OBR Blog: 3/3/2010

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Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/03/2010 08:56 PM ET

Cribbs to Make Announcement Friday

Per WKYC, who received a press release from Cribbs' agent (guess I'm not on his email list), Browns KR/WR/PR/RB/S/QB/Gunner Josh Cribbs will be making an announcement at 5PM Friday at the I-X Center. We believe we know what this is, and wrote about it yesterday in the Insider Blog, but we'll let Josh tell the public at large. Stay tuned... I'm sure various media types will be there. 

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/03/2010 07:09 PM ET

Browns Acknowledge Fraley Release

The Browns sent out a press release about fifteen minutes ago that relayed the following:

The Cleveland Browns today terminated the contract of offensive lineman Hank Fraley, the team announced.  Fraley spent the last four years with the Browns during which time he appeared in 63 games with 52 starts.  In 2009, he played in 15 games with four starts.

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/03/2010 05:57 PM ET

Fred talks to Hank Fraley

Sorry... I've been off conspiring with other Scout.com types about how we're going to make our sites beyond awesome this weekend for the start of free agency. We have plans, oh yes, many plans. Such plans we have!

I'll let you know about those shortly. In the meantime, Fred talked with Hank Fraley, who was completely caught by surprise when the Browns cut him. Watching Twitter and elsewhere, looks like a lot of fans are scheming to convince their teams that they need a reliable and versatile vet on the offensive line. Fraley likely won't be jobless for too long.

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/03/2010 04:58 PM ET

Full Story on Fraley Release Coming

We have just spoken with Hank, and he confirms he was let go about an hour ago. Fred Greetham is putting together the story. Stay tuned. 

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/03/2010 04:54 PM ET

Fraley Release Confirmed

Roger Cindrich, who tweeted below, is Fraley's agent, and the info looks legit. We'll be following up with a front page story shortly. 

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/03/2010 04:45 PM ET

Hank Fraley Waived?

According to this, Fraley has been released by the Browns. We're working to confirm. 

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/03/2010 04:35 PM ET

Marshall Gets a First-Round Tender

Ed Thompson just sent me the press release from the Broncos. Elvis Dumervil got a first-and-third tender, and Marshall got a first-round tender, as did Kyle Orton. That puts Marshall out of the Browns reach unless they cut some other sort of deal with the Broncos. 

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/03/2010 03:59 PM ET

Aren't Trilogies a Bit Passé?

Ever since Star Wars made a quazillion bucks back in the 70s and 80s, it seems like every big franchise has to be a trilogy, at least. Sometimes this works out well (Friday the 13th Part IX has it all over Part VII, I've heard), sometimes not so well (the rumored Matrix 2 and Matrix 3 movies, which I've blotted from memory, if they ever truly existed). 

Consider us guilty of this as well, as Sobo breaks off the Epic Conclusion of his 2010 Subscriber Combine Chat Trilogy.  I think this one resolves all the sub-plots pretty well without dragging on with an interminable dénouement like Lord of the Rings. Just get on. The. Freaking. Boat. 

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/03/2010 03:05 PM ET

Big Ripples from Washington

The Associated Press, via the awesome and well-designed Fox Sports that feeds me beer pellets, has reported that Washington Redskins LT Chris Samuels has elected to retire, which he will announce on Thursday.

This, of course, has a ripple effect on the NFL draft which can touch our Browns. With left tackle turning into a need area for the 'Skins, new head coach Mike Shanahan may have a temptation to snag an offensive tackle in the draft rather than the previous assumption that he would go QB. If that proves true, it helps the Browns somewhat as LT is not a first-round target for a team with Joe Thomas on the roster. With Trent Williams, Russell Okung, and Bryan Bulaga among the top 15 players available in the draft, the Redskins would be in decent shape to home in a replacement for Samuels. 

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/03/2010 02:55 PM ET

D'Qwell Agent Miffed, Says Miffy Things

As John Taylor broke around noon today, Browns LB D'Qwell Jackson doesn't look to be getting a new contract and is a little less than ecstatic about the situation. This story is available for all fans. 

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/03/2010 01:54 PM ET

Really Big Show Gets Even Bigger

As folks in the Twitterverse and the Watercooler have detected, the OBR (in the person of one Mr. Lane Adkins) will be joining Tony Rizzo and Aaron Goldhammer on WKNR's Really Big Show tomorrow morning. We'll be on a little after 10AM based on the current schedule. You can stream it here. Don't know if they will take calls, but the number is 216-578-0850.  When OBR starts showing up in the studio it's the Really Really Big Show, I guess. Listen in tomorrow at 10AM EST!

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/03/2010 12:17 PM ET

Newswire Updated

We've slammed a number of updates into the OBR Newswire this morning. Nothing really revelatory, but there might be some nuggets of journalistic goodness you can yoink out of it. 

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/03/2010 11:41 AM ET

Brandon the Bear?

Interesting article in the Chicago Sun-Times this morning, discussing the challenge the Bears have in dealing with their roster's problem areas given that they traded away their first two picks. That reminds me of the 2008 season, when the Browns first pick was in the fourth round. That made for a boring off-season, and a startled Beau Bell winding up as the most famous fourth-round pick in team history.

Without draft choices and with an uncapped year coming, the Bears may just wind up pulling out a big wad of spending cash this off-season. One target, per an "NFL source" and a wagered steak dinner, is WR Brandon Marshall of the Broncos.  I'm not sure how the Bears will be able to pull that off given how Marshall will be tendered, but they've got the need and the cash. While Denver claims Marshall will return, it's speculated frequently that he's the next unhappy Bronc to be jettisoned. 

This is relevant to our Browns because a couple of weeks ago a Denver Post columnist mused about the Browns dealing away Brady Quinn for Marshall. This turned into a "rumor" which turned into "news stories" which turned into "I bet Holmgren is meeting with them right now!" which turned "I've heard he bought a house in Strongsville". I think. Not sure how far the content-free rumor machine got on this one. In any event, the Bears make more sense than the Browns as a destination for Marshall to me, given the state of the two franchises.

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/03/2010 09:59 AM ET

The Dark Secret of this Blog

I guess Fox got tired of my whining.

Fans who remember back to 1999-2001 will remember that the old format of the site back then was basically a "stream of news", where we would constantly post updates without a lot of fanfare and they would just be listed down a page. We would do things like link other articles and riff on them, post news, etc, etc. When we moved to Scout, their software didn't work this way, so we had to give that up after a while. Around 2005 or so, these things called "blogs" arrived and whatdoyaknow, they worked almost exactly like how we liked our site to run.

I have for a long time been an advocate of giving people a constant stream of news in addition to our longer articles, and since we started in 1999, this concept has been used by a ton of websites, many of which I hate for being able to do something we can't do.

Then, last week, we ran a blog from the NFL combine which basically involved our folks there flinging updates at me every five minutes, and then my posting them like a well-trained monkey from within Scout's system. People loved it, and the page views we got on the thing were off the charts.

Taking this as a sign, we started up this blog with the same format. What's cool is that Fox has installed a little tube that runs from Los Angeles to my home, and every time I put up a new blog, a little beer pellet rolls out. They're like crunchy bread on the outside with a delicious beery liquid center. It's great: blog - pellet - blog - pellet - blog - pellet. I'll even get one for this lame entry.

My only regret is that I have other responsibilities so I can't be just slamming out updates all day. But Taylor has gotten wind of my beer pellet  dispenser, so he's sniffing around to see if he can get in on the action. 

I think Fox and Scout look at this as some sort of conditioning test for us, but they'll only keep it going if people read this thing and refresh the page, and/or buy subscriptions. If not, we have to go back to what we were doing, and no more beer pellets. That our dark secret. So I'm gonna publish this and wait for that rolling sound that indicates my reward is on the way. 

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/03/2010 09:42 AM ET

For Your Consideration

An image sent to us via Twitter, from the great folks at the ridiculously well-designed Just Stay LBJ website. This concerns the curious 40 time measurements for one Taylor Mays which we talked about a bit yesterday.

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/03/2010 09:29 AM ET

Cosell Looks at the RBs

One of the great untapped NFL resources is Greg Cosell, a man who studies game film every day for NFL Films. We've interviewed Greg in the past for the OBR magazine, and I plan on giving him a call this week to see if he wants to visit us on the OBR Radio Program. This man knows current NFL players like nobody's business. 

This morning, I linked an article by our Vikings site digging into Cosell's thoughts on available free agent running backs. The article has a huge Vikings slant, as you would expect, but I still think there's some good stuff in there for OBR subscribers interested in some of the veteran running backs who are available. 

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