Josh McCown

Ahh, Cleveland. A city spoiled by basketball success and enjoying a possible pennant chase on the baseball diamond is already embracing for a dreadful 2016 season. Things got off on the wrong foot in Week 1 with a road loss against the Philadelphia Eagles that led to starting quarterback Robert Griffin III to be placed on injured reserve.

One game in, and Browns fans are hitting midseason form by suggesting the team would be best served to tank the remaining 15 games on the schedule. New Browns starting quarterback Josh McCown, as you might suspect, is not accepting that fate.

“For us to just sit back and say, ‘Yeah, this is the year that we’re gonna tank’ and all that, for a player that’s not our mindset at all and that’s not our expectation, and it fires me up when people say that,” McCown said today on PFT Live. “It fires me up and makes this task even greater. We embrace the opportunity to go out there and maybe do something that people don’t think we can do.”

Real talk. If Cleveland makes the playoffs with Josh McCown leading the way, I will print out this post, put some ketchup on it and eat it on Facebook Live. You have my word. That’s how confident I am that, as McCown says, this is something nobody thinks they can do.

I will, however, give McCown credit for saying what he has to say under the circumstances. The last thing any team will want to hear is the new starting quarterback actively packing it in for the next 15 games.

“For me and the other veterans on this team, a Hall of Famer like Joe Thomas, that can’t and won’t be the mindset,” McCown said. “Our mindset is to compete and play to win football games. The rest of that is down the road, but our mindset is to compete.”

It’s one thing for the players to have an “us against the world” mentality and another for the front office to be orchestrating a broader long-term plan.

The Browns will not be able to go into full tank mode the way the Philadelphia 76ers did and the Cleveland Cavaliers have in the NBA because the leagues are structured differently, and rosters can obviously be overhauled in much different methods.

So no, the Browns may not technically be entering a full tank mode to grab the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft. The reality may just be the Browns are just that bad where they will be in contention for the top overall pick in the spring.

[Pro Football Talk]

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.