Two Weeks Off, But Not Many Adjustments For Browns

Seriously, you cannot make this stuff up.

The Cleveland Browns lined up for a 51 yard field goal by Travis Coons to win last night’s game against the Baltimore Ravens on the last play of the competition.

Instead, the kick was blocked and the Ravens’ Will Hill scooped up the loose ball and ran it into the end zone to give Baltimore a 33-27 victory and drop the Browns’ record to 2-9 for the year.

And that makes it 14 losses in the last 16 games for Mike Pettine and his team.

It was special teams that cost the Browns tonight as they allowed a punt return and a blocked field goal for touchdowns.  You can’t give up 13 points on special teams.

Those numbers, and that Karlos Dansby returned an interception for a score, will masquerade another poor performance by the defense, who allowed four and a half yards per carry on the ground, and made former Cleveland running back, Terrence West, dealt for a seventh round pick, look good.

West had 37 yards in seven attempts.

Cleveland did have another interception, as Tramon Williams picked off Matt Schaub late to set up the possible game winning field goal, but the Browns’ defense did not record a sack during the game.

So, with all of the time off the players and the coaching staff have had recently, what adjustments did the team make?

It’s hard to tell.

Offensively, it seemed like there was a more concerted effort to get the football to the team’s playmakers as Travis Benjamin caught six passes for 90 yards and a TD, and ran the ball on a reverse once.

Duke Johnson touched the ball 12 times, and actually saw action in the second half.

And TE Gary Barnidge continued his fine season, grabbing seven throws for 91 yards.

The entire time off was filled with discussion on Johnny Manziel’s off-field activities, so Josh McCown got the start, but was injured again during the game, forcing Austin Davis into the contest.

Davis acquitted himself well, hitting 7 of 10 for 77 yards and the TD throw to Benjamin.

So, get ready for more quarterback talk this week.

That discussion will overshadow the terrible time management Pettine used at the end of the game.

After Williams’ pick, the Browns had the ball on the Ravens’ 48 with 55 seconds remaining in the game, with two timeouts in their possession.  Remarkably, they ran three plays in that amount of time.

Davis failed to get out-of-bounds on a run that ended at the 30 yard line on the second last offensive play for Cleveland.  With Coons’ longest field goal of the year being 44 yards, it did not occur to the head coach to try to get the ball closer for his kicker, who hadn’t missed a field goal all season.

Instead, he tried a running play that lost yardage, pushing Coons back even further.

And while the joke around town is the guy who blocked the kick wedged his way between the two 2015 first round draft picks, Cam Erving and Danny Shelton, the truth is the longer kick made Coons kick the ball lower.  Had the Browns gained five more yards after Davis’ run and it would be a 42 yard kick, it likely wouldn’t have been blocked.

Pettine has something to learn about using timeouts.  Apparently, he thinks they can be turned in at the end of the season for coupons.

This was the seventh game out of 11 that the Browns have allowed 30+ points in a game.  Although the defense was only on the field for 20 of those, it is very difficult for this team to win when the offense has to score more than 30 to win.

All the quarterback talk, both on and off the field, deflect criticism from this unit, which is the real problem with this team.

And it’s not going to be easier with the Bengals visiting on Sunday.

It’s doubtful they will lose on another blocked field goal, but we can’t say it is impossible.



Tribe Needs To Be Bold

While the baseball hot stove league has just barely started, it is sure to heat up soon.

The winter meetings take place next week and that is usually the place where the major moving and shaking takes place.

Going into the off-season, the Cleveland Indians were thought to be a team that could be very active this winter.

They have a solid pitching staff, and some depth as well, so the thought is out there that president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti and new GM Mike Chernoff could swing some deals to bring a ballclub that finished 11th in the American League in runs scored a much needed jolt for the offense.

They did swing a minor deal getting Kirby Yates from Tampa, a right-handed reliever who has swing and miss stuff.

However, he did give up a whopping 10 home runs in a little over 20 innings pitched in 2015, so obviously the front office is looking for Mickey Callaway to work his magic with him.

But what about the offense?

The only rumors involving hitters involve older players on the downside of their careers, guys like the Yankees’ Brett Gardner and free agent outfielder Shane Victorino.

We hope these are just reporters using old information to dredge up some stories, because if the Tribe is looking at guys like these, they are on the usual Dusty Springfield approach, Wishin’ and Hopin’ (look it up, it’s a good oldie)

We have said it before, but if the Tribe is going to dramatically improve the offense, they can’t do it by adding only spare parts.  They have to get a middle of the order bat, and that means moving a starting pitcher.

We have advocated that guy should be Danny Salazar for a variety of reasons.

That’s why the Indians have to go against their normal operating procedure and be bold, without giving up the farm.

We saw a piece on Marlins’ OF Marcell Ozuna, who would be a good get for the Indians, and the article said giving up Salazar for him was too much.

That’s what Antonetti and Chernoff have to guard against.

We may find out this winter, if the conservatism that has ruled the franchise over the past 10+ years was Mark Shapiro or the way the ownership wanted things.

If the Indians come home from the meetings with a guy like Victorino or Gardner, then we have our answer.

We still believe the new regime will do more.  The time for boldness is this winter.


Browns Need To Learn Toughness

Over the past few weeks, we have accused Browns’ coach Mike Pettine of being a fake tough guy.

He certainly looks tough, the bald head, the goatee, and the scowl, but in reality, he’s a player’s coach just like Rob Chudzinski and Pat Shurmur before him.

That might work if the Browns were a veteran team, but the players they are supposedly building around are young guys, and they need someone demanding.

This is why we scoff at the whole situation with Johnny Manziel.

It’s the first time Pettine has been a tough guy, and quite frankly, it’s the toughness that would be displayed by a high school coach.

Regardless of what problems Manziel has with alcohol, and we don’t know for absolute certainty that he has one, his obligation to this football team is to be prepared for the next game.

No matter what happened over the bye week, if the former Heisman winner was prepared in practice and had the game plan down for Monday night’s game against the Ravens, he shouldn’t have lost his job.

That he didn’t know what the coaches asked, and then lied about it is secondary.  It’s professional football, who cares.

It’s laughable that Pettine talked about accountability, because the Cleveland Browns haven’t held anyone accountable for a long time.

Look at our rivals to the east in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers have had injuries to several key players, including QB Ben Roethlisberger, and they sit at 6-4 and very much in the playoff race.

Why?  Because they demand success and winning from the ownership on down to the front office and down to coach Mike Tomlin.

The Browns make excuses regarding their injuries, and keep telling their fans (more likely themselves) that they are close and they have a lot of talent on the roster.

This is where the Browns need to change the “culture”.

It will start with hiring a real tough guy as head coach when Pettine undoubtedly will lose his job at the end of this season.

Longtime radio personality floated the name of Mike Singletary recently, and quite frankly that would be a solid choice.

From what we have heard about former Patriots LB Mike Vrabel, now a Texans’ assistant, he would be a solid option too.

Those guys would demand performance and accountability for each and every player and each and every coach in this organization.

And until the Browns operate on this basis, nothing will change.

It doesn’t have to be one of those guys, it just has to be someone who will not accept mediocrity and excuses.

Instead of Pettine treating Manziel like his son, he should be demanding excellence ON THE FIELD from him.

He should not accept the poor performance of the defense from his friend, Jim O’Neil, and should tell his secondary coach to get Justin Gilbert ready to play on Sunday, and not be worried about techniques.

That why the accountability comment was a joke.  He hasn’t demanded it all year from the players, his staff, or himself.

That’s why he hasn’t changed anything about the running game or the defense despite both being a problem from the FIRST GAME OF THE SEASON!

You would think a good football coach would have identified the problem and corrected it.

Real toughness is what is needed for the Cleveland Browns.  They aren’t going to get it from “Papa” Mike Pettine.


Manziel’s Performance All That Matters

We cannot remember the Cleveland sports media having to cover an athlete like Johnny Manziel.

Sure, LeBron James is a national figure, a worldwide personality really, but James is someone who keeps to himself during the off-season.  He is really only seen at charity functions and family vacations.

It seems the more veteran members of the sports media here have more of a problem with Manziel being at nightclubs during his free time than the younger writers do.

Personally, it doesn’t matter to us what the player does during his free time.

Here are a few things we do know–

Manziel was in rehab earlier this year.  However, we do not know what he was getting treatment for.

Manziel did have an incident with his girlfriend in Avon in October.  The NFL investigated the situation and determined no suspension was in order.

Unfortunately, this leads to wild speculation as to what the former Heisman Trophy winner is doing with his life and his commitment to the NFL and the Browns.

Manziel said he wouldn’t do anything to embarrass the franchise during the bye week, and quite frankly, being seen in a nightclub doesn’t seem like he did that.

He wasn’t riding an inflatable swan, he wasn’t talking on a “money phone”, he was just in a nightclub, probably the same as many of his teammates.

Those guys don’t have TMZ following them though.

Manziel should not have to live his life differently because of his past, his “Johnny Football” persona.  That doesn’t matter to those who think he should be studying film 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

The QB could be spending his afternoons studying tape and working at his craft, and wants to take a few hours to unwind.

He hasn’t been spotted publicly drunk, or starting fights.  He’s just out on the town.

And there is nothing wrong with that.

Let’s face it, if Manziel throws for 300 yards and leads the Browns to a victory over the Ravens on Monday night, no one will care what he did on his bye week.

And if he plays well for the rest of the season, he should be the starting QB going into training camp next summer.

If he doesn’t play well, the Browns will look for another guy to play the position probably in the 2016 draft.

What the media doesn’t understand is that Johnny Manziel doesn’t care what people think about what he does.

And if the front office and coaching staff judge him by anything other than how he performs in the locker room and on the field, then that says more about them than it says about Manziel.

If he wins and plays well, no one will care.  Except the old farts in the media who will continue to bring it up.



Some Warriors Envy Grips Cavs’ Fans

We believe there is a divide among older professional basketball fans and those under the age of 30 years old, and it concerns the Golden State Warriors.

Older fans think the wide open, shoot the three point shot at all costs way is a fad, and teams that do this on a regular basis won’t be able to win consistently.

Younger fans love Stephan Curry and his style of play, which included pulling up on fast breaks to shoot threes instead of taking the ball to the basket.

The latter’s opinion has been buoyed by the Warriors triumph over a depleted Cavaliers’ team in last year’s Finals, and by Golden State’s 14-0 start this season.

First of all, there isn’t as much difference between the two teams as you think.  While the Warriors rank 2nd in the NBA in three point shots attempted (actually Houston is first proving that it is the players, not the system), the Cavs are 5th in the league.

The difference is Golden State is making 41% of those shots thus far.  And they made 40% a year ago.

The more experienced fans (of which group we belong to), would love to see opposing teams get physical with Curry, Klay Thompson, and the other Warriors.

But Golden State is a very good defensive team too, holding their opponents to an NBA low .458 field goal percentage against.

We believe this is because other teams try to play the Warriors’ game against them, and they simply aren’t as good.  This results in bad shots for opponents.

In last year’s championship series, the wine and gold did not fall into that trap.  They pounded the ball inside, and while the Warriors are long, they don’t have a lot of bulk, so you can attack them at the rim.

And let’s not forget that Steve Kerr’s crew did have some luck in the playoffs, getting wins over New Orleans (without Jrue Holliday), Memphis (Mike Conley was hurt), Houston (no Patrick Beverley to harass Curry), and of course, Cleveland without Kevin Love for the entire series, and Kyrie Irving for the last five games.

That’s not to minimize the title, but it is pointing out the facts.

Our point is the NBA season is about a month in and already we are hearing how the Cavaliers should do things like the Warriors.

Especially, when it comes down to handling minutes.

LeBron James is averaging 36.2 minutes per game, but some of that is because of the double overtime game vs. Milwaukee where James logged a season high 45 minutes.

In reality, of the 13 games Cleveland has played, James has totaled 36 or more minutes just six times.

In the Warriors’ 14 games, Curry has been on the floor 36 or more minutes nine times.

Curry is averaging 35.6 minutes per night, and has taken the most shots in the NBA this season.  Will that take its toll as the season goes on?

Look, the Warriors are very good.  They are the defending champions.  And they are about to tie an NBA record for the best start ever if they win their next game to go 15-0.

Meanwhile, the Cavs have gotten off to a great start too at 10-3, and last night they easily defeated their opponent in the Eastern Conference finals a year ago, without Irving, Iman Shumpert, Mo Williams, and Timofey Mozgov.

Three of those players were starters in the conference finals a year ago.

So, don’t envy the Warriors, but instead, respect what the Cavs are doing despite playing all season without two of their top ten players, and now they won’t have four of those guys for the next couple of games.

Being the best team in November and December doesn’t get you anything.

David Blatt, LeBron James, and the Cavaliers are using the San Antonio model.  It is better to be playing well in March and April.

That doesn’t mean Golden State can’t sustain it, but we will say if they can, they may be the greatest team of all time.


Is It Farmer or Pettine That Is The Problem?

The most popular answer when fans of the Cleveland Browns discuss what should be done to improve the fortunes of the team going forward is they should fire GM Ray Farmer.

Mostly because Farmer has made odd comments about the impact of wide receivers, and because the veteran he did sign, Dwayne Bowe, has made no impact on this year’s team.

There is a growing thought that Mike Pettine shouldn’t keep his job either after the season ends, but many fans and media people alike think it would be nice to see what the head coach can do with a different general manager.

This overlooks the fact that Farmer inherited Pettine.  And that Pettine has lost 13 of the last 15 games he has coached.

Some of the difference comes from the two people’s demeanor.  Pettine comes across as a tough football coach, spouting the right clichés, while Farmer can be a bit pompous.

While the GM gets hammered for his drafts, it has been only two years, too early to make a definitive opinion.  However, let’s look at those picks, first using the 2014 draft, Farmer’s first as GM.

The two first round picks were Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel.  Farmer traded down to get Gilbert, getting another first round pick in ’15 to move down four spots.

To us, that extra first round pick made it a no brainer.

While most regard Gilbert as a bust, our thought is we just don’t know, mainly because the Oklahoma State product doesn’t play.  We are trusting a coaching staff that seems to have a lot of issues to form the judgment that the young man can’t do anything.

And Manziel has shown enough in the last two games to show he’s not a complete failure either.  He may not be a franchise passer, but he can play at the NFL level.

As for the rest of that draft, Farmer picked a starting offensive lineman in Joel Bitonio, a linebacker who gets regular playing time in Christian Kirksey, and a cornerback in Pierre Desir, who gets time, but has struggled a bit in man coverage.

He also picked Terrance West, who was traded before the regular season and is now with his third NFL team.

So, that’s two solid players (Bitonio and Kirksey) and one bust (West).  On the others, it is simply too soon to tell.

In the 2015 draft, Farmer took NT Danny Shelton and OL Cameron Erving in the first round.  Both were projected to go close to the slot they were taken, so it is hard to fault the GM for those choices.

The next two picks were LB Nate Orchard, who is showing more each week, and RB Duke Johnson, who has shined when used, but seems to disappear from the field in the second halves of games.

Xavier Cooper, Ibraheim Campbell, Charles Gaines, and Malcolm Johnson all look like they have talent, especially the two players in the defensive backfield, Campbell and Gaines, who look like they could be starters.

However, the wide out Farmer drafted seems to get a lot of attention.  Vince Mayle was a 4th rounder who had problems catching the ball and was cut at the end of training camp.

Cleveland had 12 picks, so two others were let go, and keep in mind the Browns have a possible first round talent in Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, who tore up his knee in college, but was projected as a high draft choice.

In addition, Farmer has signed some under the radar free agents in K’Waun Williams, who may be the Browns’ best corner this season, and Jamie Meder, who has played well on the defensive line.

So Farmer can be the chief culprit for the Browns’ plight, but we think the more likely problem is a disconnect between the front office and the coaching staff.

We think there may be some talented players available, but the staff doesn’t seem to put players in the right positions so they can succeed.

In the final six games of the season, we may see some of these young players get on the field, and then we will have more information to judge the players.

We certainly aren’t saying Ray Farmer is a genius or one of the best GMs in the NFL.  However, he may not be the biggest problem with this football team either.


Tribe Can’t Be Conservative in Helping Offense

It is almost a universal belief that the Cleveland Indians need to upgrade their offense this winter.

The Tribe ranked 11th in the American League in runs scored, and scored three runs or less in almost half (79) of the games they played in 2015.

They have only three everyday players with an OPS over 800:  Michael Brantley, Jason Kipnis, and rookie of the year runner up Francisco Lindor.

As a contrast, the World Champion Royals had five such players, and a sixth, Ben Zobrist, joined them during the season.

We have written shortly after the season ended that the Indians should be looking to upgrade offensively at five different positions:  1B, 3B, CF, RF, and DH.

We are sure the supporters who are fans of Carlos Santana will say that we are crazy, but the switch-hitter will be 30 years old in 2016 and his numbers have declined each of the last two seasons.

The reality is Chris Antonetti, Mike Chernoff, and Terry Francona would be happy is at least two or three of these spots will be upgraded offensively.

While many fans like the job Lonnie Chisenhall did in RF after returning from the minor leagues (756 OPS, .288 batting average), over the entire season, his OPS was under 700.

That said, he is the player out of the five positions that we would consider as an everyday guy in 2016.

The real question though is how can the Indians accomplish this improvement?

We can all agree that the front office is not going to commit to a huge free agent deal to get a solid bat.

Therefore, we can rule out anyone on the high end of the free agent market.

Actually, we can rule out the entire free agent market because we wouldn’t pay between $7-$10 million on flawed players like Austin Jackson, David Freese, and the like.

So, it would appear to us that the only way to get the kind of bat the Tribe desperately needs is to trade one of their starting pitchers.

If the next Ted Williams fell into Cleveland’s lap for a minor league prospect, of course that would be the first option.  However, that’s not likely to occur.

In order to get a quality hitter, a professional hitter, the organization is going to have to pony up.

It would be nice to continue to have four or five quality starting pitchers who are proven commodities, but you may still have that with the depth the Indians have accumulated over the past few years.

And if the front office is going to ink players like Jackson or Freese and tell you they’ve improved the hitting, they are lying to themselves.

One guy who may be affordable and could help, at least against right-handed pitchers is free agent John Jaso.

Jaso, 32, is a platoon bat however.  He’s a lifetime .274 batter against right-handed pitching, with a 797 OPS.

He had a 839 OPS last season with Tampa Bay.

It would be fine to get some pieces like Jaso to help, but only if you can get someone who can hit in the middle of the order, especially with Brantley out of the lineup probably until the middle of May.

But you are going to have to give something significant in return.

The question is will the Indians’ front office have the stomach to make such a move


We Have Some Questions For You, Coach Pettine.

Only the Cleveland Browns could have a situation where they knock the opposing quarterback out of a game, and have him replaced by a future Hall of Famer, who throws for 379 yards and three touchdowns.

In many ways, the key play of today’s 30-9 thumping by the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Browns was the one where Desmond Bryant forced the offensive tackle to step on Landry Jones’ foot early in the first quarter, because that brought Ben Roethlisberger into the contest.

Big Ben threw three touchdown passes and drew several pass interference penalties by the Browns’ secondary, as the Cleveland defense allowed 30 or more points for the sixth time in 10 games this season.

But, we are sure we will be again talking about who should start at quarterback two weeks from tomorrow when the Ravens visit First Energy Stadium.

Mike Pettine gave the media the “I have to review the film” spiel after the game, and bristled when someone (we think it was Tom Reed) asked if it looked bad that the defensive backfield was terrible and last year’s first round pick Justin Gilbert was inactive for the game.

The coach didn’t really answer the inquiry.

Here are some other questions we would like Pettine to answer.

…Who on the coaching staff thought it would be a good idea to have special teams standout Johnson Bademosi matched up with Steelers’ all pro wide receiver Antonio Brown?

Brown caught 10 pass for 139 yards and two touchdown and drew two interference calls.

Bademosi wasn’t on Brown all the time, but too often, it was either he or raw rookie (first NFL game) Charles Gaines.  That’s a ridiculously bad match up.

…Why wasn’t Gilbert active?

He leads the Browns in kickoff return average, and made some nice special teams plays in punt coverage over the last few weeks.  And he didn’t seem to be excessively targeted in the Thursday night loss to the Bengals when he did play cornerback.

He is in the same spot as Johnny Manziel.  The organization needs to see if Gilbert can be a decent NFL corner.

…Why can’t this team run the football?

Cleveland had 15 rushing and the leader was Manziel, who gained 17 on three scrambles.  The Browns have two Pro Bowl players on the line in Joe Thomas and Alex Mack, and John Greco and Mitchell Schwartz are solid.  Joel Bitonio was out today, but last year was on the all-rookie team.

The Browns had a couple of decent runs early going straight ahead with Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell.  They spent the rest of the game trying to run wide and losing yardage.

Why not stick with what was working, at least a little?

…What is the coaching staff doing about the penalties?

Cleveland had 12 flags thrown against them for a whopping 188 yards.

Late in the third quarter, the Browns had the ball with a first down inside the one.  They had consecutive penalties (holding on Cameron Erving, illegal formation) to take them out of a scoring opportunity.

That kind of sloppy play points to the coaching staff.

Manziel played well (33 of 45 for 372 yards with a TD toss and a pick).  After fumbling on the first play, he showed that he can play and deserves to start the rest of the season, especially with the Browns sitting at 2-8.

He certainly isn’t looking like the bust everyone says he is.  And really, there isn’t much evidence that Gilbert is either because he doesn’t play.

Maybe, just maybe, there is some talent on this football team, but it isn’t used properly.

Hopefully, however is coaching next year, and we are confident someone else will be, can put those players in a position where they can contribute.

After all, that is kind of the definition of coaching, isn’t it?


Manziel Overshadows Real Problems With Browns

The big question among fans of the Cleveland Browns this week is who will start at quarterback against Pittsburgh this Sunday at Heinz Field.

Coach Mike Pettine continues to favor veteran Josh McCown, saying he gives the Browns the rest chance to win on Sunday, even though his record as a starter since the beginning of the 2014 season is 2-16.

That appears to say volumes about how the coaching staff (or maybe just the head coach) feels about Johnny Manziel, who has started two games this season and went 1-1.

And even the harshest critic of the former Heisman Trophy winner has to admit at halftime, you had to feel pretty good about how Johnny Football performed.

Unless that harshest critic is the head coach, who felt the need to tell a national television audience that the Browns needed to “calm down” the second year player.

Still, all of this talk about the quarterback is masking the real problems with this football team, so in a way, Pettine should be thankful for Johnny Manziel.

Last Thursday night, the Cleveland defense allowed 30 points for the fifth time this season.  Keep in mind, the Browns have only played nine games, so in half of the contests, opponents have put 30 points on the board.

No matter who your quarterback is, it is tough to win football games when you are giving up that many points.

Another problem that has pretty much been swept under the rug has been the blueprint for winning games that Pettine’s team was supposed to use going into the year.

The Browns were to be a running team, pounding the ball behind an offensive line which featured All Pros, and a rock solid defensive unit, led by one of the league’s best secondaries.

With Joe Thomas and Alex Mack anchoring the line, and two other Pro Bowlers, Joe Haden and Donte Whitner in the secondary, it was easy to see why the coaches and fans alike would be excited about these units.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t gone according to plan either.

The Browns simply can’t run the football, ranking 31st (second to last) in rushing, and they continue to search for answers, trying to use such stalwarts as Shawn Draughn and Robert Turbin, instead of seeing what Isaiah Crowell can do with 15-20 carries per game.

Cleveland QB’s have also been sacked 30 times, against second to last in the NFL.

The offensive line has been terrible this season, a year after they were among the best in the league prior to Mack’s broken leg.

As for the defensive backfield, sure there have been injuries, but this group in slightly below the middle of the pack in terms of allowing passing yards.  This is compounded by having just 15 sacks, a figure that ranks 23rd in the league.

Keep in mind that seven of those sacks came in one game, a week two victory over Tennessee.

So, to summarize, the defense can’t stop the run, can’t put pressure on the passer, and really doesn’t defend the pass when it is thrown.

Those are the real problems with this football team, not who plays quarterback.

But the head coach doesn’t acknowledge those issues, continuing to say his team is “close” to winning.  Let us remind everyone that Pettine’s team is 2-12 in their last 14 games.

That doesn’t seem close.

But let’s talk about the quarterback.


Kosar Should Be Involved With Browns In Some Way

A stir was created over the weekend when Browns’ legend Bernie Kosar said he would like to be the guy to turn around the moribund franchise’s fortunes.

We are all aware of the trials and tribulations of the brown and orange since they re-entered the NFL in 1999 as an expansion franchise.

Two winning seasons, one post-season appearance, and for the most part, the leadership, under both owners, Randy Lerner and Jimmy Haslam, can’t seem to stop tripping over their collective feet.

Can Kosar help straighten out this franchise?

Well, the knee-jerk reaction is he couldn’t possibly do any worse than the guys who have tried and failed over the years.

We used to say back in the 80’s, that the best job in baseball was the GM of the Indians, because if you succeeded, you would be hailed as a genius, and if you failed?  You were just another person who couldn’t turn it around.

The Browns are in the same boat right now.

That could be why Kosar decided to throw his hat in the ring.  There is nowhere to go but up, and it’s an opportunity to be a savior in Cleveland once again.

However, this much is clear.  The legend knows the game of football.  Anyone who has watched him provide analysis on pre-season games over the years can see that.

He was a thinking man’s quarterback.  He saw the game differently than many players who had superior athletic ability.

Why not use that asset to help the Cleveland Browns?

We don’t know that Kosar could be or even want to be the general manager of the Browns, or even the president of football operations, and quite frankly, we couldn’t say he would be qualified for either of those positions.

On the other hand, what would be wrong in making Bernie a consultant to Haslam, helping him guide who the owner hires going forward on the football side?

The one thing we can say about Haslam is he has had a problem hiring the right people.  The league seemed to have forced Joe Banner on him, and Banner made the unfortunate hire of Mike Lombardi as GM.

Had Kosar been involved in that process, the guess here is he would have prevented the latter hire.

He might have been able to save Rob Chudzinski after his one season as head coach.  Most people thought Chud got a raw deal, and we wonder if things would have been different had the Browns held the lead against New England in 2013.

You can go back further than that.  Maybe Kosar would have prevented the numerous candidates who didn’t seem to want to work for Banner and Lombardi when Chudzinski got the gig.

People who succeed usually surround themselves with people who are smarter than they are.  There is no question that Bernie Kosar is one of the smartest football people around.

Why shouldn’t Jimmy Haslam avail himself of this knowledge?

Besides, what can go wrong?  It’s not as though the Browns are one of the NFL’s best organizations or dominant teams on the field.