Archive for September, 2010

12:24 AM

Browns-Chiefs: Joe’s Game Review: A bad team, An already painful season. We can dish up some fine fan analysis tho…

12:18 AM

(Subscriber) Adkins: The Tough Questions: Has the Mangini watch started? Vincent Jackson an option? And much more …

11:56 PM

@MarcSessler Among other things, the Browns need a franchise quarterback. They could get one next April.

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on September 20th, 2010 AT 10:00 PM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for September 20th from 12:30 to 21:32:

Alex Mack Claims Shaun Smith Grabbed His Privates
Barry McBride on September 20th, 2010 AT 9:24 PM

The Associated Press reports this evening, in the type of story that only seems to happen to the Cleveland Browns, that starting center Alex Mack is less than pleased with one-time Brown, one-time Bengal, one-time Brady Quinn taunter Shaun Smith.

Mack claims that during a running play in the second quarter, Smith, well, grabbed Mack’s privates.

”I don’t think he should be able to do that,” Mack told the AP. ”I’m still fired up about it.”

That Smith grabbed Mack’s naughty bits isn’t likely to be a move he learned from Romeo Crennel, but it’s not that unexpected from this particular source, at one time a co-host on a Browns program inflicted on fans via Larry Dolan’s cable TV channel. The talkative Smith was always more inclined to figure out ways to gain competitive advantage that didn’t require actual work.

Some players on the Browns used to have a nickname for Smith. Whereas Gerard Warran used to be “Big Money”, Shaun Smith was called “Free Money”, because he didn’t work very hard for it.

Smith tried hard to cleverly dance around the question: ’I don’t recall doing anything like that”, said in his best appearing-before-Congress voice. “I’m not known for being a dirty player or anything like that, so I don’t know what that was all about.”

Other than a slight error with tense, Smith is correct: He wasn’t known for being a dirty player. He is now.



8:25 PM

@CoraxSays We understand Davis is getting more reps in practice, but the club won’t tip their hand about how they’re going to use him.

Browns-Ravens Pre-Game Notes Available
Barry McBride on September 20th, 2010 AT 8:12 PM

I’ve posted the pre-game notes that the Browns make available to the media and Browns Backers prior to each game. You can download it by right clicking this link:

9/26 Browns at Ravens



7:50 PM

@MarcSessler Nice post! The Browns are fortunate that there’s a bumper crop of quarterbacks available next year.

Mangini Press Conference Transcript, Sept. 20
Don Delco on September 20th, 2010 AT 7:14 PM

Below is the transcript of coach Eric Mangini’s Monday press conference, as provided by the Browns’ PR staff:

(Opening statement)- "Good afternoon everybody. In looking at the tape and talking to the team, the main point that I made to the group is a point that I made last week. They are tired of me saying it and I'm tired of saying it. These mistakes that we are making which are severely hurting our chances to win are under our control. When you have nine penalties it's hard to win a game. When you turn over the ball and it produces 10 points it's hard to win the game. That's the starting point for us. We worked on ball security last week and we'll continue to work on the decision making process across the board. That has to get corrected. Whether its turnovers or penalties if it becomes a pattern then we can't play the people that create turnovers or penalties, because it hurts our chances. This is two games now that we've lost by a combine five points.

"I felt like offensively I was really pleased with the fact that we were able to get out of a backed up situation and move the ball 98 yards and run the ball in for a touchdown. I thought that was a very good look at the things that we should be able to do on a consistent basis. I also really liked hitting the big play. Which we haven't hit a ton of big plays and that was nice to see. I thought it was well executed, I thought Josh (Cribbs) did a really good job and I thought the protection was very good. In the second half we hurt ourselves with penalties on different drives. We had some opportunities for deep balls, one we couldn't keep our feet in bounds, one we couldn't hold on to. In the running game I think it was a combination of things it wasn't just the backs and it wasn't just the line. It was different mistakes on different plays and I think we talked about that in here on Friday. You have one on one play I have one on the next play those are two plays you can't get back and suddenly you are in a third and long situation. That's something we will continue to focus on. I want to be able to run the ball well and I want to be able to run the ball well consistently and I want to be able to run the ball well against any front that we face and any weather conditions that we are in.

"Defensively, there were a lot of things I was really pleased with. (Ahtyba) Rubin to me, his interception I thought was outstanding but I thought it was outstanding for a different reason because of the way he hustles. He's a very good nose guard in terms of staying in there and being stout but that play to me is an example of him and how he's played where he created that interception through his hustle. Last week, I know we talked about the play where he had the tackle 10 yards down the field. I really liked his progress and development. I thought as a group there was some really good communication against game plan specific things that they did to us, especially last year that they brought back this year. Last year it hurt us a lot, this year we handled it really well. Their speed ball, their up tempo stuff, their certain formations they had to get us into some checks, so I was happy with that. I was happy with the fact that we didn't allow Jamaal Charles to have any big plays like he did last year, with two turnovers, holding him there on sudden change. What we talked about defensively, I think it's harder to see without knowing the whole play, but there were two or three opportunities in the game where I thought we could have made a real big play defensively and we just didn't have the right fits on the pressure. That's frustrating to me because this is something that we keep talking about, so we are going to get that fixed whether it means pairing down a little bit, whether it means walking through it more times. I don't like leaving those chances out there to hit the quarterback or to make a play. All that being said I thought there were quite a few adjustments that I thought the guys did a really good job with.

"On special teams I thought we were outstanding coverage against a very good return team. I felt like their game plan to kick it away from Josh (Cribbs) was understandable, we handled it well; however, we could have gotten more out of those pop kicks and I think we will next time we face it."

(On if this veteran team is beyond the mistakes they are making)- "I found that it doesn't matter whether it's a young team, an older team. I have been involved with both, had different levels of self inflicted wounds with both, it's just consistent concentration regardless of what's going on. You can get old guys making those mistakes, you can get young guys making those mistakes but that's concentration, that's focus and it's consistency throughout four quarters. It only takes one by one guy at the wrong time, there's no right time but each one can have a different level of impact."

(On what to do with two veterans like Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace who have thrown big interceptions)- "Jeff (Schudel), veteran guys make mistakes and you see it across the league. You see a lot of veteran quarterbacks throwing the ball where they shouldn't throw it. You're constantly trying to remind them to go through the process. What you don't want anybody to do to ever feel like they have to make a play, because often times when you're trying to make a play you do, but it ends up being a play for somebody else, for the opponent. You got to take what's there and when you take your chances you want to put the ball in a position where your guy has a chance and their guy doesn't and those are calculated risks. This was Seneca's (Wallace) first start in a little while and even though we have veteran guys in a lot of spots, it's a group that's playing together for the first few times. All that being said, we have been working on penalties since day one and we have been talking about the need to protect the football since day one. That hasn't changed, it won't change and we need to do a better job with it. We'll continue to do drills, we'll continue to stress it, and we'll continue to pressure the ball defensively throughout the course of practice. It's not going away and the impact is apparent and it won't change week in and week out."

(On what he got from reviewing tape of the second half of the game)- "I think some of it was, we had holding play one drive, we had a holding play and a false start on another drive. We had the long ball where we couldn't keep our feet in bounds we had another long ball where we couldn't hang on to it. You throw two 10 yard penalties into a drive that kills it. That usually kills the drive. You're in second and 20, you may be able to get some of those yards back, but you're so behind the eight ball at that point its catch up, catch up to punt. That's one of the starting points and I thought on some of the running plays, a block here and a block there. You analyze it and you look at it again. I thought the approach in terms of how we were going to attack them with some of the running plays complemented what we did in the first half. We will go back through and look at the process from a coaching perspective of, okay what are we bringing into the second half? Are we bringing too much? Are we not bringing enough? Are we getting the information to the guys the right way? Talk to some of those guys about it but I see it as a being a collective effort to make sure as we come out we get started the right way. In New York it happened at different points and that's why we started developing in practice where we would kickoff in the middle of practice and we would just do a drive right in the middle of practice and that was the start of the second half. Usually after break. We did that some during training camp, do that again. You go you take a few minutes, rest, kick the ball off, have a drive, see what happens, so you get used to coming out and having to go after that brief time of being stationary and talking about some of the things you want to get done."

(On the unnecessary roughness calls on the Browns)- "They're (the officials) very protective of the quarterbacks. I don't know if it was a function of they felt like it was getting too chippy, I'm not sure but we shouldn't put ourselves in that position. It's like the fumble at the beginning of the game. Whether you agree with it or disagree with it where you, whether you think his arm was down or don't think his arm was down, if you put it into someone else's hands to make that decision, then you live with the results. The ball shouldn't be on the ground so there wouldn't be a play to be made, a decision to be made, a review to be had if the ball is not on the ground. Once it's there it's someone else's decision and you have to live with the consequences."

(On if he thinks defenses are catching up to the Wildcat)- "I feel like I would have used it more yesterday looking back. That's something I would have done more of in retrospect. I think that whether they're catching up or not catching up giving Josh (Cribbs) a few more chances to carry the ball sometimes they have caught up and he changes things."

(On Jake Delhomme's injury)- "He's getting better but in terms of his status I'll have better information on Wednesday."

(On if the players just need to execute to correct the penalties)- "We can't have penalties, can't turn the ball over, can't do it. We can't do it. We'll drill it, we'll talk about it, we'll review it, we'll analyze it. You can't do it and expect to win close games. Two games decided by five points with big swings of momentum, you can't do it."

(On missed opportunities on defense)- "There were two different pressures where I felt like we would of hit it in the head and one was a combination of the angle of the end and the angle of the corner and shoulders bumped and we're talking about missing a sack by a very small margin. It could have been a really big play and we're going to fix that. It doesn't show up in any categories, it doesn't show up in any areas but it shows up when I watch it and when we watch it. There were a lot of good things that we did defensively I felt yesterday. Based on what they were doing, things that we wanted to do based off what they were doing which is great, but you don't want to leave those one or two shots that you had that could be big out there."

(On if these misses on defense were because of poor technique)- "Yes, it ended up being technique but you're supposed to take the end and shorten the corner and you got to shorten the corner. If you shorten the corner and that angle comes it's a totally different thing. Was everybody in the right spot if you were grading? Yes, but it's not an A."

(On why Jerome Harrison is struggling this season)- "I think it's a collection of things. I think its one block on the nose tackle on one play, one block by the pulling tight end on the counter on another play, being able to break an arm tackle on another play. Three different plays again you don't know what it could because that's all it is, is what it could be. It's not what it was. Those are things that, as we were running the ball effectively and as we have run the ball effectively those things are sound."

(On if Jerome Harrison hurt is arm)- "I don't remember if he did I didn't know about it."

(On the defense playing well enough to put the team in a position to win each of the first two games)- "Yes and again, there are a lot of things I like. It's just the plays that were there, we have got to take advantage of those. I don't know what the analogy would be offensively, but there are plays to be made that have to be made and if we get those things fixed, they will be made. It's hard to explain without seeing the potential impact of what it could be and what it should be. I've liked a lot of stuff that they have done, that we've done defensively. My approach is if they gain yards because they beat us on the play, that's one thing. If we create openings, that's a different thing. That's what I want to make sure we are always sound on."

(On his assessment of the run blocking this year compared to the end of last year)- "I wish that we were talking about the holes that were opened up throughout the whole course of last year. I think we got better at it and I think that we are going to get better at it. We are going to keep working at it, it's not consistent enough. In Tampa, we had that one drive where we ran every single play and scored. That, to me, is what the potential is. Consistent, consistent, consistent."

(On if people are too critical of halftime adjustments)- "I think you go in, you have a certain amount of time. By the time you get in, guys get a drink and use the bathroom, you get on the board. It's pretty quick. What you're trying to do is bring down, defensively, these are the plays that hurt us. These were the things we want to come back to. This is the change up that we want to go to, which we usually talk about prior to the game. If the game goes this way, this is the change up. If the game goes this way, this is the change up. Then you try to go through those things as quickly and concisely as you can and go back out and get ready to go. Offensively, you're looking at what we did well, what we want to come back to. Here are the complements. Here are the problems that they were able to create, whether it's a new pressure or a front variation. If we see this again, we are going to come back to X, Y and Z. It's a consistent process everywhere that I've been as to how to approach it. I have seen a lot of different ways that it's handled and I'd say ours is pretty consistent with the way it's handled across the league."

(On if the opposing defenses came out with something different to stop them in the third quarter in the first two games)- "I think that if we did a better job of controlling the things that we can control in the second half, the production would be different in both games. Now, I'll add on to that. Defensively yesterday, there were times where we had them backed up where if we would have kept them backed up, that usually translates into points, but they get two or three first downs and punt it. There was one series yesterday where we started with them on the minus five, they got two first downs, punted it and we were on our minus two. That's a pretty dramatic shift and now our offense is starting backed up. If we are playing complementary football and we can keep them back and can get a punt, give Josh (Cribbs) a chance to get 10-15 yards, who knows? You're in a different spot in terms of points and play calling, things that you can call."

(On the lack of major production from Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie)- "They are running the right routes. One chance we had with Mohamed in the red zone where we couldn't get the ball to him. It was a little bit underthrown. He had the play on the sideline where it was close, but he couldn't quite drag it in. One where it came out late. There's been chances both ways and sometimes we have been open and haven't gotten the ball. Sometimes where it's been open, we have gotten the ball and haven't been able to keep our feet in. I'm looking for them to continue to improve."

(On if Brian Daboll agrees with him on wanting to run the Wildcat more)- "Yes, when we were looking at it, we talked about it this morning. We talked about it and are both in agreement. We should have done it more."

(On if he wants to run the Wildcat more to get Cribbs more touches)- "Yes, just to get Josh more touches. I think with him, they may load the box, they may do a lot of different things. He's got a chance on any play."

(On if it is tough with Cribbs being the team's only "home run hitter" on offense)- "I think the other guys have shown the ability to do some things down the field. I think Ben (Watson), I know his was more of a catch and run yesterday, but he's caught a lot of balls vertically. Evan Moore has done some nice things down the field. Mohamed had the big catch the week before. I like the fact that Josh is becoming, and I hope you guys see it, the type of receiver that he is becoming. I think that helps too. I think that will help open things up."

(On why it took until today to want to run more Wildcat)- "You're going through the course of the game and there's a lot of things that, when you have a chance to sit in your offense and analyze, you think of. There are some decisions that you'd like to have back, but you don't get to it at that point. I think every coach in the league goes through that process on Monday morning, win or lose. ‘I wish we had done this, I wish we had done more of that.' When you have the benefit of time and reflection and you've seen how the game has unfolded, you always go through that process. Good and bad."

(On if Chansi Stuckey could have done anything to stop the interception returned for a touchdown)- "It would have been hard because he was trying to sit away from the corner and the corner came downhill and the ball was out. I don't think there was much he could have done with that one."

(On if he is getting to the point where he is ready to bench players because of penalties and turnovers)- "I don't really see it as me benching anybody. I see it as either you hold on to the ball and you get carries or you don't hold on to the ball and you don't get carries. I'm not limiting it to the running backs and this isn't just about Jerome (Harrison), I want to make that clear. It's the same thing with penalties. Either you stay onsides or you don't. You jump offsides on third down, then we are not going to play you on third down. That's it. We'll put somebody else in and if they beat us on the play, they beat us on the play. If that person is not exactly who we would want on that play, it's going to be better than giving away a first down. We have got to do it, there's no alternative."

(On potentially giving James Davis carries)- "I think it depends on his week of practice and things like that, but I have confidence in James. I think he could do a good job. I'm not lacking confidence in Jerome or Peyton (Hillis). I want to make sure that's clear."

(On Evan Moore going back in for a play after possibly having a concussion)- "With all of that stuff, I really let Joe (Sheehan) and Doc handle it. If it is a medial issue, I would never push to get a guy back in that's not cleared medically. Nobody goes back in until they're cleared medically. It always comes from the staff, so my role in that is more him and Doc saying he's out or he's up. Then we just pass it along and adjust. It's not, ‘Can we get him back in for a play?' It's more he's up or he's down."

(On if somebody didn't notice that Moore may have had a concussion for a tiny window of plays)- "Joe is usually right on top of that stuff, so like I said, I do defer to the medical guys on that."

5:47 PM

Why The Running Game Woes?: In the two-point loss to Kansas City on Sunday, the Browns averaged 2.8 yards per carr…

QB: Does it matter?
Don Delco on September 20th, 2010 AT 5:30 PM

Browns coach Eric Mangini will provide an update as to the Browns quarterback situation Wednesday. Will it be Jake Delhomme or Seneca Wallace at Baltimore?

Does it matter?

Neither Delhomme nor Wallace were meant to produce all-Pro numbers in 2010. No, they were to create a fresh start and provide stability after the Derek Anderson vs. Brady Quinn saga grew tiresome.

The Browns defense is playing well. Sunday’s game at Baltimore will be a measuring stick to see just how well they’re playing.

The concern on offense is not the quarterback, but the running game. Last Sunday, the Browns averaged 2.8 yards per carry. Balance is needed and that running game must be established in order for any quarterback to be successful.

Until then, the Jake Delhomme (accurate, but lacking arm strength) vs. Seneca Wallace (arm strength, but lacking accuracy) debate will be a moot point.

4:48 PM

McBride: The Holmgren Bubble: Why the media won’t criticize Mike Holmgren. And why they should. OBR Publisher Barr…

2:46 PM

Tired of saying it but we can’t win with nine penalties and turnovers. Mangini said monday.

2:28 PM

@3_Dots From Fred Greetham: “In the pressbox we can’t hear much, but it sounded like mixed reaction. Nowhere near the ovation for Newsome.”

Browns Stadium Crackdown Par for the Course
Barry McBride on September 20th, 2010 AT 2:24 PM

As if you didn’t need another reason to avoid going to Cleveland Browns Stadium, the team is continuing their clampdown on unruly behavior in the Stadium in a program they’re calling “Home Field Advantage”.

The Associated Press article makes it sound like the number to contact to complain about public obnoxiousness is a new thing, but Browns fans know it’s been around quite some time. There’s no word on whether or not it’s legitimate to extend this framework to the team and their on-field play, but Tamba Hali should clearly have been booked for throwing punches yesterday. Seems to be a double-standard to me.

Of course, these sorts of programs are part of a continuing trend where the gameday experience is being pushed upward on the socio-economic food chain, with games becoming more of a white-collar affair, while less desirable and less well-heeled consumers stay at home with reasonably priced beer and high-definition televisions. While the Browns organization has wisely held the line on ticket prices locally, the cost of attending NFL games continues to vault upwards.

The current trend in the NFL is to put more gadgets and gizmos into the hands of fans who can afford to attend, in the hopes that the in-game experience can keep up with steadily improving home entertainment. In other words, teams are trying to justify the sky-high costs of game attendance rather than expanding the group of people who can afford to attend.

Three hundred dollar Legends Clubs are little different than “Personal Seat Licenses” and other ways that teams gradually change the make-up of who consumes their product. Getting rid of “unruly” – generally translated to mean younger and less-well-off fans – in favor of families is part of the picture.

The future of in-game attendance at football games is headed in the direction of club seats, luxury boxes, and other facilities geared towards corporate entertainment. For almost two decades, there has been a constant, one-directional push to crank up the average income level of the NFL seatholder, and the “family friendly” push at Stadiums is all part of this. Out with the ruffians, in with the professionals.

Step by step, bit by bit, professional football is losing touch with its base. Fans watching on TV will find that TV a lot easier to turn off than if you’re stuck with season tickets. Businesses won’t want to be associated with losing franchises and will not show up when teams struggle. So, you get empty Stadiums in December.

If you love slow-motion accident footage, you’ve been able to watch this one happening over a long period of time. Remember this in the future when the NFL’s status as the nation’s pre-eminent sports league starts looking more tenuous. In the meantime, the upcoming lockout is all the proof you need of the league’s insensitivity to fans of limited or moderate means.

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on September 20th, 2010 AT 11:00 AM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for September 20th from 10:13 to 10:17:

10:07 AM

@BxLeister5 Only if the Chargers are really, really mad at him ;-) The Vikings are considered the front-runners and are more motivated.

10:07 AM

@BxLeister5 Only if the Chargers are really, really mad at him ;-) The Vikings are considered the front-runners and are more motivated.

9:56 AM

(Subscriber) A Losing Proposition: Lane says blame for the Browns losses can’t be pinned solely on personnel

Where’s the running game?
Don Delco on September 20th, 2010 AT 9:33 AM

Yesterday, the Cleveland Browns’ second half offense was awful for the second consecutive week.

The Browns finished with 55 total yards.

A year ago, the Browns gashed the Chiefs 351 yards on 49 carries and three touchdowns. Sure, a new year brings new personnel, but it does not excuse what happened yesterday.

The Browns finished 73 yards on 26 carries (2.8 yards per rush) while Peyton Hillis had eight carries for 35 yards and Jerome Harrison had 16 for 33.

In the opener against Tampa Bay, the Browns finished with 104 yards rushing on 23 carries, but had 11 carries for 18 yards in the abysmal second half.

Wonder why the Browns couldn’t move the ball in the second half? They couldn’t run the ball. The running game has most of the same personnel with a few exceptions.

Why can’t Cleveland generate yards on the ground? That question needs to be answered before the Browns can think about winning a game.

9:19 AM

@BxLeister5 The Browns hide the true status of injuries to try to flail at competitive advantage, but both seem close to returning.

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on September 20th, 2010 AT 9:00 AM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for September 20th from 07:48 to 07:54:

8:04 AM

Celebrating the Past: The Browns Ring of Honor shows why fans continue to endure losing football…

8:04 AM

The Webdork Paradox: There are no little green men. Which is why we’ll watch Browns-Ravens next Sunday. This all m…

6:21 PM

(Subscriber) Adkins: Notes off the Cuff: Blindsided by the Browns disasterous 0-2 start? Lane Adkins explains the …

5:32 PM

Browns Stumble to 0-2: Fred Greetham recaps the team’s disappointing home opener.

5:32 PM

Fan View: Managing Expectations: Jeff explains how to handle being a Browns fan without fatal stomach nausea.

5:32 PM

VOTE!! Gameballs and Goats!: Persecute the guilty. Save the innocent. It’s time to pick three gameballs and three …