Death Chat 2007: Shiny New Receiver Edition

Fred Greetham, Jeff Schudel, Rich Passan, and Barry McBride talked Cleveland Browns football in hushed, excited tones during this week's Death Chat, with the electricity of a newly signed wide receiver in the air. Yes, it's Death Chat 2007, once more...

Rich: About time
Barry: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Barry: There's my official clever retort.
Jeff: Moderate away.
Rich: Nice to have ya on board, Java man.
Barry: OK, let's roll.

1. Explain whether or not you agree with this statement: "Browns fans don't truly know if our inside linebackers
are good because they haven't had an effective defensive line in front of them. "
Rich: Absolutely true.
Fred: I agree
Rich: The success of linebackers in a 3-4 depends largely on how well the front 3 perform.
Jeff: I agree to a point, but Leon Williams was active near the line with that same crumby line. The others were not.
Barry: Exactly Jeff... wouldn't a top-quality ILB be able to make a difference? Make his presence felt?
How do you explain that, Jeff?
Rich: Did the DL play better when Williams replaced Davis?
Barry: I'd say "no", but the impact of mistakes was less.
Fred: They have serviceable backers on the inside, but nothing outstanding
Jeff: I think Williams is better than Davis or Jackson. I also think the Steelers linebackers were pretty good without a great D-line. Casey Hampton is good, not not great.
Rich: Hampton is a lot better than you give him credit for.
Fred: I'd take him
Jeff: Joey Porter looked pretty good rushing from the outside.
Barry: Yeah, he's pretty good, but the linebacking corps makes him look better.
Rich: I think you've got that backwards, Barry. Hampton and his two ends give those linebackers many more free shots than the Browns linebackers.
Barry: It's a team game, so we could probably debate which position deserves credit or blame all night. In fact, I think we have before...
Rich: And don't forget Dick LeBeau is a terrific and inventive defensive coordinator.
Jeff: You are right about LeBeau.
Barry: Huh? And he wasn't a successful head coach. Never seen that happen.
Rich: Forget about LeBeau's problems in Cincinnati. He's a terrific DC, but was an average, at best, head coach.

Barry: Question Two!
Barry: Special request from a reader
Barry: From UCBrownsFan: "Barry I'd love for you guys to debate - Palmer sitting his first year : was it good for the
Bengals? I think people use Carson as the argument for a QB to sit for a year. I think it hurt the Bengals to have him sit, ie
costing them the playoffs his second year (they've only gone once since he was drafted). I'd love to hear the different insider
opinions on this."
Fred: I think it helped him to sit, but if Kitna would've faltered, they probably would have went to him in his rookie year
Jeff: I think whether a quarterback sits varies case to case. Marvin Lewis could sit Palmer because it was Lewis' first year. Tim Couch would have benefited sitting. I think Quinn would benefit.
Rich: The fact that Kitna had a decent season helped tremendously. It justified keeping Palmer on the bench.
Barry: Do you think they sacrificed some wins that year? Would they have done that if Marvin Lewis was on the hot seat like Romeo is?
Rich: Just because it worked in Cincinnati doesn't mean it'll work everywhere else.
Rich: He wasn't on the hot seat. Apples and oranges.
Jeff: It worked for Steve McNair.
Fred: I think Kitna played better than what Palmer would've his rookie year
Jeff: I agree with Fred.
Barry: Fair enough...

Barry: Question three...
Barry: The Browns have been picking up borderline wide receivers this summer. Of the Browns wide receivers, how many do you think could make the roster of a good pass-catching NFL team?
Rich: It seems to be a case of Phil Savage throwing as much as he can against that wall and hoping something sticks.
Jeff: Edwards and Jurevicius.
In that case, maybe Braylon Edwards with Joe J a close second. That's it.
Fred: Edwards and Joe J.
Jeff: None of the fringe guys. I thought you did mean the whole receiving corps. I would put Wilson in that group, too.
Barry: So, we're three deep.
Barry: After that it gets borderline.
Fred: yup
Rich: Wilson... Based on what? His potential?
Jeff: He was a rookie last year. He fights for the ball. We will review this in October.
Barry: I think Wilson, as a second year player, would make a lot of ballclubs based on his potential.
Jeff: Exactly.
Rich: That would be about it, though.

Barry: Question four...
Barry: The MLB had its All-Star game last night, and people actually watched it. the NFL's Pro Bowl has always been a pretty weak imitation. Anything that you think the NFL could do to save it's All Star game?
Rich: No.
Rich: But they don't think it needs to be saved.
Fred: Play mid season, but logistically wouldn't work
Jeff: No. The NFL is the only sport that has its All-Star game after the season. There is no way around it.
Rich: They're going to play it no matter what. I think they already know that almost no one watches that game on TV.
Barry: Anyone remember that exhibition they played between the Super Bowl team and college All-Stars?
Rich: Yep.
Barry: I was a youngster, but I actually enjoyed that. You saw a lot of star players and it was a fun game.
Fred: I don't think it was the Super Bowl, but I remember Gayle Sayers going against the NFL champion
Jeff: Actually that was pre-Super Bowl. I remember watching it when Paul Warfield broke his collarbone. We were going on vacation the next day.
Barry: Yeah, that's right.
Rich: It was the NFL champion vs. the College All-Stars.
Rich: Every now and then, the college kids would upset the pros.
Barry: I enjoyed that game, and maybe NFL equivalents of the slam dunk contests. The Pro Bowl is a waste because of injury concerns.

Barry: Question Five...
Barry: Do any of the potential supplemental draft picks interest you? Would they be worth a 2008 pick?
Rich: No.
Jeff: Nope.
Fred: No, should say I don't know enough about them
Jeff: Neither do I, but No seemed like a safe answer.
Rich: They need to horde their draft picks for next year.
Fred: it's not april
Barry: LOL...
Jeff: Especially since they don't have a first.
Barry: It just seems so unlikey that the Browns would give up another pick that I admit I've only tracked it lightly.
Rich: Unless Savage gets creative and sneaks back into the first round next year.

Barry: Question Six...
Barry: One of the questions that Steeler fans asked us in our "Behind Enemy Lines" segment was about OC Bruce Arians. In retrospect, do you believe Arians was unfairly blamed for the Browns offensive problems in the days Before RAC?
Fred: They always get too much credit or too much blame
Jeff: Sure, he was. Butch couldn't pick a quarterback out of a flock of geese.
Fred: Also, they always seem to do better after Cleveland
Barry: Arians doesn't seem to be getting a lot of flack in Pittsburgh.
Barry: LOL Jeff
Rich: Not yet.
Barry: OCs are always the first under the bus, it seems.
Rich: Correct me if I'm wrong, Jeff, but didn't Butch consult Arians before making his decision on his quarterback?
Barry: He consulted his gut.
Fred: Before the panic attack
Jeff: I don't think Butch consulted anybody about anything.
Rich: Then why have these guys around?
Barry: I get panic attacks when I consult my gut.
Jeff: They must be big attacks.
Barry: Zing!
Jeff: Just kidding!
Rich: I'm remaining neutral here.
Jeff: That is hard to believe.
Barry: That's the shocker of the night, right there.
Rich: Where's Taylor?
Rich: When it comes to McBride's gut, no it's not hard to believe.
Barry: Yeah, JT would have jumped on that ;-)

Barry: Other than Kellen Winslow, are there are any Browns you would consider drafting for your fantasy football team?
Rich: Jamal Lewis.
Jeff: I would take Edwards and Jamal Lewis.
Barry: Jamal, eh?
Barry: Interesting.
Rich: Why not?
Fred: Winslow maybe Lewis and Edwards
Jeff: He was a 1,000 yard rusher with nine TDs last year.
Rich: He has a nose for the end zone.
Rich: That's why I'd pick him.
Barry: "Browns RB" and "touchdowns" hasn't gone together for a while.
Barry: Edwards will catch a share of passes this year. Maybe second WR in my league.
Rich: Must have a weak league.
Barry: About a dozen teams. Things get real thin.
Jeff: I would also pick a Browns QB as my SECOND QB. Good for the bye week.
Rich: Which one?
Barry: They'll certainly be available in the late rounds.
Jeff: Anderson or Quinn.
Rich: Which one?
Jeff: Anderson. Quinn very late. I predict either Anderson or Frye will not make the team.
Fred: they'll both be available
Barry: No one would pick the Browns defense eh? I don't think I would either.
Jeff: I mean Anderson or Frye will be cut by the Browns. Anybody agree?
Rich: Who's your money on to make the team, Jeff?
Fred: dorsey
Jeff: I think the quarterbacks will be Anderson, Quinn and Dorsey.
Barry: It's Dorseytime! Hands up, who made fun of me for giving him a 25% chance to make the team? ;-)
Rich: Bold. Will Frye be dealt?
Fred: someone will get injured to IR
Jeff: Maybe for a fifth-rounder, if that.
Rich: That high?
Rich: Maybe a conditional seventh?
Jeff: Obviously if a Browns QB is hurt in camp my theory wopuild change.
Barry: There are a couple of teams that might part with a late-round pick, particularly if there are some pre-season
Rich: Good point.
Jeff: Minnesota needs a quarterback.

Barry:'s NFL sites recently ran an article called "NFL teams biggest off-season mistakes". What do you think
was the Browns biggest off-season mistake", if any?

Barry: The Browns dumped Alan Ricard and have Lawrence Vickers and JR Niklos on the roster right now. Anyone else
getting the vibe that fullback isn't a critical part of the Browns new offensive scheme?
Jeff: They have some other fullback whose name escapes me, but I think you're right.
Barry: Charles Ali, you're right.
Rich: Getting strong vibe that's the case.
Fred: yes
Rich: Marion Motley?
Rich: Understand Ali has a mean right cross and uses the rope-a-dope a lot.
Fred: is that Muhammad or lela
Barry: Sting like a Terrelle Smith...
Rich: and float like an Alan Ricard
Barry: :-)

Barry: Tonight's final question... a simple yes or no will suffice.
Barry: The Cleveland Browns are one of a handful of teams who have yet to sign any draft picks. Worried yet?
Jeff: No.
Fred: no
Rich: Nyet.
Fred: same old same old
Rich: What good does it do to worry?
Barry: OK-doke, that's what I expected. That's a wrap everyone. Thanks for playing!

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