The worst team in pro football.
The Browns are the worst team in the NFL.
It was the realization that, since Dennis Allen wasn’t fired, Oakland now has more continuity than the Browns. Oakland now has more forward momentum. You still think Oakland’s worse? They had the same number of wins in a much tougher division. They have a head coach and system in place. They enter 2014 with $66.5 in cap space. They have great weather. And they don’t have any jackasses screwing with perfectly classic uniforms which are as close to English heraldry as there is in North America. No, Oakland —OAKLAND— is in better shape than Cleveland and that’s even allowing for the possibility that they could announce a franchise move tomorrow.
You think Jacksonville’s worse? They get Joeckel and Blackmon back next year plus the #3 overall pick (Clowney? Barr? Bridgewater?) returning to a stable coaching staff and system that showed real improvement at end of season. We’re likely losing two All Pros and are an unattractive landing spot for free agents with choices.
Houston is drafting in front of us, maybe they’re worse? No. They are better. Here’s way too much info on how Houston is next year’s Kansas City. The Redskins? I think we’re in the same boat with them but after we trade both this year’s #1s and next year’s #1 to the Rams to move up two slots to get JFF because Jimmy Haslam wants you to know he doesn’t tolerate losing… then we’ll be behind.
We’re the worst.
The worst team on the field and trending backward.
The worst front office in talent eval and acquisition.
And saddled with small men in charge.
“Impatient” or “building through the draft” or neither?
I noticed something while doing Cheddar research for this weekend’s games: seven of the eight teams have at least one impact rookie.2 Check it out:
- Saints: starting LT Terron Armstead (3rd round) and starting WR Kenny Stills (5th round);
- Pats: starting LB Jamie Collins (2nd rd);
- Colts: starting guard Hugh Thornton (3rd rd);
- Niners: starting FS Eric Reid (1st rd);
- Panthers: starting NT Star Lotulelei (1st rd);
- Broncos: starting DT Sylvester Williams (1st rd);
- Chargers (actually four starting rookies this weekend): Starting WR Keenan Allen (3rd rd).
Call me crazy but shouldn’t your effing personnel department be able to come up with one effing starter in the effing draft? What are you paying those guys for?3 I swear I would do a better job and I wouldn’t even pay for premium draft-wonk sites.
It’s almost impossible NOT to hit on someone unless you’re trying not to get a hit (e.g., trading this year’s picks for
magic beans next year’s picks). Let’s leave the idiotic Mingo pick aside for the moment. Let’s even credit this draft with Josh Gordon in the second round although you know perfectly well Joe Banner would never in a million years have selected Josh Gordon in the second round, ever.
Let’s just look at the smartest-guys-in-the-room’s pick of short cornerback Leon McFadden. And let’s look at the balance of the picks in the third round. For all the players selected AFTER Leon McFadden, I’m going to guess that more than half made more of a contribution to their teams than McFadden. I’ll use McFadden’s snap count of 206 and I will take the over: more than 50% of the rest of the 3rd rounders selected after McFadden saw more action. And… it’s a tie. 14 had more than McFadden’s 206 snaps (Marquis Goodwin, Jordan Reed, Duron Harmon, John Jenkins, Kayvon Webster, J.J. Wilcox, Logan Ryan, TJ McDonald, Terrance Williams, Brian Winters, Tyrann Mathieu, Mike Glennon, Hugh Thornton, Keenan Allen); 14 had less (Sam Montgomery, Dallas Thomas, Shawn Williams, Jordan Hill, Will Davis, Zaviar Gooden, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Brandon Williams, Damontre Moore, Corey Lemonier, Terron Armstead, Markus Wheaton, Knile Davis, Stedman Bailey); and one was on IR.
But wait: Terron Armstead has won the LT job in New Orleans; Knile Davis had two TDs in a playoff game last week. When you factor in that McFadden’s playing time came at the end of the year in garbage time and was forced upon the coaching staff4 , it’s pretty clear that the dartboard would have been more effective draft methodology.
What’s that? You say we can’t judge this year’s draft until next year’s picks come in? So you want to be patient? But wait Jimmy says no one is more impatient than him. He just fired a damn head coach he’s so impatient. But when it comes to acquiring talent we SHOULD be patient. Because that’s Banner. Not Chud. Sorry if I’m confused…
Wait. I’m not confused: this whole off-season was a failure.
- The draft (no starters);
- Free-agency (overpay Kruger, sign heart condition, allow two All-Pros to become UFAs, piss away 12M in cap rollover);
- Coaching hires (all gone);
- System implementations (starting from scratch with new guys and new systems again);
–> Banner delivered zero.
Apparently Haslam is patient with Banner and impatient when wanting to demonstrate losing intolerance so…
Let’s fire the coach to demonstrate how impatient we are.
Jimmy wants us to know he was furious about the Jags game (I thought the Jags played damn hard and healthy MJD is really impressive and that they would have beaten a lot of teams that day.). Jimmy stormed out of Heinz Field in the fourth quarter of the finale (Our third string QB playing a with half dozen inactive starters and we lost an away game to a should-be playoff team. Hell, Haden sat and McFadden started. What the hell did you expect t0 happen? Steelers -9 vs. Browns was the walk-over bet of the entire year. And you’re storming out of Heinz Field to demonstrate your intolerance and/or impatience? Grow the eff up. What a drama-queen.).
So Jimmy wants us to know he’s a man of action who “won’t tolerate losing.”
Not for nothing but see the section on the draft above and here: the time for not tolerating losing was in April and the person to hold responsible for not losing was your diminutive scruffy-bearded interior decorator.
But, dang Jimmy: you fired Chud without a replacement lined up. I seriously, really doubt that a PFJ Truck Stop would fire a manager without a replacement identified.
Pretty embarrassing. Pretty impulsive. Joe Thomas will tell you as much. Devastating is his word.5
How did you get there?
This season ticket holder gets to nub when he presumes that you “surround yourself with yes-men and sycophants who would not dare tell you how ridiculous they think you and your actions are.”
(The season ticket holder’s email is epic and could have been a post in itself. Click image to enlarge.)
The view from here is that Banner forced Chud to play McFadden and then fired him for not winning. I mean, in a nutshell, that’s typical of the horseshit management style coming from Berea.
What else can you call a boss who can say this:
“I’d be hard-pressed to think that in nine weeks a first-time head coach can do any better or any more than he’s doing,” Banner said. “All of the measurables that you’d look to come up with, if you even wanted to create a yardstick of measuring at this moment, I just think he’s doing an outstanding job.”
And then fire you a month later.
You call them:
The Shabby Browns.
In addition to failing in the draft, failing in free agency, and failing in coaching hires, the Banner-Haslam combo have plumbed new depths of shabbiness. A class-less meanness never seen here before. A combo of back-channel assassinating and off-the-record leaking communication methods that (to their great miscalculation) has allowed their petty smallness to show through out without filter.
Just off the top of my head here are some examples of Banner-Haslam’s cynical media manipulation:
- Leaked: Chip Kelly wasn’t Browns top choice.
- Planted: Jim Nantz trashes Tom Heckert.
- Leaked: Alex Mack plays soft.
- Planted: JLC trashes Tom Heckert.
- Leaked: Josh McDaniels was not the Browns’ top HC choice.
You can see wheels spinning: Uh-oh we’re getting bad press. Text our story to MKC but don’t go on record. We don’t have to own it and she feels like she has a scoop.
Five all-pros? 26M in cap? I guess Heckert had a plan after all, Joe.
Of everything Joe Banner has done, I still find this quote to be the most laughably wrong, horrifically arrogant statement ever made by a “football man:”
Everybody talked about a long-term plan, but when’s the last time the team traded for a future draft pick? When’s the last time the team said, ‘We may not have position ‘X’ with the best player this year because there’s nobody in the marketplace who’s that good, and we don’t want to waste all the future cap money just so we win six games instead of five?
Five all pros Joe. None acquired by you.
Five all pros Joe. Two of them are UFAs now, good call to wait-and-see before signing them (lol).
Five all pros Joe. You had the most cap space in the league.
Five all pros Joe. And just six holes to patch.
Five all pros Joe. And you’re playing in a down division.
Five all pros Joe. You’ve got a super soft fourth place schedule.
Five all pros Joe. You pissed it away and won’t have that core again.
This was the year to go all in. That was the ‘long-term plan’ that ‘everyone talked about.’
But since it wasn’t YOUR PLAN, you couldn’t see it. Since it wasn’t your plan you not only punted it, you ridiculed it.
Welp. That’s all gone now. More holes to patch, another set of coaches and systems to install. You were 100% wrong in your plan for this year.
You failed. And then you fired your coach.
So whaddaya think gents… five years for your long-term plan sound right? Oh wait, you’re impatient… so four years then?
As the season ticket holder wrote and with which I sadly agree:
You do not have an urgency for success, and you are not committed to building a winner. You are not creating a winning culture nor are you creating a culture of accountability. You will not create a consistent and winning NFL franchise, and you will not make us proud.
You’re the worst organization in football.
- I uncovered and shared a sad data point on how every other coach has fared since the Shurmur hire.
Rivera, Carolina, playoffs;
Garrett, Cowboys, .500;
Fox, Broncos, playoffs x3;
Frazier, Vikes, playoffs;
Jackson, Raiders, .500;
Harbaugh, Niners, SB, playoffs x3;
Munchak, sub-500, one 9 win season. [back]
- Only Seattle does not. But they are the best team in football and did not have a first round pick last draft. [back]
- GOOD THING YOU KEPT KLOSTERMAN OUT OF THE WAR ROOM OR ELSE SOMEONE WOULD’VE SCOOPED JAMORIS SLAUGHTER!!! [back]
- is there any doubt that Banner instructed Chud to play McFadden to make his draft look better? is there any doubt Chris Owens was waived to get McFadden more snap count? is there any doubt that forcing Chud to play McFadden while simultaneously crowing about lack of improvement is an allegory on how business is done in Berea? [back]
- Chudzinski’s players were bewildered, angry and defensive when confronted with questions about his looming firing after the game. “I’d be very surprised if they made a change,” seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle and offensive captain Joe Thomas said. “And I’d be very disappointed. You look at the great franchises. They don’t fire your coach after the first season. You can’t do it.”
Thomas said Chudzinski’s dismissal would not only be the wrong move, but it also “would be devastating” for the Browns, who have had six full-time head coaches since their expansion era began in 1999. Chudzinski was the fourth since 2008. The Steelers, who barely missed out on a playoff berth after beating the Browns to finish 8-8, have had three head coaches since 1969.
“It sets everything back,” Thomas said. “You just hit the reset button. Anytime you hit the reset button, it severely damages the organization, and it lengthens the amount of time that it takes to get back to the playoffs and turn the team into a consistent winner. … I think that this organization needs continuity and that’s the only chance that we’re going to have to turn this team into a consistent winner.” [back]