Cleveland Browns offensive depth chart: PFF fair or not?

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Nov 30, 2014; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) lays on the ground after being tackled Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams (not pictured) during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Bills won 26-10. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Do we have to go there? We do? OK then.

Veterans Josh McCown and Thad Lewis are both ranked Below Average, and second-year players Johnny Manziel and Connor Shaw both earned the Not Enough Info label.

What is there left to say, really? The Browns are going to do everything they can to make sure McCown will have to do as little as possible this fall on offense, and there is a chance the plan could work out.

There is no chance (we hope) that McCown can’t be as bad as he was last season with Tampa Bay, where he completed just 56 percent of his passes, while throwing 14 interceptions and taking 36 sacks. But it is also unrealistic to think the Browns will get the McCown who threw  for 1,829 yards, 13 touchdowns and just one interception in eight starts for Chicago in 2013.

You can’t say last year in Tampa was an aberration, while at the same time claiming that the McCown we saw in a Chicago uniform was the real deal; it just doesn’t work that way.

Realistically, McCown will be somewhere in the middle for the Browns: a quarterback who, when things are going right, can make enough plays (or minimize his mistakes, if you prefer) to help the team win. Kind of like Hoyer in 2014.

“He’s a guy that’s been around a long time,” Joe Thomas told the team’s website. “So, he obviously understands what it takes to be a winner in the NFL. When you have a guy like that at the quarterback position – it’s just the No. 1 position where you need that leadership and command of the huddle.”

So the Browns have that going for them, which is nice.

McCown also joins first-time offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in running the offense, a pairing that may not find success in its debut season.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, in the past three seasons 13 NFL teams have gone into the season with both a new offensive coordinator and new starting quarterback. Those teams won an average of 6.7 games, were 22nd in the league in points per game on average, with 10 of the 13 in the bottom half of the league in scoring. And only two of the 13 made the playoffs – the Indianapolis Colts (2012) and Kansas City Chiefs (2013).

So the odds are that McCown and the offense will struggle more than not this season, but could be better in 2016. Although if McCown is the starting quarterback in 2016, there is going to be some explaining to do in Berea.

If McCown struggles or is hurt, well, we’re just not ready to talk about that just yet.

Verdict: Fair

What do you think of the depth chart rankings for the Browns?

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