The top three backs for Browns fans were all free agents or trades. The Browns have done the near impossible across multiple front offices and coaching staffs. They have managed to not hit on a running back out of nowhere from later in the draft or off the street as an undrafted free agent. I don’t know the stats from around the league, but it seems inconceivable that there isn’t a name on this list that put more than two good years together running the ball for the Browns. Wouldn’t you have to say Jamal Lewis had the most productive overall career for the Browns? Scary. [Read more...]
There is almost nothing to talk about with the Browns for the next couple weeks. In a town that thrives on Browns news both good and bad, it is tough for us as fans to really not have anything of substance to talk about.
Anything substantive about the draft has already been said until the rumor mill starts going again in the next couple weeks. Free agency and roster moves are also premature this time of year. This year, in particular, it could be even worse.
With the status of the collective bargaining agreement we don’t know what free agency will look like. Will there be a franchise tag? I am sure Peyton Manning wants to know. Will there be a rookie wage scale? I hope so, personally, but all those soon-to-be first round draft picks sure wish they knew the answer to that question. While it is in our nature to speculate like crazy about a million different things this time of year, it seems especially futile with so many important factors hanging in the air. [Read more...]
For the second time in the two weeks of Browns training camp, head coach Eric Mangini gave the players a day off mid-week. In a move that represents a typical in-season week, giving the team a day to rest before a game, these breaks in training are quite the 180-degree turn from what the Cleveland Browns saw from their head coach a season prior.
When asked of what could be expected of Mangini’s tenure in Cleveland, players who he had coached with the Jets typically focused on how physical practices were – something that was a massive change from the days of Romeo Crennel. [Read more...]
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Wasting no time by giving him No. 31… ”It was one weekend with guys in shorts and no real hitting, but the rookie who made the best first impression was Tennessee running back Montario Hardesty. Most rookies are not in football shape when they arrive for this camp. Browns coaches like to put the rookies under a lot of mental pressure, giving them a taste of what training camp will be like. It is a shock to most of their systems. That said, Hardesty grabbed onto the offensive concepts. He impressed when it was time to draw up plays on the board. He also was in good shape, ran hard and showed more than power — a quick first step and an ability to make sharp cuts. The Browns believe he can step in and combine with Jerome Harrison to give them an excellent 1-2 combination, with Peyton Hillis also in the mix as a short-yardage back.” [Terry Pluto]
I was elated to hear that Jamal Lewis was visiting the Saints yesterday. On a slow news day, it was a bright spot because it reminded me again that as Browns fans we no longer have to think about Jamal Lewis or his stutter-stepping through the Cleveland backfield. After the smile finally escaped my face, confusion set in. First of all, why would Jamal Lewis keep playing and why would the Saints possibly need Jamal Lewis?
The Saints have Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas to tote the rock next year. They probably need to add some depth to the position, but at this point, how could Jamal Lewis even be considered “depth?” Unless Lewis and his agent are pitching some kind of miracle rejuvenation this off-season, I think we all know that Lewis doesn’t have much to contribute to any team. Then I came across a strange story at ProFootballTalk that somehow slipped under my radar. [Read more...]
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 email@example.com.
Unlike their baseball bretheren, the Browns are getting younger: “It came as no surprise that the Browns parted ways with Jamal Lewis and Donte Stallorth in recent weeks. What is a surprise is why it took them so long with Lewis. Of course, they didn’t let the ink dry on Stallworth’s re-instatement by the NFL beefore they let him go.
Both players have stories that tie in with the former Browns—the Ravens.
A year ago at this time, Eric Mangini and his staff decided to pay Lewis nearly $4 million in bonuses to keep him. Even though Mangini was just recently hired by the Browns, I questioned his judgment of assessing talent on the matter.” [Fred Greetham/The OBR]
The Cleveland Browns today terminated the contract of running back Jamal Lewis, the team announced.
“I enjoyed getting to know Jamal and having the opportunity to coach him last season,” said Browns head coach Eric Mangini. “We want to thank him for his contributions to the Cleveland Browns and wish him nothing but the best moving forward. I’m sure he will be successful in whatever he decides to pursue.”
This move may have expedited Lewis’ rumored retirement. It also leaves the Browns with only James Davis as a running back under contract. Jerome Harrison is looking at becoming a restricted free agent.
Now that The Big Show Mike Holmgren has shored up his front office roster, it’s time for him–and for us–to look at the team’s roster. We’ve borrowed from the Department of Homeland Security and will be looking at each position group day by day, finishing with a roster upgrade ranking based on need. Check back each day this week for a new position group.
Today, I get the extreme honor to kick off WFNY’s Holmgren Report series with a look at the running back stable. Running back was a position that appeared to be of dire need at one point in the season, and then once Jerome Harrison exploded on the (lower end of the) NFL over the last three weeks of the season, it caused us to wonder if maybe things weren’t as dire as we might have once thought.
In looking at the running backs for 2010, there is one giant x-factor: Jamal Lewis, and Eric Mangini’s apparent love of him as the starting running back. It’s fairly ironic (to me, at least) that had Lewis not gone on IR late in the year, Mangini perhaps wouldn’t have given Harrison the nod in the last three games, we wouldn’t have seen a showcase of Harrison’s ability, and Mangini might not have won those last three games which most likely allowed him to keep his job. And most importantly, Harrison—who is a restricted free agent this off-season—might not have been kept in the team’s longer-term plans at all. [Read more...]
I wouldn’t even want to speculate about Jerome’s future with the team. Harrison has found himself in and out of favor with Eric Mangini all season long (mostly out). Even after his record setting performance last week, I do not think Mangini is ready to anoint him the Cleveland Browns feature back. But with Mangini’s future in question, and the uncapped season on the horizon (oh yeah, they don’t mention that much during telecasts do they) let’s take a look at Jerome’s short term future.
The Browns come into today’s game having lost Shaun Rogers, Jamal Lewis, and Brodney Pool this past week to injuries. This alone makes the Browns roster look a little thin, as two of the three guys listed are pretty much the first Browns players that people would think of when hearing ‘Cleveland Browns’. But no, there’s more! The Browns are already without Ryan Tucker, James Davis, D’Qwell Jackson, Eric Barton, Dave Zastudil, and Steve Heiden. Davis showed glimpses of excitement early in the season, while D’Qwell was playing as well as anybody on the defensive side of the ball.
There was plenty of uncertainty swirling today regarding veteran running back Jamal Lewis. Not present at practice, nor the locker room media portion that followed, The Plain Dealer speculated that Lewis’ season could be over. Not long thereafter, WTAM/AM1100 confirmed that Lewis in fact will be placed on the Injured Reserve ending his season and perhaps his career.
With three running backs (Lewis, Jerome Harrison and practice squad add-on Chris Jennings) on the Browns roster, many fans found it odd that the team would be trying out the NFL-turned-UFL running back DeDe Dorsey. Given the uncertainty regarding the use of Harrison, this was understandable. But with this news regarding Lewis, we apparently have our answer.
I wanted to talk more about the Browns’ inactives today because it is one of the things that really bugs me. The choices for inactive players really flies in the face of the idea that this team is a couple years away. Make no mistake. The Browns thought they might be playing a bit for the present this year when they decided not to trade Braylon Edwards before the draft. Instead, they jumped into the season with a guy who was never going to be here next year before finally trading him to the Jets. At that point, I fully expected to see all those young guys filling the field in order to take their lumps early and often rather than wait it out. Then, yesterday the decisions went against that. The inactives for yesterday’s game included Jerome Harrison, Brian Robiskie, David Veikune, and Coye Francies. Let’s take them one by one. [Read more...]
The Browns have seven games left this season. Starting this Sunday against the Detroit Lions, the Browns should move on without Jamal Lewis. I say this without any malice or anger. I don’t care that Lewis spouted off in the locker room last week. This season Jamal Lewis has topped 100 yards once. That was the game against Buffalo where he needed 36 attempts to get his 117 yards. At this point in the Browns’ “progression” and at this point in Lewis’ career, there is no point in giving Jamal a single additional carry as a member of the Browns. He has officially achieved Willie McGinest and Ted Washington status for the Cleveland Browns.
So, who would get the carries? Obviously the first two people I look to are Chris Jennings and Jerome Harrison. I know Jennings didn’t blow us away with his running against Baltimore this week, but honestly, neither did Jamal Lewis. I know that Harrison missed blocking Ray Lewis toward the end of the game, but that was four quarters into a game where Baltimore defenders were already mostly running unabated to the quarterback after the snap anyway. This is the point in the season when it would have been nice to work in a trio of James Davis, Jerome Harrison, and Chris Jennings. It is kind of ironic that Davis won’t get an “opportunity” due to his participation in “opportunity drills.” [Read more...]
After having two weeks to prepare for last night’s contest with the Baltimore Ravens, the Cleveland Browns managed to accumulate only 160 yards of total offense. Quarterback Brady Quinn amassed a passer rating of 23.5 through the air. The Browns carried the ball 26 times, collecting 86 yards. But one thing that jumps out of the box score, running back Jerome Harrison did not receive one carry, nor was the recipient of any of the countless screen passes thrown.
Jamal Lewis carried the ball 10 times – becoming the 20th player in NFL history to accumulate 2,500 rushing attempts. The Wildcat allowed Josh Cribbs to tote the ball six times. Quinn ran it twice, Mohamed Massaquoi once. The balance of the carries were taken by former practice squad running back Chris Jennings who had seven carries for 18 yards.
Jennings also caught one of the short passes and managed to take it for 10 yards. Jerome Harrison, one of the only play-makers on the Browns managed to have zero carries, zero receptions, zero total yards. [Read more...]
Baltimore Ravens (4-4) at Cleveland Browns (1-7) | Cleveland Browns Stadium
8:30 PM EST | ESPN, WJW-TV (Ch. 8); WMMS FM/100.7.
48 degrees, winds 13 mph | Line: BAL (-10.5)
Rick first documented the story on Thursday when Jamal Lewis came out in the media and directly took on Coach Eric Mangini and his practice habits and schedule. Rick wrote that Jamal could well have been the voice of reason as opposed to your average disgruntled player trying to fight through a horrible season under a new coach with an extremely different approach. He also finished his piece with “it is safe to say Jamal isn’t the only one in the locker room who is fed up.” Lewis is a respected veteran and leader on the team and it was expected that he was simply not a lone ranger in the locker room speaking out. Well, that is officially confirmed now and it appears his statements are receiving significant backing from the rest of the team to the point where they began chanting “J-Lew, J-Lew!” in the open locker room yesterday as Lewis answered more questions from the media.
Nobody knows what was going on with Jamal Lewis and his tirade except maybe Jamal Lewis, a few teammates, and maybe some on the coaching staff. We can guess and speculate all we want, but we might not ever find out for sure. I would probably just take it all at face value if it wasn’t the second time in as many weeks that Lewis was talking. He blurted out his retirement announcement in the locker room out of frustration. And now, a week or so later he is back again spouting off in the locker room to reporters. It is hard to tell just what the motivation could be for all this talk.
Of course, Lewis could be completely altruistic. He is certainly a competitor that has shown excellence over the course of his career. From that standpoint, it must be extremely difficult to be stuck in a situation like what the Browns are this season. Think about how Jerome Bettis got to go out in his career. What Lewis is dealing with this year is easily a nightmare by comparison. Maybe he truly believes exactly what he is saying and he wants Mangini to lighten up so that the team can compete more effectively on game days for the rest of the year. [Read more...]
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 in the sidebar.
So ESPN got WJW -TV drunk on Bud Light and sold them tickets? “The Browns have averted their first TV blackout since 1995. The team announced Thursday night that the remaining tickets for Monday night’s game against the Baltimore Ravens have been purchased by the Browns, ESPN, Bud Light and WJW-TV, which will air the game.” [Associated Press]
Let’s be honest. The Browns locker room can’t be a very happy place these days. I have no special insight, knowledge or ‘little birdie’ whispering that in my ear. But a 1-7 team, with a major QB controversy and an iron fisted head coach/GM that has already shipped off talented players that were supposed to be ‘core’ guys just a season or two ago is bound to be in a dismal mood. And we know that the players loved Romeo Crennel. So the potential is certainly there for some ‘sour grapes’ type of quotes. But could today’s thoughts expressed by Jamal Lewis be more a voice of reason than bitter fruit?
Lewis took several shots at Eric Mangini and his staff today. You can read the comments in several places, but I think the OBR did the best job of giving us the entire conversation (go there to read it all, here is a piece)- [Read more...]
Has a team ever needed a bye week more than the Cleveland Browns right at this juncture? Things have gotten so bad that I literally sit back and laugh when Derek Anderson forces one into double coverage, or Eric Wright whiffs on a tackle in the secondary. What else can you do? Its a laughable mess. Ten years of this garbage and we are back to square one, thanks to that hot commodity duo of Eric Mangini and George Kokinis and the “genius” who hired them – Randy Lerner.
Think about it. Off the field you have an absentee/clueless owner who finally decided to show up and talk about the current situation after months and months in hiding. You’ve got a GM who is the 2010 version of the “unknown comic” (the comedian in the 80′s who always wore a bag over his head) who’s duties nobody really knows. After all, when the Browns traded WR Braylon Edwards, Kokinis wasn’t the one who faced the media to answer questions – that was Eric Mangini. And speaking of the head coach, the portly head man engineered a clean sweep of this roster and coaching staff, bringing in 10 of his former players while trying to change the culture of his new organization. [Read more...]