Pointing Out the Flaws of the Browns' Season So Far
Following the fallout from the Myles Garrett helmet swing at the end of the Browns' 21-7 thrashing of the Steelers, social and mainstream media erupted in a firestorm, condemning the actions of Myles Garrett. Some went so far as to call it "barbaric" and that Myles Garrett should be charged with assault and jail-time due to the helmet swing. (Some people even suggest that he should get banned for life!)
The level of abject hypocrisy in these assertions are absolutely sickening.
There's no doubt that what Myles Garrett did was wrong (along with DaMarious Randall and Larry Ogunjobi), but to engage in character assassination and act as if this is somehow indicative of him being a "dirty player" is to pretend to be completely naive of the nature of both the fight AND the NFL. A few things to point out here as to why the outrage is hypocritical.
1) Mason Rudolph CLEARLY started the fight. As the film shows, he not only attempted to rip off Garrett's helmet, but also kicked him in the nuts prior to Garrett ripping his helmet off.
2) Mason Rudolph also REFUSED to apologize or take ANY accountability for his role in instigating the fight, instead calling what Garrett did "COWARDLY" and "bush-league". (Also note that despite initiating the brawl, he wasn't suspended AT ALL.)
3) Albert Haynesworth stomped Andre Gurode in the face and got suspended for only five games, even though Gurode needed thirty stitches(!) to repair the damaged caused by his stomp (and even tried to seriously press charges). Why is Myles Garrett getting punished more than that despite doing far less damage to Rudolph?
4) The Pittsburgh Steelers are NOTORIOUS for housing players that are overaggressive, even to the point of committing outright headhunting. Just look at these examples of Steelers' players being wayyy to violent towards their opponents. And if you isolate the incidents with the Browns, it's even more egregious. I also find it quite interesting that James Harrison of all people is calling for the arrest of Myles Garrett, seeing as how he has handed out concussions to Browns' players (Mohammed Massaquoi,Colt McCoy, and Josh Cribbs) like candy and was even charged with assault himself.
5) Just earlier in the year, Earl Thomas was fined for a hit on Mason Rudolph that sent him to the hospital. He too was remorseful, yet was only fined $21K (and was NOT suspended AT ALL).
If anything, the outrage reeks more so of the Steelers being sore losers than anything else. They thought that they could beat the Browns without ANY of the "Killer B's" (Le'Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, and Ben Rothlisberger), a hurt receiving corps AND hurt running backs. Their overconfidence in their defense made them falsely assume they could beat this underachieving Browns' team with simply fear and intimidation. Instead, they got a black eye (pun intended) and a bloody nose, and instead of gracefully accepting defeat, much like the Ravens, they instead try to pick fights with Browns' players.
Simple Reasons for the Browns Struggling on Offense
Moving on to other things wrong with the Browns, the BIGGEST reason why the Browns are sitting at 4-6 (as opposed to anywhere between 6-4 and 8-2) is because of the offense. Now, the easy (read: lazy) thing to do is put most of the blame on Baker Mayfield and even OBJ (somehow). However, as Strong Opinion Sports has correctly pointed out, the Browns' offensive struggles are primarily due to playcalling/offensive scheming.
For example, in two separate occasions, (5:58-6:08) and (6:20-6:26) , Freddie Kitchens calls a play within his own 10-yard line for the Browns to go with a long passing play, even though, in both scenarios, the offensive line was at a disadvantage due to the Browns being backed up on their own endzone. Or what about the time against the Broncos where he calls for a failed QB sneak on 4th & 1 (6:11-6:21) and left Nick Chubb on the sideline (Nick Chubb, as of 11/17/19, averages approximately 5.1 yards a carry). We could also look at the stolen pitch against the Patriots (2:12-2:17), the questionable 4th &9 draw play against the Rams, or the botched pitch that was almost returned for a touchdown against the Bills (10:22-10:30). Again, in all of these circumstances, the plays drawn up on the offense MAKE NO SENSE considering the situation. But Freddie Kitchens calls them anyway because he is extremely overconfident in his play-calling abilities.
And it is that EXACT overconfidence that has made him into a liability on the Browns' coaching staff.
See, the one of the biggest reasons why the Browns' offensive have historically struggled since their return in 1999 is because of the coaching staff's addiction to the "clean slate". Whenever a coach gets fired, the new coach comes in and completely abandons the playbook that the previous coach had, regardless of how successful it was. When Freddie Kitchens turned around the Browns' offense, all he did was run a simplified version of Todd Hayley and Hue Jackson's playbook, with some trick plays thrown in there. It was a perfect fit for the Browns, and allowed them to win 5 of their last 7 games in 2018. This year, with the hiring of Todd Monken, he decided to almost completely abandon that PROVEN formula for success and instead attempt to draw up an entirely new playbook with the help of Monken, emphasizing long-developing vertical routes and sideline throws as opposed to pass plays that maximize YAC (yards after catch). This works for pass-happy air-raid QBs like Patrick Mahommes because of his strong arm, great receiving corps, and great pass-protection (5th best pass-blocking in NFL as of Week 11 in 2019). However, for Baker and the Browns, this is a massive handicap because of a) weak pass-protection (21st-best pass blocking unit), and b) Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, two ELITE NFL RBs.
All-in-all, the reason why the Browns' offense is so much worse than it should be (especially in comparison to the Ravens is because Freddie Kitchens' playcalling (and Todd Monken's fundamentally violates Law 45 of the 48 Laws of Power (Preach the Need for Change, But Never Reform Too Much at Once). He found a successful formula, and moved away from it for no good reason, whereas the Ravens didn't deviate too much from their run-heavy playbook since last year, which is why, as of Week 11 in 2019, the Ravens have twice as many wins (8-2) as the Browns (4-6), despite the Browns beating both the Ravens and Steelers by double-digits.