picks that are still on the team, rated 64OVR, I didn't show them. 12 picks I am proud of, 6 Defense, 6 offense. (Good balance!) 7 current starters, 6 Superstar Development (which would have meant a lot more if we had XP sliders)
     

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