Thoughts, notes, questions and suggestions as the Browns head into today's showdown with the Texans, a contest which will have the whole of the NFL huddled around their television sets awaiting the outcome. Or something like that.
It's games like today that make you think to yourself "damn, there's a game like this on today."
"...and starting at quarterback (ack-ack), out of the University of Miami (ami-ami), number eleven (even-even), Ken (en-en) Dorsey (orsey-orsey)." Would that not be the absolute perfect way to finish up another crock-solid season, by having Ken "Freaking" Dorsey under center? You nancy boys can have your "baseball bats to the groin" and "Abner Louima interrogations". Not me. When I feel the need to eviscerate myself, I'll take a Ken Dorsey-quarterbacked NFL game with a side of Texans any day of the week, thank you very much.
(Ignore the above if Charlie Frye does indeed start.)
Losing this game would not, in and of itself, cause Romeo Crennel to lose his job. But, if I were Crennel--and my bathroom scale says I'm gaining on him--I would throw everything and anything into this game in order to come out with a win. And "everything and anything" does not include pooch-punting inside the thirty-yard line. Again, a win/loss would guarantee nothing, but the bitter taste in owner Randy Lerner's mouth may be allayed a bit if the organizational meetings got started coming off the "celebration" of a win.
Speaking of Crennel, he's taken a four-win team and, in two short seasons, turned them into a... ummm... four-win team with one game left. OK, speaking as someone who thinks that Crennel should probably get another season, tell me again why I should think that way, why he should be retained, and what other NFL city would encourage the return of a head coach whose team is at the exact some spot, record-wise, as they were two years ago? What am I missing and why will there be an outpouring of angst if Crennel is indeed canned at season's end?
Just for the record, I'm keeping at least one eye on Phil as well. He's not blameless, but the repercussions for canning a head coach prematurely are a lot less severe than gutting a front office, its staff and an organizational philosophy a year too early.
Is it possible for a television program to have a negative Nielson rating? The NHL will giggle uncontrollably when they see the rating books on this one. Then they'll realize that they are the NHL, stop for a split second, then resume giggling just to spite a real sports league. In a related note, the Iraqi government could've saved themselves a boatload of goats or whatever it is they use for currency by purchasing the NFL Sunday Ticket and a nice plasma, then placing it and the noose in Saddam's cell. Sans the remote and the TV locked onto the Browns-Texans channel, he'd have been swinging and swaying by halftime.
When the back-Wood gossip, rumor and innuendo started regarding the possibility of Bill Cowher coming to Cleveland the season after next, I scoffed quite heartily in the general direction of the noise. Now, the scoffing has turned into more of a "I don't think so, but...". Think about it:
(Humor me. It's unbelievably difficult trying to turn a 40 oz. of OE chicken s**t into a twelve-pack of PBR chicken salad. Just wait. Keep reading. You'll see.)
All signs point to Cowher "retiring" after this season and recharging his batteries in North Carolina via the television booth. Following the 2007 season, he will be a coaching free agent. The Browns have spent the last two off-seasons acquiring the talent for a 3-4 defense and their general manager wants his coach to maintain that base defense. I'll have to check, but I believe that Cowher has utilized the 3-4 defense off and on for the last 40 or so years.
So, if Crennel is retained--which the guts of both myself and Butch Davis say will happen--he will be on a short leash during the 2007 season. Succeed, and the "Cowher-to-Cleveland" rumors will be nothing more than an Internet-generated phenomenom and the Browns will be slapped on the back for going Tammy Wynette and standing by their beleaguered head coach. As an added bonus, they'll still have their 3-4 coach to utilize and continue to mold the talent that has been under his charge for the past three seasons.
Fail, and all the ownership needs to do is point to the won/loss record, point out that they gave a good man another season when the winds of change were blowing against him, and commence an all-encompassing coaching search. And, as an added bonus, they'll still have three year's worth of 3-4 talent waiting on defense.
So, just who would be standing there in his "Show Me The Money" t-shirt, spitting at the bit to once again roam the sidelines? Cowher. It's the Perfect Storm. Not saying it will happen, but I won't scoff at it as in the past. Too many stars are seemingly lining up in the Cleveland sky for it to be dismissed out of hand.
I just feel really bad for Kamerion Wimbley. If he were in any of 16-20 different NFL cities, his name would be at or near the top of the list for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Instead, his quietly spectacular rookie season has gone largely unnoticed by those outside of Cleveland. Then again, when you have people such as Sports Illustrated's Don Banks looking at tackle totals and loudly proclaiming that, because of the number they see next to the name, DeMarco Ryans is the leading contender, well, it's hard to overcome that ignorance. I don't know if Wimbley deserves the nod, but I do know he deserves more consideration than what he's been getting.
It's nice to see that, in his final days as a member of the Cleveland Browns, Dennis Northcutt has decided to take the high road and go out with class and dignity. You know, you've been maligned for drops and such, but to go out in the manner that you've chosen to go out says a lot about you and the kind of person that you are. Stay classy, #86. Or, to paraphrase another Ron Burgundy-ism, go **** yourself, Dennis Northcutt.
Only 117 days left until the 2007 version of the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting. Adjust your draft guides and expectations accordingly. As an aside, is anybody else getting sick of looking forward to the hope of April and dreading the reality that the real season ultimately brings regardless of how the off-season plays out? Yeah, me too.
I know that some fans are drooling over the possibility of Wisconsin left tackle Joe Thomas (CODE NAME "BUSTA") donning the Browns & Orange next season, but am I one of the lonely few that sees the defensive line needing as much--if not more--help than the offensive line? I understand that Gallery... errr... Thomas is the "sexy" pick, but, dayum. That d-line needs help the way post-KFed Britney needs a trip to Victoria's Secret. In fact, you could aptly describe both the former and the latter as torn up and worn out. And that's not good for anybody involved. Especially people that Google "Spears", "panties" and "limousine" and clicks on one of the results. Talk about yer "dayums"...
ONE DAY AND ONE DAY ONLY!!! COMPLETELY FREE!!! HERE'S MY ROCK-SOLID, GUARANTEED, 100% LOCK OF THE WEEK!!! AND YOU MUST LISTEN AND GIVE ME YOUR CREDIT CARD NUMBER BECAUSE I'M YELLING!!!: John Taylors 31, Alcoholic Beers 28. It will be a hard-fought and tightly-contested battle, with both sides coming off the field feeling battered but victorious. And, after you cut out all of the BS and pre-game hype, isn't that really what this game's all about? The spirit of competition? Or is it just the spirits in the face of the competition? After the last eight years, I can never keep that straight.