Week One Growing Pains: NCP Looks Forward to Home Opener

Q:  So was The North Coast Posse Browns Kick-Off Party at Four String Brew the highlight of the season?   Should the Browns sign Mike Parks of The League Bowlers to play guitar in the locker room at halftime?


Big$:  Life is about expectations. What we expect from ourselves, what we expect from others, and what we expect from each experience. If someone went into the 2016 Browns season with misguided expectations, such as playoff contention etc., I could see why they would be ready to punt on enjoying any part of this season. I, on the other hand, am fully ready for the tear down. It was time to reset the deck completely and get some new blood on the field. I don't plan on seeing many wins, but I am amped to watch the progress of building blocks like Terrelle, Bitonio, Nassib, Ogbah, Schobert, Duke, and Kirksey each week. One needs to look no further than the future Las Vegas Raiders for a blueprint of this nature.

Browns Kickoff Party with Pencil Storm Impresario/League Bowler frontman Colin Gawel, Big$, Neil Sika (Golden Voice of the Columbus Crew), and K-Dubs, the Soldier.

As for the Kickoff Party I could probably enjoy Four String while being forced to listen to a Harbaugh mixtape. So getting to down the finest beer in Columbus while getting a taste of the mercurial League Bowlers is nothing but aces. Seriously people, Mike Parks is a CBUS treasure.  You should see him at every given opportunity.

Q:  RG3. Gone. I know we are rebuilding but it was sure more fun to watch us lose with him under center than Josh McCown. Still, will this injury actually affect the offense? Could this offense actually become decent?


K-Dubs, the Soldier:  I was hoping that we would get the chance to watch RG3 this year, but his injury does not change my outlook on the season at all.  I think the front office pegged Griffin as a place-holder with a big potential upside.  His loss merely leaves us with our previous place-holder, and I am OK with that.  I am an unabashed Josh McCown apologist.  Last year he showed a mastery of the offense, and when he is clicking, the team can score.  Don’t forget that he threw for 457 yards against the Ravens in a rare road win in Baltimore.  In fact, last year’s debacle of a season started with such promise when McCown led the Browns on a 10-minute, 90-yard drive against the Jets.  (Please do forget, however, that drive ended when he drove for the end zone, was sent into a helicopter spin by a pair of defenders, fumbled, broke his shoulder, and paved the way for Johnny Dickwad to take over as QB).   Sure, the new coaching staff has installed a different offensive scheme, but McCown is a savvy veteran that still moves in the pocket surprisingly well for a dude that is now closer to AARP than NCAA.  He also put up good numbers last year when his tallest wideout was 5’9”.  He ain’t as exciting as RG3, but a McCown-led offense will run like a well-oiled machine, and with Pryor, Gordon, and Coleman in his arsenal, the Browns will put points on the board. 


Big$:  Trent Green, for better or worse (who we are we kidding, worse for sure) seems to always be circulating around the Browns. With that said, they should look to his Wally Pipp-esque Rams injury story for inspiration. Let us all remember when the Rams were ready to wrap up their season after losing ole T. Green. The reigns were handed over to a stock boy from Iowa, and the rest is NFL history.

Fast forward to the Browns of 2016 and I think that Josh McCown offers this team a better chance at winning each week. His experience and moxie coupled with the “Greatest Show on Turf II” could surprise a whole bunch of people. Plus I think he and Kurt Warner's wife have the same hairstyle so there is another tie to that Rams miracle super bowl run.

Q:  Forget offense, how bad is this Browns defense?

K-Dubs, the Soldier:  No doubt, last week was a letdown, but there’s no reason to hang your head.  The young guns on defense played fairly well and were able to get pressure on Wentz.  Also, although Philly had a 2-1 advantage in time of possession, they gained less than 4 yards per rush.  The problem was the veterans, particularly at cornerback giving up big plays.  Joe Haden needs to step up his game.  The defense has potential, but it will only be as good as the defensive backs will allow it to be. 


Q:  Should the Browns have drafted Carson Wentz? 

Big$: One needs to look no further than the Browns training room for the cautionary tale that makes this an easy answer. RG3 didn't just have one breakout game, he had a breakout season. Now he'll be lucky to ever start another NFL game. So excuse me if I'm not ready to crown Carson the “one that got away” just yet.

Q:  Who Should LeBron start for this week?

Big$: I'm sorry Gary Barnidge, but you must pay for your costly unforced errors in week one. Grab some pine, as I'm inserting the King at TE this week.

K-Dubs, the Soldier:  He should start in place of special teams coach Chris Tabor.  I do not know have any idea how this guy has kept a job for as long as he has.  Hue Jackson is the 3rd head coach to retain Tabor, who was hired by Pat Shurmur in 2011.  Despite this perpetual vote of confidence, the Browns continue to have special teams breakdowns at the worst time.  Since he’s been the coordinator, the Browns have lost on second-chance field goals at the buzzer, had field goals blocked in 3 straight games, including one returned for a winning touchdown, and the team still does not have anyone that can field a goddamn punt.   Special teams are a third of game, and Cleveland continues to struggle here.  LeBron has shown that he is a coach on the court (especially in the David Blatt era).  Now we need his leadership on the field in the kicking game.

Q:  Any chance against the Ravens?

Big$: There is always hope. My boy Josh looked strong in a start against the Ratbirds last year, and with TP Sr. at his disposal, anything is possible.

K-Dubs, the Soldier:  Of course, the Ravens are no longer a premier team, and if Baltimore had not returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown at the final gun last year, the Browns would have swept them.  Again, I think McCown will move the ball.  The concern is how well the linebackers and defensive backs play.  In recent years the Ravens have done a lot of their damage against Cleveland with passes to their backs, and for a squad that has looked lost at times in coverage throughout the preseason and in the opener last week, the pass defense needs to play much better than they did against Philly.  If Joe Flacco gets going it going early though it could make for a long afternoon.  My prediction is for a Browns win 24-20, with the defense pressuring Flacco into a pick or two.