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Browns Inspired by 40 Year Old Virgin Fail to Score

November 17, 2009

(Author's Note: I apologize for the rambling of this article. I apologize for the repetitive nature of this article. I apologize for the incoherence of this article. I apologize for failing to address the defense at all. The defense wasn't bad last night. I am just too angry to think clearly about the Browns right now.)

Pathetic doesn't do that game justice. Putrid doesn't either. It's like we need to invent a whole new word. Let's just think about the comedy of errors that led to last night's we-need-to-invent-a-whole-new-word game...

The Running Game...

The Browns draft William Green to be the running back. He has half of a good season. Then Butch Davis inexplicably decides Lee Suggs might be better. Lee Suggs basically has one knee. Crappily inconsistent running game ensues. William Green's, um, let's call it, "off field troubles," didn't help. The Browns decide to acquire Reuben Droughns. He has one statistically good season but for the most part forgets to score touchdowns. The next season Reuben gets better at scoring touchdowns but worse at everything else. He didn't even get that much better at scoring touchdowns. So the Phil Savage decides his old friend Jamal Lewis could be the answer. As a result the Browns pass on Adrian Peterson. Jamal, coming off of two bad years and surprisingly not getting younger (weird, I know), actually has one last hurrah and a very nice 2007 season. Phil Savage is convinced Jamal is getting younger and signs him to an extension. Jamal is not getting younger. He is over the hill. He was below average in 2008. He has had his moments in 2009. November 16, 2009 was not one of those moments. The Browns did draft James Davis in the 6th round. Maybe he was a steal. No one has any idea since he hurt his shoulder and is done for the year. Jerome Harrison is Eric Metcalf Lite. So the Browns play Chris Jennings. Jennings was so highly regarded coming out of Arizona that every team in the NFL passed on him for the entire draft. Nice. The Browns best running threat is therefore Josh Cribbs. He is a receiver. He also can't get a new contract. Nevermind that Mangini claims he wants high character guys who are good football players. Josh Cribbs only has a team first attitude. He is also the best special teams player in the NFL. He is a weapon on offense. He refuses to hold out when most NFL agents would be locking him inside of his house. Oh, and he does things like show up for a former coach's son's Parent Night at a local high school to stand by the kid in place of his late father. Josh doesn't tell anyone because he doesn't want to detract any attention away from the high school players. Josh is the kind of jerk who does incredibly nice and selfless things like that. Mangini apparently hates those kind of jerks. So he refuses to rework Josh Cribbs deal as of yet. Then Josh gets hurt laying his body on the line (again) when his team has to score about 4 points per second for the rest of the game in order to tie the Ravens. Does this ramble have a point? Yes. The Browns have no running game. Which doesn't help...

The Passing Game...

If you can call it that. The Browns drafted Brady Quinn in the first round in 2007. The pick Cleveland traded to get Brady Quinn would turn into Felix Jones. I'm sure he wouldn't have helped our running game anyway. Quinn was going to have weapons too. Former first round picks Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow would be there to catch Brady's passes. Also the Browns added veteran glue hands Joe Jurevicius. Wait there's more. There is a talented guard in Eric Steinbach. There is also fellow first round pick Joe Thomas. He only turns into the best left tackle in the NFL. (And the Browns only got him by passing on Adrian Peterson. Even when the Browns do something right they do it wrong.) So wait a minute, the Browns have a plan. It might actually work out. Holy Crap! Brady Quinn did not go to the Josh Cribbs School of Team First Decision Making. He holds out. He can't win the job out of camp. Incumbent Charlie Frye is the starter. He plays for about 48 seconds against Pittsburgh in the opener. Things do not go well. Enter Derek Anderson. Anderson is the former Oregon State quarterback who did not complete better than half of his passes until his senior year in college. That senior year he completed just over half. The Pittsburgh game does not go well. You know what does go well though? Most of the rest of the season. It went great until the end when Anderson played like he had piranhas gnawing at his groin. The Browns fail to make the playoffs thanks to a late season bed crapping. Things seemed to be on track though. Edwards, Winslow, Anderson, and Thomas all made the Pro Bowl. That's your starting quarterback, number one wide receiver, tight end, and left tackle. All four are in their early 20s. Things are looking up. Wait though, it's the Browns. Even when something goes right, it goes wrong. Anderson's 2007 mirage hides the fact he is still woefully inaccurate. 2008 makes that clear. It also makes a few other things clear. Braylon Edwards does not have hands that you would call reliable. Kellen Winslow is not a soldier but a malcontent. Joe Thomas is awesome, but left tackles rarely run the ball or catch the ball or score touchdowns. So Cleveland jettisons Winslow and Edwards. They keep Anderson. He is even worse without weapons around him. It is impossible to tell is Brady Quinn has any potential. He has been yanked in and out of the lineup and has as many weapons as a Quaker. I haven't seen a franchise fail so miserably at developing a first round quarterback since Butch Davis met Tim Couch. Quinn isn't really helping himself. He hates throwing deep. He seems to really like getting sacked. He has regressed. Coaching is part of it, but Quinn needs to play better. For a guy who is supposed to be a smart quarterback who takes care of the football he makes a lot of dumb decisions and turns it over a lot. Does this rambling paragraph have a point? Yes. The passing game sucks.

(Author's note added 5:47 PM EST: Check out the following YouTube clip:

Start watching at the 2:01 mark and continue to the 2:28 mark of the YouTube clip. It's a metaphor. The mentally challenged deputy represents Brian Daboll. The Sheriff sitting on the desk represents Browns fans. The "poopie" is the offense. I think it sums up the Browns season pretty well.)

So what can be done?

I have no idea, but I will offer some ideas.

Fire Brian Daboll. He is clearly a failure as an offensive coordinator. He had 15 days to prepare for Baltimore. He had already prepared for Baltimore once this year. The Browns scored 0 points. The Browns gained 160 yards of offense. Cleveland has the worst offense in the NFL, by a lot. The lack of talent is a problem, but the horrendous play calling may actually be worse. Brian Daboll makes me long for the days of Maurice Carthon. Think about that sentence for a second.

Pay Josh Cribbs. It's the right thing to do.

Try to get some consistency out of Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi. Really any sort of consistent production from one of them would be encouraging. Some sort of coaching would probably help. Brian Daboll does not provide coaching. Fire him.

Find someone who can run the ball. If Jamal is running okay then use him. If he is not abandon him for the afternoon and use Harrison and Jennings. Find some way to run the football. With a running back. Please. I don't really know how the Browns can do this. They have to keep trying though.

Find someone who can evaluate talent. Hire that man. Let him run the draft. The Browns desperately need help on offense. In my opinion there is top talent available on defense at the top of this draft. I am not as sold on the top offensive players. The Browns may have to take one anyway. Get the number one pick (which seems inevitable) and trade down to around 15ish. Draft Arrelious Benn or C.J. Spiller or Sam Bradford or Tim Tebow or someone on offense who is available around there. Acquire either an additional second and third or a first next year and a third this year. Add more talent on offense.

Go to your place of worship. Pray that Braylon can catch 55 passes as a Jet in 2009. If you do not believe in a higher power than ask a believer to pray on your behalf. It will take a miracle for Braylon to get there. The Browns need the extra second round pick.

Draft a whole slew of offensive players. Hope you hit on half of them. The stable of skill players on offense basically needs to be rebuilt from scratch.

Improve the offensive line. Thomas, Steinbach, and Mack are fine. The right side needs to be less horrible. In the draft or free agency that area needs to be improved.

Find an offensive coordinator who can get the most out of Massaquoi, Robiskie, and James Davis. Whatever that may be.

Did I mention fire Brian Daboll? Well I will mention it again. Fire Brian Daboll. He may be a fine quarterback coach. He has no idea when it comes to playcalling. None. A raccoon with a head injury could gameplan a defense to stop Brian Daboll.

If all of that fails, watch the Cavs.

Jack Bacevice

1 comment:

  1. Are the elite of the Browns football world so far from the real world that they cannot see what is so blatantly obvious to the real people who pay thier salaries? What kind of an idiot would keep Daboll another minute on the payroll? That was pitiful play design, selection and execution. Even bad talent can be acceptable with crisp execution - even in a losing effort.