It's not often the insects have this sort of opportunity, so, on behalf of six-legged critters everywhere, I'd like to extend holiday wishes to all of you two-legged critters. Maybe in this time of peace and understanding, we could engage in some peace and understanding between our species. Maybe leave out, you know, a some extra cookies or something. And put away that swatter.
Anyhow, on to what I've heard while hiding behind the heating vents in Berea:
- Contrary to the belief of some, the Cleveland Browns have not opened negotiations with soon-to-be restricted free agent quarterback Derek Anderson. Dialogue between the Browns and Anderson's camp has been initiated in regards to the play of the third-year player, but really nothing of substance has followed.
- The same applies for running back Jamal Lewis and the team. If the Browns want to retain Lewis, the team will address this at a later time, as there has been no dialogue.
- Rumors that the Cleveland coaching staff was thinking about pulling Anderson following a slow start in Arizona are not true. While the staff was disappointed with some of Anderson's reads in the first-half, never did the team consider pulling him from the contest.
- Heading into this vital home-stretch of the season, the concerns regarding this team are as follows:
- The lack of a consistent running game could loom large.
- Derek Anderson is showing signs of leveling off and in a couple cases regressing.
- Injuries continue to hamper the team, especially on the defensive side of the ball
- There was an element within the Browns organization which believed the team handed victory to the Arizona Cardinals, this past Sunday. The focus of the offense was questionable, as the running game was slow in developing and the passing game was missing on big-play opportunities throughout the contest. What disappointed the organization most was the inability of the defense to slow the Arizona offense late in the fourth quarter.
- Rookie cornerback Eric Wright has been slowed down by the Browns medical staff, which only means the coaching staff is being very cautious. Wright suffered a knee sprain three weeks back and believed he could play this past week in Arizona. At this time, Wright could see some playing time Sunday against the New York Jets.
- While the NFL offices has reviewed the final play of the Browns – Cardinals game from last Sunday, do not expect the team to receive any words of wisdom from the league office. The league stands behind the call, but those within the league office were miffed that the line-judge was extremely quick to note the pass as incomplete.