It happens every fall. The national media and some of the local media reach for the lowest of the low hanging fruit in regards to the National Football League.
They take turns hitting the speed bag that is the Cleveland Browns.
Look, the Browns deserve it. Since they returned to the NFL in 1999, they have been a joke of a franchise. Two winning seasons, one playoff appearance. The teams slogan should be “At least 10 losses every year”.
They’ve changed coaches like people change underwear. They’ve gone through multiple front office executives, general managers, and directors of football operations.
In essence, they deserve exactly what they get.
So, now the Cleveland Browns are trying something else. They blew up their roster, getting rid of most of the veterans on last year’s team and we trying to build a winning team by getting a whole bunch of young players and letting them develop together.
That actually sound logical.
Will it work? Well, that remains to be seen, but nothing else they’ve tried has worked in the last 17 years, so really, why not try it?
Of course, many people in the media don’t know what to make of it, so they fall back on what has worked for them in the past, and that is, hammering what goes on in Berea.
In a way, it’s lazy reporting.
For example, based on Carson Wentz’ two very good starts (against the mediocre Browns and Chicago Bears), people are questioning the organization’s decision to go with Robert Griffin III at quarterback.
It’s not that complicated. They weren’t convinced that Wentz was a top tier starter and Griffin was an experienced alternative to playing the 37-year-old Josh McCown.
A national writer wondered why the Browns would bother to start the former Heisman Trophy winner when McCown is clearly better?
Really? You can’t figure that out? Griffin is 26-years-old. Maybe you can salvage something out of his career, maybe not. The Browns know McCown doesn’t have much left. If you know you aren’t contending for a playoff spot, why not see what a guy who is younger can do?
A local station is running through the statistics and reporting on what the players who the Browns have unloaded in recent years are doing. Did we miss something and the Browns were actually a playoff team the last four or five years?
You will never be able to convince us that getting rid of aging players from a 3-13 team is a bad idea. Players over 30 generally aren’t going to get better as they age. So, why Karlos Dansby can still play, he’s not a good fit for what the Browns are doing.
The point is many people still have the mistaken notion that the Browns want to go 6-10 this year and they should have kept and played veterans to achieve that record.
However, that’s kind of like being the 8th seed in the NBA playoffs. You aren’t going to get a high lottery pick, and you don’t have a chance at a title.
Again, whether it works or not, the Cleveland Browns are trying to build around a lot of young, drafted players who will grow together. They will draft their franchise QB at some point, perhaps next year, a player who they love.
In the meantime, the media shouldn’t look at this football team the same as they normally do. They can’t acknowledge trying something new.