When They Miss the Playoffs, the Browns Really Miss the Playoffs

Brady-Quinn-Training-Camp_230

We all know that the Browns and their 4-12 record missed the playoffs, but it had me thinking.  Are there even any influential players left in the playoffs that are former Browns?  Obviously guys playing special teams for San Francisco are important like Blake Costanzo are important, but I’m excluding guys like that.  I mean like real, bona fide starters and difference-makers.  I think the list says an awful lot about how the Browns have drafted since 1999.

One of the best names on the list that my Twitter followers helped me come up with is New York Giants guard Shaun O’Hara.  He debuted with the Browns in 2000 after being undrafted out of Rutgers.  He ended up in New York via free agency and even at 34 years of age he would have been a welcome addition to the Cleveland Browns roster.  Another Shaun… Rogers that is is active down in New Orleans for the Saints.  The Browns are fine with big dudes on the defensive line and they willingly waved goodbye to “Big Baby” because of the financial situation involved.  Other than those two, maybe Vickers?  Lawrence Vickers is playing in Houston and has probably been massively overrated by Browns fans.  Still, to think they couldn’t still use him on this roster is most certainly false.  So that’s three players. Anyone else?

One twitter follower (@grz7670) reminded me that the Browns had Lance Moore for a minute in 2005.  He was undrafted out of Toledo.  He was cut in April, signed by the Saints and the rest is history.  The Browns certainly could have used him as a receiver the last few years to put it mildly.  Still, I can’t really blame the Browns for that one.  At the time he was cut the Browns had Braylon Edwards, Antonio Bryant, and Frisman Jackson.  Additionally, Moore really didn’t do anything in the NFL until 2007 a full two years later.

After that you have the QB graveyard.  Jeff Garcia, Jake Delhomme and Brady Quinn are still technically “in” the playoffs, but there won’t probably be a snap between them barring catastrophe.  Gerard Warren is still with the Patriots, but that is one “Big Money” bust that nobody can deny.

Not sure who else I am missing.  Maybe it doesn’t mean anything at all, but to me it seems instructive for the Browns in terms of personnel over the years.  On the heels of Tom Heckert’s drafts getting upgraded in hindsight by Mel Kiper, with terms like “quiet monster” being bandied about it just goes to show where the Browns were coming from since the days of Dwight Clark, Butch Davis, Mangini/Kokinis and even Phil Savage.

 

  • Anonymous

    no joke about the 49ers cutting Braylon Edwards just before the playoffs began?

  • Anonymous

    We had Frisman Jackson.  ‘Nuff said.

  • Anonymous

    No joke.  Apparently his essence wasn’t San Fran enough. 

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    I knew I was forgetting something!  I’m legitimately upset at myself for forgetting.  Thanks mgbode.

  • Anonymous

    don’t worry about it.  we all drop the ball sometimes.  even when it’s thrown right to us with noone around.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    vickers was not ‘massively over-rated’ by browns fans.  he had a complimentary role within a team concept.  he knew that he would not get spotlight and would not do touchdown dances.  he had the job of blowing up nfl linebackers.  performed his role with unquestioned energy and excelled in his role. this is to appreciated. that appreciation of a hard-working guy who just did his job turns into a massive over-rating is really sad. talk about not getting it.

    seems to me he also had the role of the guy leading the browns’ pre-game drew brees fired-up huddle.  along those lines, i’m not sure who on the current browns team has assumed the role of taking on suggs and lewis before ravens’ games.  but i’m pretty sure it wasn’t owen marecic.

    if anything vickers’ role was been massively under-rated by media types (we know who they are) and his excellence in that role was missed.
      
    the browns needlessly parted ways with him.  the importance of a ‘pass catching FB’ in the WCO is now known to have been so much crap.  it was a stupid move by heckert/shurmur whoever.

    these are just facts.

    mock us vickers fans some more.  we aint going away.

  • Big Z

    Good article. No doubt Eric Wright (Not sure if he started vs. Saints, but he started during the regular season) helped Detroit find their way out of the playoffs. I know McDonald was inactive for that game though.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    Defensive? For the purposes of this article, Vickers makes my point.  You said exactly what I meant when you said, “complimentary role in a team concept.”  A nice player, but not a free agent departure that tangibly accounted for wild success in his team’s season.  He made some plays.  And I didn’t  mock anyone.  

  • Chuck

    Craig,

    While you did list Vickers as one of the three “difference-makers” in the article, I feel that your response to jim didn’t necessarily give Vickers the credit he deserves. In my opinion, I feel that Vickers has been a big part of the Houston offense this season. Consider the following….

    Houston lost a 2010 First Team All-Pro FB in the offseason in Vonta Leach to the Ravens. During 2010, the team was 7th in the league in rushing at 127.6 YPG.

    Adding Vickers to the mix in 2011 pushed the Texans to an average of 153 YPG, which was good for 2nd in the NFL. An increase of 25 YPG is pretty impressive, especially when the player that is being replaced is an All-Pro. Also, consider that the Texans missed several key players for long portions of the season (Foster, Schaub, Andre Johnson). The absence of Schaub and Johnson for large parts of the season surely made it more difficult to run the ball effectively. Thus, I do believe that Vickers had a huge impact on the success of the Texans.

    I will, however, offer up the following stat that may be used to refute my statement: average yards per carry was 4.8 in 2010 and 4.5 in 2011.

    Once again, my opinion is that the drop off is expected due to having an inexperienced QB (although one that looked much better than any Brown in recent memory) and one less offensive weapon (Johnson) for much of the season.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s just ignore that Vickers only played STs until about halfway through the season when Casey was hurt (their starting FB). 

    He did, however, earn a timeshare at FB once Casey was healthy.

    Plus, the fact that the Texans had both Foster and Tate (or at least one at all times) healthy for the year to spearhead their 2-headed attack and that they wanted to rely more on the run with a rookie QB manning the controls down the stretch.

    But, naw, it was all Vickers :)

  • ben

    Brady Quinn is still so dreamy 

  • Anonymous

    Disqus does not like letting me sign in, it appears.

  • Barceljc

    Vickers was the man.

    RE: touchdown dances, trying desperately to find footage of his touchdown against steelers in 2007.  We were getting blown out, and he did some ridiculous motorcycle dance that even seemed to offend winslow.  anyone else remember this?

  • Chuck

    I stand corrected. I was basing my opinion on a very small sample of Texans games that I viewed (usually not in their entirety), in which I was impressed with the overall ability of their offensive to provide Tate/Foster with holes to run through. It is probably a dominant offensive line that deserves much of the credit for their run game. Thanks for correcting my massive error!! BTW, I was never even a huge Vickers fan. Although, I have missed his services throughout this season.

  • http://vimeo.com/33176371 metairie homes for sale

    yeah, gerard warren was a tough pill to swallow. ouch.

  • Jaydog

    Adding Vickers to the mix in 2011 pushed the Texans to an average of 153 YPG, which was good for 2nd in the NFL. An increase of 25 YPG is pretty impressive, especially when the player that is being replaced is an All-Pro. insulation best new orleans Also, consider that the Texans missed several key players for long portions of the season (Foster, Schaub, Andre Johnson). The absence of Schaub and Johnson for large parts of the season surely made it more difficult to run the ball effectively. Thus, I do believe that Vickers had a huge impact on the success of the Texans.

  • mgbode

    more false Vickers love?

    the Texans loved Vickers so much that he didn’t start for them except for a 3 game stint when Casey was hurt and they cut him in the offseason. so, Casey deserves your love for the increased YPG if you are going to hand it out.

    Vickers played well as a blocking back for the Browns. He did. However, he did not fit the WCO (the NO game where he dropped 2 ridiculously easy TD passes sealed his fate IMO). Just because we ended up with a worse FB in Marecic does not mean that Vickers fit here either.