Are Browns getting it right by doing nothing?
At a time when Browns fans are increasingly distressed by the franchise’s failure to keep key players who left via free agency or to replace them with other key players, there’s a Costanze-esque theory making the rounds that, by doing the opposite of what they’ve done in past years, the Browns may finally be getting it right.
Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer advances that notion on behalf of the Browns, at a time when no one is saying much of anything on behalf of the Browns.
Whether it’s because of action or inaction, things simply haven’t worked for the Browns in recent years. One of the guys who left the team within the past week but who spent four years in the franchise has no concrete explanation for the struggles.
“It’s a bevy of things,” Gipson said on Friday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio. “It’s not just free agency signings in the past or wrongful use of draft picks or wrongful use of players. It’s just a combination of a lot of things, and I wouldn’t say it’s all on the front office and I dang sure wouldn’t say it’s all on the players. I think that at some point the players, the front office, and the coaches all gotta get on the same page or it’s just going to continue to be a 4-12, 5-11 team. . . . The Cleveland Browns fan base, they deserve better than that. They more than certainly deserve better than that. . . . I’m always going to be rooting for them because they were the only team that took a chance on me but to answer that question I truly don’t know what it’s going to take to turn it around. But I know that it’s just going to continue to be a revolving door if it doesn’t get turned around year in and year out.”
As the Browns try to turn it around this year, some folks within the league were surprised by the decision of Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta to speak at the MIT Sloan Sports Analtyics Conference on Friday. Even if Cleveland’s current strategy is to do nothing, the thinking of some is that DePodesta, who is still new to football, should have been worried less about reflecting on the rise of Moneyball in baseball at the Sloan conference and more on figuring out the lay of the land in his new sport.
And even if DePodesta has the capacity to do what he needs to do while nevertheless engaging in a one-day detour, the decision to travel to Boston for third day of the new league year creates the perception that DePodesta doesn’t have the same single-minded focus necessary to turn around the franchise, once and for all.