Autopsy of A Season …. The Cleveland Browns

Autopsy of A Season …. The Cleveland Browns

By tophatal …..

With the NFL regular season ending with the usual inevitability of the playoffs and the added suspense brought to the postseason. I think it can only fitting that we look at the reasons why a number of teams failed to live up to expectations . For the Cleveland Browns theirs was a season of missed opportunities , poor play and in large part and injury prone team that saw the loss of Colt McCoy in the latter part of their schedule and no real leadership from any of the seasoned veterans on the roster .


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Slide show for your perusal .

Coach Pat Shurmur and his coaching staff struggled to get this team playing with a great deal of resolve . Mike Holmgren as team President in conjunction with GM Tom Heckert during this off-season will have a number of decisions to make as it relates to roster in terms of their free agents and specifically the impending future of Colt McCoy.

With the rumors percolating as to whether or not the Browns will go into next season with McCoy as the team’s signal caller forces the front office into making a decision that many feel is now a priority for the organization. Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert know that is imperative that some sort of decision be made as to Brown’s future. Having to compete in the ultra competitive ….. AFC North alongside the Pittsburgh Steelers , Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals . And with the team having finished at the bottom of the division with little tangible to show for a rather poor season . For players such as Josh Cribbs , Peyton Hillis and Cedric Benson this sort of failure must grate on their nerves as professional football players.

The real struggles for the Cleveland Browns this season has not only been the lack of a cohesive unit in terms of team defense and offense . Within the AFC and league as a whole , one would have to ask how Holmgren and Heckert will go about repairing the issues that the team presently has. If nothing else it would appear that the team struggles in almost every facet of the game .

Granted , the team has drafted prudently over the years with their being hits and misses along the way . However, with there being a lack of real growth in the talent in a number of the players the Cleveland Browns’ struggles have been magnified with a succession of ill-timed moves in terms of the managerial carousel that has taken place in recent years. Romeo Crennel had his problems , only to be succeeded by Eric Mangini whose firing was justified , given the ineptitude shown by the coach ! Pat Shurmur in his first season , has seen some growth and confidence from his players but if they are to contend within their division ( AFC North) and within the league as a whole .

With the upcoming NFL Draft and the likelihood that there will a solid collection of quarterbacks having made their declarations to enter the process , it will be interesting to see if the Cleveland Browns do in fact take the opportunity of making a quarterback their first overall pick in the initial round of the 2012 Draft. The consensus seems to be that the Indianapolis Colts will indeed make their choice of taking Andrew Luck as the number one pick . With the likes of other declarees at the position , may well include Robert Griffin III , Landry Jones , Case Keenum and Denard Robinson . Are the coaching staff and front office prepared of the Cleveland Browns prepared to draft a quarterback in the first round albeit that the full health implications of Colt McCoy. The player having suffered a concussion during a regular season game against the Pittsburgh Steelers after what a appears to be have been determined an illegal hit by James Harrison . McCoy’s on-field injury wasn’t determined by the Browns’ coaching staff or medical contingent to that serious at the time. But in the aftermath of it all , we learned that the player had suffered a grade two concussion with momentary memory loss . However , the player was determined that he was safe enough to re-enter the game , albeit that Colt McCoy stated he was OK , when clearly he was not . The player’s father , Brad, angered by the decision made by the coaches at the time spoke openly of his disgust towards the Browns in endangering his son’s long-term health and career.

Courtesy of wire reports …..

McCoy’s dad says Browns QB ‘never should’ve gone back in’

In the aftermath of the Cleveland Browns’ Thursday night loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, much of the post-game talk in the visiting locker room did not center on the game’s outcome, but instead, the vicious fourth-quarter helmet-to-helmet hit Steelers linebacker James Harrison administered to quarterback Colt McCoy .

McCoy, who returned two plays after going down, told reporters that he did not remember the hit. According to McCoy’s dad, however, the second-year quarterback’s mental state was far worse than he originally let on.

“I talked to Colt this morning and he said, ‘Dad, I don’t know what happened, but I know I lost the game. I know I let the team down. What happened?’ ” Brad McCoy told The Plain Dealer on Friday.

Browns coach Pat Shurmur admitted during his Friday press conference that Colt McCoy began to exhibit concussion symptoms after the game, and he now is being treated as if he suffered a concussion. Shurmur originally said during his post-game press conference Thursday that McCoy was “fine to go back in.”

That admission could be too little, too late for the NFL and Brad McCoy, who coached his son throughout junior high and high school. McCoy blasted the Browns organization for allowing McCoy to return to the game, and a league source told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora that the NFL will speak to the Browns and gather information on the possibility that McCoy returned to the game with a concussion.


Click on the link shown to read this article in its entirety .

With the league hierarchy under the leadership of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell simply not clarifying how the officials are to determine on-field hits and the players themselves not understanding the instructions it creates a grey area in terms the legalities of what is allowed and not allowed. Harrison , the Steelers’ defensive player has been repeatedly fined over the course of his career and again sustained a monetary fine for the hit that incapacitated the Cleveland Browns’ quarterback . With the NFLPA (union) now wanting clear clarification from the league and the lack of real communication not forthcoming from the commissioner , it does create a great deal of ambiguity for the defensive players around the NFL as they seek to perform with their usual determination, without being viewed as seeking to place an opponent in imminent danger . Given the health risks and the very fact that the NFL itself , along with the union over the years has done little to avert such situations , much readily admit the cause and effect of blunt head force trauma suffered during a game . It were as if the league and union believe that it is a small price to play , as the risk reward is simply a bye-product of the game. Somehow , were this a long-term injury that curtailed and prematurely ended the career of a quarterback named Drew Brees , Peyton Manning , Tom Brady , Ben Roethliberger or Aaron Rodgers , then perhaps there would be a tremendous outcry by the NFL fans and the public at large .

Now inasmuch , as I would like to see the Cleveland Browns succeed in becoming a competitive franchise within the NFL . It is pretty safe to say that they are fighting an uphill battle given the fact that Shurmur’s inexperience as an NFL coach and the numerous problems he faced in his rookie season indicates that this team is far from being where he and the coaching staff feel that they need to be. Moreover , while the Browns seek to return to respectability their divisional rivals such as the Baltimore Ravens , Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals now seem to be heading in the right direction . One could claim that the Steelers after their loss in the wildcard round of this postseason , it could be stated that with an aging roster at its core Mike Tomlin and coaching staff might now seek to assess the team in terms of its liabilities . The defeat by itself at the hands of the Tim Tebow led Denver Broncos may not be all that detrimental to the Pittsburgh Steelers overall but by no means should anyone undercut what this defeat has done the organization . Has it made the front office now rethink their strategy and how they will now go about seeking to reassert their themselves as a perennial contender for the Superbowl within the NFL ? It would be remiss to write off the Pittsburgh Steelers given the franchise’s lauded history . A six-time winner of the Lombardi Trophy the organization is still one of the most admired and revered franchises within the NFL.



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What do yo believe to be are great strengths and weaknesses of the Cleveland Browns as a team ? Also do you believe the organization capable of becoming a truly competitive organization and a perennial contender within the NFL ?


Picture and slide show details below .


(1) CLEVELAND, OH – JANUARY 01: Seneca Wallace (6) of the Cleveland Browns runs by Safety Troy Polamalu (43) of the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game played at Cleveland Browns Stadium on January 1, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images ….

(2) Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery (89) of the Pittsburgh Steelers catches a ball in front of defensive back Dimitri Patterson (21) of the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on January 1, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images ….

(3) Colt McCoy (12) of the Cleveland Browns lays on the ground while speaking to athletic trainers after a helmet to helmet hit from James Harrison (92) of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on December 8, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images ………

(4) : Peyton Hillis (40)of the Cleveland Browns looks on from the sidelines during the closing moments of the Browns 20-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images ……

(5) Browns’ team President Mike Holmgren , left, is seen here alongside GM Tom Heckert. The two have numerous decisions to make concerning the team’s roster makeup but noticeably the future as it relates to quarterback Colt McCoy. Courtesy of The Cleveland Plain Dealer ……..


NFL news

Cleveland Browns news

Cleveland Browns front office

Cleveland Browns coaching staff …….. Head coach Pat Shurmur

Cleveland Browns’ roster

Cleveland Browns team statistics

Cleveland Browns’ 2011 regular season schedule


If at all interested do take time to participate in the above poll.

Author: tophatal ...........

Brit ex-pat living C Florida . Now working with a consultancy firm in the field of corporate governance on the international front , concerning economic policies . Also covering the area of finance , banking, international banking. An MBA graduate from the (LSE) and UCL (London) , M&A (mergers & acquisitions), economics , risk management & assessment . Martial artist (tae-kwondo, karate, savate , muy-thai) & an vowed sports ' fan , sports' junkie. Served in armed forces British ... Royal Marines . Taught unarmed combat to members of the military and also competed in tournaments prior to joining the Royal Marines . Also an avid motorcycle junkie & free running enthusiast . Tech geek and computer repair technician. Entertainment: Musical tastes _ reggae, r&b, soul, hip-hop, rap , jazz, classical. Film genres , Preferably thrillers , crime dramas Hobbies ..... reading biographies & anything by John Grisham Just a lil' something to make me feel comfortable ! Tophatal

22 thoughts on “Autopsy of A Season …. The Cleveland Browns”

  1. Now look Tom Heckert and I have the utmost faith in the ability of Colt McCoy and the fact that he’s not defecating on himself and in a vegetative state simply proves my point” ! Mike Holmgren .

    tophatal ………..


  2. Isn’t a post about the Browns season ending in disappointment one you can run at the end of EVERY season?

    And anyone who thought McCoy was tough should just look back to where he got knocked out of the biggest game of his life, the national championship, with a stinger.

    Nice work, Colt.


    1. Chris Humpherys (@SportsChump)

      Which’d you rather me do . talk about the events that took place last night on the main campus of USF as well as in the main hall < ? I don't think that anyone within this domain is interested in the slightest in the GOP debates much less a bunch of apathetic idiots protesting , who more or less don’t know the real issues and who are only out there to get some face time on local and national tv !

      McCoy’s days in the NFL are numbered much likes his counterpart ….. Peyton Manning’s might just be with the Colts . The types of injuries that both have suffered tend to reoccur and will no doubt hamper their future career aspirations.

      The Browns are in an extremely difficult position with McCoy from a financial standpoint as well from the personnel . view because they have so many decisions to make concerning the team and where they see themselves in terms of their immediate future . Not only that but the AFC North has now become a highly competitive division having had three teams from within making the playoffs .


      tophatal ………….


    1. chappy

      The difference between the Raiders and Browns is simply their noted legacies </ and the fact that it appears that both organizations are not that different from one another . The Raiders aren’t necessarily heading in a clear direction and I am sure that the vast majority of their fans are either making excuses or are just simply pissed with the current situation initiated by Mark Davis and Reggie McKenzie . But either way to my mind these are two poorly ran franchises because of the lackadaisical approach taken by their respective owners .

      tophatal ………


  3. Man, I hope McCoy’s concussion doesn’t linger til’ next year. You never want to see anyone get hurt and the fact that he didn’t even remember the hit raises red flags. Nonetheless, the Browns need a QB and there’s no denying that. Knowing you need a quarterback is one thing, but trying to get a legitimate QB is another. I mean, who in their right minds would want to go and play for Cleveland? I’m just saying.



    1. Blog Surface/Christian

      McCoy’s health issues are indeed a worry for the organization but so too are the numerous others as it relates to the team as well as the personnel issues that they have . The hit and aftermath of what took place concerning the quarterback could have been avoided had Shurmur and the coaching staff used due diligence . Instead they now have a player whose career is close to being curtailed if they can’t diagnose the underlying problems that he’s said to be facing .

      tophatal …………..


  4. RGIII. Blow up the Colt McCoy “experiment.” Blow up “the current system.” You hear a lot about needing help in multiple areas. You never need more help than at the QB position. Energize the team and the fan base. Cleveland, do your job correctly in later rounds and get some help for those other areas…but try to get RGIII as hard as you can.


  5. I didn’t think McCoy was a good pick for the Browns. He might have been ok if he could have held a clipboard for a few years and learned the pro game. A good example of too much too soon.


    1. aero

      McCoy can play at this level but the unfortunate thing has been the fact the front office failed to complement the player with adequate support on the O-line as well as on offense .

      “I believe that Jesus Christ is my Lord and savior ” ! <. T Tebow

      I ” believe that I was placed on this earth to play quarterback in the NFL ! ” Colt McCoy ” I don’t know what I believe but I do know that when I get to the NFL I’m gonna ‘get laid ! ” Sam Bradford

      tophatal …………….


  6. Ever Since the Browns ran outta town and went to Baltimore they have sucked. Cleveland has a great history on the NFL now they are joke. Sure they will be remembered for the drive and fumble, losing twice to Denver. Stupid is as stupid does.


  7. Sell the team to anaheim, ca. NO, sell Cleveland to Anaheim….Drove a client to an appt today who lived in Cleveland til 4 months ago….
    proves how bad it has gotten, she moved to a rural area of Greene County Pa…wait all of Greene County is rural….largest population is about 4800
    in the County Seat


    1. al clements

      The Brown family (owners) have no intention of doing that , not as long as there’s still money to be made within the city of Cleveland and in particular within the state. Outside of the Buckeyes’ program , Cavaliers , Indians and the Blue Jackets . The Cleveland Browns’ franchise is really the only game in town . And when it comes to the NFL and their sports’ franchises , it simply doesn’t get any bigger . There’s money to be made out of those bitches , of that I can assure you !

      tophatal ………….


  8. After watching Colt this season, I feel as if he was took a couple steps back from his rookie season, granted, he didn’t have the adequate pieces to succeed. Regardless, it all falls on the quarterback’s shoulders when it comes to wins and losses. From what I’ve seen, he’s looked average at best in his first two seasons. I’m not quite sure if I would be comfortable with him as my so called franchise quarterback. I’m interested to see who is going to win the RGIII sweepstakes in the draft. We both know the Browns can use him, but I have read reports that the Skins’ are going to attempt to trade up for the 2nd overall pick to secure RGIII. Regardless, the Browns need much more than a QB switch if they want to be successful. Right now, they would get any quarterback murdered back there. They will def. need to address the o-line in the FA.


  9. jgomez

    For me Holmgren and Heckert have done a piss poor job in terms of their personnel decisions in the last few years and it has shown in the decline of the team overall . There at least two years away from even being thought of as moderately good much less average within the NFL . The fans of the Browns deserve far more than they’ve been getting from owner Mike Brown , the front office staff , coaches and players .

    tophatal ……………


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