Reporting Ken Carman
The neighborhood I grew up in was a mixed bag. One of us grew up to become an auto mechanic, one’s a grocery store manager, one works in high finance, one works at a car wash, I do this, and two are in county jail as I finish this sentence, which reads like “The Kids Aren’t Alright” by The Offspring.
If you know any of us from the old neighborhood, you know the two who are in county are no surprise. It didn’t just happen out of nowhere. No, a consistent amount of missteps and dumb decisions since we were eight years old have taken any surprise out of news of their latest screw up. Whenever we get together and hear that one of the two have gone back to jail, not one of us yell “AGAIN?!” There’s just a few “yep”‘s and another sip from whatever we’re drinking. We haven’t really come to accept it, we’ve just come to expect it.
Sound like the Browns at all?
With the news that came out of camp last week, and a sub-par debut for the team and their new quarterback, “par for the course” has become an overused phrase.
All night Friday, I told people to calm down. “Richardson’s procedure was a cleanup and he’ll be back. If the investigation of Joe Haden turns into a suspension, we’ll be disappointed, but we weren’t supposed to do much this year anyway. Not every quarterback has the same preseason pro debut as Peyton Manning (because there’s only one Peyton Manning) and even a lot of the regular season defensive starters sat the game out.
Ok, a couple of those lines were an attempt at spinning something positive, but Friday night wasn’t really THAT bad.
But again, what’s our reaction every time a friend from home gets out of county and tells us he’s never going back? Maybe the same reaction you have when someone says the Browns are going to be just fine this season. You’ve heard that before.
Now that emotion is somewhat out of it, here’s a few things I actually saw from Friday:
- Brandon Weeden forced some passes, looked jittery, and was apart of two turnovers.
- Colt looked calm. Dare I say “poised?”
- Mitchell Schwartz had his hands full to say the least.
- Mo Mass has a very serious problem with head injuries.
- Buster Skrine got smoked by Calvin Johnson.
- Too many guys limped off the field.
It’s the first preseason game though, and all those things can be addressed:
- Weeden did force those passes, but no matter his age he’s a rookie. If you wanted a big arm, gun-slinging quarterback, you got one. Quarterbacks like him are going to force some throws, and commit turnovers.
- Colt should look calm. He’s with the 2nd team, and he’s entering his 3rd NFL season. He also has a lot to prove. Mike Kafka went down in Philadelphia. I’m not saying the Eagles are a destination for him, but another backup may go down. If he really wants out of Cleveland with a shot to really play again, this preseason is his ticket.
- Mitchell Schwartz was also in his first NFL game. Ndomukong Suh is far superior to anything he saw in college, and really anything he’s seen in Browns camp.
- Mo Mass has been kept out of activities for precautionary measures since Friday. With multiple concussions over his young career, you stop wondering how his absence will effect the Browns offense, and start wondering if it’s safe for him to even be on a football field.
- Buster Skrine got smoked by Calvin Johnson…Yep, join the club.
- Too many guys did limp off the field. The talent pool is shallow to begin with. That’s just bad luck. You can only hope for the best with that stuff.
Other than the injuries, the rest does have a logical explanation. When you have a team full of rookies and first time starters, in their first preseason game, mistakes are going to happen. They’ll happen again.
It may seem like the same thing is happening, just like it’s happened every other year but with the organization at a crossroads, a lot can happen by January that can make us feel A LOT better about the future of this team.
It’s the same thing my buddy tells us when he gets out of jail. “It’s going to get better!” “I won’t make that same mistake again!”
Yep, we’ll hope for the best, but we expect something else.