|The PD did not upload this week's Monday Moaning to cleveland.com -- so no Talkback today.|
So let's talk about those Browns.
So many things at play here. Why are other teams able to improve, but not our team?
Take Romeo Crennel and Phil Savage. They are both talented men. Maybe the Peter Principle has come into play. Romeo is talented, but not talented enough to be a head coach. Phil Savage is talented at evaluating talent, but not talented enough to be a general manager. They have both risen beyond their competence.
We cannot be surprised that no QB is ready to play. Throughout the preseason, Romeo refused to commit to any of them. No one got settled into the role. Everyone plays so ... tentatively. And when each snap, each possession might be your last, when you have no comfort in your position, how are you supposed to play confidently?
That said, think Charlie Frye has had his chance. At least here. I don't know what to make of Anderson -- for that one drive he looked good. The team actually looked like a football team.
And Brady Quinn can't really be ready to take over. Ideally he sits on the bench and watches for a few more weeks or the whole season. But this is not an ideal situation. Peyton Manning and Troy Aikman both started immediately. They lost a lot of games, but they learned as the starter. Ben Rothlisberger started almost immediately, and won a bunch of games. I do agree that once you put BQ in, there is no going back.
But the QB problem is a symptom of a much larger problem. The team has no experience at the top -- not the right kind of experience anyway. Romeo has five Super Bowl rings, but none as a head coach. Phil has copious experience as a scout and evaluator of talent, but there is so much more to managing a team than that. Even Randy Lerner is inexperienced as a team owner. We are flummoxed as to what to do with the Browns, and the problem is they are flummoxed too.
I am glad I sold my season tickets this year -- this would have been too painful to go down to the stadium and watch all season -- if Sunday's game is any indication. The Browns made the Steelers look much better than they really are. And the Steelers new coach, Mike Tomlin, and Romeo Crennel now share this statistic -- as head coaches they are tied in number of wins versus AFC North opponents. Tomlin has won one in one week as a head coach; Romeo has won one going into his third year as a head coach.
As for selling my tickets, I've been told that I am a fair weather fan. Yeah, I've gone to just about every home game since 1999, and NOW I am a fair weather fan. We haven't had any fair weather to be a fan of, and there is little sign that will change any time soon. This team is wandering in the desert, it has been since 1999, and arguably it has been since 1964. You have to be about 50 or older to have any memory of the Browns winning it all. I barely remember Brian Sipe, and the Browns of my youth were Kosar, Newsome, Brennan, Slaughter, Mack and those teams. Teenagers today know only about having no team, or this reconstituted team. Why would they root for them? Even the Arizona Cardinals have a brighter future today.