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An 0-2 start… questions swirling about the competency of the offense… Yep, it sounds like another season of Cleveland Browns football.
It goes further than that, though, as murmurs rattle the foundation of this organization.
Those murmurs are all about disappointment.
Message boards and talk shows instantly circle in on simple solutions, calling for the heads of offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, QB Brady Quinn and head coach Eric Mangini.
Those are hardly answers for problems which run much deeper.
Play calling by the offensive coordinator has not put the Browns in the position they are in today. Sure, the offensive creativity hasn't been staggering, and the calls sometimes odd, but a team that can't execute the ordinary won't be able to confuse the opposition with a complex playbook.
Quinn has struggled as the young player gains experience under the spotlight. From missed reads to inaccurate throws, this is a quarterback in the early stages of development… Progress is key and his poor execution of QB duties is expected to improve in the weeks to come.
While Daboll and Quinn are in the spotlight, the execution issues are hardly isolated to the coordinator and quarterback.
The line-blocking for the running game has been inconsistent, the perimeter containment has been poor on the strong-side and the overall quality of routes and recognition coming from the receivers has been questionable at times.
While the majority of focus is often placed on the offense and QB, many of the same issues can be found within the Browns defense.
The defense has been losing focus as the game goes on, leading to the containment issue and mental errors we've seen in the second half of each loss this season. Mangini made his mark as a defensive mind, and to watch this unit fail to execute late in games is concerning -- especially for a head coach who preaches an all-in/never give-up philosophy.
While it's easy to focus on the quarterback and coaches, this Browns mediocrity has been a team effort.
Anybody and everybody associated with the Cleveland Browns anticipated the team could struggle early in the season. But playing an embarrassing brand of football on the professional level is another story.
Changing the culture is a challenge Mangini immediately embraced. Despite the appearance of nothing changing with Browns football, the organization is on the same page for the first time in years. They're just not executing.
Mangini has a plan. The problem is the player roster lacks the talent from 1-53 to follow the extensive coaching of the workaholic once dubbed "Mangenius".
Mangini is an X's and O's guy, in the weeks to come this team, his team should show marked improvement due to this expertise. But the growing pains will be inflicted on a fan base which long ago absorbed more football-related pain than they deserve.