Thoughts, notes, questions, suggestions and other random snottiness as the Cleveland Browns head into Game #2 of the fake football slate tonight against the New York Football Giants.
- The irresistible force versus the immoveable object. Might versus might. Rosie O'Donnell and Kirstie Alley versus a warehouse full of Ring Dings. That's right, I'm talking about the Browns' top-five NFL offensive line going up against the Giants' vaunted defensive line. Even though this is a pre-season game – and the first units will only be on the field together until mid-to-late in the second quarter, at the latest – I'm practically salivating over the prospects of these two units going mano-y-mano.
- Either that, or the drool is residue from recently-viewed photos of a certain gentleman publication's Cyber Girl of the Year. Wow. (With the exception of children and men of the cloth, I'd highly recommend Googling "Jo Garcia". You'll see what I'm talking about. And, yes, you're welcome.)
- Just remember, these two teams will meet again on Monday, October 13, which is the week after the Browns' bye. The two coaches involved – Romeo Crennel and Tom Coughlin – are close-to-the-vest kind of coaches to begin with; throw in a meeting later in the season, and you will have both clubs coming out of their respective tunnels in a bubble-wrapped cocoon with a laminated stick-it note serving as a play sheet. If you are looking for Boise State circa 2006, you might want to look elsewhere.
- Plaxico Burress, Amani Toomer and Steve Smith – the Giants' top three receivers – will all miss tonight's game due to various injury issues. While that might seem like a huge break for the Browns and their cover men, it's really not. The higher the quality of competition the Browns' secondary faces, the better equipped the organization will be to make a decision as to which direction they should go with that unit.
- That being said, I am beginning to get the very strong impression that it's a matter of "if" – not "when" – a veteran corner is brought into the equation. Regardless of what transpires tonight. There is too much riding on the season for the likes of Mike Adams, Terry Cousin and Jereme Perry, among others, to be counted on for sixteen quality games of nickel-corner play or, God forbid, to replace an injured Eric Wright or Brandon McDonald.
- (knock knock) Hello, Corey Williams, you in there? (knock knock) Corey, hello, you home? (KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK) Dammit, Corey, answer the friggin' door!!!
- Will Brady Quinn go vertical tonight and stop throwing like a red-headed stepdaughter who lost both her arms in a horrible combine accident? What a ridiculous statement, right? Well, no more so than the BS spewed out across the air waves, splashed in newspaper articles or debated ad nauseum in this very website's forums over the past eleven days. Some things are asinine and defy description. This is one of them. The intelligence of the vast majority of sports fans these days is mind-numbing. Thank you Internet and sports talk radio!
- By way of Lane's awesomely excellent training camp breakdowns, it seems as though rookie defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin has been coming on of late. Keep a close eye on his play tonight and see if he can take the improved practice play onto the field of play. Such an occurrence would be a huge boon to the depth of the defensive line, which, were it not for the soap opera surrounding the corner position, would be one of the biggest stories of the season.
- Could this off-season and training camp have played out any better for Travis Wilson? First, the injury to Joe Jurevicius opened up the OTA doors for him to showcase the progression he's made since the end of the 2007 season. Then, Braylon Edwards injured his foot running barefoot following a training camp session – Kids will be kids? He's 25, correct? – allowing Wilson the opportunity to start with the first-team offense not only throughout the week, but in tonight's game as well. And the best part about the whole Wilson saga this year? He's finally beginning to show the promise that was heaped upon him – mostly from his own lips – following the 2006 draft.
- Leon Williams, the door was wide-open for you to run through, to grab the starting inside linebacker spot opposite D'Qwell Jackson. With the key word in that sentence being "was". The Browns wanted you to have the job – did the restructure of Andra Davis' contract in the off-season not give you a hint? – much the same way the club wanted Derek Anderson to win the "competition" at QB last year. Unfortunately for you, your response to the opportunity has been underwhelming. While not completely closed, the door is shutting very rapidly. It's time to step it up. Starting tonight.
- I think I'm going to miss the fact that the game will not be seen locally on WKYC-TV. The way the words come out notwithstanding, Bernie Kosar is highly entertaining and one of the most knowledgeable color men in the business -- with the exception of his Ken Dorsey ‘Cane man-crush a week ago Thursday, which still boggles the mind and has left me, even eleven days later, feeling creeped-out a little.
- With the Giants having ex-Browns head coach Chris Palmer on their coaching staff as the quarterback coach, what's the over/under on the amount of times I force some variance of the name "Elmer Fudd" into the post-game "Tales From A Notebook? I shudder to think of the lengths I will go to for a cheap joke at Palmer's expense.
Browns 24, Giants 17 – Both Quinn and Derek Anderson play well, and the defensive line begins to show that the off-season transactions were worth the price of picks and money. Meanwhile, the secondary not only continues to look like it got hit with the ugly stick, it looks as though it ran through the Ugly National Forest blindfolded.