Lost Season

What now?

What now that the Cleveland Browns season has come to an end, without the possibility of a playoff spot?

Early on, front office moves made by general manager John Dorsey were largely praised.  The promotion of offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens to head coach, the acquisition of Kansas City running back (and Cleveland native) Kareem Hunt, as well as the blockbuster deal that brought arguably the best wide-out in the game, OBJ, to the Browns comes to mind.

However, never has the old adage ‘whatever can go wrong, will go wrong’ been so perfectly put into practice, either intentionally or unintentionally, than with this team.  And that’s saying something in Cleveland.  We’ve literally seen it all.

In reverse order it goes something like this: OBJ has a huge personality and comes with his own brand in mind.  For the first time in his career, it seems as if he’s being used as more of a decoy than anything else.  Kareem Hunt was suspended by the league for the first eight games of the season and didn’t do a ton when he’s been in.  Kitchens is a first year head coach who was going to make some mistakes.  Sure, one can argue that he’s lost control of the team but that’s for another day and a different post.

The real change occurred on the night of the primetime matchup between two bitter rivals in which Browns’ defensive end Myles Garrett hit the opposing quarterback over the head with his own helmet.  It happened in the final seconds of a game that the Browns utterly dominated.  Yes, there were other incidents.  Too many to mention, in fact, but even when the Browns won this year it felt like they lost.

It certainly didn’t help that, even before a single play had taken place, people were projecting the Browns as championship contenders.  Those of us in Cleveland should know better.  But it isn’t the dashed hopes of a Super Bowl, the primetime fiasco, or anything else for that matter that’s so puzzling.  It’s that we finally have talent.  Real talent.

And that’s the upside.  We’ve been through the absolute worst with the last coach and (we hope) Kitchens will only get better and grow into his role.  Hunt and running back Nick Chubb can look to build upon this season and into the next by possibly becoming the best tandem the league has ever seen.  OBJ has verbally committed to staying in ‘The Land’ and fixing the issues that plagued the team this year with his teammate and friend Jarvis Landry.  And one other thing to take away from this lost season: Baker Mayfield , when it’s all said and done, will have started every single game.  That hasn’t been done in Cleveland in nearly two decades.

Here’s to next season.

For all who read this blog:

Happy New Year

 

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