Cleveland Sports Insiders

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500 words or less…the Cleveland Browns making me mean

(Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

(Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

I get it.

It’s Valentine’s Day.

I should be talking about Love and Wonder and Happy-Happy, Joy-Joy…

Not today.

The Browns make me mean. I love dogs and sunshine and spending time with my kids. I smile a lot, am fairly laid back, and I like to joke around.

Then mention the Browns and things change quickly.

Watching the Browns’ are akin to choosing to¬†boil your hands in a pot of 300 degree water.

They have a great receiver and a fantastic tight end. Their offensive line is better than most. They have a really good set of defensive players. They had five pro-bowlers for crying out loud!!!

THEY SHOULD WIN, but they don’t.

The off-the-field Browns, though, make the on-the-field “Browns” look like perennial Super Bowl contenders.

You want to talk about making me surly?

Mention Jimmy Haslam and this wrecking-ball approach that he’s taken in his 18 months at the helm. He’s already fired two front offices and two coaching staffs.

What do you do with that?

Mike Holmgren and Pat Shurmur begat Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi and Rob Chudzinski who begat Alec Scheiner, Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine. Think about that. In 18 months, the Browns have had three head football coaches and five different people running Browns’ operations and personnel, or both.

The Browns have been dysfunctional since 1999, but this is the pure definition of epic?

What are they going to do next, sign Tim Tebow and trade away all their draft picks to move up two spots and take a wide receiver?

Apparently, following the Browns is akin to Bastille Day, every day.

My good friend Brian called me a couple of days ago. He’d been in France, ironically enough, for two months working with his tech firm, and I was truly happy to hear from him. We talked holidays, family, and before three minutes were up, he said, “What are the Browns doing?”

I went blind with rage.

By the fifth minute of our conversation I had used enough unintelligible profanity to make Ozzy Osbourne blush, and in the sixth minute, after Brian had joined me in the obscenity-laden tirade, he said, “Why do we do this every year?”

Why indeed.

But I grabbed control.

The Browns now have a well-respected president in Alec Scheiner, who will take over business operations. The Browns now have a well-respected General Manager in Ray Farmer, who will take over personnel decisions. The Browns now have a well-respected coach in Mike Pettine, who’s a blue-collar work-a-holic and seems to fit this town. The Browns now have about 100 picks in the first four rounds, and have a deep roster that may be ready to win sooner than people think.

Farmer and Scheiner were already with the organization, and if they pan out, it shows that Haslam isn’t a complete imbecile when it comes to hiring NFL executives.

This time, it really feels like an owner trying to get it right…right?

Yeah, I know, where’s the pot of boiling water.


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The Sunday Drive with the Oregon spread offense in Cleveland?

Oregon offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery

Oregon Offensive Coordinator Philip Montgomery

I’ve been feeling a bit closer to the North Coast over the past few weeks, as the temperatures here in North Carolina have more resembled the frozen tundra of the borderlands of Lake Erie. While the temperature here has dipped below freezing far too many times for my liking, we have avoided the ample snow-footage that the Lake provides. I don’t miss the thrice-daily slogs out to my snow blower to clear the driveway of both wind-blow and street-plow piled snow. Still, the recent cold blast has me dreaming wistfully of the Indians’ Spring Training, the Browns’ draft and summer camp, and the Cavs foray back into the lottery.

Thankfully, all three Cleveland teams were active in one way or another over the past week, albeit in very different ways, which kept me from crawling into sports hibernation.

While my attention has needed some warming up no thanks to the weather, it’s been mostly focused on the warm seasons of 2014 for Cleveland sports. The Indians, however, continue to do everything they can to keep some of that attention pointing right back to the 1990’s thanks to their 2014 version of Tribe Fest. The Tribe has their normal conglomerate of current players headlining the event, but the focus Continue reading