November 10, 2009
The debate regarding the "team of the '00s" remains open for a while longer, but the Cleveland Browns don't really factor into that one. Sorry if I burst any bubbles there.
"Team of the '10s," though? Eric Mangini has some thoughts on that. He told the Boston Globe that he sees "remarkable similarities" between the 2010 Browns and the 2000 Patriots.
"It was top-heavy financially, there were tough decisions that had to be made, and we didn’t have much success that first year. There are remarkable similarities between the situations.
"I don’t think we won any popularity contests there. You can look at the clips. The other thing is that with the staff we had, the approach we had, we kept getting better, but it took a while. At one point in that second year, we were 1-3, but we didn’t change the approach, and then we went on a streak.
"That wasn’t a function of getting hot. It was a function of two years of work. You don’t know when that moment will strike, but they’ve been rolling since."
Tough decisions to be made? No success? Not winning any popularity contests? Check, check and check. A staff that stuck to the system and kept seeing improvements in the team? Well, we'll see.
Truthfully, Mangini's notion of the Browns right having a Patriots-like future isn't that crazy. It's easy to poke fun at the Browns now (which is why I enjoy it so much), but who can predict what's going to happen from week-to-week in the NFL, let alone year-to-year? And decade-to-decade? Who knows? The London Dentists might be the team of the 2010s.
Anyway, if you're a Browns fan planning to take part in the big protest on Monday night, feel free, and I hope it makes you feel better. Keep in mind, though, that the team is trying, and someone there does have a long-term vision. Not all bad teams enjoy such luxuries.
Gracias, Pro Football Talk.
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