Through four games, the Cleveland Browns have been horrible. Worse than the Lions. Much worse, actually, now that the Lions have actually won a game. Their quarterback play has been terrible, their defense has been terrible, their offensive line has been terrible and the only bright spot on the team is return man Josh Cribbs, because he will definitely lead the league in kick return yards, pretty much because he would get so many opportunities.
After seeing the amount of stress this would probably cause new coach Eric Mangini, I got to thinking, “Hey, this is kind of like Bobby Petrino’s situation in Atlanta.” Then, I looked into it a little more and realized,
“Wow. This is A LOT like Bobby Petrino’s situation in Atlanta.”
“If you have more than one quarterback, you have no quarterback”: Petrino had a lot of quarterback issues. The day before he resigned, Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison. Besides that, he had to choose between giant NFL Draft bust Joey Harrington and Byron “Maybe Good Enough In The Right System” Leftwich. Man-Genie has former Notre Dame golden boy Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson, the one-year wonder with the big contract.
“The first quarter is the most important quarter.”: Through Petrino’s first 4 games, the Falcons were 1-3, with that one win against the lowly Texans. The Browns are 0-4 and it doesn’t look like the losses will stop anytime soon.
Spotless Reputations: Petrino had a reputation as an offensive genius at Louisville. With the Falcons, he coached his offense to 29th in the NFL in terms of total points and total yardage. Mangini was known as a defensive stalwart while with the New England Patriots. With the Jets, two of his three teams were in the bottom half of the league in points allowed, and you can never count the first season as part of the coach’s work.
Now, with those parallels raised, and some other less significant ones put on the backburner, we’ll look at 7 possible places Eric Mangini could flee to as his Brownies begin to pull a Lions. (That is, lose every game)
I hear the California Redwoods didn’t look very good in their first game. Dennis Green may be on the hot seat already, and after his last NFL gig (Arizona), he was replaced by a moderately young guy (Whisenhunt) who had
moderate success (Super Bowl appearance). I bet Mangini would love to lead the Redwoods to the UFL championship, made up of the top half of the league.
The ACC. What a great football season it’s been so far in the Average Competition Conference. Duke and Virginia lost to Division 1-AA teams (oh sorry, FCS), Maryland managed to BEAT an FCS team, and then lose to the almighty Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders. Florida State demolished giant killer BYU, and then lost the next two weeks to South Florida and Boston College, respectively. With every team expect Virginia Tech winning and dropping games in a sequence that would make a scatter plot look organized, one team is bound to fire a coach. Or more. Or possibly all of them expect Virginia Tech.
Pittsburgh. This one is definitely never going to happen, but I can dream that they lose the best thing going for them. Mike Tomlin’s done an incredible job in his time in Pittsburgh, but the Steelers have looked flat this year. Their offense has been shaky, their defense has been less stellar than they usually are, and the world’s best kicker, Jeff Reed (as proclaimed by Pittsburgh fans) has been bad. If they continue to lose, a call might be coming from the Heinz. co.
A Motivational Speaking Tour. After coming along this video, I realized how eloquent of a speaker Man-Genie is. Notice the evident lack of the words “uhh” and “umm” in his speech. After asked a question regarding offensive guard Brandon Moore, a 6-year veteran, Mangini answers with a whole bunch of words, including a memorable few sentences. “And umm, he been very consistent throughout the whole time, and uhh, he’s uhh, not the most outspoken guy, but he’s, uhh, he speaks very loudly, uhh, with the way that he plays.”
Margaritaville. Maybe Mangini needs to go to Margaritaville and find his lost shaker of salt. He doesn’t know the reason why he would stay in Cleveland all season, with nothing to show but his brand new losing streak. He knows that it’s not anyone’s fault but Brett’s.
Florida International Men’s Basketball. If you don’t understand how this team would have to do with Eric Mangini, you obviously haven’t heard about the coach they recently hired named Isiah Thomas. The same Isiah Thomas that led the New York Knicks to mediocrity and could never win 50 games in three seasons with a young, talented Indiana Pacers team in the early 2000s. Once he does something to get fired in his first season (and we all know he will), FIU will just be looking for anyone who doesn’t lie about their coaching decisions. Oh, wait.
Where The Wild Things Are. Mangini’s quarterbacks have been wild, his top two running backs have been injured enough to miss the whole season, and his whole team has been succumbing to to those and other wild circumstances, and they’re more than likely to continue. Maybe in practice while he’s trying to get his quarterbacks tougher, one of them gets hit and is lost for the season. Maybe his star running back, the mighty James Harrison could go wild one night and pull a Pacman Jones. Maybe he’s already there, in wild and wonderful Cleveland. I don’t think he’s bad enough for them to fire him, but I definitely think they’re bad enough for him to run away. If he rolls like that.