Ok, I might have been a little over the top last week when I suggested the Browns only NFL player was Josh Cribbs. I was so damn angry seeing them lose to the Steelers once again, especially when it was a winnable game with all the mistakes the Steelers made.
Just wanted to clear that up.....
However, I'm not sure they have a ton of NFL starters on the team.
I can be a little more reflective this week since a loss to the Packers, while it stinks, doesn't raise the same bile in my gut as a loss to the Steelers does.
For the rest of the season (outside of the next Steeler game and the 2 Ravens games) I will try to be more logical in my game assessments.
The problem with the Browns is that the cupboard really is BARE.
We as fans, unfortunately, have to look for baby steps each week. Remember this sad old song? I personally call it the "rebuilding shuffle."
There is no clear cut #1 WR and the WR's on the team now seem to be either role players or way too young and inexperienced. There are no #1 RB's. TE is a joke. The right side of the offensive line needs to be completely refurbished. The D line is inadequate. The LB's are bereft of playmakers and only the secondary is halfway decent (but I would still put them in the bottom half of the league).
As far as coaching goes, I don't see a lot of results here. Eric Mangini is pretty much a .500 (or a little worse) coach to this point in his career, Rob Ryan talks a good game but his D ranks pretty low and Brian Daboll seems overmatched each week.
It's the only way you can explain Cleveland's 1-6 start. They are either getting blown out or losing the close games where you just know they won't have enough juice to win when the final gun goes off.
This would be easier if I believe in the Browns ownership and trusted that Mangini had a plan that would bear fruit at some point but I don't.
I think Mangini was hired way too quick and in some ways it was a hair trigger decision on the part of the ownership. As far as the owner goes, he's been largely absentee and I don't know how connected he is to the team. In quotes I've read, he seems to say the right things but anyone can talk. There is a lot of words but little action coming from the franchise.
The results have been nothing short of pathetic and doesn't it seem like the Browns are improving at all. In fact, I had more hope in the 1999 and 2000 seasons when the Browns were nothing more than a expansion franchise.
Unfortunately, 10 years later they still are an expansion franchise. What can you really point to that gives you hope in the next 1-3 seasons? When I think of all the draft picks and free agent acquisitions that they've blown over the last 10 years it just sickens me.
Unlike many fans I talk to, I will stay a fan and not give up on the team. I may carp and moan about them weekly in this space but there is no place else for me to go. I remember when they moved to Baltimore and I "tried on" a few teams in the first game of the 1996 season, only to find out that if it wasn't the Browns, it wasn't football to me.
The feeling I had when they returned in 1999 after I saw those orange helmets come back after a 3 year absence is still indescribable to this day. I do love watching a Browns game and it always brings back good memories of watching Cleveland football with friends and family.
But, don't we deserve better than this? This article was written in the 3rd quarter of today's game. I knew it was over then. This season is nothing more than a race to a top 3 draft pick and Halloween is not even upon us.
I deserve better than this for my loyalty.
So do you.