The Cleveland Browns do not play another game until November 16, 2009. Two fans, Mike Randall and Tony Schafer,will meet with Cleveland owner Randy Lerner to discuss their disgust with the team’s decade of losing. They had been organizing a protest for the Monday Night game against the Baltimore Ravens by encouraging fans to show up late for the game. First, utter nonsense. The tickets are already bought and paid for. The message would be that the fans are upset, and just for that, they’re going to not get their moneys worth and miss some of the first quarter. Would Mr. Lerner really get the message? On the other hand, it did gain the two fans an audience with Mr. Lerner and shows the fans of Cleveland that he does care.
Besides, a loud and clear message will be sent when the remaining tickets for the rest of the season go unsold and that there will need to be a blackout on local television. And just wait until the Browns marketing department tries to sell season tickets for 2010. People today are determined to have a say and have their voices heard. Yet I find it ironic that when it comes to politics, we are naive and follow the herd. When it comes to a game, it’s no holds barred.
So, what do Randall and Schafer hope to convey to Randy Lerner when they meet? Randall says he hopes to convince the clandestine Lerner to speak directly to Cleveland’s disappointed fan base. They want Lerner to tells us that there are measures being taken to improve the shortcomings that the current team displays.
The Browns dropped to 1-7 on Sunday with a 30-6 loss in Chicago. Lerner says he is “sick” about the state of his NFL team but he will not make a coaching change. Lerner did say he would like to bring in a “strong, credible, serious leader” to help run his team. Ahh, what a concept. Hire people who know what to do and let them do it. Did Lerner rush into hiring Mangini? Yes…and because he was turned down by Bill Cowher. Sometimes, less is more, but not in this case. Mangini came from a turbulent situation in New York in 2008 where his Jets team lost 4 out of their last 5 games to finish at 9-7 and missed the playoffs. That was with a future hall of fame quarterback.
Some changes that could be made? I think now that Quinn cannot mathematically take 70% of the snaps and earn his $11 million bonus, will be back as the starting quarterback. I think that rookie running back, Chris Jennings will be given a look at the running back position. Rex Hadnot will continue to start in the place of Floyd Womack at offensive guard. Mike Adams showed some grit in the game against the Bears and should start ahead of Brodney Pool. Let’s get the play calls to include Chansi Stuckey, the receiver we obtained when we traded away Braylon Edwards.
Moreover, the biggest change has to come from within each and every player’s heart. After losing 13 of their last 14 regular season games and only playing for where they will pick in the 2009-2010 draft, desire, determination and effort will be mandatory. The coaching staff has to adjust and tailor the game plan to the level of talent that there is . Simplify the offensive play-calling. The Browns have the worst offense in the league, so stay more basic and work on execution.
As for the fans, patience is our only alternative. Yes, the 10 years since the expansion Browns returned have not been pleasant. Right now, the play of the Browns is downright excruciating to watch. There will be some changes made and that will necessitate even more patience. The reality is that the Browns are not a good football team. So , we grin and bear it and be thankful it is only a game.