What the Browns should have said about Phil Dawson

Phil Dawson watching practice

1 Phil Dawson - Kicking from Reggie Hodges hold - BEST PHIL PICAs I sometimes like to do, I like to help the Browns communicate with the fans. Sometimes I get chided for caring so much about what the Browns say because all that really matters to a lot of you is “what they do.” Usually that means all they have to do is win more football games. While that may be kind of true, I am of the belief that winning on the field and perfection in fan communication aren’t mutually exclusive. That being said, here’s what I think the Browns could have said about Phil Dawson’s departure.

I’ll start with what the Browns did say, which was a nice start.

“We want to thank Phil for all of his years of service to the Cleveland Browns. He accomplished a great deal in his time here on the field, as a team leader and in the community. We know how much Phil meant to our organization and our fans, and he will always hold a special place in our franchise’s history and with the city of Cleveland. We want to wish Phil and his family the best of success in San Francisco.”

Then when someone got a chance to talk to Joe Banner he could have said something like this.

“As for the Browns moving forward, we are going to undertake a process at the kicker position in the same manner we have player acquisition in other areas. We aren’t looking for one year fixes. This isn’t to say that Phil Dawson won’t be a great kicker for years to come, but he’s at a point in his career where it’s harder to justify a multi-year deal for him and for us. I don’t want to get into specifics of our talks with Phil Dawson, but make no mistake he’s one of the best kickers in Cleveland Browns history. It’s never easy to say goodbye to a fan favorite, but at least he’s not playing in the division, right?

Anyway, either through free agency or the draft we will find talented players who can potentially be a part of this Browns team for a longer period of time. Hopefully we can find a guy who will kick for us for the next 14 years like Phil Dawson did the last 14. Having any player perform at the level Phil did for 14 years is a luxury for any team. So that’s what we’re looking for.”

And that’s it. I don’t think the Browns needed to open up the “black box” of secrecy necessarily. They say that they like Phil, but at this phase of the phranchise franchise they’re looking for a guy who will be here for more than just a year at a time as he approaches 40 years of age. I know that won’t even satisfy everyone, but it’s an answer that relies on some logic and provides a hint of detail into the process of building the roster without sacrificing any “trade secrets.”

All that being said, and even with some dissatisfaction over the Phil Dawson signing, I think this new Browns organization is easily out-performing the last one in terms of communication and openness. But I’m still here to help.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    I think that’s being picky. They’ve basically said that in not so many words. It could be that this was Phil’s decision more than the Browns (to play for a contender), but he asked them to not make it appear he was dumping out on fans. Or it could be he would have come back had he not gotten an offer from a contender. It’s hard to know, and they handled it fine.

  • Henry Brown

    They should have said “stop being typical Cleveland fans who cry over losing a kicker who didn’t even want to play here anymore. And one more thing, he’s a kicker”
    Or something like that.

  • cmm13

    Holy mother of god…. another article on how the Browns should have handled cutting, er…… THE KICKER NOT WANTING TO COME BACK.
    this. is. unbelievable.

  • matt underwood

    Honestly, is this really that big of a deal? He is a kicker, be it a good one, but you’d think Jesus is on his jersey instead of Dawson

  • Garry_Owen

    Just glad the Dawson Curse has finally been lifted. Let the winning begin!

  • Steve

    Thank you.

  • Garry_Owen

    It might be unbelievable for any other team, but subtract Dawson’s point totals from the team’s point totals for the last 13 seasons and see what’s left. We may not like it (indeed, it makes me sick), but Phil Dawson was the team.

  • mgbode

    are you saying Jesus couldn’t kick a FG?

  • mgbode

    Craig, you had a fantastic opportunity to utilize the word “wont” properly in the first sentence. Yet, you passed on this opportunity.

  • http://twitter.com/ClevelandChick Cleveland Chick

    Ugh. A kicker is a big deal in Cleveland because let’s face it kids, he has been our leading scorer, the ONLY scorer in some games. Dawson has also been with the team since coming back in 99 and was inches away from breaking Groza’s record. It would have been nice to have kept that going. I’m so aggravated going to Browns games and not seeing even a glimmer of hope

  • BIKI024

    he’s a freaking kicker. get over it people. we’ll pay a guy $500K and he’ll do just fine. besides, the name of the game is scoring TDs, not FGs. keep in mind how we even got Phil in the first place, he was on practice squad for the Pats for a year and then got cut and came to our camp and competed with a couple other scrubs in 99 and barely made the team, and the rest is history..

  • PhillyD

    Thanks Craig. I feel better about the decision now. If I have questions for Banner regarding other front office moves, should I send them your way?

  • Harv 21

    That’s it, intervention time. All hands on board for the mercy mission. Here’s the map and house layout. I’ll create the diversion outside, need a couple of extremely fit volunteers to silently rapple into the Lyndal master bedroom with the body double, extract Craig and secure him until Banner turns this thing around. Garry has combat experience so .. wait, that might be risky, don’t need to hurt Craig, just get his mind right.

    Ok, there, got Harvey Keitel on speed dial for clean up, and I have …. 12:30. See you at 0120 hours. This is also for our benefit so good luck, gentlemen.

  • cmm13

    Gary, I’m with you, he scored points, he stayed 13 years, fans love him, but please… for the love of god…. would you please STOP…. with the GD HAMMERING.

  • Garry_Owen

    0120 hours is really, really late, and night ops are hard. Anyway we can push it up a bit? I need my beauty sleep.
    Or am I excluded from this op? I promise not to hurt him. I’ll be realy gentle-like.

  • Garry_Owen

    I hope the Ghost of Awesome Phil Dawson haunts your sleep. May his all-powerful foot kick FGs in the craniums of your offspring for 7 generations.

  • Garry_Owen

    Crania? What’s the correct plural, here?

  • MrCleaveland

    Yeah, you guys can dismiss losing Dawson now, but wait until the fall when the new guy is standing in a 25-mph crosswind and shanking them all over the lot. Then we’ll see who’s “just a kicker.”

  • BenRM

    Well said. Is there another fanbase that complains this much about fullbacks, place kickers, and long snappers? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

  • matt underwood

    Ha! probably not, he had sandals.

  • cmm13

    Heard he can hit a curveball

  • maxfnmloans

    would you prefer they use staples?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Just think Dawson’s replacement hasn’t even missed a kick yet!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    You are not welcome. Down vote!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Jesus don’t need no stinkin’ sandals, he would have been old school baby, bare foot!

  • Porkchop

    No need to get all scrooged about it

  • A dead horse

    I demand a cesation to this cruel treatment of my bretheren!

  • BIKI024

    Kicking percentage rank the past 5 years:

    2012: 2nd (in 1st was 25 year old Kai Forbath, who made $465K last year)
    2011: 17th
    2010: 15th
    2009: 6th
    2008: 21st

    nothing special. def not worth $4m, or even $2.5m, when we can find a young guy for $500K and have some money leftover for some other areas of need.

  • mgbode

    ah Hey-Suess. I like you Hey-Suess berry, berry much.

  • CBI

    I’m no physiologist, nor do I play one on TV, but I don’t think this is a kicker issue per say. I tend to think people just got too attached to Phil, regardless of his position. How many coaches, quarterbacks, running back, receivers, etc. have come and gone during the 14 years he put on the orange helmet? For a franchise that excels at instability and inconsistency, Phil was the single contributor fans could rely on week in and week out, for well over a decade. Fans get attached to things like that, so I’m not surprised by the out pour of emotion.

    Is he just a kicker? Sure. Can he be replaced? Sure. Hopefully, the next guy to suit up for the Browns for 14 consecutive years lines up under center or wears a headset (i.e.head coach, not a backup QB). But until then, the one guy that spent the last 14 years of football Sundays with me watching Brown’s games has moved on, and with a heavy heart, I wish him the best.

  • mgbode

    I will decline your noun: Cranios

    4 years of Latin is the gift that keeps on giving.

  • woofersus

    I agree that it’s hard to justify that kind of money, even for one of the best kickers, but in fairness I feel I should point out that his 2011 ranking would have been much higher if Pontbriand hadn’t suddenly flamed out in a hail of wild pitches.

  • Garry_Owen

    Good looking out. I should have asked my 8-year old. He’s a Latin champ.

  • mgbode

    whoa. maybe not. looked it up because it felt wrong to keep the ‘i’ like that in the word. and, I was right.

    “ium” reflects a 2nd declension neuter noun. As such, it should end with “a” rather than “os” and the “i” should be dropped.

    Crana

  • mgbode

    that’s a tough one. let me know if he gets it right on the first try.

  • cmm13

    win.

  • Garry_Owen

    Too funny! True story: I’m working from home today and went down the hall to ask him. He happened to be in the middle of a Latin quiz, but he said – no lie – “that’s 2nd declension neuter, so that should be ‘a.'”

    My kid’s wicked smaht.

  • mgbode

    I bow to his Latin knowledge.

  • Garry_Owen

    I can’t stop smiling. You know, some dads beam with pride when their kid hits a home run or scores a sweet TD. I guess I’ll be content with this type of win.

  • mgbode

    I thought he was in LL too?

    my older son has Math Pentathlon tournament tomorrow. He medalled last year, so he’s in the elite group this year. Cheering for the nerdiness is fun too.

  • Garry_Owen

    Ah, sadness. I have been trying hard not to push my expectations on him, and decided to leave it up to him (with strong but gentle prodding from me) whether he continued with LL. He decided last month that he was “fine not playing, and just enjoyed playing at home” with me. I’m battling the crushing disappointment and learning to appreciate who he is. (Besides, he’s not a HR hitter, anyway.)

    Raising the next and better generation of nerds is a noble pursuit.

  • Steve

    Aren’t you clever.

  • mgbode

    sad day. ah well, plenty of things to enjoy. I do highly recommend the Math Pentathlon games. They are board games with a Math background. Tons of fun (for us nerds at least).
    http://www.mathpentath.org/

    older son’s first LL game was last night. he’s no HR hitter either, but a slap hitter and hustler. he had 2 picture-perfect cutoff throws from SS to Catcher (both times a step after the runner, but the throws were great). teeball starts tomorrow for my younger son.

  • Steve

    Of course, the next guy who comes in wouldn’t score a bunch of points himself.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    SeXXXy too!

  • Garry_Owen

    I’ll check it out.
    Enjoy those games!

  • mgbode

    will do.

  • Garry_Owen

    So?

  • MrCleaveland

    I don’t know about Harvus XXI, but this conclavium nerdii is way beyond my cranium. I got kicked out of St. Ed when as a cheeky 9th grader I refused to make up the Latin I that I failed in spectacular fashion (although I did nail the “Why did the elephantus cross the pontum?” quiz).