OBR Daily News & World Report: 9/26

Some of us react physically to losing football games. John Taylor is one of those people. He has, however, battled back bravely from the brink of death and defeated the Northern Ohio Malaisian Death Flu. He's even emerged with some of his faculties intact. As a result, he is prepared once more to deliver the news, and here it is...

There are very few certainties in life, death and taxes notwithstanding.

In the NFL, there are quite possibly even fewer guarantees, with Bill Cowher's spittle and Dick Vermeil's tears being two of the more liquid ones that jump immediately to mind.

One other guarantee in NFL life is that, regardless of his toughness, if your quarterback keeps getting hit, he's going to go down.  And he's going to stay down.  For awhile.

After watching Charlie Frye get sacked seven times and hit another 19 times, head coach Romeo Crennel knows things must change.  Unless, of course, he's some type of closet masochist and craves the pain that would come from Derek Anderson or Ken Dorsey seeing meaningful action at any point during the season.

"If you keep getting hit, eventually you're going to break down. I don't care who you are," Crennel said. "If they hit me enough, I'm going to break down. I would like to think we can fix it, because if we can't, we're going to be talking about a new quarterback."

Even with the beating, Crennel expects Frye to be ready to go this Sunday.

"Charlie got beat up a little bit, but he's going to play," the coach said, with "a little bit" obviously Crennel-speak for "like a red-headed stepchild".

"We're going to rest him, massage him and put him out there. That's the way it goes."

Frye was having his throwing arm iced down and stadium turf surgically removed from his backside yesterday, so he was unavailable for comment.


Speaking of Frye, you can add Sam Rutigliano to the growing list of people both in and out of the game who have fallen head over heels for the Browns QB.

The ex-Browns head coach, speaking at the Hall of Fame Club luncheon in Canton yesterday, heaped nothing but glowing praise on the Akron product.

And, in the process of heaping, he dropped the dreaded onus of the two-letter I-word on the quarterback.

"Charlie has got it," Rutigliano told the Canton Repository.

"I just hope that (interception) doesn't kill him. He's got the attitude. He always says the right thing. He doesn't point the finger at his teammates."


For as much criticism as Maurice Carthon has taken—and, in fairness, he's deserved the vast majority of it—the offensive coordinator deserves a resounding ovation for his play call at the end of the excruciating loss to the Ravens.

His team was up, at home, and he went for the jugular.  It was the right call at the right time.  Miscommunication and execution were the co-culprits, not the call itself.

If the club was on the road, or if Reuben Droughns had been available, it might have been a different story and he would've been rightfully vilified. 

As it was, they went for the knockout and whiffed badly.  But at least, as opposed to the first two games of the 2006 season, they went down swinging.


If there is one position that the Browns can ill afford to be hit with yet another injury—even more so than the offensive line—it's in the secondary.  More specifically, the beaten and battered cornerback position is in no shape to take another hit.

So, enter Leigh Bodden, he of the on-the-Pro-Bowl-cusp season and, yes, an injury.

Bodden hurt his elbow early on in the loss to the Ravens, but was able to finish the game.  X-rays were negative and the corner sounded optimistic that there was no serious damage to the wing.

"I feel good, man. I feel bad about the loss," Bodden said.


Although it comes a game—and a series—too late, it looks as though Reuben Droughns can be penned into the lineup for next Sunday's game against the Raiders.

"Oh yeah, you can count me in," the running back told reporters yesterday.

Droughns missed the Baltimore game after injuring his shoulder a week earlier on a second-quarter tackle by Bengals linebacker David Pollack.  In addition to the shoulder injury, Droughns also revealed that he suffered bruising in the chest muscle.

It was a helluva collision as, in addition to Droughns shoulder injury, Pollack broke his neck on the play and will miss the remainder of the season.


Defensive end Orpheus Roye is almost as confident as Droughns is about being available this Sunday, telling reporters that he's "looking forward to playing this week."

Roye was held out of this past Sunday's game with a rotator cuff injury.


While two of the players who missed the Baltimore game due to injury are ruling themselves in for the Oakland game, Crennel has refused to rule out two others who missed the first home divisional game of the year.

Both Gary Baxter (pectoral muscle) and Joe Jurevicius (ribs) are continuing their respective recoveries and their status will be re-evaluated on Wednesday.


FAST FACT: (Courtesy of the Canton Repository) Of the five NFL players who have at least four sacks, three have faced the Browns.


QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I've been married to the same woman for 52 years. Divorce was not an option. Murder, yes, but not divorce."—former Browns head coach Sam Rutigliano.

QUOTE OF THE DAY, THE SEQUEL: "He's a great talent, no question. But as my father told me, any time you have the opportunity to keep your mouth shut, take advantage of it. And I think his father played this game before."—Rutigliano, on tight end Kellen Winslow's outburst a week ago.

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