Updated: Aug 21, 2021
Originally Posted 10/18/2020
I will be blunt and direct, the Steelers are always the aggressors when they play the Browns. I mentioned before that they not only seek to win the game against the Browns, they aim to crush their souls. And not just their souls, but their fans souls as well.
As a life long fan of the Browns I must admit, they have accomplished their goal more often than I care to remember at this moment.
We as a team and a fanbase always feel at a certain point that we are ready to compete with the Steelers and the NFL elite.
What we collectively fail to realize is that we are light years away from that echelon of teams.
It comes down to having an identity on a consistent year in and year out basis. The Browns identity is more closely reflective of losing than the winning we have started this year. Teams like the Steelers have been winning and playing a specific brand of football for my entire lifetime. In the NFL especially, there is no way to fast forward to a top tier team. It takes years of work, not only on the field but in the front office as well.
How can we expect so early in our development to compete with the Steelers consistently when they have had two coaches in my lifetime!
I really do not wish to name all of the head coaches the Browns have had over the same period of time.
For the record, I never deemed this game a must win at all. I admit that I was disheartened yet again by the way the game went and the utter destruction the Steelers imposed on the Browns.
But the Browns still have a lot of games left against teams they have a great chance of beating and competing against. They can get better as a team in all facets of the game, yes even Baker Mayfield can and will be better than today. Stefanski strikes me as the kind of coach who can go back to the drawing board and and keep them focused on everything that is ahead.
As they undoubtedly alter their scheme moving forward, what I hope for most as a fan is that they increase their toughness. I am not saying they are not tough, but they are not Steeler tough, not Raven tough, not yet.
And that is where identity and culture come into play most. The Steelers have that part down, no matter who dons their uniform, they play the Steeler way. Tough, hard nosed, and with grit. They seek to kick your...well you know what I mean.
That is what we need. When we touch that field we need that mindset.
Football is not like the NBA where the most talented team normally wins in all. Football is about the collective whole coming together to kick your...you know. And even if you don't, there was no doubt in the minds of the fans or the other team that you intended to kick some...you get it by now.
The Browns are still 4-2 even after today. There is so much in front of them. A tough team will not spiral into a 4-12 season as we have been so accustomed to over the years. The right coach will keep them playing together and tough. Because there is so much more @#$ to kick moving forward. Including the Steelers and the Ravens if we play the right way...
And that starts with toughness.