With each passing game, there is less and less to be excited about with this Browns team. Sure, at times there are “flashes” of potential on the offensive side of the ball. I am high on rookie wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi and expect big things from him over the next few years.
I think he is a receiver we can build around. But, overall the unit is a mess and I would expect at least a few of the 11 draft picks we have next year to be used to infuse the line with talent and youth.
The defense plays good in spurts and seems to be developing chemistry. But, the majority of picks next year need to be spent here. If I were to find one bright spot on that unit to get excited about though, it would be rookie linebacker Kaluka Maiava. Last night he registered a career-high eight tackles in what was his second start of the season. Mangini got this one right. This guy is a gamer.
Don’t be surprised if the most popular jersey sold in this town over the next few months will have his name and number on it. The guy represents everything Browns defense was about pre-1999. He is strong, fast and a hitting machine.
In the mold of some of our greats like Matthews and the Johnson’s, Maiava is a gritty player, the kind who carries his “lunch pail” to work each day. His time at USC prepared him well. Not only for the challenges, but for long term success once the team turns this around. I can see him becoming a cornerstone in the rebirth of this Browns team and a fan favorite for years to come.
So, as disappointing as Monday Night Football was to watch it is important that we find the diamonds in the rough. Only time will tell if Massaquoi will pan out, but with Maiava the gemstone is there, it just needs to be cut and polished.
I have not given up on the season yet, and although in secret I just pray for us to score a touchdown, out loud I boast that the team has a few wins in them. While I wait, I will keep my eyes on #56, because he is one of the things I love most, a player who never quits and wears the Browns uniform in a way that can make fans proud.