Random Thoughts from a Wasted Mind

Dale looks forward to X-mas, and off-season dreams of left tackles...

Lost for words

After watching the Bills game I am lost for words to describe the Browns' performance. Maybe it is best not to waste words on such an effort. I can no longer look at the Browns through orange colored glasses. The team is what it is. They would have trouble competing against most teams in the BCS Bowls.

A letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

All we want for Christmas is...........

  • a GM who realizes that talent can be found everywhere, not just in the Southern States.
  • a Coach with a one year plan because we are tired of waiting.
  • a roster filled with players whose bite is worst than their bark.
  • an offensive line that's not offensive.
  • a QB that is not at the end of his career nor is he a three-year project.
  • a running back that can make something out of nothing.
  • an impact player somewhere on the roster.
  • a defense that attacks instead of bends.
  • a mallet so we can crush the Injury Bug.
  • for the Browns to play meaningful games in December.
  • to feel electricity in Cleveland Brown Stadium without having to stick a finger in a socket.

Browns fans around the world

P.S. We realize that it is a rather long list, but can't you give us preferential treatment? The Browns' mascot is an Elf.

Saving himself

Kelly Holcomb had this to say early this week, "I'm going to take my time with this injury. I found out that I came back too early last year after getting hurt"

I don't expect to see Holcomb on the field again this year. He is an unrestricted free agent next year and a bad performance or major injury would hit his wallet hard. His performance against the Bengals was a positive one and with the way Browns' quarterbacks are getting smacked around not playing is a smart business decision.

If not playing is what is decided, Holcomb should not be considered a coward. There is no reason for him to be a martyr for this team this year. If the Browns were in meaningful games, I know Holcomb would put the pain aside and play.      

Common thread

Two of the three worst teams in the NFL are the San Francisco 49ers and the Cleveland Browns. The common thread connecting these two teams are Carmen Policy and two former Miami Hurricane coaches. I hope Policy knows more about wine then he does football. With the track records of Butch Davis and Dennis Erickson, Larry Coker can leave his bags unpacked in Miami.

Free Agent watching

The NFL's free agent frenzy doesn't start until early March. I couldn't resist a peek into the future. Since the future is all I have as a Browns fan.

Even the casual fan realizes the Browns are in desperate need of an offensive line. In my opinion building the line must start with a left tackle. Here are the five starting left tackles who may file for free agency in 2005:

Name Team Experience Size Status
Kyle Kosier 49ers 3 years 6'5"  298 lbs. RFA*
Kevin Shaffer Falcons 3 years 6'5"  290 lbs. RFA
Jonas Jennings Bills 4 years 6'3"  320 lbs UFA**
Orlando Pace Rams 7 years 6'7"  320 lbs. UFA
Walter Jones Seattle 8 years 6'5"  307 lbs. UFA

*RFA - A Restricted Free Agent is a player who has completed three accrued seasons and has an expired contract. He is free to negotiate with any team. If another team signs him to a contract, his original team has the chance to match the offer. If the original team does not match the offer, they may be given draft pick compensation.

**UFA - An Unrestricted Free Agent is a player who has completed four accrued seasons and has an expired contract. He is free to negotiate with any team with no strings attached.

Kosier and Shaffer are not prospects because of the restricted tag. They are both a little undersized and Shaffer is not protecting the quarterback's blind side because Michael Vick is a lefty.

Jennings has suffered injuries every year that has cost him playing time. Other than that he might be worth a look. He may not be an improvement over Ross Verba. But if they are close in ability Verba could move to left guard.

Orlando Pace would look great in a Browns' uniform. But I foresee the Rams putting the Franchise Tag on him again next year. Making him untouchable to other teams. Even if they don't, I can't see the Browns wanting to deal with Pace's agents, the Poston Brothers. I think they had enough of the Postons with Kellen Winslow's contract negotiations.

That brings us to Walter Jones. Seattle tagged him as a franchise player in 2004. But the Seahawks have a problem. In 2005 quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, running back Shaun Alexander join Jones as unrestricted free agents. The Seahawks may need to use the Franchise Tag on their quarterback or running back. If that happens, the Browns should do their best to sign Jones. If Jones falls into the Browns' lap, they will definitely move Verba to left guard.

If a veteran isn't signed in free agency Verba may still be their best option, even if they draft a left tackle in the first round.  Where Verba plays will determine if the Browns need to find one or two starting guards in free agency or the Draft. I am not sold on any of the existing guards on the Browns' roster including Kelvin Garmon.

Draft watching

Here is a list of offensive tackles that should be taken in the First Round of the 2005 NFL Draft and the Bowl Game that they are playing in:

Name Team Size

Bowl Game

Alex Barron Florida State 6'6"  316 lbs. Toyota Gator
1/1 12:30 p.m.* NBC
Jammal Brown Oklahoma 6'6"  313 lbs. Fed-Ex Orange
1/4 8 p.m. ABC
D'Brikashaw Ferguson Virginia 6'5"  295 lbs. MPC Computers 
12/27 2 p.m. ESPN
Marcus McNeil Auburn 6'8"  315 lbs. Nokia Sugar
1/3 8 p.m. ABC
Michael Munoz Tennessee 6'6"  315 lbs. SBC Cotton
1/1 11 a.m. Fox

*All times Eastern

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