Cleveland (WOIO) - I asked Alex Mack, who's been around for five years. And D'Qwell Jackson, who's been around for eight. Neither could give me an answer. Which makes sense. How could they? How do you explain the variety of ways that this organization self-destructs during its annual slide?
In three short weeks, the Browns have gone from playoff contention (hey, at least they were in the conversation) to the poorhouse again, the most devastating of those consecutive losses a last-minute collapse against the two-win Jaguars that left Joe Haden in tears after the game, stumbling to explain his emotions.
No explanation necessary. I believe Haden was wondering what it's actually going to take to turn things around in Cleveland. I believe, at that moment, he was wondering if it's even possible.
A Pro Bowl-caliber season from him isn't enough (and yes, he gave up the game-winning touchdown, but he also had an interception, his fourth of the season).
A historic two-week stretch by Josh Gordon isn't enough.
A new owner, new front office, new head coach, new and experienced coordinators...none has been enough. It's still the same limp to the finish line.
Too many teams to mention have turned it around in far less time. The Kansas City Chiefs, 9-3 and a contender (even if they can't beat the Broncos) were 2-14 a year ago.
There's reason to hope, with this current regime in place, and two first-round picks in their pocket, that the Browns can be the ones taking that giant leap forward in 2014. That landing that one special quarterback will finally erase the many bad memories of the twenty-something underachievers who preceded him.
But for one moment on Sunday, in the Browns locker room, that hope seemed lost.
Joe Haden will bounce back. The question is, will the organization? Ever?
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