The repetitive cycle continues in Cleveland. The faces in the building may change, but the issues remain the same. From the most talented teams to the ones devoid of talent, the lack of culture, discipline, accountability and leadership will keep the Browns at a level below those who compete for championships.
Want proof? Cleveland leads the league in penalties, penalty yards and ejections. This includes Thursday’s disgusting display. It is not about who started the situation or what was done to escalate things, it is about the lack of self control on display by Myles Garrett. This is not the first time this has been an issue this season. Garrett would not be acting in this manner in previous seasons under previous coaching staffs. This points to a clear problem with those leading the team. Those who are supposed to command a room. It is not that Myles Garrett cannot be led, it is that isn’t leadership present to hold anyone accountable. That right there is the problem.
Several former coaches for the Browns have spoke out about issues they have faced this season. Most of what they said can be chalked up to sour grapes about no longer being employed. Although, what Todd Haley had to say certainly aligns with what the clear issue is. Freddie Kitchens has no control of the locker room. Even the player who nobody would have picked in a million years to do something so terrible is suspended indefinitely under Kitchens’ watch. Myles Garrett essentially transformed from Harvey Dent to Two-Face and that is a huge problem.
Cleveland went “Full Dorse” and have themselves to blame
A lot of the blame falls on John Dorsey as well. Dorsey is in charge of acquiring the players and selecting the man in charge to lead them (in this case the word lead is used loosely here). Dorsey has acquired numerous players with issues of the field, put them in a room together and apparently did not have the foresight to see this coming. It’s essentially putting a lit match in a room full of powder kegs and not expecting an explosion.
What the Cleveland Browns have is a collection of individuals who extremely talented at playing football. They are not a football team by any means. Collecting talent is great, but if no one is able to keep the team under control it is all a waste of time. This has been the cycle of the Cleveland Browns since their return in 1999. 20 years in and they still can’t get out of their own way.
The clear lack of culture, discipline, accountability and leadership will keep them from being taken seriously until corrective actions internally are taken. If the general manager and coaching staff were not able to get their team under control 10 games into the season, what have they done that gives the impression they will when the season is over?
John Dorsey is not going to change the way he builds teams
John Dorsey will continue to acquire troubled, but talented players at a discount. Antonio Callaway had numerous off the field issues and Dorsey took a chance on him in the fourth round. The Browns realized Callaway Thursday afternoon. Callaway failed to show up on time and was facing another suspension due to a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
The Browns also have Kareem Hunt on their roster. The Chiefs released Hunt during last season. This was after a video of Hunt hitting a woman in downtown Cleveland surfaced. The original incident did nothing, but proof always spurs action. (Even when Dorsey leaves an organization, his team building style remains intact). Hunt was able to be acquired by Dorsey because there were plenty of teams who would not want him on their roster.
Dorsey does not care about outside perception of the team. Dorsey only cares about if a player is talented and if he can get them on the cheap. The risk/reward scale used by Dorsey allows for even the highest risk to be acquired if the reward is also on the higher side of the spectrum. Even if Dorsey takes what appears to be a low-risk, adding that risk to a collection of other low-risks makes the entire group high-risk.
Could a coaching change fix things for the Browns?
Absolutely a coaching change can fix things. Ideally, an experienced coach with a history of keeping players with questionable backgrounds in line would be the perfect hire. The problem is those guys are not just hanging out on the street waiting for a job. They are coaches of other franchises. There needs to be a combination of removing problem players from the team and finding a coach who is a much better leader than Freddie Kitchens. If the new coach can establish a culture, instill discipline, keep the players accountable and most importantly, lead the team, they will be on their way towards turning things around. If not, the cycle of suck will continue. The team will continue to be a collection of individuals and the team will fail to reach expectations year after year.