Picking up the pieces from the Cleveland Browns’ disastrous season

Cleveland basic supervisor Andrew Berry (left) and head coach Kevin Stefanski (right) have … [+] Their work cut them off as they attempted to get their team back on track, following a 12-5 record in 2020 and an 8-9 season in 2021. (AP Photo/David Richard)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

He promoted the Cleveland company as an entire, however his words never ever sounded truer to the company’s long-suffering fans.

“The hardest part of today,” basic supervisor Andrew Berry informed press reporters in his end-of-season Zoom session on Tuesday, “is that we will not be playing any significant football video games for the next 9 months. It leaves a quite sour taste in all of our mouths.”

After a tasty 2020 season that saw them publish a 12-5 record under NFL Coach of the Year Kevin Stefanski, make the playoffs for the very first time in 18 years, and win a postseason video game for the very first time in 24 years, the laid 2021 among the greatest eggs in franchise history.

Considered by lots of as a Super Bowl competitor early in the season, the rather failed to an 8-9 record and missed out on the playoffs for the 18th time in 19 years.

Cleveland just beat one team with a winning record. That team was Cincinnati. The beat the Bengals two times, however the 2nd win was available in the last video game of the routine season, in which the AFC North champs Bengals rested much of their secret players.

How dead in the water were the 2021 Browns? They played the last 3 months of the season without winning successive video games.

Their offense was anticipated to be among the highest-scoring in the league, however rather the were beat by their challengers (371-349) for a 14th straight season and the 26th time in the past 29 years, dating from the year 1990 (they weren’t gone beyond by 1996-98 due to the fact that they didn’t have a team).

“A missed out on chance”, Stefanski called his team’s stopped working 2021 season. “We weren’t constant adequate to win regularly.”

If the Browns’ blowout season has any silver lining, it’s that they can prepare early for the 2022 season. The elephant in the space for those preparations is the status of quarterback Baker Mayfield, who attempted to play through several injuries and all that got him was a disastrous season. In 14 video games, Mayfield has actually been near bottom in the league in a lot of crucial quarterback statistics, consisting of goal passes (17) and interceptions (13).

It came at a hard time for Mayfield, who is attempting to show to club authorities that he deserves a huge agreement extension. He’ll make $18.9 million in 2022, however the concern is by who?

Right now, Berry has no option however to state what he stated Tuesday when inquired about Mayfield’s future in Cleveland.

“We anticipate Baker to be our starter (next season) and recuperate,” Berry stated. “It’s simple to forget that Baker had his most efficient year under Kevin on offense (in 2020). We understand Baker’s work principles; we understand what drives him. We saw him as a gifted passer in this league.”

On January 19, Mayfield will have surgical treatment to fix a torn labrum in his left shoulder. How much of Mayfield’s disappointing 2021 season was down to his shoulder injury and many other bumps and swellings – he’s been sacked a massive 43 times in simply 14 video games, the 4th most in the league – is up for argument.

There’s no contesting this team was developed to win now. Can a healthy Mayfield offer the quarterback play required for a capacity Super Bowl competitor? Can the Browns pay for to wait another year to discover the response to that concern?

Some think Stefanski’s play has actually done Calling an injustice to Mayfield and the team’s offense in basic in 2021. In his very first year as a coach, Stefanski amassed raves about his play calling. Not so in his sophomore year, to the point that some are questioning if being head coach and calling video games at the very same time is excessive for an unskilled head coach.

Berry isn’t among those boy prodigies.

“We have a great sensation about Kevin as a play caller,” Berry stated. “That’s among his strengths.”

Mayfield’s bad season, Stefanski’s doubtful play calling, a string of injuries and favorable COVID tests impacting numerous secret players, bad team chemistry, the interruption of Odell Beckham Jr.’s unpleasant mid-season departure from the team and the seeds of difference it might remain in sewn in the dressing space or not.

There’s no scarcity of theories regarding why this Cleveland team started the 2021 season with sky-high expectations however ended it with unlimited head-scratching speculation about how and why all of it went so incorrect so rapidly — and how to repair it on the finest can repair.

“We were too irregular in all stages. We’ll evaluation whatever in the team,” Berry stated.

“Every time you fail, you question whatever,” Stefanski stated. “There’s a great deal of things to take a look at and find out from.”

And regrettably, being early in the season, the now have lots of time to do simply that.

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