More action, less talk

When I was in high school, I mastered the art of talking a good game.

“What I really need to do,” I’d say. “Is use a different approach to how I’m studying for this algebra test. I need to wipe the slate clean and look at things differently.”

And then I’d fail the test.


When it comes to the Cleveland Browns, they’ve mastered the talking part of the equation. Every two years (or so it seems), the Browns fire the old coach, hire the new one, and embark on a new era.

And then the results are just like they were before.

Rob Chudzinski is the Browns sixth full-time coach since 1999. Some have called his hiring a surprise.

To me, the only thing this franchise can do to surprise me anymore is win.

If Chudzinski, who has been an offensive coordinator for two teams (one the Browns) who didn’t make the postseason during his tenures, can make the Browns into a winner, then that’s great.

But it will be a surprise.

It was, frankly, tiresome to read some of the quotes from Chudzinski’s opening press conference as Browns coach.

Before he even was asked a question, Chudzinski used the word “process.”

Yawn. Heard it, seen it before. Too much process, not enough progress. Five coaches have come to this city with plans. Only two of them – Butch Davis and Romeo Crennel – can claim a single winning season.

Chudzinski talked plenty about being a Browns fan growing up. The cynic in me says that means he’s gotten used to losing. In fact, if you look at his career as an NFL assistant, he has coached in no Super Bowls at any position. Not that it should be a major factor. Crennel has plenty of Super Bowl rings. It didn’t make him a successful head coach.

It would have been nice if Chudzinski would have said the Browns want to win the AFC North in 2013. It may have been overly optimistic, but at least it would have put the focus on the most important thing: winning.

You see, you can have processes, mission statements, theme songs, TV shows on the Travel Channel or a board game for all I care. Another 11-loss season, another losing season, will make Chudzinski, team president Joe Banner and owner Jimmy Haslam look like everyone who came before them.

Browns fans are ridiculously loyal. The bond between the team and its fans is unbreakable.

But words are meaningless without results.

I could talk to my parents about my philosophy, my study habits, my process. Eventually they figured out that there was nothing behind the talk. I was going to fail algebra.


The Browns need action.

Chudzinski needs to do for the Browns what Mike Smith did for the Falcons, what Jim Harbaugh did for the 49ers, and what Chuck Pagano and Bruce Arians did for the Colts.

Their respective teams had losing records the season before they came in as coaches. They took over, and their teams were in the playoffs their first year.

As far as I know, there is no law that keeps the Browns from doing the same thing.

Talking is overrated. Winning is not.

Time to get to work, guys.

Zach Baker is the sports editor for The Advertiser-Tribune.

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