Monday nights loss at Pittsburgh was ugly for many reasons. FIRST very sad about Nick Chubb, one of the NFL's good guys. He is Cleveland. He works hard, plays hard and is intent on making a difference. He is the heart and soul of this Browns team, and I'm not sure those in charge of the Browns realize that yet, but they're gonna learn - reluctantly it would appear.
Last week against Cincy, when the offense was not at all effective, they had no choice but to turn to Chubb and he bailed them out and got things right. Early in the Steeler game, the same thing until his devastating injury. But that's not at all what this organization wants to do. They want Watson to win them games and chuck the ball all over the yard all day. Well, now he pretty much is going to have try to do that, becaue their backup plan just had knee surgery.
The Browns are much more talented this year as opposed to last year, mainly on defense and that's great to see. But the defense had nowhere to go but to get better. The main issue with the Browns is this puzzling, myopic view of the game and the way they run this team. They are stubbornly committed to one way to play a game. In NFL reality, you have to do - what you need to do that day - to win that game. They did that in game one and I was thrilled to see that. But not in the Pittsburgh game.
Stefanski watches and manages a game through a porthole and not a picture window. He is so focused on what HE wants to do, he fails to see the game, place, and situation in its entirety. He continues to think he is the smartest person in any room. He's gonna "fool them." That he's of superior intellect. And he continues to get beat by far better football men who break the game down to its guts, nuts and bolts. In the end, that's what football is. You know why the Steelers won Monday? They out-footballed us. They lost virtually every single statistical category by a mile, but they knew what it takes to win. They did, they do, and have for 21 straight years against us in their yard. My feeling is Tomlin told his team before this game, "We don't lose to the guys here." And they listened.
As a head coach and organization, you have to take in the totality of the environment with game in front of you. The place, the crowd, momentum, situation, the ramifications of the moment, and the hour. Also THE reality, and not YOUR reality. Look at the big picture and not the tunnel visioned kaleidoscope of your rigid plan. We don't do that well. Play calling that is just silly, decisions that are reckless and self destructive. The time has come for this entire organization to quit trying to BE right, and focus on DOING right. There was none, zero excuse for not winning Monday night, except the Steelers knew how to win it more from the owners box to the equipment box.
And here come the Titans into our yard. We are better than them and we have no excuse for not winning this game. This is the third straight game we are better on paper, having an overall superior roster. BUT Tennessee comes in after watching the Pittsburgh game too. They are tough, well coached and thinking about the playoffs. And now they have no fear of us after Monday nights debacle.
Get ready coach. These are football men coming to town who have the ability to see the whole thing better than us. If you allow them, they will find a way to get this done too. Put down the Denny's menu, hand off play calling to people getting paid to do it. And finaly at long last get in the whole game, not just the portion you have interest in. Look around, feel the crowd, the day, the mood. Take it in, read the room and lead.
The time has come to widen the lens and be the head coach. The team needs one. And - I feel there is one in waiting.
My Previous Browns Articles -
We are far more fortunate than many in the USA! We live in "corn country" and that is nothing but good news. This is corn season and there is no better corn than fresh corn on the cob from the Midwest!
You to the shucking, and I'll do the eating!
Here are my articles this week from WQMX.com in case you missed any of them. Thanks for reading and thanks for listening every morning!
Grab a coffee and earbuds and enjoy!
Box Office Results - The Nun 2 - (15 Million)
#2 A Haunting In Venice - (14 Million) #3 Equalizer - (8 million)
New This Week - Expendables 4 / Dumb Money (Trailer Inappropriate For Here)
Deal? - Actor-turned-mogul Byron Allen has offered $10 billion for ABC, which Disney is intent on selling by the end of the year
Word Is - Good progress is being made in the writers strike and a resolution is possibly near
Drew Barrymore - Has shut down her talk show after blowback of starting it up during the writers strike
After September 29th - Netflix will no longer rent DVDs by mail -- and will be winding down that part of its business altogether
This Weekend – Check out my Country Music Memory Lane - (link)
Also - My 50 Favorites Over 40+ Years This Week #14 - (Link)
Plus - My Sunday Morning Song - (Link)
This week Trisha Yearwood has a birthday. She is one of the best vocalists in any format over the past 30 years. So let's look at her career and revisit the article I wrote on her a year or two ago.
Thanks for listening and reading everyday!
If You're Thinkin' You Want A Stranger - George Strait - 1982 (Album -Strait Country)
This was the first song I ever heard from George Strait when I got into Country Radio at WOBL in Oberlin, Ohio. It has remained a special song for me as I was learning country at the time. Strait was new in country as was I, and believe it or not he hadn't had a number one yet. That would be his next song, Fool Hearted Memory a few months later. This was pure country in the Urban Cowboy era, and this sound was very different than many of the songs on the charts then. It was at the genesis of the movement that started steering country away from the format-less Urban Cowboy stuff. It would take a while, but of course George Strait went on to have 60 plus number one songs and get the moniker "King Of Country". I remember getting a lot of calls for his music early on and fans liking his far more traditional sound. He with John Anderson, Ricky Skaggs, Hank Jr, Reba, Earl Thomas Conley, Alabama and others were going a very different way and fans liked it. This is an underrated George Strait song, and if you've never heard it, take a listen. #3 in 1982.
Dwight Yoakam - Ain't That Lonely Yet - 1993
Writing this I understand for many Dwight Yoakam is an acquired taste. With that being said, Yoakam was still very instrumental in helping country turn a big corner that needed to be negotiated in the mid 1980's. As popular as he was, his polarization started from the beginning. For some, he was just too much, but for others he was the most welcome avant garde savior. He's a true original, as there is no one else like him - that is definite and damn rare. As time went on he branched out to record many different styles of country. But to me as solid as the early Yoakam was, this was his crown jewel, grabbing a Grammy, a CMA, and a number two hit. From the album, This Time which was a gigantic hit and a stellar seller, I felt this song and album was Yoakam in microcosm. His performance is perfect as you feel his sorrow and resolve all at the same time. This album sold millions and this song is the main reason why, even though there were other strong hits off of it. If it's been a while, take a listen and see if Yoakam hits you the same, or differently than maybe years ago. This to me, this is simply classic.
The Browns had a nice win last week and now it's on to Pittsburgh with the Steelers in another big divisional game. I have stated in the years I have been writing about the Browns, success in the long run in any season comes down to their play against the Steelers. If you want to win this division, the Browns must beat the Steelers twice in a year. We don't do it, almost without fail. Last year was the year to do it, and we didn't. But that's behind us and so are all the other years.
The Browns have typically played the Ravens and the Bengals well, splitting many years and getting the occasional sweep against one of them. But Pittsburgh is a very different story. We just don't win in the neighbors yard and this is the year that needs to change. Again, like last week there are no more excuses. This Browns team is better than them overall. But where the Steelers are better is crucial. They're a better organization by far, better coached, with better tradition over the last 50 years. Plus they need a win badly after being humiliated last week at home. They'll be in a mood.
The Browns have a good opportunity here to really kick em where it hurts. If you can win there you'll be 2-0 and the same in the division with the Steeler road game fading in the rear view mirror as the weeks go forward. If you stumble, you've brought yourself back to the pack - and it's on. But right now the Browns are riding the wave of last week and the tide is going out on the Steelers, this is the chance to get it done.
But make no mistake the Steelers will be ready to defend their back yard especially after last weeks darn rare debacle. This game could set the tone for the rest of the Browns season even more than the Bengal game did. This is a game many have us losing even though the odds makers have us as a slight favorite. I don't care what team is favored, or on the way up or down, this will be a challenge for either team to win. I would have preferred the Steelers to win last week. They will never admit it, but they are desperate. And if they win, things go back to normal for them, and sadly us.
Last week was a good win for the Browns. Great defense, enough offense and the absence of ridiculous in game decisions that have plagued this team the last two years. The dye has been cast, now execute the plan.
Beat the Steelers this week and you do yourself a whole lot of good, for right now and for much later.
Jordan Davis - Tucson Too Late
Jordan Davis has come a long way in a short time. When he first hit the charts, there was a mix of excitement and skepticism as there always is with new artists. Newbies are tough to breakthrough for long term success, but he has done it successfully. This new song is another hit. I have liked his last couple of songs as they are adult, real, and just flat out good. Next Thing You Know is fantastic and so is What My World Spins Around. I feel the best love songs are the ones that are believable, like his last two mentioned above. They are written and performed from a real life perspective, not some point of worship or pedestal placing. This one is too. I know this is a "love too late" song, but it's still a love song, and just as real as the others only with a different outcome. There are very distant echoes of By The Time I Get To Phoenix here, and that's fine too. This song is real and just - good. Well done.
In case you missed some of my articles this week from WQMX.com - Grab some coffee and your earbuds and get caught up. Thanks for reading and for listening!