Taylor's Tales From A Notebook

John Taylor tells you what the mainstream media won't, in language they would never use, using information they don't have. Which, of course, is why we love the guy. This is one post-game autopsy you have to read...

-- For those that are wondering, the answer is "yes", I will continue beating the drum and drilling into the ground the two biggest reasons for this debacle of a season. Read on and piss yourself off at your own peril. My give a damn's broke, and I really don't care whether or not you are offended and put-off by my writing.

-- As Dandy Don Meredith was wont to sing, turn out the lights… the season's over. Or, as Joe Tait so eloquently stated, stick a fork in ‘em. Pick either of the two. Your choice. Both are exceedingly appropriate.

-- I just don't know anymore. I'm beginning to run out of words. A thesaurus is obsolete whenever it's used to attempt to ascribe words to this 2008 edition of the Cleveland Browns.

-- With the .500 mark and getting back into the thick of the playoff race staring them squarely in the face, the Browns blinked. Then puked mom's spaghetti all over their sweater. Then blinked again. At home. Against an American Football Conference foe. Against an AFC North rival.

-- 3-5 overall, 1-3 in the North, and 2-3 in the AFC is no way to go through life at the midway point of a season that was expected to end with a berth in the playoffs. Hole, meet what you can't dig out of.

-- All the progress that was made in winning three of the last four? Gone. All the hesitant and cautious goodwill Derek Anderson had built? Gone. All of my patience with this football team? Gone.

-- It was tenuous at best, my patience. I did my damndest to talk myself into believing that three-of-four was the "real" Browns, not the zero-of-three that started the season. It was working, too. I saw the six PM skank turning into the two AM prime piece of ass right before my very eyes. Told myself that it wasn't the beer, that this team actually looked that damn good. And what do I get for climbing back into that bed yet again? Blue balled. Spank you very much. I'll be in the shower, lotion in hand, if you need me.

-- The Rats have beaten the Browns twice this year, by the cumulative count of 65-37. Therefore, the Rats are two touchdowns a game better than the Browns, right? If you believe that, I've got a head coach I'd like to sell ya. Cheap. Hell, just take him. He'll be on the curb soon enough anyway, available for anyone to pick through.

-- Take the depth charts of the Rats, Appalachians and Browns, and place them side by side by side. Go down the list position by position, and compare them. It's OK, I'll wait… waiting… Done? Good. Now, riddle me this: who is responsible for taking on-paper talent and turning it into on-the-field success?

-- There are deep and troubling issues with the man responsible for the management of 45 players on Sundays. DA is what he is. His track record very vociferously states that he will not deviate from his norm, which is inconsistency. I don't blame him, really. I do blame the man, though, that keeps trotting him out there week-in and week-out.

-- In the first meeting with the Rats, the Browns entered halftime with a 10-7 lead. On the first two series of the second half of that loss, Anderson threw two interceptions that led directly to two touchdowns and single-handedly turned a three-point lead into an eleven-point deficit.

-- This game, the Browns entered halftime knotted up at 13. What does DA do on the first two series to open the second half? Throws two touchdown passes and single-handedly puts the Rats into a 14-point hole.

-- Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to re-introduce you to Good DA! He'll be here… well… hell, I dunno how long he'll be here, but I think it's safe to assume that… oops, wait a minute, it appears as though the Good DA has abruptly canceled his remaining shows for this Sunday afternoon, and will be replaced by the Bad DA. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

-- On the two scoring "drives" early in the second half, DA was 4-4-73-2-0. He had a perfect 158.3 QB rating.

-- On the other eleven drives, his box score read 13-29-146-0-1. His QB rating was 46.04.

-- Chuckle.

-- This whole DA thing is utterly fascinating. I can't honestly say that I can off-the-top-of-my-head think of another professional athlete in any sport being able to flip the switch on or off from week to week, series to series, as the current starter at quarterback for the Browns.  To be able to flip between hot and cold -- with no happy medium -- is an ingrained trait that is impossible to teach.

-- The current starter at the quarterback position will get a head coach killed. The Browns head coach is willingly and obstinately sticking with his coach-killing QB. Therefore, I submit that Romeo A. Crennel is committing career suicide by continuing to stick with the unknown in favor of changing to the unknown.

-- Isn't this the EXACT reason, though, why 911 was invented in the first place, to prevent unnecessary harm to individuals and to report emergencies? GM, owner, it's time to pick up the phone and punch those three digits. I know you don't want to, and it would be embarrassing to have a red lights-blaring ambulance pull up in front of your Berea home, but it must be done. If you have any respect at all for the parties involved, you'll pick up that phone and dial now if your coach continues to hold the career knife to his throat and holds your franchise hostage.

-- If these first eight games don't tell Romeo A. Crennel that he needs to find out what he has in Brady Quinn, then nothing will. It's time for Phil Savage to step in and do what he loathes to do: tell Randy Lerner's head coach what to do with a significant position on his 45-man roster.

-- No, we don't know what Quinn would bring to the table. Of course not; how could we? But, it's patently obvious what one of the participants brings to the table: filet mignon one week, Spam and tater tots the next. Hell, you get the filet one series, then table scraps the next even within the confines of a single game.

-- The only thing consistent about DA is his inconsistent, up-and-down play. And you cannot win in the NFL with that pendulum under center. And, speaking of inconsistency…

-- My God, Braylon Edwards. Just WTF is wrong with you? No, seriously, WTF is wrong with you? There is no excuse even remotely plausible for that… that… damn man. You are wasting the physical gifts God's handed to you. Even if Anderson had been running stride for stride with you and placed the football squarely in your hands, he could not have put the football in a better spot.

-- BE is the yin to DA's yin, the yang to his yang. Their inconsistencies are perfectly unsuited for each other. BE takes away a potential DA INT and turns it into a touchdown. He then takes away a huge gain when he drops a perfectly thrown ball. When they are both on at the same time, there is not a deadlier combination in the game. When they ain't, they are an anchor to an offense.

-- There is a lot of vitriol being spewed in the general direction of Anderson, and rightfully so. However, it's about time for the harsh light of criticism to be focused on Edwards' up-and-down play.  Stop being a poser and start being the wide reciver your talent suggests you should be.  Not here and there, not one in every two or three or four games.  Every single game, show the fuck up.

-- Now, does this loss rest solely on the shoulders of DA and BE? Hell no. Not even close.  Take a bow, defense. How you shit your pants yet again versus a rookie QB handing off to a rookie RB is beyond me. You learned nothing from the first meeting. Nothing.

-- DA will be crucified for the pick six in a close game, and rightly so; but, much like Edwards, you did no favors for your team today.

-- Handed a 27-13 lead in the middle of the third, you commence to allowing a rookie QB to outscore you 24-0 for the last 22 or so minutes? Inexcusable. You can't control what happens on the other side of the football; you can, however, control getting gashed time after time on your side of the ball.

-- God help this team if it weren't for Josh Cribbs today. Speaking of which…

-- In my Pregame 12-Pack, I wrote the following:

"Earlier this week, a source close to Josh Cribbs told me that, somewhat slowly but surely, the return specialist/wide receiver is nearing 100% health. The high ankle sprain has slowed him down for the first half of the season, but the rate of recovery has increased its pace recently to the point where he should be at full strength for the stretch run in the coming weeks, if not sooner. As in today sooner."

-- Ahem…

-- TD return? Yep. Great coverage as a gunner on both the punt and kickoff coverage teams? Yep. Flipped field position as a punt returner? Yep. Yeah, I'm thinking he might be back.

-- As an aside, I'll be listed as questionable for this Thursday's game with a shoulder injury. A source close to me hinted that the injury was a direct result of "excessive back-patting". When reached via e-mail, I had no comment.

-- On the other hand, I also stated in the very same pregame story that Kellen Winslow had the potential to "go the f** off today". Box score says: Five catches for 64 yards. Not exactly going off, but, then again, he didn't have his quarterback in there.

-- Great job by Winslow taking the offensive pass interference instead of allowing the Rats a shot at an Anderception deep in the Browns' end late in the game.

-- I know some are questioning it, but I have no problem with Romeo A. Crennel declining the holding penalty early in the first quarter. Sure, it would've made for a longer field goal attempt, provided the Browns stopped the Rats on third down yet again. But there was no guarantee the Rats wouldn't have gotten back the ten yards plus additional yardage to make the field goal closer, let alone picking up the first down.

-- Same with the decision to go for the field goal late in the second quarter. No problem with that one, coach. Those were the right moves at the time.

-- However, Crennel once again proves that he has zero clock management skills. None. The end of the first half was an embarrassment. And it's a disturbing trend that shows no signs of an upward trend.  Massaging of the clock seems to be a foreign concept to the current head coach of the Browns.  God bless him, though, as he's a player's coach and his goodwill toward the players for six days more than makes up for the fact that he's in over his head the other day of the week.  I'm sure they don't care.  Winning's overrated anyway.

-- I talked to a caveman buddy of mine after the game, and here's one of the first things he had to say: "Alex Hall, gooooood; Willie McGinest, he was a baaad man. Today.  Need to keep getting that Hall kid playing time, though." Amen, brother. Amen.

-- Tremendous play by D'Qwell Jackson on third and less than a yard with just under 11 minutes left in the fourth. It's plays like that that keeps the thought of "what would he look like without Andra Davis lining up next to him?" going through my head.

-- If you tape or DVR the games, and have an hour or so to kill, watch Shaun Rogers on every defensive snap. Fast-forward through everything else, and just concentrate on Rogers. It is a thing of beauty, the level he's playing defense right now.

-- Rogers needs to be careful, though, as he's getting awfully close to the horse collar area on numerous occasions.

-- Have I mentioned lately that I really like the play of Brandon McDonald and Eric Wright, and am really excited about their future with the Browns.

-- And I shit you not, as I typed the period ending the above sentence, Mark Clayton was rolling into the end zone with ball firmly in hand. After beating McDonald, of course.

-- And then, of course, Derrick Mason made Wright look silly very early (very silly early?) in the fourth quarter on yet another TD catch. Ahhh yes, the vagaries of second-year cornerbacks in the NFL. I still stand by the original statement, though.

-- Savage's only saving grace when it comes to the Kamerion Wimbley pick? That's who his head coach wanted.

-- Jamal Lewis gives everything he has when he is on the football field. He is a tremendous presence and influence inside the locker room. However, it seems as though the low fuel light has come on. The Browns need to address the RB position in the off-season, even if it's just to plan for 2010.

-- This season, Dainty Stallworth has nearly as many games missed (5) as receptions (7). I'm no financial analyst, but that doesn't seem like a very good ROI. Fortunately, his contract is structured so that the Browns can get out from under it after one season with little or no damage to the cap.

-- Phil Freaking Dawson. Wow. Whatever fountain of youth you're drinking from, I want a 55-gallon drum. You're ridiculous.

-- The Slushing Cooters, my 5-3 fantasy football team, is getting its ass handed to them by the 1-7 2Drunk2EatChicken squad. The worst part? 2Drunk2EatChicken is owned and operated by my wife. Tell ya what, she beats me and rubs my face in the loss, she ain't getting' any for a good day or two. And you can etch THAT in stone.

-- Bengals 21, Jaguars 19. Way to piss all over that "huge" Browns win against Jacksonville last week, Cincitucky.

-- Would it be too much to ask for the Browns to become consistent winners, if for nothing more than not having to be subjected to the Rich Gannon's and Kevin Harlon's of the broadcasting world? And I don't even care to check if the surname of the play-by-play guy is correct; he doesn't care about putting on a quality broadcast, why should I care about getting his name right?

-- Romeo A. Crennel is to head coaching what Tony Eury Jr. is to crew chiefing. Or, Derek Anderson is to "oh golly shucks" what Carl Edwards is to "oh golly shucks". Just had to NASCAR this up a bit, with the "race" on in the background.

-- I'm nearly out of words now, Romeo A. Crennel. Do what you want. It's gotten you to 23-33 and no playoff appearances in three years going on four. I'm sure it'll be fine. Just keep doing what you're doing. It's working. It's all good.

-- The two biggest problems on this football team also happen to be at two of the three most crucial positions on a winning franchise. Until those are corrected, this organization is going nowhere.

-- When you succeed occasionally in spite of the inadequacies at the biggest positions, it's time to step back and take a look at what you've built.

-- Step back. Look. Act.

-- These fans deserve that much.

-- Whatever, though. Whatever. Continuity is good. I get it. Continuity's success has been beaten into my very DNA. It's worked for 56 games, it'll continue to work and get better from here on out. 

--You promise, right? It'll be better next week, right?  It'll be better the rest of this season, right? I know you don't like to smack me around.  That's just how you are. You just can't help yourself. But, next week will be different, right? Right?


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