WARNING: This article contains scatological analogies of questionable taste. Do not read if you are in any way squeamish, easily offended, prone to writing angry emails, or litigious. Especially litigous. We hate that. Anyhow, consider yourself warned before reading further. Thank you.
What would you do with eleven million dollars? Or more to the point, what should Eric Mangini do? Sitting at 1-6 after another ridiculously bad quarterback performance, that question looms large over the current Browns season. For anyone that missed the subtext in the recent quarterback debate, the Browns stand to save some eleven million dollars if Brady Quinn does not play 70% of the offensive snaps this season.
Is that the reason Brady continues to watch this disaster from the sidelines? I say yes. Also, I'm on board.
Priority one when writing optimistic articles about the Browns: avoiding the most annoying quarterback debate… well.. ever. Did anyone see the South Park episode where the kids had to vote on a new school mascot? The choices were between a Giant Douche and a Turd Sandwich. Missed that one? Alright, even more to the point, when two people argue about whose poo tastes better, I submit to you that there is but one appropriate response: why are you eating poo?
Ok. Ok. I admit it, I tried the Derek Anderson poo. It was awful. Yes, I know it was poo, but I mean like crazy awful. Like, I had lima beans, bloated raccoon, and fiberglass insulation for dinner awful (sorry about the poo analogy. I'm seeking professional help). Against the Packers, DA lined up near the goal line, dropped back to pass, and saw Massaquoi in single coverage, Estandia in single coverage and Harrison in no coverage. The ball went to Furrey in triple coverage. It was at that point that I poured myself a drink.
There are plenty of excuses for DA's play, many of them quite valid. I have no doubt that a better team (and possibly a better offensive coordinator) would change things dramatically. But the fact remains that this offense is not getting better. So why do I believe in Quinn? I don't. The last thing I want is for him to start the Bears game on Sunday.
You see, I am greedy. I have big plans for that $11 million. Seriously, look at that number: $11 million! Even the most delusional Quinn supporter would not risk that kind of coin on what they have seen from Brady thus far. But, after halftime this Sunday, all bets are off.
You see, halftime marks a full five games that Anderson has played since relieving Quinn after the half in week three. Sunday night I retreated to my lab and utilized fractal geometry and differential equations to determine that five games is just over 30% of the season (yes, I am a genius). At that point, and with a cool eleven mil in his pocket, Mangini can finally find out what Quinn has to offer… for real this time. Did I mention that the timing of all of this coincides with the bye week? Interesting…
So is this a crazy conspiracy theory? I say no. Put yourself in Mangini's position. If, two games into the season, you had a team with little to no playoff hope, a disgruntled soon-to-be-free agent receiver, and a quarterback with giant incentives, what would you do? Stockpile eleven draft picks and eleven million dollars to give your rebuilding effort a GIANT boost, or roll the dice with Braylon and Brady? Is that a hard question to answer? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here. I can't be the only one that thinks this plan is pretty obvious, right?
Ok Eric, you can either take the billy goat you found behind door number one, or you can let it ride and see what's behind door number two. Oh, and if you take door two, you get $11 million guaranteed. You do have to wait until next year to collect your money though. Think it over…
I'll stick with the billy goat Bob.
Yeah, maybe not.
Want to hear the really good news? If this thing implodes and the whole scheme comes crashing down, all prizes are completely transferable to the new regime. So if you are convinced that Mankok is beyond repair, there is your silver lining. You're welcome. And really, if you think Mankok has officially gone off the rails, you probably have a point.
I do have one defense of Mangini however, and it relates to the aforementioned billy goat theorem. Mangini is getting beat up for saying in the post-game that he didn't play Quinn, "Because DA was our starter and I felt comfortable with the things that we were doing." Comfortable. I'll bet. He was comfortable with what he saw Sunday like it's comfortable accidently walking in on your parents conceiving your future sibling. Comfortable in a life changing, anxiety inducing, crippling level of discomfort kind of way.
But what could he really say? "Yeah, DA sucked but in playing him I save "sign Ronnie Brown" level money and maybe screw Quinn a little bit. Sorry, but this team is not making the playoffs and I'm building for the future." Of course he can't say that. But is it really less believable that he thinks it, or that he is actually comfortable with what he saw from the offense against the Packers? You decide.
I know. Rebuilding. Part of the plan. Blah blah blah. This blows. For everyone that thinks we fans deserve better. Agreed. 100% agreed. But sadly, that changes absolutely nothing about our situation. With apologies to both Anderson and Quinn, I for one will take one final bite from the turd sandwich and then roll the dice on a giant douche and $11 million.