“You can’t win in the NFL playing your third and fourth string running backs”
is the latest in this Season of No Excuses from the Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot. And if you take away the fact that the best Browns win of the last eight years came with the team starting its third string running back, she might be on to something.
Which is interesting for a few reasons, but mostly for what it teaches us about NFL football.
Of course most people will remember that last season, the PD didn’t run a single piece about how “you can’t win in the NFL playing with a rotating collection of third-string quarterbacks, including a rookie, none of whom would start for a single one of your NFL counterparts.” In fact, you won’t remember anyone at the PD ever even suggesting as much, and actually, the editorial line there was the precise opposite. Something like, “you absolutely have to be able to win in the NFL playing with a a rotating collection of third-string quarterbacks, including a rookie, none of whom would start for a single one of your NFL counterparts, or your head coach doesn’t get to keep his job, even though his team stays competitive in every football game with about one-third of a functioning NFL roster, has managed to beat two of the league’s best teams even with the third-string rookie quarterback, and has gained a league-wide reputation as a group that nobody wants to line up against.”
Which leads us to the inescapable conclusion that running backs are more important than quarterbacks in the NFL. Something we wouldn’t know if it wasn’t for the experts at the PD, which is exactly why you have journalism.
Relatedly, here are your Vic Carucci No Excuses quotes of the week:
“[Holmgren, Heckert and Shurmur] trust that the system works and that it will eventually work with the Browns. The bottom line is that they do not have the players to make it work.”
“This isn’t necessarily meant to offer any sort of consolation to Browns fans, but the Texans have an excellent team.”
“It’s fair to say that there was nothing the Browns would have been able to do from a schematic or play-calling standpoint to change things.”
And have you seen the Rams’ schedule? 1-7, but against the Eagles, Giants, Ravens, Redskins, Cowboys, Packers, and Saints. Vic Carucci will tell you, this is no ordinary 1-7 NFL football team.
Four more days who can even wait? You should be able to get in the building for $15 on Sunday so really, no excuses.