Taylor's 'Tales From a Notebook'

There will be lots of columns about tonight's game, but only one that hones in on the truth as quickly and honestly as John Taylor does. As usual. If you read only one post-game analysis, this is the one.

-- "Yeah, but it's the Lions."  I don't even want to hear that.  Get that noise away from my general vicinity.  This team needed a performance like this in the worst way, if for nothing more than a little shot of confidence.

-- Then again, though, it was the Lions, so I see y'all's point.

-- Ladies & gentleman, now you know exactly why the Browns have not pulled the trigger on naming a starting quarterback.  Derek Anderson was out-freaking-standing in all facets of the game - for the most part.  That was the quintessential "Good DA" rearing his pretty head.

-- Unfortunately, that simply cannot be counted on week-in and week-out, which is part and parcel of why they are in the QB "predicament" they are in right now.  Of course, DA went out and demonstrated his inconsistency as he strong-armed a short throw late in the first half that led directly to a field goal.

-- But let's not make too much of the DA pick.  Yeah, it was a sh-tty throw, but it was really one of only two sh-tty throws -- he'd like to have that sideline pass to Braylon Edwards back -- he made in his little over a quarter's worth of play.  Of course, that's DA's MO: beguile you for 59 minutes, then, suddenly, rip your heart out and shove it down his own throat at some point in time.

-- As far as Brady Quinn is concerned... well, he didn't exactly poop himself.  That's about all you can say about the third-year player's time on the field.  It just seemed so disjointed, so discombobulated when he was in there that it was hard to get a good read.  Yeah, there were mitigating factors -- the two penalties on John St. Clair being the most damaging and the "quirky" play calling -- but, still.  I expected a much better effort, especially being at home and having the starting job well within his reach.

-- Here's the bottom line, at least as far as this week is concerned: DA put points on the board, Quinn didn't.  End of story.

-- So, if we were to keep score at home, and pretending this is how Mangini is doing it as well --- he's not -- it's Quinn 1, DA 1 after two fake games.  DA was far more impressive in his "win" than Quinn was in his, so, if there were a slight gap between the two -- which I think there was -- then Anderson may have closed the gap.

-- It's always a key indicator who starts in the third game of the preseason.  That's never been more the case than with the Browns in general and as it relates to the QB position specifically.  This is going to be a very interesting and intense week of practices.

-- Before I forget, kudos to the offensive line -- apart from St. Clair -- in the "meat" portion of the game.  Outstanding work, for the most part.  Same could be said for the front seven on defense.  Again, for the most part.  In particular, it seems as though Kamerion Wimbley and Alex Hall are taking a shining to the Mangini/Rob Ryan defensive system.

-- Then again, it was the Lions they were up against.

-- Alright, let's just end it right here and right now.  Give Josh Cribbs his new deal.  Just do it.  He's too important to this team to have "unhappy" or "disgruntled" or however you want to label his angst over the state of his current contract festering into the regular season.  It's not just about his performance tonight either, although that was real and it was spectacular.  It's the totality of his resume' that just screams do right by the man.

-- That James Davis, I think he might have a future in Cleveland and the NFL.  And I know I've heard that somewhere before...

-- By the way, I wrote the above before his 81-yard touchdown jaunt.  That was mere icing on the running back's cake.

-- You're going to throw a flag on Eric Wright's "graceful" bow toward the Dawg Pound, yet you swallow the laundry when Anderson is hit by two Lions as he slid on a scramble? 

-- Speaking of Wright, did he workout with Deion Sanders this offseason?  That post-pick run was positively Deion-esque.

-- A flag on a big return by Cribbs?  Just like old times.  It's almost like they never left.

-- I don't know why anyone would be surprised by this offensive explosion.  Anyone who saw my Pregame Six-Pack and read the prediction would have been forewarned.

-- Yeah, I know.  The whole blind squirrel thing...

-- I'd bet a pretty good chunk of change that, if you were to do the genealogy on Brett Ratliff's roots, his family tree would run headfirst into Ken Dorsey's at some point along the way.

-- OK, I'm officially concerned about Shaun Rogers.  Not only did the nose tackle miss his second consecutive preseason game, there are also rumblings out there that contain two words no one wants to hear as it relates to Rogers: "sur" and "gery".  Now, before anyone runs out and starts yelling that the OBR is reporting that Rogers will have to undergo some type of medical procedure, stop.  That's not the case.  Just rumblings.  Unconfirmed rumblings.

-- Based on past history, and the lack of comprehension skills of some who view these words, I'm thinking the above is gonna come back and bite me in the ass.

-- I really wish Sam Rutigliano would stop beating around the bush and actually make his feelings known about the quarterback situation in Cleveland.  It's hard to watch him hem and haw around, searching for who he would prefer.

-- All in all, it was a solid showing for the Browns in all three phases of the game, and that's something the psyche of this club needed.  It's something to build on, which is what I believe Mangini & Company were looking for coming into the contest.

-- Then again, it was against the Lions...

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