Searching for answers in Browns Town
We come here today seeking answers to a seemingly simple question:
As in, why are some Browns fans so dysfunctional?
As in, why does it matter what Jim Brown thinks about the team?
As the Browns were wrapping up the last Organized Team Activity before training camp, team president Mike Holmgren gave a relatively benign press conference last week. Overall, Holmgren didn’t say much, but he did leave fans with two takeaways: one, he would try to be more accessible with the media as long they as didn’t cause shenanigans and, two, the Browns will actually wear their Brown jerseys next season.
Easy enough, thanks, and we’ll see everyone at the end of July. And then someone had to bring up the franchise’s strained relationship with Jim Brown.
“How the Browns view Jim Brown hasn’t changed and will never change,” Holmgren said. “I would love to see Jim Brown walk in right now or come to the Legends thing, be a part of this. … Because Jim’s role changed here, I could see where he got a little upset with me, perhaps. I would like Jim Brown to come and be a part of this and feel comfortable doing that and I would welcome him with open arms.”
That’s all the anti-Holmgren crowd had to hear to get their Orange-and-Brown knickers in a twist. Surely Holmgren and the Browns must be up to no good because Jim Brown is the greatest running back in NFL history. What he’s not, however, is a member of the front office who should have any say in how the team is run or which players the team drafts.
Brown’s criticism of Holmgren and owner Randy Lerner is so transparent it’s laughable. Once Holmgren relieved Brown of his duties as an official executive adviser, and the six-figure payday that came along with it, all of a sudden Brown had a problem with the team. Suddenly, Lerner was in England too much. Somehow, Trent Richardson, the consensus No. 1 running back in the draft is just ordinary.
Interestingly enough, Brown didn’t have a problem with Lerner when he was an advisor. Nor do we ever remember hearing him criticize the team’s draft picks (although it would have been justified with some of the picks made by Phil Savage and Eric Mangini) when Brown was drawing a paycheck from the team.
Funny how it works out that way. (And it’s funny how the people who agree with Brown on Lerner don’t actually want Lerner involved with the daily operation of the team, so they can’t even figure out what it is they are supposed to be mad about).
It’s not as if the Browns don’t want Brown around; they just don’t want him involved in day-to-day decisions. A Hesh taught us on The Sopranos, when someone new takes over, they get to call the tune. It’s then up to everyone to decide if they want to go along or not.
Holmgren is under no obligation to keep Brown in an ill-defined role with the team just as Brown is well within his rights to walk away if he doesn’t like the way his role is being redefined.
But it is really time to let this go.
As in, why do the Browns “have” to do something with Colt McCoy?
Training camp doesn’t start until July 29. The regular season doesn’t begin until Sept. 9. So why are so many people in a rush for the Browns to make a decision on the back-up quarterback position?
We think the Browns should keep McCoy as the backup to Brandon Weeden. McCoy is younger than Seneca Wallace and has a bigger upside (which may not be saying much, but still). Entering his 10th year in the league, Wallace is not going to get better. That doesn’t mean he’s going to regress in the next couple of months, but at this stage of his career he is what he is.
As for McCoy, apparently there may be other teams that could be interested in acquiring the third-year quarterback out of Texas. According to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com, Green Bay, St. Louis or Denver could be interested in McCoy; Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com suggests the Cowboys bring McCoy home to the Lone Star state. Sports Illustrated’s Peter King has the Eagles as a possible destination, writing that:
I think if I’m Andy Reid or Mike McCarthy, I’m calling Cleveland GM Tom Heckert and sending a 2013 sixth-rounder to Cleveland for McCoy. Perfect backup quarterback who, in time, might be good enough to start for your team for multiple seasons. Take out the tape of his game at Pittsburgh last season, before he got blasted by James Harrison, and tell me he doesn’t have the poise, decision-making and presence to have a chance to be a good player.