Column: Silver lining to another dark day

Jonas Fortune

It seems the Brownies are always out to be heartbreakers of loyal fans.

In recent memory the Browns have seen far too many games come down to the wire only to see the other squad celebrate. Sunday was no different. Matt Stover, the last Raven from the former Browns, booted the ball through the uprights and broke the hearts of Cleveland fans.

I really hadn’t felt this victimized by a Browns game since the Dwayne Rudd helmet debacle in 2002.

But Sunday’s game also gave me a different feeling about the Browns that I hadn’t had in a while, a feeling of optimism and hope. Yes, I realize everyone is already snickering at that comment. I have followed this team for long enough to question that statement myself. Heck, Browns fans say it every year. But, this team is different (I hope) for three reasons:

Charlie Frye.

Kellen Winslow Jr.

Braylon Edwards.

This group isn’t Tim Couch, William Green and Quincy “Hands” Morgan that’s for sure. This new wave of Cleveland players is a breath of fresh air. All three are young, hungry and passionate about bringing a winning team to Cleveland.

Sure Sunday ended with a loss for the Browns, but something else was won. Frye showed why the Browns think he is the quarterback of the future. Winslow continued to establish himself as a go-to guy. And Edwards, although still timid on his new knee, showed just why he was the third pick in last year’s draft.

Winslow is brash and fiery. The guy does not know how to lose and refuses to learn. It was his passion that boiled over last week when he called out the coaching staff for their ridiculous game management and play calling. Winslow was willing to stand up and say what everyone else was thinking, and it definitely paid off this week.

Who really thought the Browns would be able to look the league’s toughest defense in the eye, let alone move the ball the way they did against them?

Not to mention their offensive line was horrendous and the running game was non-existent.

Frye, despite being beaten and bruised, willed that team as far as it went Sunday. The country boy from Willard trusted his playmakers and did his part to get them the ball, even while he was running for his life; Edwards, Winslow and company did the rest.

Watching these three players orchestrate a new era in Cleveland Browns football has given me a new sense of optimism. Although guarded, I finally feel like the Browns might be heading in the right direction.

I recall an interview a few years back when Couch cried on national television. I highly doubt Winslow, Frye or Edwards will be showing tears anytime soon.

Contact sports columnist Jonas Fortune at [email protected].