Taylor's Tales From A Notebook

Great. Thanks, Taylor. Now we'll have that song buzzing around our brains all day on Monday. Could be worse, of course. Actually, it could be MUCH worse, especially since the "Good Browns" appeared this Sunday. Next Sunday... who knows? All we know is that we've got another Tales from a Notebook...

Well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Tell me, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
'Cause I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)

-- Baffled. Maddened. Bewildered. Perplexed. Puzzled. Befogged. As in, "the Browns' play in this game only befogged my understanding of what exactly is going on with this football team."

-- I don't know. I just have no clue anymore. Consider my arms thrown skyward in the universal surrendering gesture.

-- This is an absolutely maddening football team. A maddening quarterback, a maddening wide receiver, a maddening head coach, a maddening everything. Ya gettin' the point yet?

-- I guess when you have inconsistent players at key positions, this will happen. No idea what will happen week-in and week-out seems to be what we have now. That's no way to go through a seventeen-week life in the National Football League, though. Unless being consistently inconsistent is your soup du jour, of course.

-- Yet again, we get the tease that Derek Anderson might be good enough to be the player to play if you hit him at juuust the right week in your fantasy football lineup. Other than that, I have no clue what DA is as a quarterback. He does juuust enough to keep Romeo A. Crennel's salivary glands from going bone dry.

-- Wait a minute, yes I do. I do have a clue and an insight into the type of QB DA is. He's a QB who will run hot and cold as sure as the sun will rise. Or as sure as a computer will keel over dead if it's in my general vicinity for any length of time. That's the only constant when it comes to this enigmatic entity at the QB position. So much talent, so precious little consistency. And juuust enough to delay the inevitable.

-- I can hear the readers asking now: "But hold on, JT. The Browns just won. What's up with this… this… this negativity?" To which I would answer, it's not negativity. It's about keeping things firmly implanted in the realm of reality, even as this team dick-teases its fans based on the whims of the blowing wind and a QB who has no clue what he will be one Sunday to the next.

-- The moving vans I had on call following the win over the Giants? They have been put on hold indefinitely. I'm still residing in the great state of Missouri for the foreseeable future. Show me for more than one consecutive week, dammit. Show me.

-- Of course, the Browns are 3-1 the last four games. With wins over the Giants and Jaguars in that quarter remix. Time to step back from the ledge a bit?  Or find the next bridge abutment?

-- And then, as I'm typing this, I hear the Steelers losing in the background. What could've been a four-game deficit in the AFC North is now suddenly down to two games. With a chance to pull even with the 4-3, second-place Ravens next Sunday. Is it time to just sit back and let this season ride itself out, one way or the other? Once again, I have no idea as to the proper tack.

-- Anybody notice the Browns brought six on the Jaguars' third-to-last play? I was taken aback initially, then pleasantly surprised once I actually regained consciousness and caught my breath.

-- The big man in the middle will be mentioned later, as well as the corners, but the defense as a whole deserves a whole helluva lot of credit for this third "W". They've been stout for the vast majority of the seven games played. They ain't the most talented, but they do bring a mentality that allows them to play above their talent level at times. Some health, and some changes at ILB, and this might be a consistent top-ten defense Savage & Company has constructed.

-- It's up to the QB to get out of the hole his RB is heading into. Yet another example of… ahhh screw it. Never mind.

-- Memo to D'Qwell Jackson: you whiff on a sack, it makes it that much harder to make a case for you. Just an FYI.

-- In two years, if not at some point next season, Brandon McDonald and Eric Wright will be considered one of the top-three CB tandems in the league. Mark it down, take it to the bank, etch it stone, whatever. The sky's the limit for that duo.

-- Catches everything in teal and black; makes key drops when wearing seal brown and orange. Ladies and gentlemen, Dennis Northcutt: The Sequel!

-- Josh, Josh, Josh. You do realize how much shit you are going to take in the special teams meetings this week, right? The kicker, man. We're talkin' about the kicker. The kicker.

-- Shout-out to Eric Steinbach: you, my man, had a GREAT game today. Going up against John Henderson, you controlled a very good and very talented defensive lineman. Kudos. Just watch the tape, and watch what he did when he was one-on-one.

-- Great, gutsy call by RAC to go for it on 4th and 1 in the middle of the second. And, yes, I'd have said as much even if the play would've been blown up and turned over on downs. He needs to do something to shake this team up; that's one way to make your way toward what needs to be accomplished.

-- OK, I'm not to the point where I will say that the Browns are a better offensive football team sans Kellen Winslow; I will allow, however, that I'm more open to the argument than I was even two weeks ago. The best and most consistent offensive efforts of the season have been with KII nowhere near the playing field. That at least makes me step back and take a little bit longer view of the entire picture.

-- 2-0 without, 1-4 with, is beginning to speak volumes.  It's not loud and obnoxious yet, but the early returns bear a striking resemblance to the word "resounding".

-- It was very nice to see the Browns honoring one of their all-time greats. It may not seem like much, a little sticker on the back of the helmet, but it's a very sincere gesture toward the memory of Gene Hickerson by the organization. Especially the impression it leaves on a fan base who feels a disconnect between this regime and the rich history everyone clings to.

-- Why would you have your corner drop five or six yards off the line of scrimmage inside the ten with no LB or S help? I think Mel Tucker is slowly growing into a very good defensive coordinator, but that one had me shaking my head.

-- First and goal, less than two feet from a seven-point lead… and that? It didn't come back and bite them in the ass, but it did raise an alarm in my head. Especially when you consider how well the offensive line had handled Jax's defensive line for a good chunk of the drive that preceded it.

-- What can you say about that play by Shaun Rogers? Blocked the field goal, and recovered it? The great Dick Enberg had it right. Rogers got himself some well-deserved Pro Bowl votes. Even as it shouldn't come down to an ESPN highlight play to garner them. Anyway, he is hands-down the best FA signing of not only the Savage Era, but since The Return in 1999. And it's not even close, actually. He's young, relatively speaking, and he's a tremendous piece of the defensive puzzle already in place. Now, if he could get some LBs behind him…

-- Following the Brodney Pool sack, I told my wife that was a huge sack. Her first response? "No offense, Kellen."

-- In no way, shape or form am I the least bit embarrassed to admit that I get a tingling sensation every single time I see the "24: Redemption" promos on FOX. I'd be embarrassed to name the location of the tingle, mind you, but not for having the tingling itself.

-- It's really getting old, seeing the Dallas Cowboys week-in and week-out on my TV screen.

-- The only thing I could think of, when flipping over to the Steelers game: "yum yum, bumblebee tuna… I love bumblebee, bumblebee tuna… yum yum, bumblebee tuna…"

-- If this notebook is more convoluted than normal, it should be. If it's all over the place a lil' more than the norm, it should be. It simply mirrors what has transpired in 2008.

-- Bottom line? I don't know. Even after all these words, and a minute or two to digest what is happening with this ‘08 edition of the Cleveland Browns, I simply have no clue what to expect against the Rats at home next week. Oh yeah, BTW…

Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?
Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?
Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?
Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?

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