Watching the Super Bowl gave me hope for the Orange and Brown: if the Seahawks can make a run like that and win it all, the Mistake by the Lake can replicate the same in Cleveland. The Seahawks are a team that has had a franchise history rife with under-performance, a rabid fan base, and a defense-driven team. The parallels between the Browns and the Seahawks are insanely coincidental, and here is why we are better and how we can get things done in the NFL:
Get a Great QB
This is a quarterback-driven league, and this upcoming draft is the most important in years. Our offense already has a great line (at least from center to left). Plus Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron went to the Pro Bowl, each with a touchdown. We do not have a great running back, but running backs are a dime a dozen in the NFL and can be upgraded easily. The final missing puzzle piece is a great quarterback, as I outlined in my previous blog post. The draft picks made throughout the years have been washouts (not going to bore you with the list), or any successful veteran that showed any promise has been injured fairly quickly (Hoyer and Garcia). The front office needs to get this right and either make a bold move for a free agent or draft high. Naming Ray Farmer as the new GM gives me hope that the Browns are planning to be aggressive in this upcoming draft. Plus with Kyle Shanahan as the OC, the odds have risen for the Browns to pursue Kirk Cousins.
We Have the Original 12th Man
The Dawg Pound traces its roots all the way back to 1985. Compare that to Seahawks, who have to pay annual royalties to Texas A&M because Texas A&M use of the “12th Man” dates back to 1922. Nice try, 12th Man!
The Dawg Pound is much better than the 12th Man for the following reasons:
1. The 12th Man stomp and scream in an overblown temper tantrum that creates minor earthquakes in a region of the country already mired by geologically-created earthquakes. The Dawg Pound throws stadium seats on the playing field and hurls beer bottles at officials who make the wrong call on the field.
2. They drink massive amounts of overpriced lattes from Starbucks. We drink cheap beer in the parking lot until we cannot feel feelings anymore.
3. They legalize marijuana and advocate using marijuana to treat player injuries. We inadvertently cause staph infections in our players.
Defense Wins Playoffs
If we get our offense right, then the defense can do what they do best: bump and grind. The Cleveland Browns have one of the most chippy defenses in the NFL, and they keep us in more games than we give them credit for. Joe Haden is a shutdown corner,with the skillset to be the next Richard Sherman (but without the overly aggressive vibe towards female reporters)
The Young Shall Inherit the Earth
In the era where our culture is dominated by #hashtagging hipsters who enjoy twerking over watching videos on YouTube that last greater than 30 seconds, youth has become a premium in this country. Look at Chad Johnson: he stays relevant in the media by simply creating a massive Twitter following.
In all seriousness, youth can bring energy and overcome any questions of experience. The Browns and Seahawks each have one of the youngest rosters in the NFL. The defensive speed of the Seahawks was ridiculous in the playoffs. They just swarmed any Broncos receiver who was lucky enough to catch the ball, and the front line was right in Manning’s face. A young, hungry team with right coaching staff can be a force to be reckoned with.
This gives me hope. It is one of the reasons why we are such a chippy, competitive team. Especially on defense. And if we are able to put everything together, then we replicate what happened in Seattle.
Cult of Personality
We need a coach who can fire up the team and bring the passion that the fan base deserves. Pete Carroll is the most-liked coach in the NFL according to a recent poll of NFL players. We have a lot of potential, but if the players are not behind their coach then performance on the field will be greatly diminished.
However, we are not Seattle. We are a blue collar team. We need someone who gets fired up and angry, like Bill Cowher. That is why I think Mike Pettine is our man. He has that mentality to rile up the troops and get them ready to play their hardest.