Stop the spin!! Stop it!!
I am tired of it. I am tired of coaches, writers and, in some cases, fan commentators trying to slap a bow on this ugly season.
The Browns are 3-5 in year 4 of Butch Davis. Things are not looking good. One look at our schedule the rest of the way will tell you that even an 8-8 finish is out of reach. Previous cream puffs Buffalo and Cincinnati are starting to win games - not just play better, not rack up moral victories, but win some games. While the Jets game has moved into the winnable column as a result of Pennington's injury, the only game left that you can call a sure win is against the sad sack Miami Dolphins.
Butch Davis has been a total failure as a coach.
Yes he has made a couple of picks here and there. Ryan Tucker is solid at RT but he is the only OL we have that's playing above average. Lee Suggs is a good back , but it took Davis three draft picks (1st, 3rd, and 4th) before he found a starting running back. The linebacker crew he raves about so much? It took five draft picks and three free agent signings to find three guys who can play. Heck, it took him two first-day picks to find a center.
His free agent signings haven't fared much better. There was Mike Sellers - who lasted a half a season before legal problems.
Then there was the brilliant signing of Dwayne Rudd. Jamie Sharper was available. Sharper wanted to come to Cleveland. He eventually signed for less money than we paid Rudd. He is currently 8th in the league in tackles.
That brings me the insane spin I am seeing this year. You know... the signs of progress we hear so much about... How we are in so many games.
Well here are the facts:
- We have only played in two games decided by less than a touchdown. We are 1-1 in those two games. So even though we could have beaten Philly, we also could have lost to Washington.
- Our hustling defense is 16th in the league.
- Our much improved offense is ranked 24th.
- Jeff Garcia, who was supposed to be such a huge upgrade over Tim Couch? He is 3-5 as a starter and has a rating of 77.9. Last year Couch was 3-5 as a starter and had a rating of 77.6.
That's why the team is 3-5. Any way you slice it, this is not a very good football team.
So do we blame the coach or the guy picking the players? It doesn't matter. In this case it is the same guy.
The first justification I have heard for keeping Butch Davis is the fear of starting all over again. It's the whole "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know" attitude philosophy. I once knew a girl who had that same attitude. As a result he stayed with a guy she didn't like and at a job she hated.
Its fairly obvious we aren't winning a title with Butch. With a new coach we at least have some hope.
The second justification I have heard is the fear that Davis will turn into another Bill Belichick. This theory suggests that Davis will learn from his mistakes and then turn things around at his next job. Following that logic, no team should ever fire their coach no matter how badly they are doing. We should have never fired Chris Palmer, because he could turn out to be a good coach somewhere down the line.
Davis has no track record to indicate that he has that potential in him. For all the talk of how he turned the Hurricanes program around, lets look at whet he really did. He recruited a lot of good players who turned out to be great pros and the team won a title after he left. Essentially, that makes him John Cooper with a tan.
Its time to make a change.
Make it after the next loss or make it after the season. Sell the team to Donald Trump so he can haul Butch Davis into the board room and fire him. I don't care how or when its done.
As long as we have someone else in place next season.
Otherwise, I'll put my season tickets on EBAY and spend my sports dollars at the Jake.