Happy flippin’ Birthday to me… Ugh.
With all of the crazy Browns news flying around left and right on an almost daily basis, it makes sense that this latest rumor would pop up on today of all days. I mean, how else would I want to spend my birthday then by assessing a rumor that is so vile and absurd that even the rotting corpse that is Pat Shurmur’s coaching career would say it stinks to all holy hell.
For those of you that might not be aware, the latest rumor in As the Browns Turn is… wait for it… waaaait for it… *dramatic pause*
Michael Lombardi coming to the Browns in a player personnel role, accompanied by new head coach Josh McDaniels and New England’s current back up quarterback, Ryan Mallet.
That sound you just heard was your fellow Browns fans face palming themselves into unconsciousness.
Now don’t get me wrong. Brandon Weeden is more than likely not the Browns long-term answer at quarterback. But, Ryan Mallet? Seriously? What in the name of Otto Graham did we do to deserve this poo-poo platter of sweat and failure?
In all honesty, I could probably entertain the notion of Josh McDaniels as the next head coach of the Browns. From an offensive standpoint, his is light years ahead of Pat Shurmur’s prehistoric west coast attack. It would be interesting to see what he could conjure up with Weeden, Richardson, and this current cast of wide receivers. Plus, you’d have to think he learned something from his tumultuous time in Denver. He has to be better. Right?
Lombardi and Mallet, though? No thanks.
Lombardi is a blow hard still holding Cleveland in contempt for how he was shown the door back in the mid 90’s and subsequently ignored for job opportunities with the expansion era Browns ever since. Funny, apparently he’s as bad at assessing his own performance in NFL front offices as he is the performances of players because he still can’t see what is glaringly obvious. He’s not very good at that kind of job. Do us all a favor Mike and stick with TV and keep your hands off of my football team.
As for Mallet, the guy has a million dollar arm and a two-cent head. How else do you explain his plummet from a potential first round draft selection to a third round, “meh, there are no better options right now” kind of pick. He’s supposedly uncoachable, likes to party too much, and for lack of a better term… he just doesn’t get it. Maybe time spent serving behind Tom Brady for the past two seasons has helped mature him. Maybe he’s learned from watching the best quarterback of this generation day in and day out for two seasons. Maybe he’s just a knuckle head and the Patriots can’t wait to pawn him off on some poor unsuspecting fan base. Everything is in play right now.
At least if these rumors are true, the McDaniels/Mallet combo could make for a significantly lesser learning curve. Mallet knows McDaniels’ offense. He’s spent two years running it in practices in order to be prepared should Brady ever go down. Maybe because of that, McDaniels has an overinflated opinion on just what Mallet might be in the NFL. Who knows?
What I do know is that this triumvirate scares the living crap out of me. For all the issues we have with Pat Shurmur and Brandon Weeden, the Browns have shown a significant amount of progress from day 1 of 2011 up to the present. Tom Heckert has done a fantastic job of turning over this roster and rebuilding it into a younger, more athletic version of itself. We’re not the worst team in the league and some might even say we’re a team on the rise.
Throwing that all away for the “privilege” to bring in the aforementioned parties is a scary proposition, especially for a fan base with an already fragile psyche. I don’t think we can handle another monumental blow up and rebuild. We want to win, damn it! Is that really so much to ask for?