CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - In 2015, the Cleveland Browns won three games. In 2014, they managed seven wins, but as we all remember, they lost their final five.
And if you have the stomach to go back over the six seasons before that, you'll be reminded that they won 4, 5, 5, 4, 5 and 4. In other words, whatever the previous powers-that-be were doing in Berea, and we've seen many come and go, it wasn't working.
So, as the new regime at Browns headquarters continues its' complete overhaul of this once-proud franchise (and to remember that, you REALLY have to go back), we need to cut 'em a little slack. Nothing else has worked. Their only option was to blow it up and start over.
Alex Mack made Pro Bowls. Karlos Dansby made tackles. Dwayne Bowe? Well, he just made money. Far too much of it, if you think that $9 million for five catches is a bit extreme. Those are just a few of the casualties.
There will be more, because you don't need analytics to tell you that you can probably stumble your way to three wins without expensive veteran talent.
But more than that, the Browns need to get younger, and grow together. We've had 17 "the most important draft in team history" experiences since 1999,
but really, April 28th will bring the most important draft in team history. Because it should bring the franchise quarterback that this team has lacked since Tim Couch was pounded into submission.
The Browns may find him at #2 (their highest pick in 16 years), or they might find him at #32, but they must find him. And build around him. I'm talking at least two or three years of woeful, frustrating, miserable football, as this team and its' new head coach, Hue Jackson, grow together.
Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta are asking the fans to once again accept the three-most painful and overused words in Cleveland history: Keep the Faith. Some won't. Some longtime season ticket holders (we're talking generations here) have finally given up. Others will, though.
And if the Browns finally get it right, it will have been done the right way. No less painful than the previous philosophies, but maybe, just maybe, the proper blueprint.
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