There is no joy in Cleveland, the mighty Quinn has gone three and out; kick return man and wildcat Cribbs has gone down.
A fan at Cleveland Browns Stadium for the Monday Night debacle against the Ravens, held up a sign that said it all: “Hey, Baltimore, can you take this team, too?”
After suffering through another day of depression and frustration over the state of these Cleveland Browns’ pretenders, (remember, the Browns did not “come back” in 1999; late owner Al Lerner accepted a nameless, nearly talent-less expansion team and named it the Browns), Browns fans’ hope the end of the nine-game Coach Eric Mangini Era is near.
Even though Browns owner Randy Lerner said he would not fire his incompetent, arrogant little field general and dictator this season, a seriously injured Cribbs would have had Mangini packing, as well as his clueless offensive (yes, his lame playcalling is offensive) coordinator Brian Dabold. Cribbs, a brilliant kick-off and punt return man, is a fan favorite and heart of the team.
It was in the final seconds of the 16-0 game that Cribbs was blindsided and knocked to the turf. This came after lateraling the ball to a teammate in a desperation mad dash to score six points. (Why? Because losing 16-6 would have looked better?)
The nearly empty stadium became even more silent as Browns and Ravens players surrounded Josh while he was lifted gently onto a stretcher. Cribbs was released Tuesday morning from the hospital, and Mangini, admitted in a conference call (yes, Coach opted to skip his regular face to face press conference)that he should not have allowed the hook-and-ladder play.
Brady Quinn did what he could with Daboll’s calls for five-yard bubble passes, a non-running game and receivers who let the ball slip through their hands. Game analysts figured Quinn had 2.5 seconds to take the snap, read the defense, find an open receiver and throw the ball — before getting leveled by Baltimore’s D.
After the last interception, Quinn tackled the wrong Raven too low, knocking his feet from under him and causing serious injury. This led Baltimore defense captain Ray Lewis to call Quinn out for the dirty hit. Quinn said he didn’t mean to hurt anyone — and I believe him.
Brady was so distraught, he probably didn’t know who had the ball.
Quinn has got to be lobbying his agent for a ticket out of Cleveland. Back-up quarterback Derek Anderson is also demoralized by Mangini and his schizophrenic quarterback shuffling.
The result is, neither Quinn nor Derek Anderson can move the offense into the red zone. Their egos are bruised, their confidence shot and trade value practically nil.
After a short practice week, the Browns head to Detroit to face the Lions on Sunday. (The first team to score a touchdown, wins the game.)
There is one flickering light at the end of the tunnel: Word came down from Berea Tuesday that Randy Lerner met with former Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Mike Holmgren about a director of Browns operations position, with authority over personnel — including the right to fire the coach.
One can only hope.