Pull my fan card. Just pull it now. I've been bad. Really bad.
You know what I haven't been doing the last few days? I haven't been seeking out a good perch on a ledge from which to jump. I haven't been either wailing or gnashing my teeth over a 0-2 start. I haven't been searching for a strong rope and a sturdy branch because one-eighth of a season has flown by without a win.
You know why? Because they've played two freaking games, that's why. Allow me to repeat myself, and do it very slowly for the overreacting dolts who seem to make up a good chunk of the most vocal portion of the fan base anymore.
Two. Freaking. Games.
Honest to goodness people, grow up and grow a pair already.
It's hard to decipher which is sadder: the impotence displayed by offense's start to the season or the ignorance shown by the self-purported "best fans in the NFL".
Yes, I get the Level of Suck that's been obtained over the last ten years could leave one wondering WTF is going on here. Been here, lived that. It's understandable, having an itchy trigger finger on a season, given the utter abomination this team has been since returning.
I get all that.
But here's the thing: I'm fairly certain Eric Mangini and George Kokinis had nothing to do with the previous decade.
In fact, I'm absolutely certain they had nothing to do without because I just Googled it and, sure enough, it's the first year on the job in Cleveland for the duo.
The whining and crying over the start to this season and this regime is astonishing. Two games in, and we have this? What, were you expecting a run at the playoffs? From a team that put the finishing touches on a 4-12 season just nine months ago?
It seems as if people are allowing their preseason expectations to shape and skew what they see on the field right now. That's simply misguided logic and unfair to what this organization is attempting to accomplish.
And this is not to say there aren't issues with this football team and reasons to bitch. God knows there are. As do the other members of the Holy Trinity and anyone else with a lick of football sense.
To paraphrase Adrian Cronauer, Mangini is in more dire need of a bell-cow back than any white man in history. Brady Quinn needs to stop talking about being ready to play and start playing like he's ready to play. On the flip side, the coaching staff needs to start putting Quinn in a position to make positive plays, as opposed to their current tack of trying to keep him and the offense away from negative plays.
Someone to take the pressure off Braylon Edwards wouldn't hurt either -- it's just too bad they didn't take two receivers in the second round to accomplish just that. And God bless Josh Cribbs and everything he means to this team, but now is not the time to shove a square special teams ace into a round #2 receiver hole. Not with a QB in his first go as the full-time starter and a coordinator charged with play-calling on game day for the first time.
The right side of the line can be easily encapsulated in two short words: Abys. Mal. It's safe to say that a healthy Ryan Tucker is sorely missed both on the field and in the locker room.
The defense is missing it's equivalent to an offensive bell cow, a player or two who can change a game plan in the week leading up to a game and one who can alter it during the 60 minutes on Sundays. Yeah, Eric Berry, Taylor Mays, I'm eyeballing you.
This team needs an infusion of not only talent, but difference makers. And it's where my biggest beef with this regime up to this point comes in. You can't take a center in the first round. You simply can't. A center can indeed change the complexion of a game, but not in a positive way as we saw on full short-hop display against Denver.
But, again, we are just two games into Year One of the Mangini Plan. Two games into Year One.
Rome wasn't built in a day, and Berea certainly won't be rebuilt in two games... or four... or sixteen after the organization was imploded through ten years of poor coaching hires, suspect -- that's being kind -- personnel decisions and just craptastic luck.
I have no clue if Mangini & Company are doing it the right way, but I'm damn certain I'm going to give them more than two games -- way, way more than two games -- before I start screaming "WRONG!!!" in my best full-throated John McLaughlin voice.
Trust me, I'm not one to shy away from a ledge. It was my cottage industry during the RAC debacle, and I can ledge with the very best of 'em. If ledging is needed and necessary, I'm your man.
But not after two games... in the first year of a major overhaul in both personnel and organizational philosophy.
Nope. Not yet.
It's far from the time. Far, far from the time.