Give Jim Brown a meaningful job…to help win games.
Jim Brown, the greatest running back in the history of the NFL, has an unspecified job in the Browns organization. I've got a specified job for him. It is not possible that he can turn Reuben Droughns, Lee Suggs, or William Green into the ‘next Jim Brown'---but he can teach some of the Browns players how to act on the football field. Perhaps he can explain to rookie Braylon Edwards and Antonio Bryant the technique of handing the football to the referee after making a routine play, instead of taunting the opposition, resulting in drive-ending situations.
Some NFL veteran receivers, like Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, and Keyshawn Johnson might be able to get away with those kinds of actions on the field, but they have ‘earned' the right to do that. Edwards, who ran the wrong pattern against Cincinnati, resulting in a Trent Dilfer interception, and made a spectacular catch and run in the win over Green Bay, hasn't earned the respect of the referees to get away with it. He claimed he was just having some fun with a former University of Michigan teammate, but I'm sure than the guy with the flag couldn't care less. In addition, the Browns, as a team, haven't earned that respect either, coming off a 4-12 season, with a rookie head coach at the helm.
I realize that the game has changed since Jim Brown dominated the game, and acted ‘like he had been there before', but I'm surprised at how many people feel that the refs over-reacted by calling the penalties against Edwards and Bryant. These players should know better. They should know that the Browns offense has to work too hard, especially on the road, to keep the chains moving, to have chunks of yardage taken away in a needless fashion.
Edwards appears to be a student of the game, and its history. Hopefully, the greatest player in the history of the game, Jim Brown, can make an impact on him.
Romeo Crennel is not happy---nor should he be---about having a bye week after only three games. And he's right, although the Baltimore Ravens have a right to be more unhappy with their bye after two weeks. It is a far cry, however, from the Browns first year back in 1999, when the NFL stuck it to them in a lot of ways, including giving them a bye at the end of the season.
There were a lot of good reasons to institute the bye week in the NFL. But the purpose is defeated ---helping with season-long lingering injuries, among others---if it comes too early or too late in the season. Bye weeks in the league should take place between the 7th and 11th week of the season. If that were the case, it would not give a competitive edge to any team.
Can anyone explain why the NFL has scheduled a regular season game in Mexico City this week, between Arizona and San Francisco? This is considered a home game for Arizona, which, admittedly doesn't draw well, but really gets no benefit of a home field advantage. That is not much different than calling the hurricane-forced move a ‘home game' for the New Orleans Saints, when everyone knows it was an extra home game for the New York Giants.
I'm all for exhibition games being scheduled in places like Mexico City and college towns like Columbus or Austin, Texas, so that season ticket holders aren't forced to buy tickets for meaningless games. But wouldn't it bother you, as a Browns fan, if they took away a home game and put it in Toronto or Montreal? And, if you are trying to sell your product internationally---or at least in North America, why would you put two of the worst teams---Arizona and SF---on display?
Romeo Crennel isn't happy with the fact that the Browns are 1-2 at this point, which is a different attitude than what we have seen in Berea for the past five years. In the past, there was such a thing as a ‘moral victory', but not anymore. The previous coaches, Chris Palmer and Butch Davis, would be gloating about holding Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts to just 13 points. Palmer, after choosing not to take chances to win a game one time, and, instead, ‘managed' the game to keep it relatively close, responded to a question by saying ‘It would be hard to explain to my owner why we lost by such a big margin if we took chances'.
I think it is already easy to see why his previously-coached players have so much praise for him. The honeymoon is still on, but as far as I am concerned, Crennel is off to a great start, and I think he knows it, even if he doesn't say it publicly.
‘More Sports & Les Levine' can be seen M-F from 6-7pm and 11pm-midnight on Adelphia Channel 15 in northeastern Ohio. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or www.leslevine.com