Shaking the losing culture
As a die-hard Browns fan since 1999, it pains me to say that the team has a losing culture. BUT, when you only have two winning seasons in 21 years, there is definitely a problem. For so many years it felt like the Browns just couldn’t close games. For example, in 2018 when the Browns made a little run, they lost games to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders that took an effort to lose. You turn 7-8-1 into 9-6-1 and you have a playoff team.
Digging into the past won’t help, as all teams have lost games because of referees, but it feels like most of the Browns’ damage are self-inflicted wounds. If they could just get out of their own way, they would give themselves a chance.
Not only have the Browns struggled to achieve wins, but they have also continued to fire their coaches who never get a shot to win. 11 coaches in 21 seasons is not a recipe for success. From 2009 until 2016 the Browns didn’t have a coach who lasted more than two seasons. Obviously, you need a good head coach to win, but continuity is also a big part of success.
Not only are the players stressed from learning a new system every single season, the coaches and front office are stressed for their jobs as well. The stress of winning becomes all they worry about because they know they will be fired without instant success.
While Stefanski and Berry are more than capable of the rebuild Cleveland is in need of, there will be at least one season with a few growing pains. It doesn’t mean they can’t win eight or nine games, but likely will keep them from competing for a division title in 2020.