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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Cleveland Browns (Still) Rebuilding Since 1999

Cleveland Browns (Still) Rebuilding Since 1999

Will we ever get over the hump?
Publish Date: 01/02/2020
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

The Cleveland Browns owners have been busy. As expected by many, the Browns have said farewell to their Head Coach, Freddie Kitchens after the week 17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

An action that was more surprising and possibly less popular was the parting with John Dorsey, the team’s General Manager. I’m not privy to what pushed this move from rumor to fact. I do wonder what in the hell went on to make the Haslams believe the team is in a better position without Dorsey than with him.

To say that I find this action frustrating, maddening, or infuriating barely scratches the surface of my emotions regarding Dorsey’s newfound freedom. I wouldn’t call myself a “Dorsey fan” but I had no hate for him. I liked the majority of his picks and believe he has an eye for evaluating talent.

My main complaint about the situation is the mutual parting of ways between the Haslams and Dorsey is going to set the team’s progress back several years, assuming the next GM sticks around that long.

I know some fans are saying there should be no bad feelings about the Haslam’s letting Dorsey go. These may be the same people who randomly knock over chess boards while a game is being played.

Consider this, team building, and continuity are essential pieces of any team. Cleveland has a young locker room and a void in leadership. This is a sketchy combination, even when there is a stable and experienced core running the show.

Put the same locker room under the same conditions with revamped leadership every few years, and you have a recipe for chaotic, sloppy, and random play.

The same chorus rang out all season. We heard ‘blame the offensive line’ ‘blame the defense’ ‘blame injuries’ ‘blame media distractions’ we can blame everyone including my dead grandmother, but that won’t reach the heart of the matter. Discipline, leading by example, actionable accountability, and a winning culture all come from the top of an organization down.

Jimmy and Dee Haslam may have plenty of cash; they might truly give a damn about the city and its fans; they could even be sincerely trying to put things together. I don’t know (I really don’t care) since 2012, we fans have heard about what will make this team a championship-caliber team. John Dorsey snapped up some strategic pieces during his time in Cleveland. He wasn’t perfect, but here’s a list of all the Cleveland Browns GM’s since 1999. Anyone on this list remembered for his keen insight or abilities at spotting talent?

New Era Cleveland Browns General Managers 1999-2019


In closing, I’d like to address Jimmy and Dee Haslam directly.

Dear Haslam’s, I’m just another Browns fan with 40 plus years of experience and a platform from which to speak. I have a bit of information that I shall submit for your consideration. Consistently rebuilding is not building one damn thing. Put the chess pieces on the board and play the game. Starting and stopping and starting over again is ridiculous and insulting to the most devout and fervent fan base in the NFL. Yes, it’s your team and your cash, but many of us have lived and nearly died for this team for decades. This isn’t rocket science; this is football. If you can’t or won’t run this organization, please find guidance. Oh, and remember the definition of insanity is repeating the same actions and expecting different results.

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