Give the Browns credit for acing the draft (on paper) and refusing to overspend in free agency after a one-win season. Even with such a young roster, Cleveland’s relatively manageable 2017 schedule should allow it to notch more than one win, if not a few more.
Project No. 1 for the Browns as they rebuild this season is the defense, which ranked near the bottom of the league in every statistical category last year. The offense is same song, different verse. The quarterback nightmare continues.
This is the first time in a long time the Giants aren’t sure about their longview at the most important position. Although Manning still has three years left on his contract, he needs to be a lot better in 2017 for them to feel confident about him playing out that contract.
On one hand, that would seem to give Webb plenty of time to be groomed behind Manning. The reality is, in the rapidly-changing NFL, that doesn’t mean he can just redshirt as a rookie.
The Giants signed Geno Smith, formerly a second-round bust of the crosstown Jets, to be the presumed No. 2. The problem is his new team so far has still only seen Smith in recovery mode from the torn ACL he suffered last October. Until he can go without limitations in training camp, Smith can’t be counted on as immediate insurance for Manning.
Although Smith was attracted to the Giants because of their West Coast offense, with which he has some familiarity, he’s still adjusting to a new playbook, same as Webb.
Webb got a crash course in the scheme away from the team facility. He also quickly found a good comfort level during OTAs and minicamp.
Webb can be comfortable, because he’s not going anywhere. Smith should worry, given the fact that team also re-signed last year’s third-stringer, journeyman Josh Johnson. He’s one with the direct experience for McAdoo and behind Manning, and he’s also healthy. Johnson is used to being a willing backup for several teams; Smith isn’t.