Taylor's 'Tales From a Notebook'

While we ready ourselves for the usual ol' media freakout after game one of the regular season, John Taylor swims his own course. Which isn't a trite analogy, but should be. Anyway, something different for braver fans...

Writer's Note: For those looking to see an utter and complete meltdown from me, move on.  There's nothing to see here. 

-- The Browns scored an offensive touchdown.  Hurrah?  Or, better yet -- lemme clear my throat for this one -- hip, hip, hooray?

-- The Streak may have ended, but the ineptness continued.  Penalties, WTF play-calling, poor execution, dropped passes, poor throws, ole' right-side blocking.  An offensive cocktail that tasted just as awful going down last year as it did coming back up this year.

-- Ladies and gentlemen, the Brady Quinn Era, presented in Carthon-o-vision for your viewing pleasure.

-- If I'm the defense, I'm flinging eye daggers at every single member of the offense over what they did to me.  The offense took an outstanding performance by the defense and turned it into a unit being on the field way, way, way too long.  And that's a deadly recipe when the best back in football is pounding a tired defense.

-- I'm not giving up on Quinn, though.  Far, far from it actually.  This was his fourth NFL start.  If it was his 34th, or even 14th, I'd be concerned.  But he needs help -- post haste.  Needs help from his teammates and, especially, his coaching staff.  Let him throw the football down the field.  Or, impress upon him the need to throw the football down the field.

-- But, more importantly, he needs to help himself.  Stop holding onto the football too long, especially on those rare occasions when the right side of the line actually gives you time.  Trust your receivers, and let the chips fall.  That all translates into throw it on time and in rhythm.  Stop with the throwing late crap.  Trust them.  They will come around.  Eventually.

-- I'm not gonna say the way the QB competition was structured played into this performance, but I will say that how the QB competition played out did.  If one of the two had grabbed it early on, there's a fairly good chance we wouldn't have seen the total lack of rhythm and flow in the offense.  It was almost like the offense was sitting there saying, "OK, Brady's had one drive, time for DA, right?"  Again, this is on Quinn -- and Derek Anderson as well -- for not grabbing the job by the balls early on.

-- Enough about this offensive offensive crap, though.  For the moment.  How 'bout that defense!

-- Isn't it amazing what happens when you put pressure on a quarterback?  When you mix your personnel, very rarely ever going with the same look two or three plays in a row?  When you actually (gasp!) have different and varied -- and aggressive -- looks in your blitz packages?

-- Eric Mangini and Rob Ryan are putting their players in a position to make plays, not helping them to try not to lose.  Big, huge difference over the last four seasons.

-- I know, 180 yards -- 155 of them after the half -- by Adrian Peterson but dammit if I didn't see a defense that could actually stop the run.  Kinda, sorta.  I know the entire defensive picture wasn't pretty, but there were spots here and there on the painting that I would swear were positives, and didn't exist in the paint-by-number scrawings of past years.

-- I think Butch Davis would be proud of the first sentence in the above note.  I felt dirty in a "holy shit, that was your sister?" kinda way for typing it, but needed to anyway.

-- Much like this season is shaping up to be, this defensive effort, at least through roughly three quarters, was something to build on.

-- I'm sorry for digressing, but I just can't get past the fact that the Browns put some pressure on the QB.  What an amazing concept.  I'm floored.

-- On the flip side, the play-calling was... how can I say this... unevenly atrocious.  To wit... I understand this formation is still somewhat new, but I want someone to point out exactly where in the "Wildcat Rule Book" it states you should run it twice inside the five yard line.  Go ahead.  Take your time.  I'll wait.

-- In other words, it seemed they were playing not to lose instead of putting your players in a position to win.  The offense needs to channel the defense's philosophy in the worst way.  As opposed to playing offensive football in the worst way.

-- I'll hold off on jumping off a bridge, though, as we are just one game into the Brian Daboll Era.

-- Damn, though.  That was bad y'all.

-- Thank the Good Lord Above for Kent State University.  Without Josh Cribbs and Abe Elam, this game never would've been as close as it was.

-- I guess now people understand why the Browns tried to sign Elam as a restricted free agent, then insisted he be included in the blockbuster draft-day deal with the Jets.

-- As for Cribbs, just do right by him already.  It'll be the safest money you ever spent.

-- You couldn't have watched this game without coming to the realization that the right side of the offensive line misses Ryan Tucker's performance when he's healthy. That side of the OL was abysmal from the first through the fourth.

-- Save your whining and crying about the reversal of Braylon Edwards' touchdown.  It was the right call.  Edwards never reestablished both feet inbounds before touching -- TOUCHING -- the pass.  It may suck, but it wasn't wrong.

-- What was wrong was the offense's inability to punch it in from the six after the review.  No excuse for that.

-- Speaking of Edwards, to me he looked completely disinterested and walks around like somebody took away his favorite shiny toy.  I don't know who was at fault for the interception in the third, but Edwards seemed to not give a damn either way.

-- Can we just officially change Shaun Rogers' nickname to "Big Beasty" and get it over with?

-- Brian Billick and high-definition television.  The worst combination since beer and fat chicks at 2 a.m. were invented.

-- Do you think the person who hit "publish" on the official site's Quinn-to-start story this morning felt a tad bit sheepish as he/she did it?  I wonder if he/she was the one responsible for the Shaun Rogers-is-a-big man expose' a few days ago.

-- Who's this tight end, Royal Roberts, the Browns picked up?  I didn't see his name come across the transaction wire.

-- Dish Network's RedZone: Greatest.  Channel.  Ever.  With the exception of a trip to Tijuana back in the late 80's, it's the best six bucks I've ever spent.

-- All in all, I'm neither happy nor pissed over the season opener.  Rather, still intrigued by what kind of team this will be in Week Ten, Week Eleven.  And not all that concerned about how they looked in Week One.  Yet.

-- Once again, say it with me: Week One.

-- For now, that is all...


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