Barkevious Mingo and how quickly he can make an impact
Ray Horton and whether he can teach these guys the system
Jabaal Sheard converting
Paul Kruger and Desmond Bryant and their implementation into the defense
Ahtyba Rubin and his future
Paul Kruger’s brother Joe Kruger
Steelers pick of Jarvis Jones
Can Jarvis Jones set the edge in the NFL?
Is there a bigger winner than Andy Dalton?
Tyler Eifert and the Cincinnati Bengals
The departure of Ed Reed and the call for Matt Elam
Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens strike again?
- What’s next for the Steelers? Justin Hunter? Robert Woods? Eddie Lacey?
- Joe Flacco’s contract
2013 NFL Draft – AFC North analysis of Browns, Bengals, Steelers and Ravens with @SteelersDepot – WFNY Podcast – 2013-04-26
We tried as much as possible to not rehash all the excellent pieces that have been written on the subject lately, but some of the topics we discussed include:
- Is it possible to discuss this issue without bias as Cleveland fans?
- Is the argument against Modell more about Art himself or about the Hall of Fame itself?
- Ozzie Newsome’s guest column in the Plain Dealer
- The perspective from neutral observers on this subject
- Is there any real chance Modell actually gets in?
- Much much more…
The Browns lost a tough one down in Cincy last week. Since then, Ryan Pontbriand was cut, Josh Cribbs voiced his displeasure with losing, and the Baltimore Ravens arrived in Cleveland looking to extend their record to 9-3. If Pat Shurmur’s group is able to respond to last week’s loss by getting into the win column today, they will need to play their best game of the season to date.
Las Vegas has the Ravens favored on the road by seven points. They intend to blitz Colt McCoy all afternoon and into the early Cleveland evening. It would be pretty encouraging if Peyton Hillis showed up today with one of those games he had last season. Beyond that, the other things that will have to happen in order for the Browns to come out on top were previously identified both here and here.
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.
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...]
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jared Sullinger to sit out today’s game: “After demolishing the Dookies on Tuesday night, 85-63, Thad Matta goes for his 300th career victory tonight, in the first ever meeting with UT Pan Am. This game is only available on-line, at btn.com and it will cost you $14.95.
Word came down late yesterday that Jared Sullinger is going to sit this one out due to some back spasms experienced in the Duke game. After the initial hyperventalation when the news broke, it looks like the injury isn’t serious and Sully will be ready in a week at Kansas.
There wasn’t going to be much need for Sully today anyhow. Most of OSU’s cupcakes this season have played at least one tough team to start the season, but UTPA’s toughest games have come against Northwestern, Toledo and DePaul. Their only wins have come against Texas St. and Victory University.” [Eleven Warriors / Corey Carpenter] [Read more...]
If there is an NFL season next year, we already know who the Browns will play, even if we don’t know the order. In 2010 the Browns got the whole AFC East, the whole NFC South, the worst team from the AFC South, the worst from the AFC West and their annual divisional opponents. The non-divisional teams accounted for 76 wins in 2009, the year prior to playing the Browns. Bucs (3,) Chiefs (4,) Falcons (9,) Saints (13,) Pats (10,) Jets (9,) Jags (7,) Panthers (8,) Dolphins (7,) and Bills (6).
In 2011 the Browns get the entire AFC South, the entire NFC West, the second worst AFC East team, and the second worst AFC West team. The Browns finished above the Bengals in their division, so that means the Browns get the Dolphins and Raiders while the Bengals get the Bills and Broncos. That in and of itself is a 7 win swing. (Dolphins + Raiders = 15, while Bills + Broncos = 8.) [Read more...]
You might remember last week when I found a video of the Browns getting absolutely POUNDED in some edited version of Super Tecmo Bowl. Well, Mr. Super Tecmo Bowl, you have your answer from a guy by the name of Madden. The score isn’t nearly as gaudy as the one posted in Super Tecmo Bowl, then again, nobody had dreamed of inventing all the CPU magic that goes into EA Sports’ iconic title. So even thought the margin of victory isn’t as impressive, I am giving us the title. Exactly what that title is, I am not sure, but we have it!
The Cleveland Browns have two games left against the class of the AFC North. I know we hate to say it because we despise the Ravens and the Steelers so much, but they are. There’s just no denying it. The Browns are also coming off a tough stretch of games for them. The Browns went from surprising the class of the league against New Orleans, New England and to an extent even in losing to the Jets.
They followed that up by placing their coach on a considerably warmer seat (real or imagined) in the media and on the Internet. There is no mistaking that the Browns are banged up and have some excuses. How many teams would expect to even win five games and be so close in so many others with three separate starting quarterbacks? And yet, we have no idea what to expect this week against Baltimore. [Read more...]
So far this season the Browns have had trouble playing in the second half. Regardless of who you want to pin that on, it is certainly noteworthy. This week at halftime the score was again 14-10, but this time the Browns were on the short end instead of the other way around. The Browns scored the final touchdown of the first half to get to that score and had the momentum as they were getting the ball first in the second half. Obviously we know how it all ended, but at least this week the Browns’ offense changed their M.O. They actually allowed the Browns to come from behind and take a second half lead with a touchdown to start the fourth quarter. I guess when the ship sinks, it probably doesn’t matter that much where the leaks come from. But despite the comedic merits of the comparison, this isn’t a sinking ship. This is a football team that can build and learn. As the defense took a step back this week against Anquan Boldin, the offense seemed to do some things that they can build on in the coming weeks. Now, let’s look at the numbers.
The Browns said they wanted to get the ball to Josh Cribbs more. They only ran the wildcat once which makes the Daboll detractors scream. They also ran the “cyclone” with Josh Cribbs and Seneca Wallace in the pistol formation once. I know everyone seemingly wants the wildcat package run more, but I was actually fine with the amount of looks Cribbs got overall. Cribbs had 2 rushes for 20 yards and 5 receptions for 58 yards. He was targeted in the passing game 8 times. [Read more...]
The Browns had a second half lead! The first play of the fourth quarter was a play-action fake to Peyton Hillis and a pass to a wide open Benjamin Watson for a Browns lead 17-14. Unfortunately for the Browns, it wouldn’t get any better than that. The Browns, again, couldn’t stay out of their own way with penalties and mistakes in execution. Ultimately the Browns gave up two more fourth quarter scores to lose by a touchdown. Of course, one of those touchdowns was to Anquan Boldin who ended up torching Eric Wright and the Browns for eight catches, 142 yards and three touchdowns on the day. Still, it wasn’t all bad.
As I said before, the Browns had a second half lead. Today’s game against the Ravens was a coming out party for (THUNDER!) Peyton Hillis. Hillis might have cemented his spot as the featured running back for the Browns by running for 144 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown. He burst through holes, bowled people over and even leaked out for a 48 yard gain on one rush, delivering punishment along the way. He also had seven catches for 36 yards on top of it. Josh Cribbs also played pretty well. He had five catches for 58 yards and a run out of the wildcat that went for 19 yards. [Read more...]
Overview: Not sure how much overview I need to do here. The Browns are anywhere between 10 and 11 point underdogs depending on where you look. Obviously you have to think the Browns have a chance this week… against the spread. Why? This isn’t a gambling site or column, but let’s just say that 10 and higher is a really really high spread between two teams in the NFL. In this case it might be crazy to think that it should be this high, but going into this season, I thought it would be crazy if the Browns came into week three without at least a 1-1 record, so shows what I know.
The Ravens come into this game off of a frustrating loss to the Bengals where the refs came under fire in the Baltimore locker room. A tripping call on Ray Lewis and a roughing the passer call were called out as questionable game changers by the Ravens. After seeing them, I think the tripping call was pretty legit, but the roughing the passer call seemed excessive. Still, a week after the Browns dealt with many of the same flags being thrown, it is hard to have much sympathy.
The Browns come in this week at 0-2 with fans falling right back into those same roles calling out players coaches and entire drafts after every single game. It got so bad this week that I chose to write about a time when the Browns found a way to grasp a victory from the jaws of defeat.
Anyway, let’s get this over with. [Read more...]
This week as the 0-2 Browns head to Baltimore, I thought it might be time for some good karma. Granted, karma has little to do with the Browns’ 0-2 start as we have pretty easily been able to figure out exactly where the Browns have gone wrong with their self-inflicted wounds in second halves. It is time to go down memory lane and remember a game where our typical Browns found a way to overcome their own tendencies to win one.
The Browns took a 13-7 lead into halftime against the Ravens on November 18th 2007. Romeo Crennel was the Browns’ coach. Derek Anderson was the quarterback. Jamal Lewis was still in the midst of his late-career resurgence. The Browns were in Baltimore on the turf and they were playing just like the Browns we know and love. They were threatening to give up second half leads at every opportunity.
We’ll start in the third quarter with Baltimore receiving and starting their first drive from their own 25 yard line. The Browns, holding a lead of fewer than seven points, allowed plays of 16, 7, 21, and 24 yards in over four minutes to give up a touchdown to Willis McGahee with just under 11 minutes to go in the third quarter. The Browns allowed Kyle Boller, Derrick Mason and Willis McGahee to chew them up and spit them out on the first drive of the second half. [Read more...]
As the Browns’ list of cuts was finally released and then as they failed to claim anyone, Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert’s view of the current Browns is becoming apparent. The team is far from a finished product and instead of grasping at players who appeared to be minor upgrades the Browns seem content in seeing what they have with the unknown young talents.
Obviously I am talking most notably about the wide receiver position. As outside observers, it seemed that this was one of the most dire needs the team has had all off-season. As guys like Vincent Jackson were dangled and as guys like T.J. Houshmandzadeh were cut and became available, the Browns sat idle. In fairness to the Browns, Housh was unlikely to sign with a team not looking seriously at the playoffs this season, and the asking price was so high on Jackson that he still hasn’t been traded to date. Still, it speaks volume either about the potential of Massoquai, Robiskie and Cribbs, or the Browns’ desire to see that talent before extending offers to any other players. [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...]
Thankfully, according to Mary Kay Cabot’s report on Cleveland.com, Josh Cribbs is out of the hospital and doing just fine. Her report also goes on to say just how angry Cribbs’ agent is that Josh was put in harm’s way last night on a meaningless hook and ladder play that would have only guaranteed a 9 point loss if it had been successful. As this season has progressed and seeing the way Josh has handled his business since not getting a new contract prior to the season, I don’t think there is room for a split anymore amongst the fans. [Read more...]
I get sick and tired of getting “the look” from my wife after Browns games. I have been married just over three years, and “the look” has become ridiculously commonplace during the NFL season. As I have stated before, my wife is a Colts fan from Indy. The look is that piteous, apologetic look that combines all the misery of Browns fans into one and says “maybe things will eventually get better, but I can’t really say for sure.” It is the kind of look that Sally Field would have given to a disappointed young Forrest Gump. All Forrest wants to do is fit in and be normal. Unfortunately for us, it doesn’t appear that we are going to get any kind of amazing savant-like experiences later in life like Forrest Gump.
It wasn’t all bad last night, I guess. A scoreless halftime against an improved Ravens offense seemed like something of a victory for the Browns. In the first game against the Ravens the Browns were down 20-0 at halftime. This time, the Browns defense came to play. In the first half, the Browns’ defense forced four punts and a missed field goal. For the game, the Browns’ defense forced Baltimore to punt seven times. It would have been eight if the Ravens hadn’t just run into the line on fourth down at the end of the game. [Read more...]
Hey Browns fans, let’s just go zen with the fact that this team stinks on ice, ok? We need to leave our emotions at the door when it comes to this team if we expect to have any meaningful conversation. I wouldn’t say that the outcome of the Ravens game was any kind of a surprise. Still, I know that we all were really upset by a number of things that happened in this game. Even still, the blind rage and emotional response doesn’t do us any good here. The season is lost. The team is bad. It is time to start trying to figure out what things are worth salvaging and what things can get better. If it wasn’t a complete rebuild before the season started, it certainly is now.
On with the bullets, assuming they didn’t all find their way into guns this weekend after the game. As always, know that these are not comprehensive. I am sure I missed a great many things. Go ahead and put them in the comments. [Read more...]
We know how the Browns did. How about the rest of the AFC North this weekend?
Broncos 12 – Bengals 7
The Bengals lost this one in one of the most brutalist finishes in the history of the franchise. It was so bad that I was forced to make the grammar that bad in my first sentence. The Bengals scored a touchdown in the 4th quarter to take the lead 7-6. They gave the Broncos the ball back with 34 seconds left. After an incompletion, Kyle Orton bombed a pass into multiple defenders surrounding Brandon Marshall. One of the Bengals’ defenders tipped the ball in the air and Brandon Stokley grabbed it and ran 87 yards for the game winning score. Carson Palmer got one last bomb opportunity with 5 seconds left and threw an interception.
The Bengals were not good against Denver. Carson Palmer was 21/33 for 247 yards and 2 interceptions. The good news for Browns fans is that the Browns get Denver this week. Kyle Orton finished 17/28 with 243 yards and a TD. Of course that TD and 87 yards came on that flukey tip-drill game winner. The Bengals defense was able to get three sacks on Denver for the game. [Read more...]
The annual list of NFL team values has come out based on last year’s revenues according to Forbes. Despite a four-win season and an economic recession, the Browns’ value has stayed flat rather than losing value. As always, that is a true testament to us the fans. Imagine if the team was actually good and could capitalize a little bit better on creating national fans rather than just local ones? I know the Browns Backers are a really really strong fan organization, but it is in spite of the team on the field.
The Browns rank 13th overall in the NFL according to Forbes.
The Browns have been smacked by the bad economy. The team fired a big chunk of its administrative staff early this year and despite having a waiting list for season tickets decided not to raise prices, which range from $32 to $85. The team is counting on former Jet head coach Eric Mangini to turn things around on the field for the Browns who won only four games last year after posting ten wins in 2007. Mangini, who compiled a record of 23-25 for Gang Green the past three years, was given a four-year contract in January.
The Dallas Cowboys are entrenched in the number one slot with a worth of $1.65 billion. The Redskins are 2nd, and the Patriots are third. The rest of the AFC North is Baltimore at #11 with $1.1 billion in value, Pittsburgh at #16 with $1 billion in value, and the Bengals at #21 with a $953 million value. The most interesting statistic on Forbes’ pages regarding these three teams is the average ticket price. The average ticket price in Pittsburgh is $75. For the Bengals, it is $70. For the Ravens, it is $77. For the Browns, it is only $55.
Rams 24 – Bengals 21
Another week, and another game where Carson Palmer doesn’t play. Chad Ochocinco did not kick any field goals or extra points. It must have felt very familiar for the Bengals defense as they were going up against former Ravens’ starting QB Kyle Boller, now a backup for the Rams. Boller was nearly decapitated at the end of an 8 yard scramble. Apparently he didn’t slide early enough as Bengals LB Keith Rivers hit him and sent Boller’s helmet rolling. There wasn’t much to report from the game. Afterwards, Chad Ochocinco scooped the entire media with his twitter reporting that the Bengals had reached an agreement with their first round draft choice Andre Smith. According to the Enquirer, Carson Palmer is back on the practice field on Sunday, but still not full go. As we all know the success of the Bengals will rely on their signal caller. [Read more...]