Usually when something starts to turn, “brown” it means it is going stale. Most fruits and vegetables tend to get that way when they are about to expire. Apparently when football goes bad it also turns “brown” as in the Cleveland Browns. Can you just imagine this Craigslist ad in Cleveland, Ohio under Free Stuff: “Free stuff not needed, first come first serve. We need to unload all Quarterbacks, Half-Backs, Wide Receivers, Line-backers etc. Everything must go by April 22nd. Will also accept your unwanted draft picks. For details contact [email protected]”.
No, that is not a real ad, but you kind of get the feel that the Browns would like it to be. As rapper Eminem once sung, new Browns president Mike Holmgren seems to be “cleaning out his closet” and unloading everything the Browns had looked to build around in the past. This past Sunday, Holmgren dealt former first round pick Brady Quinn to the Denver Broncos in exchange for 2 late round picks and Full-back Peyton Hillis. Then later dealt away top sack guy Kameron Wimbley, another former first round pick, to the Oakland Raiders for a third round pick. This coming after the Browns released another QB in Derek Anderson, along with some key starters from last years team such as Steve Heiden, Mike Furrey, Rex Hadnot, Brodney Pool, Corey Williams and Michael Gaines.
Some people want to rush to the Browns defense and say “yes but look who they brought in”, oh yes, please lets! 2 washed out QB’s in Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace, both of which could not keep a starting job on dismal teams. Tight End Ben Watson, who caught a whopping 28 passes last year with the high powered Patriots offense. Tackle Tony Pashos, who may have some future here, and linebacker Scott Fujita, fresh off his Super Bowl win, much like Willie McGinest was when the Browns ruined his career with a free agent signing. Is it time to play “name the pro bowlers” yet? Where is the progress here, who is the star on this roster? Okay, yes they managed to re-sign Josh Cribbs, but boy does he need to re-evaluate his situation.
On the other hand the guys that left all have an upside to look forward too. Quinn goes to Denver with Josh McDaniels, a very good offensive minded coach who helped Kyle Orton to a career year last season nad also worked with a guy named Tom Brady in New England. If Quinn has any sort of true NFL game in him, McDaniels will find it. Wimbley makes his way to Oakland, who despite some odd draft pics and signings are actually progressing. Wimbley will be used as a major part of the Raiders pass rush attack. Braylon Edwards found his way to a very good Jets team that is expected to only get better this year, and have been rumored to be looking at Brandon Marshall to team up at WR with Edwards, now that’s progress. TE Kellen Winslow is with Tampa, who is also rebuilding, but he looks like a focal point in that offense. Sean Jones is in Philly, and played his first playoff game last year. We still are waiting on what will happen to Jamal Lewis. So you see, there is life after Cleveland, a very good life one could say.
So Mike Holmgren comes in, brings in his people for the front office and now is rumored to be bringing in his West Coast offensive scheme too. I can’t believe that working the sidelines in Seattle was actually worse then this! Holmgren no longer has a Brett Favre offense and Reggie White defense on his side. He no longer has a Shaun Alexander and stellar offensive line to pave his way. Now the so called “guru” will have to put his nose to the grind and find talent, and find it fast. Who does he think he is, Bill Parcells? Cleveland, Ohio you should still be looking to lynch Art Modell. Look at what has become of your football lives. As your former hall of fame player Ozzie Newsome betters the Ravens as it’s GM, you are subjected to this mess. Clearly the fans call it the “Dog Pound” because ownership is quickly turning it into “Dog SH-ut your mouth”
The Detroit Lions may not be the leagues only team to go through a season undefeated. This sad bunch seems to be ready to sink its teeth into the challenge. You feel for its very few bright spots, like new found running sensation Jerome Harrison, and the aforementioned Cribbs. Imagine going to work everyday for a company that was last in sales in its field. Try and give your all to a store or business that will never get a customer because it is outsold by every other competitor. Yes, these players make millions, but do you think it means they don’t want to win? I find it unlikely.
Yes no salary caps in the NFL this year, which also means no minimum either, allowing some teams to freely tank and hope to still turn a profit and gear up for next year. It is the NFL after all, and in a devoted city like Cleveland the people sadly will still come no matter how bad the product on the field is. Maybe they don’t need a proven QB, perhaps Cribbs can return kicks, punts and run a Wildcat style of offense? Figure with him and Wallace they can at least add a run dynamic at QB. Hm, somehow I can’t see an old dog trying a new trick. Holmgren has as much desire to run a Wildcat offense as Peyton Manning does. Time to install yet a new system, which will be the fourth new system in 4 seasons.
With all apologies Cleveland Browns fans, I wish you well. Look on the bright side, this team has to have loads of cash saved up for 2011, right?
If you’d like to hear anything else from me on topics or ideas I can be reached at [email protected].
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