Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Mid-week thoughts

From Sports Illustrated’s Peter King’s popular MMQB “Ten Things I Think” column Monday: It’s items 2 (s.) and 2 (t.) of his quick thoughts.

“Man, Jimmy and Dee Haslam want to keep the front office and coaching staff for another year. They don’t want to blow it up again. But this iteration of the Browns is 1-27 with Green Bay and Baltimore at home, then Chicago and Pittsburgh on the road. My gut feeling is the Haslams will do something of either partial or complete destruction and be miserable doing it.”

And well they should. Do something, that is. And be miserable while doing it (even though they shouldn’t).

Why? Because it will be the right thing to do.

If King’s gut feeling does not betray him and the Haslams do, indeed, blow up the current front office, fans should parade down Euclid Avenue to celebrate. The biggest beneficiaries will be those long-suffering fans, many of whom are just plain fed up and, in some cases, ready to junk this franchise.

Unless the Haslams are masochistic, they will make changes. And while they might be miserable at first, they will eventually find out a major do-over is the only way they can escape what has turned out to be a run of historic proportions never seen before in the National Football League. And not in a proud way.

The miserable football this fandom has been subjected to for the last two seasons, let alone the last 19 seasons since the resurrection, needs to be fixed. Now. Clean house.

It’s not as though the Browns are slogging along winning three or four or five games a season. No. They are losing now on a weekly basis, embarrassingly so in more than just a few cases. Makes no difference whether the games are played at home or on the road. This season, the Browns added losing in a foreign country to their résumé.

Nothing is working for this franchise right now. The last two front offices have made numerous draft mistakes that have worked their way down to the field and the result is four victories in the last 49 games. Let that sink in. The Browns have given misery a whole new definition.

There is a reason for that. It’s called ineptitude and dysfunction. And to reward it flies in the face of all reason. It makes no sense at all to welcome back Sashi Brown and his cohorts.

At the risk of being repetitious, it’s not working and the Haslams must make a change if, for no other reason, than to dramatically change the culture in Berea before it become irreparably toxic.

Because his knee-jerk decisions to start all over again several times have drawn criticism, and deservedly so, Jimmy Haslam understandably has been sensitive to further change and tried to stay the course with the current regime. But that course has produced only one victory over a 28-game span.

I can all but guarantee the Haslams will get no pushback from the media, local or national, and certainly not from the fans, if they start all over again at the top. This franchise is deeper than rock bottom – it is subterranean – and needs help. Only the Haslams can provide that help.

One more King quick thought: “I wonder what gives Haslam, the biggest booster of the woebegone Vols there is, more pain: His college Tennessee Volunteers or his professional Cleveland Browns.”

I think I know the answer. Both. Double whammy. Except he can do something about his billion dollar pro franchise.

And the time to do it is either right now at the earliest or the moment the depressing 2017 season is history because, well, because it is the absolutely correct move to make.
*       *       *
If you watched the Sunday loss closely, you probably noticed No. 20 of the Los Angeles Chargers in an annoyingly thorny way. It seemed as though he was in on just about every play. If he wasn’t blitzing, he was making solid tackles seemingly all over the field.

That was rookie nickelback Desmond King, who had six solo tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss and three hits on Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer. He was the Chargers’ second-leading tackler and is second on the team with 44 solo tackles.  

For what it’s worth, King was there in the fourth round in the last college draft when the Browns took University of Houston cornerback Howard Wilson, who has missed the 2017 season after fracturing his kneecap in rookie minicamp. Los Angeles grabbed took King in the fifth round.

I bring that up because the following appeared in the April 29th posting on this blog earlier this year. It was entitled “Getting a couple of gems” and starts seven paragraphs in.

The selection of Wilson in the fourth round (after the Browns traded back into the round with Denver to get him) is somewhat suspect since the rail-thin cornerback tore an ACL a couple of years ago. He started only 16 games for the Cougars.

Contrast that with corner/safety Desmond King, a four-year starter at Iowa who was still on the board when Wilson was taken. Apparently, the Browns preferred the height of the 6-1, 180-pound Wilson to the 5-10, 200-pound King, who has the reputation of being a tough kid. King was taken by the Los Angeles Chargers early in the fifth round.

Make of that what you will, but better scouting might have prevented what appears to be well on its way to becoming yet another draft mistake by the current front office.


  1. Is this thing fixed? I've tried posting 3-4 times this week and it never takes.

  2. What thing? I have no control over anything except what I write.

  3. Like I said, evidently there was a problem with the site/blog/whatever you call it because every time I tried to post a reply it didn't work. That's the "thing" I was talking about.

  4. There is a rumor that Jeff Fisher might take Hue’s place leaving the front office and coaching staff largely intact. I’d settle for that.

    If Hue Jackson is retained, the Browns will do something weird next year with the quarterback situation like sign AJ McCarron or Tyrod Taylor instead of taking the best QB with the first overall pick. Fisher would insist on taking a quarterback.

    Hue would ruin Rosen with his weird play calling.

  5. Sorry, Richard. Don't agree. I'm not a Jeff Fisher fan. He's a a very, very average football coach. Just look at what Sean McVay was able to do with the Rams after he took over.

    And if that rumor is true about everyone else remaining if Jackson is canned, that's trouble in capital letters.

    Furthering that, if they do not take a quarterback with that first pick, then I will rain holy hell on that franchise for what it's worth.

    I also do not agree he would ruin Rosen because he is Hue's type of quarterback. He would arrive NFL-ready. He doesn't have to be taught how to be an NFL quarterback like Kizer, who still hasn't totally caught on.

    In addition, if Jackson is still around once the big changes are made (wishful thinking?), whoever takes over must mandate he hires an offensive coordinator and make that a stipulation of keeping his job.

  6. OK, tell me what sense this makes: Losing is rampant, utilization of talent is questionable at best, play calling and game management are horrendous so we keep Jackson the Guru and fire Sashi. Mind boggling!!