As losses mount, what comes next for the Cleveland Browns?

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 10: Cleveland Browns Executive Vice President, Football Operations Sashi Brown, (L) talks with head coach Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 10: Cleveland Browns Executive Vice President, Football Operations Sashi Brown, (L) talks with head coach Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

With the Cleveland Browns staring down a great deal of questions surrounding the future of the current regime, writer Brad Ward provides answers.

The question of who is to blame for the current state of the Cleveland Browns could really get pretty deep and take us through a torturous chronicle of missteps and forsaken agendas. A narration we are all familiar with and one that doesn’t serve much purpose but to inflict unnecessary malaise.

However, it is necessary that we take a hard look at what is happening with the current regime and where things are potentially heading.

Let’s start at quarterback. We know a few things at this point. This front office has been slow to pull the trigger on a quarterback the caliber of which their future would be attached to. Due to this fear and their propensity to kick the can to the next season and hope they luck into something has cost them twice.

Twice they all they had to do was walk up to the podium and hand in the card. Carson Wentz looks like he might be better than good and Deshaun Watson is off to a great start in Houston. Different situations? Certainly. Still misses? Absolutely.

The guy the Browns did get is DeShone Kizer. Some like him, some don’t. Both sides have their reasons.

However, he has the tools to be a good NFL quarterback, if not a special one. Will he ever get that chance in Cleveland? I’m less optimistic. This season should first and foremost be about finding out what Kizer is, yet here we are in week 6 starting Kevin Hogan.

Which brings us to Head Coach Hue Jackson. I was a big fan. Thought we found the right guy. In fact, I think he is probably a much better coach than what we have seen from him on his 1-20 start. At some point he lost his swagger and confidence though and is now lost altogether. I keep picturing him in his orange pullover running down the sidelines to call time-out last week. That was so he could pull his kicker off the field and go for it on fourth down, instead of taking the the chip-shot to tie the game. Why? What was he doing? How did he think that was a good move? Do you think he really makes that decision normally. No way! He has completely lost his way. He isn’t sure if he is coaching to win or if he is coaching to develop his young players. At some point those two things were aligned. They clearly are not any longer and all it takes to tell is to look at the decision to trot Hogan out again this week.

So no, Hue isn’t as bad of a coach as he has been coaching like. However, he isn’t making a difference either. Do they ever have anything schemed up that works on offense? Do they ever play over their heads? Teams do this every week in the NFL.  A good coaching game-plan and a timely turnover has gotten many a bad team, a win in this league. Why doesn’t that ever happen for the Browns? Why doesn’t Hue Jackson’s offense generate points? Does it appear he knows what he is doing with Kizer? No, because he is impatient and wants to call plays for this offense in the vision of what they someday could be and not what they are right now.

The talent on this team is not great. They did better in the ’17 draft but the 16′ draft is shaping up to be not very good. I was the one screaming at my radio, telling Tony Grossi that you can’t grade a draft in less than a season. It’s true, and you can’t grade a draft in a season and a half either, but we have a much better idea now…and still it’s not so good.

Why did the Browns let Sashi Brown and his team of smart guys decide that you have to make a roster as bad as it possibly can be before it can get better? It makes no sense. It’s not how the NFL works. Teams turn things around in a single year in this league. Gutting a team of all its talent and trying to get better with all rookies and 2nd year players looks like the dumbest idea ever. You don’t have to hit reset on the franchise in order to tank for a season. There are lots of ways to tank, I mean it’s not like they Browns roster had a ton of talent before you tore it down.

The front office can turn out draft picks like nobody’s business. The problem is the are just drafting average player after average player. In order to make an impact you can’t always trade back. You have to take the guys at the top of the draft that make a difference on the field. They are operating under a flawed plan.

Sashi Brown says its playing the odds via,

"No matter how bad you are, you only get seven draft picks each year…We had to accelerate drafts in a short period of time. In other words, we want to have multiple draft picks each season.The reality is no one in the NFL is hitting on all picks in the seven rounds…We are going to miss on some picks. You need organizational humility about that."

Scott Dryden of put it best when he used this analogy. “You could put me out their and have a pitcher throw me 50 pitches and you could have the Cleveland Indians Jose Ramirez out there and throw him 25. Who is gonna get more hits?” Ramirez will every time. The Browns are accounting for missed picks and in turn passing on all the difference makers. A good talent evaluater or general manger who knows how to build a winning roster would fair better than guys who aren’t trained professionals at that task. If I am building a house and the plumber I hire does a great job on the plumbing, I wouldn’t then tell him to go take over as foreman of the entire houses construction.

So what do we do? I can’t stand Hue Jackson’s play calling and he isn’t helping you get better or win. The front office has wildly missed on chances to get you a franchise quarterback and their overall, “smarter than you are” approach doesn’t look like it is identifying talent at an adequate level. Jimmy Haslam and 66% of the fan base seem to still want to see it through 2018….because “continuity.”

More from Factory of Sadness

First of all, If I’m Jimmy Haslam I am taking family friend Peyton Manning‘s temperature. A “write your own ticket” deal should be tossed his way to see if he would potentially take over as president or GM. If not him, then Mr. Haslam needs to hire a group of highly thought of, experienced, proven winners with knowledge of how to operate within the NFL’s infrastructure to find the best available General Manager. This task force of sorts should have the best candidates ready when this season ends.

It should help that the Browns do have some young talent and that they have a ton of high picks in the 2018 draft, when it comes to landing their guy.

The general manager that is hired then should hire the head coach.

Is it already over for this regime? I don’t see how the front office can remain in tact or continue to operate under the current framework.

Is it over for coach Jackson? I think we have to continue to watch and see what happens but I am not convinced that he has what it takes to make a difference in Cleveland. I hope he proves me wrong.

Ideally, the Browns can continue to develop the talent that they have and score big in the 2018 draft, while adding good players with some years of experience in free agency. No need to blow up the roster entirely. Evaluate what you have and add to the pieces that work.

Next: Just how bad is the Browns' WR corps?

This regime change doesn’t have to be “two steps back.” There really isn’t anywhere to go but forward. Sashi and company tore it down to the studs and started the process back. They didn’t have to, but they did. It only makes sense at this point though to let someone else take it from here.