Archive for November, 2010

South Park Owns Lebron, Nike
Barry McBride on November 4th, 2010 AT 10:03 PM

The end of this is just freaking perfect. Just perfect.

We’ll see if Nike’s money can convince TV watchers that blue is green, up is down, and that spoiled brats are victims.

Thursday Evening AFCN Follies
Barry McBride on November 4th, 2010 AT 9:53 PM

Into the lukewarm, congealing split pea soup that is the sports media I go, looking for nuggets amidst the yammering. Wish me luck.

  • Earlier this season, we had a series of poll questions via Gameballs and Goats on the subject of why Clevelanders rejected Braylon Edwards as a local hero. Among these were Braylon’s preferred seasons, namely, his being from Michigan and his “flash”. We also suggested that it might his beard, his bad drunken driving, or, obscurely, Braylon himself. Oddly, “Braylon Himself” seemed to always come out on top. Mark Sanchez is now learning why.
  • Meanwhile, in Baltimore, T.J. Houshmanzadeh is busy talking himself out of a cushy NFL job. About a decade from now Houshmanzadeh will look back with considerable nostalgia about being able to be paid a truckload of money to play a game, I expect, regardless of how many passes he gets.
  • You didn’t read it in any of the papers, but it was Fred Greetham whose question to Mike Holmgren got the coach reminiscing about getting on the sidelines again on Tuesday. Dan Patrick followed that up today, and once again Holmgren was wistful about his coaching days.
  • With non-descript play being fairly common for at least one of the Browns starting safeties, fans have often wondered how we let new Jaguars starter Don Carey get away from Cleveland. OBR subscribers got a glimpse of what’s going on behind the scenes from Jacksonville regarding Carey, and Jason Witten’s head got a rougher introduction. The one-time Brown is now $12,500 poorer for channeling James Harrison.
  • Speaking of Harrison, he obviously learned his lesson.
  • Finally, check out the photos ESPN used to try to set up the Browns-Patriots as a grudge match between two NFL head coaches / WWE wrestlers. Visually manipulating your readers when the facts don’t really convey what you would like about a five year old conflict… Bravo!

7:39 PM

Most. Boring. Super Bowl. Ever. "RT @caplannfl: PIT vs. NYG. RT @_Trems_ Hey Adam, who are your super bowl favorites?"

It’s Time for Thursday’s Pack of Lies!
Barry McBride on November 4th, 2010 AT 4:23 PM

Jason Trusnik covered his attempt to steal Patriots plays via hang gliding with some weird story about having a kid. We all know, of course, that Aaron Hernandez chased him off armed with nothing more than a jet pack and a two-by-four with a nail in it. Honestly, though, if I saw Aaron Hernandez headed towards me with evil intent, modern technology, and brandishing a largish club, I’d bail too. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.


Did Not Participate
QB Jake Delhomme (ankle)
QB Seneca Wallace (ankle)
OT John St. Clair (Arachniphobia. Also, ankle.)
DL Kenyon Coleman (knee)

Limited Participation
NT Shaun Rogers (ankle, snicker)
DB Matt Roth (hamstring)
TE Alex Smith (ankle, plus he’s the fourth tight end)

Full Participation
LB Jason Trusnik (personal reasons, not spying)


Did Not Participate
S Jarrad Page  (Calf)
RB Fred Taylor (Toe)

Limited Participation
WR Deion Branch (Hamstring)
S Patrick Chung (Knee)
WR Matthew Slater (Ankle)

Full Participation
QB Tom Brady (Shoulder snicker)
Aaron Hernandez (Chaseatrusnikoffia)


A chance for charity work Sunday
Don Delco on November 4th, 2010 AT 2:15 PM

Relax, Browns fans. No need to miss the game Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium against the New England Patriots.

Instead, grab some nonperishable items en route to the stadium. If you can’t, reach in your pocket and offer up a few extra bucks. The Browns will be accepting nonperishable items and monetary donations in support of the Cleveland Foodbank. Volunteers will be at each gate to collect donations up until kickoff.

According to a release by the Browns:

The Cleveland Foodbank supplies a majority of the food used in local hot meal sites, shelters and food pantries. In addition, they provide food to child care centers, group homes and programs for the elderly. The Foodbank works closely with other Northeast Ohio hunger relief organizations, providing food and nonfood products to hunger centers administered by the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland, the Catholic Hunger and Shelter Network and the Salvation Army, among others. To learn more about the Cleveland Foodbank, visit

Doesn’t if feel good to do good?

Mangini Press Conference Transcript, Nov. 4
Don Delco on November 4th, 2010 AT 1:39 PM

(Opening statement)- "Good morning everybody. Today the guys that will be out will be the same group as yesterday. Kenyon (Coleman) won't practice today. We just switch days, usually he works on Thursday, doesn't work on Wednesday. We just switched that and he should be out today. Jason (Trusnik) is back from his birthing experience so he's pretty excited. He was talking about putting the car seat in to pick his wife up. He doesn't even know (joking). What we're doing is we're following the same schedule that we usually follow, working on third down. New England is really good on third down, first in the AFC second in the NFL in terms of their offense. They just do an excellent job with a lot of different ways of getting guys open and a lot of really creative ways to beat coverages so those are things that we're going to have to be sharp on in terms of recognizing the formation and the plays and understanding the beaters that they have built in to the system."

(On if Shaun Rogers had a set back with the leg injury)- "No, not really. He should be back today, he missed yesterday. I thought we were going to reverse the order yesterday but we didn't so I just got confused."

(On if they can name Colt McCoy their starter for Sunday)- "I think we're moving pretty strongly in that direction."

(On Seneca Wallace sounding optimistic on Monday about being ready to play this week)- "I wouldn't say it's out of the realm, here, of possibility. He is a lot better, he's moving around much better. I think John (St. Clair) is the same way and I said Jake (Delhomme) is a little bit behind that group. I think we have an outside chance for tomorrow but nothing definite."

(On if Delhomme came back too early)- "No, it was a little bit different deal. With any of these things, I think when you come back, regardless of when you to come back, if you got hit the right way you've got a chance of re-injuring it."

(On if there is a formula for New England's ability to defend inexperienced quarterbacks)- "I think it depends on the individual guy and I think it's also a function of because they are so game plan specific, typically young guys have a harder time recognizing, ‘Okay, this is what's being done this game and the answers that I typically would have aren't there and I've got to go somewhere else with it.' It's something you have to experience, something you have to understand, something you have to anticipate and I think a lot of times young guys don't quite process that as quickly as guys who have seen that approach before."

(On if he can help McCoy prepare for the game with his previous experience at New England)- "I think there's definite value there between myself, Brian (Daboll), Rob (Ryan), Brad (Seely), there's a lot of guys with familiarity. The problem Tony (Grossi) is you don't know what it is going to be for you, so you can explain and show examples of, ‘Okay, this is what it was against San Diego, this is what it was against Minnesota, Baltimore,' right down the line and then you just have to say this is what it could be against us. If it is that here are some answers, if it's something different then we need to talk about it on the sideline and have our answers for that."

(On what makes Tom Brady, Tom Brady)- "He's got a tremendous work ethic. That's the starting point with him. That was true from before Brady was Brady, as a young guy. He always had that intense work ethic and I don't think that changed, I know it didn't change after we won Super Bowls, he was the same guy. He's down to earth, success doesn't faze him. It hasn't changed his approach to things, he's got natural leadership ability and it's not about his numbers. He's not caught up in his stats, his numbers, that doesn't matter. It's just how are we going to win the game? What are we going to do to win the game? He doesn't care who he throws to, it's just get it to the open guy. I think all of those things make him who he is and he's got really good poise. There are some snaps where he's playing people and he's got good protection and he's standing about as still as you can get. It almost looks as though he's reading the paper back in the pocket, just poised and he waits for the guy to get open and just throws him the ball."

(On why Brady was picked so low in the draft)- "He didn't come out of college the guy who he is now. There was a lot of work that had to be done and we used to do this post practice work and he wasn't quite lighting it up, but he worked at it every day. He did all that opportunity work where I was coaching the DBs so I had the young DBs and he was throwing against them and you weren't sitting there saying, ‘Holy cow this guy is unbelievable,' but what you did sit there in those periods and getting to know him was, ‘Man this guy has an unbelievable work ethic, this guy's really smart, this guy really cares.' He got bigger, he got more experienced, he's worked at it, it's just hard work. Ability combined with hard work and it wasn't a finished product by any stretch but he turned himself into who he is."

(On if there was a time he knew that Brady was going to be a great player)- "Maybe after we won the first Super Bowl, that was it, but I'm telling you it wasn't like everyone was sitting back going, ‘Man, Brady's in hooray,' initially because he was a young unproven guy that you loved a lot of characteristics, you loved a lot of things he did but that's what he was. He was a young unproven guy with great traits, and even that first year there were a lot of bumps along the way for us in winning the Super Bowl."

(On if all they have to do is stop Tom Brady on offense)- "No, because those guys do a good job of getting open. Wes Welker does a really good job of getting open. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is averaging 4.4, Danny Woodhead is at 4.9. There's the young tight ends whether it's (Aaron) Hernandez or (Rob) Gronkowski, they've both done a really nice job. Deion Branch, I think he's an outstanding receiver and he's outstanding working with Tom. There are a lot of weapons in that group and he makes those guys play better and perform better."

(On what Gerard Warren has given New England)- "I think he's done a good job in the system, he's a big body, he plays both end and nose tackle so there's some flexibility there. He plays really in all three spots for them so they can move Vince (Wilfork) around and he can come in. He's done a good job in the running game. It looks like he's been a solid player for them."

(On how he attacks a defense with three rookies starting)- "Even though they're young guys, the one thing that they've done really well is play within the system. There haven't been a lot of mistakes, they play sound and that's a big part of what they do. They don't give up big plays. The yards may come all those numbers passing yards, running yards nobody cares about that it's just don't give up the points and don't give up big plays and make the team go the long, hard way. They've done a good job of playing sound, fundamental football across the board and it works."

(On what's the best approach against Brady)- "We've used a bunch of different approaches over time. This approach will be different than the last approach and the one before that was different than that and what you do is it's just not going to be the same. It's not going to be the same as what we have shown in the past. I'm sure he knows that and Bill (Belichick) knows that. It's going to be different."

(On if you can play aggressive against a quarterback like Brady)- "He can kill you a couple different ways. You can die slowly or you can die quickly. The key thing is to keep avoiding the bullets and make sure you're able to deliver some blows along the way. He's got a great understanding of what the coverages are and if the coverage isn't what he expects it to be there's an answer and he goes with the answer. A lot like with Peyton Manning where the pressures coming and if they don't have it picked up, he'll just throw it out of bounds and live to fight another down. Tom is often times the same way. It may not be out of bounds but there's an easy answer, there's a quick answer, there's a smart answer. You go to that, you pick up six yards and you move it. We got to make sure the answers aren't always the same."

(On Wes Welker)- "One, he's tough he's very tough. He's very good in zone coverage and understanding where to fit in the zones. He's very good in man to man coverage reading away from the leverage, he's got great short away quickness and he's really good at the run after the catch because he's so shifty. I think all those things make him hard to defend."

(On if they can double team a guy like Welker)- "You can try to and work at it and do it different ways, a lot like Wayne Chrebet. Wayne Chrebet, he could get open regardless of whether he was doubled or not doubled because you understand how those doubles are going to work and the more that offensive player understands about how coverages are working, the more successful they are in attacking them and beating them. I think he does a really good job with attacking and beating doubles and things like that. He's a really talented guy and he's a smart, tough guy."

(On if Brandon Tate takes Randy Moss' spot as a deep threat)- "He's had some deep balls. I think with (Aaron) Hernandez, he's had some deep balls. There's a couple different ways that they can get to the same thing. They may not exactly the nine routes but they'll throw those but some of it could be with deep overs with crossing routes down the field like that, some sort of combination routes to get the deep ball."

(On how similar Julian Edelman is to Welker)- "I'd say there are some similarities in terms of short area quickness, toughness, hands, things like that but Welker has established himself over time. There's a large body of work and production."

(On Edelman having big production in spots of his career)- "He's still part of the game plan, he still does a lot of things for them. He's returning punts. He's another guy you've got to defend that they can rotate through at any point."

(On if he understands why Belichick would say the Browns are running a west coast offense)- "Do I understand why he would do it? Yes, sure I understand why he would do it. I think there are elements of the west coast in what we do. I definitely do, but it's pretty mixed. There are things from a lot of different systems, but if he wants to classify it as that, that's great."

(On if he has compared McCoy to Brady in the sense that McCoy has also had to work from the bottom up)- "To me, I don't really make that comparison with just Colt. Those types of comparisons are not even comparisons. Those example are examples I use all of the time with our young players. That, to me, is why it's so important to draft the right type of guys because we have programs in place. Whether they be the coaching element, the extra work on the field, extra work in the classroom, player development, whatever it is, we have all of these things in-house, in place to develop players and get them to be better and reach their potential. If a guy doesn't want to do that, if they're not committed to that, then they're just programs for us. We might as well not have them. If you get the right type of guy with the right characteristics, the right intrinsic motivation, you take average and average becomes good, good becomes great and great becomes a hall of famer. That's how it works. You can develop, you can become whatever you want to be if you're willing to work to get to your potential. It's example after example of the years between my time in New England, New York, here of guys that shouldn't be playing, according to the experts, according to the draft and they play for a long time. Look at Rick Lyle. Rick Lyle is a guy that played 10 years in the league. Mike Wright was a free agent out of the University of Cincinnati. I remember watching his free agent tape after the draft and he's become a good player in the system. It's filled with guys like that and it can happen every single year. It's getting the right human beings and giving them the ability to be successful."

(On if the right side of the offensive line is settled or if Shawn Lauvao is still competing for a spot)- "Shawn had a good day yesterday. I thought he had a good series of practices over the bye week, but Billy (Yates) has as well. I think it will be like our last game against New Orleans, we'll just see at the end of the week who had the better week. They're both working with the starting group as well as working at their normal backup spots that they have. It really comes down to who has the better week."

1:36 PM

Wallace: ‘No Setback, Being Smart’: Seneca Wallace, Browns being smart about his timetable to return.

12:39 PM

@BxLeister5 I think that’s a lot to put on him… I don’t see any alternative to this team bringing in WR talent via FA or the draft.

Looks more and more like Colt
Don Delco on November 4th, 2010 AT 11:56 AM

Welcome to the National Football League, Colt McCoy.

His first NFL start took place at the division-leading Pittsburgh Steelers. Next up? A trip down south to New Orleans to face the defending Super Bowl champions.

On Thursday, Eric Mangini admitted in his morning press conference he is moving toward starting McCoy on Sunday.

Good news: The game is not on the road, but it will take place at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Bad news: The 6-1 New England Patriots are in town.

Browns quarterbacks Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace did not practice on Thrusday and it is not guarantted Wallace will practice Friday, Mangini said. The closer the Browns get to Sunday with McCoy taking a majority of the first-team snaps, it looks more and more likely McCoy will play in front of the home fans.

Here’s hoping McCoy’s first home game will be as good, if not better, than his first two road starts.

11:56 AM

@Coletini I suspect we’ll see Rogers appear this week, despite his status in Wednesday’s Pack of Lies:

11:53 AM

@BxLeister5 Hard to predict if Williams will appear at WR this week, but I wouldn’t bet against it.

11:52 AM

@scottiegraef He named Justin Long of the Dolphins at LT, I believe. Thomas has to earn that distinction back.

Alex Mack Gets National Praise
Barry McBride on November 4th, 2010 AT 11:25 AM

SI’s Peter King, one of the few writers at the national level who seems to pay attention to the Browns outside of years like 2002 and 2007, has put Browns C Alex Mack on his Midterm All-NFL team, which will be unveiled in SI’s November 8th issue. Mack is the only Cleveland Browns player to be included.

Some other notes from King’s Mid-Term NFL Team:

  • He names Earl Thomas as the league’s best free safety. Thomas was a player many of us were high on prior to the draft as an alternative to Joe Haden at CB.
  • Haloti Ngata, a player whose name we were changing in the OBR Chat Room prior to the team dealing with the Ravens and picking with Kamerion Wimbley, is named the best nose tackle and defensive player of the year to-date by King.
  • Ex-Browns PK Billy Cundiff is given the nod as the league’s best placekicker through Week 8.

Interesting stuff as always from King, who worries over these lists and seems a lot more focused on “performance” than “reputation” when reaching is conclusions.

11:16 AM

@BxLeister5 Williams should get a look. Good hands, good route runner, long athletic stride. He just has to stay healthy enough to practice.

10:48 AM

Were moving in that direction mangini on colt starting. Seneca is moving better chance practice friday.

10:46 AM

Coleman trusnik back at practice. Wallace delhomme not practicing. Thursday.

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on November 4th, 2010 AT 8:00 AM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for November 4th from 07:08 to 07:10:

Derek Anderson Tells Albert Einstein to Get Bent
Barry McBride on November 3rd, 2010 AT 11:29 PM

Evening links of varying merit:

Here what Derek Anderson does: he warps time. Whenever he goes to an NFL club, the rest of the world moves forward on a normal timeline, but the club he’s with loses two years. First it happened in Cleveland, where Derek Anderson showed up in 2007 and froze the Browns roster into position with impressive-enough looking offense that Brady Quinn was stuck on the Browns sideline and the team refused to draft quarterbacks. The Browns stayed still while the rest of the league moved forward.

Now he’s up to his old tricks in Arizona, putting a once-impressive team in a situation where they wander aimlessly in circles between two bad quarterbacks.

How he does it, I have no idea, but the rest of the league moves forward while your team makes no progress whatsoever. If you remember your Planet of the Apes astrophysics, it may be because your team moves at near the speed of light towards the bottom of your division, which causes time dilation, while the rest of the world moves forward on normal time.

It’s like that, but with a 45.2 quarterback rating.

* * *

Donte Stallworth has begun practicing again. Good luck with that, Baltimore.

Never has one man done so little for so much money. Other than Keith Hernandez. You with me old-school Tribe fans? (High fives, weeps)

* * *

Admiral Akbar, now writing for AOL Fanhouse, notes “Patriots Injury-Plagued Heading Into Potential Trap Game vs. Browns“.

You have to feel bad for those poor Patriots, suffering with all those injuries. As if the Browns didn’t have an Injured Reserve list with a population higher than Olmstead Falls.
* * *
“Yes, Mr. Goodell”
“You aren’t supposed to make people’s brains bounce around in their skulls when they’re not looking.”
“Yes, Mr. Goodell”
“Don’t do it again”
“Okay, Mr. Goodell”. 
“Here, have a couple of suitcases full of money for travel expenses”
“Thanks, Mr. Goodell”
The spacious limo is waiting at the front door to take you back via a first-class plane ticket. Take a bottle of Dom Perignon for the ride.”
“OK, Mr. Goodell”
“I hope you learned a valuable lesson”
“I sure did, Mr. Goodell”
“I had better not see you back here next year”
“You won’t, Mr. Goodell” (leaves)
“Because your ass is gonna be locked out like everyone else” (chuckles)
* * *
Some guy named Mike Reiss from ESPN is analyzing the Browns game. Here’s a video, if you like such pre-game yammering: