Watching the Browns lose to Denver so dismally on TV leaves a person with this thought: What is left to say about this team?
And what can possibly excite fans about next season?
After all, this offseason has all the earmarks of another Browns rebuild, with new coaches, new systems and probably new players.
It’s an approach the Browns have patented.
Because no matter what regime comes in, they are smarter than the previous one so they have to tear it down and build it up.
Maybe in this case it’s warranted, but who really knows? We’ve seen this team together one year, and there is general belief these players can be OK together given time to grow. Sheldon Brown virtually promised last week that if this team stays together it will win. Pittsburgh is clearly on the way down. Baltimore is hanging on as it fires its offensive coordinator. Cincinnati is getting better. Perhaps the Browns will as well.
But when they go to Denver and play so poorly, when they lose their 10th game of the season and give their fans nine double-digit loss season in the last 10 years, what reason is there to believe anything will work aside from blind optimism at a new owner who is called “passionate” for no apparent reason other than he’s not Randy Lerner?
Blind optimism. There’s another Browns patent. Every year they get nothing but blind optimism from their fans, and they respond with … this?
Last offseason there was excitement over the draft and the possibility of adding Robert Griffin III and adding Trent Richardson. This offseason, those guys are not there to be excited about. Most of the better draftable players are linemen or linebackers. That might help the team, but it won’t help sell tickets or suites, especially if the prices go up (does anyone expect they won’t).
Notice something? We’re talking draft. In December. Another patented Browns approach.
There’s an old Far Side cartoon where a dog sits and looks at his human. On one panel, the caption reads: What we say to dogs. And the human says, “Okay Ginger, I’ve had it. You stay out of the garbage. Understand Ginger? Stay out of the garbage, or else!” Or something like that. In the other panel the caption reads, What dogs hear. And the dog hears, “Blah blah Ginger blah blah blah Ginger blah blah blah.”
At this point you sit and listen to promises from the Browns and you hear: “Blah blah passion blah blah blah blah right way blah blah blah build for long-term blah blah blah.” Because the promises are so empty. Unless 53 losses in five years with a trip to Pittsburgh to come counts as something.
Trent Richardson left Denver in a walking boot after hurting his ankle late in a blowout. Joe Haden was seen laughing on the sideline late in the game, which doesn’t look good no matter what prompted the laughs — especially given Haden’s season. Josh Cribbs let loose with Twitter ugliness after the game. And things finally caught up to Brandon Weeden and he left with an injury, which looked like it was to his right shoulder.
If Weeden can’t play next week — no doubt the Browns will keep the Steeler “guessing” all week for that “extra advantage” (blah blah blah — that means the season finale will have perfect symmetry.
Because it will put Colt McCoy in the starting lineup in Pittsburgh.
Imagine, the guy the team did everything it could to keep off the field this season winds up starting the finale on the same field where he got knocked out last season.
Only in Cleveland.
Ho. Ho. Ho.