The one thing the Cleveland Browns are very good at is staying relevant, at least around the city of Cleveland.
The Cavaliers can be red-hot and the Indians are starting spring training, but all sports fans can talk about is the Browns.
(By the way, we guess we are guilty of the same thing).
This past week, the Browns had two minor tidbits of news in the grand scheme of things, and as usual, kicked off a tremendous media reaction.
The first was created by themselves, the introduction of a new team logo.
The organization took down the old logo at the team’s headquarters, and hyped last Tuesday’s announcement of the new logo throughout the normal media and social media.
This got fans excited as to what the Browns would come up with.
Would the brownie elf be part of it? Would it incorporate the bulldog which has become a symbol of the “Dawg Pound”. Would it provide a glimpse as to what the new uniform would look like?
Instead, it was a change in font, a different shade of orange, and a brown facemask on the helmets.
It created a negative reaction among fans and nationally as well. Quite a bit of comedy was written talking about the new logo.
The Browns front office should take the hit on this debacle. They overhyped themselves.
If they were going to make minor changes, why bring a lot of attention to it. That’s what got fans upset. They thought it would be an exciting new look for the team, and instead, they simply tweaked the representation of the team.
As a graphic designer told us, it was a big deal to him that they changed the font and the color slightly, but he understood that to someone not in his business, it was a minor occurrence.
Then yesterday, the Browns signed QB Josh McCown to a three-year contract, which made social media explode once again.
McCown has been a below average quarterback through his career in the NFL, with a lifetime passer rating of 76.1. The critics of this move point out that the Browns should have just kept Brian Hoyer, the local hero.
His career passer rating? Try 76.8.
Basically, the Browns simply traded out back up quarterback types.
The reason? McCown will be fine if he’s a reserve to either Johnny Manziel or another QB the Browns get in the off-season. Hoyer wanted to be the starter, and Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer didn’t want to make that guarantee.
Our guess is that Farmer will still try to get a player like Jake Locker or Mark Sanchez or Matt Moore in free agency as well, so people critical of the move are being a little premature.
Also, the fans who have been critical of Kyle Shanahan and Hoyer being gone never consider that the onus may have been on them to leave? Neither wanted to commit to Pettine and they are now gone.
It’s just easier to say the organization is “dysfunctional”.
Look, we have no idea what will happen with the Browns in 2015. We do know they are bringing in talent, although they haven’t been able to get the quarterback.
They have a solid offensive line, some good, young running backs, and a very good secondary.
They also have a lot of draft picks and room under the salary cap.
Let’s wait until the off-season plays out before panic sets in.
Until then, we are sure of one thing…the Browns will stay in the news somehow.