Taylor's Pregame 12-Pack

Like you, he has dragged himself through seven games of pain. Like you, he has developed a somewhat downbeat perspective of the Browns season. Now find out what one man can do with a web column and a twelve pack...

Thoughts, notes, questions, suggestions and random snottiness as the Cleveland Browns prepare to get their asses handed to them by prepare to face the Chicago Bears.

  • Looking back over my game-by-game predictions made prior to the start of the season, I had the Browns sitting at 3-4 at this point in time, further proof that I am the perhaps the biggest idiot on the face of Planet Earth.  It's not that I thought the Browns would be world beaters; hell no, just thought they'd be competitive and be able to sneak a win or two during the brutal portion of the early-season slate.  Which, once again, further cements the fact that I might be the biggest idiot on the face of Planet Earth.

  • If Derek Anderson continues his opposite-of-torrid pace, he'll become the lowest-rated qualifying passer since Ryan Leaf‘s 39.0 death march in 1998   Right now, Anderson stands at 40.6, and I truly believe – in my heart of hearts and with every fiber of my being – that the Browns starter has the ability to sink even lower and reach the depths only men such as Leaf have previously spelunked.  (Yeah, I know that's not a word but, at this point in the season, I really couldn't care less about no proper grammar.)

  • The Browns have exactly as many rushing touchdowns from their running backs as I do this year – none.  Chew on that for a little bit, gag, throw up, then resume reading.

  • Josh Cribbs might be used at the running back position today, offensive coordinator – for now – Brian Daboll revealed late this past week.  What a revolutionary, novel concept.  What, did somebody in the organization dig up Thomas Edison and toss him into the offensive coaches' meeting while they were game planning?  Hell, next thing you know, they'll have running water and electricity in the locker rooms.  Baby steps, y'all, baby steps.

  • God bless Bernie Kosar, the football player, but kick me in the testes and slap me in the face if Randy Lerner thinks he's the answer for an all-powerful voice in the front office hierarchy.  The very last thing this organization needs is a 45-year-old ex-Cleveland deity with zero NFL front office experience calling any meaningful shots that need to be made.  Charlie Casserly, Floyd Reese, Mike Holmgren, Rich McKay, Carl Peterson?  Hell yes, hell yes, yes, hell yes, yes.  St. Bernard?  Just drop a bomb on both the Berea complex and the stadium instead.  It'll do the same job, only it'll be quicker and inflict slightly less long-term pain.

  • It's one thing to have asked the question "Where would this team be without Phil Dawson?" over the course of the last several years to explain just how inept this organization had to have been for a kicker to be its MVP on a near-yearly basis.  Mainly because, you know, Dawson actually had the ability to put real points on the scoreboard.  It's another thing entirely to ask the question "Where would this team be without Dave Zastudil?"  When that question is asked, and the name of the punter is part of the answer… well… ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Cleveland Browns!!!

  • There is precious little to like about this edition of our beloved Browns.  Josh Cribbs and Joe Thomas?  No doubters.  After the special teams ace and the perennial Pro Bowler, there's… well… I mean, if you consider… actually, there's not a lot other than those two players.  However, there is one person in this organization who has my total respect and admiration – defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.  His temperament and knowledge of how to coach up a defense is exactly what this team needs.  Hopefully, if he's still around along with the rest of the staff, he will get some playmakers that will allow him to play defense the way God intended it.  How can you not like a man – his unit's statistics notwithstanding – who busts out a quote like the following concerning a planned boycott that's doing nothing but giving an attention whore Dawg Pounder what he wants:

    "Yeah, it pisses me off, because the bottom line is this is the Cleveland Browns. This is a town that's tough and loves football. Nobody's happy. I hate me, too. So they hate me, too. It doesn't mean you turn your back. I've got a kid who flunked a class one time. I don't turn my back on him; I go get him a tutor and help him. Now he's a straight-A student as far as you know.

    "Bottom line is a little adversity happens, you don't turn your back. You fight, you rub hands together and you fight harder. That's what we're going to do on defense. It starts with Chicago, not after the [Nov. 8] open week.
    "

    I want that man coaching my football team every day of the week and twice on Sundays.  Also, after reading those words yet again, I want to go out and hit something.  Now, where did I leave that three-year-old daughter of mine…

  • At this point in time, we interrupt our regularly scheduled column to bring you the following public service announcement:





    Thank you.  That is all.  We now return you to your regularly scheduled program, already in progress…



  • Did you happen to see that Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams refused to give Jeff Fisher a vote of confidence and will instead review the long-time coach's status at the end of the regular season?  So, let me get this straight.  The Free-Agent Coaching Class of 2010 could potentially consist of the following: Fisher, Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, Mike Shanahan, Mike Holmgren and Tony Dungy.  Right about now, I think Budd Dwyer pretty much nailed my feelings as I think about how this whole situation has played out over the last ten months or so.

  • Fantasy tip of the day: if you have Jay Cutler, play him.  Just call it a hunch.  All I know is, I couldn't get Cutler into The Slushing Cooters' starting lineup fast enough -- over Peyton Manning.  Once again… ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Cleveland Browns!

  • Believe it or not, though, I'm not ready to give up on the Mangini/Kokinis combo yet.  At least not completely.  But something needs to happen, and it needs to happen right now.  Starting today.  Some type of hope needs to be instilled into these players and this fan base.  Yes, wins would be hella good, but hope brought about by visible progress being made on the field is absolutely imperative.  Again, it needs to start today.  This team – this coach – needs to do it right now.  Yes, it's that important.

  • So, how are they going to go about accomplishing what looks to be a monumental feat?  I don't have a freaking clue.  Really don't.  And if I did, I'm quite certain that I could cash a pretty good-sized check from Lerner.  As it is, it's up to the current regime to turn this mess around.  Based on the results thus far, let's just say they haven't inspired any confidence at all that they can do what it's gonna take.

Last Call: Bears 48, Browns 6.  Not only was last week the final time I pick the Browns to pull off an upset, it's the last time I will pick them to not be blown out.  So there.  How ‘bout them apples?  Showed them, didn't I?


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