John Taylor's Tales From A Notebook

Oh, man. Oh, man oh man oh man. John Taylor's Tales of a Notebook is the epic quest of a man trying to resolve ten straight losses to... them. There is no happiness here, but there is a call for at least one scalp...

-- "We just screwed it up there at the end."

-- Yes you did, Romeo Crennel. Yes you did. Yet again.

-- While you were talking about your clock management at the end of the first half in the above, you very easily could've been referring to your decision to go for a field goal – déjà vu? – with three minutes left in a seven-point game. You assumed your defense would get you the ball back. And you know what they say about the word "assume", right? When you do it, it makes an "ass" out of "u" and "me and the players and the front office and the coaching staff and the owner and the fans".

-- And you screwed it up there again, at the end of the third quarter, with the Steelers backed up into the teeth of The Pound. You soft rush four, and drop into zone coverage. You have the momentum, you have the crowd into the game, and you Cowher like a virgin at the Prom after-party.

-- You have no balls, no testicles, and no business being an NFL head coach. None. This needs to stop right here, right now. Randy Lerner needs to step in before it's too late.

-- Yes, I'm calling for Crennel's coaching head. There, I said it. The game's over and the jig is up. I've pushed it off and pushed it off and pushed it off. But, no more. He has no business being responsible for an entire football team on game day. None. He's doing a disservice to his players, to his organization, and to the fans who have supported this team week-in, week-out for three and four generations. His incompetence on Sundays is embarrassing.

-- And this is not a heat-of-the-moment, alcohol-fueled diatribe. There is no knee-jerk to the embarrassment of losing 10 straight to the Appalachians. This is the culmination of three+ years of clock mismanagement, not getting his team "up" for a game, poor game-day decisions, getting "his" guys on the roster only to see them flop, etc. etc. etc. Had a vision, and I've finally seen his chicken coming home to roost.

-- I wanted to give RAC a chance because he is a "good guy". I looked the other way for far too long, in part because of RAC The Person. RAC The Head Coach, on the other hand, no longer deserves any amount of latitude or wait-‘til-next-week excuses. His job needs to be squarely in the owner's gun sights.

-- Romeo A. Crennel is now 0-7 versus the Steelers, and 4-15 versus the AFC North as a whole in his three years plus two games as the Browns' head coach.

-- My two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, during the first series of the game, very firmly and earnestly stated she wanted to watch cartoons. At that point, I told her "no, we're watching football right now". She turned to the TV, took a peek at what was on the screen, then looked back and said "That's not football, Daddy, that's the Browns." Couldn't have said it better myself. Out of the mouths of babes…

-- One touchdown in two games. Sixteen points in 120 minutes of football. Both games were played in the friendly confines of Cleveland Browns Stadium. The bloom is rapidly coming off the offensive rose.

-- I really have nothing good or bad to say about Derek Anderson's performance tonight. The Browns hitched their cart to this size-15 horse, and they – and the fans – will have to live with this unevenness. It was his MO in college, and it was his MO in 2007. Why people are amazed when the Bad Derek suddenly appears is beyond me.

-- Regardless of how much the weather affected the Steelers' game plan, the Browns' defense came to play today. The defensive line was especially impressive at first blush, and I'll be damned if they didn't actually get pressure on the quarterback. They were not perfect, but they got key stops early in the game when they needed them.

-- Shaun Rogers doesn't tackle runners, he engulfs them. They are absorbed and become part of him. I love this Savage pickup. Sheer genius, actually.

-- For once, the inside linebackers actually showed today. Sure, it was a gork in the Suck Continuum, but it was nice to see, regardless of when the Black Hole of Incompetence will eventually swallow the position whole.

-- Brodney Pool, great game. Coming off your third concussion in four years, you impressed me, and showed me something about what you have inside and in your heart. I'd want a whole bunch of you's on my football team.

-- You don't get paid to go damn-near twice the speed limit; you don't get paid to bash the only national sports superstar this city's had since Jim Brown; you don't get paid to rent helicopters; you don't get paid to berate your offensive line/quarterback. You get paid to catch footballs and make plays. Can ya do that? Can ya concentrate on that facet of your multi-dimensional empire? As they said in Field of Dreams, "catch it, the acting jobs will come".

-- RAC's head-coaching tombstone will somehow have to incorporate a granite goalpost, no? Maybe jutting out from a foot?

-- I think it's getting perilously close to Kellen Winslow going from wanting a contract extension with the Browns, to playing out his current contract string and moving on to a contender. Or forcing a trade before his contract expires. He wants to win and he wants to get paid, more so the former than the latter. This thing will come to a head if the losing continues. And his being on the sidelines for the last-gasp drive? Just another mark in the "get the hell out of Dodge" side of the ledger.

-- For those keeping score at home, the Browns are now 0-6 since the beginning of August. They have not won a real or fake game in 260 days.

-- Nice job, Stolen Money. You finally make a play, and you get an unnecessary face mask that negates a sack. Your current and former teammates have you pegged.

-- Whenever he's afforded the opportunity, all Jerome Harrison does is make plays. I feel for the coaching staff when it comes to how exactly they should utilize this running back. It must be very challenging trying to cram a round peg into a round hole.

-- I don't know if this has been brought up before, but Faith Hill is very easy on the eyes. She has a very pleasing and pleasant television presence about her.

-- You gotta love the Snoop and Green Day bumper music going into commercial.

-- The wind wasn't the only thing blowing in the Queen City today; the Cincinnati Bengals proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are a very, very, very bad football team right now. After today's game, though, the very same could be said about the Cleveland Browns.

-- San Diego got bent over and Alcatrazed in their "loss" to Denver this evening. The NFL needs to take a long, hard look at how their officials utilize their whistles. It was clearly and blatantly a fumble by Jay Cutler but, because the official had a quick trigger on his whistle, the ball went back to the Broncos at the spot the ball was at when the official blew. The whistle, I meant. Even as the ruling was technically correct, it was a horrendous, horrendous premature tooting of the whistle by one of the best referees in the game.

-- "That's not football, Daddy, that's the Browns."

-- What she said.



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