They did it with Gary Baxter. They did it with/to LeCharles Bentley.
Now, it's time to do the same with Antwan Peek: let him go.
Let him get injured and rehab, injured and rehab, injured and rehab somewhere else with somebody else on their dime.
Last season, Peek was slowed by a bad knee and an ankle injury which forced him out of the last two games. He missed all of training camp and each pre-season contest this year after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to clean out the knee that hampered him last year. And, now, the blown-out knee that will cause him to miss the entire 2008 season.
And this is not an indictment of Peek, who by all accounts is a tremendous individual with an outstanding and tireless work ethic. A player with a tremendous amount of God-gifted football ability. It's not his fault that the very same God also gifted him with a skeletal structure normally found in the finest of glassware factories.
No, this is all about the team, the organization. It's about cutting your losses and moving on in another direction. Reaching an injury settlement and looking to the future.
Nothing personal, it's just business.
Same as it was when it came to Baxter and Bentley.
And having Alex Hall waiting in the wings certainly doesn't hurt.
Most Browns fans know Paul Brown. Or at least think they know The Greatest Coach Who Ever Prowled a Gridiron Sideline.
Sometimes, though, I think we all forget just how meaningful he was to the game of football in the state of Ohio.
For those in need of a refresher, or for those who might be too young to have a grasp as to the why's and the how's behind The Legend, the Columbus Dispatch has come through in a very big way.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of Mr. Brown's birth, the Columbus newspaper is serving up a series of articles detailing and chronicling the former Massillon Tiger, Ohio State Buckeye and Cleveland Brown head coach.
After reading these articles, a question I've had for many a year has been rekindled: are we certain that Mike Brown is indeed the biological son of The Great One? With the advances made in DNA testing, I'm quite certain we can put this one to rest one way or the other.
I HATE PITTSBURGH, REASON #1,489, 293
You can dress it up however you like, put the best face on it, or even plant a bouquet of flowers in the middle of the "gift" Fido left on the dining room table and call it a centerpiece. Regardless of what you do, one thing is perfectly clear: the Browns are the Steelers' bitches.
Seven in a row. Fifteen of the last sixteen. Yup, Cleveland's the white collar criminal standing in the shower line in front of Pittsburgh's Bubba lifer.
And one of the worst things about it? The Iron City media – especially Ed Douchette – knows it. And revels in it.
That final game will be for the division championship. The Steelers will finish 9-7, the Browns 8-8 or 7-9. It won't be a great football season around here by any means. The Steelers do not have the look of a great team.
But the playoffs are the playoffs, right?
Things could be worse, anyway.
Ron Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMING TO CINCINNATI
As to the whole Chad name-change thing:
Saul: A man has the right to change his name to vatever he vants to change it to. And if a man vants to be called Chad Ocho Cinco, g*dammit this is a free country, you should respect his vishes, and call the man Chad Ocho Cinco!
Morris: His mamma call him Johnson, I'mma call him Johnson.
And that's the end of that...
ON THE INJURY FRONT
The Browns had been holding out hope that Brodney Pool would be available for the season opener, with the operative word being "had". That hope is now all but extinguished as the safety's all but assured of missing the opener after missing practice yet again yesterday. This came on the heels of Pool being limited in practice on Wednesday, so obviously the veteran has suffered a setback in his recovery from a concussion.
(Did you hear that? That's the sound of Jason Whitten and Terrell Owens licking their chops.)
If he can't go, Pool would be replaced in the starting by Mike Adams.
(There's that sound again. Only louder.)
Both Jamal Lewis and Josh Cribbs were limited in practice, but it seems, based on the info we are getting from our network of sources, that Lewis stands a better chance of being a "go" for Sunday than does Cribbs.
All was not lost on the injury front, however, as safety Sean Jones participated fully in practice and is expected to be ready for the opener. Additionally, Ryan Tucker continues his steady progression back from his off-season surgery, although it's unlikely he'll be ready to go by game time Sunday. He should, though, be available for the Pittsburgh game. Barring a setback, of course.
RANDOM NOTES OF RANDOMNESS
Alex Hall stories are all the rage in this morning's newspapers. If you don't believe me, just click on all the links you see in the previous sentence. Of course, if you read The OBR regularly, you already knew about this "mystery" player long before the Peek injury. ... I really like this Hall kid. Not only for the potential he has flashed on the field, but for the way he seems to carry himself off it. When asked about being forced into more meaningful action this early in his young career, he told reporters "they didn't bring me in here to sit around and look." You gotta love the young man. ... For those who have not heard, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, FOX Sports' top NFL announcing team, will be the broadcasting tandem behind the mics for the opener against Dallas. And, even though it's still two days away, I'm already getting Bucking annoyed. ... Thanks for bringing this up, Jeff Schudel: "Mike Adams will probably start at safety, which means Terry Cousin would play in the slot when the Browns use five defensive backs." So much for being able to sleep the next two nights. Thanks again. ... Somehow I missed this yesterday: Sean Jones grew up playing football with Pacman "Adam" Jones in Georgia. I did not know that. And, somehow, the Browns' Jones turned out OK. Amazing.
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
News and notes from the Browns' upcoming opponent:-- Cowboys linebacker Kevin Burnett breaks down the Browns' special teams ahead of the season opener.
-- Tremendous breakdown of the Browns-Cowboys tilt by the guys responsible for the Pro Football Prospectus and Football Outsiders, courtesy of the Dallas Morning News Blog.
-- With Terence Newman hobbled by a groin injury, will Pacman gobble up a start at corner? (Hey, they can't all be winners.)
-- Terrell Owens has gone from gloating star-stomper to one of eight Cowboy captains.
-- After the departure of Julius Jones via free agency, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wonders whether Marion Barber is ready to handle a full-season rushing load.
AFC NORTH QUICK HITS
Even though he was a second-round pick, and led the club in receiving during the pre-season, rookie Jerome Simpson is still trying to prove himself as the team's #3 receiver. ... The NFL forced the Bengals to add Antwan Odom and T.J. Houshmagesundheit to the club's injury list. Neither player played in the pre-season due to injury and were left off the team's initial injury report. ... Dallas Baker has passed second-round pick Limas Sweed and is the now the Steelers' #4 receiver. There's a very good chance Sweed will be inactive for the season opener. ... Chris Kemoeatu is ready, willing and able to replace Alan Faneca as the Steelers' starting left guard. That's all well and good, but it's just too bad the rest of the linemen around him suck ass. ... Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has declared today "Black & Gold Day" in the city. All city employees are encouraged to wear Steeler colors to work. The mayor also noted that, as always, teeth are optional for all non-essential personnel.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Cleveland's a passionate sports town. It has been a long time since they've had a winner and the burden does fall on the quarterback. They get too much credit when they win and too little blame when they lose. So I think clearly the bar has been raised for Derek Anderson, and we'll see if we can handle that internal pressure." -- Monday Night Football broadcaster Ron Jaworski, on the pressures the Browns' starting QB faces entering this much-anticipated season.
QUOTE OF THE DAY, THE SEQUEL:
"Alex is doing great, man. He's a very humble guy who continues to work and work hard. He'll do well, and we believe in him." -- linebacker Andra Davis, on rookie Alex Hall being thrust into a larger role.
QUOTE OF THE DAY, THE BONUS:
"I think they still have some semblance of it, but it's not near what it used to be. They threw a lot more stuff back then." -- Cowboys head coach/twit Wade Phillips, on the difference between old Municipal Stadium and new Cleveland Browns Stadium.