Taylor's Pregame 12-Pack

After watching Derek Anderson, many Browns fans wanted to see more consistency. Turns out, of course, they've got it. For four years. John Taylor explains as he cranks open another can't-miss 12 Pack

Thoughts, notes, questions, suggestions and random snottiness as the Cleveland Browns continue to amble aimlessly toward the end of the 2008 season with a beatdown-in-waiting versus the Tennessee Titans.

  • I'm gonna be upfront and honest: I'm really struggling to come up with a pregame story. After the events of the last month or two, what happens on the field no longer matters; the most critical and crucial question marks and potential moves enveloping this organization are currently transpiring off the field.

  • Is there really a point of doing this pregame 12-pack anymore this year? I'm being serious here, not lazy. There's nothing to play for, nothing to get jacked about on game day, nothing to look forward to but the draft and free agency and – at bare minimum – a change on the sidelines. Future assistant coach-in-waiting Ken Dorsey is finishing out the string at quarterback for the love of God, Allah, Buddha or whatever other name you attach to your deity of choice.

  • Three weeks ago, following the benching of Derek Anderson, the season turned into "find out what they have in Brady Quinn". One week ago, the season turned into "let's see if they can boost DA's trade value over the next five games". Now? 2008 has devolved into a bad remake of that 2000 horror flick "Hell on a Runaway Train", with Ken Dorsey playing the role of Doug Pederson and Josh Cribbs expected to reprise the character created by Dennis Northcutt. It's believed Romeo Crennel will be tapped for the lead made famous by legendary character actor Chris Palmer in the first installment of the straight-to-DVD series.

  • Not to give away the ending or anything, but the head coach was fired at the end of that 2000 cinematic disgrace. I think the directors of the sequel are pretty much gonna stay true to the premise of the original and follow the same script verbatim.

  • Seeing as how Jamal Lewis has suddenly hit the athletic equivalent of the Hollywood female-over-40 wall, it would make sense to see if possibly, maybe, Jerome Harrison could be the answer as a feature back. Seeing as how Willie McGinest hit the very same wall two years ago, it would make sense to see what Alex Hall can bring to the table with a majority of the defensive snaps. Seeing as how Andra Davis was never good looking enough to hit any kind of wall, it would make sense to see what Beau Bell has to offer. Seeing as how Kellen Winslow made waves in the offseason about wanting a new contract, and has since been publically thrown under the bus by his general manager, it would make sense to see if Martin Rucker might be a viable option for 2009 and beyond.

  • Seeing as how Crennel is still roaming the sidelines and in charge of the 45-man roster, though, all sense – common or uncommon or "WTF???" – has gone the way of VCRs and walkmans when talking about using the last four games as a training camp/exhibition slate.

  • This may not be a popular sentiment, but I truly feel for Randy Lerner. He's in the very same boat – OK, he's sunning on the lido deck while we're Jack Dawson down a few levels lower surrounded by dregs and rabble and steam engines – as every other Browns fan. He wants his beloved franchise to win, and win on a consistent basis. He's tired of watching the team he grew up loving and rooting for become a sad-sack laughingstock yet again. Plus, he has the added onus of being responsible for achieving that very goal. He has one shot, one opportunity, to begin to wash away the suck that has sullied the last ten years of this storied franchise. Just hope and pray that he doesn't spew mom's spaghetti all over his sweater.

  • Count me among those thanking the Good Lord Above that the Browns aren't facing an 11-1 team – one which possesses one of the best defenses in the National Football League – on the road given the hand they've been dealt at the quarterback position. What's that? They are? Shit. Never mind.

  • In 2005, PLACEKICKER Phil Dawson was arguably the club's most valuable offensive player. In 2008, PLACEKICKER Phil Dawson is arguably the club's most valuable offensive player. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you your 2008 Cleveland Browns! The motto on the door? "Continuity & Progress: Buzzwords That Ring Hollow Given How the Last Four Years Have Gone Rock Hard And Rock Long!!!" And, speaking of those nausea-inducing buzzwords…

  • Entering the 14th week of the 2005 NFL season – the first year of the Savage/Crennel regime – the Browns stood at 4-8 overall, and 0-3 versus the AFC North. Entering the 14th week of the 2008 NFL season – the fourth year of the Savage/Crennel regime – the Browns stand at 4-8 overall, and 1-3 versus the AFC North. As if that's not depressing enough, here's a look at the major statistical categories for how the Browns ended the 2005 season as compared to where the club stands right now:

    2005 2008
    Total Defense/Rank 316.8/16th 356.8/27th
    Pass Defense/Rank 179.2/4th 215.5/17th
    Run Defense/Rank 137.6/30th 141.2/26th
    Scoring Defense/Rank 18.8/11th 20.6/9th
    Total Offense/Rank 284.4/26th 275.2/27th
    Pass Offense/Rank 190.4/23 169.8/29th
    Run Offense/Rank 93.9/25th 105.5/23rd
    Scoring Offense/Rank 14.5/32nd 17.8/27th

  • According to Dictionary.com, the word "progress" is a noun that means "a movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage". Now, I've never claimed to be one of them there rocket surgeons, but the above definition not only doesn't pass the sniff test given what's happened the last three years, it has me ready to go Mumbai just thinking about someone in Berea trotting out the word "continuity" yet again.

  • I could care less about reasons that are not-so-cleverly masked as excuses used to explain away the myriad issues going on within this organization. I'm in full Bill Belichick mode right now. I can only go by what I see. And what I see is an organization that has made zero progress in the last 970 or so days. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. And if that doesn't scream for trashing this continuity BS, I don't know what would.

LAST CALL: Titans 23, Browns 20. That was the final score of the Browns loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on December 11, 2005, a loss that dropped them to 4-9 on the season. It would be very poetic and symbiotic for today to turn out the same exact way.

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