We've drafted a wide receiver,
a tight end. We've signed outside linebackers, and drafted inside
linebackers. Cover corners and hard-hitting safeties. We
have signed away other teams offensive linemen. Even punters have
been the objects of our affection some off-seasons.
We've done just about everything. Except one thing. To BE RIGHT!
It really is that simple. Whatever
choices you make this year Phil, just please be correct. For one off-season,
hit the nail on the head more often than you hit your thumb.
I don’t know if Joe Thomas is
Tony Mandarich, Robert Gallery, Tony Boselli or Orlando Pace.
Is Alan Branch the next Kris Jenkins or the next Gerard Warren? Is Brady
Quinn Joe Montana or Rick Mirer? I haven’t a clue.
I have my opinions, but it's not my job to know these things. It's yours Phil. Be prepared. Be right.
The Cleveland Browns are walking
a tightrope right now. I cannot remember a time where their fan
base has been more disgruntled. I do not recall an instance where
so many people have uttered the words, “Not renewing season tickets”,
or “I am done with these guys” as readily as they have this off-season.
To that Mr. Savage, you better have an answer. You need to hit
a home run. Free agency better produce solid starters. The
draft had better start with the right choice and finish with six more very good ones.
Teams are routinely in this situation.
Some get stuck in a rut and spin their wheels. Others get out
of the mud, only to land in a pothole. These next few months must
get us out of this trench we are in and show a clear road ahead of us.
You have to be right. There are no more chances to make mistakes,
because you are dangerously close to losing the most passionate and loyal
fan-base in the NFL.
There are enough needs on this
team that whomever you add to this roster will have the opportunity
to become a part of the core if you are correct. I would guess
there are close to 15 starting positions that you could enhance in the
next few months. All of these holes cannot be filled in one off-season. But with just one good off-season of hits with few misses, you can go a long way towards
restoring respectability on the shores of Lake Erie.
See, we would not be in this spot
had we just been right in the previous years. There is no perfect
way to build a team, other than to be right more than you are wrong.
If Gerard Warren was Richard Seymour, Courtney Brown was Julius Peppers;
we would not be at this point. If Tim Couch was Peyton Manning
and William Green was LaDanian Thomlinson; we would not be in this spot.
Hell, if any of our guys had turned out to be any of those other guys,
just once, we would not be where we are. As we all know though,
our guys were not those guys. Why? Not because of bad luck.
Not because of “The Cleveland Curse”. The reason is simple,
we were wrong. We made bad decisions. Incorrect choices.
There is no blueprint to go by.
The roadmap to a Super Bowl has been printed many times, in many different
ways. The only thing that all of the previous Super Bowl winners
have had in common is they have made the right moves, whatever those
moves may be. Drafting a QB first means nothing. Drafting
a left tackle first guarantees crap. Having stud running backs
and breath-taking wide receivers ensures only that you will be fun to
watch, in practice. The Browns need all of those things, plus
some more. That is why the name and position of the player you select
first, third, sixth and in free agency or in trades is completely insignificant.
The only thing that matters is that you are right.