July 30, 2014

The Best Browns Since 1999 – Cornerbacks

The Browns have struggled mostly to find top of the line starters at the cornerback position.  There’s a reason that Tom Heckert drafted Joe Haden and traded for Sheldon Brown when he arrived in Cleveland.  And for as much complaining as some fans do about Sheldon Brown, he has brought a lot to the table for the Browns in coverage.  It seems that sometimes corners do get beaten, but that just isn’t acceptable for the guy who gets thrown at opposite Joe Haden, I guess.  Anyway, on with the list. [Read more...]

How Desperate Are You Browns Fans?

I know we have all kind of reveled a bit in all the bad news coming out of Pittsburgh over the last few months.  Not that it really should make us feel any better to see their players make really poor decisions off the field, but sometimes you really do need to blow someone else’s candle out to make yours shine brighter.  Here in Browns town, we have had our share of negative stories from players off the field.  Even last week, we had Shaun Rogers’ situation with a gun at the airport.  I believe Leigh Bodden had a problem at the airport too once upon a time.  Bodden was arrested even if he was eventually found not guilty by a jury.  Kellen Winslow’s motorcycle accident also comes to mind.  I think almost all NFL teams have to deal with this on some level.  The biggest difference between the Browns and the Steelers is that at least Steelers fans got a few Superbowl championships out of it.

That leads me to my question.  Now that it seems like the Steelers are going to have to make somebody the fall-guy to help resurrect their floundering clean image, what lengths would you go to as Browns fans to win it all?  Would you take marginal characters like Santonio Holmes (mugshot on the right) in order to make it happen?  Holmes is especially interesting given the number of Buckeye fans that are simultaneously Browns backers.   [Read more...]

NFL Free Agency: Browns are Bringing in the Jets

david-bowensWith the NFL free agency season still underway, we are finally starting to see a few more names added to the roster for the Cleveland Browns. Sure, they are not exactly the Albert Haynesworths or Terrell Owens’, but any fan that anticipated big name free agents this year was bound to be disappointed. But with the recent wave of signings, these players all have something in common: their former team.

In what has been an interesting off-season from the standpoint of coaching changes as well as players themselves, we have seen quite a number of players follow their former play-callers and general managers to their new team whether through trade or free agency. Scott Pioli took the gig in Kansas City and wasted no time in acquiring Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel. Baltimore’s Rex Ryan is the new head coach of the New York Jets, and will get to call plays for former Ravens Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that Eric Mangini and George Kokinis have added a handful of players with whom our head coach is very familiar.

[Read more...]

NFL Free Agency: Leigh Bodden Signs With Pats

For all those hoping that the Browns could sign Leigh Bodden in order to say that we traded a draft pick for Shaun Rogers, well the opportunity is gone.  While Mangini and company were signing Hank Poteat, the Pats were signing the Browns’ former starting CB to a one-year “prove it” type of contract for the veteran minimum $750,000.  Of course, financial terms were not disclosed in the Poteat signing, but let’s assume the numbers are similar.  Who would you rather have?  Hank Poteat or Leigh Bodden?

Just to be fair, we don’t know if Bodden would even be willing to come back to Cleveland.  Certainly, if he had the option between going to New England on a one-year deal, and coming back to Cleveland on a one-year deal, you have to think the decision was easy.  Plus, last time I checked he hasn’t had any problems at Logan International Airport in Boston just yet.  

Also in fairness to the new regime here, Hank Poteat will be able to help teach the new system to Browns CBs.  Also, when analyzing this year vs. last year, I would like to think that Hank Poteat will be a better nickel option than Terry Cousin.  I can’t remember the last time in Cleveland sports history that an insignificant player accounted for so much negativity as Terry Cousin.

Leigh Bodden: The Circle Of Life

Leigh Bodden BrownsOf the many things ex-Browns GM Phil Savage did wrong, not having any real depth at cornerback behind second year players Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald was right near the top. He thought the team would be fine with Daven Holly as the nickel corner (which may have been the case), so he dealt starter Leigh Bodden to the Lions in a package to get All-Pro defensive tackle Shawn Rogers. Nobody can question that move as Rogers lived up to all the hype, was a dominant force in the middle, and was the MVP of the 2008 Browns – the equivalent to being the captain of the Titanic.

Then in late May, Holly blew out his knee during OTA’s, and the Browns were left paper thin at CB, considering they didn’t draft one three weeks prior when they had the opportunity to do so. Instead of exploring deals for big names like Lito Shepard or checking on the availability of free agent Ty Law, Savage went cheap and signed journeyman Terry Cousin. Cousin spent the year being picked on every third down he was on the field. [Read more...]

Browns getting defensive

srogers.jpgThe Browns are confirming that Detroit DT Shaun Rogers is indeed coming to the Browns after a failed trade attempt was made with Cincinnati. Rogers was dealt from the Lions in exchange for CB Leigh Bodden and the Browns 3rd round draft pick.

Rogers (6-feet-4, 345 pounds), who will enter his eighth NFL season this fall, is a two-time Pro Bowl selection out of Texas. During 2007, he led the Lions with a career-high 7 sacks to go with 66 tackles. In his career, he has totaled 447 tackles and 29.5 sacks in 98 games (96 starts).

Before you jump up and down about a pro-bowl player coming to Cleveland, be aware that Rogers has not been without criticism. For example K.C. Joyner of ESPN.com rated Rogers one of the 8 most overrated players in the NFL-

He was named the NFC player of the week at one point during the 2007 season, but his 4.4 YPA allowed on point-of-attack runs was quite disappointing for a player who had been dominant in that area in the past. And that wasn’t all: 30 of the 97 POA runs directed at Rogers gained at least 5 yards, and 11 went for 10-plus yards. [Read more...]