I came back for this?
I took a short break to re-charge the batteries, among other things, and was hoping to come back to this column with great things to say about your Cleveland Browns.
To quote a recent popular advertising catchphrase, "Not exactly". And I'm pretty bummed about it.
OK, the Browns won on Sunday. A win is a win they say--and I wouldn't argue except to say that it was beyond ugly.
Cleveland had the ball for 43 minutes...and scored six points. Monterio Hardesty ran the 33 times...for 95 yards....not even 3 yards a carry. If not for a few questionable calls and an offense possibly even more inept than our own, we'd be talking about the beginning of the end of another lost season.
Instead, people are saying that we're only a game and a half out of first place. Some are even mentioning the "P-word"--playoffs.
I shake my head at that possibility..or as the youngsters would text "SMF".
The Browns are worst 3-3 team in the league--maybe in the history of the league. After six games, this offense still looks hopefully lost. What are they trying to do? What's their identity? Do they even know?
The special teams have given up a kickoff return, a punt return (that was an awful call on Seattle--should have been a touchdown) and had not one but two field goals blocked in one game.
The ONLY reason to watch these days is the defense.
And they should sue the offense and special teams for non-support.
One of the most frustrating things to witness is there doesn't seem to be a sense of urgency amongst the coaching staff. Maybe there is--but in listening to Pat Shurmur the last couple of weeks, I'm reminded of the old Mad Magazine icon Alfred E, Neuman asking, "What, Me Worry?"
Right now, as a Browns fan, I'm having an all-too-familiar feeling of deja vu here. The new regime, confident that THEY can fix what ails this team, failed to get a veteran wide receiver in free agency. They're trying to force a pass first mentality on a offense who's best players are at running back and offensive tackle. And then they alienate said running back by not getting his contract redone.
Which of course forced his agent to advise his client to sit out a game.
Bad luck you say? OK. But every year?
The names and circumstances change but the one constant since the Browns have come back, no matter what the regime, is misery. And despite the feel-good vibes coming out of training camp, the Browns are still looking for answers near the halfway mark. Will the offense get going this weekend? Next month? Next year?
The only thing we do know is that this team is a long way from where they want to be. I know, I know--we knew that going in, but somehow I thought they'd be a little farther along.
Once again, redemption is as close as the next game--a tough matchup versus the resurgent Forty Niners (hmm--wonder what the Browns offense would have looked like if they hired Jim Harbaugh instead of Pat Shurmur?). Even if they lose, they can't do much worse than last Sunday's "win."
Plus it'll be nice to write something nice for a change.