Greetham: Combing Through the Wreckage

We're used to veteran Browns beat reporter Fred Greetham giving us the straight facts from Berea. Today, though, Fred offers up some opinions after watching the Browns get drilled in New York. Could the Browns national humiliation have been the right tonic, at the right time?

I know I'm supposed to just give you the facts and be objective, but I've decided to throw my two cents worth out there.

First of all, I think the Browns needed to get their hind ends kicked.

There - I said it.

Granted, the team was 10-6 last year, but they did NOT make the playoffs. They haven't accomplished anything yet, and they have been anointed the up-and-coming team in the NFL. For the team and the players it is an honor to be scheduled five times for prime time games. However, the players wouldn't be human if they didn't start to believe that they were pretty good. Fans want them to be confident going into the season, but you only have to see what the Indians have done in 2008 to be concerned.

Remember, how many experts and pundits said the Indians were the best team in baseball. Right now, they're struggling to not be one of the worst teams in the league.

To be fair, I believe Phil Savage and the Browns were much more aggressive in the off-season acquiring more talent, where the Indians basically stayed pat. The Browns do have better talent than they've had since the team returned in 1999, but until they do it again in 2008, it's basically potential.

We all hope the Browns are ready to return to the playoffs, but until they beat a team that wears black and gold on a regular basis, they are not going to win their division, let alone be in the elite of the NFL.

I also know that I'm dating myself, but I remember when the Browns were 0-6 or 1-5 in the preseason (yes, they played six practice games) and they went on to win their division and go to the playoffs on a regular basis, so I'm not worried about losing and looking bad in the preseason.

All one has to remember is the season opener last year when the team looked about as bad in getting drilled by the Steelers at home. Not too many fans would've considered the turnaround of winning 10 of their last 15 games after that fiasco. And please don't say it was all because of Derek Anderson.

I was more concerned with the way the first team unraveled after mistakes and they were manhandled in the trenches and burned by third and fourth string receivers. One only has to look at the Giants' pass rush to see the affect that has on an offense. I'm still waiting for the Browns to show a pass rush.

There, I've said my piece.

Now, let's see if this loss has allowed them to taste some humble pie and where they go from here.

Random Thoughts: I was wondering why Kellen Winslow, Sr. would want to be the athletic director of Central State University, a small traditionally black college about 180 miles southwest of Cleveland. Could it be he wants to be closer to see his son play for the Browns?

That's what K2 surmised when asked why his father was leaving a position with Disney in sunny Florida to come to Ohio.

The silver lining to me for Browns fans is the fact that K2 might be serious about wanting to play his whole career with the Browns. Fans have been worried about him wanting to leave after hiring Drew Rosenhaus as his agent and seeking to re-do his contract that runs through 2012.

It might be a stretch, but I don't think it hurts to be optimistic.

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