Browns season doomed by off-field drama as much as on-field ineptitude

Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Throughout the 2022 season, the Cleveland Browns proved to be full of drama, again, and that had as much to do with their failures as anything

The 2023 season can’t get here soon enough for the Cleveland Browns.

2022 was a season to forget for a myriad of reasons. Of course, the 7-10 finish and failure to make the playoffs for the second year in a row were bad, but even worse was the lack of unity that was shown throughout the season.

Right out of the gates, it was easy to see there were concerns — Cleveland even had the earliest “players-only meeting” in the history of any sport after the secondary was torched in back-to-back weeks.

Not only was the defense allowing huge plays in the passing game but they also had constant in-fighting. There were fingers being pointed by veterans on the team, such as John Johnson who said the focus wasn’t on winning.

"“Way too many,” Johnson III said of Cleveland’s discipline issues defensively via Jake Trotter of ESPN. “You want to focus on winning, focus on football. It’s hard to do that when you’ve got [all that] small stuff. It’s a job. It’s a profession. You’ve got [to] come ready every single day. Maybe that [new defensive coordinator] will be a spark for us. … We’re a young team. So stuff like that happens. But we need a sense of urgency. All over the building.”"

There was also a shouting match in the locker room when Perion Winfrey decided to call out the defensive backs as well and Myles Garrett made it commonplace to call out coaches in public.

Now that the season has ended, the front office is taking inventory of the roster and Andrew Berry has even touched on how the “effectiveness” of team leaders needs to improve.

Cleveland hopes the recent move to replace Joe Woods with Jim Schwartz will have a positive impact on their defense, and it should. Schwartz is a proven coach who has a long track record of success.

Having said that, the only way this team truly moves forward is if they can all get on the same page — and find a way to limit the noise.