It’s an impossible task to win the off-season in January and February. The Browns are used to finding ways to win back their fans around draft time, but right now, it’s impossible. The fans have lost complete faith and trust in this entire franchise once again, and there’s nothing to be done. Even hiring a coach right now would only appease (maybe) 50% of the fans who are paying attention to the team right now. Even given that revelation that there’s nothing to do to win, I’m still in a bit of shock over just how bad this team looks right now. I can’t think of a time when there’s been as much doubt as there is right now considering the coaching search and the latest revelations about the circumstances surrounding Davone Bess at the time he was given a pretty lucrative extension.
Before I talk about Bess, the NFL asset, I need to talk about the fact that he’s a real guy who seems very troubled. When you’re talking about pro athletes, there’s a tendency to talk about them like stocks in a portfolio. It doesn’t make us evil. It’s a part of the game. But first let me say that beyond the financial and team considerations of Davone Bess, I know there’s a real guy who is a real human who might be in trouble. I won’t pretend to be literally concerned about him in the way his mother might be, but I do have sympathy and empathy as an outsider for anyone going through the kinds of instability he is experiencing.
That important part being said, we don’t know how much of the Bess situation is even the Browns’ fault. There’s an idea that any organization that is good at their job of dealing with personnel should have been able to find out about Bess’ involuntary committal in Florida, mere weeks before being traded to the Browns, but as of right now, we don’t know. We do know that the Dolphins and their former general manager Jeff Ireland look increasingly bad. Even in not being sure, the Browns are taking some of the brunt of this too. It might not be their fault, but you can’t really blame the fans for including this in the dossier of doubt, either.
So, what does all this mean? I have no idea.
I’m just being realistic. I don’t know what I want the Browns to do. I don’t know what would alleviate any of the doubt in my own mind, let alone everyone else’s. If the Browns re-engaged Josh McDaniels and hired him? Nah. That wouldn’t do it. If the Browns somehow landed Gus Malzahn? It might help a bit, but even that feels questionable considering what we’ve seen from this front office. But I do have a recommendation for anyone who is lost in the land of Browns negativity.
Take a break. Go on vacation from the team. Realize that I’m right and there’s nothing they can do right now to convince you they’re turning things around. Come back around draft time when there will be a reason to be somewhat optimistic with flashy YouTube highlights of all the young stars on their very best days to make you think this team will be able to win games on the field. And even if you don’t take a break, just chill out and let the news (or lack of news) roll off you like it’s just another meaningless progress report.
Of course, I say this now. You never know when this team is capable of dropping another bomb, either real or perceived.