The Owl: Browns Get Better of Deal

Don't be fooled by what you see. The photo here isn't sideways - it is just Antonio Bryant going horizontal to pull down a pass against Robert Griffith earlier this year. The Owl isn't fooled by what he sees either, writing that the Morgan-Bryant deal may be "win/win", like Butch Davis says, but that some "wins" are more equal than others...

Butch Davis says the trade of Quincy Morgan to the Cowboys for Antonio Bryant was a win-win situation for both teams.

Maybe so, but The Owl says the Browns got more win out of the deal than the Cowboys did.

Morgan was a moaner more than he was a receiver. He whined for more than a year about not getting enough passes thrown his way. Sometimes wide receivers don't get along with their quarterbacks. Morgan didn't like the way Kelly Holcomb, Tim Couch or Jeff Garcia worked with him.

"Someday I'm going to lead the league in receptions, yards or touchdowns," Morgan said. "That's a promise."

If The Owl were coaching the Browns, Morgan would not have fulfilled that promise here, even if the trade hadn't been made. Morgan was in the last year of his contract until the Cowboys gave him a one-year extension.

Morgan was not worth re-signing unless he agreed to play for the NFL minimum next year, and there is no way he would have accepted that. Players should improve as seasons roll on. Morgan digressed in the last two. Instead of vowing to work harder, he continued saying he didn't have a chance to make plays because he didn't get the ball until the third or fourth quarter.

The Browns don't need players like that.

Hey, The Owl knows about Bryant's reputation as a bit of a flake, and from what my spies in Dallas say Bryant did do some weird things, but he was not a criminal type. Some of his mistakes were because of immaturity. He is only 23 and now he has something to prove.

"His first two years in Dallas (Bryant) had been a go-to guy," Davis said in a teleconference. "A new coaching staff came in and brought in guys (Keyshawn Johnson and Terry Glenn) they've had before. He got put on the back burner, hence their willingness to make a move.

"We saw a guy that fought for the ball and is charismatic. He's young. We felt there was a lot more upside to it."

Bryant whipped a sweaty practice jersey at Cowboys coach Bill Parcells during a June minicamp because Bryant got the idea Parcells was playing favorites with Keyshawn Johnson and Terry Glenn and that Parcells was picking on Bryant.

The Owl has seen this kind of stuff before. When you get in Parcells' doghouse there is no escape.

"I think (the reputation) is very undeserved," Bryant said. "It's all about people understanding you and figuring you out. I'm just here to play great football. I've got fire.

"I'm a young guy. For me and my career, with the Cleveland Browns and these great fans, and this place and the things they're trying to do here, walking around in this facility and seeing all this gives me a whole new level of energy. I can't wait to exert it."

Bryant practiced Wednesday and showed that energy and fire. He has been devouring the playbook. The Browns might finally have a legitimate go-to guy. As nice as Andre Davis is, he isn't the player that strikes fear into opponents' hearts.

Bryant might not pay immediate dividends, but this is not a one-week rent-a-player.

Butch Davis said Bryant is a quick learner.

"We're not trying to teach him the entire playbook," Coach Davis said. "We're trying to get him to learn the entire game plan for this week. He can't know just a little bit. He has to know all the adjustments and blitz break-offs. He doesn't have to know what we might do in 10 weeks."

Good job, Butch. Now go beat the Eagles.

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