This is the 25,000th post on Waiting For Next Year. How I wish it were about something better than a Browns player swinging a helmet at a Steelers quarterback, but there is something fitting in that. This site has been around as long as it has been due to you, the reader and fan, and your drive to always want more from our Cleveland teams. And at the crux of it, that’s what this piece is about too: wanting more from a player. Be better today.
This doesn’t happen in other cities. We are cursed or something I swear. A perfectly decent game, a win no less, on national television, for the world to see the strides the team has made since being the laughingstock of the NFL and the #SameOldBrowns, and all anyone wants to talk about is Myles Garrett swinging a helmet at a player on the opposing team. There’s something so Brownsian in it all, and there is a phrase that site founder Craig Lyndall uses a lot to describe the numerous calamitous situations Cleveland has found itself in over and over: we major in the minor. Over and over again, self-inflicted injuries come back to bite us in the ass, and last night is no different.
Now, it should be said that Rudolph did instigate the situation, whether you want to count the punch, the supposed kick, or the attempted wrenching of the helmet off of Garrett’s head as the opening salvo, but to say Rudolph was an innocent bystander to the crazed beast is just wrong. Did Garrett maybe have a little extracurricular fun and drive him into the ground? Sure, but that doesn’t warrant ripping a player’s helmet off, just the same as Garrett was unwarranted in his actions as well. What Garrett did is exactly as Baker Mayfield said four times in his post-game, on-field interview with Erin Andrews: inexcusable. That’s why the Browns need to be proactive and suspend the player for the rest of this season.
Full Baker Mayfield postgame. Good, honest take on the fly. Didn’t pull any punches on Myles Garrett. pic.twitter.com/DSi3NqGaLQ
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) November 15, 2019
Don’t wait for the NFL to dole out its uneven discipline, as inevitably members from either side will be upset with the length regardless. Get ahead of the curve and do it now. It’s the right thing to do and it preaches accountability, something this team and organization have been lax in doing. You made a good first step in releasing Antonio Callaway ahead of his 10-game suspension for failing a drug test, but even that feels hollow given the strikes he had against him despite the “zero tolerance” policy he had with this regime, and you are still dozens of steps behind where you should be in holding players accountable for their actions.
The Browns have now had four players ejected from a game this season which is the most of any team this season,1 pulling off the hat trick last night when Garrett, Larry Ogunjobi, and Damarious Randall all went to the locker room earlier than they should have. They have the most penalties committed and called against them. We all know these things, but it wasn’t until we saw Kitchens instill a “training camp style” running punishment for players that made mistakes in practice that we saw any type of accountability and/or change in how those situations were handled. If you want to send a notice to your locker room that this is not tolerated, then suspend Garrett for the rest of the season yourselves, Browns. It’s the right thing to do.
Editor’s Note: The Browns did not have to wait long for the NFL’s recourse as a statement was released this morning indicating that Myles Garrett would be suspended for a minimum of the regular and post seasons of 2019.
Steelers, Browns organizations each fined $250,000.
Browns' Garrett, Ogunjobi & Steelers' Pouncey suspended. pic.twitter.com/HJ4Qnc4xsY
— Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) November 15, 2019
Myles Garrett then released a statement through the Cleveland Browns.
Statement from Myles Garrett: pic.twitter.com/txVA970CmW
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 15, 2019