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The Cleveland Browns: A Steaming Pile of...

So the Cleveland Browns played, what, their 926th game of the season on Sunday? The took on the
soon-to-be Los Angeles Rams and it was just awful. Just like 2015 so far. Just like the last half of 2014. Just like 2013. And so on and so on.

How in the world does this team manage to be so bad every year? I mean, SO bad? How does a team that has a decade and a half of high draft picks stay so consistently awful? Is it the constant turnover in the front office? Is it the constant turnover on the sidelines? Is it the constant turnover of the roster?

Yes. But can you blame all of the turnover?

See, you get a lot of this from Browns fans: "Look at the Pittsburgh Steelers. They stay with a guy where we just fire them." Yeah, well, let me tell you something. The Steelers pick the right guys from the start! They don't hire Pat Shurmurs. They don't hire George Kokinises. Okay, they hired Todd Haley, but so what? They have so much talent in all the other spots that it hardly matters!

The Browns can't get anyone in any position!

Some people want to suggest fans boycotting the team, but what good is that gonna do? You think they don't want to win? Yes, I know it seems like they don't, but they do want to win. Which makes this all the more scary! All of the people who have been in charge since 1999 have all wanted the team to be successful. And they all have failed miserably. In a league built on parity!

I swear that I don't believe in curses, but how could you blame anyone who does? This team is so consistently horrendous that it seems too much to be by chance. It must be by design. Yet, the truth is that it's not.

How can so many people do such a terrible job at whatever it is they do for this organization? It seems like you could throw darts and do better than the people who come in here.

Should I break down Sunday's game? Talk about the fumbles? Talk about the inability to stop the run? Talk about the lack of playmakers?

Why? Does it matter why they sucked? They suck for this reason, they suck for that reason and in the end it all comes down to the plain fact: They suck. And they're going to finish this season sucking. Anyone want to place a bet right now that they suck next year, too????

If right now, without seeing the roster, without knowing who they draft and who they sign, who they hire and fire, if they keep this guy or that guy, who they play each week....would anyone bet big money that the 2016 team is going to win more than 6 games? If I set the over/under at 6.5 wins, and you had to bet the house, which would you choose? I'm going with the under. Heck, I'd bet everything on that same under for 2017! Right now!

I just don't get it. And yet...I do. There is one huge problem this team faces: They can't draft.

Let's do it, let's freaking do it. Here are the Browns first round picks since 1999 with their overall position noted in parenthesis:

1999: Tim Couch (1)
2000: Courtney Brown (1)
2001: Gerard Warren (3)
2002: William Green (16)
2003: Jeff Faine (21)
2004: Kellen Winslow (6)
2005: Braylon Edwards (3)
2006: Kamerion Wimbley (13)
2007: Joe Thomas (3), Brady Quinn (22)
2008: NO ONE
2009: Alex Mack (21)
2010: Joe Haden (7)
2011: Phil Taylor (21)
2012: Trent Richardson (3), Brandon Weeden (22)
2013: Barkevious Mingo (6)
2014: Justin Gilbert (8), Johnny Manziel (22)
2015: Danny Shelton (12), Cameron Erving (19)

20 first round picks in 17 tries, half of those in the Top 10. And all they got was Joe Thomas, Alex Mack, and Joe Haden. Who's next after those three, Kamerion Wimbley? Phil Taylor? The 2008 no-pick? Heck, you had six top-3 picks, and all you got was Thomas!

See, you just can't have that. You just can't miss that many times and have a good team. I don't care who you sign as free agents. You're going to add two, maybe three good free agents in one offseason. Meanwhile, you should be adding 7 draft picks. You build a team through the draft, you supplement through free agency.

Everyone says that you can't win in the NFL without a franchise quarterback. Which I don't disagree with. But it's not like this team is star-studded in a bunch of other positions and the quarterback is just the missing piece. This roster is not impressive in any stretch of the imagination.

So what am I saying? Am I saying fire Ray Farmer? Yes. But that's not all I'm saying. Get somebody in here who knows how to evaluate talent, otherwise there's no point. 

Should we fire Mike Pettine? Why? And hire another guy to coach a bad roster? No. Make him stay. He can keep mismanaging the clock and making decisions to go for two when an extra point will do just fine.

Build that roster. Build the freaking roster. And not just with any warm body, but playmakers, especially with those high draft picks. Stop trading to get more picks to get more mediocre players. Get the biggest badass available when it's your turn to get someone. Stop gambling on Brady Quinns. Brandon Weedens and Barkevious Mingos. Get a Terrell Owens. Get a Marshawn Lynch. Get a J.J. Watts.  

I'm not saying it's easy to do. As I said, I know the organization tries. But there must be a mindset, a blood-thirsty mindset to make this team one that will do more than just win 13-10 football games. Build a team that wants to punish people.

So with that fiery speech done, what do I see the Browns doing? Yeah, probably firing Farmer. And then hiring someone else who can't evaluate talent who will goof up the draft next season. And the draft after that. Then get fired, only to be replaced by the same level of incompetency who will want his own guy, some quarterbacks coach, to come in here and be as lost as Pettine is now. 

Why should I believe anything different? What in all that I have seen would lead me to think anything else is going to happen?

Maybe I'm being unfair. Maybe I'm being emotional. But, if you ask me, this Cleveland Browns team isn't worth the landfill their stadium was built on.
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About Rich Primo

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