Remember when David Njoku asked to be traded last year? And remember when he later changed his mind and said that he was happy on the Browns? That’s how a normal person behaves; he just states his position. But Odell Beckham, Jr. is not a normal person. He is a passive/aggressive prima donna who will never state his position directly. And so the hit-piece on his quarterback, Baker Mayfield, was released by one of his minions instead of himself. And it was not a coincidence that it was released just before the NFL’s trade deadline.
Make no mistake; OBJ is demanding a trade, and has thrown his quarterback under the bus in the process of doing so.
Is OBJ justified? David Njoku certainly was. Look at how that turned out: Njoku got more playing time and has become the Browns premiere pass-catcher. Njoku knew better than the coaches/management/ownership that benched him.
But OBJ’s situation is different. Despite missing two games this season, he is the Browns’ most targeted receiver with 34 targets compared to second-place Austin Hooper with 28. OBJ is also almost always on the field, averaging 48 snaps per game.
The Browns ignored Njoku’s trade request, but OBJ’s demand is a different animal. Njoku doesn’t have a massive cult following like OBJ does, and Njoku didn’t disrupt the team. Meanwhile, OBJ already has LaBron James taking shots at the Browns, and demanding OBJ be set free. The only problem with that is that nobody seems to want him. With a decent offer, the Browns would have been crazy not to move OBJ, but none were forthcoming, apparently.
If I were Baker, I’d be pretty pissed-off. If forced to continue playing with OBJ, I would throw him nothing but “danger balls” over the middle where there was a safety lurking to smash OBJ after the catch.
In other words, this is a serious debacle, and the blame can only be laid at the feet of the boneheads in the front office who insist on employing OBJ. I have been campaigning against OBJ for a long time now, writing dozens and dozens of anti-OBJ blogs. And now I am fully justified in saying that I TOLD YOU SO to the millionth degree. I was right; the front office was wrong, so listen to me and do what I say! Get rid of this fucking poison before it spreads throughout the locker room! And in case you can’t figure it out, by “poison” I mean OBJ. Speaking of stupid…
D’Ernest Johnson Scored 100% of the Browns Touchdowns vs the Steelers
On the morning after the Browns’ victory over the Broncos, the whole world was raving about D’Ernest Johnson. Back on October 17th, before the Cardinals game, I tweeted that I was looking forward to seeing DJ get some snaps:
With Nick Chubb out today, and Kareem Hunt banged up, I'm looking forward to seeing D'Ernest Johnson get some touches. His stats are pretty impressive:
Career Yards per Carry:
5.3 – Chubb
5.0 – Johnson
4.6 – Hunt
Career Yards per Catch:
9.4 – Johnson
9.2 – Hunt
7.9 – Chubb
— Matt Trivisonno (@matttriv) October 17, 2021
He didn’t though. The Browns failed to utilize him. DJ had one carry and one catch, and the Browns got smashed by Kyler & Company.
After Kareem was knocked out, DJ finally got to play against the Broncos and stunned the world. Even I was amazed. After that masterful performance, just about everybody was expecting to see DJ fill in on the “spelling Nick Chubb” role formerly manned by Kareem Hunt. But the Browns had other ideas: D’Ernest Johnson, the man with the hot hand, was benched.
Versus the Steelers, DJ only got 4 carries. Would it have made a difference if he had gotten more? Yes, because Nick Chubb was still a little rusty coming back from his injury. He had an uncharacteristic 3.8 yards per carry, whereas DJ continued his torrid pace with 5.5. A few more carries, and I have no doubt that DJ would have turned the tables.
So, did bad coaching lose the game? Maybe; maybe not. We don’t know who really made the call to practically bench DJ. Back here, I wrote:
“Like Rashard Higgins and David Njoku, I think that Johnson has been unfairly persecuted, probably because analytics. I imagine Browns Chief of Slide Rules, Paul DePodesta including Johnson in the “don’t play” memo because he is “too slow.”
Did I call that, or what? Last year, fans had to complain long and hard about Rashard Higgins and David Njoku being benched. But it paid off; both players were allowed to play, and were heroes of the Browns playoff run. So, now we need to do it again. Fire up those keyboards and tell the Browns to pull their head out of their ass and FREE DJ!
The Browns have a big game with the Bengals coming up, and we don’t know how the team will perform with the Baker-Beckham conflict going nuclear. So, we can’t afford any kind of stupidity. The Browns need to put DJ in there, in the Kareem Hunt role, and give him the same dozen-or-so carries, and a few passing targets. Again, to reiterate for the learning-impaired: put the man with the hot hand in the fucking game!
Note to Stefanski: Cover Your Ass!
If OBJ is only here because of orders from above, you should write a CYA memo to whoever is making that call recommending that OBJ be released immediately or possibly put on injured-reserve for his shoulder. The memo should state that OBJ has turned on his quarterback, just like he did with Eli Manning, and you want to head off any dissension in the locker-room, just like the Giants did when they dumped him on the hapless Browns. Your season was already hanging by a thread before OBJ swung his scythe at it. Now it’s time to circle the wagons, eject the poison, and survive.
D'Ernest Johnson cuts it back for 6️⃣! #Browns
— NFL (@NFL) October 31, 2021
PS: those of you criticizing the Browns defense after the 15-10 loss to the Steelers, keep in mind that giving up 15 points per game would make you the #1 defense in the league. As of now, Buffalo is the best with 15.6. So, the Browns got some badly needed progress on defense during that game.