Sunday, March 1, 2015

Money unwisely spent

Holy crap, the Browns are paying Josh McCown roughly $5 million a year to mentor their young quarterbacks? What a waste of money if that’s the case.

No, $5 million a year does not buy you a mentor. It buys you a starter. And I don’t for a minute buy into the notion that mentoring means starting games and helping the kids along the way.

The role of mentoring belongs to the quarterbacks coach. He’s a coach. That is part of his job. A starting quarterback has enough problems during a game without concerning himself with sharing his on-the-field experiences. He can share his thoughts maybe the next day, but I wouldn’t call that mentoring.

The role of trying to help Johnny Manziel and Connor Shaw become quality National Football League quarterbacks belongs to new quarterbacks coach Kevin O’Connell just like Dowell Loggains was supposed to do last season.

It wasn’t Brian Hoyer’s job to mentor Manziel and Shaw last season. Some reports last season indicated he wanted nothing to do with that. And who could blame him? He had enough to worry about as a starter. It’s no different with McCown, although he begs to differ.

“If you can give of yourself to others to help somebody else in your journey, I think you’ll find so much more peace in life,” he said in a statement after signing his three-year contract.  “And so that’s my approach when I head into a quarterback room and is just ‘What can I give back to the guys around me to help us be better?' ''

All well and good, but how does that translate into helping Manziel and Shaw develop? The only thing McCown can deliver is 12 seasons of distinctly mediocre quarterbacking. Do as I say, not as I perform.

The newcomer also says he understands how unkindly a certain segment of Browns fans perceive him. “I don’t back off of it or shy away,” he told the Northeast Ohio Media Group. “I understand people’s frustration.

“But my mind-set is to come in here, grow and improve as a football player and help this team win football games. When I’ve been able to operate in a system that’s organized and been around a while like I did in 2013 with the Bears, I’ve been able to play at a high level.” He was 3-2 in relief of the injured Jay Cutler that season and living off that short spurt of success.

A high level for what, five games? That’s five games in 12 seasons. You mean that high a level? Repeating, five games in a dozen seasons.

Other than that, McCown has been a well-traveled journeyman whose results have been abysmally below average. By comparison, Hoyer played at a high level for the Browns for the first five games last season.

So if that’s the barometer by which McCown judges his talent, then the Browns have not only made a mistake by giving this guy around 5 mil a year, they have made a colossal mistake.

What he had in Chicago during that five-game span that he won’t have in Cleveland were wide receivers like Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall, a tight end like Martellus Bennett and a running back like Matt Forte. The Browns wish they had talent like that.

Now let’s see what McCown does – and he will because no one is going to beat him out of the starting job unless General Manager Ray Farmer has been holding back and has one more veteran on his radar – with the likes of two running backs in their second season and a wide receivers corps that ranks near the bottom in the NFL.

As for playing at a high level “in a system that’s organized and been around a while,” he certainly didn’t do his homework when it came to the Browns, who are working with their sixth different offensive coordinator in six seasons. Somehow, that little nugget escaped his eyes.

Some critics, including yours truly, believe that using Browns and organized in the same sentence is an oxymoron. The instability factor has resided in Berea for way too long.

It’s time for the Browns to stop making moves such as the one with McCown and really try to become relevant in the NFL for the first time since Marty Schottenheimer was the head coach. Aim and shoot high, not low.

That’s not asking too much, is it? 


  1. I'm with you, Rich. Players as mentors is an overrated if not ridiculous concept. Players aren't mentors, coaches are. Period.

    Still can't wrap my brain around this McCown signing.

    One thing I do suspect though...Ray never met with Hoyer because he didn't want to answer the question, "Um, Ray...what or who exactly were those texts about?"

  2. That's a good point about Hoyer and Farmer having a face-to-face or ear-to-ear phone conversation. Sensitive subject. I'm wondering if some enterprising reporter is able to come up with what those texts actually said. Now that would be cool. Probably not, though.

  3. File it with the mystery of Kokinis, buried deep under lake Erie, reachable through a secret passage in the salt mines.

    Farmer seems like he may be a "my guy or no guy" type of GM. I hope not. That hasn't worked with any other regime change.

  4. At least you conspiracy theorists are good for some comic relief!!!

  5. Laughter is good for your health. is thinking that Farmer may have been texting about the QB a "conspiracy"?

    1. Purely based on your own statement: "File it with the mystery of Kokinis, buried deep under lake Erie, reachable through a secret passage in the salt mines." You're the one who related the texting flap to the Kokinis "mystery"

    2. that was a joke.

      it was told to convey that we may never know the content of the texts, not to convey in any way a "conspiracy".

      i forgive you. moving on.

  6. Strummer, Southie has a different way of looking at the musings of others. I know. I speak from experience. Can you find it in your heart to forgive him and you two hug it out and move on?

  7. There is nothing conspiratorial in what Strummer wrote, Southie. It exists only in your mind.

  8. And just when we thought it couldn't get any worse, they sign Thad Lewis! Let's see anyone top THAT!


    1. Waitin', DW, until the dust settles. No need to comment on nothing. At least for the time being. The longer this goes with nothing happening, the harsher the ensuing comments.