When a team gets a star player back it usually provides a boost. Especially if the team has been in the dumps without him. The NFL announced today that the Cleveland Browns will be getting WR Josh Gordon back after serving a one-year suspension. However, his return will not help the Browns the way most superstar returns do. Below are 5 reasons why Gordon’s return doesn’t make the Browns contenders
The Cleveland Browns are under their eighth coaching staff since 1999. A team needs stability at that position in order to become a contender. If the Browns do not find the stability at that position in their organization, they will never become contenders again. No matter what set of players on the team. If ownership allows, Hugh Jackson has the potential to be in Cleveland for quite some time. This will allow the organization to become a contender finally.
When I speak of the front office, I am talking separately from the coaching staff. The front office consists of owner and general manager, if applicable. Cleveland’s front office believes that if a coach has not performed after a season or two they should be relieved of their duties.
They have also not drafted well in recent years either. If the current front office continues to run in this manner, then the Browns will never become contenders. That is with Josh Gordon included. A solid front office structure is needed for any team to come out of the pretender stage.
The Cleveland Browns have one of the worst offensive lines in football. How can a receiver like Gordon get the ball if the QB is not standing up to throw it? The Browns have lost their center Alex Mack to free agency, and their best offensive lineman Joe Thomas is entering his 9th season.
However, a left tackle cannot block an entire front seven by himself. The Browns are young and inexperienced upfront. If these guys grow then maybe, one day, the Browns, can be contenders.
Cleveland used to bolster one of the best defenses in the league. They could rush the passer and had no issues covering. Cornerback Joe Haden was highly regarded as one of the best in the league. In recent years the Browns have lost some pieces on defense and have not done a good enough job of replacing them. This allows the opponent to score at will. This, along with an inept offense, causes many losses. When you are constantly facing double-digit losses every year, no single player will make you a contender.
The Cleveland Browns have had 25 starting QBs since 1999. This is probably the most important position on the field. The QB is the extension of the head coach. If they are incompetent, then the head coach looks incompetent. The recent signing of Robert Griffin III may give Browns fans some hope. If he can return to his 2012 form, then the Browns may have a chance to make some noise in the future. RG3 has a connection with Josh Gordon too. If these too can rekindle that fire then maybe a spark can ignite. Until the Browns get a constant at this position, there will never be a flame.
As you can see, one superstar does not make a team. Does it make them better? Yes, it can. In the case of the Cleveland Browns, it only makes them false contenders. There are too many other aspects of the game for this team to consider before one player can make them an immediate contender and not constant pretenders.