What is a Loss for One is a Gain for Others

On October 29th the Cleveland Browns officially fired Hue Jackson as their head coach. After this past Sundays loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksons head coaching record became the second worst of all time. No that is not a typo.

His record as the Browns coach is 3-36-1. This ranks him 218th out of 219 coaches in the history of the NFL. Are we surprised it came from a Browns coach? Probably not.

The offensive coordinator, Tod Haley, was also fired on the same day. There was some speculation as to only one of the two were going to be fired. Instead, the front office decided both of them were not helping the team out at all. Anyone could have figured that out by themselves.

As news broke about the firing of Jackson, Browns fans took to social media and celebrated. It was almost as if they won their first game in three years again. Browns fans everywhere were ecstatic. Hue Jackson’s time in Cleveland was so bad that an actual Browns player compared him to Michael Scott from The Office.

Jackson and Haley losing their jobs means an opportunity for two others to try and rewrite this organizations history. The first is Gregg Williams. He was named the interim head coach by the Browns. Freddie Kitchens was named as the new offensive coordinator. Both Williams and Kitchens have prior experience but its Kitchens who stands out. While calling the plays in the preseason finale against Detroit, Kitchens led Baker Mayfield and the Browns to a 25-0 first-half lead.

This all happened within two days of Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Ty Lue being fired after starting the season 0-6. That alone sent a celebration spree through Cleveland social media. But three coaches fired within two days, from two different sports, all in one city. This must be what making the playoffs feels like.

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Why Joe Thomas is a Hall of Famer

Since 1999 the Cleveland Browns have been the laughing stock of the NFL. They have been made famous by their never-ending quarterback carousel which might have come to a halt with the drafting of Baker Mayfield. Throughout the years there have been a few constant names that were well known in both Cleveland and throughout the league.

Arguably the most constant of those names is Joe Thomas. The linebacker from the University of Wisconson was drafted as the third overall pick by the Browns in 2007. Throughout his career he was elected to 10 Pro Bowls (first 10 seasons in the league), First Team All-Pro seven times, and Second Team All-Pro two times. Perhaps his biggest achievement is that he did not miss a single play of his career until last season.

Last season Thomas tore his tricep which ended his continuous snap streak at 10,363, an NFL record. The injury ended his season and he ultimately made the decision to retire as well.

Thomas has played with 21 different quarterbacks during his career. No, that is not a typo, He actually played with 21 different quarterbacks. That is how bad the Browns quarterback merry-go-round is.

This past weekend the Browns honored Thomas at their game against the Chargers in Cleveland. The number 10,363 was enshrined into the Browns’ Ring of Honor alongside those of Jim Brown, Paul Brown, and Otto Graham.

Only Larry Allen has been elected to more Pro Bowls than Thomas while only John Hannah has been elected to more All-Conference teams. Thomas was so good during his career that the official NFL Hall of Fame website started a countdown for when he is eligible for enshrinement the day that he announced his retirement.

The man who now considers himself a Clevelander will not be eligible for the Hall of Fame until 2023. When that day comes, however, number 73 of the Browns will be enshrined in history right away.

The Ohio Factor

This year the two of the biggest impact players for the Browns are Carlos Hyde and Denzel Ward. Both of whom were born in Ohio. Hyde was born in Cincinnati while Ward was born in Macedonia, just a 45-minute drive to First Energy Stadium. Why does this matter?

The Buckeye state is a powerhouse when it comes to football players. From 2013 through 2017 Ohio produced 4.8% of all four and five-star college football recruits. This is ranked fifth out of all states. A good portion of Ohio State’s roster every year is made up of Ohio recruits.

Could this be because they want the chance to play for the team they cheered for growing up? Possibly. The numbers do not lie, however. There are 42 current NFL players that have played for Ohio State.

When Buckeyes enter the NFL its not in a small way either. In four out of the last five years, there have been at least two Buckeyes drafted in the first round. In 2016 there were five drafted in the first round. Over the past ten years, 56 Buckeyes have been drafted which is the third most out of all football schools.

How many NFL players were born in Ohio you ask? Over 1,000 in the history of the league. Some current big name players are Ben Roethlisberger, Luke Keuchly, Travis Kelce, Kareem Hunt, and Ted Ginn Jr. I guess you could say Ohio is a pretty good football state.

 

We Need Robotic Referees and We Need Them Now

This past Sunday the Browns were so close to starting a winning streak for the first time in what seems like a decade. However, with some very poor calls late in the fourth quarter, this did not happen.

The first stop on this misery train will take place with 6:35 left in the 4th. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr fumbled the football and it was then picked up by Browns’ defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi. Ogunjobi had nothing but open field in front of him and would have ran it back for a Browns touchdown. The Raiders ended up punting on this drive and Browns running back Nick Chubb ran for a 41-yard touchdown a few plays later.

You might think, well they got the points anyway, does it really matter? It does. The defensive touchdown could have killed the remaining hope Raiders fans had. Even ESPN College Football Analyst Kirk Herbstreit showed his confusion on social media.

Our second stop brings us to Carlos Hyde. With only 1:36 left in the 4th the Browns running back ran the ball on a crucial 3rd and 2. After the run officials mark Hyde past the first down marker. Even the chain gang was brought out and confirmed the call.

Replay officials in New York thought different and reversed the call. If called a first down this would have virtually ended the game on the spot. That did not happen, however. The NFL released an explanation for this call but not for the no fumble call.

There has been talk in the MLB about robot umpires for years due to human umps missing crucial calls. It seems very unlikely that robot refs will be introduced to the NFL anytime soon. However, if they are brought in at some point it would give fans a reason to stop complaining about calls and being outraged at the league every fall Sunday. Besides, the NFL cares about the fan experience and not about money, right?