Thursday night at 8PM, the OBR gang assembled in the chat room for another (cue scary music) Death Chat, this time accompanied by a foolhardy fan named Dawgpoundr who had volunteered to test the concept of unleashing a subscriber within the confines of.... (cue even scarier music)... DEATH CHAT.
What follows is the actual, true transcript of what transpired which was found days later buried three feet deep under a pile of yellowed and decayed issues of the Cleveland Press and tattered copies of Pete Franklin's auto-biography. The transcript has been lightly edited in a futile attempt by the webmaster to appear better informed. We pick up the conversation, as the group patiently awaits the arrival of Fred Greetham and John Taylor...
Barry: BTW, the Ravens just put Derrick Martin and Demetrius Williams on
the IR. Just got a press release.
Rich: Losing Williams will hurt their passing attack unless they flip Flacco to WR.
Dawgpoundr: Is McAlister out?
Barry: Don't know on McAlister. I haven't seen today's injury report yet.
Barry: Bengals signed Chris Crocker today, so there's no way they'll go winless now.
Rich: Can he play quarterback?
Barry: He's from the MAC, so why not?
Rich: Yeah, never thought of it that way.
Barry: Lots of guys have gone from QB to the defensive secondary, why not the other way? Sure, he's no Frisman Jackson, but still.
Rich: Nice Jackson reference. He had just cleared my memory bank.
Dawgpoundr: Isn't there any other members of the Palmer family the Bengals could sign?
Fred: HIPAA rules won't allow disclosure
Barry: Maybe a Booty or two
Fred: What's up?
Barry: We're just waiting for that Taylor character to figure out how to use the internets
Dawgpoundr: Even I got in here, and I haven't been in a chat room since high school
Rich: How old are you?
Rich: A yearling.
Barry: It takes four of you to make one Passan
Dawgpoundr: Sorry, didn't mean to date myself so soon
John: I despise computers more so than I do Passan.
Barry: Wow. Don't let 'em hear you, John.
Rich: I see you brought your snappy wit with ya tonite, John.
John: Bite me, Rich.
Barry: Let's rock the house, ya'll
Barry: QUESTION ONE QUESTION ONE QUESTION ONE
Barry: This Kellen Winslow / Phil Savage thing: The recent incident likely damaged both in various ways. Which one was damaged
the most, and why?
Rich: Savage by far. He got caught in his own lie regarding the secondary illness that Winslow supposedly had.
John: Savage, because he fanned the flames of controversy with asinine and ill-conceived "gray area" remarks.
Dawgpoundr: I'd say K2, he could have come out much cleaner without mentioning anything about his contract
Fred: Probably, savage leave it alone
Rich: Sometimes, Savage talks too much. Consider this one of those times.
Fred: he rarely talks
John: Savage was wrong, wrong, wrong the way he handled this. He made business personal. Winslow started it; Savage finished it very, very badly.
Rich: And the text-message mess can't sit well with Randy Lerner.
Barry: School solution: K2, because Savage only has to convince one person that he's competent. K2 hurt himself with the entire league.
John: BS, Barry.
Dawgpoundr: K2 doesn't have a good reputation from his college days outside Cleveland to begin with
Dawgpoundr: I mean with fans
Dawgpoundr: I doubt it has any long term effects on either's careers though
John: The texts did not set well with Lerner AT ALL.
Barry: As long as Savage convinces Lerner to forget about it, the whole thing has minimal effect.
Fred: Just win baby
Rich: Can't agree with the league part of your statement, Barry. He'll land on his feet somewhere. Savage is the bad guy in this little play.
John: KII's reputation is just fine in the NFL.
Barry: K2, however, has a cloud over his head for all potential future teams
John: Wrong again, McBride. Not based on the people I've talked with.
Rich: Not unless he has a drug or off-the-field problem he doesn't have a cloud over his head. His talent will be the big factor.
Barry: They all blame it on Savage? Even with those scurrilous rumors going around?
Rich: What scurrilous rumors?
John: Amen, Rich. I like you now. Sic 'em!!!
Barry: Those scurrilous rumors, like the ones that got printed on Deadspin.
Fred: he might have the rep of a malcontent like Rogers, until proven otherwise
Rich: And you believe all that stuff?
John: It's nearly unanimous that Savage bungled this. What Winslow did was a local story; the way the Browns handled it turned it into a national circus.
Rich: That's because Savage totally mishandled it.
John: Yup yup, Rich.
Barry: Answer me this then: all of you said K2 would be shopped at the end of the season last week. How does that not say "damaged goods"?
Rich: Damaged goods in what way?
Barry: If a talented player is being offered around, that is not a... good... thing
Rich: In what way?
John: You are not looking at this properly, Barry. You're seeing KII as "the devil". That's not how the teams are viewing him.
Fred: There's a reason they traded up to get Rucker
Rich: That's not the reason, though. They were losing Joe J. and they needed a big body to eventually replace him.
Dawgpoundr: but if Winslow can't convert to the third receiver, how can Rucker be intended to do the same?
John: Savage made this personal, and that's why he would be shopped. You don't think teams know that?
Barry: I'm not seeing him as a devil, just as a guy who is supposedly caused problems for his last employer.
Barry: That doesn't improve marketability, in my view.
Rich: There aren't too many general managers out there in the NFL who wouldn't drool at the prospect of getting Kellen Winslow Jr.
John: Savage will have zero problem finding a trading partner if he so desires. The only thing that will hold teams back is KII's knees.
Barry: Alright, I think we pounded that one into the ground.
John: I think you went with it.
Barry: QUESTION TWO QUESTION TWO QUESTION TWO
Barry: QUESTION TWO QUESTION TWO QUESTION TWO
Barry: 2. The Cleveland Browns could charitably be described as "erratic", jumping back and forth from great to awful. Explain why you feel the team is inconsistent.
Barry: Figured that was coming
John: Dammit, Fred beat me.
Fred: Ready for the lightning round
Rich: Anderson and the offensive line.
Barry: Dawgpoundr, you agree?
Dawgpoundr: I've got to put some of the impetus on the coaching
Barry: There you go... a contrarian view.
Dawgpoundr: they should be able to balance the attack
Dawgpoundr: I just have a hard time pinning all the blame on one guy out of 53
Barry: So, our esteemed panel blames it on the QB or the coach.
Rich: That's mostly on Chudzinski then. I'd agree that the playcalling has been somewhat peculiar.
John: Kinda hard for Chud to game plan when he doesn't know which offense -- coughcoughDAcoughcough -- will show up week to week.
Rich: It hasn't been nearly as daring as last season. Or creative, for that matter.
Barry: Doesn't Edwards deserve a little bit of this? Without him, the Browns passing offense isn't much to worry about.
Fred: Edwards and the lack of a complement receiver
Fred: The offense has mostly been inconsistent
Dawgpoundr: Although you shouldn't need to spoon feed the QB easy completions to "get him going"
John: There's blame to go around, but I'm just trying to piss certain people off by going after one of them.
Fred: Top men
John: The coaching staff, the OL, Edwards, etc. all deserve blame. The vast majority, IMHO, goes to DA, though.
Dawgpoundr: easy drops by a receiver (BE) have to have an effect on the entire offense's confidence at times
Rich: It should be a shared blame because the unit, as a whole, isn't playing nearly as well as it did last season. Except, of course, in the Giants game.
John: Especially one who's QB has shaky confidence to begin with.
Rich: I'd be shaky , too, if my best receiver has 11 drops so far.
Barry: RAC seems to say, constantly, that "as the team goes the quarterback goes" rather than vice-versa. He said it early this week, he said it on Sirius on Monday or Tuesday. Not those exact words, but still...
John: Waaahhhh!!! I need everything to be juuust right in order for me to succeed. Give me a break.
Dawgpoundr: but consistently good QB's forget quickly
Barry: QUESTION THREE QUESTION THREE QUESTION THREE
Barry: QUESTION THREE QUESTION THREE QUESTION THREE
Barry: 3. Explain the deal with Kamerion Wimbley. Is he being poorly used, victimized by players around him, or is he just not as good as we thought when he was drafted?
John: Partly one, and maybe with a lil' three thrown in.
Rich: Not as good as some of us thought when he was drafted. Here was a college defensive end who switched to a foreign position and hasn't made it a successful one.
Rich: Must have proved too much for him.
Fred: Combination of things, but he seems to not be able to get another good move
Dawgpoundr: What happened to the two or three new moves he was working on in training camp?
Barry: Good point, Dawgpoundr, in 2007 he was supposed to have more moves, in 2008 the line was supposed to help him out. Where's the sacks?
Fred: Haven't seen them, but if you're dominant you don't need moves
Dawgpoundr: With his early success, he should have been able to adapt when OT's figured him out
Dawgpoundr: Maybe he's just too stubborn to get past his "gumby" phase
Fred: I don't think Shaun Rogers has any fancy moves
Barry: Shaun Rogers is just big, fast, and nasty. He doesn't need much more than that yet.
Barry: Any thoughts to share on how he's being poorly used, John?
John: He very well could be overrated -- likely is, actually -- but he could be used better. I'd like to see him moved around, but I have no clue if that would help.
Rich: Where would you put him, John?
John: I'd move him around. It seems like he's lined up against the LT -- normally the best pass blocker on the team -- 95% of the time. It's be nice to see him on the strong side of the line, or stunted, or something.
Rich: Then what would you do with McGinest or Hall?
John: Move them around as well. It ain't rocket surgery.
Barry: I hate when people try to turn football into rocket surgery.
John: Amen, Barry. Amen.
Fred: or brain science
Rich: He's a 4-3 defensive end playing out of position, guys. Put him on a 4-3 team that emphasizes rushing the passer and he'd be better.
John: I might agree with that, Rich. And I wouldn't be surprised if that's not a point of discussion during the off-season.
Fred: I still think the Browns personnel is better suited to the 4-3
Rich: Welcome to the club, Fred.
Fred: I've said that since my first blog
John: I agree with going to the 4-3 as well, btw...
Rich: The 3-4 hasn't worked for the Browns for too long.
Fred: but that's all RAC has plans for
John: Yup, Fred.
Dawgpoundr: maybe they should go to the full time UFO look
Barry: UFO + Quick snap = Doom
John: Easier to go from a 3-4 to a 4-3 than vice versa.
Rich: But that would mean a whole new draft philosophy.
Fred: No, they're drafting 4-3 guys and trying to make them 3-4 guys
Barry: If this personnel is better suited to the 4-3, that's a problem with our scouting don't you think?
Rich: This club is overloaded with defensive tackles as it is.
Fred: Colleges don't play 3-4
Rich: A few do, but not enough to go after the prototype player in that scheme.
Barry: True, Fred, but we're supposed to have the best extrapolators around
John: Fred's en fuego tonight!!!
Dawgpoundr: Would the transition be easier than going to the 34? seems like we were told for an awful long time that this D would work given the time to get the players that fit
Fred: How many years does it take, this is RAC and Savage's recruiting class?
Barry: The whole front seven has been replaced since RAC and Savage got here.
Rich: No, it would be more difficult because the club would have to procure, in some manner, four prototypical 4-3 defensive ends. That won't be easy.
Barry: Should be working by now. Maybe we saw it working last Sunday, for the most part.
Rich: Won't happen under Crennel because it would be an admission of making a mistake in the first place.
Fred: he only has plays for the 3-4
John: If RAC's not here, though...
Barry: Let's move on. I need enough content to edit out the first question, since I got schooled.
Barry: QUESTION FOUR QUESTION FOUR QUESTION FOUR
Barry: QUESTION FOUR QUESTION FOUR QUESTION FOUR
Barry: 4. Why do the Browns seem more effective offensively on the field WITHOUT the immensely talented, but car-door and
GM-unfriendly Kellen Winslow? EXPLAIN!! NOW!!!
John: How many games did he play last year?
Fred: They block better with Heiden running and throw it to him
Rich: I'm inclined to go with John here (shocking!!)
Dawgpoundr: nobody actually expects the Browns to throw to Heiden
Dawgpoundr: so they don't cover him
Fred: Winslow should be moved to the slot and used as a WR and use Heiden they way he was last week more
Barry: Heiden's a better blocker, but I don't see how a team could actually be better with him on the field than K2.
Rich: What would be wrong with using Winslow as a slot receiver all the time with Heiden at tight end all the time? That's one of the reasons they were so successful on offense last season. This season, Heiden has been one of the forgotten.
John: I agree, Fred, they should do a lot more of that.Rich: But if you make Heiden part of your offense and make the opposition aware of that, it would help take pressure off Winslow and/or Edwards.
John: Not even necessarily all the time, Rich. Just a lot more than they do now. It'll be interesting to see if what's transpired with KII will change their minds, given Heiden's production.
Fred: I think Heiden could be like Witten and Winslow some TE and some third receiver
Rich: Heiden is not as good a receiver as Witten, but he's a better blocker.
Fred: when k2 is in there all the time, the running game isn't as productive and it tips off the pass when he's in there
Barry: So, we're dismissing all the available data because it doesn't agree with our theory. Cool.
Fred: Nobody's saying that but use him mostly as a receiver and heiden will make the run game better
John: What was THAT about, Barry?
Barry: All I'm saying, John, is that the offense has been more productive with K2 out. But that doesn't make sense to us, so we're tossing out that annoying piece if data and saying it's just coincidence.
Barry: I'm good with that, two games don't really make a trend. Three or four might.
John: You are losing me, Barry.
Dawgpoundr: it could just be that they force the ball too much to a heavily covered Winslow
Barry: With this QB, Dawgpoundr, I wonder if he focuses too much on getting it to K2.
Rich: If he is, that's a big part of his problem.
Fred: He gets yelled at if he doesn't throw to him
John: If DA can't control the huddle, they need to get somebody in there who can.
Dawgpoundr: that's the impression I get at times from the beat writers, I agree, DA shouldn't be influenced by that
Fred: Build on the positive and use winslow other ways and still infuse heiden
Rich: Anderson can control the huddle. The coaches have to handle Winslow.
John: No, he can't.
Rich: How do you know?
John: Been told by too many people that KII and BE dominate the huddle. Like a lot of receivers ATTEMPT to do.
Dawgpoundr: so DA takes it out on vickers
Rich: Then the coaches should be made aware of this and handle it.
John: They are aware of it and attempt to handle it.
Rich: If I'm an offensive lineman, I'd tell both of those guys to shut the hell up. They're not running the huddle.
Barry: So, John, just to wrap up the K2 thing, could it be more than coincidence and K2 causes some stress on the field, or is that not something that should impact DA?
John: It shouldn't impact DA, but it seemingly does.
Fred: If Stallworth, Steptoe whoever can't be a threat opposite Edwards, make Winslow the guy
Dawgpoundr: I'm hopeful that he's now realized they can win without him, and he will be more open to settling into his role
Rich: Steptoe made a nice grab on a nice throw by Anderson last week.
Barry: QUESTION FIVE QUESTION FIVE QUESTION FIVE
Barry: QUESTION FIVE QUESTION FIVE QUESTION FIVE
Barry: First question will be quick, then a followup
Barry: Inside linebacker... have your opinions changed about the team's need to improve there despite their performance against
Fred: No, they need a playmaker or two there
John: Nope. Buh-bye, Andra.
John: I'll give D'Qwell a pass if they improve what's next to him.
Dawgpoundr: If/when Andra is out, that should be the experienced FA they look for
Rich: I thought Jackson played very well in Jacksonville. It's about time. Maybe it was because Rogers had such a stunning game.
Barry: FOLLOW-UP: Do you believe that Leon Williams and Beau Bell need to be given legitimate starting opportunities ASAP so the
team can determine off-season needs?
John: Williams and Bell should have zero bearing on what they do at ILB in the off-season.
Fred: I think Williams has played and hasn't made an impact, Bell needs an opportunity
Rich: If they stick with the 3-4, they still need help at inside backer.
Dawgpoundr: They should probably stick with proven experience/leadership as long as the playoffs are possible
Dawgpoundr: Can Bell really be expected to contribute after missing so much early time, though?
Barry: Translation: Little confidence that Bell or Williams is the answer, go outside the organization.
Fred: yes... go outside the orgRich: Agree with Taylor here. (What the hell is going on here?) Bell and Williams should have no bearing on how the club handle the
position in the offseason.
John: Nope, wrong translation. They need a proven playmaker inside. They can't pin their hopes on Bell maybe developing. It's too critical a position.
Barry: Gotcha. Bring in someone and if Bell develops, great.
Barry: I'd like to see Bell get some time at the end of the season to see what he can do, if we're out of the race.
John: You drunk tonight, Rich? Agreeing with me a lot...
Rich: Slow, not drunk.
John: Slow? You misspelled "old".
Barry: LIGHTNING ROUND!!! LIGHTNING ROUND!!! LIGHTNING ROUND!!! LIGHTNING ROUND!!! LIGHTNING ROUND!!! LIGHTNING
Rich: Oh goody.
Fred: let's go
Barry: Keep your answers short. There will be time limits, and they will be arbitrary.
Barry: 1. Shaun Rogers: Great active NFL nose tackle, or greatest active NFL nose tackle?
John: The former.
Rich: Damn, The former.
Dawgpoundr: Great, need more pro bowls
Barry: 2. Give me two predictions of the Browns/Ravens final score, the first if the "Good DA" shows up, the second if "Bad DA"
personality is dominant
Rich: Not into predictions.
Fred: 27-17; 13-19
Dawgpoundr: 35-10 browns, 13-10 browns
Dawgpoundr: I'm the eternal optimist
Barry: 28-10; 10-21
John: Browns win with the former, lose with the latter.
Barry: Oooh. Daring.
Barry: 3. Follow-up from last week, given the success against Jacksonville. One a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 meaning infinitesimal likelihood and 10 meaning metaphysical certainty:
Barry: (A) Chances that the Browns finish .500 or better and
Barry: (B) Chances that the Browns wind up in the playoffs
Rich: And nil.
Dawgpoundr: 5, 4
Fred: 40% 35,5
John: You typing numbers at random, Fred?
Rich: He's good at that.
Barry: Correct answers are 6 and 2. Better luck next week.
Barry: 4. You are general manager of the Minnesota Vikings. What round draft pick would you give for Derek Anderson?
John: Conditional third right now.
Dawgpoundr: 2 and 4, or 3 and a large pepperoni pizza
Barry: 5. We had a fan join us for tonight's Death Chat. What are the odds, from 0% to 100% that he emerges from the experience
without permanent psychological damage?
Dawgpoundr: it's too late, the answer's already 100
Dawgpoundr: wait, 0
John: There was a fan here tonight?
Barry: 15%, same as any interaction with Passan.
Rich: Less than zero.
Dawgpoundr: I thought there'd be more chicks and beer
Barry: Alright, that's it fellas! Thanks for attending.
John: This is spiraling out of control. Just another day at The OBR office.
Barry: I'll make us all look reasonably intelligent with clever editing.
Fred: good night
Barry: Later, Fred, thanks for dropping by
Dawgpoundr: thanks guys
John: Later fellas. You too Rich.