message boards and local airwaves. As the Browns face a key battle in their quest for a playoff spot, attention again turns to the massive investment the team has made in their defensive line."> message boards and local airwaves. As the Browns face a key battle in their quest for a playoff spot, attention again turns to the massive investment the team has made in their defensive line.">

Franchise Players In a Funk

It has been the top continuing story of 2002 so far. The play of first-round draft picks Tim Couch, Gerard Warren, Courtney Brown, and William Green has been found wanting at times, and has dominated the <A HREF="http://citadel2.ezboard.com/bbrownsinsider">message boards</A> and local airwaves. As the Browns face a key battle in their quest for a playoff spot, attention again turns to the massive investment the team has made in their defensive line.

There are three types of lies, so the saying goes: "Lies, damn lies, and statistics".

Sometimes, though, statistics don't lie. In the case of Gerard Warren, the unimpressive stat which jumps out as truth is this: 10 games, 1 sack. The Browns pass rush has been weak at best this year, and the ripple effects can be seen in everything from the team's mediocre record to the sudden drop in interceptions by the Browns vaunted young secondary. Steve Doerschuck of the Canton Repository focuses in on the lackluster production from the Browns defensive line at the top of today's Bernie's Insiders newswire.

That defensive line has a lot to worry about on Sunday, even if breakout running back Deuce McAllister isn't able to play. Without McAllister, the Saints would be more limited, but the Browns defense still realizes that they need to respect fleet quarterback Aaron Brooks. As an aside, all fans who believe they won't see McAllister should now raise their hands so that we can helpfully block your email from getting "multi-level marketing" offers.

Another key Browns player who is hoping to break out this weekend, is oft-discussed wide reciever Kevin Johnson, who has made more headlines with his comments than his play in 2002. According to the Dayton Daily News, KJ hopes that the ghost of the team's Hail Mary miracle in 1999 somehow helps him attain some of those heights again.

Today's newswire contains all those nuggets and more, including word that the Saints are getting close to actually selling out their stadium. Our sincerest congratulations go out to everyone in the Big Easy!

Tomorrow's newswire will be particularly interesting, not only because Sunday is the second heaviest coverage day of the week during the season, but also because we'll be able to see what the Browns beat writers are able to come up with after 24 hours of being in New Orleans. It's a dry county, right?

 


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