Death Chat 2007: Bored Football Fan Edition

It was the gang of three last week as Fred Greetham, Barry McBride,and Rich Passan knocked around Browns topics while the worlds attention was on the Cavaliers. Here's the transcript of the guys talking topics like Brady Quinn's contract, running backs and Braylon Edward's sudden leap-frogging of Syndric Steptoe on the depth chart.


1. Leigh Bodden is visibly bouncing back, and there is much rejoicing. Of Bodden, Kellen Winslow, or Gary Baxter, which do think it's most critical to have at full health in three months?
Fred: Winslow
Rich: Winslow because he means more to the new offense.
Fred: ditto
Rich: A lot of what Chudzinski has in mind is predicated on Winslow.
Barry: I'll be obstinate then. I say Bodden because I have more faith in Steve Heiden than Daven Holly.
Fred: Winslow was running through plays today with Dorsey
Rich: Heiden can't do what Winslow can.
Rich: Without Winslow, this offense becomes more vanilla.
Fred: Eric Wright
Barry: Not that I don't like Holly, but it worries me that he doesn't have experience.
Rich: Fred's right. Wright will be the man opposite Bodden.
Fred: Eric Wright will make us forget Holly
Rich: In a hurry.
Barry: I like Wright, but who plays the other corner if Bodden is out? I would, but I'm not fast enough.
Fred: Bodden
Rich: Bodden
Fred: He's just about ready now
Rich: Holly will make a nice nickel back.
Barry: Well that's the question... if Bodden can't make it I think we're in big trouble at CB, or at least we have a lot of risk.
Rich: This is all predicated on Bodden being healthy and ready to go at the start of the season.
Barry: I think we'd survive at TE

2. Charlie Frye says his arm strength has improved and infers that he won't give up the starting QB job without a fight. Do you think that arm strength is Frye's primarily issue, or even a major one?
Rich: No. It's his head.
Fred: I watched him throw today after practice and he looked like he was throwing stronger. I think his game is more predicated on quicker and better decision making
Barry: Well, we're in agreement here, then. It's why I asked the question.
Barry: When I think of Frye's issues, arm strength isn't what's at the top of the list.
Rich: I don't believe he's smart enough to run the offense. If I read Crennel correctly, he said the kid (Brady Quinn) was picking up the new offense quicker than the other quarterbacks.
Rich: Decision making is what I meant when I said his head.
Fred: I think it's a given Quinn will miss some camp and then be way behind. SO it comes down to DA or Frye.
Rich: Anderson has to be the man.
Barry: I suspect DA will make a charge in pre-season.
Fred: He throws a nice ball
Rich: He sees the game at a different speed than Frye.
Barry: I hope he gets a chance to play with the first unit in game two or three.
Rich: He will.
Barry: The question with DA is the picks, forcing the ball, spraying it around the field.

3. Brady Quinn says contract negotiations are "between (Tom Condon) and the Browns". Do you think that Quinn should be more concerned with getting into camp on time, or is his attitude appropriate?
Rich: And Frye is better?
Rich: He's caught in the middle.
Fred: I think he will miss time just because that's the way it is. He's a QB and his agent is going to try and get top 10 money.
Barry: Better? No, but his problems are different.
Rich: He wants to be in camp on time, but he also knows the contract negotiations are going to be difficult considering where he was selected.
Fred: All picks say they expect to be in on time. I think Thomas will be, but not Quinn
Barry: I think it's a cop-out.
Rich: What's a cop-out?
Barry: Quinn is saying "no, my agent worries about that", but picked a guy with a history of maxing contract dollars at the cost of holdouts.
Rich: Then he better be prepared to pay the price.
Fred: If Quinn wants to be in on time he has to say he will accept the Browns offer and not let the agent run the show
Rich: Not gonna happen.
Rich: That's not the way they play that game.
Barry: No, like a lot of players, he wants to be hands-off, but when he was hands-on and picked his agent, he pretty much locked in a late arrival in exchange for some more money.
Barry: So, I don't blame him for playing all passive right now, but he is master of his own destiny.
Rich: I'm certain he knows that.
Fred: That's why I see him not starting at the beginning of the season because RAC will hold it against him unless he becomes
desperate or is told to play the rookie
Barry: Agree with that, Fred.
Rich: If the Browns don't give him 10th-pick money or come up with something highly creative, then he's going to sit out a long time.
Rich: There's no way Crennel can start him at the beginning of the season if he misses any training camp.
Barry: Condon better take a long look at the draft listing to refresh his mind where his guy was picked. but the Browns will be under pressure to show something for that first round pick they won't have next year.
Rich: It's a highly unusual situation, one I'm certain Condon has never had to deal with.
Fred: It's the same story every year

4. Based on what you've seen and heard, do you currently consider Jamal Lewis a significant upgrade at running back? Has your opinion changed since the signing was first announced?
Rich: Yes.
Rich: And no.
Fred: I have been impressed with his quickness at least in shorts. He looks a lot quicker than I remember him with the Ravens unless you count the 2003 performance
Rich: Yes he's a significant upgrade. And no, my opinion hasn't changed.
Barry: LOL, you normally vacillate so much, Rich ;-)
Fred: I'm more concerned with the backup
Rich: I'm with you on the backup, Fred.
Fred: There are just a lot of unproven questions with Wright and Harrison
Rich: You bet there is.
Barry: I'm a bit higher on it than I was in the Spring, based what I saw in OTAs and the buzz I'm hearing.
Rich: In what way?
Barry: That Lewis is an upgrade over Droughns. He seems to get to the hole a lot faster. I wasn't convinced it was a significant upgrade this spring. I think I used the phrase six of one, half dozen of the other.
Rich: I think we can all agree Lewis is an upgrade.
Barry: Have you guys seen anything in games or practice that indicates why the Browns are so seemingly enthralled with Jason Wright?
Barry: I know he's a good kid and a smart guy
Rich: N/A for me.
Fred: Last year when they let Suggs and Green go over Wright tells me they see something I haven't
Barry: I'm waiting to see whatever it is.
Rich: Still looking, Fred?
Rich: What do the coaches say?
Rich: What does Savage say?
Fred: They speak highly of Wright and like him a lot.
Barry: For those of you tracking, Barclay ran for 174 yards last week in NFL Europe. That's 20 or yards in the NFL, but a nice number nonetheless.
Fred: I remember Felipe Claybrooks and some other DL that set the world on fire over there and were cut with the Browns
Barry: Corey Jackson, Autry Denson, Madre Hill, etc.
Rich: Don't get me started.
Barry: I have to, Rich, John isn't here.

5. One of the stories this week is that Kellen Winslow is likely to be limited at the start of training camp. There is still a low-level buzz in some NFL circles that Winslow is worse than the team has been letting on. Does this week's information suggest to you that there's anything to that?
Rich: I'm not a doctor. Can't answer that one.
Rich: And I donlt play one on the Internet.
Rich: don't
Fred: Winlsow never practiced last year and caught 90 passes last year. I've seen him the past two days running on the side and he looks like he could out run several guys out there right now. He'll be fine.
Barry: I should put my rampant paranoia on hold then?
Rich: Uh huh.
Fred: I wouldn't worry about Winslow. More concern is the way the Bentley stuff is going
Barry: If I remember the days when I tracked politics more, there always seemed to be two ways to break bad news. One is to release it on Saturday or on the day of of some other big event.
Barry: The second is to release the badness in little tiny dollops.
Rich: And your point is . . .
Barry: The point is, I keep hearing that "it's worse than they're letting on" from some folks in NFL circles, but he looks OK to me. But when I get little tiny revelations of bad news it makes me nervous.
Rich: Then pay no attention to "some folks" and worry about what you see.
Fred: That's coming from the guy in your fantasy league that doesn't want you to take him
Rich: Good thinking, Fred.
Barry:
LOL, I wish it was, Fred.
Barry: "He won't play in OTAs... maybe minicamp"... "He won't be in mini-camp, maybe training camp"... "He'll be limited when camp starts"... sorry that this sets off my radar.
Rich: Better have your radar looked at again.
Barry: Okey-dokey. You guys are the voices of experience.

6. Braylon Edwards is back working with the first team. Has the point been made, or did he undergo a sudden educational spurt in the last two weeks?
Fred: He's leapfrogged over Syndric Steptoe
Barry: Well done, BE.
Rich: He's been a real good boy, so the coaches decided to reward him.
Rich: Yeah, right.
Barry: He's made up that day he missed.
Barry: Took three weeks, though.
Rich: Onward and upward.
Fred: quick learner
Barry: Today's final question
Barry: (applause)
Rich: Ta da

7. Cleveland Sports: Give me the percentage probability that the Browns will be the team that breaks Cleveland's championship drought.
Rich: 10%
Fred: 20
Rich: Is there a correct ansser on that one?
Fred: lake erie monsters
Rich: answer
Rich: The Cavaliers have the best shot, followed by the Indians.
Barry: I'll say 33.3%, because the MLB is broken, no one will win a championship playing at a place called the "Q" and because the Browns crushed my soul, so it's up to them to fix it.
Fred: The Cavs are just four games away
Rich: Convoluted reasoning.
Barry: It is the reasoning of a bored football fan in mid-June.
Rich: Understood.
Barry: Realistically, Cavs seem to be the best positioned. Less than a decade ago, that was the Indians.
Rich: The Browns still have a long, long way to go.
Barry: But, I can't disagree with the low percentages.

 


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