Tales From A Notebook

Woo Hoo!!! Browns win!!! Woo Hoo!!! But, Romeo, c'mon. Didja feel bad for your former roomie? OK, OK, good thoughts in, bad vibes out. Good thoughts. Woo Hoo!!! Browns win!!! And how 'bout that offensive line? Gameballs all around for that unit.

With a nod toward the ex-ninth planet from the sun, here are a few random notes from my in-game notebook.

---(Writing this in the middle of the third quarter)

Big, big, huge ups to the offensive line. Win or lose, they are the story of the day. One starter out before the game, one knocked out during the game? No problemo. Yes, the Jets could be generously described as "porous" on defense, but, still. Pass protection? Check. Run blocking? Check. If the OL doesn't get a game ball, there's something wrong with the whole "Gameballs & Goats" voting process and it's obviously being run by Republicans.

---(OK, going under the hood at the close of the game. The first point is under review.)

---(After much debate and upon further review by the Taylor household, the first point stands as called. Big, big, huge ups, Browns OL.)

---First of all, congrats to the players. They deserve this "W". They so deserve something on the left side of the W/L column. It's amazing what lopping off the overbearing coaches on the staff will do for a unit's psyche. Rhyme and reason and execution? What a concept. Brilliant!

---A close second to the first of all would be a huge "kudos" to the fans. And not only the fans at the stadium, but the fans in front of the TVs and computers as well. Talk about needing something, anything, to grasp. It may only be a one-week reprieve, but at least for this one week, there is hope and the irreplaceable feeling of a win as we trudge through our mundane work week toward the next kickoff.

---What can you say about this defense? They simply claw and fight and make the opposing offense do the same for any sniff of the end zone. Six points allowed against a semi-potent offense and an above-average quarterback in Chad Pennington is a helluva effort regardless of how you slice it.

---While we're talking about this, can somebody please explain to me why defenses are ranked by yards allowed and not points allowed? Isn't the whole point of defense to not allow points? What the hell am I missing here?

---Twenty-three games into his tenure as defensive coordinator, and is there any question as to why Todd Grantham's name is being thrown around as a potential successor to John L. Smith at Michigan State? Last year he took chicken s**t and turned it into somewhat edible chicken salad. This year, he's taking that chicken salad and turning it into a damn good impression of chicken cordon bleu. Chef Todd is a maestro in the kitchen, plain and simple.

---Even with all of this chest-bumping and ass-patting, not all is well following the second win of the season. Specifically...

---Way to go into a shell, Romeo. And, yes, my finger--the index as well as the middle one, actually--is pointing squarely at you. No way Davidson goes into a shell on those last three drives on his own, Romeo. No. Way. This has your stubby, sausage-like fingerprints all over it. You came a judgment call away from taking a well-deserved win away from your players and your fans. I hope you learned a lesson, but, for some reason, I doubt it.

---Way to play not to lose, instead of playing to win, Romeo. Yeah, it worked out. This time. I'd say that this was yet another example of you being in over your head as a head coach, but after a much-needed win is neither the time nor the place for such proclamations.

---That being said, I'll take it. We'll push the questionable fourth-quarter coaching decisions to the side for now. With the key words being "for" and "now".

---I really, really hope that fans do not get on Charlie for that first-half interception. I, for one, have not been shy in criticizing the Willard product, but that was not one of Chuck's "normal" bad plays. It was third down and long going into the wind. This was one of those occasions where the INT was indeed as good as a punt. The fact that Nugent missed a long field goal on the ensuing possession was simply icing on that particular cake.

---Why is it that FOX can have every single one of their games broadcast in high-definition, but CBS can't? Is Larry Dolan in charge of the network's camera budget or something? Somebody please explain that to me. I didn't spend $2K for a high-def TV to watch the Browns play in low-def.

---Phil, Phil, Phil, Phil, Phil. Dammit, you're better than that end-of-the-first-half kick. I now you're damn-near Mr. Automatic, but, for lack of a better word, damn. That can't happen on this team. It's "Hook 'Em Horns", not "Hook 'Em FGs".

---So, Josh Cribbs sucked sooo bad on that abortion of a fielding attempt that it actually worked out in the Browns favor? Heh, put one on the board for the good guys. It's about time.

---As an aside to Josh. That's two weeks in a row that you've had a Titanic or near-Titanic disaster on a punt. Let's clean that up, shall we?

---I think the dude that sings the theme to Sunday Night Football should change his name to something other than Pink. It's not a very manly moniker. Kinda feminine, actually.

---What the hell was Phil Savage thinking, trading Chris Crocker? Besides showing up big in run support, showing up big in coverage and making game-changing plays, what exactly has Sean Jones done to justify dealing Crocker?

---Thought of the day on Carthon and his offense, with partial credit to some PA dude I know: It wasn't a system, it was a collection of plays with no rhyme nor reason. No flow to the offense. For three quarters, we saw what a true offensive mind can do for a talented offense. True dat.

---Random non-Browns thought: why does Shaun Alexander look more like Tiki Barber than Tiki's twin Ronde? Has anybody looked into this? Am I the only one disturbed by this phenomena?

---Many, many points into this, and I still can't get over the performance of the offensive line. With Butler and Friedman taking the majority of snaps. Wow. And yes, again, this Jets front seven will never make anyone forget the Monsters of the Midway, but still. For at least one game, the Browns' OL controlled the line of scrimmage for the majority of a game. When was the last time a Browns fan has been able to say that with a straight face?

---Four words to live by: Don't Fruit The Beer.

---All those who had the Browns and Steelers with the same amount of wins entering Week Nine of the NFL season, please raise your hands. But, please, put the spliff down first before raising said hand.

---The more I think about the play calling on offense in the fourth quarter, the more pissed off I get, so I should probably close the notebook right about now with this:

Congrats to the players. Ya'll deserve it.

--Now pardon me as I go hit the DVR and watch my boy Junior left-turn his way around the ATL.

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