I wrote before that I am personally excited by the idea that Colt McCoy isn’t unanimously despised while he starts at quarterback for the Browns, and how that’s a mild improvement.
I don’t understand why there was such an uproar after he got worked over by a team that has had the best defense in football for the last decade. Was anyone actually surprised by that? If yes, have you ever seen the Baltimore Ravens or the Browns before?
It seems only appropriate to mention all of this because the Browns are playing the Steelers mid-week (you know, the other best defense in football for the last decade). I know there’s the theory of “any given Sunday” (or Thursday in this case) and the last time the Browns played the Steelers on a Thursday night they managed to squeak out a turning-point win. I was there, it was cold, but it was really fun. One of the problems was that it was a turning point that took the Browns from being a one-win team to ending as a five-win team, which is still terrible.
Like I said, I understand that it’s possible that they show signs of cohesion, of figuring things out, and look like a real-life football team and win this game. It’s possible…but let’s not freak out if/when it doesn’t happen. They are going against a very talented, very smart, very good football team. The Browns are a semi-talented, mildly smart, kind of bad football team. That’s a recipe for disappointment.
I’m not writing them off, so please don’t claim I’m being one of those guys who assumes they’re going to lose every game because I understand what it means to be 14-point underdogs. I’m being realistic and saying that I’m not going to judge the entire future of a quarterback – or franchise, for that matter – based on one game against one of the best teams in the conference/league.
Let’s just go ahead and chalk this game up as an experience that can’t really make every player on the team worse…sort of. I mean, they’ll at least be able to go up against guys who are mostly better than them, so it’s like the JV playing the varsity. As much as I knew I was going to get pounded in that situation, it was always kind of nice to have the experience and know that at least I’m learning something from it.
So that’s my request for both the Browns and you, Browns fans. Even if they get smacked around, learn something from it. Whether that means you stop blowing up over things that are really insignificant (like a loss in a season when they’re waaayyy out of the playoffs), or it means you stop yelling at the screen out of frustration (because they actually can’t hear you, believe it or not). Just learn something.
And if all else fails, go buy some Christmas-themed candy or something. Or save a polar bear. I don’t know. Just don’t let the Steelers get you down.