Are the Browns Fighting a Losing Battle?

Rod Bluhm

After an encouraging preseason, your Cleveland Browns have started 0-3 in the regular season. Sure, a lot of us didn’t expect a huge turnaround this season. However, we did expect some wins here and there. Now that the “easy” part of the schedule no longer appears to be easy, how can the Browns salvage any resemblance to taking a respectable step forward this season?

We all know that the only way for the Browns to gain respectability nationally and with their fanbase is for them to start winning football games. The optimism entering the regular season was very real for most fans, but many have changed their tone already. The dagger was the first half of the Colts game. Everyone seemed to think that the Browns would win that game simply by showing up.

Take a step back and forget about where you think this team is right now. You’ll see a team that lost two games to division opponents who are expected to finish above the Browns in the standings this season. This team also lost to a struggling Colts team on the road. If you don’t think the Colts saw that game as a must win, you’re fooling yourself. Give them some credit.

The Browns are also a team that has the youngest roster in the league and the youngest player in the league running their offense in quarterback DeShone Kizer. I know, no one wants excuses anymore, but if you think the jump from college football to the NFL is an easy one, think again. More than half of the Browns roster has less than two years of experience. The massiveness of this rebuild is something that we all forget far too soon and the trend toward youth will continue in the coming offseason.

The battle the Browns face is the fight for patience with a fanbase that lost the ability to be patient several regimes ago. It’s understandable. We’ve been made into a laughing stock through the embarrassingly long lists of starting quarterbacks, coaches, GMs, missed draft picks and losses. The thing is, Jimmy Haslam seems to have discovered a new level of patience. Either that or he has learned the need for patience in order to turn a team around.

Three games into a season where the Browns are starting yet another rookie QB, there are rumblings. People are talking about the need to take play calling away from Hue Jackson. Some people are already wondering if he’s the right guy. Some folks are ready to draft another quarterback in 2018. Please make it stop. Continuity is what we need, even if our coach and QB aren’t perfect and need to learn a thing or two. Take a look at Payton Manning’s rookie season. He wasn’t very good and neither was his team. I bet the Colts are glad they stuck with him for a while.

Does Jimmy Haslam have enough patience to ride this thing out? He’ll have to be able to drown out the noise from the very fans who loved the hiring of Head Coach Hue Jackson and Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams. Can he do it? Can he keep the earplugs in long enough to see the win/loss record turnaround that we all want so very badly? It’s a tall task. Jimmy Haslam wants to win, but he also knows he needs to keep the fans coming.

If the losing continues and moves are made this season, we all lose. Who’s up for a new QB next season? How about switching back to a 3-4 defense? Are you kidding me? We have to ride this thing out. Go Browns!

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