The 2010 Cleveland Browns in Retrospect…

Before analyzing what the Browns should do in the draft this year, it is imperative to first dissect where we’ve gone in the past year.  Granted, the Browns didn’t go very far in terms of record, but they did look substantially improved at least in a competitive sense.  That being said things still weren’t very good.  The Browns stumbled to another 5-11 record and while yes, many questions were answered in 2010, we were still left with substantially more questions.

But those questions can be addressed via the draft.  For now let’s just have some fun with the 2010 Cleveland Browns as we take a nostalgic look back at the season that was with the first ever Die-Hard Night Cleveland Browns Post-Post Season Pre-Draft Awards.  That’s right… it’s the DHNCBPPSPDA’s… umm… How about we just call them the Cleveland Scat Awards.  It’s easy enough for people to make poop jokes about the “Browns” considering how “not crappy” they tend to play…so why not add more fuel to the fire.

So without further ado…

The Valerie Bertinelli Award

Valerie Bertinelli may be “Hot In Cleveland” but I can tell you who else was in 2010…Coach Eric Mangini… That sexy bastard.  Apparently Mike Holmgren wasn’t 100% confident in bringing back Mangini for a second season with the Browns.  How else do you explain 50% of Mangini coming into training camp in August?  Seriously, Mangini dropped some serious tonnage in the offseason and continued to do so throughout the season.  By season’s end he was a shadow of his former self.  Perhaps he knew where this was headed and began dropping the weight in order to be better prepared to fit on my 47” television once he was fired.  He knew it was coming.  Why didn’t we put things together sooner?  Regardless, Mangini had a decent season.  The record didn’t indicate it, but he had the team prepared most weeks, they were competitive, and he even appeared to develop a rapport with his players and the media, something that was missing in year one.

The Justin Bieber Award

Ok, I hate Justin Bieber as much as the next 20 something year old male, but you try coming up with a better, more relevant example of someone who looks like they’re 10 and makes a meteoric rise to stardom.  Ok, maybe “stardom” is a bit of a stretch, but Colt McCoy did something like that this season and he does look like he’s 10.  Anyways, after the crapfest that was Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace was mercifully brought to an end by high ankle sprains, McCoy emerged as a leader and possible answer to the ever continuing QB question for the Browns.  He’s already been declared the man heading into next year.  Let’s just hope he can stay healthy and build on the progress he made.  Let’s also hope the Browns don’t do something mind numbingly retarded… like draft Cam Newton

The Jerry Rice Award

This is one of those awards that’s going to be dripping with irony and sarcasm because well… I’m not sure we had anyone who could be considered a functional NFL wide receiver.  Has there ever been a more ridiculous group of “receivers” ever assembled.  I didn’t bother looking up the stats, mainly because I don’t have internet access at the moment, but also because I don’t feel like crying right now.  This team isn’t going anywhere until they address the wide receiver situation.  Otherwise teams will continue to load up 7 or 8 in the box aiming to stop Hillis and tee off on McCoy.  I’d start preordering my AJ Green or Julio Jones jersey now, but I know the Browns will find a way to screw that up.

The Gomer Pyle Award

Let’s hear it for relevant and current references…I’ve officially lost everyone in the room under the age of like 55.  Anyways, this goes to Shaun Rogers.  I’ve chosen to overlook his fatness, and lack of conditioning and general laissez faire attitude and focus on the positives… all one of them.  In July, Shaun Rogers became a local legend as he helped stop, pull over, and arrest a drunk driver and his drunken passenger on I-71.  Sure, I may or may not be friends with the passenger in said incident, but that’s beside the point.  The fact of the matter is that when people say Shaun Rogers was useless as a member of the Cleveland Browns it simply isn’t true.  Granted his weight is a larger number than the actual number of minutes he played this year and he did arrest more drunks than he had sacks, but it’s the little things this large man did.

The Lucky Horseshoe, Shamrock, Rabbit Foot, Underwear, Jock Strap Award

This goes to anything and everything involving Peyton Hillis.  Has there ever been so much good luck surrounding one player all at the same time?  First Josh McDaniels decides that he isn’t a part of the answer in Denver and trades him to Cleveland for Brady Quinn.  Originally thought of as a throw in, Hillis got a chance to play when rookie Montario Hardesty blew out his knee, Jerome Harrison became a head case, and it became evident that none of the other running backs on the roster had any sort of talent.  Throw in the fact that the Browns passing attack was nonexistent and the majority of the load fell squarely on Hillis’ massive biceps.  That’s a lot of luck for both the Browns and for Hillis.  By all accounts he’s a superstar in Cleveland and a borderline superstar nationally.  Well played Browns… even if it was an accident.

The George Costanza, Just When I Think I’m Out They Pull Me Right Back In, Award

There’s a classic line on the show Seinfeld involving George Costanza.  In one episode he’s looking for a way to break up with Susan.  He thinks he’s found it when he accidentally gets her fired from NBC, thus eliminating the conflict between him, Susan, Jerry, NBC, and their pilot.  The only problem is that since he got her fired Jerry tells George he can’t break up with her.  He needs to be there for her until she gets a new job or at the very least has a few interviews.  This leads to George uttering the line, “Just when I think I’m out, they pull me right back in!”  That was Cleveland fans and the Browns this year.  Staring down a 0-8 start to the season after blowing several close winnable games many had given up.  We were out!  Then the Browns won a few games against the Saints, and Patriots among others and all of the sudden were in contention for a playoff spot and national attention.  We were pulled right back in.  Of course we know how it ended.  The Browns choked away any chance at the playoffs in the weeks to follow and we were left feeling as if we played the part of the fool once again.  There was no soup for us… no soup indeed.  Serenity now…SERENITY NOW!

The Person With A Pre-existing Condition Award

What do Eric Wright and a person trying to get medical insurance with a pre-existing condition have in common?  No coverage… ZING!  Thank you, I’ll be here all day with shows repeating every hour on the hour.  But seriously, Eric Wright was thought to be one of the solid spots for the Browns on the defensive side of the ball.  By the third or fourth week of the season he was a shadow of his former self repeatedly being burned for big yardage plays and touchdowns.  It got so bad that after returning from injury he was unable to take back his spot from either Joe Haden or Sheldon Brown.  It was clear any and all confidence was shot by the end of the year.  He was drafted to be a shutdown corner and many felt that paired with Haden and TJ Ward the Browns would have a formidable pass defense for years to come.  Whether it was injury or something else, the Browns need to figure it out and fix it fast.

The Dr. Dre Award For Potential Comeback of the Year

Dr. Dre disappeared from the world of music as a rapper in the early 2000’s and decided to stay on the production side of things helping churn out hit after hit for Eminem and others.  He’s finally decided to make a comeback this year as a rapper by releasing a very catchy single (granted it’s more of an Eminem song than a Dr. Dre song, but still) and a new album.  He also has a new look that makes you wonder if he retired from rap to become a full time body builder and user of illegal anabolic steroids.  Of course then you remember he’s a doctor.  He prescribed those steroids.  Anyways, my point is this.  After a disastrous 2010 following the signing of a rather large contract, Josh Cribbs was nonexistent.  Granted a lot of this was due to injuries and not desire or will, but still it was a forgettable year in a lot of ways.  If the Browns want to be successful in 2011, Josh Cribbs will need to make a comeback.  If that means we need to call in Eminem and Dr. Dre’s prescription pad then so be it.

The Eliot Spitzer Award

Sometimes things happen that just make you scratch your head.  Take for instance former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.  He was all about cracking down on prostitution during his time in office.  Unfortunately for him, it turns out he had a bit of a thing for hookers.  He was busted for having multiple affairs with multiple prostitutes, kicked out of office, and publicly humiliated.  So how is he rewarded?  He gets his own political analysis show on CNN.  Really?  That’s how we’re rewarding disgraced politicians now?  With TV shows?  Let’s hear it for America!  What’s equally disturbing is the hiring of Brian Daboll by the Miami Dolphins to be their offensive coordinator.  Yes the same man who seemed completely and utterly inept at running an offense was given a second chance.  He was even given the chance thanks to his track record and proven success at coordinating an offense.  What?  For two years we watched the Browns stumble and bumble with an offense that a pee wee team wouldn’t run.  Amazing.

The Charlie Sheen, You Think I’m Crazy, I think I’m Sane, Award

Mike Holmgren and his hiring of Pat Shurmur to be the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns.  Quite frankly, everyone thought and partially still thinks Holmgren is completely insane for bypassing other sexier and better qualified candidates in order to hire someone with zero head coaching experience at any level.  Maybe Holmgren is crazy…crazy like a fox!  Or perhaps he needs to get his seat reserved next to Charlie Sheen in the loony bin.  We won’t know the answer to that question until after next season.  Of course we should start looking for warning signs like copious amounts of coke or strippers at his Berea headquarters.  Stay tuned.

And there you have it, the first ever Cleveland Scat Awards.  I hope you’ve enjoyed them.  Now let’s all get trashed at an after party…

WE’RE GOING STREAKING!

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