I'd like to wish everyone here at Dawgs By Nature a Merry Christmas! We've been around since 2006, and after looking at the archives, I realized that I've never made any form of a front page post on Christmas Day.
Christmas is the season to be in good spirits. As football fans, it has not exactly been very "cheery" for Cleveland Browns fans. In fact, it has felt like this whole season has been the equivalent to a lump of coal in our stockings. I think the thing that has hurt most this season is the team's play in division games. In four of the five contests, Cleveland has either blown a lead or had a golden opportunity to score a go-ahead touchdown. Just like they did on Christmas Eve against the Ravens, they were unable to come through with a victory.
If you're not in good spirits, then maybe this will cheer you up: this team has an opportunity to cash in during the 2012 NFL Draft and the offseason in general. By having two first-round draft picks, the Browns can either get two impact players (at least one on offense), or they can cash both of those picks in for a franchise, almost "epic-sounding" quarterback. The front office has also said they'll be more active in free agency.
Having only four wins and failing to do anything within the division isn't something we look forward to, but think of it this way: even though there's still one game left, the "rough patches" have already come and gone. We can sweep this season under the rug and look forward to how Pat Shurmur and company do with a full offseason program in place. Mike Holmgren is confident that things will turn around, and they just might when you have players like Joe Thomas, Alex Mack, Joe Haden, Jabaal Sheard, and [hopefully] Peyton Hillis as the core members of your team.