This Sunday the Browns do play football in Carolina.
As Browns fans with strictly football we should be focused on, and worried about head Coach Stefanski as he is the key to the season, especially early on. The focus is on him because, he has some real issues on the field that will make his decisions very important. More important than many other coaches because of the Browns current situation. And worried because for the most part, he seems to only know one way to win a game. This year he needs to do whatever it takes THAT day to win THAT game, or the season will be lost.
I know players win or lose games for the most part. But Stefanski has to be more than good this year. In fact, he has to be different than any year. He has to adapt to what has transpired. Not generally his strength.
I was not a Baker fan, but it didn't take a genius to see he was not at all the same after the injury. Should be noted he had some lingering issues on the field before thie injury. But last year asking a clearly compromised QB to win you games was both amateurish and silly at best. And at the same time concerning, eyebrow raising and puzzling at worst. Many times with the best play makers on the bench at crunch time. It appeared that he mismanaged the entire season. He was the head coach, and he needed to do what was right for his team and the fans. This year, he better figure out early that chucking the ball over the yard will more than likely NOT get it done. And I do think, he's not getting a pass this year from the boss. That was last year.
The owner mortgaged the teams future and spent a quarter of a billion dollars on a single player that can't play for good while on who knows whose recommendation. Stefanski needs to win. A playoff birth, or nearly so is a must. If the Browns win 6 games or so, like many "experts" think, there could be big trouble. And of course, it does depend sometimes on how you lose, or win. The over under I think is 8 and a half. I wouldn't take either. It's too close to call.
If you need to win 7-6 every week, so be it. Just win the game. There is also huge pressure to win early this season. Many say the schedule is "favorable" early, but it's still the NFL, and NO one is going to roll over for you. I'll believe "favorable" when we beat the Panthers, Jets, Steelers and Falcons. All games you should, and could win. And I'll still believe the Steelers will be bad when the actually are. We are not going anywhere till we start beating them two times a year. They beat us twice last year and went to the playoffs. We win those, and we are in the playoffs.
It's a big season for him. If he somehow navigates the Browns through the waters they need to survive with success then hats off to him. But if nothing has been learned, then things may get interesting up the road.
We will learn a whole lot in week one.