Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sashi’s dream world

Browns big boss Sashi Brown says the organization will be “very disappointed if we have four wins” this season. Yep, that’s what he said in a sit-down with the Cleveland media late last week.

Four victories, of course, would be an improvement over last season when the Browns were 3-13. Improving on that, even though it’s only one game, would be disappointing, according to Brown. Talk about abundant optimism.

Well get ready, boss, to be not only disappointed, but really, really, really disappointed. Then head for shocked, dismayed and downright angry that your team won’t come even close to your disappointed figure of four.

If the Browns duplicate last season, be thrilled considering the lack of talent on this team. The prism through which he sees his team is myopic and unrealistic.

If this is the bar Brown is setting for the 2016 Browns, coach Hue Jackson might as well start updating his résumé right now. He will be gone after one season. Maybe sooner. And it won’t be his fault.

It won’t be Brown’s fault, either. The blame in the buck-stops-here world belongs to the man who placed Brown in this situation. That would be James Haslam III, the esteemed billionaire owner.

Haslam knew Brown was not a football man. He is an attorney, the club’s general counsel before being elevated to his current position. He dealt more with the business side of the team.

Not certain how, but he seems to have gleaned enough knowledge of the game to become the club’s spokesman when it comes to expectations. Instead of deferring to the men in the front office who really know the game, he hangs it all out there.

Maybe he gained considerable knowledge about the game of professional football by osmosis. How he arrived at the decision this is a better team than last season’s is hard to fathom.

Four victories for the Browns this season would be just short of spectacular. It would be a tribute to the coaching acumen of Jackson to achieve that victory total.

It’s time for someone in the Ivory Tower to take the boss aside, carefully remove his blinders and be truthful with him. Point out what just about everyone else sees: a bad football team.

All you have to do is listen to Jackson’s words and then read between them.

“We’re a work in progress,” he said after last Friday’s 30-13 exhibition shellacking in Tampa. “I think we all know that. By no means are we going to put our heads in the sand. There’s some stuff we need to fix and we’re going to fix them. I promise you we will.”

Sound familiar? A little like Romeo Crennel? And Eric Mangini? And Rob Chudzinski? And Pat Shurmur? And Mike Pettine?

Am I forgetting anyone? Oh, yes. Who can forget Chris Palmer and Butch Davis?

There is a common thread here. At one time or another, the aforementioned often uttered those very same lines. The words are disturbingly the same. Jackson is merely echoing them.

With the Browns, only the names and faces change. The losing lingers on.

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