August 15, 2014

Jason Campbell to Cleveland makes some sense

Jason Campbell Football CardThe Browns signed Jason Campbell to a two-year deal yesterday to “add to the pile”1 at the quarterback position. Is this more like Jake Delhomme or Seneca Wallace? That’s what we Browns followers like to do, you see. We try to put everything in the context of other stuff we’ve seen before. Remember when we were talking about hiring coaches and were forced to endure “logic” about how Chip Kelly was like Butch Davis and Nick Saban because they both were former college coaches?2 Maybe Jason Campbell is like Jeff Garcia or Trent Dilfer. Or maybe he’s just Jason Campbell and unlike any of those other guys.

Campbell is a guy with starting experience. He’s not at an advanced age with declining skills like Jake Delhomme was when he arrived in Cleveland. He also probably hasn’t had the same level of success at the top end that Delhomme had at points with the Panthers. Campbell has had some pretty excellent statistical seasons.

Campbell also arrives as a more qualified starter than Seneca Wallace was when he was brought in by Mike Holmgren. Still, in terms of accomplishing the goals of bringing in a “system” guy, there are similarities between Jason Campbell’s experience with Norv Turner-style offense and Wallace’s prior Seattle experience with Holmgren.  [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. At this point I can’t remember if this was a Holmgren-ism or someone else talked about “adding to the pile” at positions. []
  2. Fake rules! []

Trent Richardson and Ozzie Newsome represent Browns in Madden cover vote

Nobody in Cleveland has forgotten the Peyton Hillis Madden cover vote just yet. In the end, it came down to Hillis and Mike Vick, and I don’t know if Vick is wiping his brow for having avoided the curse just yet either, as he took a pay cut this year to stay with the Chip Kelly iteration of the Eagles.

Well now the EA Sports folks have decided to pit “old school” against “new school” for this year’s Madden Cover showdown. On the left side of the bracket are the old school people, including Jake Delhomme for the Panthers, Chad Johnson for the Bengals (how OLD!) and Ozzie Newsome for the Cleveland Browns.

As beloved as Newsome is as a player, it will be a tough road as a 13th seed going up against Kurt Warner in the first round. Plus, even if he advanced, he faces such “old school” names as Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and even the recently retired Ray Lewis.

On the “new school” side of things, the Browns are repped by Trent Richardson. He’s the seventh seed against the Packers’ long-haired linebacker with Cleveland Browns lineage, Clay Matthews.

Based on Browns fans’ previous experience with the Madden Cover, while I don’t believe in curses, it might be safer to just vote for the Steelers’ receiver Antonio Brown. You know. Just in case.

[Related: Mike Wallace should give the Browns pause]

The sooner we get away from Shurmur and the Big Show, the Better

Can it get any worse here in Cleveland?

I was watching another vintage Pat Shurmur-led debacle in Dallas, and all I could do is sit back and laugh. Seriously, how can you even get yourself worked up over this stuff anymore? Every week the Browns hang around just long enough to keep you interested, then fall off a cliff in the end. Spare me the “at least we are competitive” bit. It’s really simple. As was said in the classic flick Top Gun: “There’s no points for second place.” Nobody cares if you are close. Moral victories are for losers.

And that is what Pat Shurmur’s team is. Sorry, that is the truth. It’s nice that Trent Richardson looks like a beast and that the young WR duo of Josh Gordon and Greg Little look like keepers. It’s nice that Joe Haden is a great corner back. It’s nice that the Ahtyba Rubin/Phil Taylor combo are loads in the middle of the D-line. It’s nice that D’Qwell Jackson is an All-Pro type middle linebacker. But none of it matters because the team doesn’t win.

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Top Five Non-Essential Things Jimmy Haslam Should Do With the Browns

There is a whole Tumblr page dedicated to these Browns jerseys. It is funny, but also embarrassing.

There are some really important decisions to make about front-office personnel, coaching and stadium issues, but I have some less relevant things that Jimmy Haslam should probably tackle when he finally officially becomes owner of the Browns. Here they are in non slide show format…

5. Start an obsolete Browns jersey trade-in program

I don’t know what the appropriate denominations are to make this program work, but it is high time that Cleveland Browns fans everywhere be given special amnesty for the hosts of bad jerseys that have been purchased over the years. Even a fan favorite like Chris Spielman is an utter debacle from the perspective of consumerism. Additionally, and more seriously, the obsolete jerseys running around the circles of Cleveland Browns fans is reinforcing the exact culture that Jimmy Haslam is coming in to change. It doesn’t do anyone in the world any bit of good to be at the same tailgate with some guy wearing a much-too-bright-and-clean Jake Delhomme jersey. Even worse, what team with Trent Richardson needs to be reminded of the failures of William Green, Travis Prentice, and even Peyton Hillis? Offer a voucher to get at least a high percentage of those bad boys off the street. [Read more...]

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

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? [Read more...]

Delhomme Bodyslam is Memorable for Ndamukong Suh

Ndamukong Suh was on the Colin Cowherd show today as I was driving to lunch and he was recounting some of his biggest, most memorable hits.  First things first, Suh and Cowherd talked about Suh’s push / forearm / decimation of Jay Cutler when the Lions played the Bears.

Then, when talking about his more memorable hits, Suh brought up his violent facemask / bodyslam of Jake Delhomme. I couldn’t help but enjoy him recounting it with a bit of a chuckle. I am not sure if it was a sheepish chuckle because he ended up getting in trouble for the hit or whether he was just enjoying the memory of nearly killing one of the NFL’s elderly QBs. We know it couldn’t have been out of respect for the history and tradition of the Great Lakes Classic. [Read more...]

The Lone (Public) Voice of Mangini Dissension: Seneca Wallace

Throughout this up and down (mostly down) season, Browns players never uttered a negative word about their Head Coach Eric Mangini. In fact, most of them went out of their way to praise him and how he had changed from the prior season.

Team leaders like Josh Cribbs and Sheldon Brown have backed Mangini all year for his professionalism. Lawrence Vickers, a man who at times last year seriously butted heads with the Head Coach, has done a complete 180 on him.

“We’re blessed to play in this league, but at the same time, you wish things would have worked out for Coach,” said Vickers. “He taught me a lot and he made me a better person, not just a player, but a better man. He taught me how to handle myself in my household and in my spiritual life. He cares about us a lot and he’ll be missed. I have nothing but respect for him and I’ll miss him as a coach, but I’ll miss him even more for being the type of man he is.” [Read more...]

Browns Lose Virtually to Ravens 80-7

The Browns lost this weekend to the Ravens 20-10 and it didn’t even seem that close, really.  I just found out how much worse it could have been.  How does 80 to 7 sound?  Ouch!

What would we do without technology?  Someone played a 2010 version of Super Tecmo Bowl with the Browns and Ravens.  They recorded the video game, added a Silverchair “Pure Massacre” soundtrack and then uploaded the video to Youtube.

This is why Al Gore invented the Internet, right?  If anyone wants to load up a Madden 2010 “Response video” I will be happy to edit it to include a sad Counting Crows song or something.  That will show those Ravens fans not to mess with us in the modern age.  The good news is that we can now definitively say there are losers bigger than the Browns and their fans after Sunday’s loss.

Video below in case you have 9 minutes to kill.

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Browns Limping to Finish With 20-10 Loss to Ravens

Maybe someday the Browns and Ravens will have a real rivalry. Today I was given a bit of hope for the future watching Joe Haden spar with Anquan Boldin after a particularly physical first five yards. This kind of animosity is supposed to come with divisional games for the players so that they can feel at least half as desperate to win these games as the fans. Someday it might pay off for the Browns to end their season against these tough divisional foes, but not today.  The Browns drop to 5-10 on the season with their 20-10 loss at home to the Ravens.

Colt McCoy had a very typical day for an NFL rookie quarterback, even if it is atypical from what we have seen from him so far this season.  He threw three interceptions.  Two of them were underthrown even if Mohamed Massaquoi did have a chance to bail his quarterback out.  McCoy will learn, but he probably should have known better than to throw two balls anywhere near an always-salivating Ed Reed. [Read more...]

Colt McCoy Sits Alone Atop Depth Chart

Well, if there was ever a question in Browns minds, there isn’t anymore.  As of yesterday, Colt McCoy has been named the starter for the Browns in the first opportunity since all quarterbacks regained their health.

Eric Mangini (much to the chagrin of many of you) chose Jake Delhomme consistently over Seneca Wallace in the last few weeks.  The reason for that remains unclear.  We aren’t sure, and might never be.  Does Eric Mangini consider Seneca Wallace a backup no matter what?  Did he not appreciate even the modest statements that Seneca Wallace made just prior to getting healthy about the team needing to choose one quarterback?  Was it simply a professional courtesy to Jake Delhomme because Mangini (and Holmgren and Heckert) are keenly aware that Delhomme won’t be back here next season?  There are a lot more questions than answers here. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Bob Feller, Talkin Tribe and McCoy to Start?

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.

Rest in Peace, Rapid Robert- [Indians.com]

Our own Jon Steiner and Paul C. talk Tribe- “With that in mind, it’s time to explore the topic of whether the Indians acted prudently in the past 2 ½ years, trading off their major parts for prospects and whether the “collateral damage” done by those actions – though they may have been the best idea in the long-term – is going to haunt this team in the short-term.” [The DiaTribe] [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Jake Delhomme, Larry Doby and Beating the Bengals

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.

Does this seem a tad optimistic based on the rest of Delhomm’s throws Sunday?- “The interception occurred later in the period. Delhomme’s arm was hit just as he was throwing the ball. The ball shot up in the air in a high loop and was picked by Leodis McKelvin. Mohamed Massaquoi, the intended receiver, was behind McKelvin on the play. Mangini speculated it would have been a touchdown pass if Delhomme hadn’t been hit.” [Schudel/News Herald] [Read more...]

Sorry To Say It: Mangini’s On the Ropes

There are many in this town that aren’t, but I am. I am an Eric Mangini guy. He is a tireless worker who has looked in the mirror and made positive changes after earning a stay of execution last offseason from new Browns czar Mike Holmgren. He is a young quality NFL Head Coach who now understands that being just the Head Coach is best for him, not having his hands in roster maneuvering.

This years’ slimmer and more congenial Mangini entered the season on shaky ground. His new boss, a former Super Bowl champion, hovered over his shoulder riding around in a cart all summer with a nameplate that said “COACH HOLMGREN.”

He was handed the 35-year old turnover machine named Jake Delhomme and told “this is your quarterback.” The guy who was supposed to the centerpiece of the running game, rookie Montario Hardesty, was lost in the preseason with a torn ACL. The Wide Receivers read like a list of third and fourth options at best with no clear number one guy. On defense, Rob Ryan’s schemes were lauded, but the talent was still a question mark, especially with little pass rushing threat on the outside.  [Read more...]

The Browns Will Win If…

Please, please someone make sure Derek Anderson does not show up for this game! The Browns are riding a modest two-game winning streak, and have already matched last year’s win total with four games remaining. Over their last 16 games, Cleveland is 9-7. Buffalo, on the other hand, continues to scuffle. Let’s hope both teams have progressed past last year’s 6-3 crap-fest, and that the Browns’ QB—whomever it may be—completes more than two passes!

brownspanthers

Both of these teams are similar on offense in terms of yards and points per game: Buffalo has a slight edge in points (20.3 to 19.1), yards (311.8 to 305.4), and passing yards (203.9 to 194.0), but the Browns have the slight edge in rushing (111.4 to 107.9). Likewise, it’s close on defense: Cleveland has the slight edge in yards-allowed per game (350.4 to 378.1), but Buffalo is better against the pass (207.2 to 231.3). On paper, the Browns have two big advantages: points allowed per game (19.9 to Buffalo’s 27.8), and rushing defense, where Cleveland allows just 119.1 and Buffalo allows a staggering 170.9 rushing yards per game. Read that again. Hmmm… I wonder how the Browns can win this game…? Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

Mid-Week Browns Update

The Browns head into Buffalo this week, and it feels like a bit of a trap game for me as a fan.  

Deep in my heart, I don’t believe that this Browns team in its current iteration is capable of succumbing to a trap game.  They seem to play just as hard in otherwise “meaningless” types of games.  Still, as a fan, I have no fear really as the Browns go up against stiffer competition like New Orleans and New England.  If the Browns lose those games, they were “supposed” to lose them.  Even though the Browns are currently listed as one point underdogs on the road against Buffalo, this certainly projects as a game that the Browns could and should win.  

I know in the Browns locker room the team is considering this to be a game they should be able to win a week after beating Miami on the road.  Still, to call this an automatic win would be silly.  The Browns go on the road, in Buffalo, in December, against a Bills team that took both Pittsburgh and Baltimore to overtime.

Anyway, on with the news… [Read more...]

Browns Struggle Early, Win Ugly

I’m very grateful for the win. Let’s be very clear about that. We will take them however we can get them. But this was not a very pretty win. The Browns struggled to get anything going on offense, especially in the first half. If it had not been for a few excellent plays by the defense, this one would have turned out much differently.

How bad was it in the first half? As I sat with a buddy watching the game we began to joke about second and 8. It seemed like the gameplan was to get 2 yards on first down, and another 2 or 3 on second down, leaving third and 5. The Browns ran 11 first down plays in the half, one of which was a kneel down at the end of the quarter. So of those 10 plays, exactly 1 went for more than 3 yards. (That was a 13 yard rumble by Hillis on the first play of the second possession.) Here are the results from first down in that half-

0,13,2,1,0,1,2,0,3,0 for an average of 2.2 yards on first down. Or like we joked- second and 8. [Read more...]

Browns Outlast Dolphins in Field Position Snooze-fest

Do you know how bad the Browns’ offense was today?  The Dolphins turned the ball over three times and the Browns still needed to kick a short field goal to win the game 13-10 as time expired.  If Mike Adams didn’t return his interception all the way to the Miami two yard-line, there is no telling how long the game would have taken to complete with potential overtime.  In the end, the Browns took a truckload of lemons and somehow found a way to make some kind of consumable beverage that we fans could choke down at the end of this Sunday.

I don’t want the offensive stink-fest to overshadow an impressive day of defense.  There were still a couple of lapses in the tackling department, especially on screens, but it can’t overshadow the day.

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Week 13 Open Thread: Browns at Miami

Trying to continue to improve throughout the long NFL season, the Cleveland Browns (4-7) travel to face the Miami Dolphins (6-5) today at 1 p.m. Oddly enough, the Dolphins have been much worse at home (1-4) than on the road this season, and we will see if that calms another start for Cleveland veteran Jake Delhomme. The Browns are a bit banged up heading, but the key will be to see how Peyton Hillis does against a stingy Miami defense ranks sixth in the NFL and allowed 16 rushing yards to Oakland last week.

Follow along with us here at WFNY and check out some of our earlier posts on the game: “The Browns Will Win If…” is the essential post, but we also are now featuring Craig’s intel info and an embarrassing song attempt from some Miami fans. Go Browns!

Pre-Game Intel: Browns vs. Dolphins

When and Where: Sunday December 5th, 2010 – 1:00 PM – Sun Life Stadium – Miami, FL

Overview: The Browns won the game last week despite all the negative feelings we have attached to that performance.  I have to admit that it was much easier to talk about the game this week considering the ball bounced the Browns’ way.  Eric Mangini was able to be a bit more lighthearted about the struggles and need for improvement.  It is pretty hilarious that we would seriously entertain coaching “hotseat” conversations if that ball had bounced right instead of bouncing left off that upright.  Because an opposing kicker misses a field goal the conversation is saved for another week.  No matter, the Browns know they got away with one last week, and should be intent on responding this week.

The Dolphins are 6-5 so far this season in a pretty uneven year.  The Dolphins have beaten all kinds of teams they should have beaten like Buffalo, Minnesota, and Cincinnati.  Their most impressive win came in week six over Green Bay 23-20 in overtime.  Other than that win, they have lost to all the decent teams on their schedule including the Jets, Pats, Steelers and Ravens.  Most recently they took care of Oakland 33-17.  You have to think they like their chances this week as five point favorites against the Browns.

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While We’re Waiting… Browns in South Beach, Cribbs on LeBron, Mangini’s Safety

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.

Breaking down the positions in the South Beach rematch: “The Cleveland Browns face two big questions when they take on the Miami Dolphins on Sunday: Will Jake Delhomme throw another pick six? Will the defense go for the tackle instead of the strip?” [Chris Pokorny/Dawgs By Nature]

Thoughts from a true Northeast Ohio sports star on LeBron James and facing a Miami team: “Cribbs, 27, is roughly the age of LeBron James, who will turn 26 this month. James called it a day in Cleveland at a young age, and when he came back in another uniform, Cribbs was there to see it.” [Steve Doerschuk/Canton Repository]
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