By Chris Fedor
As I sit here a day later trying to justify the Browns loss against the Jaguars, I can’t come up with any way to justify it. To lose a game against a team like Jacksonville that committed six turnovers is inexplicable, it’s pitiful, and it’s unacceptable. There was no way that the Browns should have lost that game against Jacksonville with a plus five turnover margin.
There are a number of reasons why Cleveland lost to Jacksonville and there is no question that the Browns have a ton of issues on their roster. They need to shore up the right side of the offensive line, they need to find a pass-rusher that can consistently get after the quarterback, and they need to find another cornerback to beef up the secondary in a pass-happy league. However, nothing is of more importance than a wide receiver.
Peyton Hillis leads the team in catches while a tight end leads the team in receiving yards. And no offense to Ben Watson, but he’s not Antonio Gates. He shouldn’t lead any team in catches. Mohammed Massaquoi has fewer catches this year than Mark Clayton who played in just five games, he has fewer catches than Anthony Armstrong, Jacoby Jones, Jordy Nelson, as well as Brandon LaFell, David Gettis, and Dante Rosario of Carolina. And he’s supposed to be the team’s number one receiver? I don’t think so. Mo Mass is a good kid and a good player in the proper role, but it’s not surprising to me that he had his best game when Braylon Edwards was still on the roster. Since Braylon left town Mo Mass has a grand total of 43 catches and five touchdowns in 21 games. You do the math.
The Browns have the worst collection of wide receivers in the game today and until that changes, all I see is a one-dimensional team. And it’s not just Mohamed Massaquoi. Former second round pick Brian Robiskie can’t get on the field consistently. Chansi Stuckey seemingly can’t catch a pass for more than four yards at a time. And Josh Cribbs is till learning how to be an NFL receiver. They’ve passed up the opportunity to draft Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, Percy Harvin, Hakeem Nicks, Kenny Britt, Dez Bryant, Arrelious Benn, and even Mike Williams. I understand why they decided to go a different direction in the draft, but it would be great to see any one of those guys in the Browns and Orange. On top of that the Browns also passed up an opportunity to trade for Vincent Jackson, who is one of the 20 best receivers in the game, they passed up the opportunity to trade for Santonio Holmes who makes big play after big play after big play, and they missed the opportunity to bring in Terrell Owens.
The Browns have their quarterback of the future with Colt McCoy and unless they want his career to disintegrate as quickly as Tim Couch’s did here in Cleveland then Mike Holmgren, Tom Heckert, and Eric Mangini need to get it right this offseason and get Colt a go-to guy that he can throw the ball to not named Mohamed Massaquoi.