Death Chat 2008: Isolation Ward Edition

When FDR, Churchill and Stalin met at Yalta, the consequences of their meeting echoed for generations. When Passan, Greetham, Taylor, and McBride met in the OBR chat room Thursday night, the consequences of their meeting... weren't. Consequential, that is. But they did talk Browns football. Here's the epic transcript.

Barry: Holy cow... everyone's here.
Fred: Now that you're here
Rich: All present and/or accounted for.
Barry: (Bows towards the soon-to-be-famous Fred)
Barry: Rich and JT, as an FYI, Fred will be appearing on the NFL Network (tonight).
John: Sellout!!!!!
Barry: Don't you have to be paid to sell out, technically?
John: Ok... corporate shill!!!!!!
Rich: Tough talk.
Rich: Jealous?
John: Of Barry?  Yes.
Barry: Let's praise Fred later, in the meantime....

Barry: Shortly after the free agency period began, the Cleveland Browns signed Derek Anderson to a new three-year deal and began opining about how Anderson was the starting quarterback-to-be in 2008. The Browns also apparently have another young quarterback who was a first-round draft pick and has an incentive-laden contract.

So what's the problem?

Barry: The team's braintrust says that there will be no competition at quarterback this year. Do you believe that this will be the case, and do you believe that it SHOULD be the case?

Rich: Absolutely. The job is Anderson's to lose.
Fred: They have to say that, but I don't think they will risk the season if Anderson is playing badly
John: DA will go in as the #1, and will have to spit the bit in order to lose it.  Recent history says that's a very distinct possibility.
Rich: And that's the way it should be.
Barry: When do you see the team admitting that Quinn has a shot at the job... will they do it in training camp if DA stumbles?
John: Actually, RAC said there would be competition.  Savage said there wouldn't be.
Barry: Pre-season? Or will DA start game one come hell or high water?
Rich: Anderson will stumble. But I still think he'll be the starter in the first game.
Fred: DA will start the season, but who pulled the plug on Frye in the first half first game, Phil or Romeo
Rich: I hope you're not comparing Frye to Anderson.
John: I tend to agree with Rich, but he will also be on a very short leash.  Word is there's a huge roster bonus due DA in 2009.
Barry: If you were the representative for Brady Quinn, who has a contract full of playing time incentives, what would you do at this point?
Fred: Keeping them both on edge is the way to go, for now
Rich: The guess here is Savage pulled the plug.
John: I would tell my client to keep working his ass off and fight for the job.
Rich: I would bitch and moan and rue the day I held him out of camp.
Fred: Ditto
Barry: Well, that's what you would do. What do you think Tom Condon will do?
Fred: It is his own fault. He could be the starter by now
John: Very true Fred.
Fred: Give it a season
Rich: The fact is Crennel might be the envy of most NFL coaches in that he has two quality quarterbacks. Not many coaches can say that.
Barry: Fred says "give it a season". No one else willing to play "predict an agent's move?"
John: I already did.
John: <JohnTaylor> I would tell my client to keep working his ass off and fight for the job.
Barry: Alright, then.
Fred: It's too early for him to play that game
Rich: And what if Anderson is light out again in 2008?
Rich: What happens then?
Barry: No one thinks Condon will push for a trade at some point?
John: Then you can trade Brady for picks.
Fred: They pick a guy and go with him
Rich: So it's a win-win situation for Savage.
John: I don't think Condon will this year.  He knows the structure of DA's deal
Barry: It would be interesting to see the cap impact of that, JT.
John: Not much of one, Barry.
Rich: But you can bet Condon is rooting for Anderson to (a) screw up or (b) go down with an injury.
John: Of course he is, Rich.
Fred: I think Condon will push for a trade if it's DA
Barry: Alright, we've smacked around the QB issue


Barry: The Cleveland Browns dealt a second-round pick for DE Corey Williams (Packers) and a third-round pick as well as starting cornerback for Shaun Rogers. Within 24 hours, the suspect Browns defensive line was looking like a group that could finally stuff the run.

Barry: This week's media groupthink has been that the Browns could never have gotten the value out of their second and third round picks that they will get from Williams and Rogers. What are the odds that fans and the media will still feel that way in 2010?

Barry: My new Death Chat strategy: Confuse you all by asking deep, insightful quesitons.
Barry: I'll start next week, I think.
John: It will all depend on the Big Baby.  I think Corey Williams will be fine.  The jury is still way out on Rogers' "transformation"
Rich: The odds are very good because not only can Williams and Rogers stuff the run, they will do something Cleveland defensive linemen have had trouble doing since the switch to the 3-4: Rush the passer.
Fred: I think if the Browns win this year and next , they'll be happy
Barry: Maybe I'm paranoid (I am), but this worries me a bit.
Rich: If the Browns are smart, they'll bring in Ted Washington, that's if he retires, to work with Rogers on the nuances of the nose tackle position.
Barry: I thought it was fundamental that teams build through the draft. When was the last successful example of a team trading away all their top picks like the Browns did this week?
Rich: The Washington Redskins under George Allen.
Barry: 1970....what... 1978?
Barry: That's a looooooong time ago.
Fred: Mike Ditka and the Saints Ha
John: Figures Passan would know the Over-The-Hill Gang
Rich: Don't worry about Williams and Rogers. They're in the prime of their careers and are light years better than anyone they could have had in the draft.  
Fred: If the Browns think they can win now, why hope they find a rookie who can make an impact?
John: Rogers doesn't worry you at all, Rich?
Fred: I wish they wouldn't have given him the money first
John: I don't have a problem with the strategy, it's just one of the pieces that has me uneasy.

That was actually my next question, Fred.
Barry: The Cleveland Browns quickly re-negotiated Rogers' contract, giving him a guaranteed $20 million. Given that the Browns are starting to sneak closer to the salary cap, and have two skill players who will want new deals, do you think this was a smart investment?
Rich: Nope. All they have to do is find the wick and then light a fire under hus humongous butt.
John: Very much agreed, Fred.  Which then brings the whole KII contract into play.
John: That'd be a helluva wick.
Rich: Indeed.
Fred: With a lot of gas
John: There's no doubt he has the talent to be one of the best in the league.
Rich: Butane or natural?
John: lol @ Fred
Barry: No one willing to say that the money given to Rogers was a smart investment?
Barry: Anyone? Bueller?  
Rich: Re-doing Rogers' contract, I believe, was a mistake for the very reason John mentioned. Now, Kellen Winslow will come knocking on Savage's door
John: I don't think it was.  Not right now, like Fred said.
Fred: I don't know why the urgency unless that was the condition in the trade
Rich: That would be hard to believe.
Barry: Alright, so I think our group is disputing a decision made by Phil Savage. Very disturbing.
Rich: A condition of the trade, that is.
Rich: He also overpaid for Stallworth.
John: Disputing the contract, not so much the deal itself.
Barry: I hope that $20 million is somehow tied to Rogers' weight.
Rich: The contract, not the deal.
Fred: No. I think if the QB is on his back, Barry could play corner
John: Corner what?
Barry: I have deceptive speed
Rich: To what, the refrigerator?
Barry: Depends on what's in it.
Barry: Time to change the subject
Rich: K
John: Deceptive as in "is he really moving that slow?"

Barry: The Browns have solidified their front three, but haven't added any linebacker help and traded away starting quarterback Leigh Bodden. Lance Briggs, Travis LaBoy, and Calvin Pace are three names associated with the Browns who signed elsewhere.

Barry: In your minds, doesn't the improvement in the defensive line, through its effects on the running game and added pass pressure, do the same thing as investing a lot at linebacker and defensive backs?

I THINK it starts with the DL
Rich: They still need an inside linebacker who can make plays at or behind the line of scrimmage.
John: The DBs are fine, but the LBs still worry me, especially if Peek can't stay healthy.  They will benefit from an improved DL, though.
Barry: You don't think that the new DL will make Jackson and Williams look better?
Fred: I do
John: Sure they will.  But how much?
Rich: I think Savage's and Crennel's objective on defense this season is to win first and 10 a vast majority of the time.
Fred: I think Wimbley will be the most improved
Barry: I've always thought the Steelers produced such highly rated LBs (who do little after they leave) because of the Steelers strength up front.
John: Rogers and Williams will help Kamerion immensely.
Barry: Agree with that Fred. Wiilliams should really be able to spring him free

Barry: With the DL solidified, what defensive position now concerns the you most (OLB, ILB, S, CB) and why?
Fred: OLB, Peek or someone opposite Wimbley to come through
Rich: The linebackers because a successful defense is like a game of dominoes. In this case, everything flows from front to back. The linebackers will be as strong as the defensive line and the secondary will be as strong as the front seven.
John: ILB, simply because I don't know that the talent is there.  Andra is below average, Jackson is pedestrian, and still not sure on Williams.
Fred: Where's Wali Rainer when you need him
Barry: He's exactly where we need him to be.
John: Peek's health is a close #2 concern.
Rich: Williams should be OK with the new front three. And I wouldn't be surprised if Davis is cut by June 1.
Barry: So, no one worried about Holly/McDonald fighting it out for a starting gig?
Fred: Yes
John: Agree with the latter, Rich, and hope you are correct on the former.  He does have tremendous athletic ability.
Barry: Yes, what, Fred?
John: Not really, no.
Rich: No. Besides, they'll pick up a veteran between now and training camp. There will be some surprise on the scrap heap.
Fred: Worried more about lack of depth at corner. Think McDonald will be ok
John: Paging Ty Law...
Rich: Sounds like a plan.
Fred: Kenny Wright
Rich: Law would make a nice nickel back.

Barry: 1. How many years of that SEVEN-YEAR contract do you predict that the Browns will actually pay Donte Stallworth?

John: Two
Fred: Two
Rich: Beatcha
Barry: LOL... You're all correct on that one. Weird.
John: :-)

BarryMcBride> 2. TRUE/FALSE: The Browns are now the new favorites to win the AFC North.

John: True
Fred: True
Rich: Beatcha again
John: %$#!&*
Rich: LOL
Barry: Wow. Passan is kicking your butt, John.
Rich: Not bad for an old man, eh?
John: lol
Fred: The Bulls are kicking the Cavs' butts
Barry: (yikes)

BarryMcBride> 3. Probing your deep and almost unnatural wisdom developed over the years... when you hear a player say "he needs a change of scenery", do you suspect that the issue is most often with A.) The player or B.) The scenery.

John: a
Fred: a
Rich: Damn I'm good and fast
John: That's what yer... never mind.
Barry: I think you guys are right on that one as well. Then again, Rogers WAS in Detroit.
Rich: No please explain yourself
John: :-)
Rich: I'll let you have this one, John

Barry: 4. Will the newly-famous Fred Greetham still play in the chat room with us after he appears on the NFL Network on Friday? Your predictions:

No, his head won't fit in the room.
Fred: I want a new deal
Barry: LOL, sure thing Kellen.
Rich: Only if he is allowed to renegotiate his contract.
Rich: I wasn't too far off.
Barry: Alright, on that note... We be done. We'll do this again next week IF there's some news worth talking about.
John: Sounds good.
Rich: There had better be.
Fred: Sounds good
Fred: Goodnight
John: Beatcha, Fred
Barry: I've vowed to myself that I will not ask any questions about newly acquired eight-string WRs this year.
Rich: About time
Fred: Is that a word
Barry: Later!
John: Later fellas.
John: Rich says it is.
Rich: Shalom
Barry: KCCumm and Raine, if you're paying attention at all, thanks for being our live studio audience.

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