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Tuesday, January 28, 2014
The true meaning of the eight ball

By Pat McManamon

The competition got no easier for the Cleveland Browns in the AFC North this week.

Even though no player was added or signed, the Baltimore Ravens got better.

The Ravens hired Gary Kubiak to be their offensive coordinator, with former Texas offensive coordinator Rick Dennison taking over as the Ravens quarterback coach.

That means each of the other three teams in the AFC North has a former head coach as offensive coordinator. And each is working with an established quarterback.

In Baltimore, it’s Kubiak and Joe Flacco. In Pittsburgh, it’s Todd Haley and Ben Roethlisberger. And in Cincinnati, it’s Hue Jackson and Andy Dalton.

Flacco and Roethlisberger have each won Super Bowls. Dalton has made the playoffs in each of his first three season in the league.

The cherry on top of the sundae? All the AFC North coordinators and quarterbacks are working for coaches who have been with their teams in the AFC North for a combined 23 years.

The Browns have a first-year head coach, an uncertain quarterback and an offensive  coordinator to be named.

This is what Mike Pettine referred to when he said it’s not a perception that the Browns are behind the eight ball, but reality.