Send in the (Mc)Clowns

Okay, somebody’s going to have to help me out with this one:

In 2014, Browns start 6-3 with Brian Hoyer at quarterback, who looks outstanding, even with a group of receivers regarded as average at best. In spite of a group of running backs who are virtually unknown and unproven, they perform well behind a strong offensive line and the offense actually looks professional.

Unfortunately, Browns center Alex Mack breaks his leg, the first in a series of injuries which help return the Browns to the picture of dysfunction they’ve been since 1999. Hoyer, without a running game, is the epitome of desperation trying to find open receivers among a group headed by a very disinterested Josh Gordon. They end up losing six of their last seven games, giving the quarterback job to Johnny Manziel, who looks far more capable when he is on the bench rather than on the field.

Have I got that right so far? But let’s not stop there, gang. While things disintegrated on the field, it was not much better in the front office, where general manager Ray Farmer was busted for texting the sidelines during games. This was supposedly one of the main reasons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan packed up and left shortly after the season ended. Add to that the rumors that the Browns drafted Manziel as a result of direct orders from owner Jimmy Haslam, and you have a smorgasbord of reasons why the Browns remain a disaster.

Returning to the quarterback mess, the Browns have now signed journeyman quarterback Josh McCown, 35, as Ray Farmer is not a very big fan of free agent Brian Hoyer. To be fair however, after looking at the first round picks of Farmer and his staff last year, it’s safe to say that there are not very many fans of Ray Farmer, either.

It seems ludicrous that the Browns signed McCown reportedly because new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo coached McCown in 2007 in Oakland. Seriously now, what does that have to do with anything? I mean, just because I bought a pair of jeans which fit nicely in 2007 doesn’t mean they’ll fit in 2015, does it? (That’s a rhetorical question, so don’t even think about going there).

If you’re a stats freak, ESPN has a listing of NFL quarterbacks by their “total” quarterback rating, a complicated formula that includes just about every quarterbacking stat known to man, which summarizes that player’s ability with a numeric figure. Last year, Tony Romo of Dallas led the way with a rating of 82.7. Cleveland’s Brian Hoyer, after that disastrous second half, finished 24th out of 30 teams with a rating of 43.1, which is not exactly scintillating. That is, unless you compare it to McCown, who compiled a rating of 35.7, in finishing 28th out of 30 (as in two from the bottom). And, by the way, some folks point to Hoyer’s record of 7-6 as a starter as being very mediocre. And it may be, until you compare it to McCown’s record with Tampa Bay last year, which was 1-10.

Of course, when you consider the Browns’ level of success over the last 15 years, signing McCown makes all the sense in the world, doesn’t it?  

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 9:39 AM, 03.03.2015