Taylor's Tales From A Notebook

Of course, you wondered what the Taylorian reaction to a close overtime loss would be. Would our Notebook wrangler be pleased? Distressed? Prone to adult language? All of the above? The mystery ends with a single click...

-- Well, that was a kick in the 'nads.  With steel-toed boots.  And some old-school toddler shoes kicking in a shot or two as well.

-- They say that a tie is like kissing your sister.  Would losing with four seconds left in overtime to a divisional rival be akin to getting tongue-kissed by your 70-year-old aunt, then golden showered by her third husband?

-- Absolutely, positively, this team needed a win in the worst way.  But, a close second to that seemingly unattainable scenario would be the performance they put on the field this afternoon.  To quote the great football philosopher E Pluribus Butchum, that team played their guts out right there.  Unfortunately, there was a teeny tiny margin for error that they broke.

-- There were no Hands of Stone "no mas"  give-up from this team today.  None.  Instead, we were treated to Mo Mass getting his playing-time hymen busted like it was prom night. 

-- I want to be pissed that the Browns lost a game they shouldn't have won, then should've won.  I want to rant and rave and throw copious amounts of feces against the 'Net wall.  But I just can't.  This was a helluva performance against a good Cincinnati Bengals team.

-- Normally I would shred anyone that came up with a moral victory argument following 75 minutes of football that resulted in a loss.  But, again, I can't.  That was a football team on my TV screen between 1 o'clock and 5 o'clock on a Sunday afternoon.  I'm not gonna look a gift horse in the mouth.  Even as said horse kicked me in the teeth at the end.

-- Mohammed Massaquoi.  Shaun RogersBrodney PoolJerome Harrison.  And, yes, the esteemed Derek Anderson.  All five were integral in the near-win.  Interesting that four of the five are holdovers from the previous regime.

-- Allow me to go in reverse order for the above players...

-- There is no doubt about it.  DA is exactly what this team needs at the QB position at this point in time.  Yes, there were Bad DA moments -- the goal-line pick had my wife ready to put a fist through the flat screen.  Thank God I'm slightly stronger than she is.

-- But he was damn good, for the most part, for five quarters.  He was the spark this offense needed.  Whether this spark will result in a raging offensive inferno from here on out is debatable, but there's no debating that the Good DA we saw for most of the day is a very good thing for this offense.

-- Jamal Lewis, call Jerome Bettis and figure out how to handle getting Willie Parker'd.  Harrison needs as many touches as this offensive scheme will allow.  There is no doubt that this offense takes on a different feel when The Ghost gets the ball in his hands, and gets the ball in his hands more than the pity touches he's gotten during his time in Cleveland.  This kid can indeed be a feature back in the NFL, and he showed last week and today exactly that. 

-- Brodney Pool, you are a madman.  That time, when you broke up that pass?  And then you broke up that other pass?  And that tackle?  And when you stole that cow?  I wanna party with you, cowboy.

-- Two blocked kicks in a game.  Plugging the middle as a 3-4 NT even as he would be an ungodly 4-3 DT.  Having played in Detroit first, then Cleveland second.  Shaun Rogers, I salute you.

-- And then we have Mo Mass...

-- Ladies and gentlemen, your new No. 2 wide receiver.  With a bullet. 

-- Mike Furrey's new nickname?  "WhiteTime", in a nod to Neon Deion's both-way ability back in the day.  In one half of defensive backfield duty, the third receiver on offense has already had more passes defensed than Hank Poteat did in three games.  (I don't know if that last sentence is statistically correct, but it should be.)

-- If the Browns gave out helmet stickers, they should allow the defense to shake the helmet sticker tree and scoop up nearly every single one that fell to the ground.  You hold Carson Palmer & Company without a first down for nearly three quarters?  The plaudits in the aftermath of a loss should be flooding in.

-- Once again, I'd like to bitch and moan.  But the way this team grabbed its collective balls today does not allow me to take that tack.  Is this the start of the team finally beginning to buy into what Mangini is selling?  No one can say for certain right now, but this could be the game where, at the end of the season, everyone points back to and says yeah, that's when they got it.

-- Or, for those of the glass half-empty mindset, it'd be the high point.

-- Four games in, with zero wins on the board, I have no idea what to make of Mangini's grand master plan.  I'll say that it has me intrigued, though.  And it has me wondering -- in a positive way -- what the future may hold.

-- This team needed this performance.  After the way the first three games shook themselves out, it's something to build on.  Finally.

-- Hope?  Maybe a gleam of it.  Maybe a gleam.


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