Archive for September, 2010

10:24 PM

Gameballs and Goats, Week 2: As revealed on the Zeppe’s OBR Radio Program, here are this weeks GB&Gs…

16 Listed on Thursday Injury Report
Barry McBride on September 23rd, 2010 AT 5:50 PM

Did Not Participate
LB Benard, Marcus  - Ankle
QB Delhomme, Jake  - Ankle
RB Harrison, Jerome – Thigh
OL Lauvao, Shawn – Ankle
TE Moore, Evan – Head
WR Robiskie, Brian – Hamstring 
DL Rogers, Shaun – Ankle, Hip

Limited Participation
LB Barton, Eric – Hip
LB Jackson, D’Qwell - Chest
DB Roberson, Derrick – Hip
LB Roth, Matt – Foot
DL Smith, Robaire – Ankle 
OL St. Clair, John – Foot 
OL Womack, Floyd – Knee

Full Participation
DL Schaefering, Brian – Wrist
OL Thomas, Joe – Elbow



Vegas Falls in Love with Eric Mangini
Barry McBride on September 23rd, 2010 AT 3:54 PM

According to, the Browns are now a 300-1 shot to win this year’s Super Bowl, a steep drop from their 100-1 opening. But they have vaulted up the charts in one respect: Eric Mangini is now considered the Most Obviously Doomed NFL Head Coach.

Here are the odds for various head coaches being the first one fired in 2010:

Eric Mangini 3/2
John Fox 2/1
Wade Phillips 3/1
Brad Childress 5/1

That’s one of those lists you would really rather not be on, but Mangini’s clearly a survivor. He bounced back from last year’s 1-11 start. If this team is winless at the bye week, though, watch out.


No Comment Required
Barry McBride on September 23rd, 2010 AT 3:03 PM

I don’t think I’ll be buying any of these anytime soon.


Browns Player Quotes, Sept. 23
Don Delco on September 23rd, 2010 AT 2:41 PM

Below are player quotes obtained by the Browns’ PR staff on Thursday.

TE Evan Moore

(On if the NFL becoming more serious about concussions has made him more aware for himself)- "I think awareness is key with their whole campaign. We have signs up here in the locker room and all of that stuff. Again, it's kind of a personal thing. I'm not going to do it. I love football, but when you start talking about putting your head at risk, it's not happening. As long as I have symptoms, I'm not coming back. But I don't have them, so hopefully we can progress and hopefully I'll be back on the field real soon."

(On how he felt on the field when his concussion happened)- "I was telling them that when it first happened, I felt fine. I just felt like I took a hit. I went back out on the field two plays later and when I hit full-speed, I definitely had a real bad dizzy spell and it felt like I might fall over. That wasn't normal, it was something I've never had before and like I said, I'm just going to be real cautious with it. I'll put any part of my body at risk but my head."

(On if he feels fortunate in hindsight that he didn't get the ball when he went back in)- "I was running a route and the ball could have been thrown to me. In hindsight, yes, it's probably good thing I didn't catch the ball and take one to the head again. Again, I want to make it clear, it's not something where I came off and the coaches said, ‘Hey get back in there you are fine.' It was something where I felt fine until I ran again and as soon as I felt that we went in the locker room."

DB Eric Wright

(On Joe Flacco)- "He's definitely a young guy, somebody that has done well for them, obviously taking them deep into the playoffs and doing some great things. He's a guy that has all of the weapons and all of the tools in the world."

(On the defense's success in the red zone)- "I think we had a pretty good red zone defense last year, for the most part. It's just a matter of executing our responsibilities and playing some good defense. Thus far, we have been doing pretty well."

(On what make Derrick Mason a tough guy to cover)- "He's a savvy vet, somebody who has been around the league for a long time. He runs excellent routes. For somebody who is supposed to be up there in age and supposedly diminishing in ability, he just flat out plays the game hard and makes plays. He is definitely somebody who I have a lot of respect for, but all in all, that's where it ends. I'll be ready to compete."

(On if the veteran presence in the locker room helps cope with a rough start)- "Yes, just because everybody understands the nature of this game. You have another week to prepare for it. You have to have tunnel vision and take things one game at a time. The season is long and we haven't gotten off to the start that we obviously wanted to, but we have enough guys that are going to pull us together and keep the focus on the task at hand. That task is Baltimore at this point."

Mangini Press Conference Transcript, Sept. 23
Don Delco on September 23rd, 2010 AT 1:56 PM

Below is a transcript from coach Eric Mangini’s press conference on Sept. 23, as provided by the Browns’ PR staff:

(Opening statement)- "Good morning everyone. On the injury front, really no change in terms of adding any guys to practice. The same group that was out yesterday will be out today. Brian Robiskie will miss as well and Marcus Benard so you can add those two on the list of missing practice. I think all the guys that have missed have made strides. Hopefully, we will get a group of those guys that back out there on Friday and just see where it is and make the appropriate adjustments. What we're doing today is third down with the Ravens, it's pretty impressive defensively what they've been able to do on third down. They've given up four third down conversions so far this season which is a great number. We have our work cut out for us. Part of that is not getting in situations where you're in third and long. They are able to do a lot of things and they will do a lot more things when you increase the amount of yards you need in that situation. That's something we've got to make sure we manage throughout the course of the game. Offensively, they've been a good third down team and they have a lot of different weapons that they can go to. The thing that they have, I'd say similar to Kansas City, is they can push you deep and then hit a check down to Ray Rice and he's very effective with the ball in his hands, like Kansas City could do with Jamaal Charles. To able to get that vertical stretch and then have a threat like that underneath is something that we're going to have to be able to adjust to in our various defenses.”

(On if young guys on the team can get caught up in the Ravens' intimidation strategy)- "It's their home opener so it's going to be loud and there is always a great atmosphere in that stadium. Some of our young guys have probably been Ray Lewis on PlayStation, that's their only exposure to him and now they are playing against him. You have got to be able to get past that. There were times at different places I've been where you're able to establish that real advantage of almost having an edge mentally on your opponent before the game ever started because there was a certain mystic to the team and you really use that to your advantage. When we were getting going in New England and New York you have to put that part aside, it doesn't affect the game. It only affects the game if you let it affect the game. It's only an issue if you let it become an issue. At the end of the day it still comes down to the same fundamental things. It's not going to be a crowd, it's not going to be the reputation, it's going to be how you play against that group. For the young guys it will be a new experience and I think it will be an exciting experience. I always enjoy those types of games because it's a fun place to play if you approach it the right way. I remember even playing Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship games and we had to go to Pittsburgh and they had the terrible towels and all those different things. You had to get past that and get to what was important."

(On if Jerome Harrison is not practicing)- "Yes, it's same group as yesterday Tony (Grossi), and then Brian (Robiskie) and Marcus (Benard)."

(On why Benard is not practicing)- "His ankle but my hope is that we'll get a group of these guys back here tomorrow."

(On why Harrison wasn't mentioned as injured in his press conference yesterday)- "That sometimes happens, where the plan was for him to go out and have a limited number of reps but as the morning went on it kind of stiffened up. He was on the injury report. My expectation in talking to Joe (Sheehan) and we talk about it the night before and he'll give me an update before practice if things change. Sometimes with that stuff it stiffens up. I expected him to able practice yesterday. That was the plan and that's what Joe and I had talked about. Really, it's gone the other way too Jeff (Schudel), where you think a guys not going to be able to go and then feels a lot better after you go through the morning and they've gotten their treatment in the morning and the guy's able to come out to practice and participate. You try to put together your best plan the night before with certain expectations, but you've just got to be able to adapt."

(On D'Qwell Jackson's role this week in practice and his progression)- "Yesterday was another step in our process so Friday was with no pads, yesterday was with pads and he got in some more reps than he got in on Friday. Today, he'll get a few more reps than he got yesterday and then we'll gauge it again tomorrow. I like where we're heading and I think that the plan we have in place is good but each day we have to take a step back, see how he is and that dictates the plan for the next day. We have a plan in place where if he can play I would imagine it would be in packages as opposed to going out and playing 65 plays, but sometimes it feels better and you can do more. You just want to make sure you do it the right way so that you don't risk re-injury because you have come so far to get to this point. It's a balancing act there."

(On what will happen when Jackson is healthy)- "At that point I think we'll just see where we are because as you guys can tell week to week it changes. Guys that you think are going to be there aren't there and that changes somebody's role dramatically. I couldn't give you a good answer right now. I just have to see where we are."

(On if Jackson got through the contact portion of practice yesterday okay)- "Yes, he did. It wasn't a ton of reps of doing that. For the reps that we had him do, he got through fine. Again, it's phased, it's all phased."

(On if Ray Lewis is considered one of the greats at his position)- "Yes, I think he is. What it's 15 years? That's amazing for that position and that level of contact and he's fast. We talked about this a little bit last year. I was watching either Serena or Venus Williams talk about her playing tennis and how even though as she's gotten older sometimes you don't respond physically as quickly as maybe you did. It's the natural progression of things, but because she has so much experience, she can anticipate the ball coming off someone's racquet. She was actually playing faster because of how she could see the game than when she was young and maybe things responded quicker. I think there's a lot of truth to that. When you can slow down the game, when you can anticipate things you react a lot faster. Rodney (Harrison) was the same way Ty Law was the same way. Things make sense quicker, you process quicker and now you're reacting. Even though time has affected a few things, you're faster than you were as a younger player because everything makes sense quicker."

(On what Ray Lewis is like in the locker room)- "I like that term force multiplier. He just makes people around him better. He's really good, he's really good at what he does and he forces, not in a negative way, but he makes people want to play better. He makes people want to push themselves because he is constantly pushing himself to be as good as he can be. When you have arguably your best player with that type of work ethic it affects everybody. I think all the great ones have that quality, where there's never a sense of complacency. There's never a sense of I'm good enough. It's this is what I have to work on to be better. I remember Jerry Rice talking about it, Paul Warfield talking about it, Jim Brown talking about it. The great ones they're great because they are talented but they marry that talent with this incredible work ethic and this constant honesty as to what they have to get better at. As opposed to you see a lot of under achieving guys where they're always looking for what they're satisfied with. All the other ones, they're looking for, ‘I'm going to get better at this. This is what I am going to improve on.' It's a great trait. Now, you get a bunch of young guys learning how to think that way, it has a cumulative effect on the group."

(On why Ahtyba Rubin was on the field for some passing downs against the Chiefs)- "They did have so no huddle so we didn't change the group. I think they kept the same group in the same formation in first, second and third down so we weren't going to change the group and get caught in a substitution error. I really like Rubin. We play him now quite a bit, but he works on his pass rush techniques, he can push the pocket. He's not Dwight Freeney, but he can do certain things well that can affect the passing game. He can get a lot of push on the pocket which if you have a quarterback that likes to step up that has real value. He could be mixed in in some of those types of situations."

(On if that was Rubin's first interception of his life)- "I'm going to take a wild stab at yes, but I don't know definitely. Maybe there was one in pee-wees or maybe when he was out playing between the street lights."

(On what the Baltimore defense does against a quarterback who regularly leaves the pocket)- "They're pretty consistent in their approach. What they have is they play with a high motor all the time. They are constantly chasing. They get a lot of guys to the football. Sometimes those guys that do leaving the pocket end up giving up bigger plays than not because they got a lot of penetration and they're getting hats to the ball. I don't see a fundamental shift in what they do versus a moving guy and a stationary guy."

(On if the defense has to be aware of pushing their guys too far inside)- "Yes, it's like an outside runner, you've got to set the edge to force them to run between the tackles. It's the same thing with a scrambling quarterback. You have to set the edge of the defense and he's going to stay in between these two walls and then you've got to collapse the pocket inside. Sometimes you'll see teams run a lot of games and things which are good and create some pressure but if that inside guy doesn't come out and set the edge it also creates openings for those quarterbacks that can move."

(On Josh Freeman's 33 yard rush)- "I don't think anyone was surprised that he was going to run the ball. We covered that pretty sensibly."

(On James Davis' saying he was going to do everything he can in practice to make him want to play him on Sunday and how he did)- "First of all I love that answer. That is exactly the right answer and that's what everybody's perspective should be, ‘I'm going to practice so well you can't help but to play me.' To me that's exactly the right approach from guys like James, or practice squad guys or anybody who wants more play time. That's your opportunity to make your case for play time is during practice. I thought he had a good day. I was pleased with what he did with his chances and that's one of the, you never want anyone to be injured, but that's one of the positive things for guys who are the next guy down the depth chart, suddenly a world of opportunity opens up to you, what will you do with it."

(On if Delhomme injury could go into next week)- "I think there's potential, but he's been progressively better each day. I thought he was moving around pretty good this morning when I saw him. With injuries, I don't really know."

(On Baltimore's secondary without Ed Reed)- "They picked up Chris Carr last year. I think he is playing really well. Fabian Washington, who they got in a trade, I think was a first round draft pick and Rob (Ryan) coached him in Oakland. He's quick, he has got good instincts. I think both of those guys have done a nice job for them. Dawan Landry is still back there and he's a big hitter and he's got good ball skills and I think he's a really good safety. Tom Zbikowski, who's played for them this year, he's done some good things and he's had playing time at different points last season as well. It's not like it's all new to him either. They usually bring in, and I hope I don't butcher his name, Haruki Nakamura, he comes in and plays in the slot. What he has done well for them is he's a good blitzer, he's a good run support player and he also gives them some versatility with how they can move around because he can go back and play safety too. Tom and come down or Dawan can come down, so there's some movement that can happen there. They have some other guys that they kind have got back from different situations who could be worked in this week."

(On if Baltimore's secondary is a little less aggressive without Reed)- "Dawan Landry does some pretty good things too. I think he got one against us and I was watching the New England game this morning, the playoff game. He had a nice pick in that game as well. He's got good ball skills, he's got good instincts. Ed Reed is Ed Reed, he's pretty unique back there. It's hard to replace a guy like that, but I think as a group, they have played pretty well."

(On if Delhomme is still in a boot)- "He's in a boot while he's walking around. Then when he's doing other things, the rehab and stuff like that, we take him out. That's pretty common, Jeff (Schudel), it's not just him."

(On who was responsible for drafting Ray Lewis in Baltimore)- "I was in the draft room, I remember the conversation. It was a pretty good draft, got (Jonathan) Ogden and Ray Lewis. Ozzie (Newsome) was running the show. I know Ted (Marchibroda) really liked him. I remember Ted talking to Art (Modell) about what type of player he was and how aggressive he was and a lot of the characteristics that he had. They were having that conversation when we were getting closer to our pick."

(On if Newsome was the top personnel guy in the draft room)- "I'm pretty sure he was the GM at that point."

(On who was in charge of the draft in Cleveland in 1995)- "I think it was Bill Belichick."

(On if Belichick was the lone man in charge of the draft at that point)- "Bill and Mike (Lombardi) and scouts, but I'm guessing Bill."

1:14 PM

Harrison Injury a Surprise: Although coach Eric Mangini expects Jerome Harrison to return to practice Friday, a th…

Wallace Looks To Be Starter Sunday
Don Delco on September 23rd, 2010 AT 1:09 PM

The Plain Dealer reported Thursday Browns quarterback Jake Delhomme has a high ankle sprain. As a result, Seneca Wallace will start for the second consecutive week.

Tony Grossi’s report cited a league source, and Eric Mangini would not elaborate on the injury.

Starting Wallace may benefit the Browns offense. Last week, he threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown against Kansas City. It was a play that proved to be key in the Chiefs’ 16-14 win considering it was Kansas City’s only touchdown. Wallace finished his first start as a Brown 16-for-31 passing for 229 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Wallace’s ability to scramble and make plays on the run could be a benefit for Cleveland against a Ravens defense that has been stifling in two games. No doubt Baltimore will be aggressive. Wallace’s mobility should be able to counter that aggressiveness … somewhat.

Wallace owned up to his interception after last Sunday’s game. He took responsibility. Now it is his responsibility? to lead the Browns in a mistake-free game against a defense that thrives on causing those mistakes.

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on September 23rd, 2010 AT 9:00 AM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for September 23rd from 08:26 to 08:30:

2:00 AM

Did Browns approach Eagles about Kolb?: One day after he loses his starting quarterback job, Kevin Kolb is the sub…

Peyton Hillis Lovin’ Life, The OBR…
Barry McBride on September 22nd, 2010 AT 9:27 PM

OBR Ambassador Joe Caggiano took these photos at Panini’s Cams Corner at a recent event there.

See how easily Peyton can get into that Smart Car? That’s what we’ve been telling you about on the radio.



9:14 PM

(Subscriber) Xs & Os: A Rapid Recovery: Doug Farrar explains how a veteran quarterback can go from looking so bad …