Monday, December 21, 2009

286 yards and a cloud of dust

I'm seeing alot of irony in Jerome Harrison's monster 286 yard performance against the Chiefs. I present for your consideration:

>> Jamal Lewis' 295 yards against the Browns back in 2003 was a similar effort as Harrison's yesterday. Both were equal parts luck, good offensive line play, and poor tackling.

>> Although Lewis has had a solid career, I think the consensus is he's no Hall of Fame material. His 295 yard game and 2000 yard season were outliers, with the rest of his career being pretty pedestrian.

>> Despite the fact that those performances were outliers, Lewis continued to benefit from them for the remainder of his career. The way I see it, without those two high marks on his resume, he would've been no higher regarded than Thomas Jones or Fred Taylor. I doubt he would've gotten paid as much as he was by the Browns if that 295 yard day wasn't so prominent in the Browns' collective memory.

>> It seems like its been years that I've been calling for Harrison to get more touches, rather than making Lewis the feature back. Albeit, Lewis is a bit of a different style from Harrison, but I'm sure working as much in his favor was his history of accomplishments, as well as his pay grade.

>>I doubt yesterday was Harrison's coming out party. It will probably get him some more looks, maybe give him a marginally better payday once he hits free agency. Either way, I doubt the current management is going to try to make him into a feature back.

>> I started off with a point, but seemed to have lost it some where along the way. So it goes.


Re: Holmgren and Mangini-

Holmgren sounds like a great possibility, one should never underestimate a fat man with a mustache. That being said, you're putting a HECK of alot of faith in the man by letting him decide if he's going to be GM or coach. I think thats been one of the Brown's management's biggest problems: putting too much pressure on one guy, making him carry the whole weight on his back.

I won't defend Mangini, I just hate coaching changes. Its a guarantee for a wasted season and a wasted draft. If Holmgren does come in, I hope he considers the situation very closely before making a decision. I won't blame him if he can't make it work with Mangini, but change for change's sake doesn't do anyone any good.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pay no attention . . .

Just for the official record, this is a dead blog. If you happen to see any new postings, its just a rare lapse by a frustrated and/or drunk Browns fan. . .

A few weeks back I shelled out $30 to get access to the NFL Game Rewind, that lets me watch any game from the current season or past season. Being here in DC (for the time being, Hello Cleveland!) I don't get to watch many games live, so I at least like to be able to review them after the fact.

That being said, Dude, WTF?!

Last week's game isn't even worth watching. I'm paying the $30, but tonight when there is flowing beer and pizza at hand, I don't even care to see the travesty that is the Cleveland Browns. I'm watching the Ravens/Chargers game, just because I want to watch an actual football game.

My blood will always be orange and brown, but I'm reaching the end of my patience. Just my luck, by the time I actually am back in the land of the Cleve, Browns games will be blacked out locally, as well.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Is it drafty in here?

This Mangini guy is starting to grow on me. Count me in the camp that likes the draft.

Its seems like the biggest not against the Browns draft is that it was boring, with no potential superstars, and I agree, I don't think that this draft is going to produce any superstars. But I think it went a LOOONG way towards filling in any remaining holes and improving the general level of the supporting cast. Now the superstar-wannabe's we already have on hand (Shaun Rogers, Kam Wimbley, DQwell Jackson, Braylon Edwards, Brady Quinn and/or Derek Anderson) can hopefully live up to their potential, instead of being held back because there's no help around to take the pressure off.

I'm usually in favor of trading down. Drafting in the top 10, especially in a draft as weak as this one, is a curse, not a blessing. Not only do you overpay for a player, but you're practically forced to swing for the fences, even if what is really needed is a nice single to the gap to drive in a run. Out of the top 10 picks this year, at least 5 will end up being busts, but they'll all be paid like superstars. Why hijack your salary cap for those kinds of odds?

Frankly, once Aaron Curry was gone, I was happy to ditch the pick and not take a QB, regardless of what we got from the Jets. Sanchez has only started 16 games! None of the other "options" for that slot sounded too great, either. So I would've been fine if the trade had just been for the Jets 1st and 2nd picks. Getting the three players is just a bonus. The three Jets we're getting all help fill holes with some known quantities, even if its unlikely that any will be superstars. The other trades in the first with Tampa Bay and Philly were great moves, too, sliding down a few spots, still drafting a solid player, and picking up a couple more draft picks in the process.

I think a huge reason our offensive production fell off last year is our loss of Joe Jurevicis, which left us with no one who could move the chains consistently on third and long and take the pressure off the vertical threats. So I'm thrilled that we picked up two guys with alot of potential to fill that #2 role. Don't look at it as wasting a pick on a #2 receiver, look at it as using a pick to resurrect your #1 receiver, since he needs a good #2 across from him.

Overall, we have 11 new players from this weekend, not counting the undrafted free agents who have been signed. Chances are at least 3 will be starting on opening day (Alex Mack, Brian Robiskie, Kenyon Coleman), while others will fill holes even if they aren't starting right now (Abram Elam, Brett Ratliff, David Veikune, Mohamad Massaquoi).

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I don't want to get into the Donte Stollworth situation. Its too serious for a football blog. I just want to say that he should be cut.

Friday, March 13, 2009

That is appropriate

I approve of signing a player nicknamed "Pork Chop". That his Christian name is Floyd is simply a bonus.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

And your mama, too

Why is Eric Mangini so dead set on alienating the Browns fanbase?

So far he has:
>> Alienated Shaun Rogers
>> Signed a number of no-name Jets, including signing Hank Poteat when Leigh Bodden could still have been had.
>> Traded Kellen Winslow Jr. (although this was already coming)
>> Declared that Browns history is meaningless
>> Cut Joe Jurevicis, despite his desire to stay with the team and to take a pay cut.

Its enough to make me wish we still had the Crennel/Savage duo. Yeah, they were incompetent, but at least they didn't actively try to piss off the fans.

Assuming that Mangini is intentionally trying to tick us off, here are a couple more ideas for him:
>> Cut Phil Dawson. Sign a kicker with a European name and a big leg, whose every kickoff is a touchback, but whose field goal percentage is the same from 30 yards as it is from 50.
>> Sign or trade for a marginal veteran QB (Kyle Boller, Jeff Garcia?). After an inconclusive and unbalanced QB competition, declare him the winner based on a "gut" feeling, while DA and Brady Quinn sit on the bench. Despite his performance (or lack there-of), stick with him.
>> Use our 4th round pick to draft a long-snapper who can compete with Ryan Pontbriand
>> Compare Browns fans unfavorably to Ravens fans or steelers fans
>> Flatly refuse to let Josh Cribbs do anything
>> Sign a marginal Jets backup running back and cut/don't use Jerome Harrison
>> Ignore special teams
>> For the legacy/team advisor position, replace Jim Brown with John Elway
>> Trade up in the draft to take a new QB
>> Lose to pittsburgh

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Experience counts, does anything else?

I won't pretend that this is still a functional blog. Work is busy, and I've lost a bit of the passion (for reading every scrap of Browns news and posting, not for the Browns themselves). I'd like to keep it up, but we'll see.

But the coach search has gotten me riled up enough to figure out what my password is.

I don't have much faith. Lerner came into this search process with one thing in mind: hire a guy who has coached before. Shanahan, Cowher, and Schottenheimer were all out of the running, so our only choices were Detroit's guy, Crennel, or Mangini.

I'm OK with putting a premium on experience, but that shouldn't be your sole criteria. Here, I think it was.

This will not end well.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nah, calling it your job don't make it right, boss

A few things have surfaced about the Browns in the last 36 hours, but I'll leave the sloppy performance against the Redskins to another post.

Most interesting to me are the emerging details around Kellen Winslow's recent visit to the Cleveland Clinic, which was not just to cheer up sick kids as one might have expected. Pardon me if I sound a bit conspiratorial, but I just finished watching JFK.

So Winslow goes into the hospital for three days. The only word emerging from the Browns, via coach Crennel, state simply that its a minor issue that he can't discuss. Meanwhile, rumors run rampant around the internet that Winslow is there because of "swollen testicles", with some rumor mills suggesting its a case of the clap (no doubt from an overzealous WAC?).

After returning to the field and taking part in an ugly Browns' loss, Winslow breaks the silence to say he was in the hospital because of an all-too-frequent staph infection. Now Winslow is being portrayed as the villain for going public, with Crennel threatening to fine or suspend Winslow, and Terry Pluto writing the Browns' front office's cover story.

Winslow has seen his share of adversity over the years, and he has brought alot of it on himself. And I'm aware that he has been vocal that he wants a new contract (which, I have pointed out before, is not entirely undeserved). But to suggest that his disclosure (which the Browns have confirmed) is nothing but a money-grabbing scheme (as Pluto has suggested) is just downright wrong.

As briefly noted  opposite of Pluto's take, staph infections are no laughing matter with the Browns. Over the past few years multiple Browns have had already serious injuries turned into life-threatening illnesses by staph infections. The Browns have become the butt of jokes throughout the league because of the frequency of these infections, and there is little doubt that it must enter into any free agent's mind when entertaining offers to join the squad.

Given this history, it's understandable that the Browns' front office wants to keep quiet another outbreak of the dreaded staph infection. Understandable, but unconscionable.

The fact is that, in a time where formerly simple diseases are emerging as uncontrollable plagues (OK, hyperbole, but not much so) the last thing we need as a society is to be sweeping this kind of thing under the rug. Drug-resistant bacterial infections are becoming a fact of life in the sports world and the larger world in general, and its just one more issue that confronts us as a country.

But beyond that, Winslow was being raked over the coals by the free (but unscrupulous) press. Not only was his masculinity being denigrated, but his fidelity to his wife. I, for one, cannot blame the man for setting the record straight, regardless of its effects on the Browns' efforts to control information.

Kellen Winslow has his flaws. But he deserves respect for his commitment to the game, if not to the Browns. On a surgically repaired (but not healed) knee he has dragged himself out there to lay his well-being on the line for the Browns, in both losing efforts as well as winning. In the process he has not only bourn incredible pain (the man has little cartilage left in his knee, dealing with bone scraping upon bone), but actually risking his future ability to walk about freely and unhindered. Yes, he is better compensated than I or most human beings. But what is money, compared to the ability to walk? What is money, compared to the respect of your peers, and the respect of the public?

Winslow had every right to go public with his story, and he will have every right to take the Browns' retaliatory response into consideration when deciding his future with the team. And we may eventually hear the Browns' side of the story. I just hope we can believe it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Whoa baby, whats this football-like substance found in my jar of Browns?

Quick disclaimer: I DID call for benching Derek Anderson. My sudden birth of enthusiasm IS an example of fairweather fandom. And I don't give a $%@$!

But to try to remain some semblance of face, I read and was impressed by this article before the Browns' surprise win over the Giants. The main gist? Through Football Outsiders game charting program, they have been able to show that Derek Anderson's passing has been improving markedly since last year, and its really been an increase of poor receiver play and good defensive play that has held our passing attack back.

But what does any of that matter now? The good guys just won a MAJOR upset, and they did in pretty impressive fashion.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Coin flips and bad coaching

Back when Crennel flipped a coin to decide between Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson, it was ridiculous, but decisive. His current "decision" is still pretty ridiculous, but even lacks the decisiveness of his coin flip.

I assume he feels he's showing his players loyalty and even handedness. It might work if the players were children, but most of them are not, and they must see through this ruse pretty easily.

Regardless of where you come down in the Anderson/Quinn debate, I think few fans can look at this "decision" as a good approach. Crennel should have either given Anderson a vote of confidence, or he should have pulled the trigger on Quinn.

The head coach's primary responsibility is not to draw up playbooks, scout players, or call plays. His primary job is to decide, given the players on the roster, who will be playing on Sunday, and getting those players motivated. Crennel is failing miserably in this regard.

I predict that we will not see Quinn on Sunday, no matter how poorly the offense performs.