Taylor's Tales From A Notebook

A 31-3 blowout. A 1-6 team. A fine-tuned journalistic mind post-12-pack. What tales will the notebook tell when these things collide? You may be surprised. (Adult language)

-- I don't know what to write, what to feel, what to think anymore about the Eric Mangini version of the Cleveland Browns.  I'm as much at a loss about figuring out this team as they are trying to figure out how to field something that passes for a football team on Sundays.

-- On offense, this team can't consistently run the football, nor can they make up for it by being able to pass it.  Defensively, they can't make up for the fact that they can't stop the run by not being able to control the passing game.

-- They rock on special teams, though.  So… uhhh… go Browns?

-- Eric Berry.

-- It's not that I don't care anymore, it's just that I'm completely ambivalent.  Ambivalent toward this roster as a whole, ambivalent toward the coaching staff, ambivalent toward the front office, ambivalent toward the entire organization.  If it weren't for the fact that I have a commitment to write about this team, I could take ‘em or leave ‘em on Sundays and maybe find something more productive to do.  Like kick my own self in the nuts instead of having a football team do it for me.

-- This is a bland, boring, inept, talentless product being trotted out on the field every single Sunday.  I understand rebuilding.  I really do.  But this is testing the very limits of the patience I told myself – swore to myself -- I would have for the Mangini Era.  There's a part of me that still wants to believe there is a plan, but there's a growing part of me that just wants to scream at the top of my lungs for Randy Lerner to sell this team so it can be totally scrapped and rebuilt.

-- I will use my outside voice and give some unsolicited advice to Mr. Lerner, though: Get a freaking president of football operations in place as soon as possible, someone with NFL front office experience.  And there are guys out there like that, and I know for certain that you know who they are.  Don't half-ass it with the Bernie Kosar hiring simply to appease the fans.  If you are going to hire him, hire him and give him some power to make some positive change.  And if Mangini doesn't like it?  Too bad.  This is looking like Butch Davis all over again; a HC with way, way, way too much power and whose fingerprints are on every single facet of the organization.  You can't do that and be a successful head coach.  You can't.

-- Unless you luck into Tom Brady, of course.

-- If you can't or don't want to hire a football prez?  Sell it to somebody who will.  You know that is the right course of action if you don't get somebody in here to give this organization some direction.  I respect Randy Lerner as a person and as an owner, but it's time to get this thing right before it's too late.

-- Eric Berry.

-- The biggest issue surrounding this organization is the lack of a football guy in charge of football operations who also doesn't double as the head coach.  The second biggest?  The stank currently under center…

-- Derek Anderson in his four starts this season: 49 completions, 118 attempts (41.5%) for 513 yards, two touchdowns, four interceptions.  That translates to a 46.3 QB rating.  Derek Anderson in his five appearances this season: 60 completions, 137 attempts (43.8%) for 605 yards, two touchdowns, seven interceptions.  That translates to a 40.6 QB rating.

-- To put that 40.6 into perspective, the lowest-rated QB for the entire 2008 season (minimum 14 attempts per game) came in with a 66.5 rating.  The name of that quarterback?  Derek "Freaking" Anderson.

-- To put all of his 2009 season in perspective, if Anderson would have thrown an incompletion on every single one of his pass attempts, do you know what his rating would be?  39.6.  So, in summation: 40.6 trying, 39.6 not trying.  I'm at a loss for words right now.  DA is trying, and he's one percentage point above not trying.  He's like a really shitty Mario Mendoza.

-- And this is not a call for Brady Quinn to start, at least calling for him directly.  I have no clue, based on his seven games in three years, whether or not Quinn is the answer.  What I do know, based on his 36 games in four years, is that Anderson is not the answer.

-- It's time to stop making excuses for Anderson, and start finding out, one final time, what you have or don't have in Quinn.  So, yeah, I guess I am calling for Quinn to start.

-- Then again, as long as the head coach is "comfortable" with what he saw out of DA today… no, wait.  He's comfortable with that?  After three previous weeks of that?  I need to hit something.  Punch something square in the face…

-- Let me say this right now when it comes to the state of the Browns' QB position: I will personally punch anyone in the face who suggests that this team should select Sam Bradford in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft.  Or Colt McCoy.  Or Jake Locker.  Or any other dolt that will make up next year's QB class.

-- No, not really.  I won't punch anyone in the face that would suggest that.  I would sneer derisively, though.  Very, very derisively.  Which is worse than a punch, actually, because I know full well how much power my sneer possesses.

-- Eric Berry.

-- I'm just numb.  Numb to the whole team, the whole organization, the whole situation.  I'd chalk it up to apathy, but I don't care enough anymore to be apathetic.

-- At least last year, I could vent some rage and venom and f-bombs at the fourth year of Crennel and Savage.  I could have some hope in my postgame bombast because I knew there was a very good possibility of a change.  This year?  I couldn't care less to use the word "fuck" – even when it's justified -- because that would imply some feeling, some caring about the current situation.

-- I'm over 1,000 words into this, and I've offered nary a thought on the actual game that was played today.  You know why?  Because the intricacies of the game no longer matter.  The minutia that separates a win from a loss are no longer in play. 

-- When I was 19 years of age, I was able to secure my first automobile loan without having someone else sign the papers with me.  I proceeded to use that newly-found credit freedom to purchase a one-year-old Pontiac Fiero (don't ask; marijuana played a major role in my life back then.)  Almost two months to the day that I signed the papers, I was broadsided by a chump with no insurance.  Thus, I spent the next two months wondering if my car was going to be totaled, if it was going to be salvageable, if I could get any money out of the uninsured driver that hit me, if I would be paying for a car I didn't have, etc.  In the end, I had to write a good-sized check to the bank because it was indeed totaled and the driver filed for bankruptcy.

-- It had been a very, very long time since I had thought about that ‘86 Fiero.  I thought about that ‘86 Fiero during the Browns game today. 

-- Fans have been paying out financially and emotionally for no return on their investment going on eleven years.  Now, they've been broadsided by an uninspired driver, and are just waiting to see if this thing is salvageable or if it's totaled.  And if they keep having to pay after the fact.

-- This is just fucking sad, and I really don't feel like writing anymore tonight.

-- Eric Berry.


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