A View From The Cheap SeatsHe Who Has Not Signed
The Browns drafted a player late in the 1st round of the 2007 NFL Draft, and it seems that this player has yet to sign a contract.
This subject has been hammered around ad nauseum in both the local and national press. Many people appear eager to jump on this guy with both feet – others sympathize with his “plight”. One day, his camp and the Browns are close to a contract. The next, well, suddenly they’re not.
Personally, I’ve gotten to the point where he is a dead subject. Until he signs his contract, he doesn’t exist to me. I know him simply as He Who Has Not Signed.
I don’t care whose fault it is that He Who Has Not Signed has not signed. I generally side with the team. When it comes to professional football, I am a Communist. I only care about the fate of the whole. I have no regard for the individual – not a damn one of them. I don’t know them. I haven’t met their families or done Jaeger shots with them. They are as faceless to me as telephone operators and fry cooks. My only interest in the individual players is how they can help the team.
He Who Has Not Signed most likely would not be helping this team significantly this year anyway (although those that have seen the epic QB battle – actually, more like drunken mud wrestling - between Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson might disagree. But I digress.)
So due to the fact HWHNS would be of little use to the 2007 Cleveland Browns, I am losing very little sleep over his immediate fate. Really, my greatest interest in this subject now is purely sporting. I bet my buddy $10 that – after he finally signed – He Who Finally Signed would take the field to more boos than cheers.
My buddy has more faith in mankind than I do.
Say It Ain’t So
Ryan Tucker has been suspended for the first 4 games of the season due to the use of performance enhancing substances.
I view this suspension as a 4 game injury. It’s the second season in a row that Tucker has lost significant playing time to Severe Brain Cramps.
Now, I’m not one to get all holier-than-thou, and I respect the body of work that Tucker has previously provided the Browns, so I will not jump on the crucifixion bandwagon. There was a likelihood he was going to be a backup anyway. This situation ensures Joe Thomas’ ascent to First Team Left Tackle, and also greases Kevin Shaffer’s pilgrimage to Right Tackle. In a way, with Tucker effectively removing himself from the picture (at least for the first quarter of the season), he has made some key decisions easier, and expedited the process of solidifying the offensive line.
How’s that for a silver lining? Take a picture – I must’ve been drinking Kool Aid for breakfast.
Thinner Than Ally McBeal
Honestly, the Tucker suspension concerns me a lot less than the injury to Orpheus Roye. Now, there is a good chance he will be back in time for the season opener. But even with him healthy, that Defensive Line still scares me. I look at the Browns’ roster and depth, and I feel really excited about the possibilities, except for two positions: Defensive Line and Quarterback.
I’m still nervous about them.
The defense could be chock-full of talent, but if the D Line can’t get a push – or at least hold their own – to help consistently stop the run, then all the talent at Linebacker and Safety will be for nothing.
Shaun Smith was to be the major backup to Ted Washington at DT, but, due to the Roye injury, has been moved to starter at End. What that tells me is that neither of the DE backups to Roye and Robaire Smith are considered good enough to start, and so therefore we have to chip away at the only D Line position where we had quality depth – Tackle.
There are some veterans available out there, like Simeon Rice. Now, I understand fully that there’s a reason they’re available, and probably not worth the contracts that their name – not their current ability – would command. Still, all options must be weighed, because I feel there is serious concern surrounding the depth on the DL (Defensive Line, that is, not Disabled List – our depth is always tops in the NFL on the Disabled List).
I just cringe at the idea of another year of watching opposing Running Backs strolling through holes wide enough to fit glaciers – like they have every year since ’99.
Teach Your Children Well
As I was going through the grocery store with my two young daughters the other night, pushing them both in the cart, one of them was so kind as to point out that a guy nearby was wearing a Steelers hat.
“Yes, he is,” I congratulated her.
“We don’t like the Steelers,” she informed me.
“Right you are,” I said. “What do we say when we see people wearing Steelers stuff?”
“Boooooo!” both my girls exclaimed.
So as I wheeled them by the Pittsburgh fan, they both looked at him and booed him loudly. He looked extremely confused (which is to be expected from one donning the black and yella.)
Ah – it brings a tear of pride to my eye. There is hope for future generations after all.
Top 5 Reasons I Can’t Wait Until September 91. Ben Roethlisberger. And you thought only Rex Grossman got carried to a Superbowl? It apparently happens every year nowadays.2. Bruce Arians is the Offensive Coordinator. Yes, he of the Butch Davis Years™. This is an exciting development. Beware the double reverse on 3rd and 1.3. They looked really good in the Hall of Fame Game. So did the Browns in ’99. No where to go but down.4. The Steelers Running Game. “Fast” Willie Parker is a-hurtin’, and their backups are about as scary as, well, ours. That’s not necessarily a compliment.5. The Steelers Have A Mascot. This was a really really good idea by the Steelers. Really really really good. Why? Now there will be a giant stupid lumberjack/mill worker mascot to throw our beer bottles at. It may be the lamest mascot in the NFL. Then again, it may be.
Honorable Mention: We owe those dipshits a big ass beating.