By Brad VanFossan
Week One of the Cleveland Browns season has come and gone, much in the manner that if someone were to have been stood up at the altar over the weekend. Yes, the Browns, who played horrendously on offense, still had a chance late in the fourth quarter to beat the nine point favored Eagles, but lost in that ever so familiar heartbreaking fashion that us Browns fans like to call our "normal Sunday". The Browns who led 16-10, gave up a game-winning touchdown drive to Philadelphia with under two minutes to play to trail 17-16. Though no one watching wanted to say it out loud, although I think I did, but only one other person besides myself heard it, every Browns fan knew it was coming. And if you didn't, consider yourself a habitual liar, and also think about getting some denial intervention. Yes the script went exactly as Cleveland Browns home openers since 1999 are planned.
But much worse than just a single loss to open the season, it looks as though the Browns may have missed on not one of their two first round picks from 2012, but possibly both of them. Brandon Weeden looked lost in throwing four interceptions, including a nail in the coffin, air mail style, as the Browns tried to drive into field goal range to attempt to win in the closing seconds. They weren't exactly driving yet, but Weeden never even gave them a chance. And throughout the game, Weeden looked spooked, and many of his passes were terribly inaccurate, including two that very well could have resulted in touchdowns. And I'M NOT saying that Colt McCoy is a great quarterback by any stretch of the imagination, BUT, he would have made those throws. This might sound too knee-jerk, but we might be drafting another QB in 2013. With the new owner James Haslam taking the wheel, don't be shocked if this happens.
And let's not forget our #3 overall pick who we traded three draft picks to Minnesota to move up one selction for, Trent Richardson, looked as though he was over matched, gaining only 39 yards on 13 carries. I will give him a slight benefit of the doubt being he's coming off of a recent knee procedure, but it sure looked like he had very little burst, and there were a handful of times Philadelphia defenders had him stopped in the backfield. New owner and possibly new GM, new coach, and new team president won't be able to quickly pick up the pieces if both of these picks are busts. And that could be a sad reality. Welcome to another possible rebuild......again.
The only saving grace is that the next rebuild, which might even began as early as October, which is when new owner Jim Haslam can start implementing his decisions on the organization, is that it might be the last rebuild at least for awhile. I believe there will be some stability finally, but this might be a wasted year in order to begin that process. But, in reality, there have only been two years since 1999 that haven't been throwaway years, 2002, and 2007 when the Browns went 9-7, and 10-6 respectfully, with that 10-6 amazingly missing the playoffs, while the 9-7 team made it only to lose in heartbreaking fashion to the rival Steelers. But at the same time, I don't blame anyone who has lost their patience, because despite the fact that Haslam might bring some stability at the top, he and the people he chooses have to start bringing in some talent that can win football games. That's all the fans want and have been craving for years.
Our baseball team has become a laughingstock, the football team HAS been a laughingstock, and no one even cares about the Cavs anymore. To quote Jack Nicholson in the original Batman, this town needs an enema, and it might just need another Quarterback, head coach, general manager, and president..........again!