The Cleveland Browns are not a team unified after a loss to the New York Jets.
2022 was supposed to be the year the Cleveland Browns rid themselves of their demons in the offseason. Well, the Football Gods are a fickle and cruel bunch. Fans everywhere were left deflated after the Browns blew a victory that was 99.9% confirmed.
The Browns lost because they blew coverage on an easy deep touchdown pass. Then the New York Jets got the onside kick, and then they scored again. This was the issue last week in Carolina, and it was the issue the last few seasons as well. The safeties are perpetually getting beat deep.
Either that’s on the scheme, though more than likely not as guys like M.J. Stewart excelled in it, or it’s on the managerial side of the team, for bringing in guys who can’t play in the scheme. Either way, the troubles the Browns are experiencing have exploded in the media and the team has become full-blown toxic.
The Cleveland Browns locker room is toxic
It starts at the top, with Kevin Stefanski somehow blaming Nick Chubb’s touchdown as a reason the team may have lost, telling the media in an interview;
"Yeah, that is a scenario where that’s on me to communicate that to the huddle. We’ve done that before. Having said that, we need to close that game out."
To his credit, he took “responsibility” but why is he even bringing it up? Chubb did his job, extended the lead, and gave the Browns a 99.9% chance at victory. Either Stefanski has zero faith in his defense, or he’s just not sure what the other side of the ball is supposed to do. Turns out defenses all over the NFL are capable of getting one stop.
New wide receiver Amari Cooper is getting on on the action as well, telling reporters that he knows the game was theirs.
"I’m thinking what everybody else is thinking – we should have easily won the game."
Neither of what Stefanski and Cooper said in a vacuum is that bad, but then when you bring in the truly toxic elements of the locker room, that’s when things get spicey. John Johnson III, to Cleveland.com, decided to tee off on some players, without naming names, said that some people don’t want to listen to what’s being called.
"Unexplainable. We’ve just got to talk. Communication is sending and receiving. So there are guys sending, but some guys aren’t receiving, and that’s the issue."
Browns Pro Bowl cornerback Denzel Ward decided to make sure no one thought he was at fault by throwing his teammates under the bus. After all, if it wasn’t his fault, it had to be someone else’s fault.
Grant Delpit, another player who may have been part of the blown play, responded in the media that he’s not going to blame his teammates, thus absolving himself of responsibility.
There’s a lot of finger-pointing in the media today from the players. Guys putting pressure on one another, bucking responsibility, and not being able to own up to things, and clearly, this isn’t an issue to likely go away.
As this is not an issue that magically appeared this season. The Browns had a lot of this going on last year as well until M.J. Stewart took over the starting reins. When he left, those paying attention saw this as a likely return to form for a defense with the same recurring issues over the last few years.
With the players complaining about one another, as well as the fanbase, it’s fair to say that the toxic elements that ruined the team last year are still very much in Cleveland.