After barely sitting through the latest epic failure in Houston this past weekend, I immediately started watching the Fox telecast of the Green Bay-San Diego game, enjoying great play after great play. I also throughly enjoyed the Steelers-Ravens slugfest on Sunday night--and it wasn't even because one of the teams had to lose.
I just had to remind myself what real football, played with purpose and passion, looked like.
What can I say about this year's Browns that hasn't been said? They're totally and utterly inept, the only point of interest being the chicken-or-egg-like pondering as to who's responsible for the fail: Is Colt McCoy bad because the receivers can't get open or is he unable to read the defense properly? Is the defense on the field too long or are the linebackers just too slow to defend against the run? Was Peyton Hillis a jerk before or after he was voted to be the Madden 12 coverboy?
Unfortunately, this is par for the course when rooting for this team. Just expect the bottom to fall out of everything. The silver lining is actually made of mercury. The light at the end of the tunnel is really just the headlight on Marcus Benard's motorcycle heading straight toward you.
It's hard not to feel hopeless after watching this product for eight weeks. What's worse is that no one seems upset about it. Not Pat Shurmur, who continues to implement an offensive gameplan who's ineffectiveness is only overshadowed by it's predictability. Not Tom Heckert, who didn't sign any wide receivers in free agency, and still thinks the group currently assembled can get the job done. And certainly not Mike Holmgren, who when he does speak, sounds like he'd rather be back in Seattle.
And it's Holmgren's decision to hire Shurmur that's causing the most problems. The first-year head coach has shown an inability to neither adequately prepare his team to play or to make meaningful in-game adjustments. The fact that the Browns are the only team to not score a touchdown in either the first or third quarters testifies to that. He has no real control of this team--his treatment of the Peyton Hillis situation also speaks volumes. He displays no passion and often appears cluless. Countdown television shots showing him and his blank look speak to this as well. Any improvement has to start with him and this coaching staff.
Until then, Browns fans will have to rail against the system, like Cleveland comedian Mike Polk recently did in a recent viral video that is an instant hit around these parts. He says what every Browns fan is feeling. In case you missed it or want to laugh out again, here's the link: (Warning: some strong language)