Well, the mystery has been solved. Somewhat. Kind of.
There were more than a few heads scratched when the Browns released running back Lee Suggs and ostensibly gave William Green the pink slip by placing him on injured reserve.
Yesterday, general manager Phil Savage shed some light on the reasoning behind the twin moves, with the reasoning seeming to be three-pronged.
One, the organization simply saw next to nothing out of both backs last season and this year's training camp and pre-season games to justify keeping one or both of them, with "dependability" being the most salient factor factor.
Two, the drafting and pre-season emergence of rookie Jerome Harrison.
Three—and this one might cause even the most limber of gymnasts to pull a muscle—the "emergence" of Jason Wright as a viable option in the running game.
Throw them all together, sprinkle in a dash of hope, and you have the makings of two cooked and expendable running backs.
"At a certain point,
we grew weary of waiting and waiting. There would be a flash here and a
flash there. That's not to take anything away from the talent that Lee Suggs
and William Green have," Savage told reporters yesterday.
"As you backed away from the situation and looked at it, Jason Wright was going at it every day. He was doing all he could to make this team. Particularly, when Jerome Harrison began to emerge, it seemed like Jason Wright continued to fight harder. He's a guy who is going to be here every single day and show up for work. Basically, our decision was dependability over pure ability."
Simply put, the organization did not see the production and reliability that numerous fans and media types wanted to see in Suggs and Green.
Browns fans, warm up the pom-poms and stretch those lungs. The onus has been placed squarely on your shoulders.
The organization feels like they have taken the necessary steps to put a quality product on the field. Now, home-field advantage is completely in your hands.
"For the Browns to get back to a level of reaching the tradition the team set in the past, way back, we have to get a home-field advantage," Savage said.
"Last year, I think we were hesitant to ask the fans to come out and get loud and be vocal because I think they were a little unsure of what they were going to see. But this year we're going to implore the fans to come out and really make some noise, particularly (when the Browns are on defense)."
One of the intriguing stories in the build-up to this week's home opener has
been the return of Jeff Faine to
For the most part, Faine has kept quiet regarding his feelings on being traded from the team that drafted him.
While the former Browns center begged out of a conference call with Cleveland-area beat writers earlier this week, he has been speaking to those who cover the Saints.
And, based on the quotes coming out of
"I pushed for the trade. I didn't like how things were handled with me personally upstairs. The coaching staff, the players, the city, the fans, I loved all of it. I felt like it was a perfect situation," Faine told the Daily Advertiser.
"I don't really want to badmouth anybody or anything. I didn't like how the moves were made early on in the off-season and it took a long time to communicate with me and my agent. That was what bothered me for the most part. Just to know my situation, give me a heads up and let me know what time it was, basically. That's when I was ready to get out."
Memo to Mr. Faine: you may have pushed for a trade, but you were being shoved out of the door regardless of what you may or may not have wanted.
Some would think that, when dealing with Kellen Winslow, it would be best for head coach Romeo Crennel to pay heed to the old George Santayana saying:
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
However, Crennel seems to have George Bernard Shaw on his mind when it comes to Winslow appearing on special teams:
We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.
Crennel said yesterday that he would use Winslow on the onside-kick hands team if necessary, telling reporters that the tight end has "good hands". Winslow, of course, missed the final 14 games of his rookie season after breaking his leg as part of the hands team.
As for me, I prefer to follow the wisdom of Bluto Blutarsky when pondering what history may or may not mean to the present, especially as it pertains to Winslow:
Was it over when the Germans bombed
Former Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown received 12 votes from first-year players who were asked "Who was the greatest NFL player of all-time" at the league's rookie symposium earlier this year.
The leading vote-getter? Jerry Rice with 32, followed by Walter Payton and Barry Sanders with 30 and 18 votes, respectively.
FAST FACT: Only 20 members of the Browns 53-man roster were drafted by the club, which 28th out of the 32 teams in the NFL.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I'm aware of their situation. It's their situation and something they're having to deal with," he said. "It's unfortunate what's happened. They made the moves they made. It's unfortunate the way it's played out."—former Browns and current Saints offensive lineman Jeff Faine, on his old club's chaotic center situation