John Taylor's Tales From A Notebook

The hard truth of tonight's Browns-Jets game. Read it if you have the nerve, and can deal with qualms, religiously unfortunate masking of "direct" language, and other horrors of our modern era. John's wrap-up is not suitable for children. Or their pets.

Randomness from the random nature of watching an NFL "pre-season" "game", captured on the notebook otherwise known as my HP Pavilion…

--Every time I see Phil Savage on TV, I fully expect to see Lassie running frantically through a field in the background, followed by a quick-cut shot of a well opening. I dunno. Maybe it's just me.

--Can we stop with the revisionist BS regarding the second Cincinnati game last year, like Jim Donovan attempted to do in the pre-game? Don't make me pull out my stats. It's not pretty.

--I really, really, despise the pre-season and the money it represents to the owners' coffers for putting on a practice football game, but, dayum if it's not good to see those helmets back on the field.

--Teams will have no choice but to double-team Shaun Rogers on every… single… play. At least a double team. Oh, the possibilities this brings about. Sorry, need to go wipe the drool off my chin…

--I thought they outlawed stickum back in the day? Braylon Edwards, you'd better hope that residue isn't part of the league-wide testing program. Wow, was that a catch. The ball was behind him and past him. They should give him 1.5 receptions for that one.

--Derek Anderson looked like, well, DA I guess. And BK on his red-zone run. Not much to dissect or learn from his short time on the field.

--I'm just not sure I like how head coach Romeo Crennel is going to handle this first-team offense during the pre-season, though. It's not like Anderson is a grizzled veteran, one who needs just minimal fine-tuning to get prepared for the regular season. That, though, seems to be the way RAC is treating a QB who has a whopping 18 starts on his resume'. Just doesn't sit well right now.

--I will give this qualifier, though: DA might've gotten a second series if the "biblical" rain hadn't hit. A wet field plus the starters should equal caution in this situation, I guess. Their plan for dealing with DA in the pre-season still bothers me, though.

--On the other hand, the 8-to-24 female demographic in Cleveland is near-unanimous in their approval of the pre-season handling of the QBs. In the regular season, though, those approval ratings are expected to drop precipitously.

--And since when did pitch counts and rain delays come into play in the NFL? I half-expected to see Eric Wedge defending his move to the WKYC sideline reporter once the rains subsided.

--The only thing I could think of during the "biblical" rain that enveloped Cleveland Browns Stadium, when they cut to a shot of the fans in the stands, was "dude, cover your beers!!!" At $7 or so bucks a pop, don't let it get watered down. I mean, c'mon. Where did we go wrong with the youth of this country?

--A John McCain-supporting buddy of mine texted me the following during the "biblical" rain delay: "did u see which way that goalpost was leanin'? it's a sign man. tellin' ya." I texted the following back: "If you were in the opposite end zone, which way would it have been leanin'?" I have yet to hear back from him.

--Regardless of the delivery or the perceived slurring of speech, I love listening to Bernie Kosar on Browns telecasts. If you listen to the words, as opposed to how the words sound reaching your ear drums, you will learn something every single time he's on.

--Jamal Lewis just looks like a football player. And that whole (paraphrase) "he's in a contract year, he's hungry" quote from Savage last year? It's still motivating the running back. At least, that's what a couple of people close to him have told me.

--See, you never know when a relevant nugget will be tossed into this sarcastic abyss.

--Brady Quinn looked like, well, a QB who, barring injury or decline in play, will never get to show with the #1's versus the other #1's in Cleveland. The QB has something that could be special, but it's going to take a bizarre and possibly "tragic" set of circumstances in order for it to come to fruition with this team. And the Quinn fans in the audience really need to think about that last sentence and really let it sink in.

--Jason Wright just finds a way to make positive yardage. Whether it's turning a five-yarder into an eight-yarder, or negative yardage into at least one on the plus side, he just seems to turn chicken shiite into chicken salad. For a game or two, should Lewis be a bit dinged, I think he might be alright to carry the load. Any more than that, though, and I would start having what some people refer to as "qualms".

--And why can I not just spell out the word, instead of having to offend a substantial portion of the Middle East just to mask a "dirty" word?

--Fourth-quarter remark I made to myself: That rain delay just killed my cognitive skills. Equilibrium is still up in the air. Judgment shot.

--Didn't it feel like the fourth quarter of a pre-season game… in the middle of the second quarter? The hatred I have for "exhibition" "games" is normally reserved for the French and the anti-theft devices they put on children's toys. You know which ones I'm talking about, the toys with the robotically-spun twist ties over every quarter inch of that $9.99 piece of five-year-old nirvana.

--I'm thinking, after this display tonight, that Savage & Company will maybe take a little bit harder look at the veteran corners who might be available. At first blush, and with limited data, these back-ups at this position – not to put you off by using scientific parlance – "cosmically suck".

--***NUGGET ALERT*** The Browns view Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald as their starters. Think that might have something to do with Ty Law's reluctance to come to the Browns, at least during the early portion of the pre-season slate and in spite of the Browns' persistent interest? As one in the know told me in putting it just that way: "Think about it."

--Is it racist to say that all kickers in the NFL look alike? Blur the number, and that was Phil Dawson out there kicking. Hopefully, the NAAWP won't come after me for those comments.

--Martin Rucker, you really need to catch that. Your hat is hung on those receiving hands, not the blocking ones. Doesn't matter if it was third-and-31 and a reception would likely not have resulted in a first down. Must. Catch. Ball. That's your job.

--An elbow equals two feet. That's a great rule, even though it's relatively unknown.  Helluva throw by Ken Dorsey, and an even better acrobatic catch by rookie Paul Hubbard. But, Bernie, don't use that sequence to step-up onto your "A Fellow Miami U Alum Has An NFL arm" soapbox.

--Why was that a personal foul on the Jets defender for planting Dorsey on the last, futile drive?  I really don't get the wussification of this game sometimes.

--All in all, not much can be gleaned from this game.  'Cept the corners are suspect.   As well as the back-up safeties.   And can't wait until the NFL goes to three fake and seventen real.  It can't happen soon enough.


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