The Disassembling Of a Franchise: Your 2009-2010 Cleveland Browns

Tom HammerContributor IOctober 30, 2009

CLEVELAND - DECEMBER 21: Fans of the Cleveland Browns look on during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns Stadium December 21, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio. Cincinnati won the game 14-0. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

This article is in response to a question I got from a friend of mine who was wondering, "Are the 2009-10 Browns worse then the expansion Browns?" 

My dirty but not so quick response, "The Browns are actually in worse shape then they were coming off expansion and, in fact, are the worst franchise in the league at the moment."  It's amazing!

I said during the off-season when I saw Mangini taking the steps he did that they were going to start from scratch.

It's debatable if that was necessary just one year removed from a 10-6 season but the bottom line is, he took what talent this franchise had, and let it go.

The real error in judgement here is that he let go for next to nothing. 

Whenever a franchise decides to take a "moral" stand or they look to "rid themselves of bad people" or they take the proverbial "high road", rare if ever, does that mean their priorities are straight which means winning football games, attracting fans and keeping talent.

It usually means that some arrogant and self centered task master has assumed control and wants to incorporate a "my way or the highway" approach that seldom if ever is successful.  

Look, I get it.  Mangini thinks he is Bill Belichick.  The difference is that Belichick EARNED the right to act like a smug jerk because he as won the big prize.  PLAYERS ONLY WILL RESPECT COACHES THAT HAVE DEMONSTRATED SUCCESS.

What has Mangini achieved?  Nothing, nada, squash, zilch, zero.  And therefore he does not have the right to act like a pompous ass.  It just is construed as arrogance by players and they will not respond.

To get back on subject,  I understand the issue when guys like Edwards and Winslow put themselves before the team and are not good "character" guys but the bottom line is they have talent and ability which somebody will pay for.

Where is the business sense in this organization?  The team plays in the NFL, we aren't running for local office.  

Instead of getting value for talent, to make a point it seems, they just dump the guys and get nothing in return. 

In fact, I can't even name who they got for Winslow and if it was draft picks you can see how good they did with those.  

And the guys they got for Edwards are a joke.  I've watched Chansi Stucky and his bewildered, unsure routes followed by stone hands long enough to know that he isn't even serviceable.

Preseason we brought in the leftover Jets that Rex Ryan didn't want but probably guys who Mangini likes and are "high character" guys but they stink.

Eric Barton is a joke, he's slow as erosion.  Ab Elam is a turd too, he couldn't even start for the Jets.  And those other D-lineman can't even get a sniff of the QB so what the heck is the purpose. 

At the end of the day, Mangini is going to run this franchise into the ground and then try to build it back up. 

The key point of this rant is that I think he and Brown's management under-estimated the frustration of the fans and team and they've completely lost both. 

This is now the worst franchise in the league and I include Detroit, TB, Kansas City and the Rams in that.  At least those teams have youth and some talent.  The Browns have neither. 

And we are brilliantly stuck with two highly paid QB's who both are completely inept!  D. Anderson is the worst QB I've seen take snaps in the NFL this year.  How in the world did he make the Pro Bowl?? 

Oh, that's right.  He was throwing to Winslow and Edwards and those guys made plays.  Now he has neither.  But the good news is, the locker room is in much better shape and everyone generally likes each other.

That equates to what in the NFL? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?  It equates to nothing of substance that could lead to a win or at least an offensive touchdown. 

And Brady Quinn is a never will be and I've said that from day one.  He is timid, scared to let the ball go, and really doesn't have any physical tools other then he's lifted enough weights to appear in Mens Fitness magazines.

It is obvious that Mangini is smart enough to understand the current predicament he's created and he's trying to compensate by doing a little cheer leading on the sidelines, giving up a few good sound bits per interview and generally acting like a guy whose been exposed for what he is and that is a loser.

I apologize if this type of honesty is offensive to any true Browns fans out there and I'm sure everyone has reached a level of frustration but honestly this isn't emotionally driven anymore.

It's just reality and until somebody in the Browns organization wants to wake up and deal with reality then this franchise will continue to flounder.

This team and the decisions it's made is a blue print for how to go from a team on the rise to a team with no hope and/or future.  They should offer this as a class at every major University and the Browns are the only case study.

Maybe I'll throw in the Indianapolis Pacers as a case study as well because a few years back they expelled the city and franchise of "trouble makers" and "low character" guys.

You can see where that's got them the past two years.  All the while, Steven Jackson and Al Harrington are laughing it up, knocking off the #1 seed Dallas Mavericks and show casing themselves as one of the most exciting teams in the NBA playing in front of sell out crowds.

The Pacers? Well they had the lowest attendance in the league last year.

My point is, the Browns took the moral "high road" so they should not be offended when fans chant, "Let's go Packers" at a home game. 

They made their bed, so let them sleep in it.


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