Here is the transcript from Saturday's Live Broadcast from the press box. Comments added afterwards are in a lovely Brown italic font, that you probably can't see unless you view the article in its original form on BerniesInsiders.com. These comments are added afterwards in order to provide some additional information as well as help the author compensate for the usual level of inappropriate or confused remarks.
8/21/2004 4:39:45 PM: Hello from the press box! I've been able to get into chat and here..... so no problems. Browns fumble on first possession.
I wasn't sure how well I could get to the Internet via cell phone from the press box, but network quality was excellent. I must be like Superman when it comes to avoiding carpel tunnel syndrome, because I've been able to pound these updates into a Treo 600 Smartphone over the last month without breaking my thumbs. That begs the question of what my kryptonite might be, I think it might be Corsendonk Belgian Ale because that seems to limit my abilities. Any super-villains interested in testing that theory can let me know.
After a couple of plays, including a nice pass to Steve Heiden, Garcia bobbled the snap from center. Jeff Faine later said he wasn't sure what happened, but it looked like Garcia backed away a little early from center.
8/21/2004 4:44:37 PM: Griffith is wearing 24 again. The Lions advance near the goal, but there has been some good pressure on Harrington... but the Lions QB comes thru on third down to Rogers.
The Lions took over the ball on the Browns 34, and got more than five yards on each of their first four plays from scrimmage. At this point, it looked like the bad memories of last week's TItans game were going to be re-enacted. Gerard Warren and Courtney Brown managed to make Kevin Jones pay for trying to run the ball up the middle, and then the line got some pressure on Harrington to force an incompletion. It looked like the Browns defense might make a stand until Harrington found Charles Rogers near the back of the end zone and the Lions grabbed a quick 7-0 lead with 10:23 left in the first quarter.
8/21/2004 4:49:19 PM: Dee Brown gets some great blocking and returns a kickoff to the 42
Davis talked at length about how happy he was with Dee Brown on this kick return. In particular, Davis praised Brown's patience and the way that he waited for the blocking to get set up. The Browns head coach apparently feels that some of the team's other kick returners have been impatient and taken off before the blocking was set up.
8/21/2004 4:54:22 PM: The Browns first team is self-destructing like last week... two quick penalties on the line result in a fourth and eight that the Browns convert.
The Browns had three penalties (illegal formation, holding, and delay of game) as they moved the 40 yards or so towards the end zone. The penalties by the first-team offense simply must get under control, as the Baltimore Ravens aren't likely to allow the team to survive such mistakes on 9/12. Despite the win, there is still much work to do on offense.
8/21/2004 4:59:34 PM: Winslow shows why he was drafted early with a pretty catch down to the eight. What a weapon!
Winslow's 25 yards on his reception down to the Lions 8 was the most receiving yards any Brown would get on the day. He was isolated against a linebacker and simply ran past him.
8/21/2004 5:03:02 PM: Suggs scores behind a nice block by the tight end!! Eight yards.
The first of two Lee Suggs touchdown runs tied the game up at 7-7. The back from Virginia Tech continues to display the nose for the end zone that made him the all-time ACC touchdown leader, well ahead of teammates James Jackson and William Green.
8/21/2004 5:04:19 PM: There was some concern here about Winslow after his catch, but he's OK.
8/21/2004 5:07:49 PM: Kevin Jones has shown his value for Lions early. The Motor City team is amassing some nice weapons.
Not sure if we can read too much into this, but the first time Jones ran behind right guard, he got 8 yards, and the second time he got 11 yards.
8/21/2004 5:13:27 PM: The Lions have put together a nice drive on the Browns to end the First Quarter. Ben Taylor makes a nice play to help put the Lions in third and long as the quarter ends.
The Lions moved the ball 45 yards to the Browns 29, but the drive stalled due to a False Start penalty on Detroit and two incomplete passes.
8/21/2004 5:17:50 PM: 48 yard attempt by the Lions was blocked by Gerard Warren. Big Money is doing well so far. The first unit remains on the field after the change of possession.
Either the Lions had bad fortune on field goals, or the Browns special teams really stepped up. After the game, Butch Davis obviously preferred the latter via. Warren was very active while he was in the game, although I'm worried somewhat about the yardage the Lions got when running at him.
8/21/2004 5:21:38 PM: The stands are, at best, 2/3rds full here.
The team offered a number well over 60,000 for "tickets distributed", but I'd be surprised if many more than 50,000 people actually walked through the turnstiles to watch the game. While exhibition games are a tonic for hard-core fans, apparently some folks with tix had better things to do on a bright, sunny Saturday afternoon than watch a practice game at full ticket price.
8/21/2004 5:23:23 PM: Suggs rips off a nice 25 yard run, following Verba.
Both Suggs and Green had pretty good luck running to the left, which we haven't seen a lot over the last couple of years. Perhaps Zukauskas, who played right guard last year, is making his presence felt in the run blocking.
8/21/2004 5:26:17 PM: On a Garcia scramble, Winslow gets into some downfield wrestling. He throws up his hands after a bit and isn't penalized.
Yes! He can be taught!
8/21/2004 5:30:48 PM: Heiden jumps on a 4th and 1, messing up a possible conversion attempt. After an exchange of penalties, they try again... with Smith occupying one blocker, they convert on the Lions 20.
This is where we have to remember that the Browns, 5-11 in 2003, beat another 5-11 team in pre-season. The false start might have been a mistake that we regretted against a better team. Davis later admitted that he probably would have kicked the field goal in the regular season, but added that during the pre-season "we can have Phil Dawson kick field goals in the morning".
8/21/2004 5:32:49 PM: So far, Suggs has looked more impressive to me running the ball. He scores again on a 15 yard run.
I actually typed in this insightful bit of analysis before he ripped off that touchdown run around right tackle. After that play, it seems pretty obvious that Suggs had a better day. For such a strong and successful football player, Suggs talks very quietly when speaking to the media. I got some audio of his comments after the game but, per usual, I'm not sure if I can use them because he barely seems to speak above a whisper.
8/21/2004 5:42:01 PM: Green doesn't help his case with a bobbled handoff as the second unit comes in.
8/21/2004 5:45:04 PM: Garcia finishes 5 of 7 for 59 yards and Suggs runs 6 times for 63 yards.
Don't get too fired up about Garcia's numbers (or Holcomb's) against the Lions. Detroit was missing most of their starting defensive secondary. Still, about half those yards came on a completion to Winslow, who would be matched up against a linebacker in most cases anyway.
On side note that shows that the Browns weren't focusing on certain plays... there were no receptions by a Browns running back during the game, and I don't recall a pass ever being thrown to one. Fullback Terrelle Smith, however, did catch a pass and rumbled for about three yards. That's three more than he will typically get.
8/21/2004 5:48:21 PM: Side note... no surprises on the inactive list. Echemandu, Williams, Jones, Heinrich, Thompson, Boyer, Fowler, Garay.
8/21/2004 5:51:25 PM: Jackson is running effectively against the Lions second team. Are you watching, Miami?
8/21/2004 5:54:17 PM: Derrick Frost has been kicking well, and pins the Lions deep with a minute left. The Browns 2nd team line gets fired up and pushes the Lions back to the one.
While it's hard to tell the difference between Frost and Dutton during practice, Frost emerges as the clear front-runner based on his performance during the exhibition games. He had a 41-yard net during Saturday's contest.
8/21/2004 6:16:58 PM: One advantage of being in the press box is that they give you food to distract the media. Updates will slow as I throw down a hot dog and some slaw.
The Lions marched the ball 50+ yards on the Browns while I rammed food into my face. For those who might suggest a starvation diet for your humble webmaster during games, I will have to insist that there is no causality.
8/21/2004 6:25:16 PM: Michael Jameson just got a little lucky as a possible Lions TD is overruled. The Lions then miss a field goal and the Browns hold on to a 14-7 lead.
It looked to me like Jameson timed his jump wrong. While Jameson continues to be an important contributor on special teams, he is no threat to Robert Griffith's starting job at this point.
8/21/2004 6:30:17 PM: A sloppy series of downs for the second team offense ends with a decent Dutton punt.
8/21/2004 6:33:27 PM: Chris Crocker is down on the field for the Browns after a collision with TE Fitzsimmons of the Lions.
8/21/2004 6:36:24 PM: Crocker makes his way off the field. He banged helmets with Fitzsimmons and appears to have had his bell rung... I'll update as soon as I hear.
On replays, it was clear that Crocker and Fitzsimmons banked helmets. Crocker's light concussion appears to be no more serious than the one that Andre King suffered against the Titans. King was back in practice on Monday.
8/21/2004 6:39:28 PM: Bodden gets nailed with a defensive pass interference call that takes the Lions to the Browns 7. There is murmur in the press box about the call, which didn't look like blatant pass interference.
Shortly thereafter, the Lions convert a field goal as McMahon is unable to lead the Lions in for a score. The Browns hold on to a 14-10 lead.
8/21/2004 6:41:30 PM: We've been informed that Crocker has a concussion and is out of the game.
8/21/2004 6:45:32 PM: Dee Brown doesn't make a real strong impression on his first series. Neither does Joaquin Gonzalez who is beaten for a sack as Holcomb takes forever to find a receiver.
Brown was run twice inside, and this may be more of an indictment about the Osika and Beasley as a combination at center and right guard as anything else. Fowler has been spending more time working with Beasley on the second team, but was out of the game on Saturday.
8/21/2004 6:49:18 PM: A glimpse of a possible Browns QB from this past off-season is seen as Mike McMahon scrambles deep in Browns territory for a first down. The Browns pursued McMahon as an alternative to Tim Couch before landing Jeff Garcia.
This begs the question of what happens if Jeff Garcia is injured. The Browns will go from a mobile quarterback to a pocket passer (Holcomb). McMahon would be a much more palatable option as a back-up because his style is closer to Garcia.
8/21/2004 6:52:03 PM: Michael Lehan left the game with an injury to his left foot and is doubtful to return. Does not sound very serious...
8/21/2004 6:54:50 PM: The Lions have driven to the Browns 15 and fail to convert in 4th down as Mason Unck pulls down McMahon for a sack on the Browns 21.
At this point, there was about 13 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Unck would have the only Browns sack on the day.
Holcomb, like Garcia, doesn't pass for much yardage on the day. McCown's first series ends with a three-and-out.
8/21/2004 7:01:16 PM: Dutton almost becomes the first Browns punter of the post-betrayal era to have a punt blocked. He escapes and one of my favorite rookies, Kentrell Curry, sells out to stop the return after four yards.
8/21/2004 7:03:52 PM: David Young helps his chances of making the club by breaking up a third down pass attempt. Browns get the ball back with a 14-10 lead.
Although the stands were mostly empty at this point, there were players on the field playing for their professional lives. David Young made two stops during this series, and Uyi Osunde made the other.
8/21/2004 7:13:05 PM: McCown moves the Browns smartly down the field, a drive marred only by an injury to Joaquin Gonzalez, who is removed from the field on a cart.
McCown completed three of four passes on this drive, and Dee Brown ran effectively against the Lions third unit to chew up five minutes on the clock. By the time the Browns scored a field goal to make it a 17-10 lead, there was less than five minutes remaining.
8/21/2004 7:15:45 PM: I will have to leave shortly to head to the locker room. The Browns convert a 38 yard field goal to go up 17-10.
8/21/2004 7:17:41 PM: Gonzalez's injury is a left ankle sprain. He will not come back into the game.
At least one newspaper report has this as a hyper-extended knee, but it was announced in the press box as an ankle sprain and Gonzalez was wearing a boot later.
8/21/2004 7:21:36 PM: The stands are nearly empty as Amon Gordon deflects a Mirer pass. One play later, Rickey Sharpe gets a pick.
8/21/2004 7:25:25 PM: Sharpe's pick is overturned, leading the Lions to attempt to convert on fourth down. Mirer and his WR are on different pages abd the Browns take over.
8/21/2004 7:26:59 PM: Gotta run... cya later!
The Browns got the ball back after Mirer's
incomplete pass, and ran out the clock by running Nick Maddox several times and
then having McCown take a knee. BROWNS WIN 17-10.