Worse than the Raiders?

Worse than the Raiders?

Are the Browns now the NFL's most dysfunctional franchise? Scout.com thinks they have a shot. Plus, a boatload of player notes...

NOTE: OBR staff did not contribute to this article. Not even Rich.


Just when it appeared the Oakland Raiders had solidified their stranglehold on the title of the NFL's most dysfunctional franchise, a new contender has appeared: the Cleveland Browns.

Browns general manager George Kokinis was fired Monday amid unexplained circumstances, and the story only grew stranger the next day.

Coach Eric Mangini, Kokinis' long-time friend who had selected Kokinis to be his boss, wouldn't say why the GM had been ousted. And he refused to say why he wouldn't say why the GM had been ousted.

"I can tell you that for a variety of reasons things didn't work out," said Mangini, whose relationship with the players has come under fire. "You never go into a situation like this with the intention of it not working out.

"We felt that, organizationally, this was the best decision in order to move forward."

It was a speech cribbed right out of the Raiders' organizational playbook.

Amid the front office shakeup, Browns owner Randy Lerner held a two-hour meeting with season-ticket holders. Cleveland's rabid fan base is disgruntled over the team's 1-7 start under Mangini and over an ugly offense that has seen both Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson struggle at quarterback.

At least things won't get any worse for the Browns this weekend. Mercifully, Cleveland has a bye. But the Browns won't be able to hide their flaws when they return to action. Their next game is scheduled for Nov. 16 -- on a Monday night against the Ravens.


NO GM FOR NOW

The Cleveland Browns will operate without a general manager for some time.

George Kokinis did not last a year in the job. He was removed from the job on Monday and escorted out of the building.

Witnesses saw Kokinis being ushered out, but the Browns still denied it happened. Too, the Browns' only statement was that Kokinis "is no longer actively" part of the team.

Coach Eric Mangini merely said things did not work out with Kokinis, the man he handpicked to be the team's GM once he was hired as coach.

"I can tell you that for a variety of reasons things didn't work out," Mangini said. "You never go into a situation like this with the intention of it not working out.

"We felt that, organizationally, this was the best decision in order to move forward."

Mangini spoke as if he made the decision, or at least was part of it. If he was, it doesn't say a lot for the friendship he shares with Kokinis.


PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--K Billy Cundiff was released by the Browns with Phil Dawson having recovered from his calf injury. Cundiff went 6-for-6 on field-goal attempts as a fill-in. The team also released CB Anthony Madison.

--QB Derek Anderson has numbers that are historically bad. Anderson's completion percentage is 42.9; the league average is 60 percent. His passer rating is 36.2. STATS Inc. reports that rating is the lowest for an NFL quarterback through eight week since Marc Wilson had a 29.2 rating in 1981.

--RB Jamal Lewis let his frustration out after the loss in Chicago, saying the way this season is going, it most likely will be his last with the Browns. Lewis is averaging 3.6 yards per carry and has no touchdowns.

--WR Mohamed Massaquoi clearly is not ready to be a No. 1 receiver. Massaquoi has 19 receptions, but eight came in one game against Cincinnati. That was when Braylon Edwards was still on the team. Without Edwards, Massaquoi is just another guy.

--WR Mike Furrey ranks third on the team with 15 receptions even though he barely plays. Furrey can do one thing: line up in the slot and catch an 8-yard pass on third-and-6. On a team like the Browns, Furrey's stats actually look good.

--TE Steve Heiden contributed to the Browns' offensive problems with a key fumble in Chicago. It was unusual from the normally reliable Heiden, but it's illustrative of the offense's struggles. The Browns have scored five touchdowns this season, none by a running back or wide receiver.

--LB Eric Barton left the game in Chicago after taking a shot to the shoulder. The Browns' upcoming bye week should give him to heal before a Monday night game against Baltimore.

--LB Kamerion Wimbley probably will hear from the league after his helmet-to-the-jaw hit on Bears QB Jay Cutler, which left Cutler's mouth bloodied. The league does not look kindly on those hits.

--NT Shaun Rogers has seen his play suffer along with that of the Cleveland defense. Rogers was a Pro Bowler a year ago. This season he's barely visible, as the defense is giving up 170.5 yards per game rushing.

--QB Brady Quinn continues to take the high road about his benching and about the demeaning way he was inserted into a blowout of a game with 3:20 left. Quinn won't criticize the Browns, even though coach Eric Mangini continues to insist he might start Derek Anderson in the next game.

--KR Josh Cribbs is the team's only player worth fantasy consideration, and that's only as a kick returner. Cribbs can score on any return, but if he doesn't, it's likely the offense won't either.

theOBR.com Recommended Stories