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Are these the same old Cleveland Browns?

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Same Browns time, same Browns season. Same Browns channel.

Everything in Cleveland is status quo. A 2-5 record. Games the team could have won but have not and a lack of leadership at quarterback. In the name of Brian Sipe, why can't this team, 7-9 last season, get it together and play football.

While there probably isn't a chance anyone in the AFC North will catch Cincinnati, there is a chance - always a chance - things could turn around in the city on the lake. Well, a chance, a prayer and nothing else. This is Cleveland after all. But if you listen to comments made by the team's general manager, there is still hope. And a sense of urgency.


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"Should we have won some games, could we have won some games? Absolutely. Did we win them? No. So the NFL says you are who you are, you are who your record says you are," Ray Farmer said on "In that instance, we're going to turn around and say, 'OK, we know who we are. We know the games we could have won. We know the games we should have won. We know the mistakes we've made. How do we correct those?'"

A start would be in finding better play behind center. Injuries and poor play between Josh McCown and Johnny Manziel have not helped, as has the inability to close out games. The team fell in overtime last week after clawing back to take Denver to overtime.

A spark might be all this team needs. When it comes from is anyone's guess.

The problem with evaluating the Browns is that there is always a tendency to want to replace the people at the top and start over again. Every two years or so, they are left with players on both sides of the ball acquired for schemes the team is no longer playing. It is a carousel of hope and eventually disappointment.

High draft picks, a season last year where the team did not have double-digit losses and a more competitive spirit led to higher expectations in 2015. But as usual, it has been more of the same old song and dance.

Will the Browns use the second half of the season to springboard toward mediocrity? 7-9 would be welcomed. An 8-8 record would be icing. Anything else and above would be astronomical. But anything less, and the team is back where it usually is - counting losses, looking at roster moves, a high draft pick, and a potential coaching change.

Everything and nothing changes in Cleveland. Or at least seems that way. Management and the coaching staff are trying to change that mode of thinking. All it takes is a win or two and things could turn around. On the other hand, another loss or two could do the same thing.

Yes, there is urgency. Something has to give. One way or another.

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