From The Anchor Desk

By Dave DeNatale

Before we get to anything else in this blog, I just want to take this moment to wish everyone a very safe and happy new year.  I hope all you fans had a wonderful holiday season and are ready for what should be a very interesting 2011 in Cleveland sports.

Maybe I’m a Pollyanna, or have been drinking way too much at the Glass Half Full Tavern, but I didn’t think the Browns season was going to play out like this.  Did you?

Not four straight losses.  Not a 41-9 debacle at the hands of the Steelers.

Back on November 14th, things certainly looked a lot brighter.  Oh, the Browns lost that day to the Jets, but there was something about the way that team played that gave me some hope.  But, like we’ve seen in just about every year since the Browns returned in 1999, things unraveled down the stretch.

Injuries to key players.  Pulling defeat from the jaws of victory.  Runaway trains.

And now, this franchise is faced with the likelihood of yet another coaching change.  If you’re scoring at home—and I know you are—we could see the fifth different head coach hired in 12 years.

Recently, while I was co-hosting ESPN Cleveland Gamenight with T.J. Zuppe, I tried to come up with a list of reasons why Eric Mangini should remain as the Browns head coach.  I pondered, I scribbled, and well there just aren’t enough compelling arguments for his cause.  Especially not after another Steeler beat down on Sunday.  I think the Browns are now something like 4-200 against Pittsburgh since ’99.  Or maybe it just feels like that!

The arguments for a change are pretty simple:  The Browns are 10-22 in Mangini’s two seasons.  They are 2-10 in AFC North games.  They like to kick too many field goals.  Done.

Now it’s time for Mike Holmgren to go to work sans the tie and (borrowing a line from a Star Trek movie) do his first, best destiny: command a football team on the field as head coach.

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