The Browns have been a struggling franchise since they made a comeback to the league in 1999. Their last playoff appearance was in 2003, where they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road in the wildcard round. Historically, this franchise is about as bad as it gets, especially in the modern era. 1994 is last time they even made it to the divisional round and the last time the franchise made a conference championship was in 1990 where they fell to Denver Broncos on the road. Sadly, the 1980s was the last decade where they were in the playoff picture consistently (1980,1982, 1985-1989). The Browns are 1 of the 4 teams to have not yet make a Super Bowl appearance (Browns, Jaguars, Lions, Texans).
Since the 1999 season, the Browns have started 30 quarterbacks (including Baker Mayfield) and have gone through 11 different head coaches. The word “continuity” isn’t something this franchise is to familiar with. If I am doing my math correctly, the average head coach lasts close to 2 seasons and the average quarterback lasts about half a season. That is a terrible track record.
Out of any time where this team has had a possible chance at a rebuild, there is no better time than now. Baker Mayfield is struggling this season but there’s lots of places you could put some of the blame. Mayfield has been sacked 16 times so far this season after being hurried 29 times and blitzed 47 times. He’s also been hit an additional 5 times. I feel like a lot of his performance is a reflection of how bad his offensive line has been. I’m not gonna say that Baker shouldn’t take some of the heat, but there’s a lot more factors that goes into success than one position on the field.
The Browns need to stick with the program. Now that they got a quarterback who has proven some worth, they can build the rest of the team through the draft. Maybe try to trade up some assets to get some holes filled on that putrid offensive line. The current 18th overall ranked defense could use a few pieces as well. It certainly isn’t the worst defense the Browns have had over the last 20 seasons, but it is not on a championship level. This whole team needs pieces.
Continuity is a big word in the sports world. Every Dynasty throughout the history of sports across the board have benefited from continuity. Continuity isn’t always a great thing. You cannot accept mediocrity for an extensive period of time. Their adversary, The Cincinnati Bengals had Marvin Lewis for 16 years, had zero playoff success and finished with an overall record of 131-122-3. They had the continuity, but didn’t have a coach who established a winning culture.
It starts with the front office. The front office carries the keys to success. The front office has to hold a winning standard and have the willingness to hold each other accountable including themselves. You have to equip the staff with the tools they need in order to achieve excellence. Who is the best team to model after? Look no further than the New England Patriots.
Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick cracked the code and the rest speaks for itself. Say what you want, but there is not a more successful team in the history of the National Football League than the Patriots. Robert Kraft established a winning culture through smart business moves and gave Bill Belichick the keys to drive the team to success. Bill Belichick is not just a coach, he also plays the roll of the General Manager. He has full control of the staff, player contracts, team meetings, the draft board and has full support of the owner.
A smart business man + A smart football mind/business mind + team first mindset = winning culture. Winning Culture – Ego = Continuity. Winning Culture + Continuity = Success.
Can the Browns turn it around like the patriots did in the late 90’s? Or will they crumble to this seasons failures thus far and hit the reset button yet again for the 2020 season? The AFC North is about as winnable as it ever has been with the Bengals and Steelers in turmoil, and the Ravens struggling against any teams who pose an actual challenge. Can the Browns take the North and make the playoffs for the first time since 2003? Going forward, making the playoffs this year would be a great building point for the Browns. If they are going to turn it around, now is the time!!!!!!!!
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