Ken Carman: We Might Be Desperate, That Doesn’t Mean We Have To Be Dumb

by Ken Carman

Listen to Ken on The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima, weekday mornings from 6 am-10 am

Bills are stacking up. Unemployment is running out. A car note is due. Collection agencies are calling.

It’s been a long road for someone. Then their phone is shut off. It’s the last straw. They know that in the closet, there’s a gun. Maybe it was their dad’s?  It might not even have any bullets, but it’s scary looking and they need some cash, and there’s that gas station down the road that they used to drive by every day on their way to work. Back when times were better.

That’s desperation. Something real people have done in the past. To them there was no where else to turn, and they were sick and tired of being sick and tired, so in desperation, they took a gun to a gas station not thinking of what was going to happen tomorrow. Desperation leads to some stupid decisions.

You might have known someone like that. In fact, I know you know someone like that. It’s your favorite team. The cause of what’s left of your sports misery after the Cavs and Indians have relieved you of so much of it. It’s the Cleveland Browns, and they reek of desperation … again.

It’s the day of the draft, and we’re talking quarterbacks again. If I get my way, which I think is the right way, we’ll either be done for awhile, or we’ll be talking about them again this time next year.

Throughout the process, I’ve been a Mitchell Trubisky guy … No, Fan. No, Stalker? Okay, that’s a little too strong, but I’ve wanted Mitchell Trubisky, and I still do, but I’m not willing to do something desperate to get him, and neither should the Browns.

It reads like a complete contradiction, or even a cop out. After what I’m about to lay out, I hope it reads like common sense. While I love Mitchell Trubisky, and think he can be good, Myles Garrett is the unwavering choice at No.1 for this football team.

Myles Garrett is a combination of speed and strength. Unlike something we’ve seen in recent history. Yes, someone will come along who will match it, but Garrett has the size and ability to be a dominant force from the edge. One who can hit the gas and blow by left tackles in the league, and with more and more questions about offensive linemen, has a good a shot as any no.1 pick to pay immediate dividends.

“But Dustin saw flaws on tape?!”

“Warren Sapp says he sees a lazy player?!”

“Booger McFarland called out his tape, and then Myles didn’t even have the balls to talk to him about it on the radio when he had a chance.”

Ok, but did Dustin admit that he wouldn’t take Garrett No.1?  He did see the UCLA game that people point him toward.

To what Booger McFarland said, I offered him three opportunities to declare that he wouldn’t take Garrett No.1 when he came on our show a couple weeks ago. Each time, Booger talked around it, never once saying he would pass on Garrett.

As for Garrett not addressing Booger’s criticism? I would have liked to see it. I would like to see his answer. Maybe he would have made me feel better. But much like LeBron won’t do interviews with his detractors, Garrett decided he’s not going to let someone else make a name off mocking him. Garrett hasn’t truly earned that luxury, but he’s of a different generation of athlete. If they’re that large a figure, then you as a media type need them, not the other way around. If they don’t like what you have to say about them, then you can pound sand.

To what Warren Sapp said, the guy is a Hall of Famer, but hasn’t been in the news since he tried to cut a discount with prostitutes at the Super Bowl. I wonder if he’s even watched Garrett play, but he’s the only guy other than some fans who said he wouldn’t draft Myles Garrett. I’ll give him that.

There are a lot of other things that Garrett does for the Browns:

After all this though, there is one thing that can’t be accounted for: Myles Garrett is a person. People are prone to disappointment. He’s not a cyborg, but neither is Johnathan Allen, or Solomon Thomas, or Jamal Adams, or Twitter’s favorite quarterback ever, Patrick Mahomes. They can all bust out. Injuries can happen. Anything can happen.

Part of the hand wringing over Garrett, I believe, has been based only because of the time we’ve had to talk about him. In 1938, the NFL held their Selection Meeting in early December, BEFORE the bowl games were even played. It was common practice for 40 years until 1976 started the current trend of Spring drafts. Even then there was no cable network sports. We read about players in the newspaper after they were selected.

Now the draft is an industry. People make a living from basically gambling on human horse racing. We think we know the player, but do we truly? That question with the now mind-numbing (I’m also to blame in this) 24-hour news cycle, combined with the rise of debate based content, and then combined with the Browns horrific history of drafting adds up to serious questions about a player that we would have drafted with glee back in January. Four months later, we’ve starred at him for too long, and we’re seeing the cracks, even though every player who has ever played has had cracks.

Myles Garrett could absolutely be a bust. Am I supposed to be too afraid to draft?

Now that takes real stones. Calling out folks for being too afraid to draft anyone, when I don’t want to take a QB number one overall? Especially one that I have whispered into the mic about in a style reminiscent of Mark Wahlberg in Fear?


Again, I’m a fan of Mitchell Trubisky, and again I think he’ll be a franchise QB in three years.

If I’m not going to give him a shot to be a franchise QB in the first place, though, why am I even bothering?

Let’s look at the negatives of Mitchell:

For the third time: I love Mitchell. But I’m really supposed to tell you that things are going to work out just fine if they took him number 1?! And you’re supposed to believe me?!

There was a time when QB’s called their own plays in college, then were drafted and held a clipboard for three years. Now, they rarely make decisions on their own, and we’re supposed to start these guys in a new offense, against much better competition in the first week of their NFL career.


Hell no, I’m not drafting Trubisky, or any QB from this draft first overall. I want them to have help. I want them to have quality around them. I’m willing to give up some quantity (picks) to trade and put more quality players around him. I want them to be able to learn the position the right and realistic way and not just shout “BUT WHAT ABOUT DAK PRESCOTT” without any real reference or sanity.

We’ve debated this since Bernie. We’re desperate. We do need a quarterback. But the Browns taking one number one overall, or even drafting one of these projects highly, would be the equivalent of that guy at the beginning of this story robbing that gas station. There’s $375 in that register. It’s could solve a problem, but it’s not going to solve THE problem, and in the long run isn’t worth the risk and punishment to do it.

In the words of the late great Dusty Rhodes “We’ve fallen on hard times, Daddy.” That’s not a reason though to make stupid decisions.

The owner is desperate to win and make the angry fan base happy.

The front office is desperate to keep their jobs.

The fans are desperate to win and bring respect back to their favorite team.

Media guys like me are desperate for something to talk about.

If the move isn’t worth the risk, then do what’s right for you and yours. Put the gun away. Don’t ever draft a QB if you don’t feel like you love one. It is the most important decision, but if you’re not believing you’re really getting it right, you’re going to pay dearly as you watch it go wrong.

We’re desperate. We don’t have to be dumb.

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