Cleveland Browns: The Ugly
I wish this section was shorter, but unfortunately, that won’t be the case. As much as I thought the organization was making a turn after 2020, I think it may be back to 2019 all over again (no, I don’t mean fire Stefanski). This organization has two very ugly problems.
The first, players talking to the media and forcing their way out. The whole Odell Beckham debacle was a complete disaster. Honestly, Andrew Berry handled it fairly well by just cutting the cord, but you can’t tell me that hasn’t caused some issues.
Also, why is a guy like Myles Garrett calling out Joe Woods (defensive coordinator) in an interview? If you have a problem, talk to him without the camera and the media. All that does is draw more attention to the team and create locker room drama.
There were multiple instances this season where it just felt like Stefanski didn’t have control of the locker room, which I never felt last season.
The biggest issue that we can’t hide from is Baker Mayfield. I’m not saying he won’t turn into a great quarterback. I know he’s injured, and I know he doesn’t have a lot of talented wide receivers to throw the ball to. But we can’t even pretend to act like his performance in 2021 was anything but mediocre — at best.
The ugly part, I have no clue what the solution will be. Does Berry sell every asset he has and make a big trade this offseason to get rid of him? Do the Browns draft a quarterback this year and start to groom him? Honestly, both options are awful, but this team won’t compete for a title if Mayfield doesn’t play better.
I’m still hopeful with better receivers and a healthy Mayfield, the offense will be much better in 2022. With a much better offense, this team will win games. Winning games should take some of the drama away and you won’t see so much off the field talking.
However, this is all much easier said than done.