Monday, September 25, 2006

You Want Consistency?

With the possible exceptions of Roger Brown's column in the Plain Dealer and the collected works of Madonna, there is nothing less interesting than an NFL head coach's weekly press conference. That being said, we did find a few nuggets in Romeo Crennel's press conference this morning.

For example, Crennel told the collected media that the Browns need to be more consistent, as if this holds the key. To us, he sounded like the weekend golfer trying to explain that the if he could just be more consistent, he'd be a scratch golfer. Ralph Waldo Emerson once noted that "foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds." And in that mythical quest for consistency, Crennel, like that weekend golfer, simply drifts further to truly understand what really ails this team.

The problem with this team is not a lack of consistency. The problem with this team is is too much consistency. The uneven performance of this team, like last year's team and every incarnation of the Browns since they returned to the league, is entirely too consistent. They can't run. They can't block. They can't stop a team when it matters most. They tease, they taunt, the produce, they fail. If you want to dissect them on a play by play basis, you'll see incredible consistency. In fact, they are so maddeningly consistent owner Randy Lerner could set his Rolex to it.

If the Browns really want to do something for this city and their fans, they could stop being so damn consistent. Start with getting better players. Find better coaches. Find a methodology that raises the overall level of performance of everyone, from the ticket takers to Randy Lerner and everyone in between. Quit making excuses on why we have to consistently suffer this lack of performance game in and game out, year after year. In short, break some eggs.

The other nugget we liked was Crennel's rather dismissive attitude toward the welfare of quarterback Charlie Frye. In short order, Crennel basically said that a lot of guys get "bumps and bruises" and otherwise have to play in pain, so too does Charlie because, as Crennel noted, that's life in the NFL. Crennel did not that they need to get this fixed but otherwise didn't seem all that concerned.

Well last we looked, the bench was rather thin at this position. Frye is young and tough, but so was Tim Couch. Couch took so much abuse while in a Browns uniform, his career was abruptly cut short. Only now do the Browns look like they may have a successor. But if Frye goes down, and he will, is there anyone out there that thinks Ken Dorsey can lead any team to a win? You think the dawgs are angry now? Just wait. Just wait.

Finally, while utterly predictable you had to marvel at Crennel's obligatory praise of how hard the team played and while they didn't get it done, there were many positives. That's the problem, isn't it? We've become so conditioned to accept poor performance, we're grateful for a performance against another non-playoff team that fell one point short. If we never break out of that mentality, then we don't deserve a championship team. And more likely, we'll never get one.

No comments: