NOW that the Browns have reached the bye week on their schedule, you have to wonder how many off days coach Eric Mangini will give the players.
They've basically taken off the entire first half of the season, so it's not like they need more down time. However, knowing Mangini's hard-driving ways, he might keep the players in town all week.
The season that just won't go away took another twist Sunday in a 30-6 loss to the Chicago Bears. Brady Quinn replaced quarterback Derek Anderson, who, of course, replaced Quinn at halftime of the third game.
The fact that Mangini benched Anderson wasn't surprising. Why he waited until just four minutes remained in the game to make the move is a head-scratcher.
Quinn was unquestionably bad in his short time as the starter, but Anderson has taken ineptness to new depths. He was 6-of-17 for 76 yards and two touchdowns, including one that Charles Tillman returned 21 yards for a touchdown and sent Anderson to the bench.
Anderson's passer rating was 10.5, which brought back memories of the day in Dallas in 2004 when Jeff Garcia pitched a zero rating. It's hard to believe anyone could pine for the return of Garcia or Trent Dilfer or Kelly Holcomb.
Former Browns general manager Phil Savage told a reporter for a newspaper in Alabama last week that Mangini is ruining the quarterbacks. Savage probably doesn't have much room to talk considering the stable of sub-par talent he left behind, but he does make a valid point.
Body language tells it all. A television shot of Quinn and Anderson sitting side by side on the bench near the end of the game revealed two emotionally-beaten players. Anderson ran faster than Jamal Lewis could hope to when he sprinted to the locker room after the game ended.
Where does Mangini go now that every drawing board at the team facility has been used? It's often been said that the backup quarterback is the most popular man in town. In Cleveland the third-string quarterback is that guy.
It's not a stretch to say that Brett Ratliff should get a chance. By keeping Quinn off the field the organization could avoid paying him an $11 million escalator in his contract based on playing time.
Keeping Anderson off the field has no cost savings, but it would save fans from viewing more gut-wrenching performances.
Let's be fair when doling out criticism. The receiving corps is bad. Mohamed Massaquoi can't stretch a defense. Brian Robiskie can't get off the line of scrimmage. Mike Furrey is a better safety than a receiver. Joshua Cribbs can't get open, and Chansi Stuckey has done nothing of note since arriving in the Braylon Edwards trade.
At this point there's no reason not to stick with Quinn for the rest of the season. Give him the ball for the final eight games and see whether he can be counted on next season or if it's time to look for another quarterback.
Of course, that decision might be made by another head coach. Owner Randy Lerner seems to be serious about hiring a respected football person to oversee the entire operation - a Bill Parcells type. Whoever that might be won't sign on unless he has full power, which he undoubtedly would use to bring in another coach.
The shame of the loss to the Bears was that the defense played well until inevitable fatigue set in. That side of the ball still has problems that need to be fixed, but they're nothing compared to all the holes that have riddled the offense.
There will surely be more calls for the firing of Mangini this week. If Lerner is the type to pull the plug in the middle of the season - I don't think he is - this would be the week to do it because of the 15-day stretch until a Monday night home game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Mangini is likely to finish the season. Who the quarterback will be is something we'll find out today, unless Mangini decides to play a ridiculous mind game with the Ravens and keep the decision to himself.
The last few weeks of the NASCAR season are referred to as the silly season because it's the time when teams make changes for next season. You could say the Browns have reached their silly season.
When you think about it, it's been silly since day one.