OBR Daily Blog 12/2

It looks as if Delhomme will get second straight start; Alka-Seltzer stock increases

10:02 PM

Based on my Twitter responses, NFL Network ratings are getting better in Cleveland as the Cavs tank. I smell a conspiracy.

9:44 PM

Is anyone in Cleveland watching Eagles-Texans? Anyone?

8:45 PM

Podcast: Coach Sam and Fred the MC: The show brings in Coach Sam, goes webdork-free, and more! http://bit.ly/eWMeo1

Browns-Dolphins Injury Report, Dec. 2
Don Delco on December 2nd, 2010 AT 4:33 PM


Did Not Participate in Practice
LB Eric Barton, shoulder
DL Kenyon Coleman, knee
WR Josh Cribbs, foot
LB Scott Fujita, knee
QB Colt McCoy, ankle
DL Shaun Rogers, ankle

Limited Participation in Practice
RB Lawrence Vickers, calf
DB T.J. Ward, thigh
OL Floyd Womack, knee
DB Eric Wright, knee


Did Not Participate in Practice
LB Channing Crowder, knee

Limited Participation in Practice
LB Karlos Dansby, toe
CB Al Harris, hamstring
WR Brandon Marshall, hamstring

2:37 PM

Haden Named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month: As the Florida secondary regressed near the end of the season, th… http://bit.ly/hkysGn

Browns Player Quotes, Dec. 2
Don Delco on December 2nd, 2010 AT 1:52 PM

DB Joe Haden

(On what it means to him to be named the rookie of the month)- "It's definitely special. I'm just very happy, very appreciative. I feel like my work paid off. I've been working very hard this week and I've been getting a whole lot of playing time. I feel like I showed a lot of what I can do. I'm happy that the NFL noticed it."

(On if he feels pressure to perform well because he was the first player at his position taken in the draft)- "That has been over with for a while now. I felt like I had the pressure when I first got here, when I first signed I felt the pressure. After the first game and the coaching staff was happy with my play and what I was doing and the fans said, "Joe, you're doing a great job, you’re going hard.' I was doing my special teams thing and then now, I'm starting to play a little bit more and starting to be more involved in the defense. I feel like the whole draft thing is over and I'm just trying to make the Browns happy."

(On not taking too many chances on interceptions while being responsible for covering your man)- "If you can get to an interception, you try to go get it. The main thing is you try and cover your man. If you have your man good enough, like the coaches say if you are in good enough position to look back, they're never going to take the chance away from you if you can make a play on the ball. That's one thing with myself, Sheldon (Brown) and (Eric) E-Wright is we have good ball skills. If we get around on the ball, coaches will never be upset with us if we look back."

RB Peyton Hillis

(On if spreading the ball around to different receivers opens up the running game)- "Yes, that's what it's supposed to do. Play action is supposed to open up the running game, keep the defense on their toes and I think Jake (Delhomme) did a really good job of that."

(On if being ranked high in individual rushing categories can go to a player's head and how you process it)- "You process it like you process anything else. You've got to stay humble and keep a level head. The lord can take away from you just as fast as he can give it to you. You've got to keep that in your mindset and know that everything is a gift, everything is a blessing. Don't take it for granted."

(On his impressions of Miami's defense)- "They're really big and strong up front. They love to shed blocks, make tackles and play guys toe to toe, a lot like Baltimore and the Jets. They have a real good, strong defensive front and I'm looking forward to competing against them."

(On if he ever thinks about going to the Pro Bowl)- "No, the way I look at is we've got five more games. Trying to win those five games is what's more important to me right now."

(On how they are preparing to deal with the heat and weather conditions in Miami)- "Just precautions, drinking a little bit more water, making sure you get an IV or two and taking your vitamins. We practice in the bubble with the heater on and stuff like that."

Mangini Press Conference Transcript, Dec. 2
Don Delco on December 2nd, 2010 AT 1:39 PM

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 12-2-10

(Opening statement)- "Good morning everybody. In terms of guys that won't practice today, Colt (McCoy), Scott (Fujita), Kenyon's (Coleman) on the rotation, Baby (Shaun Rogers) I'm not sure about and everybody else should be up. Some of these guys will be limited in how much they do but they'll be back out there. We're working today on third down. Looking at them offensively, one of the best teams in the league that we've faced on third down and again with Dan (Henning) he comes up with some creative ways to attack you in this area as well and they're very efficient there. I think Davone Bess has done a really nice job as third down receiver and they've got a lot of other options as well. Then defensively, make sure the pressure packages dealing with just their four rushers has been an issue for some teams so we've got a lot to prepare for and we'll be inside again today. Looking for another good day."

(On if Joshua Cribbs is going to be limited today in practice)- "Yes, he should be limited. That was the plan as of this morning so. Some of this changes a little bit just before we go so that's what I'm looking for."

(On Sabby Piscitelli)- "He is big, strong, fast, aggressive, has played a lot of defense. He played maybe 90 percent last year, maybe 50-60 percent the year before it. My numbers may be a little bit off. Very good on special teams and when he became available we just thought it would improve our special teams and also add some real depth to the secondary. That was thought process there."

(On if Piscitelli is better than Ray Ventrone in coverage)- "We'll have to see exactly what roles that he'll play. Bubba (Ventrone) plays certain roles, not sure if he'll play those same roles as Bubba. Some of it is getting to know him. You know what you have seen, you have that exposure, but you still have to get to know the player. You've got to figure out where he fits best in the mix. What we'll try to do here is just get him ready to go for Sunday in some capacity and look for him to contribute."

(On if there is a lot of time to do research for a guy when they are on waivers)- "The personnel department does a lot of research and then we have a system that has the guy's history, reports, college reports, pro reports so there's all the background information. That stuff is easily accessible so you can go back through and look at that. You can generate a tape pretty quickly on his plays but really the bulk of it is done by Tom (Heckert) and his group. I've had some exposure to them through the draft or that type of sometimes free agency however it works out. You go with what you think and take a look at a guy and see what he can do and hopefully he can contribute."

(On if they need to pick up a third running back)- "If there's somebody that comes up that we like too, we'd look at that. Really we've gone into most games with two backs and often times on the roster have had two backs either here or other places. It just depends on what comes up, who's available, what other roles they can play in terms of special teams or third down, things like that."

(On what his relationship is like with Tony Sparano)- "I think it's good. I believe he's a Connecticut guy, New Haven so I like that about him. Not too far down the road from where I grew up and I had gotten to know him a little bit at the owner's meetings and spent some time with him there. He seems like a really good guy. Julie's gotten to know his wife a little bit, they've talked and you hit it off with some guys. We do have some things in common in terms of people that we've worked for or where we grew up so I'm happy to see the things that he's been able to do. I think he's a good coach, I like the program, I like the fact that his team is second in the NFL in penalties. I think that's a very good indication of some of the things he believes in philosophically. I like the way their team is built, they're big, they're strong, they're tough, they're physical. I appreciate all those things."

(On how Miami has multiple people involved in their Wildcat which allows them to do a lot with it)- "Yes, they do and I went back and looked at the games from 2008 the other day when we played them in New York. There were some things out of the Wildcat that were a little different that game too. With (Dan) Henning you're going to get that, a couple different throws, a couple unique formations, some combinations, reverses. When you have a lot of different weapons it makes it harder you can't over shift the line one way and not worry about the guy who's coming back on the reverse, or whether it's Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams or Davone Bess. They're all problems and they bring in Patrick Cobbs, he can do some things. You've just got to adjust to it the best you can and be sound. I think the main thing is to be sound so that you're able to control wherever they decide to attack."

(On if you have to look at things pre-snap for their Wildcat)- "A lot of that the way it's designed is to deceive you as to where it's going. They'll pull a guard opposite the way that the play's going, so the guard will go left but the play is going right to try to suck the linebackers with the pulling guard but everything's going over there. Or they fake the reverse coming this way and they stay front side or they fake the reverse and they start like it's going outside and then wrap back to the other direction. There are a lot of things designed to make you sort through it and the Wildcat gives you the extra blocker because the quarterback is the ball carrier.”

(On if the Wildcat has run its course because teams practice for it)- "They used it a decent amount last week against Oakland. I think it's similar to a lot of packages Tony (Grossi) where if it's rolling then you get it more. If you do a good job with it and it doesn't look like it's going to be that effective during the course of the game, you don't get as much. I couldn't really tell you what the overall numbers would be, but people do practice it a lot more than they have in the past."

(On Joe Haden winning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month)- "I think it's great, I really do. I've been happy with Joe as he's starting to make more plays in practice and those plays are translating into the game. He's getting a better sense of what we're trying to get done defensively, big picture and the small technique things. When you build up these reps over the course of the season now you're not thinking about, ‘Okay am I inside leverage? Am I outside leverage? Do I have this help? Do I have that help?' You know those things and now you're playing formations, you're playing people, your reactions are a lot quicker. It's been nice to see that."

(On if he looked at Brian Hartline and Brian Robiskie as a tandem pre-draft in 2009)- "I like Hartline. I think he runs good routes, I think he's got reliable hands, he's been tough in terms of catching the ball in traffic, he's a physical blocker, all those things I like. I think Brian (Robiskie) has those traits as well. They're similar in that sense that they both run good routes, they both got good hands, they're both tough, they're both willing blockers but I don't remember in the draft looking at them side-by-side that way, it was more as a group of receivers."

(On comparing Cribbs and Bess)- "With Bess, he's a dangerous punt returner which Josh is as well. He's got very good short area quickness, excellent change of direction. I think he's got really good hands as well and seeing his development over time in terms of route running, things like that. He's supposed to be a great kid from everything I've heard. Really a bright kid, a hard working kid, so I would imagine that having that type of character with that type of ability he has gotten better and he'll continue to get better each year. He's pretty fearless back there catching puts and really in all the ways that he plays."

(On if the heat had any effect on the players in the Jacksonville game)- "No, it really wasn't that warm there. It was a little bit warm but it was hotter in here when we were practicing than it was down there. One of the things that we constantly talk about is the need to condition throughout the course of the season and each guy has to build that into practice. Some guys like (David) Bowens love to take extra reps on the show team, that's how he gets his conditioning. He likes to do it in a football specific way. Rodney Harrison was like that. Some guys, Abe (Elam) will do a lot of extra sprints during the course of the practice so while the offense is going he's running sprints as you go. Some guys like to do it on the treadmill or on the elliptical to take some pressure off their legs. Each guy has to have that routine. When you maintain you're conditioning or really what I look for is to keep building your conditioning as the season goes because when it gets late in the game depending on how much time of possession, whatever way the game goes, you don't want that to be a factor on the outcome."

(On how impressive it was that Eric Alexander had the first two special teams tackles last week)- "I was with him when he first started in New England and he was there for a long time with Brad (Seely). He was a good special teams player in New England, played some defense there as well. I think it helped that he's so familiar with Brad, so familiar with the system. He wanted to make an impression and I thought he did. He got the special teams player of the week. I think he'll continue over the course of the season to keep producing there."

(On if coaches don't address tackling fundamentals in the NFL)- "We pound it in to the point of, ask the guys you can talk to them today. It's every day we talk about tackling. We do the tackling drill every single Wednesday, we've done it since OTAs. I'll show four or five clips every Thursday morning and it's not just the tackling component, it's the running component too. I thought Mohamed Massaquoi's catch and the run the other day was a positive thing because that's what the runners are working on during that drill and we're constantly talking about that. Jerome (Henderson) will do drills where he'll throw a quick slant and want guys to come up and try to tackle the guy from space, so there's things built in to the position drills as well. We do it as a team and then we build it in to the position drills. Yesterday Rob (Ryan) and Matt (Eberflus) had the linebackers hitting the dummy, the pop up dummy and bring it to the ground. I've been places where you hear guys say, ‘That's high school stuff,' or a little bit of that grumbling. It is high school, it's pee wee league, it's college, it's professional because it's a fundamental part of the game. It's the same thing as blocking. You have to practice how to block correctly, how to take on blocks, how to tackle, how it catch the football. It is high school, it's before high school, it's after high school. You get away from the fundamentals, it doesn't matter the about the other stuff."

1:00 PM

Roth: Return to South Beach no big deal: Roth, a former Dolphins linebacker, treating Sunday’s return to Miami a… http://bit.ly/eEsjXG

Suddenly, People are Betting on Hillis
Barry McBride on December 2nd, 2010 AT 12:51 PM

After last week’s three-touchdown party against the Carolina Panthers, RB Peyton Hillis has drawn the attention of Las Vegas. The folks at Bodog Sportsbook tell us that Hillis is now a 2/1 shot at leading the NFL in touchdowns during the 2010 regular season.

My guess is that, um, he wasn’t listed at these odds as the season began, so if you got in on this action back then, I’m in the market for a loan. And I’ve always been your best friend. You know that. Yep.

Here’s the listing:

Arian Foster (HOU) RB                        7/4
Peyton Hillis (CLE) RB                           2/1
Dwayne Bowe (KC) WR                       5/1
Calvin Johnson (DET) WR                    12/1
Chris Johnson (TEN) RB                       12/1
Adrian Peterson (MIN) RB                 14/1
Rashard Mendenhall (PIT) RB           14/1
Brandon Lloyd (DEN) WR                  16/1
Greg Jennings (GB) WR                     16/1
Field                                                       12/1

Unfortunately for those of us who wanted to see him succeed, Brady Quinn increasingly looks like he may go down in history as “that guy in the Peyton Hillis trade”.


12:39 PM

@FailSPN I’m posting the podcast this afternoon. It may be our last one for a while.

11:28 AM

@WFNYCraig Don’t know specifically, but coaches love taking a crack at unlocking potential – and he was a second rounder. #TimCarterSyndrome

10:47 AM

Haden is def rookie of the month for november

10:47 AM

Haden is def rookie of the month for november

10:43 AM

Confirm signing of sabby picitelli

10:42 AM

Mccoy coleman rogers fujita will miss thursday. Cribbs and wright are back and limited.

So far, so good with ’10 first-round pick
Don Delco on December 2nd, 2010 AT 10:41 AM

Wait, so the Cleveland Browns got another first-round selection right?

The NFL named Browns rookie defensive back Joe Haden as the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for November. According to the release, Joe Haden had 15 tackles, seven passes defended, three interceptions and one special teams tackle as the Browns posted a 2-2 record during the month.

Haden has a team-high four interceptions and is tied for seventh in the league. He is the first Browns player to be selected as the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month since the award was established in 1996. Joe Thomas was the last Browns player selected when he earned the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month award for the month of November in 2007.

Speaking of Thomas, the offensive tackle out of Wisconsin was the first of three consecutive first-round picks it appears the Browns have got right.

Thomas in 2007, Alex Mack in 2009 and now Haden in 2010. The Browns did not have a first round pick in 2008 (thanks Brady Quinn).

As bad as the Browns have been at selecting first-round talent, it appears the team is on a roll. Baby steps, people.

10:31 AM

Browns awarded DB Piscitelli: Hot News for S Sabby Piscitelli http://bit.ly/gRGtDD

Browns claim safety Piscitelli
Don Delco on December 2nd, 2010 AT 10:29 AM

The official release from the Cleveland Browns:

The Cleveland Browns were awarded defensive back Sabby Piscitelli off waivers from Tampa Bay, the team announced today.

Originally drafted by Tampa Bay in the second round (64th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft, Piscitelli has appeared in 45 career games with 20 starts, recording five interceptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. This season, he appeared in all 11 games with the Buccaneers, totaling 13 tackles and one interception. He was waived by Tampa Bay on November 30, 2010.

Piscitelli started 36 of his 48 career games at Oregon State (2003-06), where he totaled 178 tackles, three fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, one sack and tied for second in school history with 15 interceptions. Born on August 24, 1983, the 6-3, 225-pound Piscitelli is a native of Boca Raton, Fla., where he attended Boca Raton High School.

He will wear number 28.

12:44 AM

(Subscriber) Xs and Os: Robiskie’s Big Day: Suddenly, seven catches. Was it the defensive scheme? The QB? Doug F… http://bit.ly/fiI0Ys

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on December 1st, 2010 AT 10:00 PM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for December 1st from 20:22 to 21:44:

Cleveland’s New Sports King?
Barry McBride on December 1st, 2010 AT 9:55 PM

Great article from fellow Clevelander Geoff LaTulippe on ESPN’s Page 2 where he looks at who is Cleveland new sports hero now that LeBron James has gone in the, um, other direction. Some really good candidates there wearing Orange and Brown.

Cleveland’s a football town. It’s just right that our heroes wear shoulder pads.

LeBron James returns to Cleveland on Thursday, so Page 2 wonders who replaces him as sports king of Cleveland.

Browns Awarded Sabby Piscitelli
Dave Kolonich on December 1st, 2010 AT 9:49 PM

Browns Awarded Sabby Piscitelli

The Browns and Bucs have essentially swapped safeties in the past day, as rookie Larry Asante was signed by the Bucs yesterday.  Today, the Browns were awarded Sabby Piscitelli.

Piscitelli was waived by the Bucs after a poor performance last week against the Ravens. 

Or, as the National Football Post puts it:

He started last season, but struggled with his tackling and was released this week after being beaten for a 65-yard touchdown reception by Baltimore Ravens tight end Todd Heap.

Not exactly the most ringing of endorsements, considering the Browns' lingering tackling issues on defense.  However, in a nod to last year's scrap heap pickups, which included Matt Roth and Evan Moore, perhaps this move could help the Browns down the stretch.

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