The great Cleveland fan base has been crying for some stability in their NFL franchise essentially since the team’s rebirth. The coaching carousel, an inexcusable parade of quarterbacks and the elixir sold by regime after regime reduced our once proud franchise to the laughing stock of the football world. The battle cry had gone unheard for nearly two decades. It appears that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has heard our cry. He came out in support of the current staff back in January.
“I’ll just say I feel very strongly we’ve got the right group together and I think they’re working exceptionally well together.”
While the endorsement fell short of giving head coach Hue Jackson and company a specified period of time to accomplish their mission, it did show that Haslam has learned that patience is a necessary quality in an owner who wishes to build a successful sports franchise.
The owner has done his part. Though we have no guarantee beyond the 2017 or 2018 season. Now, what about the fans? We have been waiting and waiting for this. Now what? I have to report that we as a group appear to have lost the very patience that we have expected from the owner.
The battle for the starting quarterback job may be a done deal. Accrued aggravation from seeing a plethora of guys thrown out there to “lead” our team is understandable, yet we all need to remember that this issue won’t be resolved overnight. If rookie DeShone Kizer, in fact, starts Week 1 against Pittsburgh, it may not be pretty. We’ll have to live with the rookie mistakes that everyone from Peyton Manning to Bernie Kosar makes.
This team was stripped down to its skivvies. All of our prayers will not be answered in one season. The Browns have added some amazing talent and even some depth at a few positions, yet there is much work to be done. I realize that few expect this team to challenge for the playoffs, yet it seems as if expectations continue to escalate. The team may surprise us, but they are so darned young.
We need to live with and even enjoy the bumps and bruises we see these kids take this season. DeShone Kizer is only 21. He may be the future, but he is not yet a polished NFL signal caller. Myles Garrett is a Ferrari dressed in a football uniform, but he will be a rookie. The best years are ahead of almost this entire team. Remember that when they make a mistake, say something stupid or decide to do something controversial.
Just wait until the Browns fill in a few more gaps with their absurd 2018 draft capital. Let this team grow and mature this season and then add a few more players with top-end talent. Things are looking up, but we should temper today’s expectations.
The same goes for Executive VP of Football Operations Sashi Brown and Hue Jackson. The mistakes should be cleaned up at this point, but we all need to give them an appropriate amount of slack as they grow with this team.
This is a very young team. There will undoubtedly be mistakes and various learning curves of an unspecified slope. Be conscious of the vast improvement that we see over the course of the 2017 season and know that more help is on the way before the 2018 season. Jimmy Haslam finally knows that the way to build a franchise is by employing consistency and patience. We need to follow his lead. Things are looking up for the Browns, but we still need to be patience for a while longer.
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