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Plan B

March 25, 2012 - Mike McLain
That seems to be the question Browns' fans are asking these day.

What's next now that the Browns are out of the RG3 sweepsakes and Matt Flynn signed with the Seattle Seahawks? There's no question that the Browns wanted to trade up with the St. Louis Rams for the opportunity to draft quarterback Robert Griffin III, but they lost out to the Washington Redskins. Flynn was never in their plans.

So what is Plan B. Do the Browns use one of their first three picks (Nos. 4, 22 and 37) on a quarterback (perhaps Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill) or do they stick with Colt McCoy and add pieces around him to make him a better quarterback.

First of all, don't believe everything you hear when coach Pat Shurmur or general manager Tom Heckert express their beliefs that McCoy can be a winning quarterback. They know McCoy has limited skills that aren't going to dramatically improve by adding receiver Justin Blackmon, a running back and a tackle in the draft.

Unfortunately, the Browns might have to wait another year to get a quarterback for the future. Conjecture has surfaced already that they will target USC's Matt Barkley in next year's draft. The problem with that thinking means another bad season would be needed to get a pick high enough (perhaps first overall) to land Barkley's services.

Barkley's decision to remain at USC for his senior year was a blow to the Browns. If he had decided to enter the draft this year, the Browns would have certainly been in a position to select one of the top three quarterbacks -- Andrew Luck, Griffin or Barkley. When Barkley decided to stay in school, it meant that the Browns had to maneuver up to get a shot at Griffin, and we all know how that turned out.

The inability to get a top quarterback this year might surprisingly put more emphasis on using the fourth pick on a defensive player. Why? Because the defense is close to being a top-10 unit. Adding a player like LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne would strengthen the defense and thus keep the Browns competitive in most of their games.

If you're close every week, you don't always need a big game from the quarterback to win. It might sound like strange logic, but it doesn't if you believe that defense wins games.

Perhaps the Browns have something up their sleeve in regards to the quarterback position. If so, it's almost time to show their hand because Bernie Kosar isn't coming back from retirement anytime soon.


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