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Gregg Doyel CBS Sports NATIONAL columnist


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Quitting seems possible as Browns join NFL's worst

 

Sep. 27, 2009

By Gregg Doyel

CBSSports.com National Columnist

 

 

BALTIMORE -- Honest to God, I hope the Cleveland Browns have quit on their

coach. I hope they've quit on that smarmy little know-it-all, Eric Mangini,

because the alternative is even uglier. Judging from their hopeless 34-3

loss Sunday to Baltimore, a game in which the Browns couldn't run, throw,

block or tackle, the Browns have either quit on Mangini -- or they're

simply the worst team in the NFL.

 

And the Kansas City Chiefs still play in the NFL.

 

But there's no way the Chiefs are as bad as Cleveland,

and that's because the Chiefs don't hate their coach.

Not like the Browns surely hate Eric Mangini. He's the

most dislikeable coach in the NFL, and that's saying something.

Bill Belichick coaches in the NFL. But unlike Mangini,

Belichick has done something. He's done a whole lot of

something. He has three Super Bowl rings that say he's

not a jerk -- he's an irascible genius.

 

Mangini? He's just a jerk.

 

And players don't like playing for a jerk.

 

And Sunday was the proof.

 

Again, I honestly hope for their sake that the

Browns quit on Mangini. Seriously. And I despise

quitting. Hate it. Don't think it should be done,

ever, and that includes now. I do not think the Browns

should quit on Mangini, because a professional athlete

should have enough pride in himself to play his best,

regardless of how big a jackass his coach is.

 

 

But Mangini is such an enormous jackass that it skews things.

 

You can quit on your coach and still have a job in this league

if you're good enough to play. But if the Browns haven't quit

on Mangini, if they actually were trying on Sunday, then they're

beyond help. Then there are about 30 of them who don't belong in

the NFL. I could list the 30, but it would be easier to just say:

the Cleveland defense, the Cleveland offensive line, both Cleveland

quarterbacks, every Cleveland running back, Braylon Edwards, and

various and sundry Cleveland special team players.

 

Those are the options. Either the Browns have quit on Mangini, or

those players should be released immediately. The poor Ravens

deserved better. They deserved better competition, better effort,

from the Browns. Baltimore is really good and doesn't need its

opponent to quit to win a game. Baltimore will go to the playoffs

this season, and when the last game of the season is played, Baltimore

might just be there. And win it. The Ravens are that good, on both

sides of the ball and on the sideline, and it showed Sunday in a blowout victory.

 

But I suspect something else happened Sunday. I suspect the Browns have quit

on the coach. And if you follow the Browns at all, or if you don't follow the

Browns but you had the misfortune of watching Sunday's game on television, you

suspect the same thing.

 

Mangini doesn't suspect a damn thing, of course. I asked him straight out: Did

the players quit on you?

 

And he said: "No. No. And if at any point I do identify anything like that,

they won't be playing in the weeks to come."

 

 

Mangini denies the Browns have quit on him -- but the field action says elsewise. (AP)

 

 

He might want to identify the players responsible on some -- OK, all -- of

the Ravens' touchdowns Sunday. The Ravens had rushing touchdowns of 7, 15

and 9 yards in which the ball carrier was never touched. Not once. And you

can't explain it away by blaming the breakdown on one specific area of the

Cleveland defense, because one play went left. One went right. And the other

went straight up the middle.

 

Willis McGahee had the first two scores, and Ray Rice the third. And it was

the pass defense, too. Ravens receiver Derrick Mason scored untouched on a

72-yard pass play, catching the ball at a dead stop at the Cleveland 25,

then eluding two nearby defenders who kind of, maybe, tried to stop him.

McGahee also had a 34-yard run where he was throwing off would-be tacklers

like a man throwing off boys. Or like a motivated NFL player throwing off

a bunch of quitters.

 

So, did they quit? Only they know. I asked three different Cleveland players

if the team had quit on Mangini, and all three said no. But they were talking

to an outsider. They don't know me, they don't trust me, and I get that.

Only one of them even spoke to me in complete sentences, kick returner

Joshua Cribbs, and he avoided the danger entirely.

 

"I'm no mind-reader, but I don't see any quitting in here," Cribbs said.

"Give credit where credit is due. That [baltimore] is a really good team.

They're going to do some things this year. It's not like we quit. We're a

disciplined team, and it starts with the coach. We need discipline, and

he gives it to us."

 

Maybe. Or maybe Mangini has given his players something else. Maybe he has

given them every reason to quit on him. Reportedly, almost 10 percent of

Mangini's active roster -- five players out of 53 -- are in the process of

filing grievances against their horse's ass of a coach who has, for example,

fined a player $1,701 for not paying for a $3 bottle of water out of a hotel

fridge.

 

Mangini is a power-drunk bully who derives pleasure from little-man moves

like hiding the identity of his starting quarterback this preseason, like

hiding the injury of Brett Favre last season in New York, and like fining

a player $1,701 for drinking a $3 bottle of water in his hotel room and

then forgetting to tell the front desk about it.

 

Mangini is a smart guy, but he undermines his intelligence by being such an ass.

He's the NFL's version of Larry Bowa, one of the smarter baseball men but

arrogant enough to think he re-invented the game -- which makes him so

dislikeable that he'll never manage again in the big leagues. Mangini doesn't

have Bowa's resume as a player, though, so Mangini isn't really another

Larry Bowa. He's another Buck Showalter.

 

And I asked Mangini about that, too. I prefaced my question by noting that

he was dealing with human beings in his locker room, and so I wanted to know

if maybe, just maybe, his methods weren't working with the particular human

beings in his particular locker room.

 

And he said: "I've dealt with a lot of football players over time, and I feel

very comfortable in my ability to deal with people. I demand high expectations

of people. That's something I fundamentally believe in."

 

Fine, but here's something I fundamentally believe: If I'm a player in this league,

and I become a free agent, I'm telling my agent to consider offers from 31 teams:

Everyone in the league except for any organization dumb enough to employ that fool

Eric Mangini as head coach. And if I'm thinking that way, you can believe there are

players or agents who think that way.

 

What I'm saying is this: Cleveland is a train wreck. Cleveland was better off with

mediocre Romeo Crennel than it is with malignant Eric Mangini. The Browns'

front office and ownership can pretend otherwise, but that's make-believe.

That can't be sincere. Only a moron could watch this Cleveland football

team,

which I've had the misfortune of doing twice in three weeks, and think

everything is going to be OK here.

 

Then again, Cleveland did hire Mangini in the first place. So apparently

there are morons in that front office.

 

And maybe, possibly -- probably -- there are quitters in that locker room.

 

 

 

 

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I can't imagine fining one of yer players 1700 bucks for a $3 bottle of water.

 

There are about a hundred ways I would address that issue, with maybe a sense of humor,

 

and a little communication.

 

Now 5 players are up in arms?

 

There is a difference between discipline, and stark raving rubbing players' faces in mud because they make a mistake.

 

Something is wrong in Brownstown, and that's not the only thing wrong....???

 

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really because Cleveland so loved Belicheck when he was our coach....... he was such a likeable fellow.... this writer is a idiot.

 

Things normally get worse before they get better.

 

Its his first year and this is really not his people yet, I could see if this was his third year...

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Lerner would be wise to fire fatgini right now he may prolong the media and fan thrashing and backlash he has had coming for a while otherwise many fans myself included are going to call for his head and may regardless..he loves new york so much why doesnt he pack this pos up and move it there they could use a 4th team a real loser to be ridiculed ny style...;)

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Lerner would be wise to fire fatgini right now he may prolong the media and fan thrashing and backlash he has had coming for a while otherwise many fans myself included are going to call for his head and may regardless..

 

 

 

Who would take over? No one would even want to coach this team except one of the current assistants.

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Man I am not in the emotional state to read that entire thing. I just can't bring myself to do it. I don't like Mangini and I really would like to be proven wrong. I am too sick over the state of this team to put in the effort.

 

I have never been this way, not even the days of Chris Palmer. I mean really, are we that bad? How is it possible that we have a worse performing team than 1999?

 

It is coaching. Plain and simple. You telling me the Dolphins improved their roster that much from their 1 win season. No they did not.

 

It was coaching.

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Let's call it like it is: Our coach is an asshole and neither of our quarterbacks is or will be top 25 at his position. We don't have a great running back. Our defense still sucks ass.

 

Just read that the Browns definitely have Chin's number on speed dial. This is such an ugly meltdown, I don't think Mangini survives it. Remember when we could say, "At least we didn't get Josh McDaniels." Now he's 3-0 with Kyle Freaking Orton.

 

We need to start over yet again with a new coach and a new quarterback and a whole lot of other pieces. It needs to be BIG... like the Chin.

 

 

 

 

If the chin comes here im officially retiring my browns fandom in favor of playing fantasy football and never rooting for a specific team again.

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Or how about these players grow some xxxxing balls, quit behaving like a bunch of coddled pussies, and take some pride in the franchise and city they play for. Awwww is coach being too tough? xxxx you! I say blow this whole piece of shit team up (except Cribbs) and let Mangini and Kokinis build it from the ground up. Mangini knows what it means to be a part of this organization and what it means to the city and its fans. I'm SO xxxxING SICK of these primadonnas who look at playing for the Browns as just a paycheck. Jim Brown, the greatest football player of all time, has endorsed Mangini because Mangini has the same mentality that made this organization great before Fart Modell sold us all out and moved the team. I'm seriously so sick of the guys that wear Browns jerseys for us every Sunday. They aren't the Cleveland Browns, they're imposters wearing Cleveland Browns jerseys who are tarnishing the storied franchise that is the Cleveland Browns. Son of a bitch, this shit makes me want to run through a brick wall.

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Who would take over? No one would even want to coach this team except one of the current assistants.

Man I don't know if it really matters right now. I am not thinking this thing through right now, but I am just so fed up with hanging on to coaches who don't effectively put a team in position to succeed. I would seriously engage some of the HC's out there - Holmgren, Shanahan, Cowher - right the fook now for next season.

 

How do you choose (waste) two 2nd round picks on WR's when your defense sucks? Then, you don't play said WR's?

 

 

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If the chin comes here im officially retiring my browns fandom in favor of playing fantasy football and never rooting for a specific team again.

 

I dislike the asshole as much as anyone, but if it meant we would turn into a winner then damn...I guess i'm on board. I hate myself a little just for saying it.

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The Spitting Chin wouldn't come here.

 

Too much damage has been done, bad drafts, too many coaches, media not supportive,

 

irate fans who still pay $$$$$$$$$$ to go to the stadium.

 

One more game like this, and I will be upset that we didn't invent the "bagheads" like

 

the Saints' fans did. Well, at least I think they did...

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I do think there's some middle ground here.

 

Mangini is undeniably bent on controlling everything this year. But he did that in NY, too, while assembling quite a decent roster that is now 3-0 behind a rookie starter. He did SOME things right.

 

On the other hand, it took Rex Ryan freeing up that talent for them to start this way. It's also undeniable that guys who enjoy their work perform better.

 

So the real question right now is: how do you find out what makes guys tick? How do you KNOW, with any degree of certainty, what makes a guy go out and play his best on Sunday?

 

One of the age-old answers is: you break him ALL THE WAY DOWN and see how he reacts.

 

I think -- I HOPE -- that's what's happening here. Mangini is methodically breaking this team all the way down. And yes, some -- many -- guys will hate him for it.

 

But some guys won't. Some guys are likely fed up with the prima donnas they've been around their whole football lives. Some guys probably actually care about things like their teammates, about team, about responsibility and accountability. Those are the guys Mangini is looking for, I guarantee you.

 

What kind of guys? Look at ManKok's first draft class. I think that gives a pretty clear idea of what kind of guy might buy into this type of system. Smart, dedicated, football-bred guys who understand football is ultimately a TEAM game.

 

So, it's really ugly but it's really early. I'm still on board, if for no other reason than it's going to be a spectacular ride, one way or another.

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If the chin comes here im officially retiring my browns fandom in favor of playing fantasy football and never rooting for a specific team again.

 

I would take the Chin over the muffin top that's for sure. We should have gotten Marty or Bill during the off season. Or maybe Gruden, or maybe even B i l l i c K. Anyone would have been better than muffin top..

 

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Is it possible that the browns really are this bad? I wasnt expecting much out of this year but wholly crap what a nightmare.

 

3 weeks now with horrible play calling... and Players looking like crap.

 

What ticked me off the most was the fact that when they did Bring DA into the game... RUNNING PLAYS... Here is a guy known for his arm and what do they do... The same BS. COME ON.

 

Fire the entire coaching staff... NOW!!!

 

3 Weeks of the exact same play calling, same results, same crap. I'm tired of it. And it's not even the QB issue now. Rizzo and Bernie were talking this morning that right now, this has nothing to do with the QB and who starts. The team is a mess and I think they know that it's Mangini and the coaching staff...

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WOW! Harsh doesn't even touch that one. Give it some time. Hopefully there is some progress throughout the season (It can't get any worse as we are already last in the power rankings). If not, it's time to revert to the Browns fan motto: "there's always next year". Shanahan, Chuckie, and Cowher are all sitting the pine this year waiting for a shot.

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Let's call it like it is: Our coach is an asshole and neither of our quarterbacks is or will be top 25 at his position. We don't have a great running back. Our defense still sucks ass.

 

Just read that the Browns definitely have Chin's number on speed dial. This is such an ugly meltdown, I don't think Mangini survives it. Remember when we could say, "At least we didn't get Josh McDaniels." Now he's 3-0 with Kyle Freaking Orton.

 

We need to start over yet again with a new coach and a new quarterback and a whole lot of other pieces. It needs to be BIG... like the Chin.

 

What commends the Chin? That he lost a whole lot of meaningful games to the Patriots where he was plain out out-managed. The team just won a SB without him. In fact, the transition has been seamless if they haven't gotten a boost. Did Chin have say over who the team drafted? Honestly, I like the team that Mangini left in New York a whole lot.

 

What was Belicheck his first year at NE? 5-11 I think. Lost their first 4. They had Bledsoe and some other real NFL players too. Mangini took over this crap roster with a lack of draft picks this year and little room under the cap to really get what this team needs. Hell, they are three solid drafts and a lot of sound FA moves to get to a point of a competitive roster.

 

We saw McDonald and Wright make these same "rookie mistakes" last year. We saw DQ get swallowed up any time they ran the ball right at him. We saw Wimbley pull his disappearing act and Pool whiff on open field tackle after open field tackle -- and these are the BETTER players Mangini inherited. Had they quit on Romeo? No. They just aren't very good.

 

And WTF is this about players "quitting" anyway? How many of these guys will even get a chance with another NFL team if they quit here? Who on the roster other than Rogers/Thomas/Cribbs is not a dime a dozen?

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Keep in mind that the Baltimore press knew Mangini from the Browns' move to Baltimore. He worked under the first coach. So they've seen their share of Mangini.

 

 

really because Cleveland so loved Belicheck when he was our coach....... he was such a likeable fellow.... this writer is a idiot.

 

Things normally get worse before they get better.

 

Its his first year and this is really not his people yet, I could see if this was his third year...

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Freekin' LOVED the article. He wrote everything that I feel. I actually feel better now!

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Who would take over? No one would even want to coach this team except one of the current assistants.

 

So pull the trigger anyways. See if you got someone in house who can fix this. You don't know what you got until you use it. Just give someone else a shot (who the players actually want to win for) and see if you can build on that. If one of the assistants can't win, then no big deal. This season is a wash, but I think getting rid of Mangini now could certainly get the players fired up and perhaps into the endzone once before the season ends.

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I do think there's some middle ground here.... Damajuki

*************************************************

Actually, this is a brilliant take.

 

Tearing the group down, then weeding out the ones who don't care, don't want to be part of the team,

 

and replacing them, building the entire team as a great group of unselfish FOOT

BALL PLAYERS !

 

Kinda reminds me of going to through basic training for some reason... @@

 

But why play the ones who don't care now?

 

Sorry, but one glaring example to me, is Braylon. He seemed to sandbag on Quinn, then seemed to get

 

excited and full speed with DA. Maybe because he gets to show off when the "all he can do is throw long well" qb

 

gets him the ball a lot? To make more $$$ when he leaves as a free agent ?

 

Braylon has already whined about the fans not liking him because he went to Michigan....

 

I really, really, really would have traded his butt out of town before last year's draft.

 

Ya know, I went to the grocery store, and they had a life size stand up cutout poster, of Robieski in Browns gear.

 

Now, he doesn't even get to play, because of Edwards?

 

And McDonald, is he so dim, that he STILL hasn't learned to look back at the ball just before it gets there?

 

He has never learned that when the wr breaks off his route and curls in, that he is supposed to be ready to do the same?

 

Is there any kind of reason why the Browns' defense just stands behind most all receivers, and simply let them catch

 

the ball most every time?

 

I don't know. I just don't know.

 

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Damn...last week I said It was a dick move to fine the players, That that's the recipe for losing a team, That the team had quit on Mangini......And all you fkrs jumped on the hate train to me....Not one of you freaks stood up and agreed with me....Now look at ya....I was right and Am right....Just like with this love afair with Dqwell ( I'm not a 3-4 ILB) jackson, and Eric(i suck) barton! Open your eyes people....where's my propa's

 

P.S.... I told you quinn would get pulled after watching the first to unwatchable games.

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Damn...last week I said It was a dick move to fine the players, That that's the recipe for losing a team, That the team had quit on Mangini......And all you fkrs jumped on the hate train to me....Not one of you freaks stood up and agreed with me....Now look at ya....I was right and Am right....Just like with this love afair with Dqwell ( I'm not a 3-4 ILB) jackson, and Eric(i suck) barton! Open your eyes people....where's my propa's

 

P.S.... I told you quinn would get pulled after watching the first to unwatchable games.

 

That's what I thought!!!!!!

 

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While I'm in the self-righteous mood.....Cedric Benson, Michael Turner, Demeco ryans, Patrick Willis, Tashard Choice, Lesean McCoy, Michael Oher, Alonso Smith, Mark Anderson, Roman Harper, Ben Rothlisberger, Jay Cutler, Jarod Mayo, Maurice Jones Drew, Deangelo Williams, Ben Grubbs, Anthony Blalock, Curtis Lofton, Jon Beason, Ej Henderson, Adrian Peterson, Charlie Frye, and for all to see next week REY MAUALUGA!

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Damn...last week I said It was a dick move to fine the players, That that's the recipe for losing a team, That the team had quit on Mangini......And all you fkrs jumped on the hate train to me....Not one of you freaks stood up and agreed with me....Now look at ya....I was right and Am right....Just like with this love afair with Dqwell ( I'm not a 3-4 ILB) jackson, and Eric(i suck) barton! Open your eyes people....where's my propa's

 

P.S.... I told you quinn would get pulled after watching the first to unwatchable games.

 

 

Sol,

 

While I appreciate your frustration and your insight... I don't think you want to align yourself with Gregg Doyel. I mean, if you said it and he said it that's fine. But I'm pretty sure that you saying it lends more credence to his argument that his saying it does to yours.

 

Doyel is a world class douchebag... a douchebag's douchebag if you will.

 

These sorts of asinine rants are what he does. And it's nothing to be proud of. Gregg Doyel is a wart on sports journalism. The fact that he gets to put the same job title on his business card as Peter Gammons or Bob Ryan is a freakin' sham.

 

In his dampest of wet dreams Gregg Doyel is Jim Rome. But he's never been able to pull off JR's smarmy cool. So instead he ends up sounding like one of Rome's under-evolved callers. Just what the world needs a clone with a WordPress account.

 

-jj

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