The DEFEND Cleveland Show

The Manziel Era Begins



The Browns season being squashed in soul crushing fashion last Sunday was not unexpected.  Anyone that has even a slight interest in NE Ohio sports knew it was going to happen at about the ten minute mark in the third quarter.  The Browns, despite two defensive touchdowns, would manage to pull defeat from the jaws of victory and send fans trudging home to their 2015 NFL Draft Guides.  It was foretold by the oracle and thus it shall be.  Well, that’s how they would have covered it in an Ancient Greek sports page anyway…

The defense played maybe their best game of the year against a legitimate offense and was let down completely by the other side of the ball.  Before discussing the elephant in the room, it should be noted that the coaching staff decided to abandon the run in the second half which is perplexing as the team was leading and was obviously holding on for dear life.  That placed the game in the hands of Brian Hoyer, who turned in a remarkable Doug Pederson-like performance.  I think this game will mark the end of The Brian Hoyer Era in Cleveland, and will place his jersey on the bargain rack squarely next to Weeden, Richardson, and Tate, offering exceptional value to non-discriminating Browns fans on your Xmas list.

It is amazing how quickly Hoyer has gone from “Maybe they need to lock this guy up as the franchise QB” to “I wonder if we can get Colt McCoy back?”.  The telecast last Sunday really illustrated his happy feet and inability to plant and throw the ball accurately.  I don’t know if he is gun shy or if his knee never really recovered from last season’s injury.  He doesn’t seem anything like the player that confidently fired the ball quickly to the open receiver in the first eight games.  What happened to that guy?  Did Alex Mack up front matter that much?  Hoyer just isn’t the same player.  I get it.  If I almost had my leg ripped off, I wouldn’t be that anxious to plant that leg while dinosaurs fell all around me.  A wooden leg will get in the way of your golf game in later life.  While I believe the fans would clap politely as they shoveled Hoyer into a cart while placing his severed leg carefully next to him, at this point the fans want to see what John W. Football can do.  And they should…

Hoyer looked awful last Sunday.  This comes from the perspective of a fan that has seen some awful QB play in Browns uniforms.  The overthrows on sure touchdowns made me almost weep with nostalgic longing for Brandon Weeden.  The out passes tossed into the grass at the receiver’s feet were Derek Anderson at his finest.  Hoyer’s unwillingness to run with yards of open field in front of him recalled the last gasp of Trent Dilfer.  It was as it has always been.  It was a complete Browns QB historical retrospective.  Someone should have called Charlie Frye to see how he’s feeling.

At this point it looks like it is impossible to win with this current incarnation of Hoyer.  Yes, Josh Gordon appears to not be running routes so much as just running around.  Look, the guy is no genius.  He doesn’t know where he’s going.  The rest of the receiving core are made up of guys 5-7 and shorter.  Jordan Cameron just got back from the longest concussion recovery in NFL history.  I hope they scooped his brain back in.  It’s not an ideal situation out there.  When the actual possibility of making a big play happens and the ball sails only in the general vicinity of the receiver, that’s on Hoyer.

I am all in on John W. Football starting this week.  I think he has only a flimsy grasp of the playbook.  My guess is that he sits in meetings and the coaches say things like “See Johnny, that’s when you go to your secondary read.”.  He then says “Gotcha coach!” but he is thinking “Whatever.  I’m just gonna hike the ball and make shit up on the fly as always.” This approach will probably not win football games, but it will be entertaining as hell.  It will be certainly more interesting than watching whatever the hell has been going on with Hoyer.

I get the feeling that the coaching staff realizes that they are fucked no matter what.  If Manziel had given the team any confidence whatsoever, he would have been transitioned in a couple weeks ago.  I can see that staff meeting they had yesterday right now.  A bunch of guys sitting around a big conference table shooting glances around to Pettine and Farmer trying to figure out which way they were leaning so they could curry favor with the assenting opinion.  Hopefully Pettine asked for opinions around the table before playing his hand.  There’s nothing better than watching a grown man not want to commit.  “Well, Johnny might give us a spark out there, but you can’t forget Brian’s veteran leadership.  Both guys have their upside… Ummm… What do you think Mike?”  Finally someone probably broke the ice and said, “Well, it can’t be any worse than it was with Brian, right?”  The grunts of acknowledgement.  And like that the John W. Football Era will begin.   At least I hope so.

Go Browns.

-Greg Miller
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Posted by on Dec 9 2014. Filed under Featured, Greg Miller on Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “The Manziel Era Begins”

  1. backer..

    here we go johnny, here we go.. woof woof!

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