I can guarantee that is probably what 90% of people in the league think of the Browns right now after learning that we just traded away Charlie Frye after 1.5 quarters of football in 2007. Let’s get this straight: this was the guy that they put all of their faith in last year by cutting Dilfer and having no experienced back-up, then named him the starter after mini-camp, OTA’s, and a full training camp of QB competition, only to cut him after less than a half?
I’m not arguing that we should have kept him, but something is seriously wrong there. That the powers that be (Savage, Crennel) would bad this guy for 2 seasons, declare him the winner of the competition after all that evaluation time only to cut him after 1 quarter of bad football? Either they are extremely terrible at judging talent and evaluating their roster, or they are terrible decision makers. Frye can not shoulder all of the blame for this fiasco. If he was that bad, so bad that he warranted being traded so early, it should have been plainly obvious to all involved that this was the case a long time ago.
Situations like these don’t happen on other NFL teams. Other NFL teams have management in place to make sure that sound decisions are made–the Browns simply don’t. It’s quite possible that the entire brain-trust of the Cleveland Browns (Crennel, Savage, and Lerner) are all in over their heads. In business it’s called the Peter Principle–that in an organization employees tend to rise to one level above their own competence. At this point it’s appears that Romeo is a much better D Coordinator than a Head Coach, Savage is a very good scout or player personnel director, and that Mr. Lerner is good at inheriting his father’s fortunes.
No offense to any of them. I would give a ton to be an NFL scout, D coordinator, or billionaire, but they are clearly not cut for the positions that they are in. And if they can’t deliver something respectable to such a loyal fan base with such a great tradition something needs to give. It’s one thing to deliver a losing team–that is at least acceptable for a while. It’s quite another to deliver something that is totally inept, dysfunctional, and brings shame to the organization, city, and fans associated with it.
This was once a very proud franchise, and with every humiliation it gets harder to say that you are proud to be a Browns fan. For a team built on the pillars of such legends as Otto Graham, Jim Brown, Paul Brown and the like, this is a complete disgrace. Everyone can handle losing to a certain extent, but nobody–especially a fan base that has given so much to the organization–deservers to be continually embarrassed publicly in the worst possible ways. It would be hard to write a script as disheartening as what the Browns have delivered to their fans for the last 15 years.
Oh yeah, and while they continue to embarrass you they will be charging you insane amounts for tickets, make you purchase a ‘license’ to buy said tickets, rip you off on merchandise, lie to you continually, and make sure you don’t have fun while you’re at the game. This is our reward for being so loyal that the NFL decided we deserved another franchise after having the first one ripped from us? The joke is on us.
The bottom line is that it starts at the top, and if Randy Lerner can’t devote himself to running an organization then he needs to step aside. Clearly lacks the understanding of what it takes to run a football team, why the Browns are special to Cleveland, and why the Browns once had a great tradition. Unless he can surround himself with people that can do right with the fans, the city, and the tradition of the Cleveland Browns then he needs to do what Art Modell promised us he would do-sell the Browns and get out of Cleveland.