Taylor's Tales From A Notebook

Question marks? After that win? Why? You'd think a MNF victory would be enough to soothe the angst John Taylor has been feeling of late. You'd think the 'W' is the bottom line. You'd be wrong. So, why is a win not exactly a win? Read on...

-- This should be a triumphant piece of writing. This should be a feel-good piece of schmaltz worthy of the best a NE Ohio newspaper has to offer. It really should. There should be trumpets blaring, fine wine flowing freely out of whatever kind of keg fine wine flows out of, and half-nekkid nubile women fornicating in the streets. The Browns won. It was Monday Night Football. Browns win. Brady Quinn gets his first game-winning drive. But, I just ain't feelin' it right now.

-- I have come to both praise the Cleveland Browns' 53-man roster and bury Romeo A. Crennel, all in one fell swoop.

-- What's that? The Browns just won an exciting and scintillating football game. And there are half-nekkid women – or webmasters, depending on the thread you happened to wander into – and trumpets and kegged wine and merriment all around. How could you be even thinking about…

-- Fire Romeo A. Crennel the minute the gun sounds on the end of the 2008 season. And, oh yeah, I started a postgame article following a win with the above.

-- Mismanaging in-game decisions early in the season. Obstinately refusing to switch QBs at the quarter pole of the season when it screamed to everybody but former caretaker quarterbacks on ESPN's grand stage that it was at least three weeks too late. Obstinately refusing in the beginning, quarter pole and middle of the season to give more touches to a RB who has done nothing but produce when given the scant opportunities. Romeo A. Crennel has taken a 7-3 team and almost single-handedly turned it into a 4-6 also-ran that's hanging its season on possibly, maybe, getting somewhere close to the .500 mark at the end of a 16-game slate.

-- And that's just this season. Should we dredge up his career record both overall and, most importantly, in the AFC North? It's an embarrassment to the entire organization, the way this season has played out.

-- I'm absolutely pissed off that this is yet another season that's been wasted due to dereliction of head-coaching duty, pissed off that the talent on this team will continue to be wasted into '09 if the man on the sidelines remains there for more than these next six games.

-- Lane is Lucifer; I'm the Anti-Christ.

-- Why is it that the Bills can bring the house – successfully – against a second-year quarterback, and yet the Browns can't bring the house – at all, all game – against a second-year quarterback? Scheme like pusses, play like pusses. I think Paul Brown or somebody from the Steelers said that at one point in time. Or I'm just making shit up. One of the two.

-- -- There has not been a bigger proponent or fan of Jamal Lewis than myself since he came to Cleveland in free agency last year. His fire and his passion and his professionalism are invaluable in the locker room. His play on the field in 2007 was a key part of the ten-win season. This year? What he does on the field is holding this team back. In 2007, Lewis was the punch-drunk boxer who could still tell you what round he was in as he was pummeling his opponent. In 2008? He's the punch-drunk boxer who can't even remember that he's in a fight let alone a specific round. Which leads us to…

-- Jerome Harrison. I have no idea whether he's an every-down back in the NFL or not; what I do know is, after damned-near three fucking years, he deserves more opportunities to show whether or not he can be just that. And the Browns need to figure out whether or not they have the heir apparent on the roster or need to address a critical position in the offseason.

-- Three picks in the first quarter, and we get six points? Bad offense. Bad, bad, bad offense. That damn-near cost them a win. The slow-developing reverse with Dainty Stallworth in the first inside the red zone was a horrid call, but it got pushed to the side by the quick-hit handoff to Josh Cribbs that resulted in a touchdown. Still doesn't make the former a good call, though.

-- Brady Quinn impressed me more this week than he did last week. Novel concept, but the Bills' masterminds decided to throw everything and the Kawika sink at a young quarterback. And yet, he barely flinched.

-- Quinn's pocket presence might be the most impressive part of his young game. Go back and watch the tape of this game. I'm doing it now. Quinn working in the pocket is rather enlightening, and quite a difference from what's been there the last ten years at the position. The Kawika sink? He generally scoffed in that tactical direction.

-- Zero turnovers in two games. 30 and 29 points. 1-1 record. If I were the Browns, I'd take that start. And ask my head coach why it didn't happen earlier.

-- This team needs to find some way to put consistent pressure on the QB. This team needs to find some way to consistently tackle the ball carrier. See a theme here? If you're sticking with the 3-4, these LBs need to do something. OR THE SCHEME NEEDS TO CHANGE. OR THE HC IN CHARGE OF THIS SCHEME NEEDS TO CHANGE.

-- Sorry for yelling. Forgot where the Caps Lock button was there for a second…

-- And the tackling. Again. Can the Browns concentrate on acquiring players who do not have any French DNA in them? It's politically correct to be mean to the guy carrying the ball. Really it is. You don't need to be nice and accommodating and allow people to run all over your territory.

-- Braylon Edwards taketh away… and he giveth… and he taketh away… and he taketh away… and he's one of the most physically gifted receivers in the NFL, with the exception of two important areas: his head and his hands. Now that DA has taken his proper place in the hierarchy. Edwards has officially become the most maddening player on the roster.

-- Andra Davis, Kamerion Wimbley AND Willie McGinest making huge plays in the first quarter. Whoever hit that Vegas trifecta is retiring early.

-- And little did we know that Romeo A. Crennel's suggestion that they'd move Wimbley around to help his production would include playing him as a nickel corner. That's sheer genius, right there. I smell a trend…

-- I'm in the middle of writing/formatting this piece, and I'm still struggling with dealing with a win. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Romeo A. Crennel Era!!!

-- Phil Dawson. Shouldn't he legally change his name to "Phil Friggin' Dawson" right about now? My god, man. "You are a machine" doesn't begin to do you justice.

-- I understand I don't know as much about football as the Browns' coaching staff, but I'm quite certain that The Ghost could matador Kawika Mitchell as well as Jason Wright did. But that's just me. I'm just a humble caveman, scared of the fire you call The Ghost's ass on the bench.

-- I've run out of superlatives for Shaun Rogers. I've got nothing. He is to the defense what Josh Cribbs is to special teams. Except Cribbs doesn't get held – arbitrary number alert! – 90% of the time.

-- Who's more irritating, Trey Wingo The Name, or Trey Wingo The Broadcaster? Too close to call in my book. I say shoot ‘em both just to be on the safe side.

-- Random thought: if Mike Singletary dropped trou to illustrate his team getting its ass kicked, what would he do to illustrate his team getting screwed by the refs? Just curious, I guess.

-- Is it just me, or is Woody Paige beginning to sound a helluva lot like Lou Holtz?

-- Hey, Brodney Pool, have you ever even met Kellen Winslow?

-- Speaking of the tight end, his wife is… ummm… how do you say it… easy on the eyes. Is that the correct vernacular? Good lord.

-- Speaking of hot chicks, when the weather turns cold enough for the cheerleaders to be clad in snowmobile suits, isn't it time to pack ‘em away for the year? Honestly, the only purpose they serve for three hours each week is buried beneath layers of clothing.

-- I can't stand Tony Kornheiser on MNF, but rack the hell out of him for calling out the talking-head ex-QBs – yeah, he was talking about you Trent Dilfer – for blasting the decision to move from Anderson to Quinn.

-- Anybody else besides me want to punch Marshawn Lynch right in his gold-plated grill?

-- And, to the chagrin of some, yes, I still love those Coors Light commercials. They never don't make me LOL.

-- Bottom line for this game? Great win, provided it doesn't keep the owner from doing what he needs to do for the long-term benefit of the franchise.

-- And that's sad.

-- Fire Romeo A. Crennel.

-- And that's not sad.



The OBR Top Stories