Cleveland, Ohio – Conflicting.
That’s a word I’ve heard from many Brown fans.
They’re “conflicted” because they love the orange helmets, but they’re pissed off at Deshaun Watson’s signature. Or that they are “conflicted” because they thought Baker Mayfield had a bad deal and deserved another season to get back to his play-off form for 2020.
Others are nervous.
They believe that even with Watson facing an 11-game suspension, the Browns have a solid roster. They should have a top 10 defense led by Miles Garrett, Denzel Ward, Jadivion Clooney, Greg Newsom II and the rest.
They have the most talented NFL background with Karim Hunt and Nick Chubb. They have a Pro Bowl receiver caliber at the Amari Cooper. They have a good offensive line. They even seem to have a talented kicker in rookie Kid Yorke.
This sounds like an accessory team, so why are so many fans nervous?
The big question
But the situation is close to you…
Can they win 10 matches? This is what is most likely needed for the playoffs. Can they do that with Jacobi Brissett as a rookie in 11 games?
Is it wise for Joshua Dobbs to be the only significant alternative? His NFL regular season experience consisted of 17 passing attempts.
Is it fair to consider him the savior of this season? Assuming he completes the terms of the suspension and is eligible for the December 4 game in Houston – it would be 23 months and two days since he last played in a regular game.
What can we expect from Watson? The answer is a lot like the whole QB picture… it’s vague… and stomach ripples.
Browns were 8-9 last season with Mayfield having a terrible season. Made 16 spins (13 interceptions, lost 3 tackles). He threw only 17 TD passes.
There were reasons for his huge drop from being in the top 10 QB in 2020, namely Mayfield hurt for most of last season.
Brissett wouldn’t be the foul-prone QB the Browns had in 2021. Between 2019-21, Brissett started 20 matches. He threw 23 TD passes compared to 10 interceptions. He had a 9-11 record for the Miami and the Moults, two teams not as talented as the Browns.
I’m a bit of that, and I’m somewhat optimistic.
Playing decent QB who avoids self-destructive decisions on the field could win many matches for this team. They have an attack underway. They have promoted special teams. Talented defense.
This is the hopeful part.
I’m in for a struggle because I wonder if coach Kevin Stefansky will fall into the trap of impatience, passing the ball too often. It happened last year.
This team should have a winning record. It is not unrealistic to hope 10-7.
But I’m nervous because it’s been a weird year with Watson’s drama, the Mayfield trade, and the lure of Wait For Deshaun to fix things up.
This season has been a huge challenge for Stefanski. His list is a comma caliber. His fan base was torn apart by signing Watson, but a win could bring a quick recovery.
Stefansky has to shrug off style points and have a “huge insult” to what might be his “plodding” style, as one CEO tells me what’s going on with a heavy dose of Brissett. He also said that Brown could win this way, if they were patient.
So a lot of that falls to the coach and the leaders on the team.
conflicting? Yes me.
But it’s time to anticipate: I keep rocking back and forth between 9-8 and 10-7. Earlier in the week, I was sold out at 9-8. Now I’m 10-7 but not sure if that’s enough to make the playoffs.
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