@Northcoastposse are considered a Top 5 twitter follow by the real Cleveland Browns.
Q: Before diving into the upcoming Browns season, everybody is talking about the big beef between you guys and Bomani Jones in the off season. What happened there?
Big$: Well, it appears I was just peripheral damage in the Bomani Jones scandal. The real beef began on a trip Mr. Jones made to Columbus. He encountered an "over saturated" Ben Galli at the 4 String taproom and they engaged in a heated two-and-a-half hour debate over who is better: Avery Bradley or Kentavious Caldwell Pope (we at Pencilstorm sports all support KCP). The argument ended with B. Galli reminding Bo that he was replaced on air in Big 10 country by an SEC talk show. Since then he has had an online axe to grind with p.storm.
Q: So it looks like we are starting the Kizer era. What are your expectations on this offense?
K-Dubs, the Soldier: I think Kizer was a steal as a third-round pick in this year’s draft. He has a strong arm and moves well in the pocket. At least in the preseason, he did not show the happy-footed tendency of many young quarterbacks to tuck the ball and run when the first or second option is not open. He keeps his eyes down field, but he still has the mobility to make a play with his legs when needed. The two most promising things about him so far are his ability to deliver the ball on the money and throw receivers open, and, according to all reports, he is putting in the study time outside of practice to master Coach Jackson’s offense.
The Browns also made solid investments in the line, signing center JC Tretter and right guard Kevin Zeitler to help protect Kizer. Like with any young QB, the Browns will likely focus on running the ball and the new additions to the front five should help with that, as well.
Big$: My expectations for the offense would be much higher if TP was here to act as a playmaking crutch for Deshone. I think the aggressive defense will be exciting, however it's also going to make some mistakes which will leave the O playing catch up. Im not sure this group is ready for that.
Q: Since we money-balled T Pryor out of town, does this team have the necessary wide outs to help the rookie quarterback?
Big$: As I've already mentioned, I'm mourning the TP loss. I think Corey Coleman has some playmaking ability, but between Ricardo Louis and Sammie Coates there are some serious hands issues. Last time I checked, catching is kind of important as a receiver. I’m concerned about this current crop and am already penciling in that monster we just saw from Indiana University (Simmie Cobbs) in as a Browns draft pick in the near future.
K-Dubs, the Soldier: This is the biggest question mark for the team as a whole. The receiver unit has yet to show the ability to separate from coverage consistently. Coach Jackson is going to have to scheme hard to open up the offense.
Q: What should we expect from the 2017 Browns defense led by new psychotic DC Gregg Williams?
Big$: Well, expectations have to change with the news that Myles Garrett is out for about four weeks with a high ankle sprain. However, I believe that will give them a chance to highlight the secret weapon, aka Carl Nassib. I really expect him to shine, as well as his other Big 10 brethren, Joe Schobert, who is now starting at middle linebacker. As a group, I expect to see tenacity which will be fun to watch, but I also expect the aggressive exuberance to lead to mistakes and missed assignments. Growing pains, but exciting growing pains.
K-Dubs, the Soldier: Expect a lot of improvement on the defensive side of the ball. Williams is known for his aggressive, attacking style of defense. In the preseason, the most promising result I saw from Williams’ influence was that the defensive backs are making tackles at, and sometimes behind, the line of scrimmage. Better support from the corners and safeties against the run should lessen the times the Browns get gashed outside the tackles, which has plagued them in the last few years. With last week’s releases of fan-favorite Joe Haden (for financial reasons) and offseason acquisition Calvin Pryor (for fighting a teammate), though, they are thin at DB. So hopefully Williams’ scheme won’t subject that unit to fatigue and injury. Also, the Browns have built more quality depth on the defensive front. Once Myles Garrett and Danny Shelton return from injury, I think the sack numbers will go up and the opponent’s third-down conversion rate will drop.
Is Jabrill Peppers already the best player on this defense?
K-Dubs, the Soldier: Not even. He is a nice addition, and he has ball-hawking skills a la Troy Palomalu or the Honey Badger, but his biggest impact this year should be on special teams. The Browns have been hurting in the return game since Josh Cribbs left town. The inability to flip field position on a big return, or even field a punt consistently, has certainly contributed to some of the many losses the Browns have suffered in the last few years. Peppers has an explosiveness that should improve the average starting field position for this young offense. That said, he should be a solid, regular presence in the defensive backfield, but he still ranks behind Shelton and Garrett, and linebackers Jamie Collins and Christian Kirksey.
Big$: I don't think Peppers has unseated Collins as the best player on the D......yet. He has definitely shown the propensity for electric playmaking already and I can't wait to see him get after it.
Q: Is Myles Garrett ready to live up to his #1 overall hype?
K-Dubs, the Soldier: Yep … so long as he stays healthy. Garrett is a physical freak born to smash QBs and he has shown he can play the run down the line of scrimmage. No matter what happens with other top-5 draft picks from this year’s draft, the Browns could not pass on this dude. He is already starting and was making plays in the preseason.
Q: Who else on this team do you expect to have an impact?
Big$: I literally believe that new center JC Tretter will be the most impactful player on the team. It's not a sexy pick but all you have to do is track Alex Mack's last few years for how important JC may be. I also think Cam Erving's absence will be quite impactful.
K-Dubs, the Soldier: I think this roster simply has more impact players overall compared to the last few years, but I expect breakout seasons from Schobert, who is a playmaker at middle linebacker, and Emmanuel Ogbah at defensive end.
Q: If the Browns could upset the Steelers in week one, would that make the season a success?
K-Dubs, the Soldier: In Trump-anese, “It would be yooouuuuuugggeee.” That would really set the momentum in the right direction and could precipitate more early wins, but a single victory against Pittsburgh wouldn’t make the season a success in and of itself.
Q: Vegas has the Browns at 4.5 wins. Do you like the over or under?
K-Dubs, the Soldier: The NCP has nailed this question the last few years. With games against the Jets, Jags, Bears, Chargers, and a Week 3 game against the Colts, which will likely still be missing Andrew Luck, I am feeling the over in 2017.
Big$: I'm a Browns fan, I always take the under.