Any way you splice it, last Thursday's victory over the Buffalo Bills was absolutely electrifying! There was something special about watching the Browns play under the lights, in prime time. The stadium felt alive. The team felt alive. It was almost as though First Energy Stadium had a late 90's Jacob's Field magic to it.
Travis Benjamin provided some lightning and the defense dialed back the voltage of Buffalo's offensive attack to help the Browns finish with what many considered a shocking victory. Perhaps what's even more shocking and just as impressive is the fact that this was the Browns' third win in a row and that they now sit in first place atop the AFC North.
Please don't stop Mike!
If it feels this good now? Imagine how good it will feel when we go all the way?
I don't want to repaint the last, oh, say, 20 years of Cleveland Browns history. However, if you're reading this article, there's a good chance you already know the history. To that I say: enjoy a much deserved drink, I feel your pain.
Yet if you somehow don't know the history? Well then to that I say: you're much better off not knowing it.
But if you insist, then I recommend enjoying a couple of drinks before taking the time to research the last 20 years of Browns history. It's ugly. It sucks. And that's the truth.
Listen, that feeling you have right after you finish those two drinks, yet just before you start reading about the disaster that is recent Browns' history, might be the best feeling you have the rest of your day. The last 20 years have been soo bad that it might cause your brain to short circuit.
And that, in fact, that is what happened to the Cleveland Browns organization over this time frame. The original organization was ripped away in the middle of the night and "new wiring" was jammed back into the original organizational cockpit. Over time what was operating the team became so corroded, so "outside of NFL code", that the only way to repair it was literally to reboot, rebuild and re-wire the entire system.
And that's exactly what we've been witnessing in Berea from our new owner, front office executives, scouts and coaches; to new facilities; to new sponsors; to plans for new scoreboards, sound systems and uniforms; to the new fan experience; to a new sense of identity instilled by leadership and coaches; to the players getting amped and believing that the "buzz of change" surrounding Cleveland, this time, is actually real.
It's true that many fans nearly blew a fuse following the Trent Richardson trade. And I had heard some rumors that the locker room was not happy about it either. Yet after some reflection many began to see that the value we received will probably be much greater than the production we had seen from Richardson. He is a power back, not an elite back that you expect from the #3 overall pick. More importantly, it became clear that whatever the internal message was in the wake of the Richardson deal, and however it was received / perceived by the players in the locker room, Joe Banner and Coach Chudzinski clearly sparked a sense of urgency to perform and to win right now.
@brentsobleski: So, G.Little & M.Schwartz now publicly named as possible trade bait? It's as much a motivational tool as it is the FO testing the market
@brentsobleski: #Browns responded when Richardson was dealt. It was a wake-up call in locker room. That's a big part of team's current 3-game win streak
The teams' recent use of the media to extend Joe and Chud's message that players aren't "safe" or entitled to anything only helps to keep players motivated to work hard and perform.
I like it.
I'm tired of being the nice guys in the NFL. I want to win and I want to win by imposing our will on the other team until they can't take it any more.
I want to beat the Steelers 51 - 3 this year and laugh about it. . . forever.
Coach Chudzinski appears to be to the players in the locker room what flint and air are to dry kindling. Although I had been skeptical, Chud has clearly helped to set this team ablaze and has sparked them to follow the organization's lead during a time of adversity. To his credit, the players appear to have bought-in and he has found a way to focus these men on nothing else but the taste of victory.
Like a ravenous wolf pack with the smell of blood in the air, by winning Chud has created an insatiable hunger for more winning.
While there are certainly more ups and downs ahead this season I believe the team has the talent to continue to shock the NFL, and our fan base. Unlike our wretched recent history might predict, this group is not afraid of a challenge.
They want more.
The scent is in the air.
And the Lions are next.