Rumor Central Daily Babble

Not a lot of news today, but expect there to be some changes soon...

This time last year, everyone who followed the Browns knew a couple of things for certain.

First, we had an explosive offense. With "two great quarterbacks" at the helm, and one of the strongest receiving corps in the NFL, the Browns offense would be nearly unstoppable. The Browns defense, however, was a problem, and would soon be eviscerated by salary cap cuts. Get ready for a lot of 49-45 games, we were told, and most of us nodded our heads in agreement.

What are we being told about the Browns this January? We're told, mostly, that there are a lot of problems.

For my part, I'm guessing the current assumptions are just as wrong as they were last year at this time.

I see all the year-end reviews and prophesies of certain doom for next season, but I don't find it depressing. I see the ratings and rankings, and the essays about how mediocre the talent on this team is, and I just shrug it off. The same people who told you how great Kelly Holcomb was last January will tell you that Tim Couch will never excel today.

Ever look at the pre-season predictions in the NFL rags that show up in July and August? They generally look like the previous year's results, and they're generally incredibly wrong.

I'm writing this because I've already read too many post-season tales of woe about the Browns immediate prospects. I've just stopped reading them, to be honest. In today's NFL, the next season always has promise. Talk to a Cowboys or a Panthers fan if you need to understand how possible it is to go from the bottom to the top.

COUCH, COWBOYS, AND CATERWAULING: Speaking of the Cowboys, we got our first little taste of Couch to Dallas pondering this morning, courtesy of the Houston Chronicle, which somehow thinks that Bill Parcells has the magic formula for every position, including quarterback. I'm not too worried about Tim being shipped off to Dallas, which I suspect might be less likely this year than it was last year.

Frankly, I'm more concerned about Couch developing an off-field interest in starting a country music career, rather than shilling some sort of condiment like athletes are supposed to do.

GETTING 'CUTT BY THE SPIN: Dennis Northcutt might not have helped himself by being so honest about his financial objectives. He's given out-of-towners the impression that he wants out of Cleveland, which removes one bargaining chip, plus he's getting some negative spin as being coinage obsessed. Go to the bottom of this article for an example.

According to Carmen Policy, the Browns are going to be talking to Northcutt this week, and will try to convince him that he might have a longer career if he stays in Cleveland. Policy said in an interview last week: "This is a perfect fit for him. We know him, we understand him. He knows and understands us. We can use him very effectively, we're willing to pay him very well, and staying here and staying with us not only helps us, and not only helps keep together the chemistry of the team, but I think, ultimately, it's going to add to his playing time in this league."

We'll see if that dog hunts.

As much as everyone talks about Northcutt wanting to go to the West Coach, I'd be frightened about what it would mean to the rest of the league if he wound up playing for the St. Louis Rams. As the third receiver in that offense, Northcutt could run amok, and could still claim to be a starter without being the #1 or #2 guy.

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Wanna talk about it? or drop a note into the Rantatorium, which is where Art hangs out, surrounded by dawgs, and angry Ravens and Steeler fans.


The OBR Top Stories

or\r\nsubmit it to our \r\nTipline so everyone can see it!

\r\n

Wanna talk about it? or drop a note into\r\nthe Rantatorium, \r\nwhich is where Art hangs out, surrounded by dawgs, and angry Ravens and Steeler \r\nfans.

\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"

This time last year, everyone who followed the Browns knew a couple of things for .

First, we had an explosive offense. With "two great quarterbacks" at the helm, and one of the strongest receiving corps in the NFL, the Browns offense would be nearly unstoppable. The Browns defense, however, was a problem, and would soon be eviscerated by salary cap cuts. Get ready for a lot of 49-45 games, we were told, and most of us nodded our heads in agreement.

What are we being told about the Browns this January? We're told, mostly, that there are a lot of problems.

For my part, I'm guessing the current assumptions are just as wrong as they were last year at this time.

I see all the year-end reviews and prophesies of certain doom for next season, but I don't find it depressing. I see the ratings and rankings, and the essays about how mediocre the talent on this team is, and I just shrug it off. The same people who told you how great Kelly Holcomb was last January will tell you that Tim Couch will never excel today.

Ever look at the pre-season predictions in the NFL rags that show up in July and August? They generally look like the previous year's results, and they're generally incredibly wrong.

I'm writing this because I've already read too many post-season tales of woe about the Browns immediate prospects. I've just stopped reading them, to be honest. In today's NFL, the next season has promise. Talk to a Cowboys or a Panthers fan if you need to understand how possible it is to go from the bottom to the top.

Speaking of the Cowboys, we got our first little taste of Couch to Dallas pondering this morning, courtesy of the Houston Chronicle, which somehow thinks that Bill Parcells has the magic formula for every position, including quarterback. I'm not too worried about Tim being shipped off to Dallas, which I suspect might be less likely this year than it was last year.

Frankly, I'm more concerned about Couch developing an off-field interest in starting a country music career, rather than shilling some sort of condiment like athletes are supposed to do.

Dennis Northcutt might not have helped himself by being so honest about his financial objectives. He's given out-of-towners the impression that he wants out of Cleveland, which removes one bargaining chip, plus he's getting some negative spin as being coinage obsessed. Go to the bottom of this article for an example.

According to Carmen Policy, the Browns are going to be talking to Northcutt this week, and will try to convince him that he might have a longer career if he stays in Cleveland. Policy said in an interview last week: "This is a perfect fit for him. We know him, we understand him. He knows and understands us. We can use him very effectively, we're willing to pay him very well, and staying here and staying with us not only helps us, and not only helps keep together the chemistry of the team, but I think, ultimately, it's going to add to his playing time in this league."

We'll see if that dog hunts.

As much as everyone talks about Northcutt wanting to go to the West Coach, I'd be frightened about what it would mean to the rest of the league if he wound up playing for the St. Louis Rams. As the third receiver in offense, Northcutt could run amok, and could still claim to be a starter without being the #1 or #2 guy.

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