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The Morning After: Tampa Bay
The Morning After: Tampa Bay
Just when it seems like things can't get any worse for the Browns, they manage to disappoint you further. Almost shut out at home by Tampa? What? In "The Morning After", Papa Cass calls for bold change. Blow this thing up completely he says, pawning off guys like Braylon and K2 for draft picks. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!! And thanks for reading. It's been a fun year for us!
Buccaneers 22, Browns 7
It must be that special time of year in Browns Town.
The compression boots are hung by the chimney with care. Athletic tape adorns the tree. Ice packs are stowed in the freezer alongside a turkey with all the trimmings.
The whirlpool is humming, and somewhere, an arthroscopic surgeon is limbering his wrist to get his joint insertion technique just right.
Oh, and every surface is being wiped down with disinfectant to make sure that nobody, under any circumstances, contracts a career-threatening postoperative staph infection.
It's time for
. The yearly celebration conducted every December, where half the Browns roster gets a jump start on the
by suffering some kind of bone, muscle or joint malady.
. It means he can make a case for a mulligan, saving his job for at least one more year, even as his team careens to a likely 4-12 record.
(Silly me, what am I saying? I forgot about the other yearly tradition: Let's-screw-ourselves-out-of-a-high-draft-pick-by-winning-the-last-game-of-the-season-mas. The Browns will almost certainly go 5-11 and drop to about ninth in the draft order.)
I could make the case right along with
, but it's not like the annual avalanche of late-season entries onto injured reserve has really affected the Browns' play much. Prior to December, the Browns were a fractured band of punks, has-
. They had blockers who couldn't block, receivers who couldn't receive, quarterbacks who couldn't quarterback, tacklers who couldn't tackle, rushers who couldn't rush and coaches who couldn't coach.
Since the calendar has turned to December, the Browns are still all of the above. The only difference is it's third-stringers playing the fool instead of first-stringers. Healthy or injured, nothing has really changed. And we have to start asking ourselves, what is going to change next year if everything is kept status
And I'm not just talking about
Here's my question: Why do football teams seldom have fire sales? When it became apparent that the Indians' 2006 season was going to be a wash, team management set about trading virtually every marketable veteran to slash salary and stock up on young talent.
It's apparent that this current Browns cast of characters just isn't working out. I'd
to say that by the time this team is good enough to win, not only will
not be here, neither will
Edwards, Kellen Winslow Jr., Reuben
Davis, Brian Russell, or any other semi-useful veteran currently on the roster.
So why not start pawning them off for draft picks? Don't trade every last one of them, but especially with regard to me-first players like Edwards and Winslow, guys who are hurting this team by their sheer attitude and sideshow antics, it might be worthwhile to dangle them if you can get an extra first- or second-rounder in the coming years.
You might cringe at the idea of another roster blowup, but again, ask yourself what is really going to change if everything is kept intact? Next year will be the same as this year. Uninspired play, injuries and losses piling on top of losses.
Who really cares if it's Edwards and Winslow running the routes, or Travis Wilson and Joe
? It's all going to equal the same, sorry outcome if multiple high draft picks aren't committed to the offensive line.
The Browns need draft picks, and lots of them. Edwards, Winslow and company provide a valuable resource for the Browns to get those draft picks.
Are you basically grading your previous drafts a bust by trading your former first-rounders? Yes. But you are also saying that you are willing to keep trying until you get this thing right.
The Browns, quite simply, haven't gotten it right yet. All the injury mulligans in the world won't change that.
Up next: At Houston, Sunday, 1 p.m. (season finale)
(P.S. Merry Christmas, everyone. Despite how it looks now, things will get better for the Browns. And it will happen in your lifetime, believe it or not. Have a great holiday.)
Dec 24, 2006 7:00 PM
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