And It’s Good to Be Back

Well, I’m back from my prolonged vacation.  I went home to Cleveland on the 23rd and didn’t get back to New Orleans until the 30th.  Throw in being über tired and just some general laziness and you get almost 11 days without updating a website.  Anyways, I’m back, so where do I begin?

How about that craptastic performance by the Browns yesterday.

Yesterday was the final game of the 2010 season for the Cleveland Browns and judging from how things went, it was probably the final time Eric Mangini will take the sidelines as their head coach.  This wasn’t just ugly, it was the worst game of the season for the Browns, by far.  The final score of 41-9 didn’t even do a good enough job of showing how truly mismatched these two teams were.  The Steelers played like a team preparing for the playoffs and trying to clinch a division and #2 seed.  The Browns on the other hand looked like a team just trying to make it out alive one final time.

The Steelers didn’t bother letting the Browns hang around.  They came out of the locker room on a mission and it showed.  The Steelers racked up 31 points and scored on all five of their first half possessions.  By half time the game was over and they had staked claim to a 31-3 lead.  To add insult to injury the Steelers also scored more points in the second half, the most notable of which was a touchdown pass thrown by Antwan Randle El.  Glad to see they weren’t trying to run up the score or anything.  A$$holes…

The story of the game for Clevelanders had less to do with the Steelers and more to do with the Browns on this day.  They played absolutely terrible and threw more fuel onto the fire for those calling for Mangini’s head.  After yesterday’s performance it’s fairly obvious he doesn’t stand a chance.  Although he is scheduled to meet with the media today at 1 pm, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was to say thank you for the past two years and say his goodbyes.  There is also a chance President Mike Holmgren may hold off on firing Mangini until there is a better picture of available head coaching options, but after yesterday I think a clean break right away may happen.  Either way I’ve said I’m good regardless of which way the Browns go with Mangini.  Yesterday’s game is not indicative of the season as a whole.  In 15 out of 16 games that Browns were close and had a shot.  Really, the only two games they didn’t have a chance were the Pittsburgh games.  They’re a number 2 seed, it’s partly explainable.  If they fire him I won’t deny that chance in this instance could be good.  But again… we’ll see.

There is also the issue of Colt McCoy.  In his first handful of games he looked great.  He minimized his mistakes and led the team.  In those games it was clear that McCoy had established himself as the future QB of this team.  However, the past two weeks against the Ravens and Steelers have brought up some alarming red flags.  Numerous interceptions, unable to get he ball in the end zone, and a lack of results that we saw in some of his first few starts.  Then again, these two performances were against the Ravens and the Steelers.  Both are playoff bound and both tout two of the NFL’s best defenses.  Even the league’s the best quarterbacks have days like that against them.  Needless to say the Browns and the fans shouldn’t panic about these past few performances.  Rather, the Browns should be happy they had so many positive performances over the past season.  Thanks to McCoy the Browns can focus their efforts in the 2011 NFL Draft on their other skill position needs rather than QB.

So where do the Browns stand at the end of yet another disappointing season?  In all honestly, I believe the Browns are better off now than they have been in quite some time.  You could argue that after the 2007 season the Browns were in good shape, but everyone knew Derek Anderson wasn’t the answer, we just hoped he was.  Right now we have a solid team that appears to me missing a few parts here and there.  Between the NFL Draft and the free agent signing period there is no reason why this Browns regime can’t turn the corner.  Along with further development from McCoy, Hillis, and the wide receivers we have in place the Browns could be looking at big improvements in 2011.  Does that mean this is a playoff team in the making?  Probably not, but there is no reason why they couldn’t get to .500.

Whether you see this season as what you expected or a disappointment, a success in someway or massive failure, there is one thing we can all agree on.  This coming offseason for the Cleveland Browns should be nothing short of interesting.  So while we sit back and analyze what it is we’ve experienced over the past 17 weeks let’s all remember… the process is forever ongoing.

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