These are the facts. After a training camp long competition, Quinn is pulled a mere two and a half games into the season. At which point, it was clear that this team is not playoff bound, at least not with Quinn under center. DA relieves him and plays the next five games to a mind numbingly bad quarterback rating of 36.2. Then, just as it has become all but impossible for Quinn to reach his $11 million playing time incentive, he reenters the huddle on the last offensive possession before the bye week.
I know I wrote last week about Quinn's contract and it's affect on his playing time. I mention all this here, not as some sort of "I told you so" because Quinn got in the game. Rather, just to say that you can talk about Mangini's ego, Quinn's disrespect of the coaches, or Anderson's big arm, and I still say, no sale. If the simplest explanation is the best one, then I'll stand by the $11 million theory.
I don't know if that is optimism but it certainly makes me feel better to think a sound decision or at least some rational thought about the future is driving this ridiculous quarterback mess. I mean, the alternative is basically that our coach is a sadist who enjoys seeing fans suffer.
So maybe there is some semblance of a plan after all. It might be nice if that plan included a little offensive production from time to time though. I mean for the love of all things holy, I don't care if Spurgeon freaking Wynn is playing quarterback, this is getting out of hand. I think we can all agree that this offense must show signs of life during the second half of the season if Mangini wants to see the backend of his plan implemented.
So will Mangini get this ship righted? I say maybe (sorry, that is as optimistic as I can be right now. I'm not an idiot… all the time). Truthfully, I think the objectively optimistic viewpoint is, "we'll see." The quarterback mess is now a thing of the past (I think). Jerome Harrison should finally get his opportunity now that Jamal has made his retirement (from productivity) official. And, Mangini has the bye week to regroup and build something for the future (and possibly to make any necessary changes **cough** Daboll **cough** to the coaching staff). We'll see.
So enough about the offense, I'm supposed to be Mr. Optimism after all. Let's talk defense. After seeing effort and improvement for a few weeks, the defense fell apart against Green Bay. Maybe it was all the players with the flu, I don't really know. But I do know that they bounced back this week and played their best game of the… well, the decade. Pressure, disguised coverages, runs blown up in the backfield. This was the game I have been waiting for.
But the Browns defense is like last in the league in every statistical category. They stink!
Oh, you can try to ruin my day, but I won't bite. Signs of improvement followed by a breakout game against the Bears, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Statistics shmatistics. Look, this offense is completely throwing the D under the bus. It's not an excuse. Really. Leaving them on the field the whole game, terrible field position, turnovers. No defense could be statistically successful under those circumstances.
If you believe the statistics tell more of the story than Jay Cutler's bloody mouth, then we will have to agree to disagree. At least for this week, I am in Rob Ryan's corner. The bye week is here and I am objectively optimistic that Mangini and Daboll can use the next two weeks to get the offense moving in the right direction.