Almost All Is As It Appears

Being a fan of the Cleveland Browns at this time is an exciting time. The team is winning and that must mean that all is well in Cleveland. Or does it?

CLEVELAND, Ohio - A 3-1 record through four games seems like a major accomplishment for a team that has gone 5-27 the previous two seasons.

It is, who would have thought that this team could have made a dramatic turnaround such as this?

The fans are excited, the players are happy and reserved and the coaching staff expects to win. So, all is good in Cleveland? To the most part, yes. From what we have heard though, there has been something spewing through the walls of the Browns Berea, Ohio training facility.

This Browns organization is well, I would say they are well versed at providing an element of the truth periodically.

We are hearing that defensive end Courtney Brown should be able to play again after the Browns bye-week which is now the seventh week of the season.

Following the knee injury to Brown, it had been reported that the severity of the injury was worse than reported by the Browns. According to an associate within the Browns organization, "The actual injury that Courtney suffered easily exceeded what the Browns wanted people to know."

Placing tight-end Ricky Dudley on the IR this week wasn't an easy thing for Butch Davis to do. Dudley suffered a serious sprain of the foot and more likely there is some structural and further tissue damage. The team liked the blocking he provided and was a viable option and was becoming a threat in the passing game. It appears that O.J Santiago will get a serious look at replacing Dudley.

The Kevin Johnson watch is officially over. Johnson, the topic of trade rumors for weeks will not be traded and is making an impression on the coaching staff. Johnson has become more assertive and wants the ball. His confidence level is at an all-time high.

Close the curtain of Tony Jones once and for all. Jones and the Browns flurted, courted, kissed, then split like a couple high-school kids. Deciding that his return just wasn't in the cards, Jones stepped away from the Browns once they suddenly changed the direction they were heading in and role perceived for him.

Last but not least, Browns Director of Player Personnel Dwight Clark is a team player, but has been forced to swallow more than any person should be forced to.

There is no doubt, no question that Clark played a key role in what talent had been brought to the team in the 1999 and 2000 seasons. Clark and former head coach Chris Palmer share the blame in this area, in many cases Palmer was given what he wanted.

Just a thought here, I don't believe that there is a chance in hell that Clark feels the same wrath that Palmer did.

Clark has the title and not much more in personnel matters. With the arrival of Butch Davis and his close confidant Pete Garcia, Clark basically 'oversees' the department operations and we mean 'oversees'. His role has been widdled away, as Davis and Garcia call the shots and it has been described as being almost hands-off. In defense of Clark, he is watching these two good talent evaluators and does have some input, but the gavel is ultimately swung by Davis.

We hear that there is a nickname or two that have been lobbed at one of these personnel men, we'll get into that more next time.

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