Taylor's Pregame 12-Pack

Was there any news this week? Could it somehow effect the Cleveland Browns? These sort so deep questions can only be answered with the help of a 12-pack...

Thoughts, notes, questions, suggestions and random snottiness as the Cleveland Browns head to the chopping block prepare to face the Buffalo Bills.

  • What's this about a trade or something this week?  I think I remember hearing about it.  Listen, this was a move that was a long time in the making.  Early on in the Mangini tenure, the new regime was impressed with the attitude and work ethic Braylon Edwards displayed.  However, the impression slowly began to turn sour as the staff saw how lackadaisical the receiver was as far as running routes and being a professional receiver in all aspects of the game.  As one source said late this week, it had gotten to the point where "it was a matter of when, not if" Edwards was going to be dealt.



  • What Mangini showed with the trade was that, right or wrong, no individual player is above the team and you must – must – do your job and do your job the right way.  No half-steppin' or getting by on your talent alone will be allowed, and such a tack is simply not acceptable to this coaching staff.  It simply won't be tolerated.  It was a resounding message delivered by the coach that clearly came through to the few players I was able to speak to this week.



  • Clearly, the onus is now on the receivers left in Braylon's wake.  Chansi Stuckey, obtained in the Edwards trade, is a very solid No. 2 receiver, but he's just that: a solid No. 2.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Mohamed Massaquoi has shown glimpses and hints that he could be a No. 1, but he's not remotely to that level just yet.  Mike Furrey will continue to be his usual slot self, and Josh Cribbs is… well… he's the best special teams player in the NFL.  None of these receivers will strike fear in the hearts of opposing defenses, but the sum of their parts has the potential to be much greater than the individual pieces.  And they'd better be, because there's no doubt that Mangini put his ass on the line with this trade.



  • Brian Robiskie, did you hear that?  It's your future calling.  You might want to pick it up, both literally and figuratively.



  • Lane Adkins and I were talking on the phone Thursday – oh yeah, I can name drop.  Take that, Peter King – and I asked him who he thought needed a win more, the team or the fans.  Lane's answer was the latter.  And I couldn't agree more.  I think this team is slowly, as in glacially, beginning to buy into what Eric Mangini is trying to sell; the fans?  Not so much.  The coach, the team, needs to get the fans back on their side.  And the only way they're going to do that is by winning. 

  • On the flip side, if the Browns were to get blown out and up today by a very bad and dysfunctional Bills team?  "I see dead people" comes to mind.  The pitchforks and torches would come out in full force as there would be a very good chance that the Browns could enter the bye week with a big doughnut on the win side of the ledger.  It may sound trite to say, but I'll say it anyway: this is the biggest game of the Mangini Era.  This team absolutely, positively needs a win in the worst way.  There's no better time than the present; looking at the schedule, there is no better time than the present.



  • I am absolutely fascinated by the prospect of which Derek Anderson will show up.  I know there were a lot of people who weren't impressed by his performance last week, but I wasn't one of them.  If the DA that showed up against Cincinnati can become the norm, rather than the exception, this football team can win some games, will win some games.  That's the thing, though.  Based on his track record, you simply don't know which DA will make an appearance.  For Mangini's sake, he'd better hope the Good DA takes up residence in the huddle.



  • More generally, which Browns team will show up against the Bills?  The one from last week and the first half of the season opener, or the one from the other two and a half games?  For me, I don't have a freaking clue.  I think they are closer to the team last week than the one that showed up – or failed to show up, as the case may be – against Baltimore.  The Bengals game could be a turning point, but that's something we won't know until several weeks have passed by.



  • So, a padless James Davis suffers a season-ending injury in a drill against a padded linebacker?  Really?  The thing is, it really didn't come as a surprise.  You could tell me that Joe Thomas tore his ACL in a shaving accident and I wouldn't bat an eye.  Anything that can happen to this team will happen.  I'd call it "snake-bitten", but that'd give the word snake-bitten a bad name.  I'm just numb to it all by now.



  • I have been on the Eric Berry bandwagon for a very long time.  If there is ever going to be another Ed Reed, the Tennessee Volunteer safety is it.  However, after watching Ndamukong Suh‘s performance Thursday night – and knowing that it's the furthest thing from a one-game wonder you could possibly find – how could any team possibly pass on the Nebraska lineman if he were available when you were on the clock?  As big of a Berry honk as I am, I don't know if I could.



  • How f'ing sad is it, incidentally, that I am discussing the 2010 NFL draft in a pregame article when the calendar has barely turned to the month of October?  Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Cleveland Browns!!!



  • There is no reason to not win this game.  None.  No pressure, though.  None.


LAST CALL: Browns 27, Bills 24. 

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