Little did I know when I wrote my last post about the Browns unmitigated disaster that Luca was waiting around the corner from the Browns locker room after the Steelers game. He struck quickly and with little warning and Chud was no more. It does fit the arrogance and ruthlessness of our senior management, but it was still a bit surprising. Now I did predict long ago that Chud would have a short leash with the management and the fans. I guess the fans were a bit more tolerant than the management but I said that if Banner decides to nail the coffin “Browns fans won’t have enough energy to pry open the lid”. That was certainly a true statement.
Now, in my past approach, I would have argued the merits or lack of merit in firing a first time head coach after one year. But, as I implied in my recent post and at the time of my Chud article in the spring, the focus now will be on results. Chud did not produce results and, even though I disagree with the move, I am willing to accept this unceremonious execution with one provision ….. THAT THE BROWNS START WINNING NEXT YEAR!! There are no more three to five year plans. There are no two year plans. There is only a ONE YEAR plan. That plan is to reach the playoffs in the 2014 season! Fans need to finally hold the Browns accountable just as the current management has held Coach Chud accountable. We need to stand firm and not accept failure again. Now that is a hard thing to say as I have season tickets with a close and dear friend and I won’t let him down, but we need to stand up for success and not accept continued failure. If we accept continued losing and just moan and groan about it, we deserve what we get.
So that brings me to another reality check point. If I feel this way, there are likely many other Browns fans that feel similarly. If that is true, then the Browns have finally reached the OK Corral. After all of this tolerance and acceptance of 3-5 year plan after 3-5 year plan, I think the fans have finally reached a breaking point. We will have that “shoot out” with the team if they don’t produce. Generally fans lose these battles miserably but Browns fans are a curious bunch. Never know what might happen if we get pushed too far. Maybe we will actually be able to walk away with our wallets and our dignity.
I actually think the Browns ownership and management sense this growing dissatisfaction and this partially led them to the conclusion they must fire Chud and move on now. Sooner than later. Faster than slower. More ruthless than accepting. Now what they may not have anticipated is that the fans were galvanized by the move to ax Chud after one year. It made me realize, and I suspect others, that the Browns must win now. The ownership would not have made this move if they didn’t feel the pressure to produce fast. And Banner actually said some things similar today at the presser. Haslam did as well. I think they firmly feel that they cannot afford another three year plan. The word “patience” was not used much or at all at the presser. The media was aggressive and asked tough questions that were not as easy to answer as many in the past. Haslam was visibly upset at some of the implications about his leadership and credibility. I am firmly convinced after today’s press conference that they know the score. And the score is they had better hire a good coach that will produce NOW and win.
So as opposed to being more distressed by this disaster that is the Cleveland Browns organization, I am actually much more accepting of their methods. What has led me to this acceptance is that I am now taking control of what I can actually control. And that is my support or lack of support for the Browns. All of the pressure has fallen on them. None of the pressure is on the fans. They must produce a solid coach and coaching staff, a great draft that includes a quarterback to groom, use a ton of cap space to improve the quality of the players on the field, and then go out and win next year. Even just making the playoffs next year will likely be enough to move the fans strongly in their direction. Even a one game and out would return credibility to the organization and allow them to proceed to a championship caliber team in the following years. Anything less and I am not sure what will happen. Only witnessing the improvement will allow me to even think of the consequences.
If they decide to go with McDaniels and Manziel, a combination I previously have feared, I am Ok with it. Because my judgement will be from the production on the field. I will not prejudge the outcome but watch the results. That doesn’t mean I won’t blog about it or have an opinion. It simply means that I expect the Browns to win. Anything else is unacceptable.