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Ground Zero, Here We Come

Ground zero. I can’t help but get the feeling that’s where this new ride with Mike Holmgren is taking us. Now that news has broke that the organization has given Josh Cribbs a low ball offer that has turned his stomach, it seems like we are starting over once more. It will only be a matter of time before we know Eric Mangini’s fate, but even Peter King, the czar of all matters football, has declared he’s gone.

I can’t say I blame Holmgren if he does choose to do this his way. He has a keen sense with regard to the game of football and I was struck by his professionalism at his first Browns press conference. Plus, I think after watching this team complete a 4-game winning streak, his ground zero will look much different from that of Davis, Crennel or Mangini. We actually have some hard working players whose will to win and chemistry seemed to sharpen as the season ended. Jerome Harrison had his official coming out party over that span and our defense looked like they were in tune with everything Ryan was throwing their way. Also, let’s give Mohammed Massaquoi some props. He was a huge bright spot from a considerably suspect draft class.

We also have to remember that going into the offseason, there are so many opportunities for us to improve through player acquisition and the draft that none of this seems really scary to me. I have hope. Especially now that it has become apparent that Cribbs can be trade bait. He still has three years left on his original deal so he can’t actually walk away regardless of any threats he and his agent make. With Cribbs as a golden carrot along with Derek Anderson and maybe one or two others we couldn’t even imagine suggesting, there is plenty of room to deal. Granted, I wrote months ago as a proponent of paying Cribbs for being the great player he is, but like we’ve seen throughout sporting history, there isn’t anyone who can’t be replaced.

That being said, there will be plenty of weeks and month of speculation regarding the opening day roster for the Browns in 2010. I don’t expect as much upheaval as in the past, but I do expect we will see Holmgren’s unmistakable thumbprint on that final roster. The organization took a huge leap when they brought him in, and I think we will take just as big a leap on the field in the fall. We just have to expect some growing pains in the meantime. Ground zero, here we come. But we won’t be there for long.

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2 Responses to “Ground Zero, Here We Come”

  1. ButchGavlen says:

    How do you like your crow?
    All I’ll say is thank goodness he’s a fair, and balanced guy. To go back to groound zero would do what?
    So much for the guys who ‘know all things football.’

  2. Denolakes says:

    This isn’t “ground zero,” to me. It is more that the last 6 games of this season are actually the first six games of 2010. Mangini’s argument had to be something like this: 1)this team was a mess coming in; 2) personnel changes had to be made, which were in fact made and we received draft choices and players that immediately contributed in return; 3) moving this franchise in the right direction was going to require more than one season, considering the breadth and extent of the needed changes; 4) 2009 was actually 2 mini-seasons, divided by the bye week; 5) dramatic improvement was made, using mid-season acquisitions and largely nondescript players in the face of key injuries; 6) the last 4 weeks of the season found Cleveland among the league leaders in several categories, both offensive and defensive — even with poor QB play; 7) I am responsible for my screw-ups — but I am also responsible for the observable progress — and with you here, the chance for making the same type of errors is reduced, anyway. And, without having to say it: who was possibly out there this year who Holmgren might want as a coach, anyway — especially in the face of a potential lock-out in 2011? Think over a period of time. Holmgren has a multi-year contract just like Mangini. Let’s settle in and watch what happens; it is all beyond our control, anyway.

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