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The North Coast Posse are Back for Another Season of Browns Football

The North Coast Posse are a top five twitter follow for the Cleveland Browns @northcoastposse

The NCP has new blood.  K-Dubs, the Soldier has been jumped out of the gang, and he needed an ass whoopin’ after his arrest this summer.  We wish him the worst as he goes from the Boston Market to the San Quentin salad bar. Punter Supreme joins the squad for 2018 to answer questions from Pencil Storm

 

  1. Having the Browns on Hard Knocks has been a blast. Who were the winners and losers of the HBO series?  Who looks good / bad ? Offense? Defense? Cajuste? 

 Big $: For my mental health I have come to the conclusion that OL coach, Bob Wylie, was simply a character actor paid by HBO to add color to the program. While the country was giggling at his jiggling, I was simply mortified that this jag-off was the leader of an instrumental cog of a professional football franchise. Animal videos???? Championing jumping jacks??? You have to be freaking kidding me. This guy drove me crazy and its no surprise that a quick look at his coaching career shows that he has been tied to Hue at the hip.

 As for who looked good? I’d say it’s a tie between Carl Nassib’s financial institution and Cajuste (so the ladies say).

 2) Cleveland is absolutely hyped for the opening game against the Steelers. Even nosebleed tiks in the alcohol free zone are going for $150. Can the Browns win this game or should people hold out for 50 yard line tickets for $20 by October?

 Punter Supreme: Hell yes, the Browns can win this one.  Sure, history is against them. They have not won a season opener since 2004, and unbelievably (and so how completely believably) Ben Roethlisberger is the all-time leader in wins by any QB (including Browns’ QBs) at First Energy Stadium.  Throw out all of that. This is a brand-new era. Unlike all the previous new eras. I mean it this time. The team has a new front office that has a track record of success, a new offensive coordinator in Todd Haley that directed an explosive Steelers’ attack the last few years, and nearly half a new roster that gives them quality depth at key positions.  

 Chances for victory got better this week because Pittsburgh’s all-world running back, Le’Veon Bell, is still a contract holdout and will not play.  In his place, they are starting James Conner, a second-year player that has just 32 career carries. The Steelers still have Big Ben and wide receiver Antonio Brown, who is as close to unstoppable as it gets.  But the Browns have a lot more strength in the defensive backfield this year. Keep an eye on AB’s match-ups with Cleveland rookie and Buckeye product Denzel Ward.

 Still, Charlie Brown had a lot hope every time Lucy teed up the football for him, but he always ended up with heartbreak and a red ass.  I’ll be watching from the couch this Sunday, sipping some Four String, waiting this team to prove me right. If all goes right, you’ll be saving up for the $150 nose-bleeds in December.  

 Big $: My biggest concern is Desmond Harrison getting his first start at LT. If he plays like an undrafted rookie who was dinged up a bunch in the preseason, it’s a loss, regardless of how the other 21 starters play. I can not stress how concerned I am about this kid playing the most important position on the field, Left Tackles have to be grinders who love football. Harrison showed up to the combine and did (gasp) 10 reps (gasp) of 225 on the bench. If he put in even a sliver of effort at his size, he would throw up a ho-hum 20 in his sleep. I have seen people champion his 4.78 40 time, but I think this is a shaky barometer considering LT stalwarts like JT and Jason Peters ran 4.9 plus. The lack of a quality strategy to replace 73 may be the anchor on the season.

 

  1. The Browns projected win total is 5.5. Would you take the over / under and what are the must wins on the schedule. 

 

Big $: The NFL is designed for each team to go 8-8 each year, which is what makes the 1-31 streak even more unbelievable. With that said, there isn’t enough kool aid in the cupboard to make me believe this team is winning 8 games. 6 or 7 wins would be highly optimistic, but due to my OL concerns I’m leaning towards pessimism, I’ll take the under all day.

 Punter Supreme: I’m feeling over … by a hair.  Like Big $ said, the biggest question mark is how the team will replace the retired Joe Thomas at left tackle.  Many of the reps there during camp have gone to starting left guard Joel Bitonio, with rookie Austin Corbett sliding in to Bitonio’s place.  There are some concerns that Bitonio, who is a solid guard, does not have the size to anchor the left edge on the reg. The staff is high on Harrison to take over at tackle, but he was very uneven in the last preseason game.  If he or Greg Robinson, the 2nd overall pick of the 2014 draft, can make the most of his shot, Bitonio can move back inside. Once Hue can figure out the best five start on the line, the Browns should be able to get the running game rolling with RBs Carlos Hyde and rookie Nick Chubb.  If they can keep the heat off new QB Tyrod Taylor, the O will put up more points this season. Last year, the three quarterbacks on the roster had a combined NFL win total of zero, and the wide receiver with the most catches was Rashard Higgins with 27. This year, Taylor, who led the Bills to the playoffs last year, will be throwing to former Dolphin Jarvis Landry, who has caught at least 84 balls in each of his four years in the league, a returning Josh Gordon, and rookie Antonio Callaway, who is a dude that can go the distance whenever he has the rock.  Duke Johnson returns too, and he’s Crisco greasy. Expect a breakout year from second-year TE David Njoku, who will reap the benefit of having more speed on the outside, and he will no doubt emerge as a top red-zone target in the league. I know there is a lot of “ifs” but this is Week 1, and there ain’t nothin’ but “ifs” for the whole league.

 I think the defense will be the strength of the team.  D-end Miles Garrett will have a lot of big Sundays, and with Emmanuel Ogbah on the other side, the Browns should disrupt the passing game a lot better this year, especially with the help of a revamped secondary that includes Ward, Terrance Mitchell, Demarious Randall, T.J. Carrie, and E.J. Gaines.  Hopefully ballhawk Jamie Collins will stay healthy for the whole year. I just can’t see anything but improvement from the minus 28 turnover margin that we endured last year. More points on O and more turnovers on D, should get them to at least 6 wins.

 4) How long does Hue Jackson survive? 

 Big$: There are few to any excuses for going 1-31 over a 2 year span. Sashi demolished the roster, but Hue’s coaching blunders were evident whether it be depth chart decisions or clock management. Even with this current reality, Jimmy Haslam seems to value Hue’s leadership. At this point,  I cannot imagine a catastrophe big enough for Jimmy to pull the trigger. However…… If Jimmy washes his hands Pontius Pilate style and leaves the decision to Johnny D, I believe 2-5 would get Hue the axe. At that point we would see Coach Haley leading the team into week 8.

 Punter Supreme: Amen.  Teflon Jackson has somehow kept his job during the absolute worst stretch in NFL history, but a bad first half of the season after the complete overhaul of the roster and front office should put his tenure to an end.

 5) How long until Baker starts under center?

Punter Supreme: God I hope we don’t see Baker in any meaningful time until at least 2019.  If we do, that means the season has already gone to shit.

Big$: Full disclosure, I would be way more pumped for this season if Baker was starting. I celebrate the young man’s entire catalog, However, if Hue insists on starting a LT who repped out at 10 on the 225 bench press, it may be best if we protect the future of the franchise. I agree with PS, if Baker is playing the season is on the skids.