As the 0-8 Cleveland Browns stumble into their bye week winless, it is time for fans and media to hold their arrogant analytics-driven front office responsible.
As it is a cold and gray Sunday here in Cleveland, I sit thankfully not having to worry about seeing the Browns either look like a grown-up Pop Warner team, look like a completely disorganized, dysfunctional franchise off of it with seemingly some sort of new drama of discontent between its own front office and coaches.
How in the name of Otto Graham did this all happen?
And why is it that the too-smart-for-their-own-good, analytics-driven Moneyball-wannabe Harvard geek squad front office of Executive Vice President in Sashi Brown and Chief Strategy Officer, Paul DePodesta can’t seem to see that their plan isn’t working.
Before anyone tries to accuse me of piling on the Browns in stating the obvious, and apologists making excuses in saying that you have to build a team, Cleveland doesn’t have enough talent, etc, look no further than all of the off the field misses, draft gaffes, free agent busts and failure to address the quarterback position have only brought more unwanted—but much needed—attention to this clueless Browns front office.
It is a sad state of affairs when a fanbase as dedicated, loyal and die-hard as the Cleveland Browns is abused and treated like suckers EVERY off-season with the promise and hope of a rebuild and that instead of booking playoff tickets—or dare I ever say Super Bowl—Browns fans instead begin searching “mock draft” faster than you can say Johnny Manziel.
Anyone who wants to still try to debate and argue with me on Twitter @RobCobb_INSC.
Any fan who wants to continue accepting this amateur hour of a franchise trying to put a real NFL team on the field is as complicit and gullible in accepting mediocrity.
Cleveland deserves better. this proud franchise that has eight NFL championships and some of the greatest NFL players ever to play for it, has been reduced to a 24-7 ESPN punchline and internet dumpster fire meme across social media.
And there is a whole litany of evidence as to why the Geek Squad needs a proverbial wedgie right now:
- Trading the No.2 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft to Philadelphia—and trading down again—with Tennessee to select oft-injured WR Corey Coleman, while passing up on QB’s Carson Wentz—and possibly Jared Goff.
- What really should gall all of Dawg Pound Nation is DePodesta going on record in stating that Wentz will never be a top 20 quarterback.
- In 24 career NFL games, Wentz has completed 540 of his 871 attempts (62 percent) for 5,845 yards and 35 touchdowns against 19 interceptions. Through the first eight games of the 2017 season, Wentz has the Eagles off to an NFL-best 7-1 start and in first place in the NFC East Division.
- Wentz has completed 161 passes for 2,063 yards and 19 touchdowns against five interceptions this season, and is considered a potential MVP candidate.
Not bad for a guy from North Dakota State right? Below is the rest of the list of “accomplishments” by the Harvard Crew
- Passing on current superstar Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott to select noodle-armed and oft-concussed Cody Kessler.
- Acquiring former Super Bowl winning quarterback Brock Osweiler via trade from the Houston Texans for a second round pick, and PAYING his $14.6 million salary for this season.
- Failing to current Washington Redskins WR Terrelle Pryor, who reportedly wanted to remain in Cleveland.
- Overpaying disappointing free agent WR Kenny Britt, who is making former free agent bust in Dwayne Bowe look like Jerry Rice.
- After selecting DE Myles Garrett as the top overall pick in the 2017 NFL, and QB still an issue, Cleveland trades down from No.12—with current Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson on the board—for their 2018 first-round pick, while still owning their ‘18 second-rounder from the Osweilier deal.
- And just recently as Cleveland botched a trade deadline deal wit the rival Bengals for backup A.J. McCarron
Again, while it is premature to harp on the Browns because of passing on Wentz, Watson and Prescott—and possibly Goff, seeing their success is proverbially kicking sand in the Browns short-sighted and arrogant front office’s eyes.
And if word on the street is true about projected top overall pick in USC redshirt sophomore Sam Darnold is deciding to stay and Wyoming gunslinger Josh Allen also deciding to stay another year, the Cleveland Browns once again outsmarted themselves into a dumb decision in choosing to wait for a quarterback, when four potentially good ones were right there for the taking.
Let’s be honest, does a QB draft class of Heisman Trophy winner in Louisville Cardinals QB Lamar Jackson, projected front-runner in Oklahoma Sooners gunslinger Baker Mayfield, UCLA party animal QB Josh Rosen, Oklahoma State rocket-armed Mason Rudolph and Washington State’s Luke Falk make you want to renew your expensive PSL’s?
Didn’t think so.
Clearly, it seems as if the front office doesn’t consider the input of it’s own coaching staff, as their draft day misses, free agent debacles and failed trades seem to illustrate. If they cannot see the error of their ways and bring in a real football mind to help balance their numbers-based approach, 1-23 will be the last set of data that they will need to concern themselves with.