Friday, April 12, 2013

Dion Lewis For A Random Cleveland Brown Is A Good Thing

Acho Acho
Today, the Philadelphia Eagles got something out of nothing, but that's going to be news to those in the fan base that watches preseason football and wonders why it doesn't go the same as real games.

Dion Lewis was going to be no better than the third-string RB for the team this year, in his third year out of Pittsburgh as LeSean McCoy Very Lite. (McCoy also is a Pitt Panther. Good school for RBs, really.) Bryce Brown made watching the last six weeks of the Andy Reid Era memorable for something other than unrelenting failure, and while it's OK to have your doubts about Brown based on ball security issues, at least that fault seems coachable. I also think well of Chris Polk, who does a lot of things well and isn't size impaired.

Lewis isn't untalented; give him touches in space and he gets interesting in a homeless man's Darren Sproles. But he didn't make plays in special teams, is borderline hopeless on blitz pickup, and with this offensive line, that's really not acceptable. And for all of his quicks in August, they really didn't seem to show up during the real games.

The plunder from the trade of a guy who was likely to be cut next August is Emmanuel Acho, a 6'-1", 240 pound second-year (in name only) linebacker from Texas who the Browns took in the sixth last year. (If you want to be mean, this also means that Lewis is yet another failed draft pick for the Reid Era, since Lewis went in the fifth.) Acho was on the reserved list for all of last year with one of those suspicious injuries that tend to happen to promising but wildly raw young players, and his size doesn't exactly inspire confidence for his ability to play ILB in a 3-4 defense, or cover anything bigger than a scatback in the passing game. (His 4.73 NFL combine 40 does not fill me with confidence in his ability to get said scatback down, but hell, maybe he takes good angles or tackles well. In the words of Ernest Hemingway, it's pretty to think so.)

So what you have here is a potential special teams hammer for the price of a guy who you were going to cut. And if you think I'm underselling Lewis, or that he's a name to keep in mind as a potential fantasy handcuff for injury-prone RB Trent Richardson... well, look at that 5'-8" 195-pound frame again. He's basically going from one third-string role to another, and if he's still in the league in another two years, I'll be very surprised.

So welcome, Mr. Acho. I'm hoping you'll hit people and make us happy, mostly by making us forget that Casey Matthews is still on the roster. And if you don't, we're not real likely to be all that disappointed.

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