July 25, 2014

The Ghosts of Cleveland’s Past

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There they stood in their white robes, their haunting ways bordering on persistent and obsessive. Just as Dickens wrote some hundred and fifty years ago, they were merely remnants of themselves—”now a thing with one arm, now with one leg.” Those who were cast aside, neglected, passed over or left for dead, they showed flashes from the days of yesteryear when times were happier and knees were considerably less creaky. They fought for inches, crossed goal lines, hurdled would-be tacklers, blanketed star receivers and hauled in interceptions. It was a collective stomp on what fleeting ounce of beating soul remained, all for the sake of repentance. They were the Ghosts of Cleveland Past.

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What do you make of the Ravens game? – Cleveland Browns Roundtable

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Craig: So now that the negativity from week one has been exhausted, how does everyone feel about the Browns’ chances to bounce back against a Ravens team that got their faces pounded against Denver. Michael Oher is likely to be hobbled if not out. The Browns defense didn’t play horribly against Miami. The Ravens defense still has some pieces, but they are feeling the losses of Ray Lewis, Ellerbe and Ed Reed. Still, the Ravens are 6.5 point favorites last I heard. So how are you feeling?

Jacob: Not great. Ya know, TD’s buddy TA has been all over Twitter this week talking about bets and that 6.5-pt line. [Read more...]

Browns fans predict the team will go 9-7 in 2013

231-20130726-0595_600Browns fans are an optimistic bunch, at least collectively. When you add up the results of our survey, it yields a 9-7 prediction. (Game-by-game results are listed below.) That’s probably a bit too confident for my tastes. I’ve said all along that eight wins should be the goal for the team if they are able to stay healthy and get better from last season. So let’s break it down a little bit, because I think there are some flaws in the logic of Browns fans this season.

First of all, let’s talk about the Bengals and Ravens. I think Browns fans have a pretty healthy respect for both teams. Only about 16% of Browns fans predicted the Browns could beat the Ravens in week two and about 45% said the Browns could beat them in week nine. Meanwhile, Browns fans think they can beat the Bengals at home week four at a nearly 60% rate, but lose in Cincy after the bye week with about 40% of Browns fans saying the Browns will win. I think this year those numbers are flipped. I think the Bengals are improved over last season and I think the Ravens are going to be running uphill.  [Read more...]

NFL Free Agency Rumor: Ed Reed to the 49ers?

As the news gets worse for Baltimore Ravens fans, it could continue to get better for Browns fans. Albert Breer reported on Twitter that Ed Reed hired an agent, and now Pro Football Talk is reporting that that agent might help him get to San Francisco.

I could call the 34-year-old Reed a “Browns killer,” except that Reed has been a pain for opposing quarterbacks and receivers in all jerseys in his career. It just hits especially close to home with how careful the Browns quarterbacks have been with Reed in the opposite defensive backfield, even going so far as to name him this season.

Earlier in February Ozzie Newsome said that he and the Ravens wanted Ed Reed back and that they thought Reed wanted to be back too. Even then, Ozzie knew that Reed would have options. That was also before the Ravens got Joe Flacco locked up to a historically high-priced deal.

The Ravens knew they would need some re-tooling after their Super Bowl season because of the aging roster, but it might be an especially rude awakening to have so much turnover in a season where they might hope to defend the title. With departures like Anquan Boldin, a retiring Ray Lewis and now maybe Ed Reed, a title defense could prove that much more difficult.

Meanwhile, the 49ers are looking to avenge their Super Bowl loss at the expense of the Ravens. That’s good for Browns fans. Well, that is unless the Browns miraculously find a way to meet them in the Super Bowl.

[Related: NFL News: Baltimore Ravens trade Anquan Boldin to San Francisco 49ers]

 

Animated: NFL has obvious issues with officiating consistency

The NFL needs to get far more consistent making its own personal foul calls. When the Browns lost to the Ravens, I defended the technicality of the rules on a personal foul called on Browns receiver Josh Gordon on Ed Reed. On a technicality, Gordon was moving a bit back toward the Browns’ goal line making it seem like an illegal hit according to a strict reading of the rules.

Now this week, the Ravens converted an improbable 4th and 30 with a dump off to Ray Rice that succeeded due to a bad spot and also a very questionable blindside block by Anquan Boldin on Eric Weddle that left Weddle injured. Yet this play by Boldin went uncalled even as he was pretty much running directly toward the Ravens goal line cracking a completely unsuspecting Weddle. [Read more...]

Animated: Josh Gordon’s $20,000 block on Ed Reed

Just in case you needed your memory refreshed on the block that Josh Gordon threw on Ed Reed, here it is.

 

Ultimately, whether you like the rule or not Josh Gordon is going from the Baltimore 29 to the Baltimore 32 to make that block. By definition, that means he is going back toward his own goal line which is one of the characteristics of an illegal blindside block. Think of it this way. If it was a pass that hit the turf, would it be incomplete or a fumble?

Regardless, my one question is what the NFL would suggest is the appropriate play in this scenario. The answer to that question seems to be the most valuable piece of information missing. I’m sure Josh Gordon and his checkbook would like to know too.

[Related: NFL levies $20K fine on Browns’ WR Josh Gordon for hit on Ed Reed]

While We’re Waiting…Browns prep for Baltimore and Iggy’s wins again

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Browns will have their hands full trying to protect Colt McCoy today:  “The Ravens lead the NFL with 28 sacks – nine of them against the 49ers’ Alex Smith on Thanksgiving night. They are well-rested and hungry for more. The Ravens are 8-3 and tied for first with Pittsburgh in the AFC North. The Ravens have to beat the Browns to keep pace.

McCoy has been sacked 26 times and has been hit 64 times in 11 games. Four teams have given up more quarterback hits, but each of those teams have played at least two quarterbacks this season.

McCoy has started every game in his second season with the Browns and so far has lived to line up with the first team in the next practice. One Monday he had both knees wrapped. His right shoulder was pummeled in the Jacksonville game Nov. 20. Last week he left the locker room with a sore right elbow after banging it on a player’s helmet while scrambling on the third play of the game in Cincinnati.

McCoy has to make it through the next five games to become the first Browns quarterback since Tim Couch in 2001 to go wire to wire as the starter. Four days after playing the Ravens he has to face the Steelers in Pittsburgh.” [OBR] [Read more...]

“Hines Ward” Rule Added to NFL

Pittsburgh SteelersI know it is a source of pride for a lot of Steelers fans that their smiling wide receiver Hines Ward blocks like a maniac.  I honestly wish Browns wide receivers cared about blocking downfield.  Still, it seems to me that a lot of Ward’s greatest hits are based on hunting for guys who aren’t looking and then attempting to de-brain them.  He lowered his helmet on Ed Reed, broke Keith Rivers’ jaw, blew up Bart Scott and achieved a $5000 fine for hitting Daven Holly in a helmet to helmet after Najeh Davenport was already down in a game against the Browns.  Holly went on to miss the next game with a concussion.

Amongst the four new safety proposals that the NFL has passed this year at the owners’ meetings, one seems like it is instituting what I am calling the “Hines Ward” rule. [Read more...]