Is it too late to give the Browns’ name, its colors, and history back to Baltimore?
When Art Modell sold the city of Cleveland down the river and moved the Browns to Baltimore, Clevelanders clamoured to keep the Browns’ name and create a new Browns out of…well, what would become a bunch of misfits led by poor schlep Chris Palmer in 1999.
After Sunday’s 34-3 humiliating annihilation at the hands of the former Browns, it is time to consider the 2009 Browns the latest group of misfits, and call the total new Browns a failed experiment.
But where to go from here?
Open letter to Browns owner Randy Lerner:
“As a successful billionaire businessman, you must know the hiring of Eric Mangini is a mistake. The man is incapable of teaching, coaching, drafting or motivating the players on the Browns, the team that your father, Al Lerner, willed you on his deathbed. Al must be screaming obscenities from his grave.
“If a manager you appointed in your business failed to deliver on his promises, you would fire him — or at the very least — relocate him.
“Mangini believes he is a football god with all the answers. He is incapable of self-criticism — and those kind of individuals do not change or grow.
FIRE MANGINI TODAY. Take the hit to your wallet and find a better coach.
Cleveland Browns fans from across the world”
The Cleveland Browns not only lost big to the Baltimore Ravens, but lost its team; and perhaps worse, demoralized so-called starting quarterback Brady Quinn and killed the confidence of Derek Anderson who was told right before the second half kick-off he was going in to face the Raven D.
Derek being Derek, his big gun drove the team down the field to a field goal, but his gun also misfired for three interceptions and a QB rating of 30.9. Quinn’s was 42.7. Baltimore’s Joe Flacco’s QB rating was about 110.
Perhaps Terry Pluto, The Plain Dealer columnist said it best: “Until further notice, the Cleveland Browns have become the franchise where quarterbacks go to see their careers die.”
Quinn, who led the Notre Dame offense in college and put up 30 and 29 point respectively against Denver and Buffalo last year, suddenly can’t move the ball?
To quote a frustrated Buffalo Bill Terrell Owens after Sunday’s game, he runs “the plays that are called.”
The lame, vanilla plays called by rookie offensive coordinator Brian Dabold depend on a running back that equals the resurrection of a young Jim Brown. Two running plays up the middle with puny Jerome Harrison and a weak offensive line? Then it is third and seven and Braylon Edwards is not free, everyone else is covered or not looking — so what does a QB do? Either check down and complete a three yard pass (Quinn) or force the throw and wind up with three interceptions (Anderson).
The pathetic thing is, the Browns could have had better players like Cincy’s Rey Maualuga or Clay Mathews Jr. or Knowshon Moreno. And if Mangini was so unimpressed with his QBs, Mark Sanchez was there for the taking.
But Noooo! Let’s get a few Jets retreads instead.
Good draft picks were made in the second round with Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie. But Massaquoi has been a ghost on the field, barely there for one play, then *poof*…disappearing into the Browns bench. And Ohio State stand-out wide receiver Robiskie has not been allowed to dress. (Did Robiskie maybe voice his opinion to Coach or fail to bow with deference? Only the shadow knows.)
And now we hear that up to five Browns players are filing grievances against Mangini, at least two for being charged $1,700 for forgetting to pay for $3 bottles of water from a hotel.
Other players have quit on the field. When Baltimore gets three running touchdowns without any Cleveland defensive player even touching him … can they be this bad? Or have they given up?
You decide, midwestsportsfans.com readers.
*- Derek Anderson photo credit: SI