July 25, 2014

Dawson lets Cleveland know admiration is still mutual

Many Browns fans found at least a tiny bit of joy in their hearts last night when Phil Dawson hit a game-winning field goal to help the 49ers beat Green Bay in Lambeau field yesterday. Well, thanks to the modern world of social media, we can verify that Dawson still appreciates the fans in his old football home, not that it’s much of a surprise or anything.

Dawson helped propel Kaepernick and the boys forward 23-20 in a hostile, frozen road game. Insert comment about ice running through Dawson’s veins as a Packer defender flew dangerously close to blocking the kick that Dawson also snuck in on the right hand side of the goal posts.

The friends of WFNY on Facebook were digging it in a big big way last night, as well.

Dawson Dagger

NFL News: Cleveland Browns name captains for season, week 1

Three Cleveland Browns players were voted as team captains for the season, as voted by their teammates and announced by head coach Rob Chudzinski yesterday at his post-practice media session. A fourth captain will be named each week, like last season.

The three permanent captains will be: OT Joe Thomas (offense), LB D’Qwell Jackson (defense) and LB Quentin Groves (special teams). Both Thomas and Jackson were team captains last year with special teams representative Phil Dawson.

“We had our team vote for team captains,” Chudzinski shared in his opening remarks Friday. “It’s very important. It was very important to me, as well as the guys on the team, that we would be able to vote for and have captains who represent us, both on the field and off the field, what we’re trying to do in terms of creating the culture and the identity that we want here.”

For the first game of the season against the Miami Dolphins, Chudzinski announced that his pick for the fourth team captain will be WR Davone Bess. Acquired from the Dolphins over the offseason, Bess is a co-starter with Travis Benjamin for this week’s game in the absence of suspended Josh Gordon.

[Related: NFL Week 1 – Previewing the Dolphins vs. the Browns – WFNY Podcast – 2013-09-06]

Scott Raab on the Tribe, superstition and no-hitters, and getting excited about the Browns – WFNY Podcast – 2013-07-22

WFNY Podcast LogoScott Raab is talking this Monday morning about the Tribe mostly. The weekend series against the Twins, Matt Underwood, Superstition, Jason Kipnis, Lonnie Chisenhall and getting excited about the Browns.

  • Jinxes and whether or not we believe them
  • Matt Underwood and why Indians fans hate him so much
  • Superstition on the field and how it has leaked into the stands and in front of the TV
  • Man rules and whether or not you’re allowed to carry a glove to the game
  • Gun culture and how it interacts with man rules
  • People hate Nickelback for the same reason people hate gloves at the game
  • Matt Underwood conspiracy theories
  • Justin Masterson’s no-hit bid
  • Jason Kipnis blundering the next ground ball after the bloop hit
  • The meaningful nature of the games out of the break
  • What is the decision to decide whether to buy today vs. plan for the future
  • Chisenhall for Matt Garza and whether it’s worth it
  • Is Lonnie Chisenhall the next Casey Blake?
  • Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta making up for defense with offense
  • Mark Reynolds and how excited people got interested in extending him
  • Mark Reynolds bat control with two strikes vs. hitting free throws in basketball
  • Would you rather trade Asdrubal Cabrera or Francisco Lindor?
  • We vs. they in Cleveland sports
  • John Oliver from The Daily Show noticing the Chief Wahoo tattoo
  • Joe Banner and his aggressive play style
  • Talent is going to win or lose, but how much does risk taking impact
  • It’s legitimate to get excited about the Browns on defense
  • Phil Dawson and how embarrassing his dominance was to offensive coordinators
  • Steelers home games in Cleveland
  • Sports talk and how difficult it is to fill time

[Read more...]

Craig and Rick talk Browns – WFNY Podcast – 2013-03-22

WFNY Podcast LogoCraig and Rick of Waiting For Next Year discussed the Cleveland Browns’ off-season so far.

  • Rob Chudzinski and his talk with Mike Florio
  • Phil Dawson and the Browns communication about his departure
  • Jordan Cameron and the Browns’ tight end situation
  • The Cleveland Browns’ signing of former Chicago Bears tight end Kellen Davis
  • D’Qwell Jackson and his value to the organization
  • Josh Cribbs and his value going forward
  • Joe Haden and just how much he’s worth on an extension
  • The pre “rookie wage scale” draft picks and if they’re in for a rude awakening

Much much more. [Read more...]

What the Browns should have said about Phil Dawson

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. [Read more...]

NFL News: Browns give tryout to “Kickalicious,” Håvard Rugland

Tucked inside an updated version of Mary Kay Cabot’s column regarding Phil Dawson (as discussed here on Thursday), is a line item regarding the Cleveland Browns trying out a kicker named Håvard Rugland.

Rugland, 28, is a Norwegian known to many as “Kickalicious,” a trick-kick — the football equal of the basketball trick shot — artist who became an Internet sensation when he posted a YouTube video of him placing footballs into various confined, moving locations.

Rugland has never played football and comes from a soccer background. In addition to kicking footballs into boats and moving cars, Rugland allegedly has the leg to also kick 60-yard field goals, but scouts say that he tends to take more than the two or three requisite steps used by NFL kickers.

Cabot believes it is highly unlikely that the team signs the 6-foot-2-inch, 245-pound Rugland, who would replace Pro Bowl kicker Phil Dawson. Dawson, a former free agent, signed a one-year $2.25 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers.

“I think the Browns will do a good job of not only selecting whoever it’s going to be, but working with him and being patient with him,” said Dawson. “I’m going to be pulling for him. I’d just encourage everyone to be patient and embrace the new guy and support him the way they have done me.”

[Related: The Browns are right to lay low with Lombardi]

Gag order still in place regarding Phil Dawson negotiations

Former Browns placekicker Phil Dawson, in lockstep with the team’s front office, will not comment on any negiations that may or may not have been had during the Pro Bowler’s recent stint as a free agent.

Dawson held a conference call on Thursday afternoon just days after signing a one-year, $2.25 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers. When asked about any discussions with his employer of 14 seasons, Dawson replicated the silence emanating from Berea.

“I appreciate the interest in that, but I’m 100 percent moving forward and that’s just how I’m going to roll with this,” Dawson stated. “That’s probably a better question for somebody else.”

Though provided with multiple inquiries, Browns CEO Joe Banner perpetually refused to comment on the team’s dealings with the kicker. Prior to Dawson agreeing to terms with the 49ers, Banner stated that he “did, but did not” understand why Cleveland fans had such appreciation for the kicker. Following the contract announcement, the team issued a statement wishing Dawson well.

“It’s been an absolute privilege to wear that orange helmet and represent those fans every week,” said Dawson.

[Related: The Browns are right to lay low with Lombardi]

NCAA tourney primer with Kirk and TD – WFNY Podcast – 2013-03-20

WFNY Podcast LogoThe connection was a bit bad for a few moments as we all tried to figure out who was talking next, but it all got smoothed out pretty quickly. Kirk and TD are two of the more passionate NCAA hoops fans on the site and they wanted to lay out some storylines for the tourney.

  • Quick talk about Phil Dawson’s departure
  • TD and Kirk talk about Ohio State’s number 2 seeding
  • TD talks about Kansas and their draw
  • Which regions are the most brutal?
  • What are the most entertaining opening round games?
  • TD’s final four prediction
  • Kirk’s final four prediction
  • TD and his recommendation / final words on Ubaldo Jimenez

[Read more...]

Scott talks Browns, free agency, trust and more – WFNY Podcast – 2013-03-07

WFNY Podcast LogoThe third podcast of the week and finally I gave Scott the chance to break down a few things. The idea was to give Scott the reigns to talk about MIT. I ended up feeling like I talked more than ever on one of these things. I don’t know if I should let you in on my secret, but the key to this whole podcasting thing is kind of just getting out of the way sometimes. (Shh. Don’t tell anyone.)

Here’s a rundown…

  • The Browns and secrecy: Is it OK?
  • MIT Sloan conference (again)
    The iPhone app
  • Daryl Morey and the Rockets and what it means to the Cavs
  • What does it mean to the Browns?
  • Free agency vs. the draft and Mike Wallace
  • Spending now vs. spending later
  • The Moneyball moment in baseball
  • Tony Dungy and his ability to motivate his team
  • Analytics and style of play
  • Stability in organizations and coaching staffs
  • Ray Horton and how long he’ll be in Cleveland
  • Phil Dawson, Josh Cribbs and whether the Browns need them
  • Pierre Garcon vs. Mike Wallace

[powerpress url="http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/WFNYPodcast2013-03-07.mp3"] [Read more...]

Tough decisions loom for Browns on fan favorites

Phil Dawson-5Twenty-two combined seasons in Orange and Brown. Four Pro Bowls. Two fan favorites. Both free agents.

Cleveland fans love to hold on to their sports heroes. Josh Cribbs and Phil Dawson have been consistently the best things about Cleveland Browns football since the team returned in 1999.

Josh Cribbs walked on the team as an undrafted free agent after playing QB for Kent State in 2005. His counterpart from the University of Akron Charlie Frye, was a third round pick of the Browns that same year. Frye would start 18 games for the Browns before being traded to Seattle in 2007.

Phil Dawson is another undrafted player that found a home with the Browns after trying to stick with the Raiders and Patriots. Dawson is the only player that has been with the team from the return in 1999.

Both are fan favorites. Whether it was the hard work they put in to become top players at their positions or the way they embraced Cleveland and it’s fans, both are loved and would be missed if they weren’t with the team next year. [Read more...]

NFL News: Browns unlikely to meet Josh Cribbs’ asking price

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise for anyone as free agency kicks off soon. But we finally got one of our most severe indications than one of the best post-expansion Browns might soon be leaving Cleveland.

NFL.com reported earlier Saturday afternoon that the Browns are unlikely to meet the asking price of 29-year-old Joshua Cribbs. According to a source close to the Kent State product via NFL.com’s Aditi Kinkhabwala, Cribbs’ asking price is in the range of $1.8 to 2 million a year.

As fans might recall, Cribbs reached a 3-year deal with the Browns prior in March 2010 that was worth up to $20 million, with reportedly $7-8 in guaranteed money at the time. Yet, his value and playing time have decreased from year-to-year over the duration of this contract, leading to its expiring this offseason.

It’s been no surprise that this relationship might be at its end. We did learn earlier this week, however, that the team planned to meet with Cribbs’ agent J.R. Rickert at the draft combine in Indianapolis, which began on Thursday. It is thus possible that said meeting let to today’s news of no potential meeting of contract and asking price.

Because of his past success and relatively low needs, it certainly seems likely that the former Golden Flash will find some home in the NFL for the 2013 season. We’ll keep you updated on all of the latest as we see it with him and another fan favorite, Phil Dawson, over the coming weeks.

[Related: Joe Banner and the assumed departure of Phil Dawson]

Joe Banner and the assumed departure of Phil Dawson

Phil Dawson knocks in his 300th Field GoalLast week, I did some homework to try and do an article about Joe Banner and if he had to learn a hard lesson about kickers after saying goodbye to David Akers. I assumed that I would look up Akers and his Philly replacement and see a trail of tears that would let me argue that Banner should “learn from his mistakes” and keep Phil Dawson around.1

First things first though, I had to learn who the Eagles kicker was. I had no idea, but his name is Alex Henery. That’s pretty instructive to the point, because Henery has been pretty good and yet I didn’t even know his name. Henery seemingly doesn’t have the length of Akers as he doesn’t match Akers’ longs of 55 and 63 yards of the last two years. Akers was also utilized a heck of a lot more attempting 94 kicks over the last two years since leaving Philly. Henery has attempted a mere 58 in those two years. So, what could Joe Banner’s takeaways be since bidding David Akers adieu and what could it mean to Phil Dawson?

[Read more...]

___________________________________________________

Footnotes:

  1. Assuming the outcome isn’t exactly unbiased, but that’s just what I expected to see. []

NFL Rumor: Browns not planning on re-signing Phil Dawson

Buried in a flurry of question-and-answer tweets on Monday evening, Cleveland Browns beat writer Tony Grossi stated that the team does not plan on re-signing veteran Pro Bowl place kicker Phil Dawson.

Dawson, 38, was the team’s “franchise” player the last two seasons. Assuming Grossi is using intel instead of speculation,  it appears that the new Browns regime willl opt to get younger (read: less expensive). Dawson went on to make 29-of-31 field goals and all 29 extra points in 2012, affording him his first trip to Honolulu. He’s drilled 14-of-15 field goals from 50-plus yards over the last two seasons and has a cult-like fan base amongst Cleveland fans.

“The coaches and Michael [Lombardi] will make that call [on re-signing Dawson],” owner Jimmy Haslam said Thursday at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards late last month. “You have to remember we have a completely new set of individuals. [Head coach Rob Chudzinski has] been here, what, 10 days now? And really, they’ve been focused on hiring a staff. They’ve just now started looking at our team. So those decisions will be made over the next few weeks.”

[Related: Parallel Universes: Super Bowl XLVII and the ’87 AFC Championship Game]

Joe Thomas and Phil Dawson named to AP All-Pro Second Team

For the first time since 2009, the Browns have had two players voted to the Associated Press All-Pro Team. Kicker Phil Dawson joins tackle Joe Thomas as the Browns representatives on the 2012 AP All-Pro Team.

Joe Thomas was selected to his fifth straight All-Pro team (just two votes shy of his fourth consecutive First Team selection) and this marks Dawson’s second time on the team (2007).

The last time the Browns had two representatives on the All-Pro team was in 2009, when kick returner Josh Cribbs joined Joe Thomas on the AP’s First Team.

[Related: Kelly, Chudzinksi, & Plan B. Was there one?]

Browns-Steelers Week 17 Open Thread

 

Thaddeus Lewis makes start number one. No Weeden, no McCoy, no Richardson, no Brown, etc. Phil’s a Pro Bowler! Shurmur and Heckert’s last dance. There’s no shortage of questions, and the Browns head into Heinz Field looking to give Pittsburgh a losing season and finish 6-10.

Get your commenting and Steeler hatred on below!

Related: Schefter, Mortensen: Browns’ Eyes on O’Brien, Kelly

NFL News: Joe Thomas and Phil Dawson named to the 2013 Pro Bowl

Cleveland Browns kicker Phil Dawson and offensive tackle Joe Thomas have been named to the 2013 AFC Pro Bowl squad, the league announced today.

In addition, Joshua Cribbs was selected as a first alternative as both a kick return specialist and as a special teamer, D’Qwell Jackson was named a first alternate at inside linebacker and Alex Mack was named a first alternate at center.

“I was happy that Phil and Joe were recognized for having Pro Bowl seasons,” said Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur.  “Phil has been one of the most consistent kickers in the NFL throughout his career, and this year he was near-perfect, including many long-range field goals. I believe it is very appropriate that he is getting his due credit after 14 years in the league. Joe has established himself as one of the top left tackles in the game, and he has played at a very high level once again this year.  He was a big part of the improvement that I felt we made as an offense.”

Dawson is the first Browns player to be selected to the Pro Bowl as a kicker (Lou Groza was selected as tackle). Dawson’s 96.6 (28 of 29) field goal percentage this season leads the AFC and he is 6 for 6 on field goals from 50 yards or longer, which is tied for the most in the AFC. With 112 points, he extended his team-record to six 100-point seasons in his career. He also set a career-high with 29 touchbacks this season, surpassing his previous best of 12 in 2008. The longest tenured member of the Browns, Dawson owns an 84.2 career field-goal percentage, which ranks first all-time in NFL history among the 25 kickers with 300 or more field goals.

Thomas has been selected to the Pro Bowl in all six of his NFL seasons. He has not missed an offensive snap since joining the Browns as the third overall pick of the 2007 NFL Draft, starting all 15 contests at left tackle this season. Thomas joins Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown (1958-66) as the only Browns selected to the Pro Bowl in each of their first six seasons in the league. The last Browns player to be named to six consecutive Pro Bowls was Hall of Fame running back Leroy Kelly, who earned the honor for the 1967-72 Pro Bowls. Thomas is one of six Browns to earn Pro Bowl honors six or more times. He joins Richmond Webb (Miami Dolphins, 1991-97 Pro Bowls) as the only NFL offensive linemen to be named to the Pro Bowl in each of their first six seasons since 1970.

The 2013 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 27 in Honolulu, Hawaii, and televised by NBC in prime time at 7:00 p.m. ET.

[Related: Reggie Hodges wrote an open letter to Cleveland for Phil Dawson]

Cleveland Browns Game 14: Winners and Losers

Who caught your eye? Did someone stand out? Who blew it? That’s what were interested in this morning. Winners and losers.

There won’t be many winners from this week unfortunately for Browns players and fans alike. Let’s get to it….

LOSER: Cleveland. Despite flashes of possible good things to come, the city’s flagship sports team will once again have a losing season. The Browns have played sub-500 ball for nine of the last 10 seasons, and 13 of the last 15. One more loss and they will have five straight years of double-digit losses. [Read more...]

Redskins vs. Browns – Open Thread

The Browns have a chance to extend the win streak to four.

This could be the last home game for Josh Cribbs as a member of the Browns.

RG3 sits for former Michigan State QB and rookie Kirk Cousins.

This could be hopeful Browns Pro Bowl Kicker Phil Dawson’s last home game as a member of the Browns as well.

Stay right here all day for updates and conversation in the comments!

Reggie Hodges wrote an open letter to Cleveland for Phil Dawson

Some days I wonder if we wasted all of our voting power on Peyton Hillis. After that disastrous result, maybe asking for a fan vote – even a totally worthwhile one – is just too much to ask. Even still, Browns punter Reggie Hodges is going to give it his best effort to try to get the other half of the Browns’ field goal battery, Phil Dawson, into the Pro Bowl for the first time.

This letter serves to draw attention to the injustice that has taken place in Cleveland since 1999. PHIL DAWSON HAS NEVER BEEN TO THE PRO BOWL!

Currently he is ranked fourth in fan voting. This weekend is the last opportunity to vote for Phil before voting ends Monday. If Dawson does not gain a substantial amount of votes, Browns fans could be left watching the Pittsburgh Steelers or Baltimore Ravens kicker take the spot that could be Phil’s. Currently each of those players has more fan votes.

We’ve certainly shared plenty of links in social media, but we haven’t really brought it to the front page of WFNY yet. So, let this serve as your reminder to go vote for Phil Dawson as a most deserving Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl representative.

Vote Often for Phil Dawson at NFL.com

Cleveland Browns Game 13: Winners and Losers

Who caught your eye? Did someone stand out? Who blew it? That’s what were interested in this morning. Winners and losers.

Three wins in a row. A team growing in confidence. There are no losers today. Ok, almost no losers.

WINNER: Travis Benjamin. Which might just make Josh Cribbs the defaut loser. Not simply because Benjamin returned a punt for a score, but because Browns fans saw him return a score. Benjamin is faster. If he can show he has moves and vision on top of it, Cribbs may very well be looking for that next contract somewhere else next season. [Read more...]