Tag:Braylon Edwards
Posted on: October 7, 2009 4:24 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2009 4:42 pm
 

Edwards Trade Good for Cleveland

So the Browns trade Braylon Edwards to the New York Jets for Chansi Stuckey, Jason Trusnik, a 2010 3rd round draft pick, and a 2010 5th round pick.

Who could have seen this coming?

In all seriousness, this was a great move for not only the Browns, but the Jets and Braylon Edwards himself.

We all know about the drops. We've seen the tantrums on the sidelines. The drunken off field incident with LeBron James' associate proved to be the final straw in the Braylon Edwards saga.

Braylon Edwards is a headcase.

Literally.

His first five years with the Browns have been filled with drama, discipline and dropped passes. He has alienated himself from the fans with "the Michigan comments" and never quite recovered after that. He has suffered from lapses in concentration which have lead to dropped passes and lackidasical route running.

More than anything, Braylon is not the kind of player Eric Mangini believes in.

Mangini said he wants to build this team with tough, selfless players to whom football is important. While no one can deny his toughness, the other two qualities don't seem to line up with the athlete we know to be Braylon Edwards.

Selfless? Hardly. Look no further than Edwards' Twitter page to see just how 'selfless' he really is.

On August 19th at 10:58am, Edwards tweeted: "Hey guys check out the story on my efforts off the field: http://bit.ly/3QISUc "

News flash Braylon: selfless players don't promote their good works in the community. They give back out of kindness without expecting to receive attention or accolades.

Going back to what Eric Mangini said about players, does anyone believe football comes first with Edwards?

I sure don't.

While it's entirely possible he enjoys playing the game, he likely sees football as an avenue toward bigger and better things. If he didn't, then why would he chat up former Ravens' free safety Will Demps about modeling during a game ?

Braylon Edwards might not be selfless, but the two players the Browns received from the Jets definitely fit the bill. Chansi Stuckey is a wide receiver drafted in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Nothing came easy for Chansi. He was not guaranteed millions before he took his first snap. He had to fight just to make the roster, and that gives Stuckey a greater appreciation of where he is and the opportunuty at his feet.

Similarly, Jason Trusnik had to work his way from undrafted obscurity to where he is now. By most accounts, Trusnik is an outstanding special teams player who genuinely enjoys the game of football. He has good size as a linebacker, and seems dedicated to his craft.

With the addition of two additional draft picks, you can't help but be pleased at what the Browns gained from the trade.

Braylon Edwards wanted to be a star and he'll get his chance in the biggest city of them all.



Thank you Braylon for your time in Cleveland.

I don't know what time your flight out of Cleveland leaves, but I hope you catch it.


Category: NFL
Posted on: October 5, 2009 6:16 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2009 7:05 pm
 

Braylon Edwards: On The Block?

Braylon Edwards has been making a lot of noise lately.

Unfortunately for the Browns, none of it has been on the field.

After last night's altercation outside a downtown Cleveland night club, it seems Edwards' time in Cleveland has just about run out.

(For those who haven't read about the incident, you can do so here .)



Braylon Edwards' relationship with Eric Mangini began on shaky terms, to say the least.

Edwards often referred to Mangini's predecessor Romeo Crennel as "a fatherly figure" and he seemed visibly upset to see Crennel go. Despite the new regime change, it seemed the two men would be able to peacefully co-exist as superstar and head coach.

That, however, was short lived.

Just months after Eric Mangini took over as head coach, rumors surfaced that the Browns were interested in dealing Braylon Edwards.

Browns GM George Kokinis made it no secret that he had been involved in serious negotiations with the New York Giants involving Braylon Edwards. The talks heated up and were the topic of conversation all summer, but nothing came to fruition.

According to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, "[The Giants] nor any other team [offered] a first-rounder for Edwards. The trade offers the Browns received were far more modest than that -- middle-round picks and so-so veterans."

Edwards downplayed the rumors and made it known he was interested in staying in Cleveland.
 
In the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft, there was speculation the Browns were interested in drafting Michael Crabtree with the fifth overall draft pick.  That speculation came to end after reports surfaced Mangini was turned-away by Crabtree's diva attitude.

Edwards himself is no stranger to the 'diva' label.

Through his five year career in Cleveland, Edwards has been criticized for his tantrums on the sidelines.

In 2005, Edwards came under fire for an on-field conversation he had with former Ravens' safety Will Demps about the modeling industry.

In 2008, Edwards fired at Cleveland fans, saying his college career at Michigan has resulted in unfair treatment.

Edwards' string of diva-like behavior over the years certainly contrasts the blue-colar, football first approach Mangini demands of his players.

Such behavior may have influenced the Browns' decision-making in the NFL Draft. Cleveland selected wide receivers Brian Robiskie (36th overall) and Mohamed Massaquoi (50th overall) in the second round of the NFL Draft.

Using such high picks on wide receivers may be an indication that the Browns are planning for a future which may not include Braylon Edwards.

After the NFL Draft and through the beginnings of training camp, Edwards missed several days on the "non-football injury" list. At the time, Mangini did his best to downplay the absence of his star receiver.

"I think we'll keep evaluating it and as soon as they do he'll be out there," Mangini said.

"You want everybody to be out there at all times, but it's no different than the situation you deal with during the course of the season. You go in with the best plan and what you consider to be your best group of guys and that is what you're going to move forward to."

  Once Edwards arrived in camp, he drew Mangini's ire for what was referred to as internal business. Around the same time, Edwards reportedly suffered an injury later attributed to a pick-up basketball game. The injury separated Edwards from all official team activity, as he was alienated all through the early parts of training camp open to the media.

Edwards later rejoined the team and participated in all team activities throughout the offseason.

The most recent, and perhaps final incident concerning Braylon Edwards occurred yesterday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Edwards took offense to the way Jerome Harrison was treated by Cincinnati player. He was involved in a fight which resulted in offsetting personal foul penalties - something Mangini has stressed since his arrival in Cleveland.

Edwards finished the game with zero receptions for the first time in his professional career.


  With the trade deadline only weeks away, I fully expect the Browns to entertain offers for their star receiver. Braylon never seemed to fit in with the qualities Eric Mangini believes in, and this latest distraction may be the final straw.

A supreme talent like Braylon Edwards will certainly draw the attention of teams around the league.

The San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys would be great fits for Edwards.

The NFL trade deadline is October 16th.






Category: NFL
Posted on: December 15, 2008 12:50 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2008 4:32 pm
 

10 Reasons to Watch Browns/Eagles


Top 10 Reasons to Watch Browns vs. Eagles




10. Ken Dorsey's Arm Strength



When looking at quarterbacks, it is fashionable to site arm strength as the most overrated characteristic in the entire evaluation process. Accuracy and decision-making are widely regarded as the two most important factors, and perhaps rightfully so.

On Monday night, we put that theory to the test. Cleveland Browns backup quarterback Ken Dorsey has a notoriously weak throwing arm. Last week against the Titans, Dorsey was unable to complete a number of pass attempts down field - virtually all of which were underthrown. Tonight we see just how arm strength plays into being an effective quarterback. Can Dorsey dink and dunk the Dawgs to victory? Is he capable enough to earn a roster spot next year? What does that say about Brady Quinn - another accuracy-based passer? These questions and more will be answered during the game.



9. Tony Kornheiser is Hilarious



Not taking anything away from any other broadcast tandems, but the trio of Ron Jaworski, Tony Kornheiser, and Mike Tirico are very entertaining to watch. It takes a special group of guys to pull off the three-man booth and ESPN managed to find the perfect combination. Jaworski's insightful game analysis combined with Tirico's play-by-play and Kornheiser's witty remarks keep the action fresh and lighthearted.


8. The Fantasy Playoffs



With the conclusion of this game, the first week of the fantasy playoffs will officially come to an end. Fantasy players around the nation have been particularly disappointed by the overall disappointment created by the Cleveland Browns, and Monday night's game is the icing on the cake. Whether you're in dire need of Phil Dawson field goals, a stout Eagles defensive performance, or a certain skill position player to light it up, this game provides the last chance for a late night miracle. Speaking of skill position players...


7. Will Braylon Edwards continue to drop passes?



The more appropriate question would be to ask whether Dorsey will even have the time to even find Edwards, but regardless - this will be interesting to watch. For wide receivers of Edwards' caliber, a prime time stage should bring out a prime time performance. Edwards has been inconsistent all season - unofficially dropping upwards of 15 passes. If Braylon wants to be considered one of the best at his position, he must do whatever it takes to come up with a big game when his team needs him the most. This is a weekend where Andre Johnson and Antonio Bryant both came up huge for their teams, so Edwards must step up in a big way to remain in that elite receiver class.



6. Browns Secondary Against Eagles Receivers

vs.

Cleveland's cornerback duo of Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald can establish themselves as two of the better young defensive backs in the game. Wright, the speedy second round draft selection from UNLV has done an admirable job for the disappointing Browns. He will most likely line up against Philadelphia's Kevin Curtis in a matchup which will determine the effectiveness of the Eagles' passing attack. DeAngelo Hall made a name for himself by shutting Terrell Owens down on a prime time stage, and Wright in particular has a chance to do something similar for himself.



5. How bad could it get?


The NFL is a competitive league of full of parity and close games, but this one could get ugly. Philadelphia has the world to play for while the hapless Browns have nothing but pride. If the Eagles are able to control the line of scrimmage and time of possession, the route may be on. According to CBS projections, the Eagles are favored 99 to 1. It could get ugly. For those who like a David versus Goliath matchup or just like rooting for the underdawg, this game is for you.

Additionally, this may be the last time the NFL puts the Cleveland Browns anywhere near a prime time game. For those outside the area, this may be the last time you ever get to see the Browns on television!


4. Brian Westbrook is talented.



It's been said before, but Brian Westbrook is the best running back in the NFL that no one talks about. His name should be listed among the top 5 backs in the league, yet for some reason he does not receive the publicity of a Marion Barber or an Adrian Peterson. Westbrook is Marshall Faulk incarnate - possessing the ability to run inside and outside the tackles while making catches out of the backfield. For as talented a tailback as he is, Brian is twice the receiver. It will be a treat to watch one of the best running backs of this generation, so sit back and enjoy what will be a classic performance.



3. D'Qwell Jackson's Emergence on Prime Time Television



If you haven't heard the name yet, now is your chance to meet D'Qwell Jackson - one of the premier young inside linebackers in the NFL. Jackson made a name for himself last weekend against the Titans. He intercepted Kerry Collins twice with a third slipping through his hands. Jackson is a hustle type - showing good lateral direction and instincts while playing hard on every play. His quickness and aggressive style of play make it no mystery why he leads the NFL in tackles. The lone bright spot in Cleveland's linebacking corps, D'Qwell should provide football fans with an exciting performance. Keep an eye out for number 52.



2. How many positions will Josh Cribbs play?



Get used to seeing that face, because number 16 will be everywhere. Cribbs returns kicks and punts, plays gunner on the special teams coverage unit, lines up as a receiver, plays quarterback, and lines up in the backfield as a running back. Regardless of where he starts, Josh Cribbs is a dynamic player with game-changing speed and agility. The key to this matchup is how Jim Johnson's defensive unit contains Cribbs, and how the Browns counter back. If Cleveland's swiss army knife is left unaccounted for, this game will be a lot more interesting than it leads on to be…



1. Donovan McNabb



The most exciting part of this game will undoubtedly come from Donovan McNabb. The embattled Philadelphia quarterback cannot afford to stumble in a game ripe with playoff implications for his team. If he didn't have enough to play for already, there is added motivation for McNabb to prove something to the Cleveland Browns. Flashback to 1999. The Browns held the number one overall draft pick and needed a quarterback to build their expansion franchise around. Tim Couch was selected over Donovan McNabb who the Browns deemed too wild to be a successful NFL passer. Oops!



Sircheeks' BOLD prediction:
Cleveland Browns: 9
Philadelphia Eagles: 20

What they're saying:
"They are a good football team. They are excited about where they are. They feel like they've got a chance to make it to the playoffs and so they need to win out because they're playing in a tough division. It's Monday night I know that they'll be ready to play as well as we'll be ready to play"

~Romeo Crennel on the Eagles

"They're a great defense. Not only are they great schematically, but great personnel wise. They've been giving offenses fits for many years now and that's part of the fun and excitement in playing Philadelphia."

~ Ken Dorsey

"The thing about Brian is if you give him a seem, he gets to the second level [and] he's gaining yards and he's hard to tackle. He's got great vision and great quickness. Likewise as a pass receiver, they have routes designed to get him the ball out of the backfield where the matchup is on a linebacker. And many times he's able to beat that linebacker and end up gaining big yards as well."

~ Romeo Crennel on Brian Westbrook

"We can't relax. We have to win out, so there's no room for that. We have to come on ready to play on Monday night on a national stage and play well. We don't have that luxury right now. They're a lot better than their record. You can say the same thing for us. I don't think that really matters. The bottom line is we have to come out ready to play and they're going to come out ready to play."

~ Quintin Mikell
Posted on: November 23, 2008 5:28 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2008 9:03 pm
 

Week 12: 'Tis the Season for Giving


Ahh yes, Thanksgiving. It is the season for family, generosity, and celebrating the past. The game between the Houston Texans and the Cleveland Browns provided a perfect microcosm of the holiday - and I can't help but feel all warm and fuzzy inside because of it.

Family
For two out of division teams, the Browns are so close they should be considered relatives. The two teams have exchanged so much personnel over the last few seasons. On the Browns, Shantee Orr, Robaire Smith, and offensive line coach Steve Marshall have all come from the Texans. Houston has former Browns Kevin Bentley, Chaun Thompson, and Andre Davis all starting on their roster.

Generosity
The Texans are notoriously generous - ranking dead last in turnover differential at -13. Their defense has allowed a charitable 28.7 points per game heading into Cleveland. Sage Rosenfels and the Texans desperately tried to give this game away with two costly turnovers. Despite that show of kindness, it was the hospitable Browns who outdid them in the end - turning the ball over 5 times in one game.

Celebrating the Past
Cleveland honored Browns teams of years past with an anemic offensive performance and a sickeningly soft defense. Their play today was so nostalgic of the expansion Browns team, I almost shed a tear. The Texans also did their best honoring their sub-.500 ancestors, however they fell short and won the game.



The Good
  • Lawrence Vickers performed well in his return from injury. Both Jerome Harrison and Jamal Lewis benefited from Vickers' vision - which provided an offensive spark the Browns needed to help sustain drives. One of the main problems with this offensive unit is pass protection. With Brady Quinn under center, Rob Chudzinski has placed an emphasis on pre-determined reads and short 3 step drops. It is critical the offensive linemen hold their blocks for that short amount of time necessary to make the completion.
  • Josh Cribbs: Captain Cribbs seems to be the only returning Pro Bowler from a year ago who actually wants to go back to Hawaii. Field position is critical for any offense, and the Browns were fortunate enough to have Cribbs back there setting the offense up. While he did not contribute much on the offensive side of the ball, Josh Cribbs played a good game and did his part when called upon.
  • D'Qwell Jackson: If there is one bright spot for this football team this season, it has to be the play of D'Qwell Jackson. D'Qwell has developed into a fine young linebacker for this football team. Jackson is constantly around the ball - taking good angles of pursuit and making sound tackles when the ball comes his way. Unlike teammates Willie McGinest and Andra Davis, D'Qwell Jackson actually likes contact. It's certainly encouraging to see such a player play the linebacker position how it's supposed to be played.
  • Corey Williams played well today. He was stout in run defense and played a key part in generating what little pressure the Browns created. Williams must have taken what defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said to heart about tackling, because he did not miss a tackle. Corey wrapped up and delivered on what Savage and the Browns had expected out of him since day one.
The Bad
  • Jamal Lewis did not play his best game of the year. Even when the offensive line created space, his choppy style of running took away from the big gains and resulted in a loss of potential yards. The uncharacteristic fumbles make me wonder if Lewis' best years are long behind him.
  • Pressure is the key to football. If you can handle the pressure, you have a good chance of being a successful offense. If you can create pressure, you have a good chance of being a successful defense. Unfortunately the Browns could not do either - which resulted in a poor showing on both sides of the ball. Pressure can make a great quarterback look awfully average, and an average quarterback awfully great. In short, that was the story of this game.
  • Rob Chudzinski: While I can't fault Chud for calling a horrible game, there were things that left me scratching my head. Brady Quinn has proven himself comfortable with the short passing game and making quick, short decisions over the middle. How then, is it possible Kellen Winslow's only catch of the game came from Derek Anderson in the fourth quarter? The great coordinators play to the strengths of their personnel, and Chudzinski did a poor job of doing that this afternoon.
The Ugly
  • Braylon Edwards: Edwards appeared lost on not only the timing, but the execution of his routes. Braylon did not show good burst off the line, nor did he use his body to protect the ball on the short slants underneath. His routes were sloppy and his field awareness inconsistent. Braylon lacked focus and concentration - as apparent by the 4 dropped passes today. While his overall stats may have appeased fantasy owners, the reality of his performance left a lot to be desired.
  • Offensive Production: The Cleveland Browns mustered 6 total points in a game they so desperately needed. A win here would have put the team back on track at an outside shot at the postseason. Brady Quinn may be in his second start, but there is no excuse for managing only two field goals against one of the worst defensive teams in the NFL.


The quarterback switch at the end of the third quarter sealed Romeo Crennel's fate as Browns' Head Coach. Knowing what I do about this organization, he will most likely be fired in a couple days. It's unfortunate, but someone has to take responsibility for the disappointing season which started off so promising.

Maybe change like this will be good for the team. As of now, the Cleveland Browns are a mess of a football team, and we desperately need someone to come in and clean this up.
Posted on: November 7, 2008 12:28 am
Edited on: November 7, 2008 1:41 am
 

Week 10: The Drive...Part II


Why does this have to happen to us? Why?

Seriously. Somebody please tell me why Cleveland is so cursed?

I feel sick. I feel frustrated. I feel upset. There are so many jumbled up emotions running through me as a die-hard Browns fan that I don't know where to start. Let's see if we can sort this whole thing out while I take a minute to calm my nerves...

The Good
  • Brady Quinn: Brady Quinn was as good as advertised. If there is one thing to take away from this crushing defeat, it is the play of our young quarterback. Quinn showed accuracy and great decision making tonight. He showed fantastic poise in the pocket and played within himself to his strengths. Considering Quinn will only get better of time, you have to be pleased with what you saw out of him. While doing some pre-game research, I stumbled upon this quote from Charlie Weis, "Quinn's pinpoint accuracy will make up for any questions of arm strength." In one regard, Charlie was dead on. Quinn was able to sustain drives by using his sure-handed tight ends across the middle of the field.
  • Jerome Harrison: For weeks Browns fans have been scratching their heads as to why Harrison is utilized more in the offensive gameplan. Today we saw why. Harrison finished the game with 5 carries for 48 yards. Yes, that's not a typo: Fourty-eight yards on five carries. Wow. I feel confident the Browns will be able to function effectively in the case of injury to Jamal Lewis. Maybe even better than normal...
  • Josh Cribbs: M3talhead mentioned Josh Cribbs is the most valuable asset on this roster, and it's hard to argue with him. Cribbs did an admirable job in the return game, performed well in kick coverage, and provided huge gains on the ground offensively. Whenever the Browns needed a big play, Josh Cribbs was there. Without a doubt Captain Cribbs is this team's first half MVP.
The Bad
  • The Secondary/Pass Defense: I should have seen this coming a mile away. The Browns defensive backs have looked good at times, but they never were able to put together a complete effort. Antwaan Randle-El tourched us. T.O. tourched us. Santonio Holmes torched us. Matt Jones torched us. At this point in the season, our burnt up secondary is darker than Shaun Rogers at a family reunion.
  • Braylon Edwards: This one is relative. Braylon was poised to have a big game against a banged-up Denver pass defense. He committed a false start penality - something inexcusable for a wide receiver in the NFL. In the season-deciding game, Braylon converted 7 looks into 1 catch for 15 yards. Pathetic.
The Ugly
  • The Drive...Part II: The Cleveland Browns scored a touchdown to go up 27 to 30 with 4:57 left to play. Before Dawson kicked it off, I sent this text message to my good friend Chris:
"OMG the drive is going to repeat itself...Turn off the TV!"

How painful was that to watch? I mean, I can't even imagine how those poor souls at the stadium must have felt watching John Elway Jay Cutler systematically march down the field knowing the inevitable was going to happen. I'm going to conduct a poll, because I'd be willing to bet 80% of Browns fans knew exactly what was coming.

That's not right. It's not right at all.



During my week 10 preview, I asked Brady Quinn for a little bit of magic:

Brady Quinn,

Do your best and help this team win the game. Do it...

...for the seasoned fans, who vividly remember the heartbreak of years past.

...for the young fans, who only see the Browns for failure and misery.

...for the doubters, who believe there is no hope for the future.

...for the cynics, who have no reason left to believe.

...for your family, who has raised you to become the man you are today.

...for the your team, who needs to win in order to stay alive.

But most importantly Brady, do it for the city of Cleveland. We will show up on Thursday in droves to support you and the team, so make this Thursday night game a memory we will not forget.

Well...at least he got part of it right: This is a game memory that I will never forget.
Posted on: November 2, 2008 5:42 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2008 9:00 pm
 

Week 9: Bye Bye Brownies


The fairy tale is over. No more magic. No more drama. No more playoffs.

This loss to the Baltimore Ravens crushed what little hope we had for the 2008 season. As of today, the Cleveland Browns are officially playing for next year.

Before I go any further, there are some people I'd like to thank for this wasted season of football.

Thank you, Mel Tucker. Your defensive unit has exceeded our low expectations and showed flashes of brilliance this season. Your schemes, however, have left a lot to be desired. Your vanilla blitz packages have been constantly exploited, and your players have failed to pressure quarterbacks on a consistent basis.

Thank you, Braylon Edwards. Your league-leading 11th dropped pass in 8 games proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back. Would somebody please tell me: what good is a receiver who cannot receive? Your job on Sunday is to go out there and make plays - and like everything with this Browns team, you cannot do that on a consistent basis. On the bright side, you caught 4 balls for 86 yards and a touchdown. At least your inflated ego can take that away from this season-ending loss.

Thank you, Derek Anderson. Your two-sided style of quarterbacking proved too much for the Browns to overcome this Sunday. The one thing I used to justify Anderson as our starting quarterback was progression. To this point, Anderson had done a decent job of taking elements from past experiences and learning from them. Today we saw DA take a step back from this progress and regress. There are a few commandments of quarterbacking every NFL quarterback should adhere to:

I. Thou shall not throw into double coverage.
II. Thou shall check off to the back when nothing is open down field.
III Thou shall demonstrate touch on the short routes

Derek refused to honor these three basic commandments, and because of that he played a part in the team loss.

On a side note, thank you, Josh Cribbs. You played one heck of a football game, and you were the reason the game was as close as it was. Your contributions on kick coverage and kick return are extremely valuable, and I'm pleased to know at least one person put forth maximum effort on Sunday.


Josh Cribbs returns a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown
as the Browns fall to the Ravens 37-27.



In regards to Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson, the decision has already been decided based on the circumstances.

Brady Quinn will be the Browns starting quarterback come next week.

Derek Anderson did not have a bad game. What we saw from DA today was a microcosm of who he is as a quarterback. If you took away a handful of passes, Anderson would have looked like the future of this franchise. Unfortunately for him and for us, those handful of passes came a critical times, and they played a part in this team loss.

Since the Browns are essentially out of contention, look for Phil and Romeo to turn to Quinn and let him show what he can do. While it might not be fair to give up on Anderson, the situation and circumstances call for a change.

How ironic it is the Ravens' game that may signify the end of the Anderson era?

While I am still uncomfortable with kicking DA to the curb, I don't see any way the Browns can justify starting him over the next few weeks. With rookies Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan playing the way they are, the AFC North division title out of reach, and the playoffs a distant dream, DA may have taken his last snap as the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns.
Posted on: October 14, 2008 1:59 am
Edited on: October 14, 2008 2:44 am
 

Week 6: Cinderella 2: Act 2, Scene i

Cinderella 2: The 2008 Cleveland Browns' Story
by: Romeo Crennel and the Dawgs

Characters

Derek Anderson as "The Quarterback"
Braylon Edwards as "The Playmaker"
Jamal Lewis as himself
Eric Wright as "Deion Sanders"
Shaun Rogers as "The Refrigerator with a Motor"
Ryan Tucker as "Guess Who's Back?"
Cleveland Browns Fans as "The Dawgs"

Eli Manning as "The Goat"
Brandon Jacobs as "Tip-toe McTalksalot"
Aaron Ross as "Oh wait, there was a game today?"
Plaxico Burress as "Four Receptions"
(Justin Tuck was not available for this scene)

Setting
This scene takes place on a nationally televised ESPN telecast on Monday night. To help set the scene, take every national media writer and analyst available and praise the Giants as the greatest football team ever. CBS writer Mike Freeman contributes with a column on the Giants as the next football dynasty. Pete Prisco contributes by ranking the Browns 25th overall in the NFL power rankings. Add every nay-saying, trash talking Giants fan to the mix and the setting is perfect.

The action takes place on October 13th, 2008 at 8:30pm on Monday night. 52 degrees. Cloudy. Fair.

Script

Anderson: Hail Browns fans, I beseech thee! Lend me your hearts, trust, and adoration! The past has looked grim, but today is a new day!

Dawgs: No good sir! Your passing has been poor and your interceptions aplenty. Your passer rating stands at 49.9!

(pause)

Dawgs: Plus, our hearts are with your fairest understudy. We must boo until we see the one from Notre Dame.

Anderson: Truly you jest! Very well. I shall demonstrate I am just as good as Brady Quinn. Perhaps I'll even prove Sircheeks correct in supporting me through good and bad...

(curtain falls)


The Cleveland Browns came out in front of the National Football League and proved to the world and themselves exactly how good a football team they can be. They dominated the heavily favored Giants both offensively and defensively from the first play of the game. Everyone from the stars to the supporting cast stepped up and contributed to arguably the most complete victory in the past few years.

The Good
  • The Defense: There is so much to say about this team effort, but it all starts with the job Defensive Coordinator Mel Tucker did scheming against the number one offense in the NFL. As we've seen with the Miami Dolphins, when a team's back is against the wall and they are facing a seemingly invincible opponent - that is the proper time to dig deep into the playbook and turn the entire unit loose. Tucker frequently dialed up corner blitzes which for the most part kept the Giants contained and mitigated the damage from their explosive offensive unit. In addition, there was a UFO (unidentified flying to the offense) sighting. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
  • Pass Protection: For the past two weeks, I've been harping on Ryan Tucker's importance to the offensive line and we saw why on Monday night. Tucker and the guys did an outstanding job of picking up the blitzes and keeping Derek Anderson upright all game. That was beyond impressive. To give up zero sacks to the team tied with the third most sacks in the NFL is an amazing feat.
  • Rob Chudzinski: Where do I begin? The play-calling, the game plan, the faith in Anderson, the trust in Steve Heiden, and the commitment to Jamal Lewis were just brilliant. The Browns looked great all game - picking up first downs, staying in manageable downs and distances, and driving up and down the field thanks to a well-balanced offense and a superb understanding of New York's defense. Chud also managed to sneak the "Flash" package in there on the reverse to Harrison and the Cribbs direct run. I'm a sucker for offensive creativity and Chud stole my heart on Monday night.
  • Derek Anderson: He played one heck of a football game. Anderson started off rocky, but finished as the quarterback many of us expected to see the entire season. Derek made all the throws you'd like to see out of a quarterback. He showed great accuracy on the short routes, great touch on the deep balls, and put a little extra on throws in tight windows. Derek also did a fine job of showing discretion: taking shots down the field only when the coverage dictated he could do so. This was easily the best game I've seen from DA to this point.
  • Braylon Edwards: Big time players make big time plays. Braylon showed why he should still be considered one of the top 5 wide receivers in the game. Aside from the one drop, Edwards played a flawless game and provided leadership at a time when the Browns sorely needed that type of performance. I was also pleased to see Edwards represent himself and his family so well in his post game interviews. Braylon is a model citizen and one of the classiest guys in the NFL. I was proud to call him our star.
  • Game Management: Finally! We haven't arrived where we need to be just yet, but Romeo finally managed a good game. There were still a few silly timeouts, but they didn't end up costing us and in the end that's all that matters. I love that decision to go for two after Eric Wright's interception. A 21 point lead is much better than a 20, and Romeo made the correct decision in that situation.
The Bad
  • Special Teams: In a game where there were only a couple glaring holes, the Cleveland Browns' special teams were not so special. The New York Giants started out with great field position on nearly every drive. Part of that was due to Ahmad Bradshaw and the other part fell on special teams' Coach Ted Daisher. I look for that to improve next week against Washington.
  • Minutes Before the Half: They say good teams have the ability to come away with points at the end of the half. Well, good teams also have the ability to stop teams from scoring at the half as well. The Browns allowed the Giants to drive 80 yards down the field and score a touchdown right before the end of the first half to make it a game. This is another thing I'd like to see improve in the next weeks.
The Ugly
  • Illegal formation - Ryan Tucker
  • False start - Eric Steinbach
  • False start - Rex Hadnot
  • Illegal shift - Steve Heiden
  • False start - Rex hadnot
  • Holding - Willie McGinest
  • Illegal contact - Mike Adams
  • False start - Laurence Vickers
  • False start - Braylon Edwards
  • Holding - Steve Heiden
  • Delay of game - Derek Anderson
  • False start - Hank Fraley
One game is a fluke...two games are a trend...and more than three makes it a reality. The Browns need to take a page from momluvsfootball and quit this unhealthy habit cold turkey. I don't want to see any more offensive linemen sneaking in a few false starts just to "get their fix." No more illegal formations! Please!

We cannot continue to make those kind of mistakes in the game because we might not be so fortunate to convert next time. Braylon Edwards put it best on ESPN when he said the Browns won't be able to win football games if things like this continue. I hope the offensive linemen don't think this win justifies their sloppy play. Such poor discipline takes away from the outstanding job their unit did in a winning effort.



(the curtain rises as the Cleveland Browns reappear on stage to a thunderous ovation from fans and gentledawgs)

Dawgs: Bravo! Excellent! Go Browns!

Now, the Cinderella story continues to Week 7 of the National Football League where our protagonists encounter another colossal test in the form of the Washington Redskins. Can the Browns overcome short rest in time to face another terrifying foe? Will the Browns be able to win three straight games for the first time this season? And where in the world did Justin Tuck go?

All of these questions and more will be answered in the next scene of Cinderella 2: The 2008 Cleveland Browns Story
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Posted on: September 28, 2008 5:07 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2008 6:13 pm
 

Week 4: A Win is a Win, No Matter How Small

We won! We won! The Cleveland Browns won!

It's nice to see the team finally get on the good side of the win/loss column. For a while there, I thought it might be time to dust off the ol' brown paper bag...


The Good

  • Victory: We finally won a football game! As much as I'd like to say the Browns won today, they really didn't. The Cincinnati Bungals did more to determine the outcome of this game than the Brownies did. The penalties, the inexperienced backup quarterback, the timeout management, and the lack of execution did the Bengals in and eventually cost them the game.
  • The Gameplanning: Despite a Carson Palmer-less offense and a notoriously susceptible defense, I thought Mel Tucker and Rob Chudzinski developed a good game plan against Cincinnati. On defense, the Browns did not let T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson single-handedly beat them. Short completions were sacrificed over the middle of the field, but for the most part the Browns contained the injury-plagued Bengals. As expected, the offensive game plan was spear-headed by a contrite Chudzinski determined to get the most out of Jamal Lewis.
  • Braylon Edwards' TD celebration: Classy! I liked that little tribute to Cleveland's strong rock 'n' roll history. Those powerful guitar chords were nice to see. An overall tasteful celebration.  Braylon dropped to one knee - which scared me with the new celebration rules. Players are not allowed to leave their feet - which Braylon did not; however one knee generally equals two feet in the NFL and I'm glad the officials didn't call him for it. On a side note: I wonder what song he was thinking about...
The Bad

  • Game Management: I'll continue to harp on this until I see the team improve. While the game management had vastly improved from weeks past, it was far from perfect. Two situations really jumped out at me in this game:
  1. At the end of the second quarter, the Browns came up with a stop with :50 seconds left. With two timeouts left for the half, the Browns should have used one of them to give themselves a chance after the field goal attempt. Josh Cribbs is a great return man and if he gave us decent field position, we could have taken a shot at the end zone or at least gotten into field goal range with a timeout at our disposal.
  2. 4th and 5 leading 17-12 with 3:30 left to play in the second half on the Cincinnati 37. Personally, I would have tried for the conversion. Since the Bengals did not have any timeouts, a conversion of 5 yards essentially wins you the game. A punt only nets 17 yards on a touchback, and the last thing you want is to give the Bengals a shot at driving 80 yards and winning the contest.
  • Derek Anderson: While I wouldn't characterize his performance as "bad", it certainly wasn't good. Anderson missed a few throws such as the pass thrown at Heiden's knees and the interception, but he played within himself which was good enough for a Browns' victory. Anderson's second half play inspired hope for the offensive unit, and perhaps served as something to build on for week 6.
The Ugly

  • This game: Yup, it was ugly. The penalties, fumbles, missed tackles, and timeout management for the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals were downright sloppy. I'm glad to see both teams represented the state of Ohio so well. The biggest message I'd like Romeo to deliver to the team over the next two weeks is one driven by avoiding complacency. From an in-game perspective, the Browns should have very little to feel good about after leaving Cincinnati. Make no mistake about it, there still is work to be done.



Paul Brown must have been looking down on these two Ohio teams today with shame and embarrassment . The organizational fundamentals and discipline Brown made so famous with both franchises was no where to be seen on Sunday afternoon. The Browns need to clean up their play, retool, and focus over the bye week. The New York Football Giants will pose a more serious challenge, and the Browns will have no chance to compete in their current condition.

But hey - now's not the time to get down about that. Today's win means there's still a glimmer of hope in Cleveland - albeit a small one. The first step to a cinematic ending is to write the script - and we have a great starting point heading into the bye week. After all, you can't have a movie script without drama and controversy, right?

The national stage has been set! Coming soon to a theater near you: Cinderella 2: The 2008 Cleveland Browns' Story.
 
 
 
 
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