The key for the Cleveland Browns to change their pattern of six 10-loss seasons in a row is the same as it’s been during the 10-loss seasons: continuity and quarterback.
The Browns have made themselves into the buffoons of the NFL with their constant change and upheaval. No sooner does a coach or regime establish its program than it is ushered out and a new philosophy is ushered in, which of course means new players have to be acquired and first-round draft picks and starters jettisoned.
Is there another team that had two first-round draft picks two years ago, and both of them are gone?
Is there another team that gives its head coach little to work with, then fires him after one season?
All happened with the Browns.
That change happened after giving Rob Chudzinski one season was shameful. But that should not be held against new coach Mike Pettine, nor does it limit his ability or chance to win. Perhaps with Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer, the Browns have found a pair that can win and can last.
Because both are needed.
To win, though, the Browns need to find a quarterback. They’ve tried every different size, style and approach since 1999, but they’re still looking.
Past quarterbacks have been done in by quick change that led to a lack of confidence and a culture that made it very tough to succeed. Somehow the Browns must silence the outcry for the backup by finding the right guy to start.
Without continuity and quarterbacking, the only thing fans can look forward to every year is the draft.
It’s past time for those days to end.