If April is the month of fools and when hapless NFL franchises tries to end the woeful season by procuring the highest selection for a chance to land the top prospect in the nation, then the Cleveland Browns can rejuvenate a feeble and hopeless franchise and shrewdly select a franchise quarterback.

Like the rest of the major sporting teams in an impetuous town, fans suffered with agonizing indignities after a major championship drought has caused anguish and lasted eternally.

About a month ago, team president Mike Holmgren convinced a championship-starved city that he’s willing and angling towards a rebuilding project, installing ambition in the near future to erase all the horrid times and remove from the loss column. To Cleveland’s chagrin, their pro football team was doomed and sorely dropped the demised of the Browns, a trend seen frequently at the Dawg Pound.

Last season, the Browns heard downgrading drivel from analyst and journalist, and were renamed the Cleveland Clowns, during a time when a beleaguered coach Eric Mangini, the so-called Man-Genius, name was on the hot seat and potentially was expected to be canned by the end of last season. Thank goodness the signing of Holmgren might have saved his job status. His convincing voice and smart decisions, urged Holmgren to retain Mangini, satisfied of the direction he’s pointing towards in the near future. There were moments, such as last season, when the front office failed to stick with priorities on rebuilding a playoff contender.

But now, one thing is certain about the NFL Draft. It turns out the Browns’ recent draft selection could determine its progress in the next five seasons. Two days away from the draft, Holmgren can do the town a favor when the Browns are on the clock come Thursday night and select Jimmy Clausen, a valiant quarterback who could land with the seventh pick.

All because the Browns emphasizes strong persona in potential draft picks, there’s a good chance that Clausen will be available and embraced as an endearing franchise curer in the upcoming seasons. As it stands, quarterback woes have dented their ability to contend with division rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, or any team for that matter.

It seems doubtful that the Browns will take Clausen, who still needs growth and lacks poise at times as his accuracy is shaky on certain occasions and unwise passes turns into turnovers, mental lapses that could bring back unpleasant setbacks.

Asked about which team he’ll call home as a rookie in the pros next season, Clausen said he thinks the Browns is a suitable fit, partly because the pro style offense is paralleled to Notre Dame’s tactics. At Radio City Hall in New York, someone’s name will be called when the Browns are on the clock, but the question as to whom remains to be seen.

For now, apparently, Clausen’s name is portrayed as rumor, but really is a suit for refurbishing a motionless and attenuated organization that mangled in seating attendance and even in producing quality wins to qualify for the postseason. So the mental welfare of a doomed sports town is an unstable mess until Holmgren begin his regime by drafting a quarterback. Last season, the Browns were a dysfunctional franchise and had the emptiest seating among all venues, without disgruntled fans prompting an untamed protest or entering the stadium with paper bags over their heads amid the entire travesty, surprisingly. None of the Browns faithful boycotted, but now actually have reason to believe there’s hope with Holmgren’s calls and Clausen’s availability.

Perhaps, this season we’ll be able to see whether or not Mangini is worthy of coaching an NFL franchise. Most of the folks in Cleveland were furious with Mangini, encouraging the team to terminate him and hire someone with experience and measured leadership.

The biggest sporting calamity exists in Cleveland, even though there were front office transitions, such as an ineptness era of coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Phil Savage. As a result, the Browns degenerated amongst a lingering farce and left behind humiliation.

All this materialized before Holmgren accepted a challenging assignment and stressful duties. But a troublesome issue that affects a fragile team is the quarterback deficiencies, a weakness the Browns haven’t been able to erect. For some weird reason, Holmgren isn’t as impress or leaning towards drafting Clausen, though his team sorely lacks a trustworthy quarterback. There’s nothing personal, I’m sure. Maybe he thinks Clausen doesn’t blend in nicely with the coaching staff, players or even the formation. Maybe he feels an NFL-ready quarterback will be available and make an immediate impact.


Or maybe he’s not convinced that Clausen is ready to make a sudden transition and turns into a bust?

With numerous flaws, he’ll probably decide to past on offering the young prospect from Notre Dame an enormous paycheck as a NFL rookie. As for the Browns, it makes perfect sense to snatch a quarterback in the first-round, and depart from all the porous collapses at a hard-driven position that generates momentum and effectuates scoring drives. As it was, at one point last season, the Browns were doubted and sluggish at the most important position on the field.

Meanwhile, Clausen is the second-best quarterback in the draft, and executed throws and completed brilliant passes on a stagnant football team. For instance, he completed 28 touchdown passes with only four interceptions while playing most of the year with an injured toe. He still played with resiliency, toughness and poise, all commodities that the Browns need to improve and revoke misery. If you’re obsessed with numbers, his were more efficient and settling than former quarterback Derek Anderson, who was the biggest bust in Browns history and the biggest enemy when he ripped Cleveland fans via e-mail sent to the News-Herald.

You might recall this remark:

“The fans are ruthless and don’t deserve a winner,” Anderson said.

Well, I hate to break it to Anderson. With Holmgren voicing ambition and Clausen as the potential target, the Browns might have a winner.

Rather than picking foolishly and wasting the seventh overall selection, the executives as well as Holmgren has to ponder and wisely choose a superstar prospect that could benefit Cleveland in the future. They are in desperate need of a promising quarterback, after winning a mere five games last season with Anderson completing 33 passes.

There’s one man who likes what he sees from Clausen. The former coach Jon Gruden said, “He plays his best football in the fourth quarter when the games are tight or they’re behind.” As it is currently, the availability of Colt McCoy might be the direction that he has turned towards, while it’s certain that the St. Louis Rams takes Sam Bradford with the first choice.

If Gruden sees much drive and promising results, then Holmgren should take his advice.


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