In this crazy, mixed up world of ours, where all of the news seems to focus on the negative, it's always nice to wake up in the morning and, staring you straight in the face, is a feel-good story accentuating the positive.
Such was the case this morning as news broke late yesterday that former Browns president John Collins has been named executive vice president of corporate sales and marketing for the National Hockey League. The move is obviously an upgrade for Collins over his previous position as there are more words in his new job title than were in his old one.
(The NHL? What, the WNBA implemented a hiring freeze?)
(For those unfamiliar with the NHL, it is a now-defunct sports league who no longer plays any new games. Instead, they rely on old clips and highlights sent to ESPN, which the all-sports network airs just before curling highlights but after the Malta Regional Hold 'Em tournament results. The game may or may not still be played on ice.)
Collins, who lost a power struggle with general manager Phil Savage earlier this year and left the organization, will be responsible for the NHL's U.S. marketing plans in his new position.
This move should somewhat put to the rest the rumors that Collins was still somehow involved in the behind-the-scenes operations of the Browns.
Blitzes on defenses have been few and far between for the Browns this season as the defensive staff looks to manage the game and avoid giving up the big play.
Sunday, though, well-timed blitzes, while still sparse, played a vital role in keeping Jets quarterback Chad Pennington off-balance and was a big part in the veteran posting a career-low in QB rating. One blitz in particular played a key role in helping to set an early tone to the game.
With the Jets driving and the scored tied at 3-3, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham sent Leigh Bodden crashing in from his cornerback position. Bodden tipped Pennington's pass, which ended up in safety Sean Jones' hands for a drive-killing interception.
Much like his play on receivers, Bodden manned-up on Grantham before the drive and urged his coordinator to put him in a position to make a play.
"I told him to try to get me loose, that I can make things happen," Bodden said of his first blitz of the season. "He listened. He mixed it up and he called some different blitzes."
(Shameless Plug Alert!)
For those who have yet to tune in to the Tuesday OBR radio program, I have but one question: why?
Not only is it free, but you get two solid hours of Barry and Jeff and Fred discussing everything and anything related to your beloved Cleveland Browns, and doing so intelligently without agenda. Unlike some over-the-air programs that we will not mention by name.
And did I happen to mention that it's free?
(Memo to Barry McBride: Next week, please turn up your shirt a little bit brighter. I still have some eyesight left.)
Take last night, for example. Jeff Schudel, beat writer for the Lake County News Herald/Lorain Morning Journal by day and co-co-host of the weekly show by night, laid out a great riff regarding the outstanding job that defensive backs coach Mel Tucker has done. Particularly, Schudel explained, the job he has done with Daven Holly.
If there were an award for Assistant Coach of the Year, Tucker would win it in a landslide.
And I could not agree with him more, not only on Tucker but on Holly as well. After weeks of "The Human Torch Who Offsets His Flammability With Hands of Stone", Holly is an absolute gift from above. As is Tucker.
So, kudos to not only Tucker and Holly, but to the OBR radio crew as well. Cookies and pats on the back all the way around.
I have come to the conclusion that the Cleveland Browns are the Michigan State Spartans of the NFL. Not so much for MSU's mind-numbingly historical collapses, mind you, but for the long-term "acrimony" involved in both situations.
Don't believe me? Click this LINK, read the article, and tell me you don't, at some point, think to yourself, "Holly Shiite, is the writer talking about the Browns or the Spartans?" Particularly when the writer talks of "program stability", or lack thereof.
It kind of puts Savage's whole "Stay The Course" press conference in a whole new light.