Random Thoughts from a Wasted Mind

Dale G's musings as the Browns leave the bye week and get ready to rock the Ravens...

Is it a crock or a little fishy?

Is it a crock or a little fishy that the Browns coaching staff promoted Chris Crocker to start at free safety over the incumbent Earl Little? I don't think so. The Browns defense definitely needs a spark, and they are looking for Crocker to be the flint. They are hoping that he produces more plays such as the one in Pittsburgh, when he intercepted a Roethlisberger pass and took it to the house.

Little said he has made only 2 mental mistakes this season. I would expect that from a veteran player. That means he has been in the proper coverage. The question is what does he do when he gets there? Does he get there fast enough? Does he bring a physical presence? Does he make a positive play? Those are the other intangibles considered when coaches make personnel changes.

We as fans don't sit in on coach's meetings, therefore we can only speculate on such decisions. My view on the issue is that the Browns were looking to have Little or Robert Griffith play a lesser roll in the defense this year. This was evident when they drafted Sean Jones in the second round. I wouldn't be surprised if Crocker and Jones are the starting safeties next year.

At age 31 Little may have lost a step. In the past he has been labeled as a player who has had a nose for the ball. Thus far through seven games he hasn't made an interception. But you have to love his attitude. I wouldn't want a player on my team that thought they shouldn't be starting. He'll work hard to make the best of the situation and let the chips fall were they may. He's a great team player, and my hat's off to him for that. Who knows, he may come back with fire in his eyes, if Crocker turns out to be a dampened wick.

As a fan, I want Chris Crocker to be the lightning bolt that the defense needs. But as a young player he may make more mental mistakes than the veteran Little. The question is what will the 26 year old do when he gets there?

Browns' website is bye poller

A total of 5,597 fans participated in a bye week poll conducted at the Browns official website. Below is the question and the 4 responses that could be selected. Here are the results along with my thoughts:

What did you enjoy most about Week Eight of the NFL season?

The Browns had a chance to heal and recharge. 42.0 %
To hell with the players they get paid to suffer bruises. It was a good chance for my ulcer and skin splotches to heal. My battery also needed recharged after it was drained from watching Akers kick the winning field goal into the jowls of the Dawg Pound.

Terrell Owens' impersonation of Ray Lewis. 34.3 %
Two weeks ago Browns fans were removing the batteries from their radios to use them as missiles with T.O. being the Target Objective. Oh, how time heals. It is better to hate Ray than never hate at all.

The end of the Patriots' record streak. 13.8 %
t looks like there were 772 Steeler fans or Belichick haters visiting the website that day. I can't imagine a true Browns fan wanting that to happen.

The KC-Indy shootout. 6.2 %
These same people love the circus and professional wrestling.

The Giants' upset of the Vikings. 3.6 %
You folks need a few sessions with Dr. Phil.

My bye week

I spent my bye weekend at the Museum of History and Art. NOT. I plopped my big butt on the couch and watched 3 games at a time. It was a restful time without the butterflies I get on weekends that the Browns play. But, oh how I missed those butterflies. I also had this bad taste in my mouth leftover from the heartbreaking overtime loss to Eagles. I tried to rid the awful flavor from my taste buds by consuming a gluttonous portion of hot wings, kraut dogs and beer. I only succeeded to give myself a severe case of heartburn and enough gas to heat my house for the winter. I guess the only morsel that could cleanse my pallet would be a sweet victory against the Ravens on Sunday.

The weekend highlights:

  • The bee swarm on the kickers net and painted jack-a-lanterns on the field in San Diego.
  • Craig Krenzel getting a win in his first start in the NFL. Even though it was ugly and against a bad team. He also threw a TD strike on his first passing attempt.

  • The trick play that Tennessee ran against the Bengals where Titans' quarterback Volek ran for a first down from a helter skelter formation. The Bengals look to be back to their old selves.
  • The Eagles persevering over the Ravens without the services of Brian Westbrook who suffered a cracked rib against the Browns.
  • All the fans in Halloween costumes in the stands. They were able to experience what fans in the Dawg Pound & Black Hole experience every game day.
  • The weekend lowlights:

    • The Patriots masquerading as a powderpuff team against the Steelers.
    • There were too many blow out games.
    • Pittsburgh may be the best team in the AFC.
    • The Ravens and Steelers didn't suffer enough bruises in their perspective games.
    • I ran out of beer before the ESPN Sunday Night Game. That won't happen this week.

    Browns replenish practice squad

    Practice squad players come and go and not much is written about them. But they play an important role in the preparation of the team for the upcoming game. They are part of the "scout team". They practice hard to give the starters a good look of what to expect from the next opponent. They work, they sweat, but get no glory on game day. The two newest members of the practice squad are Anthony Oakley and Christian Morton.

    The 6'-4", 310 pound, Oakley played his senior year at Western Kentucky after transferring there from Indiana. He registered 128 pancake blocks at tackle for a Western Kentucky team that averaged 242.7 yards rushing per game. This is his second stint with the Browns. He was originally signed in late April as an undrafted free agent, but was waived on 8-5 to make room for linebacker Eric Westmoreland.

    Morton was drafted in the 7th round of the 2004 NFL Draft by New England. He has spent time this year on the Patriots' and Saints' practice squads before signing with the Browns on 10/20. The 6'-0", 188 lb., cornerback started 25 of 45 games at Illinois. He deflected 41 passes in his college career which places him second in the school's career recordbook. Eugene Wilson holds the record with 60 passes broken up. He also served as a punt and kick returner.


    I have a dilemma. Should I accept the probability that the Steelers will win the AFC North and want them to beat the Eagles this week? That way they might be a little flat when they visit Cleveland Brown Stadium the following week. Or should I root for the Eagles to beat them and hope the Browns can overtake them in the standings? I shouldn't even be giving this any thought. I hope McNabb and company beats the snot out of them.

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