Taylor's Tales From A Notebook

During catastrophic events, it's said that many victims feel time slow down. They may even have moments of startling lucidity and clarity. That, perhaps, is what has happened to John Taylor, who is experiencing the Titanic disaster of football seasons and suddenly, mysteriously, realized that his give-a-damn isn't nearly as busted as he once thought...

--On December 18, 2005, the Cleveland Browns beat the Oakland Raiders, 9-7, as they improved to 5-9 in the first year of the Phil Savage/Romeo Crennel era. On December 16, 2008, the Cleveland Browns lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, 30-10, as they fell to 4-10 in the fourth year of the Phil Savage/Romeo Crennel era.

--"There are lies, damn lies, and unmitigated facts" I think Aristotle said way back in the late 1800's.

--Earlier this year, in one of these here postgame notebooks, I wrote something along the lines of my give-a-damn for Browns football was busted. For some reason, my mind wandered and drifted back to that thought throughout the game tonight. And I came to the conclusion that this is not the case. Call it hyperbole or beerbole or whatever, but that's simply not what's going on in my mind now or even then.

--My give-a-damn for Browns football is not busted; no, rather, my give-a-damn for how the Browns are currently constructed is indeed busted and shattered into a million forlorn and wistful pieces.

--Continuity be damned, changes need to be made and, more importantly, are warranted and necessary. If you are the owner of a luxury liner, and your captain has somehow failed to steer clear of an iceberg on three of his four most recent trips, wouldn't you change both your captain and your course before the start of the fifth voyage?

--Regardless of how many changes have been made in the past, and how many wrong decisions on change have been made, don't allow it to preclude you from doing the obvious when said obvious is slapping you right upside the head with a 4x4 that's fast becoming an apathetic piece of lumber. Don't get scared, don't get yellow, when it comes to change based on the past history. People who care passionately about this team have the chance to do something to begin to turn this embarrassment around.  And they desperately need to do it.

--I feel bad about what's going to happen to Romeo A. Crennel, the man. I don't feel bad for what's going to happen to Romeo A. Crennel, the NFL head coach. And respected beat writers-turned-columnists need to start differentiating between the two before they lose all the immense credibility they've built.

--Opposing defenses and special teams have more touchdowns – two – than the Cleveland offense has – zero – over the past 17 quarters of football. The Browns' own defense has more TDs – one – than the offense has during that same period of time. Four games and 255 minutes of football. That's the longest scoring drought in the history of this once-storied franchise, a franchise that has seen the likes of Todd Philcox, Doug Pederson and Spergon Wynn under center. This has truly been a season for the ages.

--24-38. 5-17. 0-7. Those numbers don't lie, and are an indictment – top to bottom – of this organization over the last four seasons.

--I think Plato's famous "lies, damn lies and statistics" quote was just disproven by the above numbers. Take that, you uppity piece of French trash.

--Is there any way to get a consistent, constant pass rush before passing final judgment on two very young and talented corners? Why waste valuable cap space and/or draft picks on their replacements when you have kids out alone on an island even when they are playing a soft zone? Concentrate on the front seven in the offseason, and go from there with your evaluation of the secondary once those in front of them are revamped and improved.

--Congratulations to Phil Dawson for setting the Browns' single-season record for field goals made. Unfortunately, he's a lone, trusty musket in an NFL landscape littered with offensive tactical weapons.

--The season's over, and Braylon Edwards catches everything he gets his hands on. There's some kind of poetic justice in that. I hate poetry, so that makes it even more poetic in my eyes.

--Very athletic interception by Sean Jones in the second quarter. There's something there – kinda like D'Qwell Jackson – that screams of a more productive player buried beneath the rubble of this 2008 season. I just hope that Jones can get healthy this offseason, the Browns can keep him from hitting free agency, and the new head coach can tap the tremendous amount of God-given ability still unrealized.

--Our very own esteemed Lane Adkins was absolutely correct: The 2008 model of Joe Thomas is a downgrade from the 2007 version. Not a serious downgrade, mind you. But this year's model doesn't seem to be equipped with power windows, and it seems the CD player has been replaced by a cassette deck. It's still a good, tough, reliable vehicle, but all the bells and whistles have seemed to revert back to the factory, no-frill package.

--What, Martin Rucker couldn't have dropped that sure touchdown pass in the same inefficient and clumsy manner as Darnell Dinkins? Way to go down with experienced oarsmen on that sinking ship, Captain Crennel.

--Given how Phil Savage has publicly thrown you under the bus of late, though, I'll give you a pass on Rucker. In a related note, I thought making Beau Bell inactive yet again was a particularly nice flip-of-the-middle-finger touch as well.

--Donovan McNabb laughs on the sidelines as the Browns call a timeout with 1:54 left in the game and down by twenty points. A quarterback who doesn't even know the overtime rules, and he's chuckling at the use of a timeout in an unwinnable game. Yeah, this head coach is not a disgrace and an embarrassment and a joke to the rest of the professional football world.

--Last week, Romeo A. Crennel called a timeout with 1:53 left in the game, his team down by 19, and the opposition six yards away from a score. And yet people still state a very vehement case for retaining his services.  Why?

--I feel for Shaun Rogers, Josh Cribbs and Dawson. All are Pro Bowl worthy, and it's a shame this shamble of a season will likely result in at least two missing out on a deserved Honolulu trip.

--The Browns were within a touchdown of covering the spread. That's good, right? It is? Yahoo, the Browns rock!!!

--If the Browns cannot pry Bill Cowher out of retirement, or lose him to another team, I want Steve Spagnuolo as the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns. And I want Scott Pioli to come with him. That's my answer for what ails this team. Tell me how either of those options are not correct or right.

--Chris Berman, starting ESPN's Monday Night Countdown: "Thrust into the starting role, Ken Dorsey, pinpoint-passing Cleveland Brown quarterback…" Exsqueeze me? Baking powder? Personally, if they were just going to out-and-out lie in the opening, I would've gone with "…Ken Dorsey, thunder-armed, offensive-scoring-machine Cleveland Browns quarterback who threw for 972 yards and 11 touchdowns in his only previous Monday Night Football appearance…". But that's just me.

--I don't care if what he says about the Browns being a dysfunctional organization is close to the truth or not, but the sight of Trent Dilfer on ESPN nauseates me. So much so that I actually nauseated at one point.

--And THEN you team him with Trey Wingo???  Talk about getting bent over and not even having the common courtesy of a reach-around...

--The Browns currently own the seventh pick in the 2009 NFL draft. That's good, right? It is? Yahoo, the Browns rock!!!

--I'm with Phil Collins and singing right along with him. Until there is a change on the sidelines, a change in the direction of this organization, I just simply don't care anymore about this team for the three hours they take the field for what's left of 2008. No more. No more.

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