The broadcast begins and the draft day team is introduced. ESPN sometimes has recently departed coaches on the broadcast team. Dennis Green had the spot for a couple of years. Good to see they didn't give Butch a spot. TNT had Rick Pitino after he quit the Celtics and I never understood why have a guy who bungled almost every draft as a draft analyst. But I guess ESPN realizes that other than the Owl and Greg no one really puts any stock into anything Butch has to say because everyone else realizes he is, in fact, a waste. Which brings me to a couple of points:
- When Pitino quit the Celtics he got paid for the rest of the month. Butch
got three years? Stop calling it a resignation. Don't let him save face like
that. He doesn't deserve that respect since he never gave it to anyone else.
- Since he is still being paid why not make him do something. Be the ball
boy, clean toilets, sit in a dunking tank outside Cleveland Browns stadium.
- Ticket prices went up again coming off a 4-12 season. The amount of the increases pretty much add up to his contract. I would like my invoice to break that out. Instead of a $40 ticket, I want it to show a $37 ticket and a $3 terrible coach severance surcharge.
The 49ers are on the clock. They have had over 3 months to make this decision but they will take their allotted time. This annoys me to no end. I am on 5 hours sleep. Lets get this thing moving.
The Dolphins are on the clock and are apparently trying to fool the Browns into thinking they may take Edwards. I think the conversation went like this:
Saban: Phil I will take Edwards but you can trade into this spot for a second round pick.
Savage: Nick, I am not Butch. I am not buying it. You need a running back. You're not taking Edwards.
Saban: Oh I'll get Ricky back... I'm taking Edwards.
Savage: No you won't, Ricky wants to live in a tent and smoke dope
Saban: Trade with me or I'll take Edwards and he will stretch the field for me
Savage: You take Edwards and he has no one to get him the ball. Heather Mitts's boyfriend can't do it.
Saban: Ok give me a 4th rounder and I'll throw in Heather Mitts. No Browns 4th rounder has amounted to anything other than Anthony Henry
Savage: Yeah that's because the Browns haven't had anyone competent drafting for them. We don't need Heather Mitts, Cleveland has produced the 1999 and 2004 Playmates of the year and Katie Holmes is from up the road in Toledo. So take a running back, let me take my guy, tip your hat and call me your daddy.
Saban: Damn you Savage.
Dolphins take Ronnie Brown.
Browns are on the clock. The clock goes to the final minute leading us to worry about another Vikings situation.
Browns pick Edwards. The Browns contingent explodes. We have picked an impact player and we didn't have to do anything stupid like... say... giving up a second rounder to move up one spot to do it. Mort is talking about how the Browns are considering trying to trade for Alex Smith. But he makes the ground breaking revelation that "The Browns will take a quarterback either today or tomorrow"
Wow. Great, Mort. So they won't draft a quarterback after the draft is over? I love generic filler statements like that.
How about "the Browns really need to draft a player who can come in and help them".
Unfortunately, Mort only goes down hill from here. Time to take a break.
At the food-court the lunch that costs me $4.99 in Cleveland costs $12.50 in NYC.
The Prince of Darkness has re-emerged. I am ready for you, Prince.
Thou hast not faced the power of Browns Nation. Be gone with thee.
I talked to the assistant to Ronnie Browns agent. She is hot, works in sports, grew up in Cleveland. But she's got a huge rock on her left hand. She is taken... the good ones always are. BTW, I overheard her telling Ronnie Brown's mom he won't sign until August.
I run into 38 members of Braylon Edwards' posse. I welcome them to Cleveland and apparently Edwards knew that the 49ers and Dolphins were faking their interest in him. I wonder if that was communicated to Savage from the Edwards camp.
I get back to my table and the Cardinals take Antrelle Rolle. Andrea Kramer apparently decides she wants to look 57 years old so that drunk has-beens like Joe Namath won't even think about wanting to kiss her. Sorry Andrea - that's only for Suzie Kolber.
The Redskins take Carlos Rogers, starting the Aaron Rogers free fall. The Lions are up next.
Chris breaks down the Lions and determines Mike Williams is the pick. Everyone dismisses him. The pick is up and it is Mike Williams. Never dismiss an NYU MBA!!! In a related development, the Lions have rehired Mouse Davis and are planning to reinstall the run and shoot.
Aaron Rogers is now the only person in the green room and is falling.
With so many coaches on the hot seat, they need first round picks who can help them win now. The fall will continue. Each pick that passes by costs him about $400K on his signing bonus. There is no confirmation that his girlfriend threatened to dump him if he wasn't taken by the 15th pick.
Ron Jaworski breaks down Aaron Rodgers's mechanics. Now in 2003, Jaws was talking about the Browns QB controversy and came down firmly on Holcomb's side. He blew his credibility on that one. Chris and I are talking about whether Jaws's opinion is worth anything. I tell Chris that I would rather hear from Terry Shiavo in her last days than Jaws.
Once we get into the 20s, Browns fans wonder if Rogers will fall to round 2, or if the Browns should move up to get him.
What if its true they never liked him to begin with?
Pick 24 Green Bay is on the clock. Rogers is on the phone. Now is he on the phone with the Pack or is this a fake phone call. Drew Rosenhaus did this with Willis McGahee back in 2003.
The Pack take Rogers. It's no problem because we didn't like him anyway.
Redskins take Campbell. #@#%$^%#$% YOU REDSKINS
One thing you don't see on TV is that the picks in the first round are in, and the clock starts on the next team. But the ESPN guys keep talking and slowing things down. For example the Steelers pick is in, but they are still talking about the Colts.
As they are about to go to the Commissioner, Mort slows it down with "One more point about the Colts, I haven't been paying attention the last 4 months so I don't know what I am talking about so I will fill in with nonsensical garbage." Or something to that effect.
The first round closes with the Patriots taking Kiper's 4th rated guard. He backtracks and says basically that just because he has him rated as the 4th best guard doesn't mean he is right. In other words Belichick has 4 rings so Kiper won't overrule him.
Round 2 begins. Chris Berman starts playing the 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon Game: NFL Edition.
Gene Washington is now announcing the picks. Gene Washington was drafted by 49ers by the father of current 49er coach Mike Nolan and now he is announcing picks for Mike Nolans first draft. Apparently he was reaching for something to prevent Mort from talking.
49ers take Bass. The Browns are on the clock.
The NFL Network rounds up two of us to film the Browns fans reaction to the pick. Another fan and I are in agreement that we want Kalif Barnes but we will be fine with a QB in this spot.
We have paid absolutely no attention to the defensive side of the ball. Not so with Savage, who grabs Brodney Pool.
So we just have blank looks on our faces and we are just like "huh? Who? Ok we'll take it." Then we high-five because we are defering to Phil until he proves otherwise. Butch proved otherwise very quickly.
The cameraman puts his camera down in disgust and goes "you'll take it?! You don't even know who this guy is" I can't answer to a cameraman... I have dinner reservations.
Now we sit down at dinner and, of course, I wind up sitting across from Dave's wife. She doesn't even bother pretending that she doesn't hate me now.
The only way I am making it through this dinner alive is just keeping my mouth shut and looking up the picks on my cell phone.
We take Charlie Frye. I like this pick because Peter King doesn't. Now if Jaworski would hate this pick I would like it more.
Quite frankly, I would have liked this pick if it was a round earlier but at this point it's a steal.
Maurice Clarett goes to the Broncos at the end of Round 3.
Is there some way we can get Steve invited to training camp? Or at least let him have a tryout? I don't ask for much but I would take time off from work to see Steve challenge for a roster spot.
The rest of the draft is rounded out with LB projects and an OT.
So, that brings us to the end of NFL draft 2005.
The whole purpose of NFL Draft 2004 was to get building blocks for the post-Butch Davis era. Now, the post-Butch era begins and it looks like Savage has started to narrow the Grand Canyon that Butch created between us and the rest of our division.
Its only Year One and it took the Ravens until Year Five to win.
But at least it seems we are finally heading in the right direction.